Good Heavens!  The Human Side of Astronomy
God, Stephen Hawking, and the Multiverse Part 1

God, Stephen Hawking, and the Multiverse Part 1

August 8, 2020

Dr. Stephen Hawking was a brilliant Cambridge theoretical physicist whose pioneering work on black holes and the origin of the universe put him in the public eye and imagination. His book A Brief History of Time was a runaway bestseller, with some 10 million copies having been sold worldwide since its publication in 1988.  Despite the limitations of ALS, Dr. Hawking went on to father children, write more books, give lectures, travel, and continue to do research. Remarkably, he lived to the age of 76, much to the astonishment of the entire watching world. His life and work define a generation of our understanding of the universe. 

 

On this two-part episode, we explore the life, work, and beliefs of the late Dr. Hawking with two distinguished gentlemen from the UK, David Hutchings, a high-school physics teacher and Dr. David Wilkinson, astrophysicist and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.  Dr. Hawking believed science had replaced God.  But he did not really engage the God of the Bible.

 

To get the book by the same title, go to this link:

https://www.amazon.com/God-Stephen-Hawking-Multiverse-matters-ebook/dp/B083TY4J8B

 

The Sun and Moon Stand Still - Encouragement From Joshua 10

The Sun and Moon Stand Still - Encouragement From Joshua 10

July 22, 2020

Critics of Scripture have dismissed it. Skeptics mock it. And even some Christians will attempt to explain the heavenly events described in Joshua 10 as "natural" phenomenon or that Joshua's words were simply poetic or an allusion to something else. 

Did the sun and moon really "stand still" in the Valley of Aijalon as described in the Bible? What really happened? How can this passage from the Old Testament be an encouragement for us today in these troubling times?  Tune in for Wayne and Dan's discussion.  We hope it will remind you of Jesus. 

 

For more on the Long Day of Joshua see this article by Wayne:

http://creationanswers.net/answersblog/2013/11/23/joshuas-long-day/

Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com
Wayne Reads Joshua Chapter 10:1-28

Wayne Reads Joshua Chapter 10:1-28

July 19, 2020

Did the sun and moon really "stand still" in the Valley of Aijalon as described in the Bible? Is Jesus still governing the goings on in the heavens and earth? We live in a time where we, like Joshua, should be strong and courageous. But only the Lord Jesus can give us that necessary strength and freedom from fear. We hope our reflections on Joshua 10 will be an encouragement to everyone. In this program Wayne reads from Joshua chapter 10, verses 1-28 (NIV, 1984 Bible).  This provides the background for a podcast coming soon on the Long Day of Joshua with Wayne and Dan.  

Christ and the Created Order with Dr. Andrew B. Torrance

Christ and the Created Order with Dr. Andrew B. Torrance

July 3, 2020

"In conversations about science and faith, Jesus Christ rarely comes up."

So begins the introduction to a 2018 anthology of essays titled Christ and the Created Order - Perspectives from Theology, Philosophy, and Science, edited by Andrew B. Torrance and Thomas H. McCall. 

If Jesus is to have first place in everything, that means He should have first place in discussions about science and theology. But sadly, for many reasons historically, theologically, philosophically, and scientifically, He does not. What do we do? What should we do? How should we see Jesus in relation to all that He has made?  On this episode of Good Heavens! we interview Dr. Torrance about the necessity for Christians to cultivate a truly Christ-centered view of looking at creation.

Andrew holds a doctorate from the University of Otago and "is research fellow at St. Mary's College, the School of Divinity of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and the project leader for Scientists in Congregations Scotland (sicscotland.org)."

Andrew  is also the grand nephew of the late Scottish theologian Thomas Torrance and grandson of theologian J.B. Torrance! 

Find out more about Andrew and his work! 

Cosmologists Say the Strangest Things!

Cosmologists Say the Strangest Things!

June 16, 2020

If you have ever tried understanding some of the cutting-edge theoretical models of the universe, you know what we're talking about! Yet for the most part, some scientists who study the universe, especially if they are professed skeptics or atheists, will say some pretty odd things about God, things that are far and away outside the realm of their particular cosmological ideas. 

 

On this episode, Wayne and Dan discuss some of these "strange" sayings of cosmologists and astrophysicists, including thoughts of Dr. Leonard Susskind, Sir Arthur Eddington, Dr. Carl Sagan, (indirectly the late Dr. Stephen Hawking), Dr. Sean Carroll, Dr. Lawrence Krauss, Sir Fred Hoyle, and Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, plus a few others. 

So join us for what turned out to be, we think, our longest single episode of Good Heavens! since we began way back in the fall of 2017. We hope you enjoy it!

 

See also Wayne's blog article at

http://creationanswers.net/answersblog/2020/06/06/cosmologists-say-the-strangest-things/

Picture: The Reflection Nebula DG 129. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light with Paul Bogard

Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light with Paul Bogard

June 7, 2020

On our last episode, Dan spoke with Dr. John Barentine, the director for public policy for the International Dark Sky Association about preserving our night skies and about  constellations and their attendant lore. On this episode, Dan speaks with Paul Bogard, author of The End of Night, Searching for Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light. It is a catalogue of adventures Paul took to some of the brightest and darkest skies on the planet, from the city of Paris, to the island of Sark, where there is not a single automobile or street light. Paul also visited several national parks as well, taking readers on a journey that anyone can follow. Paul also shares with us the wisdom he gleaned about the healthful benefits of natural darkness and why everyone should be concerned about preserving and cherishing it. You can find out more about Paul's work here.  

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

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