Tag Archives: creation

Comet Catching for the Glory of God

On Wednesday of this past week, we witnessed a monumental moment in the history of scientific discovery: the European Space Agency landed a man-made spacecraft on a comet.  I must admit, I was (and still am) impressed.  Scientists flew the Rosetta Spacecraft for ten years, over hundreds of millions of miles through the solar system, using gravitational boosts from Earth and Mars to give the craft the speed necessary to intercept Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  Rosetta’s mission was to escort the comet on its journey around the sun.

If that isn’t enough, Rosetta also carried a landing module with it.  The Philae landing module is roughly the size of a washing machine and is equipped with “harpoons.”  Those harpoons are designed to spear the comet to keep Philae secure on its trek around the sun.  On Wednesday, Philae landed.  Engineers believed the craft bounced twice before finally coming to rest.  By Wednesday evening, Philae had sent the first photograph of a comet’s surface back to earth.   Considering the Wright brothers historic “first” flight took place merely 111 years ago, catching up to a comet near the orbit of Jupiter and landing on said comet this week is astonishing.

But why?  The Rosetta mission has involved some 2,000 individuals, and has cost in the neighborhood of $1.6 billion.  Some have given more than a decade of their lives to this mission.  One of the European Space Agency’s stated goals for this mission is to seek answers to the question of life’s origins.  Perhaps, if they can find organic molecules on the comet, then they can validate the theory of “comet seeding” – that comets provided the raw organic materials necessary for life to begin on our planet.

I am impressed with the faith of anyone who is willing to invest that much of their life and expertise to chase such a far-fetched theory.  Even if organic molecules are found on a comet, there is still a colossal leap of faith to get from carbon on a comet to people on a planet.  Personally, I am a fan of space exploration.  Captain Kirk said it best on Star Trek: that we should “boldly go where no man has gone before.”  But in exploring “strange new worlds,” we are not going to find an answer contrary to the one that God has already given us.

Mankind has spent innumerable resources in an attempt to answer the question of our origin.  From the Large Hadron Collider built in Europe at the cost of nearly $10 billion to the $1.6 billion Rosetta spacecraft to the countless other experiments performed over the last century, they have all left scientists unable to come up with any reasonable answer to the two most important questions – where did the stuff of the universe come from and how did living stuff come from non-living stuff.

Thankfully, the answers to those questions can be found – not buried in a comet – but in the first sentence spoken to us by our Creator God – “in the beginning, God created the heaven’s and the earth.”  Out of nothing, He created everything.  You see, I’m all in favor of landing spacecraft on comets – not so we can find a different answer than the one God already gave about our origin, but to see the Heavens declaring the glory of God from a front-row seat.

In Christ,

Pastor Brian

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God is not Hiding

We’ve finally figured out what happens to kids who grow up playing video games – they turn into adults who play more expensive video games!  It seems that playing Super Mario Brothers might have actually paid off for some, especially for those scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.  This is the group that is responsible for the Mars Curiosity Rover.  The Curiosity is a large, remote controlled, rolling laboratory that landed on Mars about a month ago.  Since then, it has been testing out its scientific payload and driving across the Martian landscape to a 3.5-mile high mountain called Mount Sharp.  Along the way, it is zapping rocks with lasers, sending back weather reports, and snapping lots of high-resolution photographs with its various cameras.  One thing that has amazed me are the photographs of the Martian landscape – the barren, lifeless, monotone Martian landscape.  While it is exciting to be exploring a different planet, Mars certainly is a boring place in comparison with our home.  Thank you NASA, but I don’t think I’ll be volunteering to help populate a Martian colony any time soon.

 

God could have made everything look like Mars.  He could have created a barren landscape with no flora, no fauna, no water.  He could have created our bodies to metabolize differently than they do.  He could have created us to eat dirt and get what we need to survive that way.  Instead, He created us in the context of a spectacular array of color and splendor.  He created us to enjoy a variety of foods.  He enabled us to thrive in a variety of landscapes and environments.  He created us in such a way that only “the fool says in his heart there is no God.”  In other words, God is not hiding from us.

 

If God had created everything to look like Mars, then one could more reasonably argue against the creative hand of a Great Designer.  But we recognize that Mars is just one planet among many.  We also recognize that Earth is the precious jewel in the crown of our Solar System.  Earth is the only place designed to fully support the one piece of Creation, crafted in the image and likeness of God.

 

Romans 1:20 says, “For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made.”  God is not hiding because He has demonstrated to us something of his character and creativity through the environment He gave us.  In Psalm 19:1, the poet proclaimed, “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  From earth, they most certainly do.  There is nothing like a night sky unpolluted by artificial lights.  But let us not forget the splendor of our terrestrial home.  There is nothing like it, anywhere.  I have a feeling that if the psalmist had written this song from a colony on Mars, he might have said, “Earth declares the glory of God!”

 

Curiosity has helped us learn something about Mars, but more importantly, it has helped us learn something about our God, and our special place in His grand design.  God is not hiding, and all of Creation points to His skillful hand.

 

In Christ,

 

Pastor Brian

 

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