Astronomy is such a fascinating study. I noticed this week an article suggesting that Stephen Hawking is now theorizing that there’s actually no such thing as black holes. You can’t see a black hole; scientific theories about them are just that — theories concerning massive gravitational forces so strong that they actually absorb light.
We are given to the belief (according to our Modern Age) that science adequately explains things like our origins and the genesis of it all. We are told that the fount of human understanding is now increasing exponentially, that soon there will be no limit to what we know and understand, and yet science is really no closer to definitively answering the primary questions that we all ask. The suggestion that science will answer remains mere illusory promise.
Frequently embedded into this mindset is a complimentary belief that science is about “hard facts”, an altogether superior lens through which to view our world, versus the nasty superstitions of Divine Revelation. Naturally this is all folly and short-sided presumption. If science teaches anything, it’s that there is always more there, usually a discovery that manifests near the previously-assumed limit.
For example, astronomers are “baffled” by the variating brightness of Polaris. According to this article, astronomers are struggling to explain why the “North Star”, Polaris, after declining in light intensity for the past two decades, has “suddenly” increased in intensity to the point that it is now 2.5 times brighter than when Ptolemy measured it around 137 A.D.
As with most astronomical phenomena outside our solar system, one fascinating aspect of all of this is that we say that the star has increased in brightness after a couple of decades of declining, but actually we are observing something that happened centuries, millennia, or even millions (or billions) of years ago. In the case of Polaris, the star is at least 430 light years from us, which means that it takes at least 430 years for the light from Polaris to travel across space so that we can now see it and study it here on Earth.
Thus, what astronomers are “baffled” by is actually a historical event.
In context, astronomers are observing the brightness of Polaris at the time that the Parliament of England’s Act against Reconciliation to Rome imposed heavy fines for practicing Roman Catholicism, or the year 1581. Whereas only God knows what’s going on with Polaris right now, at the time when the Congress of the United State’s Affordable Care Act threatens to impose heavy fines for practicing Roman Catholicism, or the year 2014.
I guess some things don’t change. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Baffling!