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TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES
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TODAY'S FEATURED NEWS STORY
Planet, Planet, Number 9!.
“Mystery of Planet Nine: Hubble Data Shows Exoplanet Possible”
See the full NewsMax article.
…What scientists are observing:
Thanks again to the Hubble Space Telescope and NASSA, evidence is mounting that there is an eccentric, Jupiter-like exoplanet (HD 106906 b) orbiting in a debris field far away from its “host stars.” In the words of Meiji Nguyen from U.C. Berkley as quoted in the Astronomical Journal: "It's very widely separated from its host stars on an eccentric and highly misaligned orbit, just like the prediction for Planet Nine. This begs the question of how these planets formed and evolved to end up in their current configuration."
The existence of this elusive Planet Nine (theorized in 2016), existing 100 billion miles away, and ten times the size of earth is said to be “tilting the solar system.” The article quotes another space team expert, Paul Kalas, "It's as if we have a time machine for our own planetary system going back 4.6 billion years to see what may have happened when our young solar system was dynamically active and everything was being jostled around and rearranged,"
...What the scientists are trying to do:
1.) The theory that there is an elusive Planet Nine has been theorized for four or five years now, and it is based on anomalous behavior within our solar system which includes orbits behaving in a non-predictable way. 2.) Hubble has just gathered evidence that there is a Jupiter-like exoplanet orbiting in an anomalous eccentric pattern 4.6 billion light years away. 3.) This observation provides a logical precedent for concluding that there could be such a thing as Planet Nine, because we may now be observing behavior like the eccentric pattern which seems to be associated with Planet Nine elsewhere in the universe. The logic (if it is observable elsewhere it is possible here) makes sense, but the assumptions infused into the argument are lethal.
…Why this matters:
Almost all new discoveries present themselves first, as anomalies. The would-be empirical scientist seeks to make sense out of a particular phenomenon by integrating it with the data that has already been verified, and, using tools that have already been certified, develops new explanations. That is the stuff of science.
Now, for what should not be the stuff of science. Much of what we hear pronounced in the name of science is anything but. We are going to use this news clipping as an exercise in how to separate fact from assumption. We posit the challenge to evaluate the above listed quotations from our highly qualified and respected luminaries, Nguyen and Kalas while offering three simple guidelines for testing what a scientist declares to be fact.
1. Is the scientific claim based upon facts or mere consensus?
We need to ask this because virtually every scientific (not technological) advance in history has been opposed by scientific consensus. We can begin with a backward look at the hilarious protests of the British Royal Society and move all the way forward to the persistent censorship currently being pressed upon free thinkers within the scientific community. Gold standards are in place for a reason and they are helpful. However, those very standards which are meant to protect us and keep us on course, can be the very standards which forbid open-minded thinking. While no one is presently challenging the Hubble data regarding HD 106906 b in our planetary discussion, notice as Nguyen begins his comparative logic:
"It's very widely separated from its host stars on an eccentric and highly misaligned orbit, just like the prediction for Planet Nine…”
Nguyen is drawing a parallel between an assumed 4 billion year old phenomenon and a relatively contemporary one. Theoretical physicists are prone to describe “early creation” as being much like our early wild west. In this manner, they do not have to be accountable to the same universal laws which are now in place. Evolution has given them a pass. They can pick and choose. When data does not correspond to their hypothesis they can discount it on the basis that the primal universe was all but chaotic. When data fits, even roughly, they use it to argue their point (as in using microwaves to allege the big bang). Now, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You cannot be a uniformitarian and an evolutionist. Either the universe is governed through an explicit set of laws which are always predictable, or we must look for an alternate explanation to explain planetary behavior. While evolution has been credited with many startling intelligences and abilities, no one has endowed it with the ability to evolve laws as needed – at least at this point.
Nguyen assumes that all the so-called laws of the universe are in perfect synchronization with each other, functioning in a manner consistent with clockwork. That is why he can build his argument for Planet Nine from HD 106906 b. This planetary behavior is certainly atypical, but it is only atypical relative to Nguyen’s uniformitarian assumption of synchronicity. Bible believers have an alternate perspective from uniformitarianism. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is interactively carrying His creation forward. This is not to suggest that the laws of Christ which govern our universe are not synchronous and generally predictable. It is, however, to suggest that Jesus Christ carries the creation forward at His own behest and can and does make whatever adjustments He pleases. The laws of the universe (principles of consistency found in Christ) are subject to His providential machinations (Colossians 1:16-18). If there is a Ninth Planet skewing the entire solar system, it is part of a divinely purposed mechanic.
For those who are in bondage to consensus and who are aghast at the incredulity that the universe does not always function according to its so-called inherent laws, we offer a counter challenge. Will such a reader please explain why we have multiple schools of theoretical physics, borrowing our assumptions from Newton, Einstein, astrophysics, nanomechanics, and String Theory – none of which agree with each other, even at their basic premises? Modern speculative scientists are far more guilty of proof texting from their own church fathers than they are consistent in offering us a unified world view. Like some church leaders, they must establish a dominant consensus (rule of faith) in order to obscure a failed interpretive hermeneutic.
2. Is the scientific claim empirical or religious?
The second part of Nguyen’s statement amplifies our point: “…This begs the question of how these planets formed and evolved to end up in their current configuration." Notice the religious license which Nguyen takes without blinking. He assumes the universe evolved. He assumes it evolved consistently. He assumes that the same laws which were in motion billions of years ago are in effect. These are all religious assumptions which have never been verified empirically. Nguyen assumed these planets self-formed and self-evolved. This requires immutable, self-existing, vitalistic, forward moving laws. So, the question which he is “begging” is not the question on the floor, or at least, not the first question he should be pondering.
This issue of religious presumption inside so-called science runs deep. Basic assumptions which seem ever so innocent compound and, by nature, tempt the scientist to be dishonest, especially when his peers share his same vision. Imagine a pond of water with a path of paved bricks leading into it. Imagine a path of paved bricks leading out of the pond directly across the water. The assumption is that there is a path leading through the water. The scientist who takes one piece of data from one side of the pond and correlates it with what is on the other side has had to use his imagination, but he has not yet discovered fact. We see scientists doing this in every field to make their hypotheses work. For example, we draw images of mankind evolving from animal to homo sapiens going through various states which have never been empirically observed or verified except in the imagination of the artist. Once one has assumed the earth is flat, he will go to any length to fit the facts into his theory. Worse, he will construe his protagonists as being closed minded.
We are not suggesting that scientists should not be imaginative. We are suggesting that modern science has created a non-existent virtual reality by compounding so many assumptions that we have, in effect, moved from empiricism to religion.
3. Does the scientific claim consider all the alternate explanations?
Paul Kalas notes: "It's as if we have a time machine for our own planetary system going back 4.6 billion years to see what may have happened when our young solar system was dynamically active and everything was being jostled around and rearranged," We have already conceded the need for imagination in scientific discovery. Perhaps we will be able to verify the existence of Planet Nine. That is not the issue. The issue is this: When imagination turns to declaration, we are no longer scientific. Kalas would have us looking 4.6 billion years back into time to substantiate our interpretive model. He has assumed the immutable relationship between the speed of light and time. He has assumed that time as we know it is constant. He has assumed none of the laws of the universe have ever been interrupted or altered in any way. Therefore, what he has stated as factual is nonscientific.
Having addressed the problem of religious assumptions among scientists, we need to be clear on one additional matter. Our problem is when we treat a given set of assumptions as factual, we no longer look elsewhere for solutions. We become closed minded. There may or may not be a Planet Nine, but a smoking gun reveals our prejudice: In this case, both Nguyen and Kalas are entertaining the notion that Planet Nine may truly exist, based on secondhand evidence. They have observed that something may be there on the bases of skewed elliptical orbits. However, when a Bible believer comes along and mounts the same kind of logical argument, evidence gathered from thousands of empirically verifiable sources, he will be laughed out of the court of scientific consensus as being religious.
Recently I placed some money in someone’s bank account. Because he had no money in the account, he assumed there was no reason to look at it. He did not benefit because he did not look. By accepting the fundamental, empirically unverifiable premise of science, (namely, that the creation is self-creating, self-organizing and self-perpetuating) we have closed our minds to the existence of a God who will one day hold us accountable for refusing the knowledge of God (Romans 1:19-21, 2 Peter 3:1-9).
The scientific world has opened many wonderful doors for the advance of technology. However, the scope of science is limited to a restricted segment in the spectrum of human knowledge. Not only can Bible believers mount a more comprehensive and cohesive world view, but their explanations also go beyond the empirical. They have compiled tomes of evidence from both within and outside of the creation arguing for a holistic and balanced world view. So long as we refuse to consider the intelligent and rational arguments of scripture in preference to adopting the truisms of the hour, we will remain, sadly, in the grips of whatever myths are presently in vogue.
…What God is really doing:
Not only does the Bible speak articulately about the creation, adamantly arguing that it came into being by one instantaneous fiat, the Bible argues that this creation points to His existence, His phenomenal intelligence and wisdom, and His power. This evidence is replete and undeniable. The deeper one peers into nanomechanics or the further one peers toward the end of the universe; he sees a system that shows the same hand at work. He sees consistency.
Further, God can and does reveal Himself to those who seek Him. He has offered a path back to Himself. Ironically, that path does not begin with either scientific or philosophical investigation. It begins with a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who created and carries forth the whole creation. Don’t be fooled by the consensus. Don’t be closed minded. Open your mind and open your Bible. Learn what it is really saying for yourself.
Planetary image before modification: Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/comfreak-51581/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=439046">Comfreak</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=439046">Pixabay</a>