Aliens, Elephants and Angels

Their perception of the universe is conditioned by their geocentric understanding of the fixed nature of space and time. Their perception of other intelligent beings is based on their understanding of themselves. (“Aliens must be like us, but a little bit different”) Their perception of alien technologies is based on ours. (“They must have developed rockets too!”) In other words, the Fermi Paradox is completely geocentric and anthropocentric in its assumptions.

My problem is not that their view is geocentric, but that it is not geocentric enough. Until proven wrong, I’m quite happy to believe in a geocentric universe. Oh yes, I know that our solar system is not geocentric, but do we know that the cosmos is not geocentric? What if  the entire cosmos circled around this one solar system of ours–if not physically, but at least metaphysically? Do we think this is impossible simply because our planet and our solar system seems small?

Seemingly insignificant single events change history. A minor aristocrat is murdered in an out of the way European city and two cataclysmic world wars take place. An angry friar nails theological arguments to a church door and an entire bloody revolution tumbles onward out of control. A boy decides to get drunk and a girl gets pregnant and a tyrant who rules the world is born.

Those who ponder the Fermi Paradox wonder at the vastness of all things and believe it is important. I ponder at the smallness of all things and know they are important. Individuals change history. Small decisions matter. The Divine is in the detail. I am more interested therefore in what is small rather than what is great in size. Consequently, I am excited by the idea that the earth is, in fact, the center of the universe and that the vast realms of the cosmos surround her and regard her with tender protection and the awe struck wonder with which we might behold a newborn baby.

It could be that this earth is the staging ground for all that matters in the cosmos. It may well be that this planet is the battleground where the cosmic battle between good and evil reaches it’s climax. Crucial battles must take place somewhere. What if the war in heaven is completed here on this field of war? And what if you and I are soldiers in that cosmic and eternally important battle?

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