The Cosmos, the secular version of “In the Beginning” continues (Part 3)
By Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.
Don’t let the title fool you, there is nothing in this series that acknowledges the biblical truth concerning creation. Once again I sat dumbfounded by the third installment of what I have nicknamed, it's déjà vu all over again. This is the next episode of the remake of Carl Sagan’s original 1978 miniseries of the same name, and it continues where the second installment left off.
Dr. Tyson began this episode by likening the human race to “an abandoned baby who woke up” on the planet and had our collective intelligence shaped by “eons of evolution” so we would genetically be able to recognize patterns. Dr. Tyson likened this ability to “a gift,” but quickly added that primitive man thought that these heavenly objects controlled their lives. I found it interesting that Dr. Tyson immediately likened primitive man to a godless pagan. This was a continuation of a theme started in the very first of this series where primitive men were seen as newly evolved primates, hunting and gathering to eek out a post Ice Age existence.
Dr. Tyson noted that comets were considered by almost every civilization to be heralds of doom. He continues to ignore the Hebrew Scriptures that clearly express that the heavens were created by God. This includes all of the billions and billions of stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, not to mention the innumerable stars that exist in the known universe. Then he explains, in his typical know-it-all fashion, that “we know exactly where comets come from.” Once again, Dr. Tyson brings up Jan Oort (1900-1992). Dr. Tyson seems to be fascinated with this prolific Dutch astronomer who does have several real scientific discoveries to his credit. The one that Dr. Tyson is focusing on is definitely not one of them.
Here’s the problem. Astronomers have known for a long time that comets eventually loose their mass as they orbit around our Sun. As we have already noted, comets are really like dirty snowballs and the heat generated by their elliptical orbits around our Sun causes them to break up. This is clearly seen as they heat up and a tail of ice rocks trails behind them. They do not last very long. Some estimate that within a 10,000 year timeframe, a comet will completely vaporize. This did not stop Dr. Tyson from insinuated that asteroids are really just comets that have lost their moisture. This is not accurate as the composition of comets and asteroids differ, especially with regard to their core composition and the amount of frozen water they contain.
Now, back to Han Oort, the reason for the Cosmos writers spending so much time on comets is twofold. First, they do have an interesting part to play in the greater story of modern science. This is especially true of the relationship between Edmund Halley and Isaac Newton, but I am getting ahead of myself. The real importance of Hans Oort to this series is his completely hypothetical place at the edge of our solar system called the Oort Cloud. You must understand that if comets don’t last more than 10,000 years tops, we need to create some way for new comets to come along. Without such a mythical place, the evidence would indicate that our solar system is less than 10,000 years old and evolution cannot allow for that type of evidence to stand unchallenged. So Han Oort becomes the savior of the billions and billions of years, because he imagined that there must be a magical place where comets come from. We can have an endless supply of them going back billions and billions of years. Dr. Tyson admits that no one has ever seen this Oort cloud, so now you know why so much time was spent on Jan Oort.
This was an opportunity to segway into Halley and his relationship to Isaac Newton. Dr. Tyson begins by noting that the comet of 1664 sent “shivers of dread” through the people of earth. Remember, it is only the pagan view that is relevant to Dr. Tyson and his fellow evolutionists. That will become crystal clear as the series continues. But for now, this comet was a sign of “famine, plague, war, loss, storms, and civil treasons to the cities of planet Earth.” But to Edmond Halley (1656-1742), this comet was a source of fascination and wonder. Dr. Tyson chronicled Halley’s scientific endeavors that included, among other things, the mapping of the stars of the southern hemisphere, no small feat.
During this time, we are told of another contemporary of Halley and Newton, Robert Hooke, invented the compound microscope by which he discovered the cell while examining a cork. In 1684, Halley meets Newton. Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was born on Christmas day. We learn his father was dead by the time Isaac was born. His mother left him when he was three years old and returned when Isaac was eleven with a new husband whom Isaac did not like. Isaac entered Trinity College in Cambridge, England. Dr. Tyson describes him as “a bad student who stayed much to himself.” Additionally, we are told that Isaac was a “passionate mystic” who was interested in alchemy and was “obsessed with the study of the Bible.” Dr. Tyson finishes his description of Isaac Newton by saying that he wanted to know the date for the Second Coming and concludes this description by noting that “none of his biblical studies ever led anywhere.”
I found this to be a very revealing statement. While Dr. Tyson did make reference to Isaac’s interest in discovering biblical codes, he failed to mention that this subject in recent times has been undertaken by both Israeli and Christian scholars who use computer programs to do what Newton was doing without the benefit of a computer. I also found that Dr. Tyson’s complete ignorance of why a child of God studies the Bible to be stunning. No mention of the evidence of biblical prophecy with regard to the coming Messiah. No mention of the dozens of specific prophecies concerning both the first and second advents of the Messiah. His complete ignorance of the reasons that believers are drawn by God’s Holy Spirit to God’s Word was diagnostic of his spiritual condition, namely that Dr. Tyson is a lost soul who is in dire need of the Savior.
While Dr. Tyson paid lip service to the fact that Newton “loved God and was a genius,” he gave no credence to the truth that Newton’s love for science was inspired by his love for His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Newton wholeheartedly believed the biblical account of the creation. He, like so many other Bible believing men and women of science were simply, as astronomer Johann Kepler so famously said, “…thinking God’s thoughts after him.” Instead, Dr. Tyson made a point of telling us that the concept of an orderly God directed solar system a belief he repeatedly referred to as the cosmic Watchmaker was in Dr. Tyson’s words, “the closing of a door that does not lead to other questions.” And here is where Dr. Tyson’s assertion that belief in a God ordained and sustained creation was “closing a door to seeking more knowledge” is completely unfounded. Sadly, this is really what evolutionists think of God and His Word. To them, it appears as anti-science, when the truth is that many of the great minds of science were themselves Bible believing people. Even those who did not place their faith in a personal God, such as avowed agnostic and secular humanist, Albert Einstein, could not conceive of a universe that was not ordered by a divine intelligence. One of his less quoted statements concerning religion and science is as follows, “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details. [The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p.202]
Continuing to make his case for atheistic evolution, Dr. Tyson explains that “Newton’s Laws of Gravity and Motion…swept away the need for a Master Clockmaker to explain the beauty and precision of the solar system.” Let’s look at Dr. Tyson’s contention. He is telling us that when we can explain how something works, that gives us liberty to deny the One who created it? Is he really telling us that if we can understand how a natural law operates, that means that the law, like the law of gravity, simply happened all by itself? Does not a law require a Lawgiver? Are we going to be able to exclude the logical conclusion that a finely-tuned universe with all of its laws with its weak and strong nuclear forces that can be expressed mathematical certainty means there is no higher power who is the ultimate Lawgiver and Intelligent Designer. I have come to belief that it is the evolutionists who are in denial of reality. They choose to view the creation without a Creator, the universe without a First Cause, and an incredibly fine-tuned and irreducibly complex abundance and variety of life on our planet as a series of cosmic accidents.
Then Dr. Tyson went and proved my point by proclaiming “gravity” is the Clockmaker. I knew I had heard this somewhere else, and then I realized that the darling of evolutionary cosmology, Stephen Hawking, had made that very same assertion. You may want to assign godlike powers to gravity, but don’t ask me to believe, “In the beginning Gravity created the heavens and the earth.” What should a man or woman of faith do when finite creatures such as Dr. Tyson or Stephen Hawking pontificate that a force that pulls on all matter can be accredited with supernatural creative powers. Just because we can discover the natural laws that govern the world in which we live, does not mean we can ignore the One who created those same laws. The hubris of godless men is stunning.
Now Dr. Tyson directed us back to Edmund Halley. From what I could see, we are being told that Edmund Halley is the hero in the search for knowledge concerning the cosmos. Dr. Tyson went on to tell us all about Halley’s inventions, which are by not means not praiseworthy, but the Cosmos screenwriters chose to spend far more time on Edmund than his contemporary, and the one who solved the mystery of the elliptical orbit of planets and comets, the true giant of science, Isaac Newton. Now we find out that Halley managed to track the history of comet sightings between the years 1472 and 1698. He used Newton’s calculations to figure out that the comet that bears his name was orbiting around our Sun every 76 years. Dr. Tyson then characterized Halley’s orbital predictions as a “prophecy” that would eventually come to pass. Using biblical terms with regard to a scientific prediction struck me as peculiar, until I realized that Dr. Tyson and others of his ilk really do worship the creation rather than the Creator.
If Dr. Tyson or anyone else would like to learn something about real prophecy, they need not look any further than the Bible. It is a divinely inspired record of how the universe came into existence and so much more. The prophetic power of the Word of God is one of the many infallible proofs that Jesus of Nazareth is God’s promised Messiah. Biblical prophecy foretold that He came to make atonement for the sins of mankind, was crucified, buried and rose from the dead three days later. The prophetic Word of God is very specific and it always comes to pass with an accuracy rate of 100%. If Dr. Tyson (or anyone else) cared to examine the prophetic record of the Hebrew Scriptures, they would find that God foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2; He would be born of a virgin, Is. 7:14; He would be rejected by his own people, Is. 53:3, but He would die for their sins just the same, Is. 53:4; Dan. 9:24-26; He would die a cruel death of crucifixion, Ps. 22:1-18, yet He would be raised from the dead, Ps. 16:10, Is. 53:11-12; Ps. 22:22. He would be God manifested in the flesh, Is. 9:6; who would suddenly appear in His Temple, Mal. 3:1; be betrayed by a close friend, Ps. 41:9; for thirty pieces of silver, Zech. 11:12. This list could go on and on, and these prophecies are in reference to the first coming of the Messiah. There are hundreds of messianic prophecies covering both the first and second comings of the Messiah. But evolutionists are offering Halley’s ability to predict the timeframe of a comet’ orbit as being a “prophecy.”
Now the screenwriters bring us back to the baby who, in the opening sequence, was looking up at the stars. Dr. Tyson ends with another cosmic prophecy. Eventually our Milky Way galaxy and our nearest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, will collide. Not to worry, the space between their respective stars is so vast that it will not adversely affect life on planet Earth. As we watched these two galaxies swirl side by side, I could not help thinking that Dr. Tyson and all who reject the Creator, but worship the creation, are hopelessly lost in their own little fantasy world. They represent a world that has been blinded by a godless allegiance to naturalism that has been elevated to the level of an explanation of everything. That explanation is the Theory of Evolution.
In contrast to Dr. Tyson’s stated belief that faith in the Creator closes the door to scientific inquiry, I leave you with the words of Isaac Newton. He was one of Einstein’s heroes of science along with Michael Faraday and John Clerk Maxwell (all of whom were devout Bible believers). I challenge Dr. Tyson and/or any other evolutionist to prove how a belief in “In the beginning God” closes the door to scientific inquiry. I end with Isaac Newton’s view of this subject.
It seems probable to me that God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them; and that these primitive particles being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them; even so very hard, as never to wear or break in pieces; no ordinary power being able to divide what God himself made one in the first creation (emphasis added). [Sir Isaac Newton, From ‘The Tao of Physics’, p64]