Friday, November 28, 2014

This is it and nothing else

Pacman nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh
Look at the photo in APOD site to really appreciate the amazing sharpness and full hues of colors of this magnificent narrow/band filtered iamge by astrophotographer Martin Pugh.

My Space Theology point is here and elsewhere that this is it

This is the reality of divine Creation and when scientists study Universe from its smallest known building blocks and Planck seconds to such light years large nebulas as seen in this magnificent photo: they are all studying the handwork of God of Israel.

This is the reality that we humans are able to study with our mathematical abilities, the instruments engineers build and refine, the theories of Cosmology or Particle Physics. This and not some hidden "more important" divine reality that we should see by faith and include into making and teaching science in order to be satisfied that God exists.

When we look at reality through the eyes of faith we get a different view of reality than viewing reality in disbelief and rejection of God. But here exactly is the trap: people of religion, believers, tend to fall to the temptation of trying to make God's hand visible by digging somewhere under the reality in order to show to the unbelieving world that look here and you can see the divine reality, wisdom, design and planning.

No. This is it and nothing else under, above, beside it.

It is actually rather simple. You may praise the Lord for your eyesight, for the very useful thumbs, if they are still there in your left and right hands, for ballet dancers or footballers feet. Or you may not praise the Lord for anything. The eye, thumb, and foot are the reality of Creation. Science discovers amazing facts and useful details about God's handiwork in human body. But the whole, how everything in it fits together in harmony and how it functions even when severely disabled, remains a reality that man either thanks God for it or not.

This is it and no one can escape it.

No matter what the astronomer believes or does not believe and no matter whether or not the astrophysicist gives glory to the Creator, the highest level of scientific work is still and remains research on what God of Israel has made and the research reflects the deep thinking of the One, who speaks to all humanity through the Jewish people and their sacred books, Old and New Testament of the Bible. The Word of God. So we believe.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tear in Andromeda's spiral

Andromeda, Spiral Galaxy M81
Image: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope;
Processing & Copyright: Roberto Colombari & Robert Gendler
If you look at the outer spiral above the galactic center you clearly see a tear in this magnificent island of stars. Astronomers explain it as the result of a galactic collision where a smaller galaxy in the Local Group caused the break of the spiral.

Study of space depends on what we humans can see at various wavelengths of light using our optical and other instruments. Hubble Space Telescope has raised the level of imagery and information the photos reveal to observes to an entirely new level.

For other details in this portrait of Andromeda check the explanation given for this photo in the APOD site.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Philae has landed

Philae lander.
Image: European Space Agency ESA

Congratulations ESA ... and humanity!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fetus and Cosmos

Human fetus and placenta. 3 months old
image wikimedia

Modern sciences can describe in great detail with the help of powerful electron microscopes, systematic observation and even pathological examination the evolution of a human fetus from the moment of conception to the birth of a little boy or girl.

This descriptive approach is very efficient and helps humanity in fighting fetus deformation, miscarriages, infertility of one or both of the parents and in guaranteeing optimal growth environment for the fetus.

However, while knowing much about the how science is unable to answer the question why all this happens in mother's womb during those nine months of pregnancy.

The Biblical writer had no knowledge of the microbiological cellular processes modern medical research excels in studying and exposing. But with the Psalmist we can still sincerely share his poetic wonderment of the depth of God's creative powers and wisdom as seen in the scientific study of His handiwork, evolution of the human embryo.
For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:13 - 14 ESV

Title card of the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey TV series 2014
National Geographic
Likewise, modern sciences can describe in great detail with the help of powerful telescopes, systematic observation, theoretical physics and high mathematics the evolution of Cosmos from the moment of its known beginning to the Universe in which we live today.

This descriptive approach is very effective and besides increasing our knowledge and answering fundamental questions about reality it helps humanity in numerous ways to better survive on this planet and to use its resources for maximum benefit. (Of course, space sciences have a significant role also in self-defense of the nations on Earth against the aggression of other nations.)

However, while knowing much about the how science is unable to answer the question why all this happens from nothing to the wonderful world full of complex life of which our brains are integral part.*

The Biblical writer had no knowledge of the macrocosm or the vastness of deep space we have only recently learned to know using constantly improving scientific observation instruments and advanced methods of space exploration. But with the Psalmist we can still sincerely share his poetic wonderment of the depth of God's creative powers and wisdom as seen in the scientific study of His handiwork, evolution of the Cosmos.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you..
Psalm 139:17 - 18 ESV
Why it is so difficult to give glory to God of Israel?

Is it because of the some times violently obscurantist behavior of His believers?

* "It just happened" does not count to me as a scientific, theological or philosophical answer but rather just an empty observation of what is.

Monday, November 10, 2014

WYSIWG - Cat's Eye Nebula

Cat's Eye Nebula. Sharpened Hubble image.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get - is only part of the picture.

IDWIL - It Depends on Who Is Looking!

Galileo Galilei made his own telescope fitting his eye sight. The men of church who dared to look at the same optical instrument did not necessarily see what he did because the lenses made by Galileo may have not given them clear view. Definitely, their sight was also affected by strong brain waves of how the world must look like according to the Bible and true religion.

There probably were many who made those simple telescopes invented at the beginning of the 17th century in Netherlands. But they did not understand what they saw.

The spectacular photograph from the wonderful APOD page is Astrophotography in all its glory. It gives today's astronomers a previously unimaginable amount of detailed information thanks to the astronomically expensive instrument, the Hubble space telescope.

Light is what we have and in this way scientists are making the most of it, enhancing color shades, sharpening details, focusing and pasting images over each other. The techniques are manifold.

Imagine, if a man or woman with Galileo's open eyes and open mind would have a chance to look at that image!

WYSIWYG indeed, with the note of IDWIL.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Everything out of nothing

The Galaxy in Orion's belt.
One of the great cosmic ideas in the movie Men in Black

This is a Space Theology bookmark to Robert Adler's BBC Earth article
  Why is there something rather than nothing?

The article explains modern cosmological theories in clear and interesting way to the larger public and raises jolly teasing questions about nothing and everything. The focus is especially on the work of Andrei Linde at Stanford University.

Robert Adler writes "At this point, making a universe looks almost easy".

Well... let's go ahead and try to play God!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Theologically significant view on Earth from a vantage point

Photo taken October 28 2014 from Chang'e 5-T1 spacecraft
Image Credit: Chinese National Space AdministrationXinhuanet
The Chinese robotic spacecraft has taken a truly iconic image and I am grateful to the professional astronomers in APOD for noticing it and calling our attention to the magnificent point of view.

As for Astrotheology:

God the Creator our Heavenly Father
The very first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, writes that in the beginning God created heaven and earth.

This verse implies that either God of Israel has created everything, including Earth, Sun, Moon, the entire Universe in which you and me exit or He has created nothing.

That is a fairly simple matter. A believer in One God, may he or she be a Jew, Christian or Muslim, accepts the Biblical revelation as a source of truthful information about how everything came into existence. A non-believer rejects that revelation and looks for other less religious answers in the ultimately mathematical Laws of the Nature.

So what about Jesus Christ?
The majestic image raises another matter that is significantly more complex.  Already from the little distance of one light second that separates moon from Earth, the relative size of our planet is considerably diminished. Take a few light minutes more distance and you can hardly see the Blue Marble. Anyone further away than that must use highly sophisticated observation methods in order to know that there are planets orbiting the Sun.

As long as we Christians have lived in the Geocentric world of old so easily understood and observable to us humans, there has been no problem calling Him the Lord.

But any Christian immersed into the depths and distances of outer space must ask himself or herself what it means that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in shall be saved (John 3:16)

What world? Did Jesus atone for the sins of the entire Universe on this little distant planet in one of the wings of the Milky Way?

Some Christians are so deep into the Geocentric world even they know the facts of modern Cosmology that they see Cosmic Christ on the cross. We have been talking about this matter in many previous blog texts.

Personally, I have learned from the Church and believed that Jesus Christ is totally human, He is thus Le Petite Prince who was born as a human - not as a humanoid - and whom Father has made the King of the Kings and the Lord of the Lords. On this planet. In the same time, Jesus Christ is totally divine and thus through Him the entire Cosmos and everything that is in it has been created.

Go figure...

Bible is a Geocentric, Anthropocentric and Christ-centric collection of books. And yet, it contains matters that reach beyond those limits talking about a God who calls each and every star in the Universe by name.

Go figure...