The Heavens Declare the Glory of God


Chapter 11 of Steven Weinberg’s Dreams of a Final Theory is titled “What about God?” It begins, rather wonderfully, by quoting Psalm 19 and commenting as follows:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” To King David or whoever else wrote this psalm, the stars must have seemed visible evidence of a more perfect order of existence, quite different from our dull sublunary world of rocks and stones and trees. Since David’s day, the sun and the other stars have lost their special status; we understand that they are spheres of glowing gas, held together by gravitation, and supported against collapse by pressure that is maintained by the heat rising up from thermonuclear reactions in the stars’ cores. The stars tell us nothing more or less about the glory of God than do the stones on the ground around us.1

Weinberg continues by arguing throughout the chapter that the final laws of nature will not reveal the existence of a God who is interested in us, and that the history of science has tended in the opposite direction. Science, he maintains, has demystified the heavens, and shown that the laws of nature are chillingly impersonal, and do not testify to a God who cares about us.2

In this paper, I shall consider the passage quoted above because it misunderstands both the Psalmist and “the heavens.” This misunderstanding involves an important way in which Catholic seminarians, and those of us who teach them, should know and appreciate the natural world. Our intellectual formation should include coming to see nature as a work of art, or a book that reveals its Author.

The Psalmist, of course, did not know that the stars are made of the same ordinary matter as the earth, and until 1920, neither the Psalmist nor anyone else knew that the stars are powered by thermonuclear reactions going on in their cores.3 It was a mystery that we did not understand.4 Of course, at the time Weinberg wrote Dreams of a Final Theory, neither he, nor anyone else, knew that only 4.9 percent of the universe is ordinary matter, and the remaining 95.1 percent is very unusual indeed.5 Although we should think of dark matter and dark energy in light of Psalm 19, the Psalmist’s claim is not essentially about the material composition of the heavens, the stars, and the processes by which they operate.

When the Psalmist writes that the heavens declare the glory of God, he is saying that the starry heavens are not God, are not divine, and are not deities, but they bear witness to their Creator, and proclaim his glory in a way that is analogous to a work of art, or of a book to its author.6 The starry heavens are not simply themselves but also are sacramental, a visible sign of something else, ultimately of Someone transcendent and spiritual.7 This suggests two basic ways in which one can go wrong about the starry heavens.

The first basic way one can go wrong about the starry heavens, and the one more characteristic of the Psalmist’s own time, is to hear the declaration of the heavens but utterly misunderstand it. Because the starry heavens declare the glory of God, we can mistakenly regard them as gods, or as a divine realm. Prior to the coming of Christ and the spread of Christianity, all civilizations except the Israelites believed the Sun, the Moon, the planets, the stars, or the whole heavens were divine, or were divinities. Unlike many modern people, the ancients were not insensible to the starry heavens. Instead, as St. Paul writes in Romans, they “worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator.”8

In Genesis 1, when God creates the astronomical bodies, the Sun, the Moon, and the stars are not even given names. They are merely called “lights” or “lamps.” They give light to the earth, govern the night and the day, and indicate seasons, days, and years. In several places, the heavens themselves are likened to a mere garment that will wear out and be changed like clothing.9 The Israelites were warned against worshipping such bodies. Deuteronomy 4:19 says “beware lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and worship them and serve them, things which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.”10

By contrast, outside of Israel, the ancients typically saw the Sun as a living being, a divine personality of enormous life-giving power and brilliance. They worshipped the Sun as a source of authority, law, and social order. For the Egyptians, the Sun was the god Re, also known as Ra. He ruled the sky, which was considered the celestial sea, and traveled across this celestial sea in a sacred boat. In some Egyptian accounts, the souls of the dead joined the sacred solar boat to be forever in Re’s presence.11 Re was of divine origin, the offspring of the sky goddess, Nut, sometimes called the mother of the Sun, who devoured the Sun every evening, and gave birth to him again every morning.12

The Pharaoh was the earthly representative of the gods, and derived his authority and political power from Re. Pharaoh, like the Sun, was divine. He was the son of the Sun.13 King David, by contrast, derived his authority from an invisible God, and became King when God chose him through the prophet Samuel. Samuel received his instructions not from an astronomical deity, or from the cosmic order, but from God who created the starry heavens and, though present within creation, utterly transcends it.14 In the case of the Sun, this transcendence is made especially clear when at Gibeon, God halted the Sun in response to Joshua’s prayer and commanded that it stand still.15

The same point can be illustrated with an example taken from the Babylonians. For the Babylonians, the Sun was the god, Shamash, the source of all justice. He watched and judged the earth. The Babylonians believed that the order of their society, as well as the order of their environment, was a gift from Shamash. Hammurabi, the Babylonian King, famous for codifying Babylonian law, received this code from Shamash. A Babylonian statue of King Hammurabi shows him standing before Shamash on a stone column inscribed with his famous code.16 Thus, the Code of Hammurabi was of solar origin.

By contrast, Moses did not receive the Ten Commandments from any astronomical body, but instead received them from an invisible God, who is completely independent of the astronomical order that he created. The two lawgivers, Moses and Hammurabi, like King David and Pharaoh, live in vastly different conceptual universes.

Human sacrifice to the celestial realm and its objects also shows a profound belief in their divinity. The Aztecs, for example, fed the Sun with sacrifices on Temple Mayor in Tenochtitlán. Among the ancients, the Mayans were perhaps the most extreme in making sacrifices to astronomical divinities. A temple in Teotihuacán, a possible observatory at Caracol, and other sites seem to have been built with a concern for observing Venus, a planet that was especially important to the Mayans. An early chronicler of the Mayans observed that “next to the sun, they adored and made more sacrifices to this star than to any other celestial and terrestrial creature.”17

The Dresden Codex, one of the few surviving Mayan codices, contains records of the intervals of Venus’ cycles that served “as a warning table for the apparitions” of the planet.18 Venus also provoked ritual warfare, human sacrifices, and severe tortures at times considered celestially significant by the Mayans.19 These horrific activities, heightened by bloodletting practices, and the use of hallucinogens, were intended to establish communications with the gods, especially the Venus god.

The Chinese, unlike the other civilizations that have been mentioned so far, did not populate the cosmos with celestial deities, or create a pantheon of gods. They considered the universe and divinity itself to be impersonal. Nevertheless, the Chinese regarded the heavens as a sacred mystical domain of harmony and authority that controlled earthly events. For example, medieval Taoist mystics used meditative techniques sometimes boosted by hallucinogens to “climb the sky” and to “pace the void.” The plan of these early astronauts was to travel through the heavens by tracing out the pattern of the constellations, and mystically melt into the infinite oneness of the universe. Several routes were possible, but the most desirable route was up the handle of the Big Dipper to the star, Dubhe, at the dipper’s rim, and then into their destination, the celestial pole—the sacred, unmoving cosmic center, the point beyond space and time, and the entry into the infinite and eternal.20

An important set of annual ceremonies, performed as late in Chinese history as the Ming dynasty in the 14th century, helps illustrate the profound influence of the Chinese conception of the cosmos. Every winter solstice, the emperor performed a sacrifice to the heavens. The ceremony took place at the Temple of Heaven just south of the Forbidden City. Near the beginning of the ceremony, there was a parade with banners representing 28 lunar stations, the planets, and various other cosmologically significant phenomena. The Temple was cardinally aligned and three tiered, one tier each for earth, man, and the sky. Only the Emperor could go to the top level, after which he faced north toward the celestial pole, and prostrated himself before the heavens. The ceremony was accompanied by human sacrifices in which the victims were burnt, their smoke ascending into the sky as an offering. Later, the victims were eaten. A complementary ceremony, in which the victims were buried alive, took place on the Altar of the Earth at the summer solstice.21

The form of these ceremonies was determined by an ultimate set of principles. The celestial realm was Yang, the active male principle that required stimulation in the winter when it was weakest. In the summer, Yin, the terrestrial female’s passive principle required strengthening. Together, Yin and Yang, alternating in strength, determined the cyclical and ordered pattern of the world. The solstices marked critical transitions from one phase to another. The Emperor’s sacred role was to assist in the transitions.22 His authority derived from the cosmos.23

A remnant of this view is found in the greatest of the ancient philosophers, Plato and Aristotle. Plato held that the stars and planets, though not the highest realities, are nevertheless visible gods.24 Aristotle held that the celestial spheres were ensouled and in some sense divine.25

In contrast to these civilizations, the Psalmist is saying something extraordinary and quite revolutionary. When King David, or whoever wrote the psalm, writes that the heavens declare the glory of God, he is saying that the starry heavens are not gods, are not divine, and are not deities. They are not to be worshiped or idolized. Instead, the starry heavens bear witness to the one true God. They are signs that proclaim their Creator’s glory and his lawfulness. Psalm 19 must be placed against this background to be properly understood. Catholic seminarians, and those of us who teach them, are highly unlikely to worship the starry heavens, or regard them as divine or divinities, although somewhat sublimated forms of such beliefs and practices do exist within contemporary society. Nevertheless, we should be mindful of the revolutionary character of the Psalmist’s claim, especially since we are now quite likely to fall into the opposite error, an error against which the psalm also guards.

The second and more typically modern way in which one can go wrong about the starry heavens is to be insensible to what the heavens declare or even that they declare. The Weinberg passage quoted at the beginning of this paper is an example of this mistake. He tells us that “The stars tell us nothing more or less about the glory of God than do the stones on the ground around us.” The context makes it clear that he does not think the stones around us tell us anything about God, and certainly that they do not declare the glory of God. However, the methods of science and a strictly scientific consideration of the starry heavens cannot show that they declare the glory of God. The Divine glory is not that sort of thing. Weinberg’s claim is like that of someone who, having done a thorough chemical analysis of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, claims that the great painting shows no evidence of art, and is mere canvas and paint. Similarly, the greatest and the worst novels ever written use words, and follow grammatical rules, but that hardly means that what they tell us about their authors is the same. Weinberg is thinking only of the material composition and the physical processes that govern the starry heavens, and is otherwise insensible to them, even to the immensity, majesty, sublimity, beauty, stateliness, and many other such qualities that excite awe, wonder, and mystery.26 That the starry heavens excite such qualities in others, and that they signify something, is plain enough.

Space photography and imaging and its popularization have been an important and valuable cultural development over the last fifty years. Arguably, it began with that most iconic of all pictures, the Earth rising over the lunar surface as taken by Apollo 8 in 1968. The greatest contributor in this regard is undoubtedly the Hubble Space telescope, whose pictures are pervasive, woven throughout the culture, and greatly admired by many. The interest in the recent pictures of Pluto greatly exceeds that of ordinary stones. Pluto is not just a big stone but a world, and even many people who are not astronomers respond to it as such. In Physics for Future Presidents, Richard Muller observes how his students put space posters on their walls, and asserts that “the public thirsts after science. They love the space images, the discoveries, the unmanned robots exploring Mars.”27

The point in briefly noting this rather amazing cultural development is that it shows a sensibility and an interest in the starry heavens that is all out of proportion to Weinberg’s characterization of it. That, of course, is not to say that this interest reflects an understanding of the starry heavens as declaring the glory of God. In our day, the starry heavens are not usually understood that way. Carl Sagan, an astronomer who was extraordinarily, even in a way mystically, aware that the heavens declare, did not understand them to declare the glory of God. For him, they declared something else, but they did declare. Likewise, for many in our society, the stars are a sign of something but not of God, although religious language is often the most natural spontaneous response as when one famous Hubble picture is called “The Pillars of Creation.” Similarly, at the end of their Christmas Eve broadcast from lunar orbit, the Apollo 8 astronauts—all of them engineers—read Genesis 1.28

Weinberg does have some sense of the “sign of something” value of nature, at least with respect to living things:

I have to admit that sometimes nature seems more beautiful than strictly necessary. Outside the window of my home office, there is a hackberry tree, visited frequently by a convocation of politic birds: blue jays, yellow-throated vireos, and, loveliest of all, an occasional red cardinal. Although I understand pretty well how brightly colored feathers evolved out of a competition for mates, it is almost irresistible to imagine that all this beauty was somehow laid on for our benefit. But the God of birds and trees would have to be also the God of birth defects and cancer.29

Weinberg’s point about birds, their feathers, and mating acknowledges that some parts of nature have a sign value. The feathers’ beauty and color are a kind of sign for birds that play a role in mating. Something similar is true throughout the animal world. Of course, inanimate things cannot be a sign for each other, for they do not mate, fight, eat, or flee. And they are not conscious. However, to return to Weinberg’s point about stones, for those who live near the Rocky Mountains, or visit the Grand Canyon, or other such places, or who frequent activities such as gem and mineral shows—rocks, minerals, and gems are often beautiful indeed. Like birds, they are far more beautiful than they need to be. Since inanimate things do not mate or eat, their beauty and all such qualities are all the more unneedful and mysterious. Thus, granting some of Weinberg’s premises, the starry heavens are far more beautiful than they need to be, for they do not need to be beautiful at all. If Weinberg can perceive that “it is almost irresistible to imagine that all this beauty was somehow laid on for our benefit,” then we should find admitting that the heavens declare the glory of God almost irresistible. On the account quoted above, only the reality of evil, and not the material composition of the stars, should hold us back.

The God of birds and trees and stars is indeed also the God of birth defects and cancer. On this, Weinberg and the Catholic faith agree.30 But that hardly resolves the issue. The intent of this paper is not to address the problem of evil, though Weinberg is right to raise it. However, the Psalmist’s declaration, and the notion of nature as a book, and God as its author, do bear on this issue. Books do reveal something of their authors, but the evil that we see in books does not indicate that their authors are themselves evil, or that they do evil, or that they do not exist. There is a distance between authors and their books that should incline us to avoid facile extrapolations of the meaning of evil. This is much more problematic for religions and philosophies that view natural things as gods, or view the whole natural order as divine, or deny divinity altogether. The Psalmist’s declaration about the celestial realm, and the book of Wisdom’s understanding of nature as analogous to a book, opens a space for much deeper reflections on the meaning of evil, and its relation to divinity.

One reason that many do not hear the heavens declare anything at all is that we rarely see the heavens on a dark, cloudless night, far from city lights. Most of us live in cities with lots of light pollution. When people do look up at the starry heavens far from polluting lights, they are often surprised, and usually awestruck, and moved to wonder. C.S. Lewis thought that our view into the starry heavens was a gift from God. In Perelandra, the second book of his Space Trilogy, one of his characters says, “Oh, I see it … Your world has no roof. You look right out into the high place, and see the great dance with your own eyes. You live always in that terror and that delight, and what we must only believe, you can behold. Is this not a wonderful invention of Maleldil’s?”31 Unfortunately, the gift has become more difficult for us to receive.

Another, and perhaps even more important, reason that we do not hear the heavens declare the glory of God, or hear the heavens declare something, but not God, is that our language and concepts are loaded so as to lead our thought in a different direction. In a fictional context, C.S. Lewis has made much of the difference between considering the celestial realm as “Space” or as “Heavens.”32 Since Newton, we usually call the starry realm “Space,” as in outer space, or “Space, the final frontier,” a term far removed from the Psalmist’s term, “Heavens.” “Space” implies absence and emptiness, the opposite of “Heavens” which implies fullness and presence, even if, like dark matter, dark energy, gravitational fields, and most electromagnetic radiation, that presence is invisible.33 “Heavens” also signifies, in an artistic or sacramental way, a greater, transcendent, spiritual heaven. The starry heavens are indeed “visible evidence of a more perfect order of existence” but that order of existence is unseen. By contrast, “Space” signifies void, a lot of extended nothing, and is a term of negation. It is not neutral. By offering a very different, even opposed, conception of the starry realm, “Space” tends to undermine or impede our conception of that realm as declaring the glory of God.

How we view and understand the starry realm is a critically important question. Do we view it as “Space” or as “Heavens”? What is at stake is how we view the universe. Lewis, though not thinking explicitly of seminarians or priests, wrote:

{W}hat we need for the moment is not so much a body of belief, as a body of people familiarized with certain ideas. If we could even effect in one percent of our readers a change-over from the conception of Space to the conception of Heaven, we would have made a beginning.34

This changeover from “Space” to “Heaven” is a fundamental one that we need to teach our Catholic seminarians so that they, and those to whom they will one day minister, might more readily look up at the night sky and see that the stars proclaim the glory of God.

Weinberg and Psalm 19 both discuss the Sun. However, in spite of our advanced scientific understanding, we have a very impoverished conception of the Sun. The ancients were all keenly aware that their lives, and the lives of all living things, depended on the Sun. Thankfully, we do not worship the Sun as they did, but we seem hardly aware that our lives depend upon it, and that we have no control over it. The Sun, in a way, is a governing and life-giving body. Unlike ordinary stones, it is self-luminous, and has been so very steadily, and for a very long time. Catholics have a way of expressing gratitude to God in response to these obvious facts. We can plant within our seminarians the idea that they should do so.

Another reason we cannot see nature as a work of art is because of the split between the scientific and artistic communities. We do not see nature as a work of art because artists do not portray scientific discoveries artistically, and scientists do not often write artfully. This requires using a certain amount of imagination in our scientific understanding of things. For example, the Sun is a kind of controlled nuclear fusion reactor. We can only produce controlled nuclear fusion for short periods of time,35 and our current technology requires more energy to initiate and contain fusion reactions than the reaction itself produces.36 Hydrogen fusion is the source of our most fearsome weapons, and yet we think nothing of going to the beach and, sunscreen in hand, getting a suntan. In addition, hydrogen and helium—elements out of which the Sun is largely composed—are not part of our ordinary experience, especially in large quantities, high temperatures, or as plasma. The Sun is far more alien than a helium balloon. Understanding the stars actually requires a good deal of disciplined imagination. These sorts of comparisons, contrasts, and imaginings, more artfully expressed than I have done here, is a small part of what is needed to more truly appreciate the starry heavens.37

Psalm 19 is a media via between two opposite errors. It is a radical rejection of idolatry, while at the same time avoiding insensibility to the starry heavens. It embraces a relationship to God as Revealer, Author, Lawgiver, and Creator. It includes all the good in the ancient view without its errors, and embraces and accepts all the good in the modern view without its failings. While this does not answer all the objections to religious faith that Weinberg raises in his chapter on God in Dreams of a Final Theory, it is an important piece in helping restore a proper relation of science to the Catholic faith, and in understanding and appreciating the universe that God has created.38


This essay was recently awarded first prize in the International Essay Competition on the Influence of Science on Vocation and Ministry, a contest sponsored by John Carroll University for Catholic seminaries and was made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

  1. Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory (New York: Vintage Books, 1992) p. 241.
  2. Weinberg, Dreams, pp. 241-58.
  3. See Arthur S. Eddington, “The internal constitution of the stars” The Observatory 43 (1920) pp. 341-58.
  4. The scientific solution of these mysteries is how Weinberg views science as slowly displacing religion. Things that once were given a religious account are now explained by science, and religion is forced to retreat.
  5. Accessed 12/1/2015. Weinberg was aware of the possibility of something like dark matter and dark energy. Before their discovery, he thought that the cosmological constant might have a positive value and provide for “the missing 80%-90% of the cosmic mass density.” See Weinberg, Dreams 223-229 and Steven Weinberg, “Anthropic Bound on the Cosmological Constant” Physical Review Letters 59/22 (1987) pp. 2607-2610.
  6. “For from the greatness and beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen.” Ws 13:5.
  7. “Every great artist has a ‘signature,’ some habit of craft that’s unique and which everybody immediately recognizes. For Van Gogh, it’s probably his brush strokes in a painting like Starry Night. The high Rockies at sunrise—that’s God’s signature. Anyone who comes away from a moment like that without sensing that nature is somehow sacramental, something sacred which hints at Someone even greater than itself, just doesn’t have a pulse.” Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., “Faith and the Structure of the Cosmos” in Science and Faith, eds. Gerard V. Bradley and Don DeMarco (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2001), p. 8.
  8. Romans 1:25. All Scriptural quotations are from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
  9. Ps 102: 25-27; Is 51: 6-8 Heb 1: 10-12.
  10. See also Zeph. 1:4-5: “I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal and the name of the idolatrous priests; those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens.”
  11. J.M. Plumley, “The Cosmology of Ancient Egypt” in Ancient Cosmologies, eds., Carmen Blacker and Michael Lowe (London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1975) pp. 21-3, 26, 40-1.
  12. Plumley, “Cosmology of Ancient Egypt” in Ancient Cosmologies, p. 31.
  13. E.C. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations (New York: Harper and Row, 1983) p. 75. Plumley, “Cosmology of Ancient Egypt” in Ancient Cosmologies, p. 37.
  14. 1 Sam 16:12.
  15. Jos 10: 12-15.
  16. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies, p. 65.
  17. Anthony F. Aveni, Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1980) p. 184.
  18. Aveni, Skywatchers, p. 184.
  19. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies, pp. 303-04.
  20. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies, pp. 138-40.
  21. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies, pp. 196-98.
  22. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies, p. 198.
  23. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies, pp. 177-81.
  24. Plato, Timaeus 39-42.
  25. Plato, Timaeus 39-42.
  26. In a qualitative sense the Psalmist was aware of the immensity of the universe and marveled at it. See Psalms 8:4-5 and 103:11-16.
  27. Richard Muller, Physics for Future Presidents (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2008) pp. 226 and 245.
  28. Andrew Chaikin, A Man on the Moon (New York: Penguin Books, 1995) pp. 121-22.
  29. Weinberg, Dreams, p. 250.
  30. The Catholic faith, of course, goes much further. Evil is not incompatible with the glory of God, for God brings forth good out of evil and uses even evil to reveal His goodness and love. This is clearest in the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Consider also John 9:2-3: “And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned; or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him.’”
  31. C.S. Lewis, Perelandra (New York: Macmillan Publ., 1965) p. 61.
  32. C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet (New York: Macmillan Publ., 1965).
  33. The Psalmist probably thought of the stars as indicating the presence of an extended celestial sea, which should be understood either figuratively or analogically. See Gn 1:6-8, Ps 148, and Dan 3:60. We express our own faint sense of this figurative use in terms such as “starship,” “spaceship,” “space voyage,” or “floating” weightlessly. The Star Trek series and movies refer to a “Starfleet” and to “captains” and “admirals.”
  34. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet, p.154.
  35. Fusion reactors currently under construction are designed for sustained reactions of five to ten minutes. Eurofusion Accessed 12/1/2015.
  36. World Nuclear Association Accessed 12/1/2015
  37. Copernicus’ famous “Hymn to the Sun” is a rough example of what I have in mind of a scientist writing artfully. See Nicholas Copernicus, On the Revolutions., Bk.I, Ch.10, 3-13. Trans. and Comm. Edward Rosen (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1992) p. 22.
  38. I want to express my thanks to John Carroll University for holding an International Essay Competition in which this essay won first prize. The contest was made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to whom I am also grateful. I would also like to thank all the seminarians who have taken my “Philosophy of Nature and Science” course at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. You have blessed me more than you know.
Dr. Thomas McLaughlin, PhD About Dr. Thomas McLaughlin, PhD

Dr. Thomas McLaughlin is an associate professor of theology, and the interim director of the philosophy cycle, at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. He received a BA in psychology in 1980 at the University of Texas, an MA in philosophy in 1994, and a PhD in philosophy in 2001, both from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.


  1. Dr. William C. Zehringer Dr. William C. Zehringer says:

    Dr. McLaughlin: I was transfixed by your address, and I can only respond by calling to mind yet another
    of C. S. Lewis’s memorable fictional forays into the realm of philosophy. I think that, somewhere in the CHRONICLES NARNIA, one of the children who has ventured to a realm beyond our planet encounters
    a benign wizard. That brash young man unwisely attempts to tell the ancient sage in whose presence he has been thrust that the stars are mere nebulous spheres of gas. He is answered with a patient but
    invincible reply: “Young man, even in your world, that is what the stars are made of. That is not what they are!” Amen to that.


    Dr. William C. Zehringer

    • Thomas McLaughlin Thomas McLaughlin says:

      Dr. Zehringer,
      Thank you for your reply. I’m a C.S. Lewis fan, and I know the passage to which you are referring. It is a delight, and I’ve long taken it to heart.. Stars are amazing things. Would that we had a better appreciation of them.
      Take care.

      Dr. Thomas McLaughlin