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Personal conclusion

I believe the best recipe to prevent us from being carried away by our own glory and megalomania is to stand in awe before the majesty of the universe and to humble ourselves before the One who created it. Christianity gives me the necessary, ethical guidelines for my work, as well as the values I will not find by looking into the sky. Faith fills my personal needs and takes away some of the anxiety, cynicism, and arrogance that often control us more than reason. Sure, there is a constant battle between my ideals and the way I actually behave (it is sometimes so difficult not to to talk in a derogatory manner about certain colleagues, isn't it?), but just as a good peer-review can improve a scientific paper substantially, an occasional ``superior-review'' of our lives can have a very positive effect on ourselves.

Therefore, being a Christian and an astronomer is to me a wonderful combination and not a problem. Discovering God is always the discovery of a lifetime; after that, anything else we find is just an interesting extra, since we are only rediscovering what He already knows. Reading the Bible and communing with God is to me as exciting as looking through a telescope, because it opens a window to a world the telescope cannot see. For me this is a very productive and natural way to deal with the curiosity and fascination that is still inside me, it has a place in God --- the place where I think it belongs, and the place where it is kept alive.

Acknowledgement: I thank Barabara and Martin Gaskell for correcting some of my worst grammatical errors and ``Germanisms''.

Heino Falcke
Mon Oct 14 17:02:02 EDT 1996