Church and Cosmology--2.0

Eric Chaisson is the author chapter 2: Our Cosmic Heritage. He is an astrophysicist at John Hopkins. He points out early in the chapter that many American Christians have an aversion to the term evolution. However, he notes that the term simply refers to developmental change.

Chaisson believes wholeheartedly in the scientific method-- even going as far to say that we can use the scientific method to answer the age old questions traditionally in the realm of theology (and later philosophy). This is his bias (and I would add faith system-- he alludes to this in his first paragraph). These questions include but are not limited to: who are we? where did we come from? how did everything around us originate? How does order emerge out of chaos? Why is there something rather than nothing?

Chaisson believes that the single greatest change taking place today is the human discovery in the last century that everything is composed of the same "material" or energy (electrons,etc.), including humanity. In this way, humanity is not distinguished at all from the rest of creation. Yet, even being indistinguished , we are the only creatures with the ability to manipulate life itself (for good or for destruction). "The physicist unleashes the forces of nature; the biolgist experiments with the structure of genes; the psychologist influences behavior with drugs. We are, in fact, forcing a change in the way things change" (page 23).

Because of these abilities (which are still in their infancy), we logically turn to the field of ethics. Humanity can bring life or bring death. The individual Adam of Genesis 3 is now the global Human with a similar choice-- A Tree of Good and Evil whose fruit bring's death or A Tree of Life whose fruit brings life and healing to all. However, the choice is not in a garden but in a globe. Humanity must see itself as a whole, as one group of people. Without such an outlook, we invariably relapse into the segregation and violence of nation-states, city-states, and the other various forms of human government over our history.

I, of course, would suggest a Jesus-oriented ethic for such a world. Indeed, the followers of Jesus were to create such communities (church bringing the kingdom of God); however, the historic Christian church has mostly entangled itself in the segregated politics and ethics of the nation-state.

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