Articles » Astronomy
Nothing New Under the Sun
Ever since the efforts of mankind at the tower of Babel, when the people sought to construct their own society based on their own agenda, the search for the perfect man-devised society has continued through the centuries. Indeed, since the advent of Enlightenment thinking in Europe in the eighteenth century, secular mankind has placed a particularly high value on his ability, based on reason alone, to find solutions to social problems. Recently we saw an example of this attitude in the pronouncements of Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. This man is the philosophical successor of Carl Sagan who declared: “The universe is all there is, or was, or ever will be” (in his famous Cosmos series on the history of the universe). More recently Dr. Tyson has hosted a remake of Sagan’s Cosmos series for public television. Read the rest of this entry »
Johann Kepler: The Founder of Modern Astronomy
German astronomer and mathematician Johann Kepler (1571 –1630) was a central figure in the 17th century scientific revolution. He was not only the founder of the physical astronomy discipline, “the first astrophysist,” and an outstanding scientist, he was also a committed Christian (Morris, 1998, p. 33; Gingerich, 1993, p. 305). Kepler is best known for discovering the three laws of planetary motion that provided a foundation for Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation (Dao, 2008, p. 8). The problem that motivated the discovery of his three laws was observational astronomy did not support the circular orbit belief, and Kepler was able to determine why. Read the rest of this entry »
Voyager I Finally Did It!
Launched in 1977, the two Voyager probes have seen some strange and unexpected sights as they cruised through our solar system. After passing the planets, the probes have continued outward towards the farthest reaches of the solar system. In the summer of 2012, Voyager I was now 18.2 billion km away from us, more than three times the distance between the sun and Pluto. The solar system however by definition consists not only of the planets, but of the volume in space to which the sun’s particles extend, or in other words the volume in space which is impacted by the sun. The question everybody was asking, was how long would it take Voyager I to leave the solar system and enter interstellar space? And what would Voyager find when it got to interstellar space? Read the rest of this entry »
Epitaph for a Maverick Astronomer
Astronomer Halton Arp (1924-2013) represents an excellent example of how mainstream scientists protect their favoured explanations against anyone, no matter how qualified or prestigious, who dares to question the majority position. We see how actual observations made by Arp and colleagues, were/are not allowed to call the Big Bang origins theory into question. Read the rest of this entry »
Creation Weekend: Inspiring and Fun
Not surprisingly, with an upbeat and exciting speaker, the audiences at our Creation Weekend sessions in October 2012 were large and enthusiastic. The final session ended with a standing ovation, which is most unusual for a lecture. So it was that David Coppedge of Santa Clarita, provided amazing illustrations, interesting information and profound insights. Read the rest of this entry »
Creation Weekend to feature David Coppedge!
October 26 and 27, 2012
David Coppedge is one man standing up against NASA, the American governments’ space exploration agency. Now that takes courage! Why would anyone undertake such a difficult task? Basically it is a fight for freedom of religion and for freedom to discuss intelligent design during social settings in the workplace. Read the rest of this entry »
Enthusiastic Reception for Dr. Jerry Bergman
CSAA’s featured speaker for Creation Weekend 2011 was well known creation apologist Dr. Jerry Bergman. Large numbers of people came to hear one or more of his lectures and all declared themselves delighted with his genial, non-confrontational manner and his interesting material. In that Dr. Bergman’s area of expertise is biology, chemistry and medical anatomy, the issues he discussed were quite different from the geological topics which we have considered in recent years. This material demonstrated anew that the issue of creation is broad and encompasses all aspects of nature. Read the rest of this entry »
Do You Want to Think More Clearly?
Jason Lisle, Ph.D., graduated in astronomy from the University of Colorado. After years of experience in teaching and conducting research in solar astrophysics, he wrote Taking Back Astronomy: the Heavens Declare Creation (2006) which was aimed at junior high to adult readers. Now he has written The Ultimate Proof of Creation: resolving the origins debate (2009). Read the rest of this entry »
Why Smash the Model?
It is unusual in science to find most experts anxious to destroy the reigning paradigm. This however is the situation in physics where just about everyone is anxious to “break” the “frustratingly successful standard model” (Nature September 11/08 p. 156). This model “describes every known form of matter, from individual atoms to the farthest galaxies” (p. 156) and also three of the four fundamental forces in nature. The data to develop the Standard Model were collected from fancy particle smashing experiments. One might imagine that these scientists would be pleased with such a successful model, but they are not. The mathematics behind the model does not suit their philosophical assumptions. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s Great to be Special
It is normal to want to be unique isn’t it? Some people however don’t want to be special. Many astronomers do not like the idea that we live at a special time in the history of the universe or in an especially nice region of space. The reason many scientists do not like any suggestion of special conditions is because such conditions lead to questions about why we live at a special time or in a special place. Special conditions suggest that events are not determined by chance, but by something else such as the supernatural power of God. Many astronomers are most anxious to avoid such suggestions. Read the rest of this entry »
They Didn’t Need Pluto Anymore
It is easy to imagine the excitement astronomers felt when the telescope was invented early in the seventeenth century. Until that time, mankind’s observations had been confined to five bright planets, moving against a starry background. Nevertheless 150 more years passed until another planet was discovered. In England in 1781, German-born musician and telescope maker, Sir William Herschel, announced that he had discovered a new planet. This body was named Uranus after the most ancient of the Greek gods. Read the rest of this entry »
Watch That Speed Limit
One of the few laws strictly adhered to in modern physics is that the speed of light is, was, and ever shall be 300,000 kilometres per second. Light represents the fastest speed attainable by anything in the universe. It is the universe’s speed limit. Nothing can exceed it. Read the rest of this entry »
Don’t Believe the Hyperbole
It is easy to remind ourselves not to believe everything which is confidently declared as fact, but it is quite another to actually follow that good advice. How many generations of English students, for example, have memorized Shakespeare’s ominous declaration in Merchant of Venice: “All that glitters is not gold–/ Often have you heard that told.” (Act II Scene 7). Even today however, centuries after Shakespeare’s time, we all too often believe appearances, whether they be objects for sale or statements of scientific fact. Read the rest of this entry »
More Excitment from Cassini
As far as our solar system is concerned, astronomers have grown accustomed to expecting the unexpected. Certainly nobody expected liquid water spewing from a small moon of Saturn. Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s Celebrate Cassini
Have you ever skipped to the back of a story because you simply could not wait another minute to find out how it all ends? Planetary astronomers, in contrast, must be very patient people. Some of them have worked on a project for years, even decades before they ever begin to collect any information. The good news for curious and impatient people is that this is a particularly good time to learn new details about the planets. Read the rest of this entry »