April 22, 2011
If you study astronomy for very long, you can feel very small. We are a small planet in one solar system in one of many galaxies. Just consider some of the comments by scientists about our place in the universe.
Werner von Braun said: “We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”
Astronaut Neil Armstrong said he felt very small when he was in space. “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very small.”
Stephen Hawking said: “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel very special just because I can understand the universe.
David asks the same question in Psalm 8. Are human beings special? Speaking to God he says: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”
David then gives God’s answer to this important question. “Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”
Our significance doesn’t come from being on planet Earth or even from understanding the nature of the universe. Our significance comes from the fact that an all-powerful, loving God created us in His image and gave us dominion over His creation.
Astronomy interpreted from a naturalistic worldview doesn’t give us significance. Only a Christian worldview which teaches that we are God’s special creation can give us true significance. I’m Kerby Anderson, and that’s my point of view.