Monday, August 21, 2017


When reading the creation account, I often try to appreciate the significance of celestial luminaries to people who lived before the advent of electrical lighting. One category would be celestial portents and prodigies, viz. supernova, comets, meteors, eclipses. In Scripture, these figure in stock apocalyptic imagery.

But even in the scientific age, when such phenomena are natural explicable, they still evoke popular fascination. Take today's solar eclipse, which I just witnessed. I went to an abandoned parking lot to have an unobstructed view. Other people had the same idea. Although the parking lot is right beside a busy arterial, the arterial was nearly deserted in anticipation of the eclipse. Despite secularization, striking celestial phenomena retain numinous connotations in the popular imagination. Psychologically, we aren't that far removed from our prescientific forebears.

Due to overcast skies, the sunlight was filtered through fine cloud cover, which gave the corona ringing the moon an ethereal bluish tint. It was very pretty. And, of course, the lighting in general was unusual.


  1. Scientists like atheist Lawrence Krauss, and Christian astrophysicist Hugh Ross have pointed out that human civilization has risen at the right time in cosmic history such that we can look out into the universe and gather enough data to extrapolate what the beginning of the universe was like and what the ending will be like. If human civilization arose earlier or later we would have been "left in the dark" scientifically regarding the life cycle of the universe. Something might also be true of our ability to experience solar eclipses.

    I'm reminded of the book and documentary titled The Privileged Planet that explains the uniqueness of our solar eclipses. The book discusses the amazing correlation between habitability and scientific discovery. Later apologists have pointed out the additional idea of the discoverability of discoverability. Meaning, the intriguing fact that we can not only discover things about the universe, but that things seem to have been set up so that we can contemplate and reflect back on our ability to do science. Of the 70 or so bodies in our solar system, only the earth/moon/sun alignment provides a "perfect" (for all practical purposes) solar eclipse. The book/documentary explains how it's an interesting "coincidence" that it's the same body that has perfect eclipses that also has observers to appreciate and learn from them. Such (near) perfect eclipses can be used to determine the composition of stars. Something which human scientists did in the 19th century. That discovery led to many advances in cosmology, and cosmogony, and cosmic eschatology. Without such near perfect solar eclipses, we'd have been left in the dark regarding much of the nature of the universe. The moon is receding at about 3.78cm per year. Like above, I wonder whether if human civilization arose much earlier or later we'd have been able to scientifically benefit from eclipses. Since (as the documentary shows here), if the moon were slightly much larger/nearer or smaller/farther away, either the coronasphere would be blocked, or too much light would seep through and so "would allow too much light from the sun. Destroying our view of the solar atmosphere and the flash spectrum." These coincidences seem to suggest (and I believe as a Christian) cosmic design.

    Another possible example is the hexagon on Saturn. It's an interesting coincidence that the SIXTH planet in our system has a SIX-SIDED shape on the north pole. I have no doubt that it can be explained by natural forces, but that still seems like a strange coincidence. Such that, as a Christian, I can't help but think it's a divine "wink" (so to speak) of God's existence.

  2. So did you spot Ezekiel's Mothership? Or perhaps I've said too much already...