Just A Waste Of Space?

I was getting off the train the other day and as what usually happens in peak hour, I bumped into somebody. I turned around to apologise (Damn! It wasn’t Michael Vartan!) to this smartly dressed businesswoman who smiled back and said: “It’s ok.” As I watched her go I was suddenly struck by the realisation that I was human being. Now that I didn’t know before……but we take it for granted that we forget that we are of a species named Homo sapien or human to make it easier. Anyway, I looked around all these people on the platform thinking that each of them is unique. No two people are the same nor are the lives they lead. It blew me away even more when I remembered that there are just over 6.5 billion of us on this planet! I thought: “My Lord…..you’re amazing.” I was in awe of His power and creativity that not only made us but all the other amazing things on this planet – the animals, the plants and the geography that surrounds us.

One of my favourite movies is: “Contact”, starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. It was about a scientist who discovers that an audio transmission from an alien civilisation is actually instructions on how to build a craft to get to them. Yes, yes, I know. I’m a mass of contradictions. I’m a devout Catholic who loves science fiction. The thing is….my love of science fiction was actually explained by a quote from this movie. Young Ellie (adult Ellie is played by Jodie Foster) asked her father one day if he thought there were people on other planets. Her father responded: “I don’t know….But I guess I’d say if it is just us….seems like an awful waste of space.”

Loving God and loving science fiction seems a contradiction. As Catholics we are raised to believe in the explanation of creation as outlined in Genesis. But then there is too much evidence backing up the theory of evolution. Then there is the well-known quote in the Bible that “we are made in God’s image”. If that’s true then how can there be life on other planets? Are there other humans out there too? If they don’t look like us, does that mean there is no God? These are questions that have been debated for centuries and by people so much smarter than me. But for myself, my personal belief, is that there’s room for both theories. God exists and so does evolution and science fiction. I look up at the night sky and refuse to believe that my Lord, of such awesome power that can create the beauty I see in a child, can’t also create that beauty I see when I look through my telescope. Besides, answer me this….what started the Big Bang in the first place?

Think about that.

Just A Waste Of Space?


Chicago, United States

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