If you adhere consciously or unconsciously to the theories of origins which prevail in early 21st century western civilization, you will become skeptical or amazed if you read on. You might even become annoyed or worse.
The cosmogony and cosmology briefly sketched below unabashedly flows from commitment to the infallible veracity of the holy Bible, and the conviction that its veracity obtains for all matters it addresses or even touches upon indirectly. And it certainly addresses origins.
Genesis chapter one majestically summarizes the origin of the entire universe (the heavens and the earth). It tells of the beginning of the human race and in chapter three explains its current sad state of corruption. It teaches us about the provenance of other life forms on earth. It accounts for the seven day week, inherited by us moderns from greatest antiquity – but unlike the year, month, and day not established as a chronological measure by the heavenly luminaries.
Were we zeroing in on geology and anthropology, we would need to address the Noahic flood of about 4,500 years ago. That unique, global cataclysm is memorialized in the legends of hundreds of ethnic groups. We would also need to speak about the divine activity at the tower of Babel which explains the origin of diversity in human speech.
Unrevised history as given in Scripture speaks to other important matters as well, with God’s plan of salvation as the heart and soul of the whole. But at the moment we are considering the feasibility of human beings traveling to the stars.
Let’s begin by asking about the raison d’etre for the sun, the moon, and both “fixed” and “wandering” stars. Astronomy cannot tell us their purpose. That fine scientific endeavor can only describe what it sees using terms like giant balls of flaming gas, planets (from the Greek PLANETES, wanderers) satellites, asteroids, comets, novae, nebulae. The Bible transcends human observation with its accurate or inaccurate conclusions and reveals several purposes for the objects we see in the heavens. Consider these two passages:
From the 19th Psalm – “…the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.”
From Genesis chapter 1 – Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth;” and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.
In short the revealed purposes of the heavenly bodies are (1) to display God’s glory to all nations at all times and in all places (what we can observe in the nearer heavens such as clouds, lightning, and other meteorological phenomena included), (2) to illumine the earth, (3) to establish units of time and (4) to serve as special signs. As to that last purpose, the star of Bethlehem comes to mind, as does the mighty miracle described in Joshua chapter ten.
What happens if our speculation about traveling far, far away from home despises or ignores this true and accurate knowledge of the origin and purposes of our destination? What if instead we plan our journey based on the myth that the universe came to be when a “cosmic egg” inexplicably exploded in a big bang? What if we view the heavens and the earth and everything in them as but the chaotic remains of such a primordial conflagration? If we do that, we are starting from complete falsehood; building on a speculation foundation of sand.
But creative speculation and inventing the tools by which we can realize our dreams is integral to who we human beings are! We are little creators made in the image of our own omnipotent Creator! So, beginning from the Bible’s sound and reliable launch pad, let’s boldly go – in our imaginations – where no man has gone before!
What logistics obtain for traveling to the stars, and what obstacles are star travelers likely to face?
to be continued…