A comet conquered

The line between science and religion is beginning to blur like never before

In a feat that boggles the mind, scientists of the European Space Agency landed a washing-machine-sized spacecraft on a comet speeding through the Solar System at 66,000 kmph.

Landing a man on the Moon 46 years ago was a fantastic achievement but that pales before how far mankind has travelled in space science rovers have been put on Mars while probes fly by the Red Planet in what seem routine space exercises.

Nasa landed a probe on an asteroid at the turn of the millennium but this, too, pales in comparison to the difficulties involved in manoeuvring through a continuous release of dust, gas and other particles that lie in a comet’s wake.

An error of just an inch during the separation of the lander Philea from the roving Rosetta could have put the craft in danger of missing the four-km-wide comet.

As author Dan Brown said on his India visit, the line between science and religion is beginning to blur like never before, and while science dwells on answers, religion savours the questions.

Mankind today has a splendid opportunity to get more answers even as faith propels him towards asking more and more existential questions that still defy precise answers although scientists have reason to believe they had even sighted the “God particle”, which should help explain how the Universe came about in the first place.

The present represents exciting times for people who seek the ultimate knowledge and who can legitimately believe they are close to knowing mankind’s place in the cosmos and how they got there.

( Source : dc )
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