Wednesday, December 3, 2008
venus, the moon, and jupiter
Isn't that amazing? Luke took the photo. The one I attempted looked like I was trying to write on a chalkboard with a 23 inch piece of chalk. Not a keeper. Tuesday evening, 6 p.m., as Bell and I walked back from the city pool (she was doing laps) she reminded me that there was to be a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter very near our moon. Sure enough, it was so startling, I was surprised everyone wasn't walking with their eyes skyward--but that would be dangerous in this town.
So when we got home, I asked Luke to take a picture and he sensibly took the tripod out, found a good spot and voilá.
As I gazed (for truly, one doesn't simply look at something that amazing, one is impelled to gaze upon it), my mind sped through the improbability of our being advised in advance to watch for this on December 2. First, someone would have to understand the process of defining the elliptical orbit of a planet. Then find all the orbits of all the planets and plot them. Next, discover their velocity at the various points of orbits, to find if there would be times when they would apparently be "nearby" from our perspective. Then bring in our moon, so much closer and variable in shape and location--and determine that two planets and our moon would appear a cozy threesome. We were warned which day it would be in plenty of time to enjoy it.
I think this amazes me so much because despite home schooling (or maybe because of) we are exceedingly aware of the subtle role of evolutionary thinking in the sciences. How anyone can stop and consider the mathematics involved, the possibilities of a creature evolved from one cell ever being capable of the research and ingenuity necessary to consider the planets and their orbits and predict when they would appear where in the sky? But the so-called rocket scientists do it every day. How can it be that man has learned so much and craves to know so much more, but our dogs still don't even know geometry.
I know if an evolutionist read this, he would sadly shake his head at my delusion. (How could she believe that hogwash, he would be asking?) Basically, it is a faith matter. I prefer to put my faith in God; evolutionists in "chance" and "natural selection." It makes me think of Galileo when put on trial by the Catholic establishment because he published his discovery that the earth revolved around the sun. He chose not to die for what he knew to be true, he verbally consented to the official line. But as he left the courtroom, he was heard to say, "Yet it does move."
What I think or what the prevailing experts tout is not significant. Truth is truth no matter what. It doesn't change.
I find that comforting.