Friday, May 15, 2009
On May 14, 2009, the Ariane 5 was successfully launched with its 1.9 billion euro load from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana at 1312 GMT. See ESA web page for details about this remarkable launch.
The flight of the Ariane 5 lasted half an hour and the two satellites are now on their way to their positions 1.5 million kilometers from planet Earth. The travel to their destination will take between two and three months so Europaean Space Agency (ESA) scientist will be trying to hear the first signals in July or early August this summer.
If no signal is heard --- banish the thought!
These two satellites are collecting electromagnetic radiation to let physicists probe the origins of the Universe. The data they collect and send to Earth may revolutionize its inhabitants knowledge of the first stages after the Big Bang by studying the "oldest light" of cosmic microwave radiation and the infrared wavelengths of light under extreme cold conditions.
It is very interesting to read BBC science news how Professor George Efstathiou from Cambridge University, UK, said
It's possible we could find a signature from before the Big Bang; or it's possible we could find the signature of another Universe and then we'd have experimental evidence that we are part of a multi-verse.
May the distant signals of these two satellites be heard loud and clear!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
It is important to make clear that the first light of creation that filled the universe is not the light that the Gospel of John and other New Testament books talk about in connection with Christ. Created light was made by the Word of God.
The gospel begins with words that do bring to mind the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-14 KJVA
Genesis tells that the first word of Creation where "Let there be light!"Genesis 1:3
And indeed, the Big Bang was quickly followed by brilliant light as things began to happen in extreme heat and energy and photons, those amazing wave-particles, began to fly around at the speed of light.
But the Gospel of John does not refer to created light that fills the universe and makes us wonder what it is. The True light of Christ is not made of photons.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Apostle Paul writes about the Light where Christ dwells
I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting.
Amen.1 Timothy 6:13-16 KJVA
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see.
Friday, May 1, 2009
When Little Boy was dropped to Hiroshima by B-29 Enola Gay on Monday August 6, 1945 it became crystal clear to the entire world that Albert Einstein's famous equation was correct and very relevant. The second bomb to Nagasaki August 9 was perhaps an overkill. For Little Boy demonstrated the relationship between matter and energy in a very concrete way wiping out 140.000 human lives. The 80.000 killed Japanese in Nagasaki just proved that point again. There is a powerful relation between matter and energy and this power can be used to build the most destructive weapon known to humanity. To release the power of nuclear fission to kill people and anything else that lives.
Eternal matter and energy
The idea in some people's minds is that these two, matter and energy are eternal.
This was a pretty statement when scientists understood cosmos in late 19th century; universe is a rather boring cold static state of matter and energy ruled by Newtonian celestial mechanics and with plenty of cold dusty distance between celestial objects. The whole thing was estimated to be about 100.000 light years across.
Good old Bible was a bit lonely in saying that there was a beginning and there will be an end and new beginning.
After the King of the Hill, Edwin Hubble, used big Hooker on Mt Wilson and found out the existence of deep space, galaxies and red shift and Einstein challenged Newton in early 20th century things started to move in scientific cosmology. Astrophysics developed into a fiercely dynamic field of study. Nothing boring out there.
The theory of the Cosmic Atom or Big Bang was developed on the basis of Einstein's theory of general relativity and the radically new understanding of gravity combined with the hard facts seen by the astronomers and their mighty telescopes.
But still in the 1950'ies there were serious cosmologists who wanted to maintain the fundamental equilibrium of eternal matter and energy in a cosmos that has no beginning and no end. For example, the famed British astronomer Fred Hoyle was one of them.
With increasingly more accurate evidence and the development of telescopes that observed other wavelengths below and above visible light, especially with the evolution of radio telescopes and with the discovery of microwave radiation in the deep space that is consistent with the Big Bang theory, representatives of alternative cosmologies were pushed to the defensive and are today a small but important minority. Important minority, because these scientists are using their minds to figure out alternatives to the widely accepted Big Bang theory. As we have seen, widely accepted theories are favourite targets of young scientists looking for fame and great new discoveries!
The scientific belief in a Dot
However, there is at least one popular way to keep that dear equilibrium of eternal matter and energy so important to materialistic atheists since the days of Democritus and his atoms.
We can think and try to calculate an initial state where all the matter and energy in current universe is held in that single famous little dot of the initial state of cosmos. We can say that it was all there in that dot, in some kind of almost impossible to study overheated porridge of strings or other nuclear building elements, known or assumed. And all this pre-existing matter and energy was released in one mighty bang and cosmos started to build hydrogen, helium, deuteronium, lithium and other fundamental light atoms by anonymous laws of nature that just somehow exist. For otherwise everything would just be one stupid cloud of lifeless hydrogen.
The forces of gravity cause the formation of stars in which the longer process of nuclear physics create carbon. And voila! also we humans come into existence after some 13 billion years, about five million years ago in Earth time as chance products of blind matter and energy obeying the anonymous laws we detect in nature.
In other words, the intial zero point was not after all a zero but a point that held the entire matter and energy of the universe in some different form that is as yet essentially unknown to modern science. A split second later things come cozy and we can start to use our heads to calculate proportions of hydrogen to helium and follow up the creation of world as we know it second by second.
Eternal matter and energy just in another assumed format.
Well, perhaps so. Research and thinking continues with increasing power because by studying the fundamental elements of Creation we humans can develop even more destructive weapons to destroy other humans and gain world power. Politicians are not afraid to invest billions of dollars and euros to this noble goal. So that your hated neighbour human on this planet does not find the supergun first and force you to be his or her slave.
This is not a cynical view of scientists doing enormously expensive research on basic physics and cosmology. I greatly admire their honesty and curiosity of reality. This is a cynical view of the ultimate motives of those who fund this basic research remembering Einstein, Los Alamos and the end of the Second World War not so long ago. We all know that a bigger and more destructive Little Boy that that which destroyed the people of Hiroshima may be hidden there in those strings and hadrons.
It is also very important to realize that religious belief is not a guarantee of proper behaviour and that both non-religious and religious people may have second thoughts about releasing the power of sun over the Empire of Sun on August 6, 1945.
I would like to underline, however, that the Biblical view that God created the universe with His Word and that visible was created from invisible is not all that stupid as some materialistic atheists would like us to think including Richard Dawkins and his smiling buses in London City.
In fact, creation from invisible is a valid alternative to the old maxims of materialism about the eternity and divine wisdom of matter. For modern science is surprisingly moving towards the direction of information that is present in all that exists. According to these scientists and thinkers matter and energy are just incidents in this enormous field of information that is manifest in all nature, not just in the DNA.
It is a fact that science had to give up the dear and widely accepted theory that space is static and eternal. The nasty little facts observed in the nature that did not fit with this theory proved that there indeed is a beginning for universe and probably an end too, an initial and a final state.
We can add to this "as the Hebrew Bible has maintained since ancient times".
Natural sciences may also have to give up the dear and widely accepted theory that matter and energy are eternal.
We may think or indeed even believe, that there was no assumed zero point with all the now existing matter and energy of the universe squeezed out of time and space into something really odd and beyond the limits of science.
We may believe as it is written that in the beginning God created matter and energy with His Word. This Word is not just abstract thinking by an invisible Creator but active saying, formulating of commands and laws that contains and controls the amazing information we see everywhere in the deep structures of nature.
There was not a random accidental explosion of some overheated particle soap that after 13 billion years somehow formed us as a side product and made us conscious of the universe and able to figure it out.
Instead, there was a completely orderly controlled explosion with amazing highly detailed information on the tiniest and on the largest dimensions, deep thinking that painted hadrons with colors and gave shape to the existing matter from basic nuclear legos and controls energy with strict law and order. Personal God who also wants us people He made to obey strict laws and orders in our life which is not at all random or product of chance processes but His masterwork in one little corner of the universe.
Intelligent Design does not necessarily create faith
However, even if objective experimental and theoretical science one day possibly agrees that there is no eternal matter and energy but eternal wisdom and amazing information everywhere in the origins of the universe, even then belief in personal God the Creator remains a matter of faith as it is today and has always been.
For God is invisible and people do not learn to know him personally through knowledge. They never did and never will and tend to blaspheme Him and think that since they understand something about creation they are as wise or wiser than our Creator.
This basic human denial of God and rejection of Him is hardcoded in the Word of God who was crucified by religious people, by His people using Roman political and military authority in the process:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Modern theologians are in general not going to try to mess up your calculations with matters of faith. So study Creation with all your might and with the strictest rules of logic and mathematics. Many of us are listening what you tell us and try to integrate the knowledge with what we believe - this is called Fundamental Theology. It is a branch of Systematic Theology and has nothing to do with Biblical fundamentalism and the strange ideas of creationism intimately bound to it.
Many of us theologians realize that we are in no position to use earthly power of the church to silence you as we did to Galileo and some still try to do to Darwin. However painful the truth to our dear thinking processes and religious belief systems is we need to learn to evaluate it and humble search for truth.
We are amazed together with you by the visible light that has been seen now by humans from over 13 billion years ago with the smartNASA's Swift.
And we are amazed by the information, order and depth of thinking that modern science is demonstrating in the most fundamental particles and processes of the nature.
We are amazed by the light of Creation made ever so wonderful by human search for knowledge but ultimately a matter of faith to the personal God of Israel.