Everything I read about the Universe never fails to amaze me.  At nearly four-score and in the Autumn of my years, not only am I still learning about the extraordinary phenomena going on over our heads (in both senses of the phrase), but I react with the same wonder I had discovering new knowledge when I was a kid.

Up there, there are whole galaxies, not just the odd star or asteroid but universes crashing into each other, producing, the astronomers tell us, millions of new stars.  How can one not be overwhelmed, and at the same time humbled by our own ignorance, impotency, vulnerability and insignificance, in face of such fantastic realities ?  We are not even conscious that such events are occurring.  We rarely witness what telescopes reveal as a permanent celestial spectacle that is literally mind-boggling.  Believers’ pathetic, petty efforts to incorporate such events into some sort of meaning-matrix, confirm my pity for people who believe there is a God behind all this, who takes time out from His supposed cosmic engineering to answer their prayers for an improvement in the weather for the parish picnic.

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