Sun Mar 5, 2017, 10:47 AM

A funny thing happened on the way to Bethlehem

It is three thousand light-years to the Vatican. Once, I believed that space could have no power over faith, just as I believed the heavens declared the glory of God’s handwork. Now I have seen that handiwork, and my faith is sorely troubled. I stare at the crucifix that hangs on the cabin wall above the Mark VI Computer, and for the first time in my life I wonder if it is no more than an empty symbol.

I have told no one yet, but the truth cannot be concealed. The facts are there for all to read, recorded on the countless miles of magnetic tape and the thousands of photographs we are carrying back to Earth. Other scientists can interpret them as easily as I can, and I am not one who would condone that tampering with the truth which often gave my order a bad name in the olden days.
I do not know who gave the nebula its name, which seems to me a very bad one. If it contains a prophecy, it is one that cannot be verified for several billion years. Even the word “nebula” is misleading; this is a far smaller object than those stupendous clouds of mist—the stuff of unborn stars—that are scattered throughout the length of the Milky Way. On the cosmic scale, indeed, the Phoenix Nebula is a tiny thing—a tenuous shell of gas surrounding a single star.

Or what is left of a star. . .

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Reply A funny thing happened on the way to Bethlehem (Original post)
Cold Warrior Mar 2017 OP
Currentsitguy Mar 2017 #1
Bubba Mar 2017 #2

Response to Cold Warrior (Original post)

Mon Mar 6, 2017, 03:06 PM

1. One of my favorite Clarke short stories.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 7, 2017, 02:44 AM

2. Mine Too. N/T

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