Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sir Fred Hoyle - Black cloud
The innovative and inspiring science fiction novel Black cloud (1957) by the famed British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle (1915 - 2001) is also of great theological interest.
The subject he is talking about in this book concerns humans encountering superior intelligence.
In this case the superior intelligence is non-organic. A huge cloud is on the regular round in deep space and comes near our sun to get some additional gasoline to energy engines. This cloud imagined by Fred Hoyle happens to be intelligent.
And it is huge. So huge that its shadow is causing major distress to the inhabitants of planet Earth.
Desperate means are needed and a station is set up to communicate with the Cloud and to make it realize that all life upon Earth is about to be extinguished because of its presence. Why not to go to some other star that is not nourishing higher life-forms?
The great theological point of interest in this fabulous imagination of Hoyle is the discussion between the man sitting on the station communicating with the highly intelligent Cloud. The intensity and speed of the communication causes our man to get brain fewer that nearly costs his life. His mind is not built to talk with the speed and power of a huge interstellar Cloud with its system of thinking.
The book ends happily, the Cloud gets the message and moves away not to destroy life on that 3rd rock from the sun it hardly notices.
Fred Hoyle was an atheist. But this book is a very challenging view and trip of imagination how it might be to meat a supreme being.
For the astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle saviour of humanity is an intelligent man who can talk sense to the threatening force.
Personally I think Hoyle's Black Cloud is an excellent introduction to Biblical hermeneutics and to the concepts of revelation.
God of Israel is way bigger than that black cloud imagined by Hoyle. We cannot see Him without dying on the spot.
But He has found a way to speak to the humanity softly and in a way that is not destructive in intellectual content and requirements of brain power. Rather in a soft and simple way that even a mentally ill or handicapped person can understand and loves to hear.
The Word of God lifts and does not destroy with the glory of Eternal God.
And yet - unlike that intelligent Cloud of imagination, the real God intervenes with life on Earth in very powerful way and expresses His will towards the tiny inhabitants of this planet who can all be destroyed just by a single little asteroid falling on its surface.
For He has made them.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Isa 42:1-6 KJVA