On February 28, 2011, I attended Dr. Charles Arand's lecture entitled, "Beam Me Up, Scotty!" A Brief History of Christian Attitudes Toward Nature". The lecture was held in the Graebner Memorial Chapel at 7 pm, and explained how people have related to nature in history. Dr. Arand stated that the space program had a great effect on how people saw the earth. This is because people learned that the earth was only a little blue dot in comparison with the universe. This realization made people question their own significance, and also made them realize that the earth was the only home they had and they needed to take care of it. This was a very important realization, for people had been taking advantage of the earth without truly considering the consequences of their actions. However, there was still the issue regarding how people related to nature. Dr. Arand explained that there were many different perspectives concerning the manner in which people related and interacted with nature. These perspectives include seeing people as above creation, against creation, and with creation. Dr. Arand put much emphasis on the perspective of people with creation; he believes it is the right perspective to have because people will respect creation and care for it.
Dr. Arand emphasized the significance and impact of perspective in his lecture. This made me think of how all people have their unique perspectives; it is a universal truth that cannot be denied. In a previous Honors class, Professor Craig Lien stated that, "Facts are negotiable, opinions are not". In other words, things that are considered to be facts may change and be argued, but a person's perspective and opinion cannot be altered unless that person decides to change his or her own mind. This causes everyone to perceive reality differently; everyone will relate to nature in their own way according to his or her perspective.
The lecture was very interesting, and I learned that people's perspectives have a great effect on how they relate to the environment. I also learned that the space program had a powerful effect on people's perspectives of earth. It is rather ironic that people became closer to the earth and decided to care for it more because of an exploration they took in order to get as far away from the earth as they could. I didn't really know why people started worrying about the earth, and I never would have guessed that pictures of the earth from space was a prominent catalyst for the modern environmental movement.