Mr. Hansen, I agree with much of your summation. I am not
sure any of the questions are directly answered. I do think we are born with a
sense of wonder. Most of us like to understand how “stuff works”. We
give the discoveries meaning by how our understanding changes how we think and
interact with the world.
The original “Cosmos” series was influential in developing my understanding of the nature of science. Although I am a retired science teacher, I still find the world almost as interesting as when I started out becoming a science teacher.
The difficulty comes with how many believers interpret the Bible. I could not abandon my faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I did shift my understanding that the Bible is not a science textbook nor is it a complete history of humans. The joy of discovery is very satisfying; even if it is merely an understanding of what has been discovered. The Bible offers the same kind of ecstasy when you understand it answers the greatest “why” questions that no scientist can answer from experimentation and descriptive observations. While I was teaching science, I shied away from asking why questions. The reason for this is illustrated when a colleague in his first year teaching 8th-grade classes made an assignment for his student to answer “Why is the sky blue?” I had been teaching for ten years and he came to me when the students answered, “The sky is blue because God made it that way.” I could have told him that would have the outcome. In the same situation, I would agree with the students and would ask what happens to make the sky appear blue or sometimes red? So many times, the truth is I can’t answer the why question. If a student asked, “Why did my mother have to die?” The student may want to know what the causes of death were; but, the individual wants to understand a reason on a deeper level. I can do my best to comfort and not attempt to answer for God.
The trailer says “…we humans are capable of greatness.” That is true, but it is a value statement. Who can say it is great or not great? If Germany won the Second World War, would historians proclaim that Hitler’s policies brought greatness to Europe and the World?
From reading and watching Dr. Sagan’s works, I can hypothesize his answer to each question. He said, “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be." That is the essence of his world view. His hope was in the greatness of people; our hope is in the greatness of God and what He promises.