Posted: Aug 14, 2018 11:52 am
by Dolorosa
Forgive me, but it sure feels like you are projecting. There are no such expectations on people going into space, just like there are no expectations that every single person going into space would be an atheist and come back as one. Being a science communicator is also not a requirement; although many elect to become one. And even if you are one it doesn’t make you impervious to these sort of experiences. In fact, it would be a disservice to science if, having experienced something as profound and transcendent as what many of these astronauts appear to have, one were to hide this for fear of upsetting someone who tallies points in the "war" between religion and science.

The beauty of science is that it should be transparent - in any conducted experiment one acknowledges (or at least ought to acknowledge) both intended and unintended results; if an overview effect is indeed an unintended consequence of seeing Earth from space then instead of hiding it, under the guise of not wanting to give ammunition to the "manifestly dishonest", one ought to be open about it and even study it to understand the reasons for such a manifest change. Perhaps the way to counter "manifest dishonesty" would be by being honest and transparent and not avoidant and deceptive?

Who knows, not holding these astronauts hostage to some 3rd party ideals may even assist them in processing their experiences? After all, Tim Peake is not unique. Astronauts Ron Garan, Rusty Schweikart, Edgar Mitchell, Tom Jones, Scott Kelly, James Irwin, Mike Massimino and Chris Hadfield are all reported to have experienced the effect

Garan – a devout Catholic is now dedicated to sharing his experience with a wide audience by working on a project that would allow man capsules travel to the edge of space.

Schweikart turned to Transcendental Meditation.

Edgar Mitchell was an ardent UFO believer and co-founded Institute of Noetic Sciences dedicated to research of paranormal phenomena attributable to mind, such as remote healing that he himself claimed to have benefited from.

James Irwin a creationist, claimed that whilst on a lunar mission he felt God like never before. Later he travelled in search of Noah’s Ark.

Whilst Charles Duke, the youngest person to walk on the Moon, became a committed Christian after his return to earth and is still active in prison ministry.

Thing is, we can’t just white wash history nor should we. The duty is not on these individuals to foster your convictions but on you to remain ever sceptical and, in the words of Kant, “Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) “Have the courage to use your own understanding".”