Chris Hadfield was interviewed on NPR about his experiences in space. When he was working on the outside of the space station he was awed by the view and became a bit maudlin.
He said that seeing the earth “roar by” silently gave rise to spiritual feelings.
He thought that this was proof that the earth and all the solar system must have had a purpose behind its existence.
Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, his claim of a designer behind the universe and a purpose to it all, is directly in opposition to that of Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson , Stephen Hawking and mine.
I too have had the joy and privilege of flying or floating above the earth, circling in thermals and gaining altitude on nothing but warm air bubbles. I have flown across America at an altitude that afforded a view of desert dunes, and green alfalfa circles.
This view only made me appreciate mankind’s’ achievement and marvel at how swift our progress in aviation has been from 1900 when my own father was born, to the present.
When I am in an airliner cruising at 30,000 feet, I do not think of spirituality and the grand design of an intelligent invisible being that “created” it all.
I think of how great it is that man has provided me with this magical vehicle to whisk me around the world so that I might witness and enjoy the wonders of our planet.
How marvelous that scores of human beings have toiled long hours to provide me with the seat in the air, the food on the table in Lhasa, Tibet, and the warm shower after a hard days hiking in the woods.
Everything that I see around me including my clothes, furnishings, shelter, and transport is the result of some person’s effort in creating these things.
I earned the right to enjoy them by my human efforts working for the society’s good. Nowhere do I see anything but a human hand involved in life.
The music that we find consoling us in stressful times all come from the hand of human composers, although computers are talented too. These computers are designed and built by human beings so everything comes back to a tangible living being here on our beautiful planet.
In our quest to explore outer space and our appreciation of the beauty of our planet when viewed from above it, can sometimes confuse us in thinking the invisible forces at work have a purpose when it is all chance evolving over millennia.