Things That Matter
Charles Krauthammer
Contributed by Nina Calhoun
Chapter 6
Summary

Despite titling the chapter ‘heaven and earth,’ Krauthammer takes another direction by talking about life and the universe. He begins by expounding on the Halley’s and the facts proven by science on the universe (Krauthammer 89). He tries to compare this science with the religious faith of the heavens, giving science an upper hand considering the discoveries made by man over time. The Hayden Planetarium in New York interests the author who tries to provide the reader with a detailed account of what to find at the site. The construction is a perfect method for man to explain his understanding of space and the universe, using different formats and approaches. Further, Krauthammer details the case of the drunk astronauts who shamed the department by exploring the area while under the influence of alcohol (Krauthammer 93). To him, their actions should not matter a lot considering the amount of pressure and fear they experience while making the trips. He stands firm to try to clear their names, by extensively giving an account of what one would expect from the job done by astronauts.

Excitingly, Krauthammer also talks about the continued discoveries the human race is doing in the universe (Krauthammer 96). The discovery of other planets is a fantastic concept that needs applauding. He thinks that some previous administrations had misguided the US into doing the wrong things, but Bush put the nation back to its course. He also feels that better discoveries will happen if the leaders keep the country on the right track of exploring the universe.

Analysis

Krauthammer gives the chapter the title as a means of showing the relationship between the universe and earth. For decades now, man has explored the universe starting with the moon. This exploration may yield some fruits in the future, as the astronauts may discover a habitable planet other than mother earth. Mentioning other creatures that may exist on other planets shows the writer’s belief that existence of life outside earth is possible, and other creatures may undoubtedly be existing on other planets. He also sees a possibility of life on the moon considering that astronauts explored the places successfully (Krauthammer 97). The act of defending the drunkard astronauts is a way of showing the world that the work done by these individuals is difficult and challenging, and punishing them for being drunk is malicious. Ideally, Krauthammer thinks that alcohol cannot affect the exploration process, as the journey alone will leave the individual sober even before arriving at the specified destination. Therefore, he sees it fit to let the individuals be at peace, and consider the glory and achievement they bring to America. The mentioning of the administration shows the role played by the government in ensuring that discoveries occur and America stays at the right course of exploration.

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