Where is God in this?

Someone asked yesterday “Where is God in all of this?”, stating that everywhere they look they see struggle and suffering, that everywhere they look they do NOT see the divine. My off-the-cuff reply was

Go outside, look up. Day or night:

  • See the atmosphere? It's the only breathable one in our solar system and the only breathable one we know of in the universe which likely contains 2 trillion or more galaxies, each galaxy containing tens to hundreds of billions of stars. Most of those stars likely harboring planets.

  • See stars? The nearest one is Proxima Centauri at 4.24 light years away. Voyager 1 is traveling at a rate of 17.3 km/s, it's the fastest spacecraft to date. If it were pointed at an intercept with Proxima Centauri it would take over 73,000 years to arrive. That's the closest star, 4.24 light years. The farthest star we've directly imaged (MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star 1) is 5 billion light-years away. You exist, I exist, on this tiny blue marble in an effectively infinite space. That's where God is.

  • See the moon? it has given us the 24 hour day we know so well. It gives us the tides that likely helped make life prosper on Earth. It was likely made from a cataclysmic impact where something likely a twin to the Earth at the time collided with us and ejected it violently from the collision. That moon you see, men have been there, they got there with less computing power than a modern car has. They got there launched on a controlled explosion atop the most complicated machine made to date. They went to a barren, hostile, sterile world and looked back and saw the majesty that is Earth. The local rarity that is Earth. The only known body in the solar system to harbor any form of life, let alone intelligent life. That's where God is.

Now, go look in the mirror. You're seeing reflected radiation that allows you to see you. Through an evolutionary miracle that is the eye, something that modern cameras still can't replicate even a decent approximation of. That reflection you see, you, more than 37 trillion cells make up you. Those cells are made up of 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms that is roughly 2/3 hydrogen, 1/4 oxygen and about 1/10 is carbon in composition. Those seven billion billion billion atoms comprise a living, breathing, sentient entity that can not only live and reproduce but has the capability of creating technology that allows the splitting of atoms, that allows for complicated repair (surgery) of similar organisms, that can contemplate existence, that could build the most complicated machine ever to put man on the moon. That's where God is.

What a nice piece of tail!, CGCG254-021

Wow, so that's an approximately 250k light year tail on CGCG254-021. So beautiful! I could get lost looking at images of far away galaxies, stars, you name it. Maybe some day, in my life, we will get a distributed optical telescope in space that allows us to image extrasolar planets! How exciting would that be?!

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Bonn/G. Schellenberger et al; Optical: INT

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Bonn/G. Schellenberger et al; Optical: INT