It took God one day to make all living things: First, God made Adam out of dirt. Second, he made plants out of dirt. And then third, he made animals out of dirt. Of course, he followed that up by making Eve out of Adam, which would make her one generation removed from dirt, but that’s still pretty closely related. Genesis 2 taught me that we’re all related to dirt. Darwin taught that we’re all related to each other. I love being connected to everything. I love being related to apes.
We sin against our scriptures when we use them to serve our fear of learning. This is the lesson I wanted my kids to learn from last night’s family Lent discipline — watching COSMOS. For Lent, we are giving up smallness of vision. As a family, we are facing the delightful terror of discovery.
Does the overall behavior of the universe change over time? I represent a tradition of people who claim to have observed evidence that the universe’s behavior is going through a kind of phase change. The Jesus-event we call “Easter” is indicative of what is happening to the cosmos as a whole. Time will tell if we are right about that.
I am made of “star-stuff.” I am part of how the cosmos is knowing itself. And the particles of my body may someday be part of a star or a planet or maybe even some alien person gazing up and the stars and wondering if I ever existed. Realizing all of this, I have never felt so blessed and so loved. Reality — whatever it is — deserves my loyalty. That’s the religion Carl Sagan taught me.