Photo: Egil Sjoholt
“Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul…” (1971) Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) Composed and recorded by: Don McLean
Some time ago, in my childhood, I fell in love with the full moon. In fact, recently we just observed what is called the Harvest Moon. It was beautiful as I wallowed in its rays through the blinds of the bedroom window washing across the bed sheets. Moreover, I love the wintry full moon glazing the virgin snow as it ricochets off the sparkling surface, lighting up every corner of the thick darkened wood. All in all, it is the light from the full moon which brings the awe and wonder to the world of evening. No manufactured light bulb has yet been able to come close to matching its tone. Isn’t it amazing what the reflective lunar surface can do with the sunbeams vacant from our direct view?
Photo: Pixabay via Pexels.com
Not long ago I was flipping through TV channels from my remote and stumbled upon a well-done documentary on The Discovery Channel. Although the title of the documentary slips my mind, the main focus had to do with the mysteries surrounding the black holes in space which vacuums up all matter within its vast reach. It’s all so terrifying, yet an awe of it moves me. It truly is a fascinating study. In another life, (Using another brain, obviously.) I would’ve been an astrophysicist, or maybe a NASA scientist. Space has always taken my heart with its truths marrying my imagination. But alas, I am a frustrated, amateur star-gazer with a cheap telescope on a tripod.
Not ten minutes into the program, I realized I had been caught-up in a mini-series of astronomical documentaries. To this day I am unsure how many episodes I missed, prior to the one I was currently enjoying, but it only bothered me for about five seconds. My eyes and ears were glued to the screen.
At one point in the episode they began an “attempt” to explain black holes. (The theory is, stellar black holes are believed to be imploded stars, causing a supernova, resulting in exploding bits of the star spewing into the universe.) I say, “attempt” only because astrophysicists are learning something new as observation and research continues. The facts, much of what we know concerning deep space, are mostly based upon conjecture, tied with what the world’s telescopes can currently reach. Often times, scientists have to rewrite theories as new technology aids in ongoing research. The numerous revision levels of textbooks can attest.
With that said, we also know there is much in the factual realm of investigations being done as hard evidence assists past texts of studies in Theoretical Astronomy. This is why you often hear narrators reading from the script’s carefully written sentences which begin with, “Some scientists believe…” or, “It is a widely held hypothesis that…” or, “Many in the field of astrophysics feel that…” They’re wise to construct the text in this way if the facts haven’t come together for complete conclusions by way of the updated evidence. Unfortunately, too many educators, and textbooks, avoid the word “theory” as subjects are prematurely considered fact. Yet, as stated prior, there are some factual pieces of evidence that can be eye-opening. I have an example from this particular documentary that I want to share with you.
Buckle-up. I am a creationist. There are “Young Earth Creationists”, as well as, “Old Earth Creationists”. Here I will not take time to explain the differences due to their heavy and long definitions. As for my view, I am not settled in either camp just yet. God invites the thinker to join Him in reasoning together. (Isaiah 1:18) And because He is so understanding and generous, I have taken Him up on it. I am not one who plugs up his ears to other leanings of school of thought. I want to know what is being taught. To see where others bake their ideas is truly helpful in unpacking belief systems for understanding and points of reference. I enjoy finding why and how people base their faith and casual beliefs. Frankly, when I do, it strengthens my personal faith. All of that to say, I come from a biblical world view, which includes the book of B’reshith (in Hebrew) or Genesis, when translated from the Greek. It literally means ‘The origins of…” or “Beginnings of (before time…)” Without the celestial bodies, clocks would not exist.
An astronomer was being interviewed in this documentary concerning the sequence of events starting with the “Big Bang”. For those who may not have studied the Big Bang Theory, here it is in condensed form. At some point when there was nothing but vacant velvet black in what we now call “space”, an explosion occurred. It was massive, beyond human experience. In fact it is described as gargantuan, so much so, we have no device to measure the cataclysmic force of this mysterious ejecting of rock, gases, and magma. The hypothesis dictates it was less than a split second ordeal. Literally the detonation was quicker than the sparkle in your eye.
Cosmology has yet to be able to explain where the original material came from in the Big Bang, or how the ignition of the cosmic blast started, or where the interstellar force of energy came from. If I light a fuse to a stick of dynamite I must have purchased it from a dealer. The dealer, most likely, purchased it from a whole-seller. The whole-seller purchased bulk dynamite from a manufacturer. The manufacturer purchased paper, cardboard, caps, fuses, and blasting powder from other OEM’s, Those OEM’s produced their materials from various sources created from chemicals and minerals from the earth’s resources. This is one way crimes are solved as investigators follow the evidence left behind by the perpetrator of a bombing. Let’s not forget, I was the one lighting a fuse. It doesn’t light itself. In this case, if there was nothing prior to the blast, there should be nothing of origin creating it, from the energy to the materials. The biblical record has the answer to this.
For now, in the press conferences from the halls of the PHD’s in Astronomy, it simply is a mystery unexplained. Scientists assumes the “Big Bang” was the B’reshith, the beginning before time. That is because honest, vetted scientific theoretics will not travel past it.
According to what we have discovered thus far, through this cosmic vehicle, the vast universe was born. The immenseness is such that even with the technology we have, we still cannot discover the edge of it (the universe). Picture a pea-sized Styrofoam sphere being dropped in the middle of the Pacific. That is just a snapshot of thoughts harnessed to explain the earth inside the universe as we now know it to be.
The interview with this scientist continued as he described the darkness of the universe as the planets took their orbits and rotations. Here I will attempt to write his exact words which punched me right in the gut. He said something like, “After the Big Bang, there was what we call the ‘Dark Age’ in space. Nobody can truly calculate how long this ‘Dark Age’ existed. At some point, SOMETHING caused light. Stars began to shine, gas giants were then showing their colors, quasars, etc.” I WAS STUNNED! I almost choked on my popcorn. I don’t recall hearing about this Dark Age in the creation of space when I was in school, then again in those days the Big Bag Theory was still being debated among scientists from dark smoky rooms. Astrophysicists made the first public announcement about the evidence of the Big Bang in April of 1992 based upon new images and digital measurements by way of satellite telescope technology. It was an enormous jump in discovery.
So often archaeology, biology, oceanography, and geology reveals new discoveries which either match or align with various biblical text. Narratives begin to change as new discoveries are being made all the time now, much of which never make it to print from major news outlets. The same is true concerning selective discoveries in space. The above spells out two of them.
After a major explosion is detonated by the hands of intention, an alert rings out in the departments of serious investigators. A modern-day Sherlock Holmes would tell Mr. Watson to follow the source of the power and the design at ground-zero. Usually the result would be the arrest of the actor involved in such a crime scene. Although my faith has found its resting place, I do want to follow the evidence which leads to the culprit.
“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.” – Psalm 19:1-2 (ESV)
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” – Hebrews 11:3 (NIV)
The Big Bang, The Dark Age, and the universe lighting up from darkness is documented in the Genesis account. Follow me on this. Read the text itself.
According to the original Hebrew text, in Genesis 1:1 , there was an instant where the vast universe was put into place. One theologian and scribe described it as a “Flinging of elements”. This “flinging” was done in an instant, just as described in the reveal from 1992 of the Big Bang. Unlike someone detonating a boulder in the Arizona wilderness, with all its chaos, with all various fragments of shapes and sizes just laying still in all different directions, the opposite took place. When this Big Bang spewed, to layout the cosmos, its heavenly spheres began to rotate, revolve and align in a clockwork sequence with precision which continues to this day. You can set your watch by it…oh, yeah, we do.
Genesis 1: 2 describes the darkness, even on our own planet covered in H2O only.
Genesis 1:3 is curious. In reading the account in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, there are sections of summery which can trip you up if not careful with the context.
“Let there be light”, He said. Thus, even God testifies to what we call the “Dark Age” of space. This is a mysterious light. Some creationists believe this was an illumination from “outside” of the newly created universal arena, since the Designer came from outside His creation project. Think of it as someone sitting at a brightly lit table building a miniature model of a ship inside a dry bottle. Light appeared, but the sun had yet to be a factor.
Genesis 1: 14-18 describes the universal “Dark Age” ending for the expanse as God applied lights from the celestial subjects themselves from earth’s perspective. According to the account, He then created them to dictate times and seasons for earth, just as we know them today. An example would be the North Star, which has guided travelers and ship captains since the dawn of migration. It’s the one star you can count on for true north. It’s always there for you and your compass.
Imagine an ant looking up at the Empire State Building and claiming to know how it was built. And so the astronomer, from the documentary, would clearly state, “…there was what we call the ‘Dark Age’ in space. Nobody can calculate how long this ‘Dark Age’ existed. At some point, SOMETHING caused light…”
So, yes, Vincent van Gogh, paint your Starry Night. When artistically falling short of it, one can turn mad if not filled with fuel for the race.
“He counts the number of the stars and he calls all of them by names. Great is our Lord and he is strong in his power and there is no end to his understanding.” Psalms 147: 4-5 (Aramaic Bible Translation Into Plain English)