The Copernican Principle
“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
Have you heard of the Copernican Principle? Some of you might be nodding your head at the moment, though I suspect that most won’t. Don’t feel bad if you hadn’t heard of it. Copernicus hadn’t heard of it either! Copernicus died in 1543, but that astronomical Principle which bears his name was invented in the mid-20th Century by Hermann Bondi.
The Copernican Principle simply states that “humans on the Earth or in the Solar system are not privileged observers of the universe.” Bondi thought this to be a corollary of Copernicus’s discovery that the Earth orbited the Sun, contrary to the prevailing scientific view at the time that the Sun orbited the Earth. Bondi was extending this to say that there is nothing special about where the Earth is. Others have extended this Copernican Principle into the Cosmological Principle which states: “Viewed on a sufficiently large scale, the properties of the universe are the same for all observers.” This suggests that the Earth is nowhere special.
Have you wondered why the Big Bang model of the universe is so complicated? A 3D universe expanding into a 4th dimension? Yet, every observation could more easily be explained by the Earth being somewhere near the center. No observation exists to suggest the Copernican Principle. It is simply that their philosophy cannot allow them to believe that God made us special. Yet, Copernicus was a man of faith who believed the Bible. The Earth orbits the Sun but is central to the purposes of God.
“Government school officials in California think it is ‘really important’ to teach children about pedophilia and pederasty in the classroom because it is a ‘sexual orientation.’ That is according to a top official for California’s Brea Olinda School District, who admitted to parents that it was being done--and that it would continue, despite the outrage. The implications are mind-blowing. The stunning admission came after a parent-information meeting last month for the Brea Olinda Unified School District (BOUSD). Stephanie Yates, founder of Informed Parents of California, asked school officials why they were ‘teaching pedophilia in school to 9th graders.’ But instead of a denial that such an atrocity was taking place, a top school official confirmed it was happening and acted like there was nothing wrong with it. ‘This is done because we are talking about historical perspectives of how gender relations and different types of sexual orientations have existed in history,’ said BOUSD Assistant Superintendent of Curricula Kerrie Torres in a matter-of-fact way, sounding almost oblivious to how the bombshell might sound to normal people. Horrified, the mother turned activist expressed shock at Torres’ admission. ‘So sex between a man and a boy is a sexual orientation?’ she asked. Torres did not deny it. ‘It’s something that occurred in history, and so this is really important for us to include,’ the assistant superintendent said, implying that yes, sexual relations between a man and a boy--properly considered rape under the laws of every state--is a ‘sexual orientation.’ Of course, if simply having ‘occurred in history’ means something merits inclusion in school curricula, then one might ask why the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ or the full text of the Mayflower Compact are never mentioned in government schools. Obviously, there is more to the story than simply having to teach children about such perversions merely because they ‘occurred.’ Indeed, the comments may be one of the most shocking admissions from an education official in recent memory. And the implications go even beyond simply normalizing one of the most disgusting and abominable crimes that can be perpetrated. Consider: With ‘sexual orientation’ increasingly becoming a legally protected category across almost half of the states already--with Congress working on it, too--the implications of defining pedophilia and pederasty as such are hard to overstate. For instance, in California, ‘discrimination’ based on ‘sexual orientation’ is prohibited. If pedophiles simply have a different ‘sexual orientation,’ does that mean schools are required to hire them? Establishment propaganda outlets disguised as news organizations such as Salon and Slate have also been working to normalize and redefine pedophilia and pederasty as a ‘sexual orientation.’ LGBT movement hero Harvey Milk, who is celebrated in California’s fake ‘history’ textbooks as a great figure, was known for raping minor boys, at least one of whom later committed suicide.”
“Pedophilia Being Taught,” Alex Newman, Project Media, Apr. 17, 2019
Designed for Sloth
“By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.”
Sloth is not just being slow. It is a laziness, or an idleness, leading to sins of omission. Just as the house needs work to keep it in repair, so the failure to repair leads to the slow destruction of the roof and walls. The damage has been caused by the sloth of the owner.
There are genuses of animals in South America which are called sloths. This is because of their apparent laziness. They move painfully slowly, preserving energy, giving an appearance of sloth. Yet, on closer examination, we find that they are anything but lazy. In fact, they are masterpieces of design.
Their food source is, generally speaking, leaves. This is a low-energy food. Evolutionists believe that sloths evolved to be slow precisely because of their low energy food source. Yet, this does not make sense. A pre-evolution sloth that was not yet adapted to eat leaves and nothing else would not have chosen leaves over the other items available to the sloth for food. So why would they choose leaves alone over the many varieties of plants growing in their habitat?
Even a sloth’s internal organs are arranged in a manner which allows them to function in this unique energy-saving way. Far from being lazy animals, they are a wonderful example of the creative power of God in His creation.
“David Gelernter isn’t someone you’d expect to reject Darwin. He lives and works at the heart of the intellectual establishment. He’s a renowned computer scientist at Yale University — the New York Times called him a ‘rock star’ — and served on the National Council on the Arts. He explained in a recent essay in the Claremont Review of Books why he no longer believes Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. He makes similar points in a recent interview with the Hoover Institution’s Peter Robinson. Perhaps the biggest flaw with Darwinism, he writes, is how hard it would be to randomly make new functional proteins. Darwinian evolution depends on a huge number of them. Our understanding of molecular biology developed after Darwin. His theory doesn’t fit well with this new understanding. Gelernter carefully reviews the evidence, and his article provides a very helpful short guide to the problem. He cites Douglas Axe, a distinguished scientist, who has calculated the chances of hitting a stable protein that performs some useful function, and might therefore be preserved by natural selection, are only 1 in 1077. That’s just one of the many, many proteins needed for any organism. Gelernter summarizes the evidence. ‘Immense is so big, and tiny is so small, that neo-Darwinian evolution is — so far — a dead loss. Try to mutate your way from 150 links of gibberish to a working, useful protein and you are guaranteed to fail. Try it with ten mutations, a thousand, a million — you fail. The odds bury you. It can’t be done.’ He has plenty of other problems with Darwinism. Gelernter admits intelligent design is an ‘absolutely serious argument.’ It’s the ‘first, and obviously most intuitive one that comes to mind.’ It’s got to be dealt with intellectually. It can’t be dismissed with anti-religious bigotry. His colleagues have treated him courteously since he changed his position on this issue, he says. Still, for them Darwinism has passed beyond a scientific argument. ‘You take your life into your hands to challenge it intellectually. They will destroy you.’ He’s seen ‘nothing approaching free speech on this topic.’ It’s not a scientific or intellectual discussion. They think he’s attacking their ‘religion.’ Alas, he’s not hopeful that Darwinism will be phased out of academia anytime soon.” (See also “Evolutionists against Darwinism,” www.wayoflife.org.)
‘Renowned Yale Computer Science Prof Leaves Darwinism,” The Stream, Aug. 21, 2019
“And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
Less than an hour’s drive from where I live is the large city of Portland, Oregon. At the Oregon Convention Center in that city is the world’s largest Foucault’s Pendulum.
Many museums and other institutions around the world have such a pendulum. These large, swinging pendulums are based on that used by French scientist Léon Foucault for a famous experiment. The giant pendulum is set swinging. As the day progresses, the line of the pendulum swing rotates through a circle. This is because of the rotation of the earth on its axis. A pendulum at the equator would not rotate its swing at all, whereas one at the North or South Pole would rotate once in 24 hours. At other latitudes, the rate of recession of the swing varies by the sine of the angle of latitude. So another feature of Foucault’s pendulum is that it verifies the fact that the Earth is a sphere, and not flat.
The best explanation, then, of the observed effects of Foucault’s pendulum is that the Earth is a sphere, rotating on an axis of rotation. While neither of these properties is explicitly named as such in the Bible, they are not opposed to the Bible’s teaching. And observable, current scientific experimentation is most certainly in accord with a biblical method of doing science.
When Foucault developed this experiment in the 19th Century, he could not have foreseen how widespread it would have become, or how its results would have begun to be doubted.
“On Wednesday, the Jesuit order’s superior general announced that Satan himself is a ‘symbol’ rather than an actual being that was once created by God before falling into damnation. According to Catholic News Agency, Fr. Arturo Sosa told the Italian magazine Tempi that the devil ‘exists as the personification of evil in different structures, but not in persons, because he is not a person, he is a way of acting evil.’ ‘He is not a person like a human person. It is a way of evil to be present in human life,’ asserted the priest. ‘Good and evil are in a permanent war in the human conscience and we have ways to point them out. We recognize God as good, fully good. Symbols are part of reality, and the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality.’ The Jesuit leader’s statement about the devil stands in stark contrast with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which teaches that Satan and his demons are ‘spiritual, non-corporeal beings’ who are nonetheless ‘personal and immortal creatures’ with an ‘intelligence and will.’ A 2011 poll showed eight in ten U.S. Catholics believe that Satan is just a symbol more akin to that of Santa Claus than an actual being.” The Bible says, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
“Jesuit Superior General: The Devil Is a Symbol,” DailyWire.com, Aug. 21, 2019
Foucault's Speed of Light
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
I am always fascinated by the ingenuity of early science experimenters who made amazing discoveries. For instance, in 1850, the French scientist Léon Foucault created an experiment that would measure the speed of light.
Foucalt devised an experiment, based on wave theory, to calculate the speed of light. He set up two mirrors far apart, one of which could be made to rotate. A convex lens would be able to get an image of an object reflected in the rotate-able mirror and focus it onto the fixed mirror. This mirror would shine the light back again. The incident light was shone in, through a slit, at an angle to the rotate-able mirror. When all was fixed, the final image was made to appear at the same point as the slit. But when the mirror was set rotating, the image would be displaced from the slit. The faster the mirror rotated, the greater the angle at which the image was displaced from the slit. This, Foucault figured, was due to a different part of the wave hitting the rotating mirror. The rate of rotation is related to the angle of displacement, by a factor, which includes the speed of light. So Foucault was able to calculate that speed, eventually getting a very accurate value in 1862.
Now we better understand the complexity of the command “Let there be light”. It was God who created light and gave brilliant scientists the ingenuity to study His universe.
Fifty years ago this week the first Automated Teller Machine in America was unveiled at a bank in Long Island, New York. (The world’s first ATM appeared two years earlier in England.) In America, the original ATM was called a Docuteller. Arriving before credit cards, personal computers, and the Internet, the ATM produced a major change in society. It created 24/7 banking, made people comfortable dealing directly with machines (robots), and simplified international travel. Today there are 3.5 million ATMs worldwide, but the need for cash dispensing machines is on the decrease in the face of a cashless society. Alexander Joyce of ReJoice Financial says, “It is still very popular with the baby boomer generation. However, due to technology, most millennials don’t even know their PIN number. The new ATM is in our pockets. Your phone, through applications, does most of the functions your bank can” (“90-year-old inventor of the ATM celebrates its 50th birthday,” Fox News, Aug. 30, 2019). Global communication and banking technology is a major sign of the times. We can see “the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
(Friday Church News Notes, September 6, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
Gyring in the Wabe
“He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.”
Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem Jabberwocky, in Alice through the Looking Glass, begins thus:
Twas bryllyg, and the slythy toves
Did gyre and gymble in the wabe
Later in the story, Humpty Dumpty explains that the verb gyre means that these slythy toves were rotating, like a gyroscope.
Gyroscopes used to be sold as children’s toys. However, I remember TV scientist Dr. Eric Laithwaite demonstrating the power of gyroscopes in his Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on BBC television in 1974. It was fascinating to see that the direction of the spin axis remained where it had been placed, even as the outer mounting moved around. For this reason, gyroscopes have been used for directional navigation. So long as the original axial rotation is placed accurately, its spin will enable accurate navigation.
Modern gyroscopes do not use large physical wheels. Cellphones contain microelectromechanical sensors which measure changes in forces on small oscillating masses. A newer idea, using optical gyroscopes, contains no moving parts. An article on the use of such optical gyroscopes describes the Sagnac Effect, which “relies on detecting a difference between the two beams as they travel in opposite directions”.
The article describes work by scientists at the California Institute of Technology, which may allow for gyroscopes the size of a grain of rice.
Such immovability is used in Scripture as a metaphor for the faithfulness of God and also for the sort of fixity of faith to which Christians should aspire.
Darwin's Tangled Web
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
One recent biography described Charles Darwin during his childhood as “a compulsive liar”. He continued thus: “The solipsism and the dishonesty would scarcely be worth mentioning in so small a child were it not that both characteristics were carried on into grown-up life.”
It is difficult to say exactly how this inherent dishonesty was manifest in Darwin’s scientific life. However, one possibility is this: There are some who have suggested, even among those who adhere strongly to the theory of evolution, that much of Darwin’s opinions and ideas were plagiarized from one or two other sources – the most notable being Alfred Russel Wallace.
Wallace wrote, from his base in what is now Indonesia, to Charles Darwin, outlining a theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin claims to have received Wallace’s letter after he had discussed his ideas on exactly the same issue with his friend Thomas Hooker. Yet, Wallace had mailed another letter at the same time as that to Darwin, simply giving news and information to his family. This letter, which traveled on the same package liner, reached the Wallace family several days before Darwin’s conversation with Hooker. This matter feels very like that of a detective destroying someone’s alibi. It is possible, therefore, that Darwin had received Wallace’s paper, realized that this undermined his claim to primacy, and therefore lied about the date he received the letter. Was Darwinism itself born out of deceit? It behooves scientists of faith to behave honorably and honestly with all their peers.
Faith and the Young Darwin
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”
From an early age, Charles Darwin’s mother, Sukey, took him to church. That is why so many people assume that Darwin’s background was Christian. But the church to which Sukey Darwin took her children was not just any church. It was a Unitarian Church. And the influence of this church, and its pastor, Rev. William Case, was not just for Sundays. Case operated a small grammar school in the manse, and Sukey sent the young Charles there.
Unitarianism takes a strong doctrinal position on not taking doctrinal positions. Its name suggests not only a belief in the singularity of God, but an opposition to the biblical Trinitarian position. Unitarians deny that Jesus is God, even though the Bible says He is. Consequently, they also deny the authority and inspiration of Scripture, except in the vague sense of being “inspired” by any “uplifting” literature.
Case’s influence on Darwin’s later life is undeniable. For example, Case’s nature trips to the local quarry instilled a lifelong love of natural history in the boy. It surely must also be that Darwin had no foundation of trusting God’s word from these early experiences – God’s word that reveals to us His triune character and the deity of Christ.
Though we do not derive the doctrine of the Trinity from Genesis 1, we can see the doctrine clearly reflected in the Creation by the Creator, by the Word of God and by the Spirit of God.
The cover story for the August 2019 issue of Christianity Today is “The Rise of the Bible-Teaching, Plato-Loving, Homeschool Elitists” by Louis Markos. It describes the growth of evangelical homeschooling curriculum that provide a classical education that aims to “raise up a generation of Christians who know the Bible and who live virtuous lives, and who are also firmly grounded in the pagan classics of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the Roman Catholic classics of the Middle Ages.” An example is Mars Hill Academy, which “balances pagan (i.e., Homer, Aristotle) and medieval Christian (i.e., Dante, Chaucer) authors with major authors from the last 500 years of European and American literature (i.e., Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Faulkner).” The author claims the movement began in the 1940s with Dorothy Sayers, who was influenced by C.S. Lewis and “was a lover of all things classical and medieval.” Based on Sayer’s work, Douglas Wilson founded Logos School in 1981. The mention of C.S. Lewis is a loud warning to those who have ears. Christianity Today thinks it is a good thing that “increasing numbers of evangelicals” have “followed Lewis” to “fantasy lands populated by wizards” and “to the Catholic Middle Ages” and to the pagan “works of ancient Greek and Rome.” Christianity Today thinks it is a good thing that “Lewis helped unlock in the evangelical soul a longing for things of which they had been taught to be suspicious: tradition, hierarchy, liturgy, sacrament, numinous awe, and literature that was not specifically Christian.” We consider this, rather, to be evidence that C.S. Lewis was a dangerous man. To be familiar with pagan works can be helpful to the Christian life and ministry (in the sense of understanding world history, for example), if carefully examined through the lens of Scripture, but to sit at the feet of pagans and to search for light in their gross darkness is unscriptural foolishness. Christianity Today admits that “this tectonic shift in the evangelical world has led significant numbers of conservative Protestants to become Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican--not only out of a longing for liturgy and sacrament but because the classics brought with them a re-encounter with the early church fathers.” But that’s OK, they say, because “they maintain much of their passion for the Bible” and “stand at the forefront of a new conservative ecumenism.” This is nonsense. To accept false sacramental gospels that damn souls to eternal hell is neither biblical nor “conservative.” Christianity Today has been leading God’s people astray since its founding by Billy Graham in 1956. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).
(Friday Church News Notes, August 30, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:”
When I was a student at the University of Nottingham reading chemistry, there was some graffiti in a locker room adjacent to the physical chemistry laboratory. It read” “Heisenberg may have been here…” This childish joke refers to the discovery in 1925 of the Uncertainty Principle by physicist Werner Heisenberg. In reality, Heisenberg was not expressing doubt about his work on quantum physics. Uncertainty is an exact principle and is capable of being written as a mathematical expression. The Uncertainty Principle concerns, among other things, the fact that electrons sometimes seem to behave as particles, but sometimes as wave forms. We can attempt to determine the exact position of an electron, but then we cannot calculate its momentum, and vice versa. If a series of measurements are taken, and a statistical average, called standard deviation, is applied, we find that the product of the standard deviations of position and momentum is a constant.
Although Heisenberg was not an active Christian, his scientific work was informed by his Lutheran upbringing. In a speech in 1974, he said, “Where no guiding ideals are left to point the way, the scale of values disappears and with it the meaning of our deeds and sufferings, and at the end can lie only negation and despair. Religion is therefore the foundation of ethics, and ethics the presupposition of life.” Once again, this underlines that scientific progress has been possible only in a worldview informed by a Christian foundation – even if this has become somewhat opaque.
“A groundbreaking study by Just Facts has discovered that after accounting for all income, charity, and non-cash welfare benefits like subsidized housing and Food Stamps--the poorest 20% of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries. This includes the majority of countries in the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including its European members. In other words, if the U.S. ‘poor’ were a nation, it would be one of the world’s richest. Notably, this study was reviewed by Dr. Henrique Schneider, professor of economics at Nordakademie University in Germany and the chief economist of the Swiss Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. After examining the source data and Just Facts’ methodology, he concluded: ‘This study is sound and conforms with academic standards. I personally think it provides valuable insight into poverty measures and adds considerably to this field of research.’ This refutes a July 1st New York Times video op-ed that decries ‘fake news’ and calls for ‘a more truthful approach’ to ‘the myth of America as the greatest nation on earth,’ Times producers Taige Jensen and Nayeema Raza claim that the U.S. has ‘fallen well behind Europe’ in many respects and has ‘more in common with developing countries than we’d like to admit.’ The high consumption of America’s ‘poor’ doesn’t mean they live better than average people in the nations they outpace, like Spain, Denmark, Japan, Greece, and New Zealand. This is because people’s quality of life also depends on their communities and personal choices, like the local politicians they elect, the violent crimes they commit, and the spending decisions they make. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the privilege of living in the U.S. affords poor people with more material resources than the averages for most of the world’s richest nations. The Times closes its video by claiming that ‘America may once have been the greatest, but today America, we’re just okay.’ In reality, the U.S. is so economically exceptional that the poorest 20% of Americans are richer than many of the world’s most affluent nations. Last year, the Times adopted a new slogan, ‘The truth is worth it.’ Yet, in this case and others, it has twisted the truth in ways that can genuinely hurt people. The Times makes other spurious claims about the U.S. in this same video, which will be deflated in future articles.”
James Agresti, “Poorest 20%,” The Stream, Aug. 27, 2019
God Stretches the Heavens
“Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.”
In a number of places in the Bible, we learn that God has stretched the heavens. For example, in Isaiah 40:22, we read “[God] stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in.” The word for heavens is the same as that used in Genesis 1:1 – shamayim – and suggests the whole of space in the universe. Therefore, the Bible seems to be teaching that the fabric of space itself, for want of a better term, is being stretched. The same phenomenon is being described in Isaiah 45:12, Job 9:8 and Psalm 104:2. Most significant of all, the very word for space, firmament, or expanse, used in Genesis 1, is raqîa, which seems to imply a stretching out, as with hammered metal.
We have mentioned before in previous Creation Moments the concept of Red Shift. This phenomenon was first studied by Edwin Hubble. The so-called Hubble’s Law notes that the distance of an object from the Earth is proportional to its Red Shift. The constant of proportionality is, therefore, known as Hubble’s Constant. This suggests that the further away an object is, the faster space is stretching. If one thinks of space as a stretchable sheet, then Hubble’s Law makes sense. We should note that for Hubble’s Law to be true today, we do not have to assume that it was always constant in the past. In fact, Hubble’s Law measurements are consistent with the majority of the stretching of space having occurred on Day Two of Creation.
“Earlier today, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutional order, limited the reach of expansive nondiscrimination laws, and protected a Christian couple from having to choose between their business and their conscience. The facts of the case are simple. The plaintiffs, Carl and Angel Larsen, are videographers who create ‘commercials, short films, and live-event productions.’ While they work with anyone of any race, sex, sexual orientation, or religion, they will not produce videos that advance viewpoints that violate their Christian beliefs. That includes videos that ‘contradict biblical truth; promote sexual immorality; support the destruction of unborn children; promote racism or racial division; incite violence; degrade women; or promote any conception of marriage other than as a lifelong institution between one man and one woman.’ The Larsens hoped to begin producing wedding videos, but Minnesota interpreted its human-rights act to require them to ‘produce both opposite-sex- and same-sex-wedding videos, or none at all.’ Minnesota would also require them to produce videos that depicted ‘same- and opposite-sex weddings in an equally positive light.’ This raised the possibility that a gay couple who didn’t like the subjective quality of a video the Larsens produced for them could seek state sanctions based on alleged sexual-orientation discrimination. With the assistance of my friends and former colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Larsens filed suit, claiming that Minnesota’s rule would compel them to speak in support of messages they oppose. The trial court ruled in favor of the state, and the Larsens appealed. One of the key constitutional questions of our time is whether the First Amendment will retain its supremacy and potency even as nondiscrimination rules and regulations expand in scope and reach. In this case, the Eight Circuit answered with an emphatic ‘Yes,’ and it did so through a majority opinion that provided a clear roadmap for future courts and future controversies. Judge David Stras’s majority opinion begins with a simple, obvious, but crucial conclusion. The Larsens’s wedding videos are a ‘form of speech that is entitled to First Amendment protection.’ To put it plainly, Minnesota was attempting to engage in one of the most intrusive state actions on the First Amendment. It was attempting to compel the Larsens to deliver a message they opposed. Judge Stras understands this reality quite clearly. ‘Even anti-discrimination laws, as critically important as they are,’ he writes ‘must yield to the Constitution. And as compelling as the interest in preventing discriminatory conduct may be, speech is treated differently under the First Amendment.’ We can expect that Minnesota will appeal to the Supreme Court, and if the Court accepts review it will be difficult to see SCOTUS reversing the court of appeals. The case that wedding videos represent protected speech is very strong, and once it’s deemed to be protected speech, the Court would have to contradict key prior precedents to overcome the Larsens’ rights of conscience and compel their speech as a condition of doing business. One should always be cautious when projecting case outcomes, but the Eighth Circuit has laid the judicial foundation for a ruling that should, ultimately, reaffirm the primacy of the Constitution in American law.”
David French, “A Federal Court Strikes a Powerful Blow for Freedom of Speech and Religious Freedom,” National Review, Aug. 24, 2019
An Expanding Universe
“Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:”
Most people have heard of red shift without necessarily knowing what it means, apart from knowing that it has something to do with stars and galaxies.
Wave forms can appear to be altered if the source of the waves is moving away or towards us. We notice this effect with sound waves – for example, if we are watching a train approaching and passing by. If an object is moving towards us, then its waves will appear to arrive at us slightly shorter than they should be. Shorter waves result in higher pitch. When the train recedes, the waves reach us stretched out a bit, which makes a lower-pitch sound. Therefore, the train approaches with a high pitch sound, but then the sound changes to a lower pitch sound as it passes us.
Something similar happens to light from distant galaxies. In visible light, the longest wavelength is red, while blue light has a shorter wavelength. So red shift does not necessarily imply that an object is red. It tells us that bands in the galaxy’s spectrum are of longer wavelength than expected, so it is called a red shift. In a random universe, one might expect an equal number of red and blue shifts. In practice, blue shifts are rare.
The red shift is probably caused by space itself expanding. And this is consistent with what the Bible says in Psalm 104: “Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.”