Anyone who has escaped Earth’s atmosphere and traveled into space has seen a side of things that I certainly have not. From the very first photo of Earth appearing as a blue marble – the photo which many say engendered the conservation movement – the astronauts returning from their missions have brought back with them not just rocks, but an entirely new way of viewing, well, everything. That this would inform their paradigm is not surprising.
Not only have the astronauts been among a handful of people to make that leap beyond the limits of gravity, they are also among a handful of people who could tell us all about it. Unfortunately, there is not a tradition of sitting down for an in-depth Q&A or a public forum where these individuals tell us their story. The stories of the space program and the missions, told in their own words in an unhurried and unprompted manner would be some of the most interesting stories ever told. Then again, I’m the person who can’t wait to watch “Talking Baseball with Ed Randall,” in its entirety.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, John Glenn expressed his personal view that a belief in God does not preclude a belief in evolution. He argues that evolution should be taught in schools. For those who find it incredulous that anyone could argue against teaching evolution, this is not Earth-shaking news. For those who do, it’s worth looking at the seamless way the two are joined in John Glenn’s view of the world.
Glenn stated in the past that, “to look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible.” I’ve never been in space, but I could believe that looking out as you’re floating in your tincan, miles above the Earth has got to be a moment that pushes your belief in a Higher Power one way or the other.
Glenn clarified his point by stating, “I don’t see that I’m any less religious by the fact that I can appreciate the fact that science just records that we change with evolution and time, and that’s a fact. It doesn’t mean it’s less wondrous and it doesn’t mean that there can’t be some power greater than any of us that has been behind and is behind whatever is going on.”
Glenn’s statements have been called to question by “intelligent design” site Evolution News because they believe that his use of the word “change” does not make it clear that he is speaking of Darwinian evolution, and the intelligent design folks would certainly like to claim John Glenn as a member of their tribe. This is…misguided. Many people hold in their heads — at the very same time — the notions that there is a God and that evolution is true and correct. Even beloved astronauts.
[Post image via Shutterstock]