Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Astrotheology - an interim report

Image: Christian Book Review

By now I have studied for three years publicly Space Theology (Astrotheology) using this blog as the main tool. Below are only some observations on what and whom I have met on this for me absolutely amazing study tour into God's Universe (or is it Multiverse?).

Let there be light! Gen 1:3.
The scientific era of humanity is fundamentally based on our growing understanding of physical light and its properties. Space research has expanded "light" way beyond the visible spectrum but it is all in the photon.
Let religion be religion and science be science
Divine revelation in the holy Bible is the foundation of Judeo-Christian faith in Creator, One, the God of Israel.
Careful observation of Nature, experiments and theory formation are the foundation of scientific astronomy and cosmology.
Let them be what they are and let the chips fall where they fall.
Personal study of scientific astronomy and cosmology is sine non qua
Astrotheology makes only sense as theological analysis of the significance of scientific discovery and exploration to religious world view and faith in God the Creator.
The driving force in Astrotheology is the fascinating adventure of fast developing space sciences with all the consequences it has to earthly sciences and belief systems.
Landmarks on my way - NASA and APOD
I have been deeply impressed by the generosity, enthusiasm and professionalism of NASA educational reach towards the public and it has been for me as a student of crucial importance. As a foreigner I also have benefited from the excellent educational programs of the USA National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Astronomy Photo Of the Day APOD has been and continues to be a great visual learning tool.
European Space Agency ESA is doing the same but is much more introvert than NASA.
There are numerous institutions and organizations sharing tools and information with the public. Only small part of them I have listed as recommended sites.
Chinese and Russian space exploration publicity campaigns and programs are in languages that I do not understand.
Landmarks on my way - Jim Kaler and stellar astronomy
Professor Kaler's STARS has been for me of crucial importance in learning stellar astronomy. Kaler not only gives facts but helps us as a patient teacher also to understand those facts. Especially significant has been learning to understand stellar nuclear physics and chemistry.
Landmarks on the way - Hayden planetarium Digital Universe
Working with the Digital Universe software developed and so generously freely distributed by Hayden planetarium Rose Center for Earth and Space was a real challenge. Mastering partview and going through the educational materials were for me, however, a turning point in understanding astronomy.
Landmarks on my way - Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan may be the prophet of new atheism but his personal voyage to space exploration and also his observations of human relationship with cosmos are brilliant and inspiring also for a believer. Exemplary for me is the way Sagan integrates everything and presents practical and highly significant conclusions of his findings from Nuclear Winter to the beautiful "We are all made of star dust".
Landmarks on my way - Jonathan Amos BBC
BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos has the ability to complicated space science news in exceptionally clear and interesting way and has been of greatest value. His news articles have often been for me a stepping stone to further study the subjects in question. Also in this way Amos has been an invaluable guide to the current state of affairs in space exploration.
What would be the most important thing I have learned so far?

Humility, I think.

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
Psalm 8:3-4 NIV

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