On August 25, 2012, while all of humanity was sleeping, Voyager 1 crossed the heliosphere – that is the magnetic boundary that separates the solar system’s sun and planets from the rest of the galaxy. It was the first man-made object to cross that line. It’s now floating in the cosmic seas of interstellar space. In another 40,000 years, it will fly near stars that used to be beyond our reach. The Voyager 1 carries time capsules in the form of golden disc of images and sounds that will tell extraterrestrials about us.
NASA launched voyager 1 and 2 in 1977. Voyager 1 is 18.8 billion miles from earth while Voyager 2 is still 15.3 billion miles away from our planet. Though they each have storage space of 68KB memory scientists hope to learn from them what else is out there.
Sorry, I digressed.
How old did the Bible say the earth is? And did the Qur’an say that the earth is flat?
Ask these two questions and you immediately encounter a vigorous defense by adherents of these two holy books. Their defense is all centered on making sure that their holy books do not run counter to what modern science know to be true.
The universe, we now know, is about 14 billion years old and the earth is 4.5 billion years old. According to a study published last month by researchers at the University of East Anglia in Britain, human race has another 1.7 billion years before the earth moves into the sun’s hot zone. That’s when the temperature of the earth will be so high that it would be uninhabitable for mankind. At that point all lives on earth will come to an end. There is hope that by then man must have figured out how to move to another planet or even another galaxy.
Though the Bible did not say specifically how old the earth is, researchers used biblical genealogies to arrive at the conclusion that following the letters of the Bible the earth and the universe are 6,000 years.
Obviously, that cannot be true. Carbon-dating of human fossils found in Africa has shown that the first modern man showed up on earth some 200,000 years ago. Bible followers do not want the Bible to be wrong so they go to the limit to prove that the genealogies of the Bible cannot be followed on face value. They say that many words of the Bible are deeper than they appear – and that “only the deep are called to the deep.” In fact, some argue that there are some things that God deliberately left vague in the Bible.
When it is apparently wrong, it’s said to be metaphoric or an allegory or a hyperbole or simile and should not be taken literally. At other times, the error is attributed to “something lost in translation”- like mentioning insects with four legs; rabbits that chew their cud; bats that are classified as birds; snails that are described as animals that melt.
Several times, references were made in the Bible about the ends of the earth as if the earth was flat. And time and time again, it says the earth is fixed and immovable. Of course, we now know that the earth moves. The Bible also says that the moon is the lesser of the two great lights God made. The moon of course has no light. It only reflects the rays of the sun.
In Creation story, God made night and day before he made the sun which determines when it’s night and when it’s day. How is that possible? He made plants before the bees and the butterflies that pollinate them or even the sun that will bring about photosynthesis.
It is the same with the Qur’an. The Qur’an says that Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out). That Allah has spread out or flattened the earth on the back of a great fish and used the mountain to keep the earth from shaking due to the movement of the fish.
Believers will go to any length to prove that it was all a misunderstanding of what the holy book was saying. They argue, for example, that the crust of the earth is the carpet in question. And that in any case you can spread a carpet on objects that are round, too, and not just flat objects. They conclude that the Qur’an actually confirms what science now knows.
At one point the Qur’an wonders why and how the sun and the moon do not collide. Did Allah create the stars as missiles to be thrown at the devils?
The Qur’an and the Bible were written to be for all times. They are vague enough for adherents to find verses in them to explain new phenomenon of the new world. But for how long can they provide plausible answers? Despite what Jesus said, the mustard seed is not the smallest seed there is. Just the way atom is not the smallest indivisible particle there is, as Dalton once propounded. This new struggle to align these holy books with modern science is a new thing.
The Biblical age of the earth was not challenged until the late 18th century when researchers abandoned the Bible and, instead, used geological factors like the cooling of the molten lava in their calculation. That was when the church rejected the global flood and the biblical age of the earth.
Because the Bible reported that a rib was taken from man to make a woman, everyone believed it until 1543 when the physician, Andreas Vesalius showed that the number of ribs in a man was the same as the number in a woman. When in the 17th century, the Italian scientist, Galileo Galilei, stated that the sun was at the center of the universe and not the earth, the Catholic Church was alarmed. In February of 1615, the church tried Galileo by Inquisition as a suspect of heresy. The church forced Galileo to recant his scientific finding and kept him under house arrest for the rest of his life. It took almost 400 years before Pope John Paul II expressed regret over how the church handled the Galileo affair.
Different religious groups have essentially abandoned the mission of attacking many of the mainstream scientific findings- with the exception of evolution. They now fall over themselves to ensure that the teachings of their religion conform to these understandings. But for how long?
This is how the French Nobel laureate in physics Pierre-Gilles de Gennes described the International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor (ITER) project now going on in France: “We say that we will put the sun into a box. The idea is pretty,” he said. “The problem is, we don’t know how to make the box.”
Well, with over $20 billion dollars invested by seven member entities – the European Union, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States, the box is under construction in Cadarache, south of France. When completed, it will be the first machine to achieve self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction.
ITER project is essentially man’s effort to replicate what happens in the sun. It plans to heat up two hydrogen isotopes under pressure until they form plasma and begin to fuse into helium. This will release energy for electricity.
What are the implications of such an accomplishment? Could it lead to an era of cheap and environmentally friendly energy production? What are the potential dangers of neutron bombardment in a tokomak reactor? We may never know until 2027 when the deuterium-tritium fusion operation is expected to start.
In 1960, Peter Higgs and Francois Englert, amongst others, came up with the idea of Higgs particle, otherwise called God Particle. They used it to explain why particles have mass. The Standard Model of particle physics will make no sense if there is no Higgs boson.
The hunt for Higgs boson immediately ensued.
Again, the European Union, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, the United States and others came together to build the $10 billion dollar Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In it protons moving in a 17-mile long circular tunnel at near the speed of light smashed against each other 11,000 times per second. It created mini-Big Bangs each second. Last year, after months of analyzing data, scientists announced the discovery of the God Particle.
Peter Higgs and Francois Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics last week for their genius in predicting the existence of the God particle. While some were concerned that the mini-Big Bangs produced in the Large Hadron Collider would create a black hole and swallow everything on earth, determined scientists stayed on the experiment until they proved the theory.
For over 2 billion years now, nature has been converting sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen in a process known as photosynthesis. Using photocatalytic water splitting means, scientists at the California Institute of Technology’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis are working to replicate what nature does in their laboratory. Using nano-engineered materials they hope to effectively utilize the excess carbon dioxide on earth to produce carbohydrates.
In other breakthroughs, scientists have grown ears, teeth, livers and blood vessels in the lab. They have also produced industrial level 3D printers that can make items like guns and gongs by mere pressing of a button. The self-driving cars are being tested as we speak.
Today, some are memorizing the holy books while others are putting the sun in a box. Tomorrow, we wonder why those who put the sun in a box are so blessed.
Please correct me if I’m right.
Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.