Following The Evidence #74

Humanity is like a cosmic orphan. We are the only creature on the planet that asks why? Other animals are guided by instincts, but we have learned to ask questions. That is why we are cosmic orphans.

For many centuries man believed that the universe was created by God and that He placed man upon the earth. This world view broke apart like an ill-nailed raft caught in a torrent. Suddenly, space, which was thought to be a small homey place for man, suddenly widened into infinity. The earth was seen to be a mere speck drifting in the wake of a minor star (the Sun) which itself was rotating around an immense galaxy composed of innumerable suns of immeasurable size. Beyond and beyond, billions of light years away other galaxies vast and innumerable glowed through clouds of wandering gas and interstellar dust.

Man finally thought that he may be alone in the indifferent immensity of the universe. “Who am I?” the orphan cried. Science answered back, “You are a changling linked by a genetic chain to all invertebrates. The thing that you are still bears the aching wounds of evolution in body and brain. Your hands are made over fins. Your lungs came from a creature gasping in a swamp. Your backbone was twisted upright. Your foot was a reworked climbing pad. You are a rag doll resewn from the skins of extinct animals.

Long ago (2 million years perhaps) you were smaller. Your brain was not so large 70 million years before that you were even smaller, a climbing creature (a Tupaiid), the size of a rat and you ate insects. Now you fly to the moon and beyond. As a cosmic orphan you look to the past and see only purposeless blind processes of mutations and natural selection. Now you look to the future and see death and inevitable extinction.
Modern man is a cosmic orphan because he has killed God, or at least lives as if He does not exist. By doing so he has reduced himself to an accident of nature. When he cries why, the cry is lost in the silent recesses of space. When he dies, he dies without hope. Thus, in killing God, he has killed himself. It is the absence of God that makes man a cosmic orphan. It is the grim finality of death that makes life a tragedy. Death is man’s greatest enemy – eternal annihilation. This prospect robs life of meaning and fullness. It makes the life of a human no better than the life of a horse or cow; only more tragic. In the 1970’s I remember reading of Samuel Becketts play “Waiting for Goddot.” The curtain opened and there was a pile of junk. That was it! The audience was waiting for nothing. After some time, the curtain closed.

Confined to this life alone modern man is set upon by the pressures of life and plagued by our own evil, disease, old age and ultimately death itself. Why is it that only humanity anticipates the future – animals live only in the present but man in his expectations, his fantasies, his dreams, looks to the future. The hope that even if they are not happy now, they will be, tomorrow may bring better things. Humanity is orientated towards infinity – eternity – we long for it because it has been programmed into us Solomon said. We know about death, but we do not want to die. The predicament of our kind is that we are not just simply an orphan, but that we are orientated by nature towards the very thing we cannot have.

What can we do? Suicide? Ignore the whole thing? Affirm the absurdity of life and live nobly on? Or challenge the world view of man! If it can be proven that there is a God and immortality, then we are not the cosmic orphan after all. Biblical Christianity teaches immortality in the form of resurrection from the dead. What is the evidence for that?

No Comments

Post A Comment