For centuries, we believed we lived in a benevolent universe, since God would not have created one in which his greatest creation–us, in His image–was in constant peril of extinction. Isaac Newton, a profoundly religious man, presented us with the rules of an orderly, predictable, and man-loving world. Over time, there were blows to these happy thoughts, to the orderliness and the benevolence of the universe. When I was a kid, the high priests of astronomy declared it was heretical to even consider electromagnetic forces at work out there, and there was much keening and moaning when a few infidels suggested that the earth had been struck by huge asteroids, or had been affected when even larger bodies–big comets, for example–passed close by.
The Earth Day announcement is in this tradition of coming to grips with the dangerous universe. There is great turbulence in the heavens, and we might well get wiped out.
You’ll be happy to hear that the scientists aren’t in despair. They want to fix it, bless them. “The goal of the B612 Sentinel mission is to find and track asteroids decades before they hit Earth, allowing us to easily deflect them.”
Got that? “Easily deflect them.” I wonder. Who’s that “us” the B612 Sentinal Mission is talking about so cheerfully? I hope it’s not the same crowd that’s been masterminding our missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine recently. In that case, we’re probably better off looking for guidance from Reverend Hagee.