As the news about the Pluto planet photos is spread, I sit here wondering what it all means? What am I supposed to think? to feel? How should I react?
My first thought is that the probe, snapping photos like a tourist at Niagara Falls, is the closest mankind has ever been to God. That's silly of course. Everyone knows God isn't in space... or is he?
My second thought is, why didn't this probe blow up or malfunction like so many others? After 9 years, a lot could have gone wrong.
My third thought is, why did they bother? Then, it occurred to me that my first thought might be the one that exposes the truth about these missions. Maybe the God analogy is appropriate. Consider.
If mankind continues to explore deep into space indefinitely (or until the species expires at least), what might we learn? Or more to the point, what are we looking for? What is there to learn that's going to change anything? Do they (scientists? governments?) really think they're going to discover some fact or some life form that will answer the unanswerable question, "where do we come from"? Surely they're not dumb enough to think they're going to learn "why" we're here.
Ok, we have a closeup view of the planet Pluto... so what? There is an infinite (now there's a large word) space staring back at us...enveloping us...consuming us. This lofty thought lulls me into thinking that maybe the fundamentalists, those who have removed confusion and doubt from their world, have it right. They begin each day with a simple truth. "I am right. My way is the only way." Bedamned those who think otherwise.
Sounds a bit like the Reform Party governing in Ottawa these days.