Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler

“O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!” wrote astronomer Johannes Kepler, 1619, in “The Harmonies of the World.”

An attack of smallpox when he was four years old left him with crippled hands and poor eyesight. Overcoming those handicaps, he studied Copernicus’ works and at age 23 became a professor of astronomy. His name was Johannes Kepler, born Dec. 27, 1571.

He advanced Copernicus’ heliocentric theory of the solar system, with the planets revolving around the sun instead of the earth. He discovered the laws governing planetary motion and pioneered the discipline of celestial mechanics, known as Kepler’s Laws, which aided Newton in his formulation of the theory of gravitation. His publishing of the ephemeris tables, necessary for plotting star movement, contributed to the theory of calculus.

Johannes Kepler wrote in book five of “The Harmonies of the World” (1619): “The die is cast; the book is written, to be read either now or by posterity, I care not which. It may be well to wait a century for a reader, as God has waited six thousand years for an observer.”

In comparing celestial orbits of the planets with polyphonic harmonies in music, Kepler wrote in “The Harmonies of the Worlds” (1619): “Holy Father, keep us safe in the concord of our love for one another, that we may be one just as Thou art with Thy Son, Our Lord, and with the Holy Ghost, and just as through the sweetest bonds of harmonies Thou hast made all Thy works one, and that from the bringing of Thy people into concord, the body of Thy Church may be built up in the Earth, as Thou didst erect the heavens themselves out of harmonies.”

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In the conclusion of his treatise, “The Harmonies of the Worlds” (1619), Johannes Kepler wrote: “I thank Thee, my Creator and Lord, that Thou hast given me this joy in Thy creation, this delight in the works of Thy hands; I have shown the excellency of Thy works unto man, so far as my finite mind was able to comprehend Thine infinity; if I have said aught of Thy glory, graciously forgive it.”

Two centuries later, Yale professor Benjamin Silliman, who in 1818 founded the American Journal of Science and Arts, stated: “The relation of geology, as well as astronomy, to the Bible, when both are well understood, is that of perfect harmony. … The Word and the works of God cannot conflict, and the more they are studied the more perfect will their harmony appear.”

Best-selling author Eric Metaxas wrote in the Wall Street Journal article “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God” (Dec. 25, 2014): “In 1966 … astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star. Given the roughly octillion – 1 followed by 24 zeros – planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion – 1 followed by 21 zeros – planets capable of supporting life. … But as years passed, the silence from the rest of the universe was deafening. … As of 2014, researches have discovered precisely bubkis – 0 followed by nothing. …”

Eric Metaxas continued: “What happened? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed. His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly. … Peter Schenkel wrote in a 2006 piece for Skeptical Inquirer magazine: ‘In light of new findings … we should quietly admit that the early estimates … may no longer be tenable.’

“As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero. … In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. … Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life – every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing. Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? … At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? …”

Eric Metaxas ended: “Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that ‘the appearance of design is overwhelming’ … Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said ‘the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator … gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.'”

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