Carl Sagan’s 4th Dimension Analogy ~ “Um… Isn’t He Talking About GOD?”

I was watching Cosmos miniseries documentary with my husband last week (yeah, we’re geeks) and was awestruck by Carl Sagan’s explanation of the fourth dimension (see video). Sagan gives the analogy of “3-D character meets flatland” to explain our relationship and non-understanding of the 4th dimension.

SAGAN’S ANALOGY (paraphrased):

Imagine our world, our universe, and everything we know as FLAT as a sheet of paper (FLATTER, because even paper has thickness). Imagine we live in this “flatland”/2-D plane with NO concept of “UP” or “DOWN.” Then along comes a 3-D object like an apple. We do not even notice it until it crosses our plane of existence — and even then, we have no idea what the apple is. We see only a fragment as it passes through our plane. There is no way we can comprehend the 3-D quality/dimension of the apple, because it is more than we can understand. We only have the evidence of what has passed through our plane.

The whole time I am listening to Carl Sagan’s explanation, all I can think is, “Hey, Carl! Don’t you know you’re talking about God?

Sagan’s explanation of the 4th dimension (to me) clearly ALSO illustrated our communication relationship with God. I’m talking about how we hear God, and how we recognize Him in our lives.

We see God everywhere. If you read or watch Lee Strobel’s The Case For A Creator, you will see my point of view as well — that science actually points a finger to God — it doesn’t explain Him away. But we only see fragments of God here on earth. We can’t see or even understand the “big picture.” That’s where our faith comes in. We believe the “Big Apple” is up there, but all we have as PROOF it is a series of fragments left in our (flat) world/existence. These fragments range anywhere from DNA “signatures” to those “Signs and Wonders” God uses to communicate to us.

How ironic it is! Carl Sagan (a skeptic of faith-based ideas) presented an excellent analogy of our relationship to God. Way to go, Carl!


2 thoughts on “Carl Sagan’s 4th Dimension Analogy ~ “Um… Isn’t He Talking About GOD?”

  1. Wendy- That is what happens when you try and reply via iPhone!! Please disregard my previous comment!

    But what I wanted to say is that what Carl Sagan is saying seems to me to be a good way to explain God to kids- whether Carl would agree or not! (not!) But something else that struck me was his analogy of an apple. I’ve often heard of the holy trinity being explained with an apple: father (skin- protector), son (flesh- human), and holy spirit (core- containing seeds of faith)= God. Then there’s the whole Adam and Eve story with the apple as well. How ironic that Carl’s theory contains that apple as well!

    • That is such a good idea, to use this as a way to explain God to kids. It is put SO simply, here. I love it!
      And what a BRILLIANT connection you make regarding the apple. Thanks so much, Dawn! I really appreciate your comment on this!

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