Let There Be Light!

I’ve always been interested in Astronomy, but I’ve never spent enough time on it other than stargazing and finding certain constellations and planets.

Of late, NASA has been discovering a lot more about the Universe, mainly through the Hubble Telescope Project, and other deep-sky science missions.

To put things in context:

  • We live in a planet that’s part of our solar system,
  • Our solar system is one of many in our galaxy,
  • Our galaxy is called The Milky Way, and it is one of 100’s of billions other galaxies.

It’s worth me pausing for a bit. So the stars that I see at night (beautiful views in rural North West where there is little light pollution) are only what’s in our galaxy? And astronomers believe that there are/were 100s of billions more?

Light

I didn’t have the fortune to study Physical Sciences in school, so I rely on reading to satisfy my curiousity. I learnt about the speed of light as a kid, mainly that it’s the fastest observed speed, and the cool trick of estimating how far lightning struck by counting the seconds-to-thundering from seconds-to-light.
I learnt the concept of light-years much later as a teen. If the sun’s light takes 8 minutes to reach the Earth, then the sun is 8 light-minutes away.

It is said that most of the stars in our galaxy (Milky Way) are light-years away, some thousands thereof. So if you look at Orion, the stars making up that constellation are between 200 and 1’400 light-years away. If their light has taken at least 200 years to reach us, then how old is Orion? Does Orion still exist today? Does the Universe still exist today?

A logical answer is “yes” to the latter, because since at least the Sun still exists, then surely the Universe hasn’t gone anywhere, or is it just the Milky Way, or maybe just our solar system and nearby planets …

Time

So light isn’t all-mighty, it’s still subject to time. If the fastest known subject/matter to mankind isn’t beyond Time, then what is? Dark matter or anti-matter? It has to be slower by logic, and the preceding link says “cold” dark matter moves at < 100 meters per second. Light moves at ~300’000km per second.

So is there anything mightier than light? Surely the only mightier has to be whomever created light! Many people obsess over theorising how existence came to being. “It all started in a big bang” they say. A bang of what?

I think it’s safe to say that no matter your theory on how things came to be, be it Creation or Evolution; we can agree that there must have been some Event that started everything. Christians/Jews are told that everything came to be through the Spoken Word of God. I disclaim that I fall in that camp of belief. I don’t know enough about other religions, but I know that some scientists generally choose to believe in this unexplainable Big Bang, which is fine.

Who or what then created Time? A marvel so accurate (let’s overlook the leap-seconds) that creation follows it beautifully! I get a tingle in my mind when I think of:

  • seasons,
  • the chain of roosters that generally crow from the top of the hour,
  • how Earth rotates in 24 hours (this is where the leap-second comes),
  • how Earth orbits the sun in 365.25 days, etc.

Now this is what we know about Time. We have 7 days, and these play very nicely with the lunar calendar. Ever wondered how things would be if there were actually 8 days, or 9? Probably a bit chaotic, but I’m not an expert.

Subject to Time

Everything I can think of is subject to time, at varying relativity. Going back to Orion, scientists say that planets die. Is poor Orion dead or still alive? Let’s take The Centurion, constellation Centaurus. Proxima Centauri is only 4 light-years away from us. In August 2016, a planet similar to Earth was discovered in Proxima’s orbit. It could still take millennia to reach that planet. No manned mission to the planet could be sustained, the 10th generation would probably forget where they were going and just die in space!

Even if we were to send some communication to that Planet, by the time it reaches it, there might be no life form to receive such comms. Proxima might be dead by then, or other things as we know them now changed completely.

I digress, but I’m faintly trying to make the point to myself that everything is subject to Time. People obsess about alien life, what’s the use? It’s very likely that such life (will) exist(ed/s). Pure probability would suggest such existence. What I do think though (with future potential humble pie in my mind) is that our generation will die without having seen intellectual alien lifeWhere there is water, there is life, so I don’t doubt the existence of some organisms elsewhere in the Universe. Our very Plankton in the oceans, bacteria, microbes and nanobes could have cousins even in our Solar System as a start.

I can’t think of anything that’s not subject to time. The Universe itself, or rather its galaxies, is subject to time. I read an article on nasa.gov about Hubble revealing 10 times more galaxies than previously thought. The article left me with a weird feeling in my mind, which was why I wrote this long piece. The thing that stood out for me was the mishmash of present and past tense when explaining these galaxies.

Remember that we’re mostly seeing things as they were before humans even existed.

The article explains that these galaxies have changed over time. Expanded or merged. Everything is subject to Time.

Is time subject to anything? Surely only its Creator!

What is my point?

I expect that there’ll be an Atheist who comes across this article, maybe because of its title. I’ve shied away from scriptures so far, so if one takes offense, they ought to take offense with the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, because surely as “God doesn’t exist”, those two also don’t.

My point with all of what I’ve written is the following:

  1. The Universe is so large that modern-day science keeps discovering more of it every other week. It’s so large that I expect the James Webb project to conclude the Universe to be infinite in the next decade. Remember that new stars are being born each year.
  2. Life as we know it, is only a tiny drop in an ocean. If we don’t destroy our planet through wars or climate change; the Sun will destroy it in a few billion years (we might be dead due to extreme climate even before then). Life doesn’t revolve around us, there is Infinitesimal existence outside of us.
  3. Light, Time, Humans, Earth, the Universe, Life; are too wonderful creations for them to have come about through some unintelligible “big bang”. If you’ve searched for a Creator and have not found One, keep searching. Let go of what you know in the physical, and entertain things that the mind cannot yet fathom.
  4. Stop searching for “aliens”, they probably stopped searching for us an eon ago. Embrace life and the Universe instead, if there are aliens, they’ll find us.
  5. Science and belief are not mutually exclusive. We dispute the Bible because it is a text that was written at a certain stage in Time. If it were written today, I think a lot of concepts therein would have been explained differently; to match our capacity and current understanding of things. A thousand generations from now would still dispute its account of creation anyways.

Isaiah 40:22 says “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:

Who would have believed that the heavens (Universe) is stretching as a curtain? Imagine the people who first read this trying to fathom what’s going on. Scientists believed the Universe to be static, but in the past decade this has changed. It’s taken thousands of years for the above statement to make sense.

I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I am someone who believes that there is a God who created the Universe (it could be more, but a quantifiable number is better than Infinity) and everything that is in it. I am also someone fascinated by the frequent discoveries about the Universe, about science and even its role in explaining how we know and believe things to be.

I believe that this realm is the physical realm, and that there is another realm, the spiritual realm, that is not subject to the physical realm.

I also acknowledge that there is a lot that would shake my faith if I chose to entertain it. I co-exist with it, a Pandora’s Box of Knowledge, the sudden opening of which is detrimental to me. The key that keeps this Box closed is “I live by the knowledge of what I have seen, and the faith that what my mind cannot fathom is greater than life”.

Lastly, if I were to wake up someday and discover that there is no heaven or hell, it won’t matter because I would have lived the best life that I know how to live. Choosing to obsess about disproving them is like spending my life devoted to finding out how the Universe was formed. I am but a speck of stardust in an ever expanding universe of knowledge.

Let There Be Light, and let us be that light in our little world! I believe in the Creator of Light, the God of Abraham, the God of Jesus Christ.