Mike_hbombtest_marshall_islands_1952_1

[U.S. Air Force photo via The Encyclopedia Britannica Online]

Fifty-two years ago the first hydrogen bomb was tested. The device was codenamed “Mike.” I don’t know whether this was some sort of allusion to Michael, the Archangel oft depicted as wielding God’s terrible swift sword to cast Lucifer out of Heaven and whose very name—“Who is like God?!” in Hebrew—was the faithful angels’ battlecry against their fallen brethren. Whether it was or not, I find it sad that humanity has found far more success in emulating God’s wrath rather than His mercy.

In some sort of crude sense, which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin, and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.

J. Robert Oppenheimer
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