To Infinity and Beyond

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 16, 2016 10 comments

by Steve Risner

The universe is AWESOME! I generally reserve the word “awesome” for God or things related to/from God. I think this is a perfect occasion to use the term. The universe is absolutely breathtaking. I’ve been in love with the cosmos since I was a child. I’ve studied it. I’ve stared at it. I’ve wondered about it. Science in general is something I truly enjoy the study of, but one of my favorite college courses was in astronomy—the study of celestial bodies, space, and the universe in general. In fact, the course wasn’t required. I elected to take it. Today’s blog post is going to be sort of setting the stage for future posts. Today, we’ll be looking at some of the amazing things about our universe that we know, or at least think we know. The truth is, we’re on this little spec in the middle of an arm of the Milky Way galaxy looking out at something we truly cannot conceive in our minds—not even a little bit. What we “know” about the universe today is probably going to be laughed at in the future as we discover more and more, much like lobotomies for mental health or alchemy in chemistry.

It’s easy to look up at the stars at night and just get lost in awe and wonder. We’re looking at billions upon billions of huge fusion reactors that are melting the elements that can easily exceed 15 million degrees Celsius. Those numbers—billions upon billions and 15 million degrees Celsius—are far beyond anything my mind can wrap itself around. But that’s just our galaxy which is one of billions. Here we are about 93 million miles from the sun, our perfect little star, which again is a distance I can’t relate anything to in my experience. And at 93 million miles and through our thick atmosphere, we can still get burnt by this thing. Our sun could hold 1.3 million of our earths within it and earth is 25,000 miles around! The sun makes up 99.9% of the mass of our solar system. Even Jupiter, which is larger than all the other planets of our solar system combined, is 1/1000th the size of the sun. That blows my mind. And the sun is perfectly balanced for us on earth. In other words, it’s not too hot nor is it too cold. Combined with the rotation rate of the earth, we have the perfect scenario for maintaining a good life supporting system here on earth. If the earth spun a little slower, we’d freeze to death at night and burn up in the day. A little faster would likely increase the strength of severe weather (although this is highly debatable and nearly impossible to prove one way or the other). Life on earth depends on the sun. Plants use the sun to produce energy to thrive. Animals eat plants and other animals. Without the sun, the earth wouldn’t just be dark. It would be lifeless.

But our sun is one of billions in our galaxy, which is one of billions of galaxies we have seen. I firmly believe we have seen a fraction of the universe with the Hubble telescope. I also believe that the James Webb Space Telescope will see more than the Hubble but will still fall short of seeing all of this glorious place. Images from Hubble are astonishing. I could sit and look at them all day. From huge clusters of stars to enormous clusters of galaxies—yes, clusters of hundreds of galaxies each with billions of stars. Some of these galaxies are colliding with each other. Some are majestic and beautiful. Some are even rectangular! You can see the massive power held in a star as it explodes and expels gas and energy covering light years of space. What makes these stars go supernova is a mystery. In fact, the universe is full of mysteries. Even things we can look at and observe are often times totally baffling to us as human beings. We have pulsars—stars that emit a rhythmic pulse of light or radio frequency—which is essentially unexplained. There are quasars—quasi-stellar objects—which are totally confusing. They look like stars but are extremely bright and usually fairly remote in their locations. Black holes and their peculiarities are worth mentioning as are white holes (the opposite of a black hole). Gamma-ray bursts and cosmic rays are something we see quite often but have no idea where they originate. How do galaxies form? What forms first—stars, black holes, galaxies? We have no idea. How do solar systems come about? No clue. Sure, they’ve got stories to tell about how they think it could have happened, but in terms of our solar system especially, there is no reasonable idea as to its origin naturalistically. Our solar system is very special. I’ll probably get into that another time, but it’s clearly one of a kind.

Then there is dark matter and energy, which allegedly comprise some 95% of the universe although neither has ever been observed or has any directly measurable emission. Essentially, these are two things that have been made up to explain something we know very little about. Creationists are mocked quite often for saying, “Well, God did it” if we don’t understand something (which is not really true—that’s hardly ever an explanation offered) but the humanist is permitted to make up something out of thin air to explain a completely erroneous result and it’s okay. Dark matter and energy must exist because man has assumed he knows what he’s talking about and the numbers don’t add up. Why do these things exist? Because if they don’t, our equations don’t work. This is “science.” Now, in all honesty, I’m not saying these things can’t exist. I’m saying there is no evidence for their existence other than we don’t understand it otherwise. This is what scientists like to do to fill in gaps. If creationists do something even close to this, they are mocked and ridiculed. Sounds like a double standard, right? It is and always has been. It’s difficult to not name this pseudoscience because the bulk of their model—the Big Bang cosmology—is based on it. In fact, as stated, at least 95% of the universe must be this stuff we’ve never seen or interacted with. They appeal them so their model cannot be falsified, in my opinion.

This introductory post is just to whet your appetite. I love astronomy. I’ve spent many nights gazing at the stars, studying the planets, looking at photos of deep space, or reading about the wildest things we can see in the cosmos. These things do one thing in particular for me: they make me praise and glorify God for His masterfully and elegantly created universe. The visible universe is close to 100 billion light years across! A light year is nearly 6 trillion miles. Multiply that by 100 billion and that’s the depths to which we’ve peered into the night sky! That doesn’t compute for us in reality. The universe is filled with trillions of objects to view, from nebulae to planets to stars and comets to asteroids to quasars and pulsars and supernovae. At this point there’s literally no end to what we can view. The point of this masterpiece is to bring glory to God. All of creation has a purpose—to bring praise and glory to its Maker. A universe so unimaginably huge and so beautifully decorated is necessary or the God Who created it would not receive the glory He deserves. Does that make sense? Something so marvelous was necessary to adequately express the greatness of God. Carl Sagan foolishly stated, “The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.” The universe is exactly as God wanted it—the right size and everything. It screams of the majesty of its Creator. Its purpose is not to house millions of untold civilizations from galaxy to galaxy. Its purpose is to point man to his God. The size of the universe is absolutely necessary to explain to us the majesty, the depths, the glory, the brilliance, the wisdom, and the mystery of our great great God. We’ll be discussing some of these majestic things of the cosmos in the weeks to come. I hope you enjoy it as much as I know I will.

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ashleyhr said...

"Sounds like a double standard, right?"

I am aware that I am automatically censored and blacklisted whatever I might write, but Steve might wish to see comments by Christine Janis here dated 15 June:

Steve said...

good to hear from you. I appreciate you taking time to read my work. I've not heard from my biggest fan in a while.

More on Bob's work? I'm not really interested in discussing other sources of information you don't like. How about you discuss what I wrote or comment somewhere where your material is relevant.

As far as you "being censored and blacklisted whatever I might write" that is absolutely not the truth at all and I'm sure you understand it. If you comment with derogatory, inflammatory, or name calling, you comment cannot be published as it violates the rules of this forum. I am happy to post anything you write so long as it does not get disqualified by the rules. The rules are actually exceptionally simple and should really go without saying--be polite, be mature, don't name call, don't swear, etc etc. You know, act like a big person. Happy to post your comments. Keep them coming. And, again, thanks for commenting.

Piltdown Superman said...

Hi Steve,

I noticed that your biggest fan linked to libelous comments about me, and since this was done publicly, I felt I should give this reply. Also, this activity is an example of the bigger picture, where someone makes a hasty conclusion without examining the evidence, and also assuming the worst about another person.

Janis and friends are saying that I did something amazingly vapid: banned Janis, then unbanned her so I could claim she never was banned. The possibilities of system issues, Facebook being buggy again, her own errors — those are not considered, but ad hoc conspiracy "theories" are embraced. In this case, it became libel and subject to legal action.

As you continue your series, I expect that you will see what I have seen many times, how secularists will use the complex scientific principle of Making Stuff Up™ that has no evidential (or even logical) support. They take their "theories" and pass them along as if they were the result of serious research. For more on how secularists present unsubstantiated guesses as if they had done real work instead of finding excuses to cling to their fundamentally flawed worldview, I refer you to Dr. Coppedge's site at

Thanks for letting me reply to defamation and offer an observation.
-Cowboy Bob Sorensen

ashleyhr said...

I was referring above to Christine's comment of 15 June "When creationists and IDers are prepared to be held to the same standards as scientists — that is to present falsifiable hypotheses about specific predictions of creation and/or ID (not just complaints that evolution “can’t explain everything”), backed up by quantitative data, then they should be considered as equal players." Which is relevant to Steve's complaint about 'double standards'.

What on earth has that got to do with 'Cowboy' Bob Sorensen? (I seem to recall Christine mentioning his behaviour elsewhere in the same - lengthy - discussion. However I made NO reference to him whatsoever.)

Steve said...

Thank you for clarifying. I actually missed your specific reference to a date. My response was in regards to the fact that the first entry was all about Bob's page and her issues with him to which I have no interest in defending other people's actions or statements. Bob does a fine job of that on his own. You made no mention of Bob, but your link was about him (notice he commented above).

Peer review is a joke and I assume you're aware of the flaws in it. Many notable journals have even indicated submitting papers pro creation or pro ID will be rejected. This is, of course, regardless of their content.

There are plenty of falsifiable claims from the creation model. There are plenty of predictions of the creation model. It's a bit naive to suggest the only real stance taken by creationists is that "evolution can't explain everything." For one, universal common descent can hardly explain anything--nearly nothing. It cannot stand under the standards you yourself seem to be pushing for here. It's not falsifiable because if it was, it'd have been abandoned long ago. Instead, it accommodates anything that is found. That's not a scientific theory. It's a religion. It makes predictions based on observation--meaning we see something and it claims to have predicted it and the theory is manipulated to accommodate the finding. I'm sure you have thrown out tiktaalik as a successful prediction. It's screamed from the roof tops as a proof positive of the power of Darwinism and when we find foot prints by your dating standards that are much older, no one says a word. Then folks like you keep bringing it up like it's a great find. This shows us without question the lack of integrity in the secular humanism community as well as the fact that most of its supporters are parrots.
There is no data that supports Darwinism that is not easily and readily incorporated within the creation model. Hence, the data is not supportive but simply accommodated by the evolutionist. The fact that there are many HUGE (more accurately miraculous) leaps that Darwinists cannot explain is a tell tale sign that Darwinism is a religion and is not a scientific study. Violating natural laws to come up with your theory is a little more like pseudoscience, wouldn't you say? As A.E. Wilder-Smith wrote a while ago, "The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution." This work is excellent and I'd recommend you reading it. He was brilliant and eloquently speaks of the inept ideas that Darwinists have and the major issues with the "theory."
It's fairly clear to any honest inquisitor that Darwinian evolution is history (not historical science as some would elevate it). We're talking about things that happened in the past and only there. These are things no man witnessed and no man knows the conditions of nor does any man know how they could have happened. Tell me again how this is science, please.
Peer review is a joke in this discussion. The worldview brought about by molecules to man evolution has destroyed common sense in the scientific community and has hijacked rational thought for the layperson. These things are accepted without a shred of verification and a pass for violation of natural law.

ashleyhr said...

The link was actually about censorship by the ICR. But I referred to Christine Janis' specific comment underneath the blog. Which mentioned presenting 'falsifiable hypotheses' and did not specifically refer to peer review. Which 'falsifiable' YEC hypotheses are you thinking of? I would like to know.

CL said...

Steve, don't let him derail you. He wants to talk about a blog, which has less credibility than secular peer review. I've seen the blog, it's a bunch of "creationists are lying meanies" and atheists are agreeing with it and none of those claims have evidence. These people hate being kept on topic. I like to look up at the night sky in awe and wonder why God cares about me or even notices that me, you, this planet even exist. Seems like he'd have more important things to do than die on a cross and rise from the dead for his creation.

Steve said...

Thank you, CL.
Who is man the He is mindful of us? His love makes Him do things we can't understand at all.

Stephen Meiner said...

Thanks, Steve, for another breath of fresh air ...not only seeing His majesty, but also showing gratitude for it. I look forward to your next blog.

Steve Risner said...

Many thanks, Stephen. It looks like you're digging into stuff I wrote a while ago. The topic of astronomy has been a love of mine for decades. Who can look up at the night sky and not be blown away by the majesty and wonder it inspires? We serve a great God!