The Day the Earth Smiled

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This image was taken on the 19th of July, 2013, six years ago today, by the Cassini spacecraft, a probe sent by NASA to shed light on the planet Saturn and its moons. Through the brilliance of Saturn’s rings, Cassini caught a glimpse of a far-away planet and its moon. At a distance of just under 1.5 billion kilometres, Earth shines bright among the many stars in the sky, distinguished by its bluish tint.

Now, let’s perform an experiment, a thought experiment:

Look back again at the pale blue dot of that photo. Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust.

Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision.

If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They believe they have it all figured out. That the vast accelerating expanse of spacetime was created solely for them. A universe made for them. That they know everything they need to know about it. Their knowledge is complete. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit.

How seriously would you take their claim?

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