No need for Jesus? Not so fast…

There’s a bit of a dust up this week over a tweet by singer Miley Cyrus (also known to my daughter’s generation as Hannah Montana)

People have rallied to support Cyrus, people like theologian and bible scholar James McGrath who posted this note, along with the actual quote by a physicist that people are objecting to:

“I was very impressed with Miley’s stance on marriage equality a while back. I’m now also impressed with her appreciation of physics, and her ability to appreciate the insightful and beautiful words of a physicist even though that scientist does not share her faith. Bravo, Miley. Keep it up!

Here’s the actual quote from Krauss:

The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics:

You are all stardust.

You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements — the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution — weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.

The problem here is that Prof. Krauss is not actually taking the poetic seriously enough. If Truth is to be found in nature, we ought to expect to find it as a reoccurring theme. To borrow a meme from Bishop Joseph Butler, late of Durham, the transformation of the butterfly who dies and rises again, is for example a poetic pointer to the deeper reality of the universal Christ event.

So too we ought be expecting the Universe at the great cosmic scale to reflect this truth as well. Stars were created, lived their lives and by dying have been transformed into a new creation? Seems like a pretty clear pointer to our participation in the mystery of the Triduum as well.

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