Category Archives: Physics

Reports on experiments and speculations about the fundamental laws and structure of the universe.

Scientifically confirmed: The universe is not a box of rocks

When science began to expand beyond its proper, logical limits, a large part of the motivation for doing so seems to have been a desire to eliminate the perceived uncertainty of a world where supernatural things sometimes happened. It doesn’t seem to have been an atheistic impulse, as some proponents made it clear they were trying to “save” Christianity and/or belief in God. For some people, the lack of genuine miracles in recent history and the success of science (known as natural philosophy at the time) in explaining the natural workings of the natural world made it seem unlikely that miracles had ever happened. Perhaps God had divinely created the Earth, but after that surely He maintained the laws of nature that He had created without violation.  Even centuries later, Lyell, the main proponent of interpreting geology as the product of uninterrupted natural processes over vast ages,  rejected the idea that humans had evolved from animals, although he was a friend of Darwin and his work had inspired and provided the basis for Darwin’s theory.

So for about two hundred years or more, as far as many were concerned, the universe could be likened to a box of rocks of different sizes, all behaving in simple, ordinary ways. Dalton’s atomic theory (similar to the ancient Greek idea) emphasized that even liquids and gasses were made of tiny, distinct bits of matter. Not only was there no room for miracles like Noah’s flood, there wasn’t even anything the least bit strange, no sign that there was anything more to reality. It is no wonder that full-fledged atheism began to grow and be endorsed publicly. With the widespread acceptance of Darwin’s theory in the late 1800s, it began to look as if scientists were about to lay to rest the last great mysteries and leave nothing for future researchers but to fill in the details  Continue reading Scientifically confirmed: The universe is not a box of rocks

Black Holes, Gravity Waves, and Unending Gaps

First, two news stories.

First up: “Black hole is 30 times bigger than expected” By Amanda Barnett, CNN, Updated 8:04 PM ET, Sat September 26, 2015

“This shouldn’t be possible. Researchers say they’ve detected a supermassive black hole at the center of a newly found galaxy that’s far bigger than current theories allow.” As the title indicates, specifically it’s about 30 times larger than a galaxy the size of the one it’s in should be able to form. Wow.  Not much else to say about it; if you want the details, click on the title to go to the article. As to how this surprise came about, the scientists can only guess: “…it could be that the black hole just grew much faster than the galaxy surrounding it, or maybe the galaxy’s growth was prematurely stopped.” Why or how the black hole would or could grow fast, or what would or could stop the galaxy’s growth, they don’t say.
Continue reading Black Holes, Gravity Waves, and Unending Gaps