You have to have an alertness to deal with the unexpected. The history of science is filled with almost-made discoveries, missed by a hairline because ... [someone] didn't have the alertness to realize they had a discovery. — Clyde Tombaugh, astronomer, 1906-1997

Our faith not only allows but also supports us to question, to seek answers, and to reevaluate our answers by posing new questions. To explore our fourth Unitarian Universalist Principle, a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, this session draws particularly on our fifth Source, humanist teachings that counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science. We demonstrate that the search for truth and meaning is an ongoing quest. The children learn about Clyde Tombaugh, the Unitarian Universalist man who discovered Pluto, and the decision in 2006 to change Pluto's status from planet to dwarf planet. The children will experience the relative scale of the planets in an activity with modeling dough. We will add the signpost "Ask Questions" to our Faithful Journeys Path.

Goals

This session will:

  • Strengthen participants' understanding of our fourth Unitarian Universalist Principle, a free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  • Demonstrate that a search for truth and meaning is an ongoing quest
  • Build Unitarian Universalist identity with a story about Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto
  • Demonstrate acting faithfully based on our fourth Principle by asking questions, seeking knowledge, and being ready to reexamine and revise our theories and beliefs about the world
  • Affirm scientific investigation as an expression of Unitarian Universalist faith and identity
  • Teach children how they can and do express their faith — their ideas of right and wrong, their values, and their beliefs — with actions.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Learn about Unitarian Universalist Clyde Tombaugh who dedicated his life to learning about space and discovered Pluto and fourteen asteroids
  • Experience hands-on learning about the scale of the planets
  • Learn the fifth Source of our Unitarian Universalist living tradition, humanist teachings that affirm the guidance of reason and the results of science and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit
  • Engage in asking questions to learn more about their peers
  • Name ways they did or could translate their Unitarian Universalist faith and/or Principles into action.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.