“O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!” wrote astronomer Johannes Kepler in “The Harmonies of the World,” 1619.
Johannes Kepler was born Dec. 27, 1571. An attack of smallpox when he was four years old left Johannes Kepler with crippled hands and poor eyesight. Overcoming these handicaps, Kepler took up the study of science.
The person most responsible for advancing the scientific method was Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Sir Francis Bacon, who helped found the Royal Society of London, wrote: “There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power.”
In his work, “Essays: Of Goodness,” Sir Francis Bacon wrote: “There never was found, in any age of the world, either philosophy, or sect, or religion, or law, or discipline, which did so highly exalt the good of the community, and increase private and particular good as the holy Christian faith. Hence, it clearly appears that it was one and the same God that gave the Christian law to men, who gave the laws of nature to the creatures.”
In his treatise titled, “Of Atheism,” Sir Francis Bacon declared: “A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”
A contemporary of Johannes Kepler was Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who made the first practical use of the telescope. Galileo stated: “I am inclined to think that the authority of Holy Scripture is intended to convince men of those truths which are necessary for their salvation, which, being far above man’s understanding, can not be made credible by any learning, or any other means than revelation by the Holy Spirit.”
Galileo’s work gave credence to the heliocentric theory of Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), where the sun is the center of the solar system, replacing Ptolemy’s geocentric theory of the earth being the center.
Copernicus’ heliocentric theory was advanced by Johannes Kepler, who at age 23 had become a professor of astronomy. Johannes Kepler 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. Kepler’s publishing of the ephemeris tables, necessary for plotting star movement, contributed to the theory of calculus.
In book five of “The Harmonies of the World” (1619), Kepler wrote: “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.”
In the conclusion of his treatise, “The Harmonies of the World” (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.”
Complex patterns in nature seemingly confirm Kepler’s belief in an Intelligent Designer. One such pattern is called the “divine proportion” or Golden Ratio.
Kepler’s study of this ratio is a geometric progression called a Kepler Triangle. This irrational ratio, also called phi, is expressed as the decimal number 1.618. Expressed as an equation, it is called the Fibonacci sequence, where, beginning with zero, each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two.
Greek mathematician Euclid explained it as when a line is cut in two, and “the whole line is to the greater segment, so is the greater to the lesser.”
The Golden Ratio is seen in extremely complex geometric patterns called fractals, where each part has the same statistical character as the whole. The Golden Ratio is displayed everything from atoms to galaxies, snowflakes, crystals, to the petals of a rose and seeds in sunflowers and pine cones. It exists in nautilus sea shells and seahorse tails, from fish scales, to snake skins, to bird feathers, to the dimensional shape of an egg. It is observed in fluid turbulence, from the vortex of water going down a drain, to ocean waves, to hurricanes and tornadoes, and to the twisted shape of a DNA molecule.
Another unique aspect of the universe was noted by physicist Stephen Hawkins in “A Brief History of Time” (1996, p. 126): “If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, it would have recollapsed before it reached its present size. On the other hand, if it had been greater by a part in a million, the universe would have expanded too rapidly for stars and planets to form.”
There are hundreds of parameters which all must be present or life on Earth would be impossible, such as:
- If the Sun’s gravitational pull was not balanced with the centrifugal force of the Earth spinning in orbit, the Earth would either be pulled into the Sun or fly off into space
- If the Earth were 2 percent closer to the Sun it would be scorched and if it were 2 percent further away from the Sun it would be frozen
- If the Earth did not have a molten core, there would be no magnetic field to protect the surface from deadly cosmic radiation
- If Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system – with a mass 2.5 times all the other planets combined – was not exerting its immense gravitational pull, comets and asteroids from space would strike the Earth
- If the Earth took longer to rotate, increased exposure to the Sun would make it inhospitable
- If the Earth did not have a tilt there would be no seasons
- If the Moon did not exist, the oceans would continually wash over the face of the Earth
- If the Moon were not in its exact position, there would not be the precise gravitational pull necessary for ocean tides
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. …”
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. …”
Metaxas stated further: “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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