Jun 01 2014

Mysteries of the Universe

Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 6:07 pm

From KHouse.Org [Archives 2.5.2007]


“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” - Hebrews 11:3 [show/hide]Hebrews 11:3 [3]By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (ESV)
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. In this case, “it” is what physicists call “dark matter.” They can’t see it, they can’t measure it (at least not directly), and they don’t know what it is made of. Yet scientists believe it constitutes over 90 percent of all the matter in the universe.

In an ambitious undertaking, scientists worldwide are spending billions of dollars with the hopes of being the first to uncover the secrets of dark matter and to prove the existence of the so-called God particle. Together these two mysteries represent the holy grail of astronomy and physics.

Dark Matter

The existence of dark matter was proposed in 1932 by astronomer Jan Oort, who measured the motions of nearby stars in our Milky Way relative to the galactic plane. He found that the mass of the plane must be more than the mass of the material that can be seen. A year later, Fritz Zwicky examined the dynamics of clusters of galaxies and found their movements similarly perplexing. Over the years, many spiral galaxies were observed and found to be swirling too fast to be held together by the gravitational pull of the visible stars. If extra mass were not there exerting a pull, some of the stars would be flung away because they were moving so fast. But they’re not. That is why some scientists describe dark matter as “the glue that holds the universe together.”

Astronomers cannot detect or measure dark matter directly because it emits no light or radiation - hence the name. Its existence is inferred from the gravitational effect it has on visible matter (such as stars and galaxies). There have been a number of conjectures regarding the nature of dark matter, but all of them have eluded any empirical validation. Meanwhile various new theories have emerged that seek to explain one of the most puzzling mysteries of our universe (see links below to learn more).

The God Particle

The Higgs boson, often called the God particle, is perhaps the most elusive element of particle physics. Like dark matter, scientists have yet to observe it, and cannot even prove that it exists.

The Standard Model in particle physics, which is often compared to the Periodic Table of Elements used by chemists, consists of 16 particles that make up all matter in the universe. The problem is that the Standard Model is not complete. So in the late 1960’s a physicist by the name of Peter Higgs proposed the existence of a particle that would somehow interact with every other subatomic particle to give them all mass. Since then, scientists have been scrambling to find the so-called God particle.

Physicists hope that future projects, like the purposed International Linear Collider will shed even more light on dark matter, dark energy, the existence of extra dimensions, and the fundamental nature of matter, energy, space and time. The International Linear Collider is an 8 billion dollar, 20-mile-long, underground laboratory. Scientists hope this massive particle accelerator, once built, will help them unlock the some of the best kept secrets in the universe. Until that happens, however, scientists must continue to trust in things unseen.

Without Excuse

Science, like religion, often requires us to take a leap of faith. Any scientist worth his salt must admit that despite centuries of scientific discovery and technological advances, most of our universe remains a mystery. There is so much we do not fully understand: from the basic building blocks of life to the mysterious particles that hold our entire universe together.

Every year new scientific discoveries are made. Many hope science will one day give us the answers to life’s most troubling questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Does God exist, and if He does, what is His nature? Since the time of the ancient Greek philosophers, the answers to these questions have been sought by examining the nature of the universe and its life forms. In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul made a remarkable statement regarding the relationship between our understanding of the universe and the existence and attributes of God. According to Paul, not only is the existence of God inexcusably evident, but the invisible attributes of God can also be discerned with an examination of creation:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20 [show/hide]Romans 1:18-20 God's Wrath on Unrighteousness [18]For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. [19]For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. [20]For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (ESV)
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
).”

To examine Paul’s argument in further detail, check out our briefing pack Beyond Perception or our series The Creator Beyond Time and Space.
Related Links:
• Dark Matter And God Particle Within Reach - Space Daily
• New VERITAS Telescope Array May Help Find ‘Dark Matter’ - YubaNet
• Search For Dark Matter Particles Moves Underground - Space Daily
• Mapping The Invisible - Space Daily
• A Bleak and Lonely Outlook for Universe - MSNBC
• The History of Dark Energy Goes Way, Way Back - Space
• Beyond Perception - MP3 Download - Koinonia House
• The Creator Beyond Time and Space Series on CD-ROM - Koinonia House
• Bible Study Resources: Creation and Evolution - Koinonia House
- From Koinonia House News Letter.

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Apr 19 2014

Will we be able to image ‘Earth’s twin’?

Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 6:23 pm

From American Thinker.Com

Rick Moran

Scientists have confirmed the discovery of an alien planet about the size of earth orbiting a red dwarf star 600 light years away in the habitable, or “Goldilocks” zone. The discovery was made by NASA’s now crippled Kepler Space Telescope.

This may prove to be one of the most profound discoveries in scientific history.

New York Times:

The planet, known as Kepler 186f, named after NASA’s Kepler planet-finding mission, which detected it, has a diameter of 8,700 miles, 10 percent wider than Earth, and its orbit lies within the “Goldilocks zone” of its star, Kepler 186 — not too hot, not too cold, where temperatures could allow for liquid water to flow at the surface, making it potentially hospitable for life.

“Kepler 186f is the first validated, Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star,” Elisa V. Quintana of the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., said at a news conference on Thursday. “It has the right size and is at the right distance to have properties similar to our home planet.”

Dr. Quintana is the lead author of a scientific paper describing the findings in this week’s issue of the journal Science. Kepler 186f is the latest planet to be sifted out of the voluminous data collected by Kepler, which kept watch over 150,000 stars, looking for slight drops in brightness when a planet passed in front.

How sensitive was Kepler’s photometer? If it was placed in New York city, it could detect the change in brightness of a Los Angeles searchlight as a moth passed in front of it. A truly remarkable robot explorer.

With its smaller size, Kepler 186f is more likely to have an Earth-like rocky surface, another step in astronomers’ quest for what might be called Earth 2.0.

“It’s a progression,” said another member of the discovery team, Thomas S. Barclay of the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute. “This planet really reminds us of Earth.”

The researchers speculate that it is made of the same stuff as Earth — iron, rock, ice, liquid water, although the relative amounts could be very different.

The gravity on Kepler 186f, too, is likely to be roughly the same as Earth’s. “You could far more easily imagine someone being able to go there and walk around on the surface,” Stephen Kane, an astronomer at San Francisco State University and another member of the research team, said in an interview.

Kepler 186f is not a perfect replica, however. It is closer to its star — a red dwarf that is smaller, cooler and fainter than our sun — than the Earth is to its; its year, the time to complete one orbit, is 130 days, not 365. It is also at the outer edge of the habitable zone, receiving less warmth, so perhaps more of its surface would freeze.

“Perhaps it’s more of an Earth cousin than an Earth twin,” Dr. Barclay said.

Sitting in the largest clean room in the world at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is another robot explorer that may be able to give us a closer look at Kepler 186F - if it ever gets off the ground.

The James Webb Space Telescope was designed to replace the aging Hubble telescope with the promise of even more spectacular images and discoveries. But the project is now massively over budget - due largely to ridiculous budget estimates in the first place - and a recent GAO report questions whether the prime contractor - Northrup - will be able to meet its launch date in 2018.

More than a decade after a prime contract was awarded for the development of the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor, NASA’s largest science project remains on shaky ground.

First, the good news: Program costs for the James Webb Space Telescope being developed by Northrop Grumman Corp. have remained stable for the last few years, ever since the project was rebalanced with a 78 percent increase to the cost estimate. That, of course, propelled total program costs to $8.83 billion, from a baseline estimate in 2009 of about $5 billion.

Unfortunately for Northrop, most of the budget increase was to accommodate ballooning development costs. Those went from $2.58 billion in 2009 to $6.19 billion with the 2011 rebalancing — a 140 percent change.

“Since the program re-plan in 2011, Northrop Grumman’s work on the James Webb Space Telescope continues to be on budget and remains on schedule to meet the 2018 launch date,” said Northrop spokesman Randy Belote.

The Government Accountability Office, however, isn’t so sure it will stay that way.

The watchdog agency’s annual assessment of major NASA programs, released Tuesday, highlighted a number of issues it identified earlier this year. Development of the cryocooler that cools one JWST instrument was delayed due to technical issues, upping contract costs. Development challenges have required Northrop to allocate a significant portion of its cost reserves, depleting the amount available for the next year. (Limited reserves could require work to be extended or deferred, the GAO noted, which was a contributing factor to the project’s prior performance issues.) And the program’s master schedule, culminating in a 2018 launch date — 52 months later than prior 2009 estimates — might still be a little too optimistic, in part because delivery of three subsystems tied to the program seem likely to fall behind.

All that translates to the potential for more delays and cost increases, which could trickle down through other NASA programs.

As an aside, the JWST will cost more than 10 times what it cost to build and operate Kepler. But the promise of being able to image planets that are hundreds of light years away is giving impetus to the drive to finish the telescope - and damn the cost.

It’s no way tro run a space agency and congress should have seriously considered terminating the program when it became clear it would cost almost double the original estimate. While no doubt a stunning technological achievement, poor planning and poor management led to unacceptable levels of overspending. There are 16 other nations involved in the JWST project, so at least some of the pain of cost overruns is shared. But most nations are contributing to the operation of the telescope, not its construction.

As much as most of us space fanatics would love to see the JWST in operation, this is one more instance of NASA not showing itself capable of turning ideas into reality. If Congress had been told the project would have cost the taxpayer nearly $9 billion (the original estimate was $5 billion), it is doubtful it would have received the support to begin construction.

Let’s hope it works as advertised. If it does, Kepler 186f will be one of its first targets in 2018.

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Mar 23 2014

Passover, Lunar Eclipses, and Mature Distant Galaxies

Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 5:20 pm

From KHouse.Org

A total lunar eclipse will mark the first day of Passover in North America this year, starting shortly before midnight on the West Coast and continuing through the early morning hours of April 15th. This eclipse will be nice and loud, a great big red moon completely blocked from the sun’s direct light by the earth’s umbral shadow. The eclipse will hit its max at 3:45 am in Washington D.C. and a quarter to midnight in Anchorage, Alaska.

Passover is primed for lunar eclipses because it always takes place on a full moon, but this year another total lunar eclipse also marks the beginning of Sukkot on October 8th in a rare bit of excitement. What’s more, the same astronomical pattern will take place next year as well, with full blood moons on both Passover and Sukkot in 2015.

It may be nothing to take to heart. Lunar eclipses come along a regular basis, usually between 2 and 4 times per year, and quite often they have fallen together on the first days of Passover and Sukkot (so conveniently spaced six months apart on full moons).

Much of the time, however, these are penumbral lunar eclipses in which the moon only passes through outer part of the Earth’s shadow. A penumbral lunar eclipse is not particularly noticeable because it merely dims the moon. During a partial lunar eclipse, the moon breaks into the inner, umbral shadow of the earth – a clearly visible event. A total lunar eclipse offers the best show, as the moon passes completely into the earth’s inner shadow and turns a dark “blood” red color.

2014 and 2015 are a bit special, however, because the lunar eclipses these years form a “tetrad” in which four lunar eclipses in a row are total eclipses. Tetrads are fairly rare, though they still take place several times per century. The last tetrad was in 2003. Tetrads that offer blood moons on both Passover and Sukkot have also taken place in the past, but not often. In fact, according to NASA’s catalog of lunar eclipses, this particular set of coincidences took place just twice in the 20th century, in 1949–1950 and in 1967–1968. The next will take place in 2032–2033.

The rabbis say that coincidence is not a kosher word, and perhaps there’s something significant about astronomical patterns. After all, the Magi did see the Messiah’s star in the east and came to worship the baby Jesus because of it. It’s noteworthy that David Ben-Gurion formed the first government of the new State of Israel on March 8, 1949 and Israel was admitted into the United Nations on May 11, 1949, marking international recognition of Israel as a state. During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel gained control of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. Israel has since relinquished control of the Sinai, Golan Heights and Gaza, but one wonders what lies in store for the little Jewish nation this year. Or in 2032… approximately 2000 years after Jesus’ resurrection.

Young Galaxies That Look Old

In other astronomical news, scientists are surprised to find relatively “young” galaxies deep in space looking much more mature than expected. Because the speed of light is finite (though very very fast), the deeper into space we look, the older the light we see coming our way. This means that directing our telescopes deep into space can be considered equivalent to gazing back in time.

In harsher humor, a meme on the Internet declares, “When you wish upon a star… you’re actually a few million years late according to astronomy. The star is dead. Just like your dreams.”

Astronomers hope that by studying distant galaxies, they can watch the formation of the young Universe, looking at the light from galaxies that may or may not even still exist.

Astronomers from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne Australia expressed surprise recently, because they discovered “young” galaxies from the early Universe already wearing their big boy pants. Working within an international team of scientists, the researchers found galaxies 12 billion light years away that contained up to 100 billion stars, much larger and more mature than expected. At that point, the Universe was expected to have developed only 1.6 billion years after the Big Bang, and the astronomers would have expected to see young, newly forming galaxies.

The mature galaxies were found at a record-breaking distance of 12 billion light years, seen when the Universe was just 1.6 billion years old. Their existence at such an early time raises new questions about what forced them to grow up so quickly. The galaxies were detected using near-infrared wavelengths, and the researchers found a lot of red, which indicates older and not newly-forming stars.

“Fifteen years ago they were predicted not to even exist within the cosmological model favoured at the time,” said Professor Karl Glazebrook, Director of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology. “In 2004 I wrote a paper on the discovery of such galaxies existing only three billion years after the Big Bang. Now, with improved technology we are pushing back to only 1.6 billion years, which is truly exciting.”

There are a variety of possible explanations for the unexpected results of the study. The red shift data may have been misinterpreted. The speed of light may have slowed down, and the ages of the galaxies may not be what the astronomers believe them to be. The explanation chosen by Macquarie University’s Dr Lee Spitler is a less volatile, however.

“While the Milky Way still forms new stars at a slow rate today, the galaxies we discovered must have formed very rapidly in a relatively ‘short’ time — roughly one billion years — with explosive rates of star-formation. These must have been several hundred times higher than in the Milky Way today,” Spitler said, according to Science Daily.

“This is the best evidence to date that these galaxies grew up in a hurry. People have reported ‘old’ galaxies before, but it was never clear until our data that they were actually ‘old.’ The excellent imaging products from the Magellan telescope allowed us to prove they are indeed ‘old.’”

We may be able to predict lunar eclipses and send men to the moon. Modern technology does an amazing job of allowing us to look through space and even back in time. But, the Universe still holds a wide variety of mysteries, and the future is a massive adventure waiting to be discovered.

Notes

  • Calendar For Year 1967 (Israel)
    — Time And Date
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    Jan 19 2014

    Alternatives to Elusive Dark Matter

    Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 1:37 pm

    From KHouse.Org

    The Universe is made up primarily of a mysterious substance called dark matter, a mesh, a spider web of space. That’s what popular science says, at least. Astrophysicists insist that dark matter is there; the indirect evidence is substantial. Yet, after multiple millions of dollars have been spent on trying to track down the actual physical particles that make up dark matter, science continues to come up empty. Maybe the astrophysicists need to try another approach in order to finally detect the elusive substance, or maybe they just need to adjust their current models about the nature of light, time, and the Universe itself.

    It all started with the spinning of distant galaxies. A Swiss astrophysicist named Fritz Zwicky postulated in the 1930s that invisible stuff he called “dunkle Materie” hid inside the galaxies he was studying, because they spun too fast to contain only the visible stars and gas he could account for. Scientists observe the same puzzling phenomenon today. Based on spectral line data, it appears that the outer rims of spiral galaxies are moving at the same rate as the insides of the galaxies – and that doesn’t make any sense. The galaxies should fly apart from spinning that fast.

    This problem caused Zwicky to hypothesize the existence of dunkle Materie—large amounts of invisible material that provide the gravitational pull to hold the galaxies together. It’s what physicists think dark matter is – neutral, uncharged particles that interact with visible material by massive gravitational force.

    There is also the matter of gravitational lensing. Starlight through space if often seen to bend and warp around unseen massive objects. The Hubble space telescope can often produce two or three images of the same galaxy in one single picture. The individual images may be different sizes but contain the same features, as though space were a hall of mirrors. As beams of light from the same galaxy bend around objects in space, they reach the earth from slightly different angles, giving the appearance of coming from different locations. Clumps of invisible dark matter between us and these galaxies are blamed for causing the distortions.

    Cosmologists have a variety of reasons for embracing the idea of dark matter. The problem is that its existence is inferred from physicists’ current interpretations of data; nobody has been able to directly detect the stuff yet. The physicists are confident that dark matter comes in the form of a particle, a weakly interactive massive particle (WIMP) that creates gravitational effects but otherwise ignores normal visible particles. The trick is to get it to get some WIMPs to show themselves by hitting visible matter into them and making them say, “Ow!”

    Rick Gaitskell of Brown University has been hunting for dark matter for 24 odd years and heads the team that turned on the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment in South Dakota. A mile underground in the Homestake Gold Mine, the LUX particle accelerator shoots xenon particles past ultra-sensitive detectors. If the xenon particles smack into one of these WIMPs, it should give off a little flash of electricity that the detectors can catch and record.

    So far, though, the LUX hasn’t found anything. Gaitskell told Popular Science this past autumn, “Every experiment has reported essentially negative results. No one even knows for sure if the d- stuff really exists.” If dark matter really does make up five-sixths of the matter in the Universe, it certainly does an excellent job of hiding itself.

    A Dark Herring

    Of course, dark matter may not exist after all. In his own PowerPoint slides on dark matter posted on the Brown University website, Gaitskell tells his students, “It has been a Problem in Cosmology that astrophysical assumptions often need to be made to interpret data/extra parameters.” It’s true. Scientists create models they use to interpret the information that space gives them. The models are based on certain assumptions, and if those assumptions are incorrect, the data gets interpreted wrongly.

    Possible Alternatives

    If dark matter is just an illusion, though, what is causing the observed phenomena? What does hold spinning spiral galaxies together and cause the bending of light through allegedly empty space?

    First of all, it is odd that so many spiral galaxies appear to have the same issue – the matter across their diameters all appear to be rotating at the same rate – all without flying apart. It may be that that the light information coming from them is interpreted incorrectly. The redshifts that are treated as a sort of Doppler effect – light appearing to lengthen as its source moves away from us – may have another explanation.

    In the 1970s, William Tifft at the University of Arizona noted that his redshift measurements didn’t show gradual, smooth shifting to the red. Instead, they were quantized – the measurements made small jumps as though going up a flight of stairs. Two astronomers from Scotland, Guthrie and Napier, tried to disprove Tiffts quantized redshift ideas in the 1990s, but they finally confirmed his results.

    Professor José Senovilla, Marc Mars and Raül Vera of the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, and University of Salamanca, Spain proposed in 2011 that the redshift isn’t caused by a Doppler shift but by the slowing of Time itself. Dark energy supposedly permeates the Universe, causing the outer edges of space to expand at an accelerating rate. That’s the wrong way to interpret the light wave data, suggest these scientists. Senovilla and Vera argue that the better explanation is the opposite, that Time has been slowing down and we see its effect in the apparent stretching of light waves. The light reaching the Hubble telescope from distant galaxies might not tell us as much about the rate the galaxies are spinning as about the nature of Time itself.

    The speed of light itself may be slowing. Physicists insist that light speed is a constant, but they may have made that determination prematurely. The speed of light may not be dropping very quickly, but a variety of papers have been written in the past several decades that suggest light speed is not a constant after all. Paul Davies, currently of Arizona State, argued in 2002 that the speed of light may be slowing down, and physicist Barry Setterfield has written extensively on the subject.

    Yves-Henri Sanejouand from the University of Nantes in France in 2010 showed a possible slowing of the speed of light by about 0.02–0.03 m/s per year. That’s not much, but it demonstrates the real possibility of a much faster speed of light in the past. “The constancy of the speed of light is one of the fundamental pillars of contemporary physics,” explains Sanejouand, “so the possibility that it may instead vary (even at a slow rate) has far reaching consequences (although mostly on the theoretical side).”

    It may also be that spiral galaxies haven’t had time to fly apart. If the speed of light has been slowing, methods for dating the age of the Universe might be way off. The age of the Universe itself may have been overestimated.

    While dark matter is credited with causing gravitational lensing, Anirudh Pradhan of Hindu P. G. College in India suggests that the observed bending of light might be caused by the refraction of light as it hits the gasses around various astronomical bodies. We see the refraction of light all the time in everyday life. The fisherman who goes to stab a fish in the water cannot aim directly at the image of the fish, because the light changes direction as it leaves the denser water and hits the less dense air. The refraction of light makes the fish look like it’s in a spot that it isn’t. The same thing can happen in space. As light shoots through the vacuum of space, it hits clouds of gasses that cause it to change direction so that when it reaches us, multiple images of various sizes are produced – and we can’t be certain of where they actually originated.

    The nature of the Universe is an involved mystery, a deep subject that requires a great deal more study. Yet, the hunt for dark matter highlights the importance of examining one’s assumptions in the pursuit of scientific truth. Assumptions are required to interpret data, but a great deal of time and money can be spent to prove incorrect interpretations when the underlying assumptions are faulty.

    Further Reading

  • Too Much Dark Matter in Galaxy Cluster? ‘Dark Core’ May Not Be So Dark After All
    — Science Daily
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    Apr 28 2013

    Space Age and Idolatry

    Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 11:50 am

    From KHouse.Org

    In his Commentary on Hosea (at chapter 2, verse 4), Chuck Missler mentions that “we have invented the most insulting “god” of all: random chance as our creator…” Dr. Missler is referring to the Theory of Evolution that was devised by Charles Darwin.

    A much-ignored quote from Darwin himself says, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” (Darwin, p. 191)

    At the time Darwin developed his theory, the scientific world knew little of the inner workings of the cell. An article on the CreationMoments.com website says:

    “In Darwin’s day, the cell was thought to be just a simple sac filled with jellied carbon. This concept is the origin of the term protoplasm. However, nearly 150 years of cell research has shown us that even protozoan and fungi cells are hugely complex. Today we know that even the simplest of these cells, eukaryotes, have an estimated 100,000 parts.”

    There is no doubt that Darwin would think again if he had this information, yet his theory has become the foundation of all that is believed and taught in the field of biology. Secular science has suppressed the truth of creation and follows the pattern described by Paul in Romans:

    “For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God himself has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him. Instead, their thoughts turned to worthless things, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Though claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images that looked like mortal human beings, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.” — Romans 1:18 [show/hide]Romans 1:18 God's Wrath on Unrighteousness [18]For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    –23, ISV

    As the complexities of the cell have been discovered, the response should be to see God’s work, glorify Him and give thanks. God shows Himself clearly as modern science has allowed us to see the invisible through microscopes, among other things.

    The choice, though, was made to reject God. Therefore the judgment of darkened hearts was pronounced upon secular scientists so that they could not see Him, no matter how obvious He was. Though they do indeed profess to be wise, they are fools. In the end they make idols out of created things.

    There is a new trend in idolatry that is making much headway in the academic world. In an article in Discovery News, Ray Villard reports that:

    Vladimir I. shCherbak of al-Farabi Kazakh National University of Kazakhstan, and Maxim A. Makukov of the Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute, hypothesize that an intelligent signal embedded in our genetic code would be a mathematical and semantic message that cannot be accounted for by Darwinian evolution. They call it “biological SETI.” What’s more, they argue that the scheme has much greater longevity and chance of detecting E.T. than a transient extraterrestrial radio transmission.

    Scientists have started waking up to the fact that Darwinian evolution cannot account for parts of our genetic code. This, of course, is an understatement, since Darwinian evolution also cannot account for any of our genetic code nor the cells that hold it.

    Villard goes on to quote his source saying, “Simple arrangements of the code reveal an ensemble of arithmetical and ideographical patterns of symbolic language.” In other words, there are more than just mathematical structures, but patterns of data that resemble language.

    Villard asks the question, “Could our genes have an intelligently designed ‘manufacturer’s stamp’ inside them, written eons ago elsewhere in our galaxy?” He has stated it as a rhetorical question; however the slightest knowledge of Scripture reveals the answer. Yes we do have a manufacturer’s stamp inside us written a long time ago by God.

    After a discussion in which Villard suggests aliens engineered humans and placed them here, he goes on to attempt to debunk the obvious answer: Intelligent Design (ID). He says “To date, ID has been nothing more than Biblical creationism in sheep’s clothing.” This logic is the pinnacle of Villard’s debunking and does not go far to prove any point.

    Ultimately he asks, “And, even if the genetic code is ultimately considered the handprint of an extraterrestrial grand designer, then who designed the designer?”

    Villard’s rhetorical question has a clear answer. Sadly Villard’s heart seems too dark to hear it. In Jeremiah 1:5 [show/hide]Jeremiah 1:5 [5]"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    , God tells the prophet, “I knew you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart for me before you were born …”

    Each of us does indeed have the mark of our maker, but that maker isn’t an alien race. The Maker is God Himself. Scientists like Ray Villard need prayer that God will humble them and give them no rest until they find rest in Jesus Christ.

    Related Links:

  • Is An Alien Message Embedded In Our Genetic Code? - Discovery News
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    Apr 21 2013

    Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe

    Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 5:43 pm

    From KHouse.Org

    “Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:”Isa 40:21 [show/hide]Isaiah 40:21 [21]Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    –22

  • Beyond Newton Briefing Pack - K-House Store
  • According to most astrophysicists, the Universe has been expanding since the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. Then, about the time the Earth was formed, that expansion got FASTER.

    Come again?

    Since the time of Edwin Hubble, cosmologists have believed the Universe to be inflating, speeding into the nothingness to make it somethingness. They expected that eventually gravity would pull the mass of the Universe back in toward itself, and the expansion would slow down, possibly collapsing back in on itself. In 1998, three supernova experts presented data that shocked the world of astronomers and physicists alike. In 2011, Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Riess won the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering what is believed to be the accelerating expansion of the Universe. The Universe isn’t getting slower in its race into the void, they concluded; it’s speeding up.

    It goes back to supernovae. A type Ia supernova is a super compact white dwarf star in a binary system with a red giant. Material from the red star is pulled onto the white dwarf until the highly dense star reaches a mass limit of about 1.4 solar masses (1.4 times the mass of our sun) and in a runaway thermonuclear reaction it just explodes. Because they blow up under the same conditions, type Ia supernovae reach about the same brightness each time, which means they can be used as “standard candles” for measuring distance. The brighter the supernovae, the closer the supernovae.

    There are other independent ways of measuring supernova distance as well, but Ia supernova at the same distances should be about the same brightness when they explode. So when Perlmutter, Schmidt, and Riess noticed dimmer-than-expected supernovae, they were puzzled. They told the world in 1998, “Um… these supernovae we’re seeing aren’t bright enough for their distances. Something’s odd here.”

    Perlmutter on one team, and Schmidt and Riess on another, independently found some 50 distant supernovae whose light reached Earth more weakly than anticipated. The scientists were expecting the expansion of the Universe to be slowing down, causing the supernovae to appear brighter. Instead, the light from the supernovae was fading. They concluded that the exploding stars had been carried away through space at an ever increasing velocity, along with the rest of their galaxies. In other words, it appeared that the Universe was accelerating.

    Then, in 2001, a supernovae 10 billion light years away – the farthest ever observed - once again disrupted expectations because it was determined to be too bright. This indicated that when that particular supernova exploded, the Universe was still slowing down..

    “Long ago, when the light left this distant supernova, the Universe appears to have been slowing down due to the mutual tug of all the mass in the Universe,” said Riess in 2001. “Billions of years later, when the light left more recent supernovae, the Universe had begun accelerating, stretching the expanse between galaxies and making objects in them appear dimmer.”

    What? How could that even work?

    Newtonian physics requires that in order for a mass to increase in velocity, force has to be added to it according to the equation F=ma. Force equals mass times acceleration. What could have happened that would have suddenly forced the Universe to expand more quickly? (Or make it appear as though it were expanding faster?)

    Right now, the culprit is called “dark energy.” It’s not a super villain, a cosmological nemesis of the superhero Quasar Man. No. It’s just energy nobody can see. Or prove directly. Astrophysicists have no clue what dark energy might be or what causes it, but its most important characteristic is its negative pressure evenly distributed in space. Dark energy supposedly accounts for 73 percent of the total energy density of the entire Universe. “Dark matter” accounts for another 23 percent, and boring matter made of regular old atoms we can detect makes up just 4 percent of the energy density.

    Of course, dark energy and dark matter are hypothetical. They are used to try to explain the data astronomers have been collecting, but nobody has any good answers. Saul Perlmutter writes, “The dark energy evinced by the accelerating cosmic expansion grants us almost no clues to its identity. Its tiny density and its feeble interactions presumably preclude identification in the laboratory. By construction, of course, it does affect the expansion rate of the Universe, and different dark-energy models imply different expansion rates in different epochs. So we must hunt for the fingerprints of dark energy in the fine details of the history of cosmic expansion.”

    Perlmutter states we cannot detect dark energy on Earth, presumably because of its “feeble” interactions, and yet it has the power to force galaxies to move at increasing rates through the cosmos?

    It may be that astrophysicists need to revamp their models. Perhaps they’ve missed something. Something important.

    The idea that the Universe is expanding it largely based on the red shift—the fact that light from deep in space shifts to the red. The same way that a motorcycle sounds deeper as it zooms away from us, the red waves—the longest waves of light—that reach us from supernovae cause most astronomers to assume that the sources of light are moving away from us. However, William Tifft in 1976 determined that the red shift was quantized, not continuous. If it were caused by stars moving away at high speeds, it should be continuous, not bundled in little packages. In the 1980s, Guthrie and Napier at the Edinburgh Observatory spent ten years challenging this view, and confirmed that Tifft was correct. There is also the potential that the speed of light has been slowing down, which we have touched on in previous articles [see the links below].

    At the same time, the term “stretching the heavens” appears at least 17 times in the Scriptures. According to the Scriptures, the heavens can be “torn” (Isa 64:1 [show/hide]Isaiah 64:1 [64:1]Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence--
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ); “worn out” like a garment (Ps 102:25 [show/hide]Psalm 102:25 [25]Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ) “shaken” (Heb 12:26 [show/hide]Hebrews 12:26 [26]At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ; Hag 2:6 [show/hide]Haggai 2:6 [6]For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ; Isa 13:13 [show/hide]Isaiah 13:13 [13]Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ); “burnt up” (2 Pet 3:12 [show/hide]2 Peter 3:12 [12]waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ); “split apart” like a scroll (Rev 6:14 [show/hide]Revelation 6:14 [14]The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ); “rolled up” like a mantle (Heb 1:12 [show/hide]Hebrews 1:12 [12]like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end."
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ); or a scroll (Isa 34:4 [show/hide]Isaiah 34:4 [4]All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    ) “Rolled up?”

    How can all the data best be reconciled? The astronomers and physicists and child prodigies are still working on it. In the meanwhile, we congratulate the Nobel Prize in Physics winners and their dedicated hard work in trying to hammer out the mysteries of the Universe.

    Related Links:

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    Apr 14 2013

    Groping in the Deep Dark

    Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 9:50 am

    From KHouse.Org

    It has been observed that science is no longer Science. This rather shocking statement seems very radical and inflammatory, but while it may be inflammatory, it isn’t radical.

    Over the last several decades, science has taken a grand “turn”. In the early years of science, there was an understanding that one had to be a rigorous slave to the systematic requirements of discovery. To “know” anything it had to be measured and tested, and then retested.

    Conclusions could only be drawn from what was ascertained, not only from testing but from the duplication of the results by independent sources. This would inhibit emotional and political biases from “sneaking” into the pool of what was understood as Truth at the time. Even then it was understood that one piece of new data could “turn over” their perspective in any given area, or possibly their entire world view.

    As measuring devises became more and more precise, more and more was discovered to be either outright wrong, or at least suspect. There was a certain humility built into the system. Somewhere in time, science changed from being an area of discovering to a religion dedicated to proving its dogma. Whether this was a result of cross-contamination from the involvement of the church, or a reaction to the realization that the universe (and consequently the data in it) was much more vast than anticipated, science drifted away from “theorizing-and-then-proving” to “proving-the-theory”.

    This may seem like a minor point, but it is one which can violate the very definition of science itself. SCIENCE requires conclusions to be drawn from hard (provable, see it to believe it) data. Now theories can be treated as if they are Laws. Then the task is to disprove the theory. No longer is hard data required—only consensus of the majority, the most influential, most political or wealthiest.

    This is present in our everyday discussions. Do we ever discuss the “Law of Evolution”? Even its proponents still refer to it as “the Theory of Evolution” while they militantly assure you that it is absolutely the foundational Truth. Any data that threatens any of its dogmas is attacked with accusations of biased, uneducated “opinions”. This is the true dominant religion of our time.

    Science is a system, and as with all systems, the systems can be in error without the parts, for the most part, having some devious agenda. Most scientists are well-meaning, hard-working, dedicated technicians. But, much like the persecutions that took place when rigorous science first started drawing conclusions that threatened the prevailing dogma, those trying to adhere to a conservative definition of science are being vilified, isolated and condemned within their disciplines.

    96% of the Universe

    There has been a problem for some time with the mathematics of the universe. For all to work within the current “theories” of a gravitational Universe there is a factor that is off by 96%. All of the visible matter in the Universe amounts to approximately 4% of what the math tells us should be there. With such a large discrepancy, there are two possible obvious explanations: 1) the missing 96% is there but can’t be seen, or 2) the underlying presuppositions of the math are wrong. Of course, we are told that the most likely explanation is that this 96% consists of “dark matter” (you can’t see it or measure it). And so, in a worldwide effort involving billions of dollars (and Euros, Yen, etc.) there has been a frantic attempt to find this unseen mass. After all the time and money spent, there really hasn’t been much in the way of hard data proof revealed. With the pressures of failure looming, they are now looking for secondary “effects” or by-product particles.

    About a year and a half ago, an “antimatter” (positron) detector in space started its search. Just this week the first results were released with excitement and hesitation. The excitement was that positrons were actually detected. The disappointment was that there is no fundamental understanding of the various sources of positrons.

    It is “theorized” that when dark matter particles collide, one of the resultant effects is the release of positrons. The difficulty is that Pulsars, a rotating super-dense star, emits positrons also. Our understanding of this release by pulsars is not fully understood.

    The only conclusion to be drawn so far is that there are positrons in space (which we already knew). The space-based detector has proved more sensitive than their terrestrial counterparts. But with no ground zero calculation on the “normal” background resulting from other sources, there is no hope of drawing any concrete conclusion on the existence of dark matter.

    Since we know that Pulsars emit positrons, it is more likely that they are the sources of the positrons recently detected. Since there is no evidence for dark matter, there must be another explanation in which the mathematics actually works.

    Of course there are other “theories” that could explain this mathematical discrepancy, but that would involve giving up some of our most engrained accepted “theories,” such as a gravitational-dependent universe, black holes (which have never really been seen, you know), fusion cycle in the stars, etc.

    As with all “revolutions” in science, it takes at least 50 years to discard one paradigm for a new one. There is always great social upheaval involved. Scientific edifices fall and others are raised up. As we build one “theory” on top of another, we are crawling further out on the limb. Be discerning about what you believe is true.

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  • The Dark Side of Matter - Euronews
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    Mar 23 2013

    Astronomers Gearing Up For Possible ‘Comet Of The Century’

    Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 12:08 pm

    From Fox News.Com

    Astronomers are already getting set for the arrival of Comet ISON, which may become one of the brightest comets ever seen when it cruises through the inner solar system this fall.

    NASA has brought together a small team of experts to organize an observing campaign for Comet ISON, which could potentially shine as brightly as the moon when it makes its closest pass by the sun in late November if the most optimistic scenarios play out.

    Coordinating the efforts of observatories on the ground and in space should help wring as much quality science as possible out of the comet’s solar flyby, Comet ISON Observing Campaign (CIOC) officials said.

    “It’s a rare opportunity that we’ve got such a long heads-up time, so we actually have time to organize a campaign like this,” said Karl Battams, a scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Lab in Washington and a member of the eight-person CIOC Team. “There’s a lot of new science that we could get from this.”

    Russian amateur astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok discovered Comet ISON in September 2012 after poring over photographs taken by a telescope run by the International Scientific Optical Network. Hence the comet’s official name, which is C/2012 S1 (ISON).

    ISON is a sungrazing comet, meaning its long, looping path through space takes it extremely close to our star. Indeed, ISON is forecast to zoom just 680,000 miles above the solar surface on its closest approach, which will take place on Nov. 28.

    Comet ISON could put on a spectacular show around this time, experts say, potentially glowing so brightly that it’s visible in the daytime sky. (The comet poses no impact threat to Earth.)

    Skywatchers aren’t the only people looking forward to the icy wanderer’s solar encounter. Astronomers are excited as well, for ISON’s flyby could give them a rare window into comet composition.

    “Sungrazers experience the most intense thermal and gravitational stresses of any comet. There’s a lot of sublimation of material that doesn’t normally sublimate,” Battams told SPACE.com. “Once [ISON] gets really close in to the sun, then we could start to see some of the composition that you wouldn’t normally get.”

    So Battams and his colleagues have contacted major ground-based observatories, raising awareness of the comet’s flyby and encouraging them to solicit ISON-observing proposals. The response has been warm, with telescope operators typically voicing enthusiasm about the campaign, Battams said.

    The CIOC crew has also reached out to some spacecraft mission teams, asking them to consider taking a look at the comet at some point. And a number of them are already on board.

    “Observing campaigns are planned by the SOHO, STEREO and SDO solar missions; by Spitzer, Chandra and Hubble space telescopes; and by the Deep Impact, JUNO, Mercury MESSENGER, Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter missions,” the CIOC website states.

    “Other missions at or on Mars are looking into observing ISON, as are a handful of other NASA Planetary missions. We welcome and encourage our international partners to contact us and join in the fun!”

    In fact, Deep Impact has already begun its ISON work. The NASA probe snapped its first photos of the comet in January.

    Sizzle or fizzle?
    There’s no guarantee that ISON will live up to the hype; it may fall apart before even making its closest solar approach. Comets are notoriously unpredictable and sometimes fizzle out despite great expectations, as Comet Kahoutek did in 1973.

    The wild-card factor with ISON is especially high, Battams said, since this is apparently the comet’s first trip through the inner solar system from the distant, icy Oort cloud.

    Astronomers and skywatchers probably won’t get a real sense of how the comet is going to behave until early August, when water ice should start sublimating in earnest, he added.

    But the CIOC Team is proceeding as if Comet ISON will put on a dazzling show, because that’s the scientifically prudent thing to do.

    “We have to go forward with optimism and prepare for something really special, something really spectacular, and hope that it happens,” Battams said. “If it does, we’re absolutely going to be in place to take an unprecedented and comprehensive set of observations of the comet.”

    - Prophecy News Watch.Com

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    Jan 13 2013

    The Long Night of Sennacherib - Mars’ Near Pass-by?

    Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 4:08 pm

    From KHouse.Org

    Mars’ Near Pass-by?

    The Long Night of Sennacherib

    by Dr. Chuck Missler

    Virtually all ancient calendars were initially based on a 360-day year: 12 months of 30 days each. However, all calendars change in 701 b.c.; they all resort to adjustments to accommodate the current sidereal reckoning. Why?

    There is a strange segment of history that is, apparently, so important that it is repeated three times in the Old Testament—2 Kings 18, 19, 20; 2 Chronicles 29, 30; and Isaiah 36, 37, 38, 39 (a unique historical parenthesis inserted in the prophecies of Isaiah). Why? Why did the Holy Spirit provide this unusual emphasis of these particular events? Are there some surprises hidden behind these details? These three passages (each) detail three unique miracles:

    1. The death angel slays 185,000 Assyrians (Isaiah 37:36–38);
    2. God heals Hezekiah and extends his life fifteen years (Isaiah 38:1–5);
    3. The sun retreats ten degrees on the sundial of Ahaz (Isaiah 38:7–8).

    The Long Night of Sennacherib

    Isaiah was the official prophet that served King Hezekiah. In general, Hezekiah did well: he tore down the idols throughout the land and reestablished worship to the true living God in Jerusalem. However, this was misunderstood by his enemies. The Assyrians were encamped against Jerusalem, encouraged by their soothsayers and astrologers. Hezekiah’s anxiety came from the imminent attack of the Assyrians, led by Sennacherib. The fears associated with the awesome power of the Assyrian Empire were justified: they were very powerful and relished in extreme brutalities upon their captives.

    However, Isaiah counseled Hezekiah that God was going to intervene and protect them. And He certainly did. On the Passover night of March 20, 701 b.c., the angel dramatically destroyed 185,000 (of an estimated 250,000) Assyrians.1 It is provocative—and perhaps quite insightful—that so many catastrophic events frequently occurred on the precise anniversary of the Passover of Egypt. This is suggestive of a cyclical (perhaps orbital) mechanism being employed. Could these events also bear a relationship to the drama that occurred on the fabled “long day” of Joshua? The subsequent behavior regarding Ahaz’s sundial is also suggestive of some “cosmological irregularities.” Could they all be related to orbital planetary intervention?

    Planetary Intervention

    Apparently the cyclical near pass-bys of the planet Mars (every 108 years) were a key factor in a significant series of catastrophic intrusions that ultimately resulted in Mars (“Ares,” or “Baal”) being worshipped (and universally feared) by the ancient cultures.2 These pass-bys were accompanied by, among other things, interplanetary lightning. (An aurora or electromagnetic flux tube can currently be observed between Jupiter and its innermost moon, Io.)

    Could an interplanetary flux tube have been an instrument of God’s intervention on behalf of Jerusalem? Could Sennacherib’s extensive iron weapons and chariots present been a distinguishing (electromagnetic) factor highlighting the vulnerability of the Assyrian warriors? Apparently, Sennacherib personally also suffered some strange burns, although his clothes were unscathed.3 This, too, is suggestive.

    Mars’ Near Pass-bys

    Mars’ Near Pass-bys

    Catastrophic Realities

    Virtually all ancient calendars were initially based on a 360-day year: 12 months of 30 days each.4 However, all calendars change in 701 b.c.; they all resort to adjustments to accommodate the current sidereal reckoning. Why? Something distinctive occurred that year, 701 b.c., to perturb the previous resonances. It is interesting to catalog the Biblically recorded catastrophes:

    Catastrophe Bible Ref. B.C.
    Flood of Noah Gen 6–8 Oct 2484
    Tower of Babel Gen 11 Oct 1944
    Sodom-Gomorrah Gen 19 Mar 1889
    Exodus from Egypt Exodus 12 Mar 1447
    Long Day of Joshua Joshua 10 Oct 1404
    Sisera’s Defeat Judges 5 Oct 1296
    Gideon’s Victory Judges 7 Mar 1241
    Philistine Defeat 1 Sam 7 Oct 1080
    Davidic Catastrophe 2 Sam 22 Oct 972
    Mt Carmel & Elijah 1 Kings 18 Oct 864
    Jonah-Joel-Amos Jonah 3f, et al. Oct 756
    Sennacherib’s Night Isa 37, 38 Mar 701

    The Long Day of Joshua apparently occurred on 1080th anniversary of the Flood of Noah, and the 540th anniversary of the Tower Babel event. The confrontation on Mount Carmel would occur on the 540th anniversary of the Long Day of Joshua. A careful study of the cyclic underpinnings, and the frequent multiples of 54 (or 108) years, supports the view involving orbital resonances with the planet Mars (with assists involving Jupiter and Saturn as well). The apparent role of the near pass-bys of the planet Mars is persuasive.

    A strange form of confirmation has also emerged from fictional literature: Jonathan Swift, in his political parody known as Gulliver’s Travels, has Gulliver, in his third voyage, encounter the astronomers in Laputa who brag that they know about the two moons of Mars while the astronomers in London don’t. (They even describe the sizes, periods and orbits of the two moons with disturbing precision.) What makes this documentation so startling is that Swift published his imaginative fiction in 1726, 151 years before these moons were discovered by the astronomical world!5

    It is assumed that Swift simply embroidered his colorful parody drawing upon an ancient legend of some sort, probably not realizing that it was, apparently, an actual eye-witness account long prior to the development of telescopic optics.6

    The Mars near pass-by in 701 b.c. was particularly distinctive in that, for orbital mechanics reasons, it stabilized both the Earth and Mars in their present non-resonant orbits, ending the disruptive pass-bys.

    The Roche Limit Factor

    The Roche limit is the distance within which a celestial body, held together only by its own gravity, will disintegrate due to a second celestial body’s tidal forces exceeding the first body’s gravitational self-attraction. Inside the Roche limit, orbiting material will tend to disperse and form rings, while outside the limit, material will tend to coalesce.

    It is suspected that it was the penetration of a Roche limit that led to the fragmentation resulting in the numerous asteroids now infiltrating the solar system, forming the rings around Saturn, and pockmarking the planet Mars.

    Yet, why are over 90% of the craters on Mars located in a single hemisphere? It would appear that the majority of them occurred in a single epoch of time. It has been suspected that if the fragments were composed of ice—a source of water—they could also account for the peculiar erosion evidences on Mars, and despite the current absence of water, perhaps they could have been an additional factor in the flood of Noah.

    Summary

    We are all victims of a form of uniformitarianism, a presumption that ignores observable evidences, and desperately requires reexamination. Even a casual review of the solar system reveals that it was once a very rough neighborhood. And its history is surprisingly well documented in ancient records. The diligent student will discover that behind the Biblical records lie surprises illuminating the realities of both the macrocosm and the microcosm of cosmological history, a drama indelibly written on the tapestry of what apparently is a holographic universe.7 We are having a grand time with our continuing current study of Isaiah. Come join us on www.KITrust.org. There are even bigger surprises in the chapters ahead.


    **NOTES**


    Notes

    1. Rabinnical sources: Shabbat 113b; Sanhedrin 94a; Jerome Is. 10:16; Tosefta-Targum 2 Kings 19:35 [show/hide]2 Kings 19:35 [35]And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. (ESV)
      This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
      ; Targum 2 Chron. 13:21 [show/hide]2 Chronicles 13:21 [21]But Abijah grew mighty. And he took fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. (ESV)
      This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
      . Also, Louis Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1928, Vol IV, p.269. “Their souls were burnt, though their garments remained.”
    2. Donald Patten, Ronald Hatch, and Loren Steinhauer, The Long Day of Joshua, Pacific Meridian Publishing Company, Seattle, Washington, 1973. Donald Patten, Catastrophism and the Old Testament, Pacific Meridian Publishing Company Seattle, WA 1988; Also, Patten, Donald, W., and Windsor, Samuel R., Recent Organization of the Solar System, Pacific Meridian Publishing Company, Seattle, Washington, 1995.
    3. LouisGinzberg, Legends of the Jews, Jewish Publication Society of America, 2nd Edition, 1938; Vol 2, p.1047, note 59.
    4. Ancient calendars featuring 360-day years include Arabia, Assyria, Babylonia, China, Egypt, Greece, Hebrews, India, Japan, Mexico, Persia, Peru.
    5. This strange corroboration is discussed in our Expositional Commentary on Joshua, and also in our summary survey, Learn the Bible in 24 Hours.
    6. The two moons are very small, and have an albedo (reflectivity) of less than 3% (almost black). The further observation is that one of them, Phobos, is the only moon in the solar system going backwards!
  • Read our materials on the “boundaries of our physical reality” to better appreciate and understand the Bible.
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    Jan 04 2012

    The Newest Beasts of the Earth

    Tag: Technical: Space-TimeSage @ 7:13 pm

    From KHouse.Org

    At the end of Planet of The Apes (1968), Charlton Heston and Linda Harrison trot down the beach, where they famously see the charred remains of the Statue of Liberty and realize that the planet the apes are ruling is actually Earth. In the 2011 reboot, biotech researchers have produced a genetically engineered virus that increases the intelligence of both humans and apes. A stronger version of the virus is lethal to humans, however, and has the potential to wipe out the world’s human population – answering the question of how future astronaut Charlton Heston eventually finds a post-apocalyptic Earth run by apes.

    Is there a virus capable of truly deleting the majority of humanity on the planet? Does a microscopic bug exist with the perfect combination of immune-system defiance, easy transmission, and a just-long enough incubation period for those infected to unwittingly pass it on before it kills them dead? Guaranteed, there are folks hunting for such a monster, and if they can’t find it in nature, they hope to build it.

    H5H1
    The bird flu strain that killed a 39-year-old Chinese bus driver on New Year’s Eve was not spread from human to human, according to a statement from China’s Shenzhen Disease Control Center. The recent infection, like ones that caused other human deaths by bird flu, came from contact with diseased poultry. “Though it is highly pathogenic to human beings, the virus can not spread among people,” said the statement. “There is no need for Shenzhen citizens to panic.”

    Researchers in Wisconsin and The Netherlands, however, have tweaked the genetic code of the H5H1 virus to make it airborne. Infected ferrets have spread the modified virus to each other, raising the uncomfortable possibility that it could be quickly transmitted between humans as well. The U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) stated on December 20 that the H5H1 researchers were free to publish the results of their study, but were not permitted to release a description of the process by which they produced the virulent new strain, except to a very trusted list of researchers.

    Should bioterrorists learn how to manufacture this deadly bug and release it into a targeted human audience, it is expected it would be wildly difficult to stop the ensuing pandemic. The H5H1 has a death rate of about 50 percent, 20 percent higher than that of smallpox fifty years ago.

    What would possess researchers to purposely develop an airborne version of a deadly disease?

    Flu viruses are notorious for their quick-mutating ways, which is why our immune systems have to adapt to the newest versions every year. The scientists at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been seeking to get a step up on this potentially vicious virus so that they can find ways to conquer it before it does show up naturally in the general population. Virologist Ron Fouchier at the Rotterdam lab was amazed to see how few genetic changes it took to develop the airborne version of H5H1. From Fouchier’s point of view, his work has helped the world appreciate how dangerous this virus truly is, encouraging countries with high rates of infection to take urgent steps to eradicate it.

    In fact, there are a number of scientists who resent the government’s effort to restrict access to this information. Knowing the steps the flu virus can take to reach airborne transmissibility could give those monitoring the bird flu the ability to recognize when it gets close to a pandemic form. It would give other labs the opportunity to further experiment and find ways to treat and prevent the spread of this potentially lethal virus. On the other hand, the more bird flu floating around, the greater the possibility it could get out.

    Bioterrorism:
    Bioterrorists do not need an airborne version of the bird flu to kill large numbers of people. There are plenty of easier, less expensive ways to do it. The ricin toxin or anthrax can be made in one’s shed and don’t require a sophisticated lab. Top of the line facilities are needed for purity and to avoid contamination. Bioterrorists, though, do not necessarily care whether their particular biological agent is contaminated. They’re not trying to get FDA approval, after all.

    The mechanisms of genetic engineering are no longer a big mystery, and even sophomores in high school biology can run experiments in which they add genes to bacteria. There’s plenty of potential for somebody out there to come up with a dangerous bug. What’s more, after the Soviet Union fell, those who were experts in biotechnology needed jobs, available to be hired by those who had the money and interest.

    Would-be bioterrorists do face a major hurdle if they want to infect the human population with a particularly destructive super bug; they need a working space where they themselves can be safe from whatever it is they are cooking up. An airborne virus is a dangerous pathogen to those who work in the lab where it is being developed, and enjoying biosafety of that caliber can get expensive and requires equipment that raises the sorts of red flags that the FBI and Homeland Security and Interpol like to look for.

    If a bioterrorist’s goal is to cause panic and gain attention, then the terrorist just needs to mail envelopes with white powder that could be anthrax… or… chalk dust. If the purpose is to harm an enemy, then an airborne virus is a poor weapon, since it can spread across borders to other countries not intended for abuse, including the terrorist’s home country.

    If, however, the bioterrorists’ goal is to cull the human population as a whole, then it would be ideal to use an easily transmitted and deadly virus like that offered in an airborne version of H5H1. If humanity itself is the terrorist’s enemy, then it doesn’t matter which international borders a pathogen crosses, or which tribes and nations are affected.

    Our Safety:
    In Revelation, we find the pale [chloros, green] horse as one of the four horsemen:

    And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. -Revelation 6:8 [show/hide]Revelation 6:8 [8]And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (ESV)
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.

    We usually infer that the “beasts of the earth” are of the four-footed kind; we rarely include in our perspective the possibility that they might be microbial. There are many passages that may take on a different complexion when viewed from the vantage point of the current technological revolution in genetics, and the potential Bibilical implications are provocative.

    In these uncertain times, more than ever we need to put all our trust and comfort and faith in the person of Jesus Christ and the love of a God who has all of our hairs numbered. Our job is not to fear, but to trust wholly in Him.  Whether dealing with deadly diseases or simply crossing the street, He is our true source of safety.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. (Psalm 91:5-10 [show/hide]Psalm 91:5-10 [5]You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, [6]nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. [7]A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. [8]You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. [9]Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place-- the Most High, who is my refuge-- [10]no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
    This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
    )

    Related Links:

    Variola Virus (Smallpox) - UPMC Biosecurity
    China: Bird Flu Death Not From Human-Human Spread - AP
    A Public Policy Expert Looks at the Bird Flu Threat - The New York Times
    Debate Persists on Deadly Flu Made Airborne - The New York Times
    Call To Censor Flu Studies Draws Fire - Nature

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