Good Heavens!  The Human Side of Astronomy
Preserving the Night Skys: John Barentine of the International Dark Sky Association

Preserving the Night Skys: John Barentine of the International Dark Sky Association

May 30, 2020

Many of us cannot see or experience the beauty and glory of a truly dark, star-filled night sky. The ever-growing urban lights of large cities blind us to the ancient wonder of the heavens. There is a growing interest in astro-tourism, people willing to travel to dark-sky preserves  to experience and learn more about the heavens. 

 

On this episode of Good Heavens! Dan talks with the public policy director of the International Dark Sky Association, (https://www.darksky.org/)  Dr. John Barentine, about the importance of preserving truly dark-sky environments, and about the importance of community and storytelling in relation to our relationship to the heavens above us. 

There's even some bonus material at the end of the episode featuring a more in-depth look at stories about the constellations of Hercules and Draco the dragon! 

See the Saving our Stars website (https://www.savingourstars.org/).

To follow updates on the on-line Grand Canyon Star Party visit this website:

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/grand-canyon-star-party.htm

 

Astronomy. What’s the Use?

Astronomy. What’s the Use?

May 20, 2020

This is part one of Dan's interview with astronomer and educator Dr. David Bradstreet, professor of astronomy at Eastern University in Pennsylvania and an expert on binary stars. David has been teaching astronomy for over four decades and is a co-contributor to our book, The Story of the Cosmos - How the Heavens Declare the Glory of God as well as the co-author of  Star Struck: Seeing the Creator in the Wonders of Our Cosmos. He even has an asteroid named after him! 

On this episode David shares with us his pedagogical insights into the contemplative benefits of astronomy and how he sees teaching, astronomy, and life down here on planet earth all fitting together. Come and see how contemplating the cosmos transcends our modern penchant for food, clothing, and incessant busyness and can encourage and strengthen our faith in Christ. 

So take a few minutes to come and contemplate Dr. B's wisdom and experience on this episode of Good Heavens! 

Conversation with the Vatican Astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno

Conversation with the Vatican Astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno

May 3, 2020

On this episode of Good Heavens! Dan has a fascinating sit-down chat with the chief Vatican Astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno. Brother Guy is a Jesuit Priest, astrophysicist, meteorite specialist, author and popular communicator of science. We talk about everything from poetry to the difference between a meteor and a meteorite, Galileo's trials, science and faith, why the Vatican has a community of priest/astronomers and why the heavens should matter to all of us, believer and nonbeliever alike. 

 

For more information and a wonderful resource for seeing how faith and science cohere, be sure to check out Brother Guy's writings as well as a host of other thoughtful articles and insights about faith, science, and the cosmos at the Sacred Space Astronomy blog

https://www.vofoundation.org/blog/author/br-guy/ 

Brother Guy is also a contributor to the book "The Story of the Cosmos", mentioned on the Good Heavens podcast.  https://thestoryofthecosmos.com

 

Aliens, UFO’s and the Bible - Part 2 with Gary Bates

Aliens, UFO’s and the Bible - Part 2 with Gary Bates

April 25, 2020

As a culture we are enamored with science fiction. And as science has increasingly become the dominant cultural authority of our time, the line between what was once relegated to the realm of pure fiction and fantasy and the realm of the physical sciences has increasingly been blurred.  

It was the imaginations of the late planetary scientist Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan who wrote the book called Contact which also become a popular movie. Contact is a good example of how we are accustomed to the idea of real science being combined with creative imagination. It is indeed a compelling story. 

But when it comes to real science and the idea of aliens and UFO's what is "real" and what is purely imaginative? And what does the Bible have to say about aliens? 

This is part 2 of our discussion with ufologist Gary Bates, president and CEO of Creation Ministries, International and author of Alien Intrusion - and the Evolution Connection. Gary offers us some practical and encouraging insights into the phenomena of aliens and extraterrestrial beings. 

https://creation.com/gary-bates

Aliens, UFO’s, and the Bible - Part 1 with Gary Bates

Aliens, UFO’s, and the Bible - Part 1 with Gary Bates

April 18, 2020

What should Christians think about alien life? Are alien abduction stories real? Is it all just science fiction and our imagination or is there something more going on? How would extraterrestrial life impact the Christian faith? Does the Bible say anything about beings from other worlds? 

On this episode we talk with veteran ufologist Gary Bates of Creation Ministries International. Gary has decades of experience in researching UFO and the alien phenomena, and he is a dedicated follower of Christ. So come along with Good Heavens! to Roswell, New Mexico and beyond as we have a fascinating discussion on a very important topic for our time. 

For more information on Gary and his work, including his book and DVD, Alien Intrusion, be sure to visit his website. 

 https://creation.com/gary-bates 

Image by PhotoVision from Pixabay.com

Unsolved Mysteries of the Cosmos (Big Bang Part 2)

Unsolved Mysteries of the Cosmos (Big Bang Part 2)

April 12, 2020

The Big Bang is the dominant scientific model of the cosmos, but it is not without a few unsolved riddles. On this episode of Good Heavens! Wayne and Dan discuss some of the unsolved mysteries that Big Bang cosmology neither predicted nor can presently explain. We're not saying scientific models of the cosmos are bad, per se, nor are we criticizing scientists who labor to uncover the wonders of the universe. But we are saying that models of the universe are not how the "actual" universe is! Only the Lord who made it all knows precisely how it all fits together. And we are also suggesting there might be more of a poetic element to the fabric of the cosmos, one that weaves together science, literature, art, beauty, all for the glory of God in Christ Jesus.

For more of an in-depth look at Wayne's thoughts on Big Bang cosmology, check out his helpful and down-to-earth article on his website, where you can find a link to the letter he read in this episode! We hope you enjoy this and happy Easter!

http://creationanswers.net/astron/ScienceAndBigBang.htm

A Conversation with Dr. Michael Ward - Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday Part 2

A Conversation with Dr. Michael Ward - Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday Part 2

April 10, 2020

From our vantage point, the universe we inhabit can seem both at once stunningly good and wondrous but also heinously indifferent, cruel, and even senselessly evil. How can we ever hope to reconcile both states of affairs? 

In part 2 of our discussion of Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday Dr. Michael Ward offers us more insightful exhortations as to how our own limited sense perception of the universe is part of Chesterton's masterful narrative. What is the universe "really" like? Is it possible for us to see the cosmos, trees, rocks, clouds, or even stars and the sun, "as they really are"? 

Come along and encounter Chesterton's adventure "face to face" and see how after over a century, it remains a classic "old book" that has tremendous relevance for our time. 

And we hope you can walk away with a greater love and appreciation for our God, our Sabbath Rest, our sun and shield, the risen Lord Jesus Christ. 

Dr. Michael Ward's website is http://www.michaelward.net

A Conversation with Dr. Michael Ward - Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday Part 1

A Conversation with Dr. Michael Ward - Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday Part 1

April 4, 2020

A fun, insightful, inspiring and enlightening book discussion with Dr. Michael Ward on the robust and weighty mind and imagination of Gilbert Keith Chesterton. In this two-part episode, Michael and Dan explore the wonders, twists, and turns of Chesterton's 1908 classic mystery-spy-earthquake-symphony love story The Man Who Was Thursday, A Nightmare. Our adventure begins with a few excerpts from the novel!  Part 2 will be coming soon.

Dr. Michael Ward is a Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, and a Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University. He is the author of the award-winning Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis (Oxford, 2010) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (Cambridge, 2010). His website is: www.michaelward.net

Coming Soon - Dr. Michael Ward on G. K. Chesterton

Coming Soon - Dr. Michael Ward on G. K. Chesterton

April 2, 2020

A preview of our upcoming discussion with Dr. Michael Ward about G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday - A Nightmare

Look for this program on April 10th.  This will be the second conversation on Good Heavens with Dr. Ward.  Dr. Ward is a C.S. Lewis scholar from the University of Oxford.  He is also a professor at Houston Baptist University.  Check out his website at http://www.michaelward.net/

The Bible and the Big Bang

The Bible and the Big Bang

March 27, 2020

Many Christians often use the Big Bang as an apologetic defense for the beginning of our universe.  Is this a confirmation of what Scripture says?  That is a discussion that has been ongoing ever since the idea of the Big Bang was put forth in the early 20th century and we don't attempt to "solve" it on this episode by any means! But what we hope to accomplish in this two part series is 1) give an overview of what Scripture says about God creating the heavens and the Earth and 2) show the differences between Big Bang cosmology and the Bible as well as discuss some lesser-known difficulties with Big Bang cosmology. Dan and Wayne respect our fellow Christians who may or may not agree with our particular observations. Our discussions are not intended to be critical of astronomical science as a whole. We hope it will be food for thought for our Good Heavens! friends! Enjoy!  (Part 1 of 2)

Image:  Stephan's Quintet.  NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team