The Apple Of God's Eye

April 11, 2010

Massive Survey Of Cosmos Proves Dark Matter Defies Law Of Physics

This dark matter map was created by the Hubble Telescope by measuring light from distant stars thought to have been deflected by dark matter. The map of half the Universe reveals dark matter filaments, collapsing under the relentless pull of gravity and growing clumpier over time - dailymail.co.uk

Most astronomers believe that the universe began in a Big Bang up to 15 billion years ago. The Big Bang model holds that the resulting universe should contain exactly the “critical density” of matter required to keep it geometrically “flat,” with just enough gravity to balance the outward momentum, slowing it down.  The result: a cosmos coasting indefinitely on the verge of collapse.

Here’s the bad news for this theory. New evidence from a massive survey of the cosmos (which included 446,000 galaxies) was recently carried out by an international team using the Hubble Space Telescope. It indicates that stars and galaxies are flying apart in all directions at an ever-increasing rate – thanks to an anti-gravity boost from some kind of unseen “dark matter” of an exotic nature, of which most of the universe exists. Normal matter is only a few per cent of the total, so most of the universe is dark, dark matter and dark energy, and scientists have absolutely no clue what its physical nature is.

The  Province.com quoted University of B. C. astronomer Ludovic Van Waerbeke as suggesting that dark matter is counteracting the pull of gravity on a cosmic scale. If the new results hold up, scientists said, they could have enormous ramifications for theories of cosmic “evolution.”

In other words, scientists are surprised to find that the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating, and they have no way to explain this phenomenon because it is supposed to be impossible according to the law of physics. (more…)

February 18, 2010

How Does A Christian "Bless" God?

God rules the universe supreme! He owns everything that exists. Yet each of us can bless God and bring Him pleasure, delight and joy. How? If we examine the context of the passages that instruct us to bless God, we find exactly what this term means. Notice Psalm 34:1: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

To bless God, therefore, means to praise Him. But why do we praise God? Just because He tells us to? No. The true, wholehearted praise God desires is the praise of sincere thankfulness and appreciation for all the blessings He first gives us: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2).

The awesomeness of God is worthy of continual praise:

“I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 145:1-3).

Psalm 96 shows us that God is also blessed in song and worship, and by declaring His salvation to all the world. Psalm 100:4 shows that we bless God by coming before Him in worship, praise and thanksgiving. This attitude of reverence, fear and respect for God and the laws He has given carries over into our daily lives as we obey Him and become living sacrifices for Him (Romans 12:1). God wants us to be living witnesses to others around us of the true way of abundant Christian living (Matthew 5:16). In this way we set an example and bear fruit, which glorifies God (John 15:8).

Jesus said there is great joy in heaven over every sinner who, being called by God and seeing the good example of true Christians, repents and begins on the way to salvation and membership in God’s own Family (Luke 15:10).

God created humankind to ultimately become His children (Revelation 21:7). The greatest blessing we can give God is to fulfill our purpose in life — yield to God, overcome and qualify for salvation — become a child of
God!

February 11, 2010

How Old Is God?

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We are used to living in a limited world. Everything around us has limitations-beginnings and endings. We are aware of infants being born, of grandparents dying. We observe animals, plants and insects beginning life. We see their lives come to an end. We speak of the birth and the death of civilizations, of storms, volcanoes and comets. We are accustomed to seeing things get old. Clothing and furniture wear out. Automobiles fall apart. Buildings deteriorate. Our bodies become wrinkled and slow. To mortal man everything has a beginning, a period of usefulness and an end. We mark this progression of events on our clocks and calendars.

To us, only what is measurable by hours, days and years seems to have real significance. So when we hear that God is eternal, that He always has been and always will be, our minds balk. The words tend to be meaningless because we have nothing familiar to relate them to. And that is just the problem: we are trying to relate what cannot be related in physical terms. We are trying to apply the limitations of the physical existence we know to the unlimited spiritual plane on which God lives. The two cannot be compared. Our minds can encompass an hour, a century, a millennium, but we cannot grasp past eternity. They are not big enough to fully comprehend spiritual existence. We can’t even fully comprehend the physical universe! As an illustration, let’s consider for a moment what God has created.

Astronomers estimate that 100,000 million galaxies each with 100,000 million stars dot the universe. And who knows how many planets and moons? God says He counts and names them all (Ps. 147:4). Now if we allow God one full second by our reckoning of time to count and name each star in the heavens, do you know how long it would take Him to name them all? Working nonstop, by our clocks and calendars, it would take more than 300,000 billion years just to count and name them. How long must it have taken Him to design and create all those stars? To us these figures are inconceivable. But not to God. God is eternal. One of His names in Hebrew is Yahweh-the “Everliving One.” The Creator is not bound by the laws of space and time as we are. While men are able to theorize about time warps and the relation of energy to the speed of light, God masters it all. To Him, according to His wishes, “one day … is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (II Pet. 3:8). God “inhabits eternity” (Isa. 57:15). That is to say He comfortably dwells in what we might think of as beginningless and endless time. Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 show that at whatever point in the past we wish to consider as the beginning-no matter how far back we try to stretch our finite minds-God already existed. “In the beginning God…” Where did God come from? He didn’t “come from” anywhere. He was always there!

October 29, 2009

Universal Facts

universeIf you could count all the stars just in our galaxy alone at the rate of 125 stars every minute, it would take over 3,000 years to count them. There are a great number of galaxies and a vast amount of space between them. The closest galaxy to the Milky Way is the Andromeda, and to reach there traveling at the speed of light would take you 2.3 million years. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars—some with as many as 1 trillion stars.

The most distant galaxy ever observed is estimated to be around 13,000,000,000 light-years away. Discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004, it is located behind the galactic cluster Abell 2218, which bends the object’s light. It is a small, energetic galaxy whose light that is seen on Earth now would have set out when the universe was just 750 million years old. This is the most distant object that can be observed consistently; some ephemeral gamma-ray bursts have been observed that are slightly more distant than this object.

And man has only begun to explore outer space with our modern telescopes today. Conservative estimates of the known universe’s size place it at over 20 thousand million light years (the distance light travels in one year at a velocity of about 9,500,000,000,000 kilometres) wide. That is about 120 million million million million miles. The number of galaxies is estimated to be a few trillion. If we use the figure 3 trillion, and estimate that each galaxy has about 100 billion stars, that means that the known universe has stars that number over 30 with 23 zeros behind it, or 300 thousand million million million million individual stars. That figure is virtually impossible to comprehend.

Yet even this does not tell the real size. With all those bodies crowding the space up there, you would think it would get a little clustered. Not so! The universe is so vast in relation to the matter it contains that it can be compared in the following way: A building 20 miles long, 20 miles wide and 20 miles high that contains 1 grain of sand.

Only God knows the size of the universe. And get this, God says that He has named and numbered each one of those innumerable (to us) heavenly bodies (Ps. 147:4). Why did God create so many stars? Was it for no reason at all? Or was it for an incredible reason? When I read Rom. 8:17, it seems to me that man has an awesome potential that is almost beyond words to describe.

Paul wrote in Romans 11:26 that all Israel shall eventually be saved. That’s quite a lot of people. It has been estimated that since Adam and Eve there have been 25 to 50 billion people who have lived on this planet. It is almost mind boggling to think what God has in mind for puny human beings.  He says He will resurrect all to (spiritual) “glory.”

If all these people make it, and become spirit-born God beings, where would we all fit? Would there be enough “space” to go around? Certainly! There is a good possibility that some day we could rule over an entire galaxy. Just think: God created a universe so huge that He could actually give you an entire galaxy to manage and rule over, along with its millions or billions of stars and its orbiting planets around each of these stars.

If an estimated 200 billion sons of God is taken as a possibility, that means each would be responsible for maintaining and developing 50 billion stars and their attendant planets—enough to form an entire galaxy.” Now that’s a potential worth debating with those who believe the evolution hoax.

October 28, 2009

Our Incomprehensibly Large Universe!

stevekanaras.blogspot.comThe Hubble telescope has shown us countless billions of galaxies in areas of the universe which we once thought were empty. For example, by focusing on a small speck in the sky in an area that was thought to be void of stars, astronomers soon discovered that this small speck actually contained 1,500 galaxies! And remember that each galaxy can contain untold millions of stars and some astronomers now believe that there may be as many galaxies in the sky as there are stars in our own galaxy.

Space travel

In an effort to learn more about space, mankind has put men on the moon and brought them back home safely, built a space station where astronauts can stay for months at a time. But space travel carries some great risks, and is quite costly. And these adventures of man into space are merely flying hundreds of miles into the sky—they come nowhere close to probing the true depths of space!

After reaching the moon, astronomy’s next goal is to put a man on Mars—a planet in our solar system about 150 million miles from Earth (compare to the moon at only 240,000 miles away). Even if this journey is successful, the trip of 150 million miles is a mere jog compared to the vastness of space. We might intrude into space, but we as humans cannot even begin to conquer it. Getting to Mars is only one planet of a vast solar system, part of an even larger galaxy—one of trillions of galaxies in this huge universe which are billions of light years away from Earth.

Light travels at over 186,000 miles per second; a light year is how far light can travel in a year moving at 186,000 miles per second, which figures out to be close to 6 trillion miles. (To travel just one light year at 100 miles per hour, it would take almost 7 million years.) Another measurement astronomers use is an au (astronomical unit). An au is the distance between the Earth and the sun—about 93 million miles.

The Giant Milky Way

All the space vehicles, manned or unmanned, still travel within our one galaxy—the Milky Way—one of millions or billions of galaxies. The Milky Way is considered a giant galaxy and contains about 400 billion stars. It is a spiral galaxy, which means that from a distance it looks like a pinwheel, or a big disc in the center with flat arms going out in all directions.

To get an idea of how vast this galaxy is, to travel the distance from the outer end of one disc to the outer end of another would take 100,000 years traveling at the speed of light.

Located on one of these discs—which is rotating around the center of the galaxy—is our solar system: the sun, moon, Earth and the planets. The star of our solar system, the sun, is located about two thirds of the way out from the center of the galaxy—roughly 28,000 light years from the center. Whereas it takes the Earth one year to orbit the sun, it takes the sun 250 million years to make just one orbit of the center of the galaxy.

Unmanned Spaced Probes

1Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched in 1977 to explore where nothing from Earth had ever been before. Now they each are much farther from Earth than any space vehicle has ever been. Speeding outward at more than 38,000 miles per hour, both continue to send back scientific information about their surroundings through the Deep Space program.

Voyager 1 remains operational, currently pursuing its extended mission to locate and study the boundaries of the Solar System, including the Kuiper belt and beyond. Its original mission was to visit Jupiter and Saturn; and it was the first probe to provide detailed images of the moons of these planets.

“Voyager 1 is currently the farthest human-made object from Earth, and as of August 28, 2009, it is about 110.94 AU (16.596 billion km, or 10.312 billion miles) from the Sun, and has passed the termination shock, entering the heliosheath, with the current goal of reaching and studying the heliopause, which is the known boundary of the solar system. If Voyager 1 is still functioning when it finally completes the passage through the heliopause (effectively becoming the first human-made object to leave the solar system), scientists will get their first direct measurements of the conditions in the interstellar medium. Its primary targets were the planets Jupiter and Saturn and their associated moons and rings; its mission was the detection of the heliopause and particle measurements of solar wind and the interstellar medium. Both of the Voyager probes have far outlasted their originally-planned lifespan. Each probe gets its electrical power from three radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which are expected to continue to generate enough electric power to let the probes keep communicating with Earth at least until the year 2025.” (Wikipedia)

By that time, Voyager 1 will be more than 12.4 billion miles from the sun. In some 296,000 years, if Voyager 2 was still traveling, it would pass Sirius, the brightest star in our sky, at a distance of about 4.3 light years (25 trillion miles).

Even more amazing were the Pioneer projects. Pioneers 10 and 11 were launched in 1972 and 1973—the fastest man-made objects to leave the Earth, launched at the incredible speed of 32,000 miles per hour. That is fast enough to pass the moon in 11 hours, and Mars’s orbit (50 million miles away) in just 12 weeks.

“Pioneer 10 (also called Pioneer F) was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt, which it entered on July 15, 1972, and to make direct observations of Jupiter, which it passed by on December 3, 1973. By some definitions, Pioneer 10 has become the first artificial object to leave the solar system. It is the first human-built object to have been set upon a trajectory leading out of the solar system. However, it still has not passed the heliopause or Oort cloud. The last weak signal from Pioneer 10 was received on January 23, 2003, when it was 12 billion kilometers (7.5 billion miles) from Earth. It is now heading in the direction of the star Aldebaran (about 68 light years away) in the constellation Taurus at roughly 2.6 AU per year. It will take Pioneer 10 over 2 million years to reach it. (Wikipedia)

Pioneer 11 was to go on after passing Jupiter 400 million miles away. Using this giant planet as a sling shot, Pioneer 11’s speed now reached 108,000 miles per hour. By 1979, Pioneer 11 flew within 13,000 miles of Saturn. In November 1995 the last communication from Pioneer 11 was received, as the Earth’s motion carried Saturn out of the view of the spacecraft antenna. Pioneer 11 is now headed toward the constellation of Aquila, just northwest of the constellation of Sagittarius and may pass near one of the stars in the constellation in about 4 million years.

Conclusion

We can barely begin to imagine how vast our universe is by how vast our own galaxy is! Manned and unmanned spacecraft can barely cover any significant ground in the area called “space.” Despite the incredible speeds of some of these vehicles, they are still millions of years away from the closest stars. The more we venture out into space, the more the immenseness of it staggers our imagination. That’s why I find it amusing when scientists make definitive statements about something that is so hard to comprehend. It’s better to keep the attitude humble, allow God to reveal truth to us and realize on our own, we really don’t know what we are talking about.

October 9, 2009

The Earth: The Only "Goldilocks" Planet!

Mixing astronomy and fairy tales isn’t commonly done, but scientists studying the “Goldilocks Zone” may have found the perfect spot, and it’s right in our back yard. It’s a spot in space that’s inhabitable to life forms — not too hot and not too cold — just right!

Many scientists are now realizing that the factors required for a civilization to exist are almost impossibly complex – and must be exceedingly rare, even in a universe as incomprehensibly vast as ours. Consider the following facts and how perfectly aligned they had to be to even entertain the notion of life. Then realize how foolish it is to believe that life on earth came from nothing:

The Earth

  1. Is the perfect distance from both the sun and moon to have a stable, predictable orbit. Twenty four hour days ensure the earth’s entire surface is properly warmed and cooled daily.
  2. It is the perfect size and mass. If it were less dense, an atmosphere wouldn’t form and remain. If it were more dense, the atmosphere would be uninhabitable. As it is, our atmosphere allows just the right amount of radiation to keep us warm, but not kill us.
  3. Earth’s metal core produces a magnetic field that protects the surface from radiation from space. Radioactive heat from the core, mantle and crust creates plate tectonics necessary for life.
  4. Humans need 27 elements to live. Earth has just the right mix of them.
  5. Earth has just the right amount of water in the proper ratios of liquid, solid,  and gas. A little more and the continents would be drowned. A little less and the planet would probably be too hot to host life.

The Moon

  1. The mass ratio of the moon compared to the earth is 50 times greater than that of any other known moon-planet combination. Yet it is the perfect size to stabilize the tilt of earth’s rotational axis. Without our moon, the tilt of our planet would vary from zero to 85 degrees, producing catastrophic climate changes.
  2. The gravity of the moon creates tidal movement. Thus, ocean waters do not stagnate – they clean the waters on the coasts from toxins and enrich them with nutrients. Yet these massive ocean movements never spill over across the continents.
  3. The ocean currents also regulate climate by circulating enormous amounts of heat.

The Sun

  1. Most stars (2/3 to 3/4 of them) are found in groups of two, three, four and more. If we had more than one sun, it would make life far less stable on earth because of erratic gravitational effects, and/or possible dangerous eruptions of tidal gas passing between the stars.
  2. 95% of all stars are less massive than the sun. A smaller, less dense sun would mean we’d have to be much closer to it to stay warm. The tidal locking would create synchronous rotation – where the same side of the earth always faced the sun. Thus, half the planet would freeze.
  3. It has the perfect luminosity. Because it is a yellow star, its energy lies mostly in the visible part of the light spectrum – not even 10% of its energy is ultraviolet. If it was much hotter, producing mostly ultraviolet light, life would be impossible. If it was a small red star, the supply of visible light would be inadequate.
  4. The sun’s size and distance from earth creates stable temperature fluctuations that allow the earth’s water to remain in perfect balance among its three phases: liquid, solid and gas.

Solar System

  1. Giant planets act as “comet and asteroid catchers.” Their gravity cleans up our solar system of space junk that might otherwise collide with earth. Cosmic collisions can cause mass extinctions.
  2. Our solar system is unusually rich in metal content, necessary for advanced life.

Cosmic Location

  1. Evidence suggests that elliptical galaxies lack enough elements heavier than helium to host advanced life. Spiral galaxies like ours have enough.
  2. Within the Milky Way, we sit in the “galactic habitable zone,” – far enough from the center that we’re not killed by radiation, but close enough that sufficient heavy elements needed for life are present.
  3. We’re nowhere near dangerous star clusters, quasars, nebulae, neutron stars, or supernovas.
  4. Real estate brokers often say the key to property value is location, location, location. If this principle applies to the cosmic scene, earth’s location would be considered way beyond prime. The earth appears to reside in the only neighbourhood in the universe where human life can exist and thrive long enough to enjoy a global, high tech civilization and to discover how rare they are.

For decades, scientists have been debating the conditions needed to replicate an Earth-like probablility of complex beyond the microbial level. We now know that the number of planets in our own galaxy alone could easily tally in the hundreds of billions. Astrobiologist vainly cling to the faint hope that a number of these could be carpeted in the  chemistry we call life, thus proving that life on Earth may be unique, but not miraculous.

Well, good luck because as I’ve shown, there needs to be an exceedingly (and almost impossible) complex host of conditions present for such a scenario. This cannot happen by fiat, nor can it be sustained. Yes, scientists will keep looking, but they won’t find a penny’s worth of evidence otherwise.

September 15, 2009

The Power Of God In Universal Vastness

starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov

starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov

It was just before dawn on July 16, 1945, and the world’s first atomic bomb was about to be tested in the desert of New Mexico.  It worked! In a split second, the world’s first atomic weapon released the power of 20,000 tons of conventional explosive.

Three weeks later, a second bomb was exploded. But this was no test. It was dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and in a flash of heat and light, the city was destroyed and 100,000 people were killed or injured. Conquered and conquerors alike were awed by the power of this terrible new weapon.

The power of the atom

What man did was turn a small piece of uranium — about one gram, or a 30th of an ounce — into raw energy. Scientists had long suspected that it was possible. It took the urgency of war for them to discover how.

But when they did, even those who worked on the project were sobered by the implications of the power they could unleash. U.S. President Harry Truman summed it up in a warning to the people of Japan the day after Hiroshima was destroyed. “It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power…”

President Truman was right. Man had indeed harnessed the power of the universe, the very force from which the sun draws its power.

The atom bomb that devastated Hiroshima was a mere firecracker compared to the weapons of today. Now we measure their destructive power in megatons — one megaton is the equivalent of a 300-mile-long trainload of conventional explosives! But we have become so accustomed to such figures that they no longer impress us.

We should look again at the power of the atom. It is indeed the force by which mankind will bring himself to the edge of destruction. But there is also an encouraging and reassuring side to it. By splitting the atom, we learn — or could learn, if we were willing — a little more about the awesome power of God.

Before nuclear physics

For most of his approximately 6,000 years on earth, man has been surprisingly ignorant about the true nature of his surroundings. The ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome made some progress in science. But after the fifth century, man’s knowledge hardly advanced for 1,000 years.

During the Dark Ages, science, magic and witchcraft were considered to be much the same thing. Such scientists as there were wasted their time trying to find the elixir of life or a way to turn lead into gold. They thought the earth was flat and that angels pushed the sun and stars around it. Superstition rather than science guided men’s thinking.

Then, in the middle of the 16th century, knowledge began to expand rapidly again. Navigators discovered that they could sail around the world without falling off. Copernicus showed that the earth was not the center of the universe, but just another planet in orbit around the sun. Galileo’s experiments in astronomy and physics challenged some ideas that had remained unchanged (and wrong) since the days of Aristotle.

The English scientist Sir Isaac Newton demonstrated how physical phenomena could be measured and quantified. He made it possible for scientists to build on their discoveries, rather than conduct isolated experiments. Newton realized there was a system of law governing gravity, mass, force, acceleration and motion. This laid the groundwork for the advances that made our modern world possible.

For two centuries nobody seriously questioned the validity of Newton’s laws. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was considered indisputable that physical matter (the elements) and energy (heat and light) were separate entities that could neither be created nor destroyed. The amount of matter and the amount of energy in the universe were presumed fixed.

Matter could change its form through chemical reaction. Energy could also change — heat into light, for example. But matter could not turn into energy or vice versa. Or so they thought.

The theory of relativity

It was Albert Einstein who first understood that this was not totally true. He put forward a theory that predicted that physical matter and energy were not separate — that they were, in a sense, interchangeable. Matter could be transformed into energy, and energy could be transformed into matter.

This “theory of relativity” rocked the scientific world. This article is no place to try to explain in detail these incredibly complicated ideas. But Dr. Einstein summed them up with the now famous equation E = mc2 (where E = energy, m = mass and c = the speed of light, which is about 186,000 miles a second). What this means is that if you can transform physical matter into energy, the amount of energy produced is equal to the mass of the matter times the speed of light multiplied by itself (i.e., 186,000 x 186,000).

You don’t need to be a genius to realize that if this line of reasoning is true, even a small amount of matter can produce an astonishing amount of energy.

Splitting the atom

But how do you turn matter into energy? To do this, you would have to literally split the atom — or, to be specific, the nucleus of the atom. And that is easier said than done.

Scientists had shown that the atom, once thought to be the smallest possible particle of matter, is composed of even smaller, subatomic particles — neutrons, protons and electrons among them. The protons and neutrons make up a central core or nucleus of an atom, while the electrons whirl around the nucleus rather like the planets orbit the sun, only much faster — billions of times in a millionth of a second. (The makeup of the atom is actually even more complex than this, but this will serve to make the point.)

These components of the atom each have an electrical charge — negative, positive or neutral. The electrons whirling around in orbit have a negative charge. The nucleus is made of neutrons, which have a neutral charge, and protons, which have a positive charge.

Think of these charges like the opposite poles of a magnet and you’ll get the idea. If you have played with magnets, you’ve discovered that like poles repel each other, while opposite poles attract. It’s the same with electrical charges.

So, since the nucleus of an atom is made up of neutral neutrons and positively charged protons, what stops the protons from repelling each other — or, in other words, why doesn’t an atom’s nucleus fly apart? (Again, think of it as trying to hold the like poles of two powerful magnets together. It takes a surprising amount of strength, and as soon as you let up, the magnets immediately push themselves away from each other.)

There must be a force that counteracts the repelling power of the protons and binds them together in the nucleus. Physicists call this the “strong force.”

It is indeed so strong that, for centuries, nobody even suspected its existence. So firm was its grip on the core of the atom that no force available to man could even begin to persuade it to let go. Thus it was hardly surprising that scientists thought the atom was the smallest possible division of matter.

In the 19th century it was discovered that some elements had a strange property. They gave off radiation — or, as we say now, were radioactive. Physicists realized that the atoms of these elements were slowly disintegrating. It happened very slowly — so slowly and unobtrusively that for thousands of years nobody even suspected it.

Strange, isn’t it? For millennia, alchemists had wasted their time trying to turn one element into another, yet here it was happening naturally under their noses all the time. Uranium, for example, given enough time, will decay down to lead, a nonradioactive element.

Experiments showed that when one element is transformed into another, not all of it is changed. A very small percentage of matter is changed into energy.

But if Einstein was right and E really did equal mc2, that still meant a lot of energy would be released as an atom decayed. Just before the Second World War, scientists learned how to speed up the decay by splitting the atom with a nuclear reactor, releasing the power in the atom.

When a radioactive element decays in nature, a small amount of energy is produced. For example, one pound of radioactive uranium gives as much energy as is produced by 5,000 pounds of gasoline. But it needs a thousand million years to do it. In a nuclear reactor (or a nuclear bomb) the atom is literally split in two. Much greater amounts of energy are released, suddenly and violently.

In the reaction that caused the devastation at Hiroshima, only about 1/1000th of the uranium was transformed into energy — about a 30th of an ounce.

Think of the power that was locked into that speck of matter, when it was transformed into heat and radiation! And that was a very small bomb.

A hydrogen bomb is many times more powerful than an atomic bomb. It takes an atomic explosion to produce enough energy to start the reaction.

But when the reaction does take place, it is with a flash of light brighter than the sun. Millions of degrees of heat are generated. That is why it is called a thermonuclear reaction. With the making of the hydrogen bomb, man has actually succeeded in duplicating the force that drives the sun.

The incredible sun

Look up at the sun. What you are seeing is a continuous chain of nuclear explosions in a reaction of unimaginable power. The sun is actually a giant thermonuclear reactor. It is composed mainly of hydrogen that is gradually changing into helium. Deep inside the sun’s core tremendous gravitational forces, 250 billion times those of earth, compress hydrogen atoms until the heat and pressure force a thermonuclear reaction to take place.

Energy released is thrust toward the surface, but the sun’s great mass pulls it back. It may take up to 15 million years for the energy to jostle its way through to the surface and escape as heat and radiation.

Scientists estimate that nearly four million tons of hydrogen are transformed into energy every second in the nuclear holocaust on our sun. (Remember, it took only a 30th of an ounce to destroy Hiroshima.)

And then stop and think about this: Our sun is only one star in our galaxy of 100 million stars. And there are probably 100 million other galaxies, each with another 100 million stars. That makes — oh, never mind. The point is that there is an almost inconceivable amount of power locked up in this awesome universe that surrounds us.

God made that universe by and out of His own power. “For He commanded and they were created,” the Bible tells us (Psalm 148:5).

The power of God

How can we even begin to comprehend the power that God has available? How much energy had to be held together to forge the atoms of even the most commonplace and seemingly insignificant of God’s creations — a sparrow, a spider or a leaf?

If all the energy compacted in a gram of matter could be released, it would supply as much energy as the Hoover Dam produces in about 18 and a half hours. Put another way, the matter in a 150-pound person, if converted completely to energy, would supply as much energy as Hoover Dam could produce in 144 years.

Yet God made giant stars 1,000 times the size of our sun! Can we ever begin to appreciate just how great God is? No wonder He could never allow mortal man to see the full power that radiates from Him. Nothing made of flesh and blood could survive that experience.

But God has, through His creation, given us hints, mere suggestions, of the immensity of His power. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they [those who don’t or won’t believe in God] are without excuse,” wrote Paul (Romans 1:20).

The physical things God has made can teach us — if we have eyes to see. But, sad to say, many scientists today have rejected the very idea of God.

Never before have they known so much about the universe. Never before has there been more reason to believe in a Creator. Not so long ago, sailors were afraid to sail over the horizon for fear they would fall off the earth. Now we travel into space routinely, discovering, measuring, analyzing and quantifying. And every breakthrough leads inexorably toward one conclusion — that there must have been a time when all that we see began.

But that implies a Creator, and that is something that many scientists cannot — or will not — admit. And so they “became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (verse 21).

Perhaps if scientists had been willing to acknowledge the awesome power of God, they would never have dared tamper with those forces that bind the universe together.

In God’s hands, those forces are under control and are used only to do good. He has carefully regulated the inferno on the sun so that it makes life possible on earth.

But what has man done with nuclear power? Certainly there have been numerous peaceful industrial applications, although some argue that even these are hazardous. But our potential to split the atom is also lurking in the warheads of the weapons that will destroy all life if they ever are used.

Those weapons may be even more destructive than we dare think. President Truman threatened a “rain of ruin” on Japan. He didn’t know then that those relatively little bombs were paving the way for a possible nuclear winter that would eventually eliminate those who survived the initial blasts of nuclear bombs.

While the human heart is ruled by anger, lust and greed, it would be wiser to leave the “basic power of the universe” alone.

But it’s too late now. Once the first atomic bomb went off successfully, the die was cast. A chain reaction began. The bombs got bigger, and Bible prophecy tells us that man will use the principle of E = mc2 to batter the earth to the point where it can no longer sustain life.

Then, and only then, will the people of this world look out to the heavens and ask once again, “My God, what have we done?” 

Psalm 19

King Davis stated in Psalm 19: “The law of God is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure… the statutes of the Lord are right… the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes… by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11).

David knew that God rules His Kingdom and regulates His power with the great law of love. Before humans can inherit God’s Kingdom, they must show that they will live in obedience to that law. Only then can God be sure that the great reserves of power will always be used for good and peaceful purposes.

So God watches us now, while we are still relatively powerless, to see how we live. He expects us to take seriously even the smallest details of His law, which is far more binding than even the strong force that holds the earth together, or the power that constrains the energy locked in the stars. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away,” said Jesus Christ (Luke 21:33).

King David believed that. And so, when this righteous king looked into the heavens, he was filled with longing for the time when he could share that splendor as a born child of God. But he knew he had to qualify, and he knew he needed help. So he prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

God did help David. He gave him power — not the power of the atom, but the even greater power of the Holy Spirit. He began the greatest reaction process of all — the transformation of the very nature of David. One day, David will be resurrected in power and glory.

God will do the same for you. He will share His Spirit with you — just a little, for now. But you must use it properly — to overcome, to obey God’s law, to do good and serve others.

Then one day, you, too, will be welcomed by the great Creator God into His Kingdom, to live with Him in full brilliance and majesty and share His awesome power forever.

Source: Good News, 1985

September 7, 2009

Is Intelligent Design Really Intelligent?

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Why is it so difficult to get one answer to the question, how did human life begin on Earth? Think about it. Our prosperous and well-educated Western societies, founded on Judeo-Christian principles cannot come to a satisfying conclusion as to whether human life originated as a planned, purposeful act of a supreme, all-powerful being, or as the result of a random, gradual process called evolution. There can only be one answer to this question. Yet examining the beliefs people embrace on the subject is massively confusing.

  1. What is termed “old-earth creationism,” is the acceptance scientific evidence that the universe is billions of years old but nevertheless that God created all there is by separate acts of miracles.
  2. What might be called “young-earth creationism” is the arguement that the universe, earth, and all life were created in just six days about 10,000 years ago.
  3. Most scientists say that science cannot prove the existence of God, and believe in a Theory of Evolution the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms.
  4. The Intelligent-Design Theory states that creation is the work of an intelligent designer (though he is not specifically named), and that the Earth is billions of years old, not the thousands of years that most “biblical creationists” believe through their “literal” reading of the Bible.

In truth, true religion says the Bible account in Genesis actually describes a re-creation of the Earth. Therefore man was created 6000 years ago, but the earth is also millions of years old.

Gen. 1:2 is not actually the initial condition of the earth. Without form and void is not a regular sequence of events, but means  tohu (Strong’s # 8414 – waste & desolation) and bohu (Strong’s # 922 – to be empty, ruin).

Looking at this a little more in depth through the scriptures, we can see there is something wrong with this condition. Isaiah 45:18 says God did not create the earth in vain – same word tohu (waste and desolation). Is there a contradiction?

No, we simply understand that something happened between verse 1 and 2. The word “was” is Strong’s # 1961 [hayah], which is better translated as “became.” So the earth “became” without form and void. Something happened to cause it to become waste and desolate. It was not created like this by God.

Albert Barnes’Notes On The Bible further states:

“On the second day Gen. 1:6-7 a new disposition of the air and the water is described by the verbs “be” and “make.” These indicate a modification of what already existed. On the third day (Gen. 1:9, 11) no verb is directly applied to the act of divine power. This agency is thus understood, while the natural changes following are expressly noticed.”

In other words, the air and water was already in place before a great destruction came about, and then re-made by God. The grass, herbs and fruit are new creations, (though modifications of existing materials in place), not having been necessary in the time of dinosaurs. These were now necessary for the nourishment and existence of man to come.

In the fourth day (Gen. 1:14, Gen. 1:16-17)  the words “be,” “make,” and “give” occur, where the matter in hand is the manifestation of the heavenly bodies (two great lights) and their adaptation to the use of man. In these cases it is evident that the word “create” would have been improperly or indirectly applicable to the action of God. It does not prove the universe was created a couple of days before man. The Hebrew words in Genesis 1 indicate the universe already existed then.

  1. “Create” means “bara” or to create a new condition or circumstance.
  2. “Make” means “asap” which is creating or making something from existing materials. Moses used these 2 words deliberately and carefully.

In verse 1, God created from new, but in verse 16, they were “made.” Whatever happened in the destruction, God was making it right again. So verse 16 was not a new, fresh creation but God was working from materials that were already there at the beginning of the universe.

Looking at verse 21, we again see that the original language implies creation from new, when the sea creatures and birds of the air were made.

In Genesis 2:3, God rested from the work He created and made. A lot of parts of the universe were already there – from the earth and universe.

The Bible is an old book and if it wasn’t inspired by God, you would expect to find scientific inaccuracies, yet this is not so. Scientists are just coming to understand these truths. Satan will try to confuse religion and science about the truth of God. We should read and believe what the Bible says – that the earth is older than mankind. And we should give thanks directly to God for it all.

August 9, 2009

Questions On Evolution: Scientific Fact Or Science Fiction?

The origin of life is the least understood biological problem.

While acknowledging this fact, evolutionists go on to believe as an article of faith that life came into existence on this planet spontaneously from nonliving matter by chemical processes. They further accept as an article of faith that life progressively evolved by blind chance into the vast array of living things we see today. This belief is claimed to be “fact.” Those who do not accept this “fact” are ridiculed as ignorant and unscientific.

Is evolution scientific fact, or is it science fiction? The odds are fantastic against even very “simple” constituents of living organisms occurring by chance. And there is an even greater improbability of such constituents producing living organisms by chance.

In particular consider a protein consisting of a chain of about 100 amino acids. If all the known stars in the universe had 10 earths, and if all the earths had oceans of “amino acid soup,” and if all the amino acids linked up in chains 100 acids long every second for the entire estimated history of the universe, even then the chance occurrence of a given very simple protein would be extremely improbable.  As such, below you will find answered a number of the more common evolutionary counterarguments, as well as additional queries:

  • There may be many combinations of amino acids that would work. So the probability of their forming by chance would be much greater than that of a specific combination.

No scientific experimentation has shown that a different combination of amino acids could be substituted for a given protein and still perform exactly the same way. The marvelous complexity of the specific functions performed by the combination that does work in nature demands the correct sequence of amino acids to be present in each case. (We are aware, of course, that various proteins may be consumed and reassembled into other proteins by an existing living organism.)

A given life form requires specific combinations of specific molecules. Just any arbitrary random combination will not work. It is much like a combination lock. If you do not know the combination, you can spin numbers at random to try to open the lock. You may spin perfectly good numbers. They might even work on some other lock at some other time and in some other place. But if they do not open the given lock — the one you are trying to open — it does not do you a bit of good.

Now if you would calculate the probability of finding the right combination by random spinning, the probability depends only on the available numbers for the given lock. The probability has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not some other combinations may open some other locks.

  • If you do not specify which protein, we are therefore only dealing in possibilities not probabilities.

You should use the standard mathematical definition of probability as applicable to the problem under discussion. The probability of a given protein of 100 amino acids occurring by chance is 10-130. The fact that that a specific one was not identified is irrelevant. If it were a more technical article, a  specified complicated protein like hemoglobin, would be pointed out, and there would be used essentially the same line of reasoning. The point is that even the supposedly simplest components found in living things are actually very complex. Their existence cannot be explained on the basis of blind chance.

  • The experiments of Stanley L. Miller in the 1950s showed that the “primeval soup” of the sea would contain surprisingly large quantities of the building blocks of life: amino acids, nucleotides, etc.

Whether or not this is the case does not matter. In fact, we can be even more generous than Mr. Miller by giving each star in the universe 10 “earths” and each “earth” an ocean of “primeval soup” mixed to the evolutionists’ recipe. Nevertheless, it did not make the evolution of even one “simple” protein probable.

  • The fundamental building molecules are not proteins but DNA.

The attempt to use DNA in the synthesis of proteins only makes the situation worse for evolution. DNA is even more unlikely to come into existence by chance than protein is. It would be like someone claiming that a table of logarithms came into existence by being generated by a computer that, in turn, came into existence by chance.

  • Smaller self-replicating chains could form and progress in small steps to produce longer and longer chains.

There are a number of difficulties with such a model. First of all, scientists have not found any evidence of such occurring in nature. Second, even if it could occur, the probabilities of ending up with the right sequence, after all the small steps, would still be immeasurably small by essentially the same reasoning given in the article. Third, what would be the role or purpose of such intermediate chains? Why and how would they survive to produce more complicated chains? Certainly, there is no evidence of the existence of intermediate chains being somehow related to intermediate species.

  • Natural selection is an established theory. The hypothesis of Darwin has been confirmed by experimental work.

There is not necessarily a disagreement with this — up to a point. But natural selection can only explain the survival of the fittest. It does not explain the arrival of the fittest. 

  • Natural selection is adequate to explain the variety of living things we see today.

Even evolutionists do not make this claim. They require spontaneous generation and mutations (at the very least) in addition to natural selection.

  • But this does not rule out mutation as a mechanism for improvement when combined with natural selection. For example, a chess player might be competing against many opponents whose starting position is on occasion changed — slightly, randomly. Then it might be supposed that those opponents with the better starting positions are more likely to win. Suppose the losers drop out and the winners play many further games (dropping out only if they lose all games from the previous starting position, the chance of a random change continuing). Then might it not be reasoned that after much time, the starting positions in use might improve?

The analogy regarding starting positions in a chess game is interesting. The reasoning applied, however, is fallacious on several grounds. Even if the starting positions are being changed slightly, but randomly, there is no guarantee that an improved starting position that results in a winner one time will result in an improved starting position the next game. Quite the contrary, a small modification of an excellent starting position could conceivably be a disastrous starting position.

Moreover, the chess players are presumably intelligent beings. They perform at varying skill levels. So it makes no sense to attribute their characteristics to that of a blind chance mechanism of mutations and natural selection.

The theory of probability applies only to chance phenomena and not to deterministic phenomena. For example, it would be nonsense to ask the question: “What is the probability I will paint my house green?” There is no answer. If I want to paint it green, I will. If I don’t, I won’t. Similarly, the theory of probability cannot be applied to deterministic games such as chess or checkers.

On the other hand, the theory of evolution is based on the assumption that living forms came into existence from nonliving matter by chance. It is amazingly improbable that even the simplest constituents of living things come into existence by chance. This is a valid application of probability.

  • Mutations are like errors in the genetic code. It is this random error-making in the genetic machinery that furnishes evolution with the stuff of creative change.

No one is saying that mutations could not account for some changes in the structure or appearance of organisms. But mutations cannot produce genuinely new forms of life. While minor variations in appearance or structure might be produced by mutations, there is no evidence whatsoever that mutations produce the kind of quantum leaps required by the theory of evolution.

  • The fossil record clearly shows evolution has taken place.

The fossil record provides considerable evidence that evolution did not occur. Consider the facts. Evolution would require a fossil record that shows the gradual changing of one species to another with numerous transitional forms. But instead the fossil record shows broad gaps between fossil species for which there are no intermediate forms.

Note this startling admission of an evolutionist:

“The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid” (Macro-evolution: Pattern and Process, Steven M. Stanley, page 39).

  • Scientists have created life. They made a simple organism that could eat oil spills in the ocean and then die out for lack of food.

Actually, these organisms were not created from nonliving matter. They were developed from existing living organisms through genetics. These genetic engineers have no more claim to creating life than a dog breeder does.

  • You are presenting to your readers the fallacy that science is a finished product and that whatever is speculative in science is therefore wrong.

You have probably all heard someone at one time or another say something like, “Science tells us that…”  and then they make some claim or other.  But science doesn’t tell us anything because it is a mechanism, a method, a tool.  Science doesn’t provide conclusions; humans do.  Those conclusions can be arrived at logically, honestly and accurately  or  irrationally, dishonestly and carelessly—that depends on the scientist.  The Scientific Method involves five steps:

  1. Observation – collecting data
  2. Hypothesis – forming a preliminary possible explanation of the data;
  3. Testing – test the hypothesis by collecting more data, using a control
  4. Results – interpreting the results of the test and deciding if the hypothesis should be rejected.  The hypothesis is rejected if the results contradict it, showing that it is wrong.
  5. Conclusion – stating a conclusion that can be evaluated independently by others using this same method.

After years of scrutiny, certain observed phenomena  (such as gravity)  become established as law.  The problem occurs when scientists usurp the name of science to make authoritative statements of philosophy.  Unfortunately, scientists are not always very clear as to when they are engaging in science, and when they are engaging in philosophy.  Philosophy  can be both reasonable and rational, but it is not scientific, by definition,  because it is not an observable phenomenon  in the physical world.

Many scientists cheerfully admit that they are speculating. We have no complaint with scientific speculation as long as such is truthfully identified as speculation. Evolutionists however do not admit that the theory of evolution is speculative. Instead, they palm off speculation as fact. In the March 23, 1981, issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Rolf M. Sinclair, a physicist at the U.S. National Science Foundation, is quoted as follows:

“The fact of evolution is as incontrovertible as the fact that the earth is spherical rather than flat.”

The author and biochemist Isaac Asimov stated:

“Scientists have no choice but to consider evolution a fact” (“The Genesis War,” Science Digest, October, 1981, page 85).

“Having the fact of evolution before us … ” (ibid., page 85).

“Evolution is a fact … ” (ibid., page 87).

Honestly, does that sound like speculation to you?

  • Your acceptance of God’s existence is not based on rational thinking. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines faith or belief in God as a “belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.”

A dictionary is not an arbiter of truth. Actually, dictionaries give several definitions of faith. Not every dictionary definition of faith demands the exclusion of logic, reasoning or material evidence. True faith, the kind of faith spoken of in the Bible, is not a blind, superstitious, illogical faith. It is a faith based on “evidence of things not seen” and is in harmony with logic, reason and the factual world.

  • Where did God come from? Since the creator of the universe would have to be more “complicated” than the universe itself, the probability of God coming into existence by chance would be less than the probability of the universe coming into existence by chance.

This is a popular argument. It has two fundamental flaws.

First of all, an Eternal Being does not need to come into existence, since he has always existed. It makes no sense to ask: “What is the probability that a Being, who always existed, came into existence?” The question is inherently contradictory.

Second, eternal existence is not a chance phenomenon. Someone or something either always existed or did not always exist. No probability is involved. For this reason we cannot apply probability to questions such as, “Does God exist?” or “Has the universe always existed?” 

  • Why could not God have chosen to use evolution to produce life forms we see in the world?

Where does a 500-pound gorilla sit? Wherever he wants. How did an Eternal God create life? Obviously, however he wanted! Would a superintelligent, superpowerful Divine Being use a chaotic, random, haphazard process such as evolution to create life?  Here is a quote the eminent scientist Sir Fred Hoyle:

“The thought occurred to me one day that the human chemical industry doesn’t chance on its products by throwing chemicals at random into a stewpot. To suggest to the research department [of a chemical corporation] that it should proceed in such a fashion would be thought ridiculous” (Engineering and Science, November, 1981, page 12).

This leading scientist, who would have liked to believe in evolution and who was seeking the origin of life in the blind forces of nature, finally had to conclude:

“A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question” (ibid., page 12).

What about you? Do you believe that “simple” life forms came into existence by blind chance in a cosmic chemical stewpot? Do you further believe that such simple living things gradually developed such marvelously intricate structures as hearts, lungs, eyes and brains through “random errors in the genetic code”?

The physical evidence from the factual world leads to only one conclusion — living things had to be planned, designed and created by a Supreme Being!

  • Could A Simple Protein Not Form By Chance?

Proteins are essential molecules for the existence of physical life. Protein molecules consist of chains of chemical compounds called amino acids. A relatively simple protein would consist of a chain of about 100 amino acids.

Suppose we have a “soup” full of amino acids. We want these acids to link up at random to form a protein consisting of 100 amino acids. How many different combinations are there?

There are on earth 20 different types of amino acids available to form proteins. If we wanted a chain of two such acids, there would be 20 possibilities for the first acid and 20 for the second — or 20 x 20 =400 possibilities. If we wanted a chain of three such acids, there would be20 x 20 x 20 = 8,000 possibilities.

For a protein consisting of a chain of 100 acids, therefore, we have 20 x 20 x. … x 20 = 20100 possibilities. But 20100 is approximately equal to 10130, that is, 1 followed by 130 zeros. So we have 10130 possibilities, but only one combination is the right one for a given protein.

Is it reasonable to believe that such a protein could have formed by chance during the history of the universe? The odds against such an event are beyond astronomical.

Source: The Plain Truth, 1983

August 1, 2009

The Earth: A Perfect Spot For Viewing The Cosmos

Editors Comment: A beautifully written column on the greatness of the cosmos and our view of it in the perfect spot of our galaxy. The article is originally from the Trumpet.com.

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Some folks saw a black sunrise last Wednesday. The Gulf of Khambhat, just east of India, experienced an unusual total solar eclipse at sunup. (For an idea of what it looked like, click here.) It lasted 6 minutes, 39 seconds, the longest eclipse of the sun projected to occur this century.

It’s extraordinary that our gargantuan sun—864,300 miles in diameter, 332,840 times the Earth’s mass—can be visually obscured by the moon, which is a tiny two tenths of 1 percent of its size. But the relative distances of these two heavenly bodies from Earth, coupled with their unusually exquisite roundness, make the perfect solar eclipse possible.

This has proven quite helpful to scientists who are trying to unriddle the mysteries of the universe. Hundreds of years ago, a perfect eclipse helped observers confirm that stars are composed of gas. More recently, an eclipse helped verify the theory of relativity, showing that light is bent by the sun’s gravity. That we see a perfect eclipse (rather than a super-eclipse, in which our moon would completely obscure the sun) gave us our first glimpses of the sun’s gaseous chromosphere, which has yielded additional insights about stars.

Aren’t we lucky?

No other planet has the perfect configuration of sun and moon sizes and relative distances to view a perfect solar eclipse that enables astronomical observations such as we can make on Earth, this jewel of a planet.

But this is only one of several unique physical conditions that make our study of the heavens possible, and so richly rewarding.

Case in point: We can’t see our air. Imagine how motivated you would be to contemplate the night sky if all you saw was a canopy of impenetrably thick clouds of particles and gasses. Happy for us, Earth’s atmosphere is transparent. Not only is our oxygen-rich air necessary for life, its invisibility also happens to make gazing up at the stars a whole lot more interesting and informative than would be the case on most planets.

Another favorable circumstance: our position within our galaxy. The Milky Way is an incomprehensible 100,000 light years across, and we sit in its slim “galactic habitable zone” (ghz)—just far enough from the center that we’re not killed by radiation, but just close enough that sufficient heavy elements needed for life are present. At the same time, our position is a perfect seat for viewing the rest of the cosmos.

Why? Many reasons. For one, it is so beautifully dark here. Light can be the enemy of astronomical discovery—for basically the same reason that you want the lights off in the theater while watching a movie. Conveniently, our solar system is in the darkest part of the galaxy’s ghz, far from all the Milky Way’s brightest lights. We live almost exactly halfway between two of the Milky Way’s spiral arms, which are crowded with radiant stars and thick dust clouds that would obscure our view. Our vision is also free of any nearby gaseous nebulae. We likewise live thousands of light years away from the galaxy’s many blinding star clusters. In his book Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, Dr. Hugh Ross explains how the same cosmic dust that shields us from the radiation emanating from the galactic core “also blocks out most of the blazingly bright light shining from the thousands of dense star clusters situated in the core that otherwise would ruin astronomers’ efforts to explore the universe.”

Making matters even more favorable, the Milky Way happens to be in the darkest habitable area of its galaxy cluster. While a typical galaxy cluster has over 10,000 tightly packed galaxies, ours has only about 40, all but two of which (one being the Milky Way) are small or dwarf galaxies. On top of that, our galaxy cluster, called the Local Group, is in the darkest habitable part of its supercluster of galaxies, the Virgo supercluster.

Thus, there is virtually nothing in the way of our peering deep into the outer reaches of the cosmos.

Another convenient feature of our cosmic vantage point is how protected we are from potential collision events. The four gas giant planets in our solar system—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune—do us a big favor by shielding Earth from dangerous space projectiles like asteroids and comets. Their gravitational pull tends to absorb or deflect the most dangerous of these colliders. Yet they’re not too efficient: The few smaller asteroids that have made it through and hit Earth have actually aided in scientific discovery without wiping humans out. (It’s also worth noting that these huge planets are not so close as to block or wash out our view of space. If gigantic Jupiter resided where Mars currently does, it would be 1,550 times brighter to us than it is now.)

The more scientists learn about the universe, the more of these outstandingly helpful conditions they identify. “For some reason our Earthly location is extraordinarily well suited to allow us to peer into the heavens and discover its secrets,” say the grateful astronomers who authored The Privileged Planet. A host of finely tuned factors “are not only necessary for Earth’s habitability; they also have been surprisingly crucial for scientists to measure and make discoveries about the universe. Mankind is unusually well positioned to decipher the cosmos.”

Scientists have come to refer to Earth as a “Goldilocks planet.” That is, in every conceivable way, conditions aren’t too hot or too cold, too large or too small, too close or too far—too anything. No matter what is measured, it is “just right.” Not only for the existence of life, but also for discovery. And to a mind-boggling level of precision. Even the minutest deviation would make cosmic observation difficult or impossible—or would wipe out the prospect of life.

Maybe it’s not luck after all.

A growing number of astronomers are acknowledging the possibility not only that the precise conditions for life on Earth were specifically, painstakingly established by a creative mind of extraordinary intelligence—but also that this Power ensured we would be able to follow the signs back to their source. The multiplicity and exactitude of these signs “reflects masterful engineering at a level far beyond human capability—and even imagination. It testifies of a supernatural, superintelligent, superpowerful, fully deliberate Creator,” wrote Dr. Ross.

Yes it does. As King David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psalm 19:1). He was celebrating the fact that God revealed Himself to us in the universe He created. Perhaps he knew more than today’s astronomers would give him credit for.

God wanted us to make these cosmic discoveries. Romans 1:20 says that “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Revised Standard Version). It is there for everyone to see—and more and more as our technology improves. All we need to do is open our eyes and acknowledge its Author.

“Clearly, Someone wanted human beings to exist and thrive. Just as clearly, Someone wanted us to see all He had done in the universe,” Dr. Ross continued. “His purposes for human existence must be highly valuable.”

July 23, 2009

The Destruction Of Satan?

gonelental.blogspot.com

gonelental.blogspot.com

Satan and his demons are spirit beings, created with inherent immortality (see Luke 20:36). They cannot die.

So why did Paul write that Jesus Christ would “destroy” the devil through His sacrifice? (Heb. 2:14) Paul was not saying that Christ will kill Satan or completely blot him out of existence. According to “Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary,” the word “destroy” can also mean “neutralize” or make “subject to a crushing defeat.” The original Greek word, “katargeo,” translated as “destroy” in this verse, means “to render inactive” or “idle.” Notice I John 3:8: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the WORKS (evil effort or occupation) of the devil.”

Revelation 20:10 reveals that God will condemn Satan to the lake of fire after the Millennium. Many cite this as proof the Bible contrdicts itself, since it also says spirit beings cannot die. But notice that this verse does not say that Satan will remain there forever. It says only that his torment will last forever. The lake of fire will end when the new heavens and new earth are established (Rev. 21:1). But, the punishing of Satan and his demons will continue through eternity.

The Bible gives us only a clue as to the nature of Satan’s punishment. Jude describes some as being “wandering stars [stars are symbols of angels], to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (verse 13). Apparently, God will banish Satan and his demons from the universe into a place of restraint that would be likened to solitary confinement in a darkened room (though bigger), with no availability of any stimulus. They will never again associate with or influence the glorified inhabitants of God’s realm.

June 24, 2009

Evolutionists Versus Creationists: Who Has The Truth?

2Evolutionists and creationists are at it again! Each claims to have the answer to the puzzle of creation. But does either represent true science or true religion?

Evolutionary doctrine is deeply ensconced in today’s schools as a legitimate part of most science classes. It is no longer presented as an unproven idea or theory. It is presented as fact. When children go to school they are usually taught the theory of evolution as the only intelligent answer to existence. Virtually all science teachers speak about it as dogmatically as though they saw evolution happen. Class instruction is done so effectively that students generally are embarrassed to admit before their peers that they still believe in a Creator God.

But what if creation were taught in schools? Which version would be taught? Could creationists agree on the exact version to include in the school curriculum?

Liberals, calling themselves theistic evolutionists, consider the Genesis account symbolic or allegorical. They would insist that God brought about the creation through the process of evolution.

Fundamentalist groups, often called scientific creationists, are in the forefront of a crusade to free school children from the evolutionists’ firm grasp. They would teach that all creation, including the sun, moon and stars, took place very recently — hardly more than six or seven thousand years ago. They seek scientific evidence to show that the fossil beds and fossil bearing strata were nearly all laid down during a Flood in the historic past. They contend that life forms were separated and arranged into sequential layers by the water’s turbulent action.

The real beginning

However, the Bible teaches that creation took place anciently — “in the beginning.” That when the creation first appeared the angels were so enthralled with its magnificence they “sang together and … shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). That God placed an archangel on earth to administer God’s government in love and concern. He rebelled (Ezek. 28:15-16). Destruction came to the earth. Then God’s Spirit moved upon the face of the waters (Gen. 1:2) and God began to recreate today’s realm. This time he gave mankind (rather than the angels) dominion over the physical creation.

It is obvious that no single version of creation will satisfy this world’s differing religious groups. So, even if creationists were given equal forum with evolutionists, what version would be taught? Even if a compromise could be worked out, who could be trusted to teach it convincingly enough to compete successfully with evolutionary teachings?

Roles Reversed

The problem that we face in education today is just the reverse of that which men faced a few centuries ago. At that time the church sat above the government in matters of education. Few dared to teach anything contrary to the religious dogma because of its backing from the civil government! When discovery or experimentation uncovered facts that were contrary to traditional teachings, the church not uncommonly vigorously repressed them.

When men were finally freed from that oppression in the pursuit of truth, the liberated world assured itself that it would not again come under such bondage. Educational institutions that were once part of the church became a part of the state. It is under state control that most schools now carry out the mandate of teaching future generations what the adult society considers the ideals of life.

The doctrine of evolution, timidly suggested by Charles Darwin, came just at the right time. It was seized upon and promoted beyond Darwin’s wildest dreams. It became instantly popular and has continued to grow in influence simply because it was the nearest thing to a plausible explanation of creation without a creator.

Interpreting the will of the adult generation to be the desire to be free of hindrance from doing what they want to do, educators feel safe only in taking the evolutionary approach. By denying God’s role in creation, freedom to do as one pleases seemed complete. But, there remains a problem. How can one explain the evidence of God’s creation without the Creator?

This is why not all scientists are evolutionists. A significant number of scientists now acknowledge that the magnificent, intricate universe is so extremely well organized and complex that it requires a supreme designer and sustainer in order to exist. Some freely admit that the God of the Bible is the only intelligent answer. A few even worship him in truth.

The question then becomes, not whether to include religious views of creation in the classrooms, but whether evolution should continue to be taught as a scientific theory of origins. Evolutionists know that the question of origins lies outside of the scope of natural science.

You Must Choose!

If you believe evolution, you must believe that man has no ultimate purpose in the universe. But if you believe in creation, you have a unique choice. You can believe you were created to spend eternity in idleness and ease in heaven, or that you were created for a grand purpose — of becoming a son of God (Heb. 1:1-5, 2:6-10, Rom. 8:29). Most creationists thoughtlessly assume the former view. They do not know we humans were born to become sons of God and that our creation is not yet complete!

We are created in the form and shape of God, but out of matter. We are not yet spirit. Before God will complete our creation and give us eternal, spiritual LIFE from his very own person, we must develop godly CHARACTER. Or we would not be fit to be his sons. This is what human life is all about! Evolution knows nothing of it. Most creationists are blinded by their false ideas of Christ and his message and have not understood it.

God cannot create righteous, godly character by fiat. This has been demonstrated by the creation of angels. God created angels as perfect spiritual beings, but some turned sour and chose to do evil (Ezek. 28:14-16, Rev. 12:3-4). Chief among them was the archangel Lucifer.

We humans were created as fleshly beings and given TEMPORARY physical life so that if we turn sour we will not live forever as evil beings. This physical life was made to ebb away and our bodies to grow old and die.

It is in this physical state of existence that God works in a chosen few, now, to build the type of character that is required of sons of God. We have our part, choosing God’s ways and his laws, striving against temptation and resisting the devil and the practices of this world. This, if you please, is the tree of life of Genesis 2:9 and 3:22 that Adam and Eve rejected.

Only those whom God now calls and works with can enter the process of further creation. When God calls us he sets before us the same choice as he set before Adam and Eve. He says to us just as clearly as he said to ancient Israel: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut. 30:19).

You cannot create righteous character within yourself by yourself. God must do that in and through you by his Spirit, which is his very nature. You must become willingly and wholeheartedly oriented toward God, like clay in the hand of the Master Potter (Isa. 64:8, Jer. 18:1-6, Rom. 9:20-21). You must TRUST him to shape you into what he decides. You cannot start until the Potter singles you out and begins to deal with you.

Only then, if you become soft and pliable through the addition of God’s Holy Spirit, can you begin to be shaped into the CHARACTER of God. If you turn away, to remain lumpy and hard, he will cast you aside and work with other clay.
The ways of God are outlined broadly by the Ten Commandments and are enlarged upon throughout the rest of the Bible. The example of how to live by them successfully and perfectly was first demonstrated by Jesus Christ (I John 2:6), who blazed the trail for all who henceforth will live God’s spiritual way.

When This Truth Will Prevail

One day truth will be taught in all schools. It will be God’s truth as recorded in the Bible. Not false religions of men. It will be truly scientific. It will acknowledge not only the Creator but his laws and his authority. It will teach us all that there is to know about the creation around us; how and why it was put here, and what our role shall be according to God’s exciting plan and purpose.

In that day enlightenment will be so complete that it will make today’s knowledge explosion seem like the popping of corn by comparison! Here’s how it will be brought about:

When Christ returns to the earth to bring the whole world peace, he will come to set up the kingdom of God. It will be a world-ruling empire and Christ will be its “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:6, 16; 20:4). When forced to think about God’s perfect laws of love and happiness, people will become more enthralled with life than they have ever imagined that they could be.

Stubborn evolutionists, confused creationists — and all men alike — will be ashamed that they strove so hard to deny God’s way while they clung to their own folly. What a wonderful day that will be!

Source: The Plain Truth, February 1983

May 6, 2009

Invasion From Outer Space: Truth Stranger Than Science Fiction!

On October 30, 1938, several hundred thousand Americans experienced the most shattering scare of their lives. The Columbia Broadcasting System was airing its regular program, Mercury Theatre on the Air. The music of Ramon Raquello and his orchestra was suddenly interrupted by the terse voice of an announcer stating that several explosions of incandescent gas had been observed on the planet Mars. The gas was said to be hydrogen and moving toward the earth with enormous velocity.

The regular musical broadcast was then resumed. Thousands remained glued to their radios awaiting further developments. They were not disappointed. Before long, the music was again interrupted for another bulletin. Still more announcements followed. Authentic sounding reports were coming in from observatories around the nation. Thousands, perhaps millions, of minds were now focused on the red planet.

The announcer then stated that a meteorite had fallen on a farm in the neighborhood of Grovers Mill, New Jersey.
What could it be? Thousands tingled with excitement. Reports continued to come in. “Mobile units” were dispatched and listeners were treated to “on the spot” reports.

A vast pit was said to have been created by what appeared to be a large cylinder which had fallen from space. The cylinder was apparently made of some strange yellowish-white metal and was described as being some thirty yards in diameter!

Hundreds of automobiles began to converge on the site, beaming their headlights directly into the pit with its strange visitor. Shortly, a curious “humming sound” was said to have emanated from the confines of this bizarre space vehicle. Before long, the end of the cylinder began to slowly unscrew. A gasp went up from the surrounding crowd as the end of the cylinder fell off.

By now the vast CBS radio audience was on the edge of its collective chair as they anxiously awaited further developments. What was inside the sinister cylinder? Shortly, the announcer’s voice again crackled across the airways. He breathlessly described the emergence of a nightmarish creature “large as a bear” with tentacles and a hide that “glistened like wet leather.” The crowd that had gathered at the pit fell back in terror.

Radio listeners were then subjected to the sound of hissing followed by intensified humming coming through their speakers. The broadcaster then described a sinister machine that was rising out of the pit commanded by the hideous creature. Without warning, a jet of flame sprang from a mirror mounted atop the eldritch machine. Dozens died as they were hit by the searing heat-ray. Fields, barns, woods turned to flame. The holocaust spread rapidly. Automobile gas tanks exploded. Death and destruction were everywhere.

The Great Hoax

Of course, such an invasion never actually took place. The whole thing was phony. It was all carefully planned by the now-famous actor Orson Welles and scripted by the ingenious writer, Howard Koch. Welles narrated the broadcast with such convincing effectiveness that millions had thought that the Martians were really on the march! Near panic had seized the vast radio audience. The broadcast became the most famous and perhaps most notorious script in the history of radio.

But it wasn’t all Welles’ original idea. Nor did Howard Koch dream up the invasion. It had all originated with another, Wells — H. G.

How It All Began

In 1898, the English novelist H. G. Wells made literary history with his novel War of the Worlds. It was the first serious treatment of the space-invasion theme. Since that time, his War of the Worlds has set the pattern for thousands of space-invasion stories.

Today, the concept of the alien invasion has become one of the richest and most varied of all the categories of science fiction. Since Welles’ broadcast in 1938, thousands of such tales have emanated from the fertile minds of science-fiction writers. Multiple possibilities have been explored.

But in spite of the colorful variety of situations and characters encountered in space invasion stories, certain factors are common to most. For example, you can almost always bank on the invader being of superior intelligence to man. His technology is usually developed to a high degree of sophistication. The typical aliens’ mental powers often border on the supernatural. Telepathy and ESP are frequently discussed.

Methods of transportation are rarely conventional from an earthlings viewpoint. The invaders move about in glass bubbles, mysterious saucers and disks, tripods and bizarre rockets. Time machines and teleportation are frequently used devices. The sky is rarely the limit in this area.

And the invaders weaponry would chill the soul of any human general. Strange rays and beams pierce the earth’s atmosphere dealing death and doom everywhere they strike. Man’s weapons are traditionally helpless against the superior armaments of the invading alien.

But why do the invaders invade? Frequently it is to colonize the earth and set up a government of extraterrestrial beings.

Usually, the alien conquest is successful until the eleventh hour. Then some freak occurrence brings defeat to the invading beings and the earthlings triumph.

At least that’s the usual formula. And with one notable exception, it’s not too far from the truth of what actually is going to happen!

A Real Invasion Coming

Science fiction is one of the most popular forms of modern literature. It is read by millions. Movies, television series, comic books, magazines, all contribute to the public consumption of science-fiction themes. Isaac Asimov, the noted writer, once stated that science fiction is “the only kind of literature that fits this age.”

But Asimov is wrong.

Science fiction is a combination of the known and the unknown. There is another form of literature that is even more relevant to this day and age and which is strictly limited to that which may be known. It does not dabble in speculation or far-out imaginings. And it is far more meaningful to this age than any science fiction that has ever been written!
It is called the Bible.

Now wait! Don’t go shrieking off into some philosophical solar system! Let’s give it an honest look first.

The Bible is not a book of fiction. It is a book of facts. It contains history written in advance of its occurrence. It is a volume of revealed knowledge, impossible for mankind to arrive at by conventional means. It is the Maker’s

Instruction Book — the Word of God.

The Book contains an account of a coming invasion from space that will far eclipse all such fictional invasions envisioned by men. And, more amazing, its writing was inspired by the Invader Himself! (II Tim. 3:16.) Surprisingly enough, this invasion will also fit the formula (with a few noteworthy exceptions!) for all such invasions as envisioned by science-fiction writers.  Let’s look into it.

Details of the Invasion

Does anyone know precisely when this invasion will take place? No!
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32).

No human knows exactly when the predicted invasion will occur. Only the great Master-Mind of the universe — God the Father — knows.

But don’t forget. Mark wrote in the first century A.D.!

Nearly 2000 years have elapsed since these words were originally spoken. The situation could be different now! Perhaps plans are even now being drawn up for the certain arrival of the Son of God and His army.

The Nature of the Invader

Will the coming invader be human? In Numbers 23:19 we find that “God is not a man.” He is not human!
Well, what is He then? “God is a Spirit,” answers John 4:24.  God is not a mere mortal. He is a supernatural spirit being! And as such, God is of markedly superior intelligence. (What Creator is not superior to His creation?)

Notice Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God thinks and operates on an entirely different plane than does man — a much higher plane. Read the book of Job (chapter 38; 40:1-2). Gain a small glimpse into the mental capacity of God! Enough said.

The Return of Jesus Christ

Biblical revelation tells us that a powerful, super-intelligent spirit being will eventually invade this earth. But from what point in the universe will the invasion be launched? The Scriptures are specific. “… Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels” (II Thess. 1:7).

Here we see the returning Christ leaving heaven and being revealed to the naked eye of those on the earth (Rev. 1:7). Heaven is the residence of God — the Master Control Center of Operations for the entire universe.

But where is heaven?

The Word of God speaks of three distinct “heavens.” The first is the atmosphere surrounding the earth. The second is the known universe containing the galaxies, solar systems, etc. But there is a third heaven. The Apostle Paul referred to it in II Corinthians 12:2. He was explaining how he had been taken there in a vision (verses 1, 7) so vivid that he was unable to discern (at the time) whether his experience had been actual or merely visionary.
This heaven is the present residence of God and His angelic army. “… For God is in heaven …” (Eccl. 5:2).

Spirit Space Travel

A careful analysis of the twentieth chapter of John reveals that Jesus Christ and His angelic host are capable of extremely rapid space travel — faster than the speed of light!

Christ said to Mary Magdalene: “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father …” (John 20:17). Now note that on the same day Christ had been able to travel to the Father and return: “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet …” (Matt. 28:9).

Spirit, of course, is not hampered by the constraints of the material universe. But just how does God normally travel throughout the universe? Does He utilize some special vehicle or does he simply “free fall” through space?
In the book of Ezekiel we are given a hair-raising glimpse of a bizarre vehicle. Read the entire first chapter of the book of Ezekiel for yourself.

See if you can figure it out! This strange vehicle with its wheels and multicolored precious-stone ornaments is occupied by a Being “like” a man. Its crew is made up of spirit beings called angels. It appears to be a portable throne which is conducted throughout the universe by spirit power!

The last half of Revelation 19 pictures Christ’s second coming to this earth. His space flight is symbolically shown to be on a white horse. His angelic army is also symbolically descending upon white horses (Rev. 19:11-15). In reality, He may actually use the means of transport pictured in Ezekiel 10.

But, whatever the means, when is the general time setting of His second coming? Many scriptures show it will occur in what the Bible describes as “the end time.”

When Is the End Time?

We have already seen that no human can know the day or hour of His second coming. Jesus Himself, however, revealed that His servants can discern the general time period. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things [the signs described in Matthew 24], know that it [Christ’s second coming] is near, even at the doors” (Matt. 24:32-33).

The question is: Are we in that time period shown in Matthew 24? Are we in the end time? Are the sure signs of this prophecy occurring all around us today? The answers should be clear!

Source: The Good News, November 1973

April 5, 2009

Scientism: Materialism On Steroids!

Scientism is the belief that the sciences have no boundaries and will, in the end, be able to explain everything in the universe. It is an ideology unto itself.

The Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics defines scientism as “an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of natural science to be applied to all areas of investigation.”

Is hard science really the only way of understanding reality? If something can’t be “proved” through the scientific method, through observable and measurable evidence, is it then irrelevant? In general, scientism leaves little or no place for the imagination and rather than further human understanding, it limits it.

For example, the education system teaches children not to think, but to accept taught dogma. Any student that uses logic and solid “contrary” evidence to question the Theory of Evolution is ridiculed and insulted into quiet submission. This is a type of brainwashing, or conforming to the system. Individual thoughts or opinions are not allowed. This “team player” attitude, forcefully thrust upon students with massive peer pressure, is little else than a soft pedalled version of brainwashing techniques used by communist countries.

Society today is replete with children unable to think logically, scientifically and accurately. They are taught to doubt elements of purpose around them, and accept unscientific theories like evolution, or the result of life by pure chance. All of this defaults to atheism. It assumes incorrectly that what we believe, and the way we live, is always based on provable “facts,” which never include – gasp – faith.

Yet science itself has always had a speculative component, as we see with theories about quantum physics and the Big Bang and evolution. Arguing that any other idea counter to evolution is “nonsense” reflects blindness to the real insights offered by God through nature.  Agreed, God cannot be observed or measured by scientific instruments or, for that matter, scientifically proven to even exist. But the reality is that the workings of God can, indeed, be observed when measured against the Light of the Word of God.

Getting back to evolution, few today would argue that it is an incomplete theory. Those who will must explain how the concept of consciousness has engendered in the form of its highest evolutionary accomplishment – mankind. At what point in the evolutionary tree did it start? And what prompted the process? It’s no good to merely talk about it – prove it, as creationists are consistently told.  If you can’t prove when man became self aware and started looking back and observing himself, then all lines of reasoning become pantheistic, which is a religious belief system of its own when boiled down to the lowest common denominator. It is, as the atheist Richard Dawkins describes, “materialism on steroids.” Here is a great link to disproving the theory of evolution through its many problems, errors and lies.

“So, armed with only the observations of current and historical geologic processes and other empirical data, and assuming natural history has been a continuum across billions of years, the present secular paradigms of geological and evolutionary theory are about the best belief system that the educated mind of carnal mankind could be expected to conceive and accept from the available physical evidence. Without the input of Biblical Authority, current theories are, in reality, incomplete. And many questions and mysteries remain unresolved, especially in relation to the origins of mankind.”  Scienceblog.com

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