Welcome to Cosmology Bus, a new ride for readers interested in any number of Big Questions for which definitive answers are currently in short supply: Are we alone in the Universe? Does it matter if we are? Does it matter if we aren't? What are the cultural and spiritual implications of discovering (or continuing not to discover) life beyond Earth? Are science and religion mutually exclusive? Are their purposes contrary or complementary? What do belief systems have to say about life in the Cosmos? Why spend money on NASA science missions when we're apparently knee-deep in an economic recession? Why do forget so much of our history so often? Can we all get along?
There is no shortage of Big Questions.
Cosmology Bus is one way of touring the landscape in search of answers. And it’s an appropriate vehicle for me: currently my day job really is driving a school bus in a very pretty part of northern Illinois.
When I'm not driving for the local school district I'm researching, and increasingly writing, about topics I've been interested in for years but never the time to explore as fully as I can today. Subjects that are part of my past but came into sharper focus only when I managed a publishing house producing books on the Baha'i Faith and its relationship to other world religions and the spiritual dimension of human life: new ways of thinking about science and religion, the nature of the Universe, our place within it, and how exploring all three can be a fulfilling endeavor.
Long before I managed the publishing house I was a graduate student in anthropology, which provided other useful perspectives in looking at my world and also at the heavens above on clear nights. Little did I know back then that what I was learning about ethnocentrism, cultural relativism, and the anthropology of religion would assist me decades later when researching the long and fascinating history of the extraterrestrial life debate extraterrestrial life debate, the rise of new atheism, perceived distinctions between spiritual and religious beliefs, or the non-dogmatic reality of religion in American society today.
This is a journey I will most enjoy making with others, and especially with others from a wide variety of backgrounds, life experiences, and interests. There are seats here for amateurs and professionals, practitioners and theorists, seekers, believers, atheists, and agnostics.
I hope you enjoy the ride!
Coming next: What a Planetarium, a Temple, and Extraterrestrials Have in Common
Banner bus photo created by Dorothy Delina Porter