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Alaina Lake

Professor Trina Van Ausdal


PHYS 1040
April 15, 2015

Astronomy in the Bible?

I invited my two half-brothers Andrew & Dalton, my half-sister Katy, and my


sister Rebekah to lunch at Wingers Roadhouse Grill at Valley Fair Mall to complete
my astronomy conversation. I chose this group because I knew that they would give
me a fairly good amount of personal opinions. It took place from 12:00 pm to 1:15
pm on 4/13/15. Coming up with a topic that could grab the interest and generate
input between 5 people (4 of which hadnt done any recent research on astronomy)
was probably the most difficult part. But once I had a topic, I created an outline of
the chosen topic along with points and questions that related to the topic. The
question/topic that I chose was Can the science and physics of astronomy and
biblical accounts both be true?
The first question that I asked was do science and physics exist? I feel like
this question should have been more specific because at the beginning of our
conversation the focus seemed to be more on science and physics in general rather
than astronomy. Regardless, the entire group agreed that both science and physics
do exist and some of the group members gave examples such as gravity and living
organisms. The next question was do you believe that the bible is true and that the

events described in the bible were actual events? This is a question of great debate
around the world but, again, everybody in our group agreed that the events in the
bible really did occur. The next question was Are science, physics, and the bible all
true?
Dalton explained that he believes that God created science/physics and
therefore uses it to fulfill his works. He stated that everything that happens,
whether in space or on earth, has a scientific explanation behind it, even if it is a
piece of science that hasnt yet been observed by mankind. Katy didnt agree with
this. She said that God uses miracles and there doesnt always have to be an
explanation for what he does and does not choose to do. Right when she disagreed
with what was first brought out Dalton pulled up Psalms 19:1 on his phone. This
verse states that the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament
shewetth his handywork (Psalms). This indicates that God created the heavens and
that science is his handywork. Most members of our group agreed that science,
which is governed by God, governs the Universe, but Katy was still hesitant to let go
of the point that she brought out about miracles not needing an explanation. We
asked her for an example of one.
I had to stop and refocus the conversation at this point because this is when I
realized that the conversation was on the broader term of science rather than
astronomy. I started reading off some of the biblical examples that I had written
down before the conversation that involved astronomy. Some of the points following
are the Star of Bethlehem and Moses parting the Red Sea.
I think that any Christian can agree that one of the biggest astronomical
events that occurs in the bible is the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem that

shined as a sign that the baby Jesus had been born. One question that I have always
had is what was in the night sky that night that was shining so bright? At first, I
stated that there could have just been a bright star in the sky that night. Rebekah
said that if that was the case then shouldnt we be able to see the same star in our
night sky at least every couple of years. Andrew, explained that he had once
watched a documentary about the Star of Bethlehem and that several Christian
scientists first believed that it was a comet or some type of nova that occurred
when a distant star died. One Christian, however, decided that he would get to the
bottom of it. Through his scientific findings, he ruled out the possibility of a comet,
supernova, or meteor and used an older scientists discovery to look at the night sky
as it had looked in previous years. This man discovered that the Star of Bethlehem
was actually a couple of stars that lined up just perfectly to make a brighter star.
Our conversation then shifted and we began discussing how the moon affects
tidal waves and if this had something to do with the parting of the Red Sea.
Everybody in the group agreed that this could very well be something that made
the parting of the Red Sea possible. We also had discussions about the Flood, the
Passover, and blood moons.
We all agreed that science and physics (along with the heavens and the
earth) were created and are governed by God and that he has heavily integrated
them with his plan.
The thing that surprised me about the conversation is that it probably taught
me more stuff than any of the participants. I had to look at research online to find
out exactly what some of the group participants was trying to explain. The most
interesting was what Andrew had said about the Star of Bethlehem. After the

conversation, I discovered the documentary that Andrew was talking about. I


wanted to see the research for myself. Johannes Kepler was the older scientist that
discovered the math and formulas to see how the stars might have looked from
earth at an earlier stage in time. F. A. Larson is the Christian that did the research to
find out what happened in the sky when Christ was born. F. A. Larson claims that the
Star of Bethlehem was actually Jupiter dancing around another star through the
process of retrograde motion, making the Star of Bethlehem appear brighter at that
particular time in history. Looking up the research behind what some of the group
participants was an excellent learning activity for myself.
I thanked my brothers and sisters for participating in my astronomy
conversation. They said they all enjoyed it as well and that it was a good idea to do
it over lunch. The conversation veered off topic a couple of times but for the most
part we were still able to stay focused and everybody was able to provide their
opinions and input. If I was to do this assignment again I would plan better. I would
bring actual research for the topics that I wanted to talk about and present it to my
group. I dont think that an outline of topics was good enough because I felt like a
lot of it was too broad.

Works Cited
Larson, F.A. "The Star of Bethlehem | A Coronation." The Star of Bethlehem. F.A.
Larson, 2015. Web. 16
Apr. 2015.
Psalms. Old Testament: King James Version. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.