My Y5 son had one of those lovely awakenings recently, marveling at the extraordinary fact of our existence on Earth. This followed two events.
One was a trip to the superb Darwin Centre in the Natural History Museum which tells the story of evolution brilliantly well. The second was the moment I woke him and my daughter up at 5am to watch the last stages of the Venus-Sun transition via NASA’s live webcast.
After I explained that ‘all I can see is a black circle on an orange circle’ should be replaced by awe and wonder – that we were watching a rare and beautiful cosmic event live – he warmed up. Especially when he realized it wouldn’t be seen again until 2117. To be fair, plenty of people are unmoved by these things and are bemused by my enthusiasm. As a colleague said with a wry smile “it’s my favorite thing passing in front of another thing of all time!”
Anyway, we were talking about the likelihood of life evolving elsewhere and then it came. The existential realization of the Goldilocks paradigm. “How come we got picked out of all the planets?”
As soon as he is ready I ‘ll be giving him my Dawkins collection….it’s a long story son. But a completely fabulous one; the best you’ll ever read.