31 Jan “Science, God, and the Moon” by Stephen Hutchins
“ Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…”
That’s one among the many ways in Romans 1 that the Apostle Paul described the secularists of history and the age in which he lived. The phrase of this particular verse came to my mind recently when I read a news story about the origin of our planet’s moon (http://on.wsj.com/2kNMHps). Did you see it?
Initially, it was the headline, “Researchers Suggest New Theory for the Moon’s Origin,” that caught my eye. First of all, why did anyone among these learned scientists think there was any need for a “new theory”? Turns out that the widely accepted theory among astronomers, i.e. that “a small planet named Theia slammed into the early Earth about 100 million years after Earth first formed [and that] the collision created an immense ring of orbiting debris from both worlds that eventually pulled together to form the Moon,” makes no sense. It makes no sense because Earth and the Moon should each have unique chemical makeups if the Moon was indeed formed by the collision of two planetary bodies from different parts of our or another solar system. But they don’t. It seems the Earth and the Moon are almost identical chemically. Despite this reality, and absent of any other prevailing alternative theory to date, this theory was largely accepted as the best explanation of the Moon’s origin.
But wait! There’s an emerging alternative theory, one that tackles the major flaw in the previous one head-on. The new theory suggests that instead of one big collision with Earth by another planet, there were actually several smaller ones (about 20 in this theory’s estimation), each causing the formation of a moonlet consisting of the resulting debris from each collision with Earth. Over time these moonlets merged and, voila, our moon was formed. This certainly helps explain why the Earth and Moon are so identical chemically. No word yet on what became of the leftover matter of those smaller objects of impact.
In the context of the above-mentioned verse from Romans 1, Paul refers to God as “Creator” and that every person is “without excuse” regarding this truth as it’s obvious from nature that He exists. If this truth is so obvious, why do so many miss it? I think Peter gives us an explanation when he refers to those who “…deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being…” (2 Peter 3:5 NIV, emphasis mine).
So when I read news stories like this one, I’m saddened, but not surprised, at what lengths people will go to in an attempt to write God out of His own (and their) story. What they also may not appreciate is that their convoluted scenarios constructed to explain our world would seem to require exponentially more faith than I exercise in believing that an all-powerful, loving God has created our world and is worthy of all praise and obedience.
Many of you have had the pleasure of visiting the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and other art museums. You and all others who have had the privilege of viewing the many masterpieces of art there would consider it absurd to suggest that any of these were the result of random processes (say multiple explosions in paint factories with canvases at the ready). To do so would render you a “fool,” regardless of your claim to the contrary. I think that’s kind of what Paul was talking about at the beginning of his letter to the Romans.