Seeking Stars, Finding Creationism


EXCERPT: [...] This month a group of Native Hawaiians, playing drums and chanting, blocked the road to a construction site near the top of Mauna Kea and stopped the groundbreaking ceremony for the Thirty Meter Telescope, often called T.M.T. Larger than any now on earth, it is designed to see all the way back to the first glimmers of starlight — a triumph in astronomy’s quest to understand the origin of everything. But for the protesters, dressed in ceremonial robes and carrying palm fronds, T.M.T. has a different meaning: “too many telescopes.” For them the mountain is a sacred place where the Sky Father and the Earth Mother coupled and gave birth to the Hawaiian people. They don’t all mean that metaphorically. They consider the telescope — it will be the 14th on Mauna Kea — the latest insult to their gods. Push them too far, the demonstrators warned, and Mauna Kea, a volcano, will erupt in revenge....
I'm unmoved. These kind of activists are more about expressing their own alienation and exerting political power than they are about anything spiritual.

If they think that the mountain is a sacred site, you would think that an astronomical telescope would be a very appropriate thing to put there - peering out into the universe and into the vastness of time.

It's not like this will be the first telescope on the mountain. It's already one of the foremost astronomical sites in the world.

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