9 – Astronomy and Academia
Astronomical science is in its early stages. We might compare this to the time when the paleontological science about fossils and prehistoric life was little understood. The early proclamations from this branch of science assured the world that the age of dinosaurs ended 70 million years ago. Now there exists evidence of all kinds to prove, quite easily, that the fossils were creatures from the pre-Flood Age that were entombed in the sediments as a result of that great cataclysm, an event which took place only a few thousand years ago. (See Posts 2A-D and 3A-D in Retrieving Our Lost Heritage.)
And it is the same story regarding various other evolutionary speculations: the origin of life, diversification of species, multiple ice ages, ape-men, and so on. (These were outlined in Post 6). Over the last 70 years or so, the supposed evidences brought up since the mid-1800’s against the Genesis account have been thoroughly researched and put in their proper place by honest and unbiased scientists. Their investigations have never failed to de-bunk the seeming problems and find intriguing and sensible solutions to these mysteries about our origins. And numerous scientific studies on these issues are available online. (See Footnote.)
And it is much the same in the realm of astronomy. Premature proclamations about the origin of the cosmos are broadcasted constantly. While sounding like unquestionable truth, these pronouncements are little more than flimsy speculation, or in many cases based on non-existent evidence.
There is no other arena of physical science besides evolutionary cosmogony which would tolerate such a continual appeal to newer and newer hypothetical inventions as a means of bridging the gap between observation and theory.
I am reminded of the quote by the Russian Nobel Prize-winning physicist Lev Landau: “Cosmologists are often wrong, but never in doubt.”
Cosmology is not an exact science. While most scientists use laboratory error factors measured at 0.00000001% (1 part in 1010) or less; cosmologists and cosmogonists are happy with error factors of 100% (1 part in 2).
(from “The Decay in the Speed of Light and the truth about Red Shift” by Grady McMurtry, 4 April 2020)
Several theories in astronomical science seem to wither away upon investigation. Phenomena such as the Oort Cloud, dark matter, dark energy, ancient supernovas, exist only in theory. But why do scientists act as if they just “know” these things exist? It’s not because such stellar phenomena have been observed; it’s because the “theory” (mindset about gradual evolution) demands their existence.
To conclude, there is no basis to the claim that the Genesis account is just a myth, even on this baffling issue of the mind-boggling magnitude of the universe and starlight reaching Earth. It puzzles many these days and seems to be a more recent thrust by the forces of spiritual Darkness to cast doubt on the truth of the Genesis account. But the issue is becoming less puzzling as our knowledge grows and matures.
Despite its air of certainty, astronomical science has only a dim understanding about the mechanics of the cosmos. Human nature enjoys leaving an impression of brilliance in the minds of others. And this may be why astronomers’ speculations have had an odd way of becoming fact in the minds of the public.
This might be amusing were it not for the fact that we are losing our appreciation for “the heavens. . . the skies”, which are supposed to “declare the glory of God” and “proclaim the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19:1, NIV) The cosmos is the “work of His hands”. It didn’t come together by itself. The cosmos is God’s way of reminding us of His awesome grandeur and power. How sad in our modern day that we are losing that wonder and appreciation of what the Almighty has done.
Our difficulty nowadays stems from the fact that our cultural and educational heritage has convinced us that the universe is eternal, or at least has been around for untold millions and billions of years as Earth and its life forms slowly came into being. For the world of academia, it is essential to promote this idea. . . because there is so much that is unexplainable in gradual evolution theory. Thus, it’s handy to encourage the belief in great long ages of prehistory – because, of course, the presumption is, if there’s “so much time”, why then anything can happen.
And furthermore, there is too much at stake – the ominous possibility that, without evolution doctrine firmly entrenched in our educational institutions, what would become of the research grants, reputations, and mental frameworks will be at risk of getting shattered? Academia thrives on the complexity involved in the search for naturalistic explanations, and it would be too painful to have to surrender to simpler explanations based on the supernatural. So, for whatever can’t be explained logically, or tested, academia defaults to the magic formula of “so much time” – a handy escape route to avoid having to admit they don’t know the answers or that the answer requires a supernatural solution.
“They did not like to retain God in their knowledge,” as Romans 1:28 puts it (NKJV). It takes an attitude of humility and reverence before God to acknowledge the hand of God in fashioning the environment He has made for us to live in. It is truly sad that so much academic effort has been wasted in futile attempts to explain the formation of the natural world in ways that avoid acknowledging the role of the Almighty. How much more we could learn and appreciate about our ancient heritage if scientists and historians would only look through the lens of Divine origin.
True enough, it is difficult for our minds to conceive of how God could have made a universe of such mind-boggling magnitude or caused starlight to arrive on Earth in just a split-second of our time. But if we understand that God dwells outside and beyond the boundaries of time, space, and matter, then at least we know that He is capable of doing it. The trouble is, we humans tend to under-estimate the power of the Almighty and forget that He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent.
Perhaps we might compare the present situation to how it was in Galileo’s or Copernicus’ time. Those scientists were trying to explain that Earth was actually a sphere that revolved around the sun. No one could believe that because Earth felt so solid and flat and enormous and so on. How could Earth be a sphere and not at the center of the cosmos?
Nowadays, the situation has reversed. Because we know the universe is so immensely vast, we have trouble believing that our planet can still be the central focus of God’s attention, or that the cosmos was put there to serve the human race “for times and for seasons and for days and for years”, or that our galaxy might actually be the physical center of the universe. (More on that intriguing possibility ahead.)