Take a look at this image up above. With the exception of a few closer stars in our own galaxy that are white or orange in appearance, every blob or speck of light you see further off in this photo is an entire galaxy, each containing billions of stars that are each trillions of miles apart from one another. Now keep in mind that a telescope had to zoom so far out to capture this photo that it probably represents a pin-prick of space in the night sky from our vantage point.
If you like stuff like this be sure to check out the 360 view of our galaxy here:
LINK TO SKYSURVEY.ORG
Reflections on the “official explanation”
One of the most common theories about the origins of the universe has to do with a big bang which ends up spinning off an infinitesimal amount of gargantuan systems of stars, planets and other celestial bodies on which appear, of course, dinosaurs. Yes my tongue was somewhat in my cheek there, but it does sound just as ridiculous as any other other theory, just like the idea that a God created everything sounds ridiculous to some people.
I’ve often wondered though about the whole Big Bang concept, first of all, the premise is flawed because there would not have been a ‘bang’ in the first place since sound cannot travel in the vacuum of space.
But seriously now, before the said ‘bang’ there had to exist at least three elements and the reason for the existence of these elements is something that I find to be the most mysterious part of the equation. First off, you have the initial ball of mass in it’s pre-bang configuration, secondly, you have space itself, the vast nothingness that seemingly has no beginning or end, like a vast chalkboard waiting to be filled with whatever may be. Third, you have something else and this is perhaps the most mysterious of all: law. That’s right, law existed. No matter how big or small this initial ‘mass’ was, it was constructed of atomic particles and law held it all together.
Law had to exist to in order for the bang, to, well, bang. After the bang, particles and matter were blasted to kingdom come and then they began to…organize – why? Why would the particles organize? Why would they not? These are mysterious things to think about. Matter organized itself into galaxies, solar systems around stars, planets and then something else unprecedented: complex life. Why would life exist? How is it possible that the various element laying around on earth could produce a strand of proteins arranged in a manner that it could replicate itself and then become incrementally more and more advanced until it produces an organism that, in turn, invents complex computer systems and types out this article that you are reading and comprehending right now?
I suppose these are all old questions that still have no satisfactory answer that everyone can agree upon.
When you look at the initial image of all the galaxies at the beginning of this article, I wonder if that is how a field of atoms would look like if you were able to see such a sight up close with your naked eye. Trillions of electrons orbiting nuclei through the vast cosmos of your body; each like a miniature solar system or galaxy with a vast (comparatively speaking) sea of nothing in between; the same nothing that fills the void of space. But we know each of these systems were not ‘big banged’ into existence; every birth of a child is the intentional organization of a whole new microcosmos, a literal universe of atomic particles on a smaller scale.
Are there clues embedded in our very natures?
What is interesting to me though is how some people are so intent on refusing to believe in a greater intelligence out there that has the ability to create and place us here. I’ve read stories of various tribes who, when a member of the tribe is ready “to become a man”, they send him out into the wilderness to prove they can survive with what they have learned and possibly gain a deeper understanding of who they are and their place in the grand scheme of things. After completing their quest, they return home and are officially members of the tribe and are better because of it.
Is it not plausible that this is what could be happening with all of us, but on a much more vast scale?
Even if you are an evolutionist, you would have to admit that making the jump from inorganic matter to complex life that has the ability to take the elements of this world and place them in orbit around a planet and even send probes, objects and other life to a neighboring moon or other worlds is a pretty vast leap!
Is this leap from dust to an advanced being like man synonymous to the leap from man as he stands now to something like what God is? If a billion or so years brought us to this point, where and what would we be in a billion more years? Man used to only be able to move as fast as he could run…or fall, I suppose, but now he can fly at several times the speed of sound through the air and into space at will and under his complete control.
Would it not make sense that if we truly were children of a being who is capable of taking elements and forming the vast cosmos that we too would be crafty little beings who would take after their parent in their creative pursuits?
There are tribes of people living on the various isles of the seas who have very little resources due to their isolation. Those disconnected from the rest of modern civilization have not advanced much. But those who have inhabited much richer lands have taken of the resources there and produced technology that has advanced mankind in miraculous ways.
In this world floating through space, are we not on an island as well? What could we become if given the knowledge and resources of a higher being such as the one some call “God”?
I personally do not believe that God is “magical”. I believe that he operates on law in every respect and that we as human beings are not just some souped-up chemical reaction. Look around yourself and you will see among the chaos and turmoil of existence, order and organization from the tiniest atom, to the molecular structure of minerals, plant and animal life and the vast cosmos containing an endless host of consistent galaxies and stars; everything operating on fore-ordained laws and absolutes.
We haven’t seen life on the various other island worlds around us which can leave us with a feeling of isolation, like we are some kind of cosmic accident and that our existence doesn’t really matter. Long ago, I had determined that if there truly was no God, then we do not matter at all. If there is no God, then there is no basis for morality as it is just an invention of a mass of chemicals that call themselves people. There would be no right or wrong and there would be no reasoning for the preservation of life as it would be no more special than a colorful smear on a rock floating in space.
But why is it that we are innately geared toward altruism? Why is it that when we try to convince ourselves that we are nothing more than a just another chemical reaction in the vast nothingness, that this line of thinking just doesn’t seem correct?
Think of the power love has in our existence. Love cannot be taken and placed in a test tube, yet we all experience it in degrees. The existence of countless new things all around us have been discovered only because we invented a particular device to discover that they were there in the first place! Think of the billions of other worlds and galaxies that were once completely unknown to us, but we molded and polished glass and placed into configurations within telescopes to discover these realities.
How foolish we are to draw some of the conclusions we do when we have just barely been able to take a small peek into the unseen realms around us.
The grand scheme of things
I tend to classify Athiesm as a religion since the declaration that there is no God is just as improvable from one man to another as the declaration that there is a God by those of faith. Unless it is your religious belief that there is no God based on you simply looking around and not seeing him, I think the only other place for skeptics to turn is agnosticism where you are left to declare, “I haven’t yet seen any evidence that there is a God”.
I think God-fearing people and atheists butt heads so much because each camp is just so sure of themselves, but for different reasons. I don’t really have a problem with agnostics as long as they are not lazy agnostics. Those who are seeking will all come to a conclusion based on the evidence they find in their respective journeys.
To be honest, I would probably fall in the agnostic camp today if it were not for the fact that I discovered the existence of God by following the recommendations of scripture. During a time where I had no evidence of a God, I spent a lot of time thinking. I wanted nothing more than to see things as they really are through my own lens of reality.
Scripture seemed like a logical place to start, plus I was promised an answer if I knocked. It took me some time to learn how to knock properly, but once I learned, I found that I could receive answers. These answers sustained my desire to seek more. This seeking has resulted in countless experiences and encounters with the same events recorded in scripture and spoken by others who have followed the same path.
Yes, there is a God, yes there is even a Jesus Christ and I know this because I know Him.
From our time of birth we walk with closed eyes growing frustrated with what we cannot see but feel is there. Every now and then one of us learns how to open his eyes; at first there are small glimpses of light, then we see shapes and forms as we adjust ourselves to a new brightness until we see all the world and the vast cosmos that surrounds us. But that is not enough, we build telescopes and rockets and launch ourselves upward and outward never satisfied with whatever progress we make.
We don’t die but our bodies do, our energy keeps on living, albeit in another state waiting to be reconciled to the future that awaits us. Jesus Christ did something for us during His time on earth that will allow for this reconciliation to take place. We will in turn inherit all that our Father has prepared for us, no differently than how an earthly father prepares his posterity to enjoy all that he has.
Just as the small orbits of moons around worlds are reflective of the massive orbits of stars and solar systems around the crux of a galaxy, the lives of earthly families and their cycles of posterity are reflective of our Godly family that also operates on a universal level.
Let us applaud and give thanks that we have become not only Christians but Christ himself. Do you understand, my brothers, the grace that God our head has given us? Be filled with wonder and joy—we have become veritable Christs! – St. Augustine of Hippo
The Only-begotten Son of God, wanting us to be partakers of his divinity, assumed our human nature so that, having become man, he might make men gods. – St. Thomas Aquinas
The only begotten Son of God, wishing to make us partakers of his own divinity, took upon himself our human nature, that having become man he might make men to be gods; – E. Towers, “Sanctifying Grace,” in The Teaching of the Catholic Church (1949), I: 553-4
If we take man, he is said to have been made in the image of God, for the simple reason that he is a son of God, and being his son, he is, of course, his offspring, an emanation from God, in whose likeness, we are told, he is made. He did not originate from a chaotic mass of matter, moving or inert, but came forth possessing, in an embryonic state, all the faculties and powers of a God. And when he shall be perfected, and have progressed to maturity, he will be like his Father—a God, being indeed His offspring. As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man, propagates its own species and perpetuates its own kind, so does God perpetuate his. – John Taylor “Chapter 1: The Origin and Destiny of Mankind,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, (2001)
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; – Jesus Christ, John 10:34-35
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. – Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:48
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; – Jesus Christ, John 17:20-23
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. – Jesus Christ, Revelation 3:21,22
With the greatest humility, we look up to our Father in gratitude for what he has planned for us. To be one with Him is to inherit all that he has and all that he desires to share with us. It isn’t gold or silver or riches of any kind, it is His nature that he wishes to give. The titles of President or King have great worth upon this little world, yet the Maker of all chooses “Father” as His title. This is one of His clues to us if we will have ears to hear; the most important preparatory work for our future state is not done in any factory, lab or office, it is within the humble walls of our own homes.
Birth is not the beginning and death is not the end, but what happens in between can affect eternities to come.
Updated: June 5, 2011