Our Rock

We live on a rock

Hurtling through space

Harnessed by gravity to a star

Our rock is the right size

Of the right composition

At the right distance from its star and its siblings

To trap an atmosphere and water

That all together can sustain life

Is our rock one in a million

If so, our galaxy alone has ten million rocks just like ours

How many galaxies are there

On current estimates, 125 billion in the observable universe

Our rock is now reduced

To an infinitesimal speck in a universe teeming with life

Separated by distances that human limitations cannot yet traverse

How does religion square up to these facts

If the jurisdiction of our gods extends beyond earth’s boundaries

Are we no longer the centre of creation

No longer created in the image of God

Is that the rightful claim of intelligent life

On a rock revolving around a star

Somewhere else in the universe

Or is it the rightful claim of no one

Because we are not outputs of a master plan

We are not the end result of a divine blueprint

Because we and all intelligent life in the universe

Are the chance products at an instant of time

Of a slow, relentless, never-ending process

That began eons ago

And will continue for eons to come

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