The Canaanite genocide just became less of a problem for me. The conquest stories of the book of Joshua (in the Bible) have troubled me for a long time. But it’s recently occurred to me that the problem really lies somewhere else — much deeper in the fabric of nature. If we take evolution seriously (and I do), we have to acknowledge the troubling fact that Death is the engine that runs Life. It has been like this for 3 billion years. I have no intention of going back to being a creationist who believes that death resulted from “the Fall.” That idea is behind me. I trust the data, and the data says that the God I believe in has created a world of Life fueled by Death, and I’m really not sure how to deal with that. That’s where my thinking process now has to start.
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.
If this blog does what I want it to do, what will that look like? Simple: The biggest brains working on the biggest questions. There’s some history behind why our biggest brains today avoid the biggest questions: The Greeks chopped up the world into 2 pieces–the real world of ideal forms, and the illusory world of space, time, and matter. That’s why all their biggest brains focused on the “real world” of logic, instead of observing and experimenting with natural phenomena and illusory “data.” The Medieval world adopted this structure, changing the labels to “spirit” and “flesh,” but left the...
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.
I am a science geek, and I love the Bible. If you have a geeky spirituality that involves a set of sacred texts (Bible, Quran, Torah, Sutras, Vedas, or whatever), you know how hard this can be. We’ve all been taught that Science and Religion are mortal enemies, and anyone who embraces both is just confused. How to manage this? I’ve been wrestling with this issue since like the 5th grade, and here’s what I’ve learned to keep in mind: 1. In Theology, I am studying God, not the texts that talk about God. Now and then, people run into...