Unveiling the Sol

Memoirs of a solar eclipse

Farid Alsabeh
10 min readApr 15, 2024

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According to one theory, a favorite among the interminably religious, the life-sustaining conditions of our universe are an irrefutable sign of God’s existence. What else could explain the observation that every level of creation, from the composition of our atmosphere to the makeup of our extracellular matrix, is perfectly favorable to our survival, besides an intentional creator who carved out this narrow slice of viability?

This theory is misguided. In reality, we can’t take the finely-tuned conditions of life as miraculous events, when they themselves are the preconditions of our observing them. That would be, in the words of Douglas Adams, like a puddle on the street that suddenly became conscious, and rejoiced at how perfectly it fits its little cranny of concrete. The shape of the cranny wasn’t ‘perfectly designed’ for the puddle: the puddle is, itself, the product of conforming to the cranny.

But for those of us who still want to feel special, to believe somehow that the universe caters to us — in short, to get a sense of something miraculous — all is not lost. There’s still one phenomenon that treats us to a genuinely fascinating coincidence, giving us the impression of living in a privileged position in the…