The clip from the movie Déjà Vu highlights an interesting point. While scientists can’t fold space and create a wormhole, they can look back in time and access the past.
For example, it takes eight minutes for the light of the sun to reach us. Thus effectively when we look at the sun we are seeing it as it was eight minutes ago. Astronomy is unique amongst the scientific fields in that it actively witnesses the past. (1)And with this comes a wealth of knowledge.
As astronomers look back in time, the distance is calculated in light-years. Scientists measure the speed of light in several ways both in space and on earth.
The speed of light travels at 300,000 km a second and close to 10 trillion km in one year. Which means in one second light can circle the earth seven and a half times. It travels consistently and at the same speed. No variance in the speed of light has been detected in vigorous testing. (2)(Wikipedia) ‘Speed of light’
Thanks to modern technology, astronomers can view the universe further and further away. Telescopes like the Hubble spacecraft can access images of the Andromeda galaxy at 2.1 million light-years away. (And see what was happening there 2.1 million light-years ago).
However, they can go further still. Astronomers can view images of the early universe at 13.73 billion light-years away and in fact, view the complete cosmic history of our universe. (1)
Much like a photo album, you find in your home when we see the photos of our family change over time, we can view the universe at various stages of its development. (If you are concerned that a universe billions of years old may be incompatible with a literal interpretation of the Bible, see ‘A Matter of Days ‘ by Dr Hugh Ross. and blog Biblical evidence for an old earth
As astronomers look back at the universe, galaxies are packed more tightly together. As the universe expands over time the galaxies also move apart. Astronomers observations of the universe have established a huge array of information which provides compelling scientific evidence for the existence and attributes of the creator.
In the words of Astronomer Paul Davies, “It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the universe.”(3)
Physicist Freeman Dyson, quoted, “I do not feel like an alien in this universe. The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming”. (3)
A colleague of Hawking, George Ellis made the following statement in a paper at the Second Venice Conference on Cosmology and Philosophy, “Amazing fine-tuning occurs in the laws that make this (complexity) possible. The realisation of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word miraculous.”(3)
As astronomer Dr Ross explains “what they note (in this research) is evidence that the universe is step by step progressively designed and prepared for the entry of human beings. Such a detailed and complex preparation for such a highly specified purpose is the expected signature of an intelligent, powerful planner. It is not the anticipated outcome of random chance.”(3)
While cosmology has revealed a beginning it also points to an end to our universe.
NASA astronomer, Ms Thaller reveals that the Milky Way Galaxy will eventually collide with the Andromeda Galaxy or the universe will pull apart the sun, the earth and atoms. (Known as the Big Rip) see NASA and the Big Rip
But before this our sun will get too hot for advanced life, on top of this, a fact still relevant today, British Physicist Lord Kelvin in 1852 pointed out “ that the universal dissipation of mechanical energy will … lead to a complete diffusion of all motion, the exhaustion of potential energy, and a universal state of death.” (4) The end of the universe and Kelvin paper
Now, why am I mentioning this? Well if we take the seemingly impossible view that we are a product of time plus matter plus chance, there is no design and hope. However, the evidence is not pointing that way and indeed science has shown that this universe is temporal. A fact the Bible agrees with.
Of all the ancient religious texts the Bible makes more accurate future predictions than any other. In his blog on this topic, Dr Ross explains, “Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events-in detail-many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2,000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors.” (Check the blog out for more specifics. https://prophecy-evidence-for-the-reliability-of-the-bible
If this is the case then what does it say about the future. In short, it says a lot. Christianity is, a two creation model. The Bible tells us in Rev 21 and Isiah 65.17 and others that this universe will end (I’ve heard that before!) and in its place, there will be a new heaven and a new earth. ‘One without decay, death, grief or evil.
God promises that every pain, grief, brutality, or indignity humans have endured on this earth will be more than compensated for by the magnificence, love, beauty, significance, joy and peace humans will have in their new home. All the suffering and death the entire human race has endured, as great and horrible as it is, will seem “ light and momentary “ compared with the new creation’s eternal reward’..(Corin 4.17)… (1)
This new existence will also be one with purpose. Not ‘perpetual bliss’ as one friend attempted to frame it but perpetual fulfilment. And here’s the thing. You don’t get there based on merit. None of us could make the grade. While a sceptics response to this may be ‘What a lot of baloney.’ My question to them framing this thinking constructively is, ‘What’s the alternative you can offer me and how does it stack up against the incredible fine-tuning we see which enables our very existence?’
Just before he died the thief on the cross beside Christ recognised his own dire need for forgiveness acknowledged his corrupt heart, turned to Jesus and said: “Remember me when you come into your home.” To which Christ responded. “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23.39)
It’s not what you know or do, that count but who you know!
While the universe is truly amazing in all its glory. I would argue that God’s grace is even more amazing. You see God gives us not just one portion of grace but two. The grace of forgiveness and the grace of a new spirit. ‘Grace upon grace.’ But there’s more. Romans 6.23 tells us “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.”
Today I went to yet another beautiful friend’s funeral and I was again reminded of this very fact.
We can ‘argue until the cows come home’ as one friend put it. Over which religion offers the best outcome not just after death but now. But we will still have to deal with the evil in our heart and death. Only Christ deals with both these so wonderfully well and completely.
So before I leave let’s push aside the scrunched up paper and rotten half-eaten apples on that professor’s desk and hear from another world-renown expert. Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-proclaimed agnostic, best described what has happened to his colleagues as they have measured the cosmos.
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
And on that note, “Houston over and out.”
(1) ‘Why the Universe is the way it is’ Dr Hugh Ross pg. 21/25
(2) Wikipedia Light Speed
(3)The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries Reveal God” pg177, Pg178, Pg152, pg 180.
check out reasons.org new-reason-to-believe/2019/09/02/god-and-time-theories