Earth 2.0: Good News for God

In a whirlwind of news from space, we have seen pictures of our beloved dwarf planet, Pluto, learned the broader scope of New Horizons, and geeked out about the revelation of Kepler 452b.

Laying on my back on the hood of our Jeep last year my husband and I picked out the Summer Triangle, Scorpio, and the many stars that burn so brightly above our apartment. As a child, I devoured books on astronomy, reveling in the science, mythology, and wonder of our accompanying universe.

As an adult, I have a Google alert for any news. 55b117731200002c0013b267

This is why I read Jeff Schweitzer’s article a couple minutes after it had been posted . Responses to his work, Earth 2.0: Bad News for Godwere many and varied, but noticeably filled with both confusion, anger, and insults. Good answers were lost underneath speculation and those who tried to redirect people to other resources didn’t explain what to look for on the websites.

Many pointed out the faulty sightings in Genesis or the noticeable bias Schweitzer approached the issue with, however very few addressed the topic directly.

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Does the prospective discovery of sentient life on other planets destroy Abrahamic faiths? 

This is a very direct question that recognizes many things:

1) Prospective: 

Kepler 452b is in the habitable zone of a star. This means is in the area where planets with enough atmospheric pressure can possibly have liquid water on their surfaces. Many planets have been found in this zone including roughly a dozen that are half the size of Earth in Kepler.

What is special about Kepler 452b is that it is “roughly Earth sized” – really rough – in that it is 60% percent bigger which will have a huge effect on atmospheric pressure and gravitational pull. At this point they don’t know if it has water, if it has rocky or smooth terrain,or how the extra distance from it’s higher energy star effects it.

We are a long way from declaring this Earth 2.0, but the possibilities are opening up.

What bearing does this have on the issue? 

Schweitzer assumed that the possibility of discovery precluded faith. He wasn’t willing to look at what we know for a fact now and how that effects faith.

2) Sentient

Sentient meaning life that can be held accountable for moral actions. Bacteria on Mars and the possibility of something more on a planet we have only just peaked at don’t count at this point. In order for this to be a faith based question, there has to be a people able enter into a relationship with a Creator.

At this point, there is little more than speculation.

3) Abrahamic Faiths

Schweitzer was not picking on Eastern religions or New Age philosophy, he particularly chose those faiths that source their belief in the Bible.

His arguments are as follows:

Life on Earth, much less in all of the universe, could not have been made in 6 days.  Life on another planet is completely incompatible with religious tradition. If Earth is the center of the universe, where God place man, then no other living creature in relationship with the Creator can exist. No Biblical account mentions extraterrestrial life, therefore its existence disproves the account.

Considering the question: 

How often we overlook the all-powerful nature of our God. Life on earth and in all of the universe was made in six days. Because Schweitzer left it as a side note, I will too. Six days is nothing to the Omnipotent. What we try to quantify in our finite consciousness will never do justice to Him.

The crux of his thoughts rests on the Catholic Church’s response to Galileo during his trial as a heretic. This is not an example of Biblical fallibility, but human error. The purpose of keeping Galileo silent was to maintain the Catholic Church’s control over the interpretation of God’s Word and, by extension,  the actions of the people in fear for their souls. This was wrong and Galileo’s work, which was reminiscent of Protestantism, was later recognized after the close of the Inquisition.

The assumption of Biblical error by the verdict of a human Pope is an example of a parts-to whole fallacy.

The Pope was a Catholic

Catholicism is denomination of Christianity

The Pope made a mistake

Therefore: All of Christianity is wrong. 

If this sort of argument is acceptable, the same thing could be done to prove my point:

Jeff Schweitzer is a scientist/writer

He made a mistake

Therefore: All of science is not right/ All of his writings are not right. 

Clearly, That is utter codswallop.

In Response: 

This article was meant to be speculative and sensational. Schweitzer was expressing his belief that religion is a chameleon, an opiate for masses and grand manipulator by powerful people who will be fighting for their thrones in the face of ‘new life’. His purpose was not to make a defense for his beliefs, but to shoot something into the ether and cause a ripple.

A relationship with Christ does not change based on our perception. Every time man discovered things that made us smaller, it made our God greater. The problem came when man tried to use other’s faith as their power source.

Man placed man at the center of the universe. We assumed we were central and supreme, but as faith in Christ shows that is not the case. We are not the beginning and end of all creation, Christ is. On the outskirts of a galaxy, I am reminded that I am always on the cusp of something so much greater than myself.

If we are not alone, then how much greater is God’s mercy, grace and love?

He directed the Bible to us, to tell us His story of redemption for us.  Finding life beyond us would not destroy a Biblical faith. It would mean He has a story much bigger than us, something we can share in and worship Him for.

– M

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Family: Chosen, Given, Found

Every year at Thanksgiving I try to think of three things that sum up my year’s blessings. I couldn’t sum it up this year. I tried, but in all of the joy and heartache I couldn’t figure out how.

To start – Going back years I always thought I had to chose – Friends, Family, Adopted, Biology. In my mind there was never room for both. There wasn’t time for everyone. I was selfish. I wanted it to be about me. Given, I was fifteen, but still I was locked down.

In time I learned what is obvious –  Love makes room.

In February I doubled my family, We chose who we love – not just romantically. We lock out in laws, friends who’ve hurt us, family who disagrees with our decisions. Why? Because it might hurt. This year I gained an entire family and it has made me love and value my parents and sisters more.  I realized loving more people does not make you weak or in pieces, it gives you more to pour out into those around you.

In July I found out I was pregnant – one more life so filled with love before we had even met. When I lost him, I was told by some I was just practicing for a real baby, that I couldn’t love a child I never met. My arms ache for my child. But successful parenting is guiding a child to heaven. I have not lost forever, just for now. Our little gift expanded our hearts again and left a gap.

Around the same time, I got a phone call from my brother who I never thought I would have a chance to know. Again my family grew and with it my heart.

This year is ending with hope, fullness, and an excess of love.

Our family is only limited by our choice to love.

I’m thankful for my husband, my child, and my brother and the family we have.

– M

Confessions… I like vlogs

I have been doing a ton of work over on my other blog, Homestead Revival. My house is filled with Sourdough starters, ferments, kombucha scobys (I really want to make that scobies, but my husband points out it is an acronym) , and flats full seedlings. I am living my dream. This guy would be proud.

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But I have a distraction – Intelligent vlogs.

At first it was these classes done online in a really interactive way:

Then I started checking out the guys who wrote them and they are pretty cool:

This list is all of their current events explanations. All of their other videos, while hilarious and interesting suck you into the kingdom of Nerdfighteria….

We’re all mad here…

These guys are liberal, but there is a lot we agree on for different reasons. I believe in being ecologically responsible because of my God given stewardship, they don’t want to destroy the future. There is some language especially in the earlier videos, but they discuss literature, current events, and being active in the world around you.

After these videos I got attached to transmedia renditions of some of my favorite pieces of literature like Pride and Prejudice:

Jane Eyre:

and Emma:

I have to pull myself back into the real world now… and look at starting a seed bank and do dishes.

– M

The Purpose of Parenting (Why a Miscarriage is A Success)

In the last couple weeks I have been struggling – which is to be expected.

Everything is to be expected – bleeding, pain, hormones, depression, tears.

I was sitting in the emergency room last week across from a room that had a beautiful baby inside, about six or seven months. She didn’t stop crying the entire time I was there – about four hours. The nurse looked at me like I was crazy.

“You’re sure you want one of those?”

Her mother was attentive, not leaving her, talking to her, trying to calm her down. The parenting had already started.

To parent is to guide,

through life,

through hurts,

through hope, 

to find Jesus and His redemption.

Successful parenting is guiding a child to heaven.

It feels like it is shredding me to pieces – but I have a child in heaven

I have not lost forever, just for now. 

I am assured that at some point I’ll start to hurt less.

Right now – knowing there is a purpose to it is my comfort,

and knowing our family has grown by one is beautiful.

– M

Introducing M…. yself

You may have noticed my W turned into an M. I haven’t developed some strange form of dyslexia, but I did get married, three weeks ago to the most wonderful man in the world (and yes, after three weeks of marriage I still love him and enjoy washing his coal infused socks)

We live in a two bedroom apartment almost in town, but still in a quiet area, where we have finally figured out how we like our furniture arranged.

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I’m a missus and I am just figuring everything out.

 have figured most things out

Haven’t figured anything out… except that stuffing all of our gifts in the guest room gives me some space to think.

Everything changed and I hardly realized it in the whirlwind of romance and wedding planning (read maelstrom of stress and thank you note writing). 

Love makes your perspective on everything change, it makes a person more important than almost anything in your life. It makes you learn to give up, and it turns out that those things you give up weren’t worth holding onto anyway.

I’m loving the calm now. The joy found in spending time with my Soul Mate – these days it seems like my heart spends more time with him than in my own chest.

You can’t understand it until you’re in it, marriage. The bonding together – complete mixing of one into another, so tangled together that you can’t separate the man and woman from the one person they are becoming.

Becoming one – I use his hand motions and feel my face make expressions his makes, feel what I know he feels when he sees things. I hear my words and tones come out of his mouth and see his expressiveness where others see restraint.

We haven’t figured out the future or big goals, but thats good.

I don’t need to have it all figured out right now.

And that was a hard lesson to learn

-M

This Could Be Goodbye

I started here  in high school four years ago

I started here in high school four years ago

I have mentioned before that I have been withdrawing from the internet. I haven’t thought about blogging in months. I only use my laptop for school. I’m ready to grow up, maybe I already have grown up and I just haven’t realized it yet.  I don’t need the writing anymore. My original purpose in writing this blog was to have an adventure – to encourage myself to look outside myself.

I started this blog a two years ago in order to encourage myself to get out of my comfort zone and live a little. Since then, I have worked in a Spanish speaking kitchen, quit all my jobs, gone to Indonesia for three months, became a missionary, came back and became a maid, live-in caregiver, farm hand, and personal chef. Then, a farm hand and a student. (Yes, a fragment – I got over my grammar fascism)

Here I am – the same person – grown up.

I’ve become brave, a taker of risks, and friend to people I never would have thought of years ago. I don’t need the security blanket this blog was for me to begin with. I worked through my life here, my goals, my hopes, my dreams, my faith.

Now, I’m working through those things with my best friends. I am learning about fellowship and depending on others and loving them, not just doing adventurous things, but investing myself in lives. It’s growing me emotionally, relationally, in ways I’m weak.

My laptop just isn’t where I need to be.

Now - Graduate, Sister, Friend, and More

Now – Graduate, Sister, Friend, and More

This may change someday, but until then I want to leave you with the most encouraging words from a hymn written in 1804:

Take, my soul, thy full salvation;
Rise o’er sin and fear and care;
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
What a Father’s smile is thine,
What a Savior died to win thee;
Child of heaven, shouldst thou repine?

– W