The Place We Call Home: Part One Introduction

Great clouds of water vapour are slowly rolling across the pale blue backdrop of the evening sky. Birds are cutting their paths through the air above the distant trees in a landscape marked pertinently by one particular unusual animal. Fields with neat rows of crops forming a patchwork of yellows and greens that stretches off into the horizon, great steel street lights arch over the busy roads that cut their way into the distance. Rows of red bricked houses, their rooftops intertwined with wires that provide momentary perches for the birds as they fleet from garden to garden. This is the view that I see daily from my window. I seldom stop to contemplate the wonder of the view from up here. After all, it’s hardly an archetypal picturesque view that you’d find on a nice postcard, but in a certain frame of mind it is intricately beautiful in every respect.

 

It’s beautiful because it harbours a stunning diversity of living organisms, creatures that eventually evolved the consciousness to appreciate and understand this lump of rock we call home. Being one of those creatures, sitting here and gazing out of the window – even at the most unremarkable surroundings – is a wonderful experience. Many of us, myself included, spend far too many days idly glancing at our mundane surroundings without contemplating exactly how deeply wonderful of this little planet is. The world around us often fades away into the background amidst our daily concerns and activities, this series of articles hopes to shake it firmly into the forefront of our minds.

 

It’s an epic 4600,000,000 year journey filled with triumph and tragedy on a scale that dwarfs even the greatest of myths. I hope to tell the story as best I can, starting from stardust and ending in civilization, its a story of how simplicity gave rise to wonderful complexity, and how a peculiar kind of bald ape eventually came to be king of the world.

 

This is the story of the place we call home.

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4 Comments

Filed under Science

4 responses to “The Place We Call Home: Part One Introduction

  1. johnnathanielfernando

    it’s a beautiful world alright! do you happen to be a pantheist brother?

    • I consider myself to be an atheist. Although I do find the cosmos to be an awe inspiring and wonderful place to inhabit, the fact that matter has arranged itself in such a way as to be able to comprehend the universe here on this tiny rock we call home is truly, spine tinglingly fantastic. In a sense it gives me a spiritual feeling when I contemplate things like that. If you define God as the cosmos then sure I believe in it, but I don’t like to use the term God or theism to describe it – those words have too many negative connotations as far as I’m concerned.

      Perhaps you could outline for me what it means to be a pantheist? I have a vague idea, but it would be interesting to know more.

  2. johnnathanielfernando

    anyways for a short summary though, you already defined pantheism on that last comment you gave. that is exactly what pantheism is. our “god” is just a term for that “spine-tingling, fantastic arrangement” that you’ve mentioned, not an actual conscious person. i have an article on my primary blog(not the one here) and if you don’t mind, here’s the link to it. feel free to remove this part upon moderation if you find it distasteful: http://thenegativepolarity.com/2011/06/18/the-pantheist-god/

    • I guess in that case I could be considered a pantheist, I just have a few issues with the terminology. One problem is that the term God is used to describe so many different things that it has almost become meaningless. If someone says ‘I believe in God’ how am I supposed to know whether it is a personal, loving God who answers prayers and intervenes in our lives, or a deist God who is simply a ‘prime mover’ as it were, or your definition of God which is different still. Because there are so many definitions of God that I most certainly do not accept, I would personally not wish to define myself as a ‘theist’ in order to avoid confusion.

      I also do not feel the need to refer to the cosmos as ‘God’ because to me ‘cosmos’ or ‘universe’ are perfectly acceptable terms. So it’s not so much that I have difficulty accepting your version of God, rather I have difficulty accepting the terminology of ‘God’ and ‘theism’ when applied to the cosmos.

      I hope I’m making sense, I’ve only just woken up…

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