Turning Your Personal Biography Into A Cosmological Narrative: An iPad-App

A few months ago I was looking for an app to manage my appointments, to do-lists, etc. I stumbled upon this peculiar app called “Timeline Eon“. The app basically gives an overview of history, starting from the Big Bang (presumably ending at the app's latest update). What you can do, is add your own events to the app. So you can jump from “extinction of the dinosaurs” to “beginning of World War II” to “buy milk on way home” …

I didn't buy the app, thinking of it more as a gadget than as something that would improve my productivity. But it came back to me after listening to a talk by Lisa Sideris, who made clear how a “New Narrative” is being constructed upon science, how this kind of scientific mythology or “mythopoetics” can be troublesome (Where do the values in such a narrative come from? If such a narrative is to replace religions, what then with plurality? Can such a narrative do justice to the 'otherness' of nature? Etc.), and thus why a theological reflection on such narratives should be done. It reminded me of “Sin and Selfish Genes“, written by Marie Nielsen, in which the “grand narrative” or “story to live by” in the work of e.g. Richard Dawkins is analysed. And I immediately put “Evolution as a Religion” on top of my to-read-list…

Coming back to the app, I wonder how to interpret it. Is it a sign of awe and wonder, when we try to place our own little lives in the grand scheme of things? Or is it a sign of hubris?

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