(To a friend who sent me links regarding a planet that might have artificial structures orbiting around it):
Thank you for making me feel welcome!
I’ve briefly reviewed the links you sent. I believe I heard a bit about the phenomenon on Science Friday. First let me state that I am not a scientist, so most of what’s being talked about is way over my head. That having been said, I’ve been interested in the science of origins since eighth grade, and I led a small study group on the topic around the early 1980s. My views have changed greatly since my childhood. I’ve been a member of the American Scientific Affiliation (www.asa3.org) for years, and was privileged to be able to speak briefly with Dr. Francis Collins (former head of the Human Genome Project, founder of the BioLogos Foundation, and current head of the National Institutes of Health) on NPR a few years ago. Roughly five years ago I led about a nine week Sunday evening series on science and faith at my church, the Community Church of the Nazarene. My main resource was a series on DVD entitled “Religion and Science: Pathways to Truth.” The first session, along with clips of other sessions, can be seen free online at http://www.wesleyministrynetwork.com/ptinfo.html.
I’ll leave it to my scientist friends at the ASA and BioLogos Foundation to offer expert reaction to the apparent orbiting objects. What comes to my mind is the statement by Jesus recorded in John 10:16: “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” Some scholars believe this refers to Gentiles, or non-Jews, since Jesus’ initial audience was mostly or entirely Jewish, but speculative ideas were legal last I checked, and maybe God has a “garden” of beings whom he is evolving toward having free will and a relationship with him. (See Random Designer: Created from Chaos to Connect with the Creator, by biologist Richard Colling.) There might be support for this interpretation from Jesus’ parable of the minas (Luke 19:12-27).
From the world of science fiction, I would mention the space trilogy of CS Lewis: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. A rather whimsical song entitled “UFO” by Larry Norman, said to have been the first Christian rock musician, said, “And if there’s life on other planets, then I’m sure that he must know, and he’s been there once already and has died to save their souls.” More artistically, Canadian New Wave musician Bruce Cockburn wrote, in “Creation Dream,”
Centred on silence
Counting on nothing
I saw you standing on the sea
And everything was
Dark except for
Sparks the wind struck from your hair
Sparks that turned to
Wings around you
Angel voices mixed with seabird cries
Fields of motion
Questions that contain their own replies…
You were dancing
I saw you dancing
Throwing your arms toward the sky
Stars were shooting everywhere
Lines of power
Along the channels of your song
Mercury waves flashed
Under your feet
Shots of silver in the shell-pink dawn…
From his album “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws”
Some scholars have assumed that life in other cultures on earth would be both godless and idyllic. This thought has been soundly debunked by the work and writings of Don Richardson. Don and Carol asked their mission board for the toughest possible assignment. They were sent to the headhunting, cannibalistic Sawi tribe in Irian Jaya Indonesia. Don recounts in his bestselling book Peace Child how the deepest traditions of the tribe pointed to a divine solution to flawed human nature. In another bestseller, Eternity in Their Hearts, Don finds similar “redemptive analogies” in cultures around the world.
It will be fascinating to see what develops from the “Tabby’s Star” research. Thanks for sharing the links! A cartoon decades ago had a businessman saying to a colleague about another colleague, “He doesn’t know anything about the market, but he has a way with words.” That would be about the best I could hope for myself.
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