From the Big Picture

This is what happens when Hubble looks at a pinprick of the sky for two weeks
This is what happens when Hubble looks at a pinprick of the sky for two weeks

This picture contains literally thousands of galaxies, each home to billions of stars.  It is the area covered by a match-head, held at arm’s distance to the sky.

The author of the God Blog,  in The New Statesman, raised the subject of science and religion being in conflict.  I used to think them irreconcilable, till I started thinking about this picture.  Surely an important tenet of any serious religion is man’s utter inability to grasp the universe. Science helps us understand, and also assures us that we can never truly understand, so small are our limits.

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2 thoughts on “Hubble discovers: it’s big

  1. “Science helps us understand, and also assures us that we can never truly understand, so small are our limits.”

    Well, fine.

    But all we get from that is agnosticism: “shit man, this stuff is really incomprehensible – it looks like we don’t really know anything”

    What we dont get is God. Just because we can’t explain everything with “science” (whatever that is exactly supposed to mean), it doesn’t therefore follow that we are justified in positing a cosmic sky wizard creator so as to fill the void of unknowing.

    The correct response is shoulder-shrugging agnosticism and admitting that we just don’t really know.

    And certainly what we are not entitled to do is conclude a) that there is a god and then b) that he issues moral pronouncements and sends us to burn in hell for eternity if we don’t do what he, the cosmic sky bully, demands.

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