With this issue we conclude the three-part article about time. This issue’s article is the one that was presented at the Third International Conference on Absolutes in July. Although highly technical, even for The Biblical Astronomer, the article attempts to tackle one of the most difficult problems in cosmology. Current models of space and time have two possible types of solutions. The first type is the easiest to solve; that is, that the events that happen by chance split the universe into a set of parallel universes. That is the most popular model because it ignores the existence of God and is mathematically the simplest. The other, much more difficult solution is a single universe solution, where chance events have unique outcomes and the universe does not split into parallel universes. This is the solution approached in this paper, one that allows for God and yet also allows for chance, as per Ecclesiastes 9:11 which says,
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
This unique solution presupposes that all events are recorded as they come to pass. That the act of recording a chance event “decides” the outcome of that chance event has long been known to quantum mechanics, and it is that principle which leads to the unique universe solution. Of necessity, some of the article is speculative, but insofar as the author knows, it violates no principle of physics and most importantly, of all, it violates no scripture. It does take certain scriptures literally that hitherto have been assumed figurative or puzzling. For instance, “they that depart from me shall be written in the earth” (Jeremiah17:13b) states that those that depart from the Lord will be recorded in the earth. The unique solution brings a literal sense to what is easily dismissed as figurative language.
One thing promised in the first article was not delivered in this, the third article, and that is a detailed exposition of the Energy-time Uncertainty Principle. It is the foundation upon which the physics of the current article is built, but only those aspects necessary for the present article are mentioned and used.
I must also reiterate something about technical articles to the non-technical reader. It is not necessary to understand or to follow the equations presented. Their presentation is for the 5% of our readers who can follow the derivations. The text after each equation will state in English what the equation says in the language of mathematics. It does help to have taken high school physics and an introductory astronomy course, but it is not necessary. Thus the equations can be skipped without loss of understanding.
The Star of Bethlehem
On a lighter, far less technical level, we have the first of two articles on the Star of Bethlehem. The paper in this issue presents the “what” of the star. It presents the signs in heaven that preceded the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and examines the nature of the star. As in past articles, we cannot shake the conclusion that the star the wise men saw in the east, which is the same star that led them to Bethlehem, was the angel of the Lord. Yet the stars were given for signs and for seasons (Genesis 1:14), so we cannot dismiss the celestial pageantry heralding the Lord’s birth either, even though none of the participants in that pageantry is itself the Star of Bethlehem. The paper also examines the effect that the pageantry had on the peoples of Rome, Persia, and Judea.
The second paper, which D.V., we will print in the next issue of the Astronomer, will deal with the “when” of the star, the birth of Christ. It will do so by working forward and backwards in time from Scriptural and historical records. Again, we will take Scripture as our final authority.
Eating Toxic Waste
From time to time we have dealt with pollution and responsible ways of responding to environmentalists’ woes. In this issue’s “Panorama,” we present extremophiles, living creatures that live under extreme conditions and remove certain dangerous elements from the environment by depositing them in a non-toxic form.
“Panorama” also presents another problem that NASA has to solve before we can colonize the moon. This problem is another dusty one. We have all seen the moon’s terminator, the dividing line between night and day. What we do not see is a stream of dust that flows along the terminator from pole to pole. Electronic and sensitive mechanical devices caught in that stream of dust will soon be clogged and rendered useless. The earth is a special place, a safe haven for man. So far, we have not seen any other place, anywhere in creation, that will accommodate man without some serious protective gear, not even our oceans nor in the crust of the earth.