Tag Archives: Christianity

Rainbows Genesis Science Refraction Noah

As waves travel into the denser medium, they slow down and wavelength decreases.

Part of the wave travels faster for longer causing the wave to turn.

The wave is slower but the wavelength is shorter meaning frequency remains the same.

Think of it this way:

The source (whatever) send out a wave every second.

So they will keep coming at one a second.

That is the frequency, 1 Hz.

Just doing something that affects the wavelength of the waves after they have been sent won’t affect the frequency, basically they will keep arriving at one per second because they are one second apart.

Changing the wavelength differentially along the length of a wavefront is a trick that can make it turn a bit of a corner – refraction, but that has no effect on the frequency.

The colour of light is an effect of its wavelength upon the eye. Therefore differential refraction causes the light to spread into a rainbow as different wavelengths refract by different angles.

copyright BBC bitesize

In this diagram, the right hand side of the incoming wave slows down before the left hand side does. This causes the wave to change direction.

Credit to BBC bitesize for the diagram and some of the explanation of refraction – 

https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/guides/z9bwpbk/revision/2

Now listen up ‘cos this is important…
The refractive index of air changes as humidity increases.

Liquid water (eg raindrops) refractive index is equal to a number which is 1.33 and for the humid air the number is generally in the 1-1.33 range. Yes that’s right, it can be 1.33, exactly the same as the water. When the numbers are the same you don’t get any refraction, so no rainbow. So if the air is very humid, no rainbows.

Genesis 2:5–6:

When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground.

So pre-flood the air was very humid so there were no rainbows, then the fountains of the deep opened and the huge amount of dust that would have been sent into the atmosphere by these enormous space-reaching fountains like those we see on Jupiter’s moon Europa.

Credit for image copyright NASA

These fountains were caused in the case of Earth by the collapse of the outer crust/upper mantle onto the lower mantle, forcing down onto the underground ocean 350-450 miles down that could only then escape by fountaining out at incredible pressure upwards like a volcano – the remnant of which underground ocean is now trapped into a layer of rock called ringwoodite, and is of course some of the water now also exists above ground as the familiar oceans such as the Atlantic and Pacific that cover 3/4 off the world, a covering that was not formerly present.

This eruption of water would have provided a huge injection of dust into the atmosphere, giving nucleation sites to form droplets, clouds and eventually rain. Water vapour needs little specks of dust to form droplets. This means that water collects together out of solution, making the air less humid, allowing than for rainbows to form.

Hebrews 11:7:

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. 

The thing he had not yet seen was rain, but when it came it was a deluge for not only were there the fountains of the deep crashing back to earth all the way from orbit, normal rain started as well.

These events of course completely transformed the earth geologically giving us the mountains oceans and continents we have today. The upheavals that started with the cracking and collapse of the other crust split it into the moving tectonic plates we now know. 

All this is the result of the hot earth thinking as it cooled.

So, what the bible says about the flood is generally supported by the sciences of geology, astronomy (eg Io), meteorology (details like nucleation) and physics (refractive indices). One of course would expect nothing less if the Bible is true. 

Several items used in this article are copyright to others and are re-presented here. That is the nature of research. I believe my use of this is fair use but if the copyright owners wish I will happily remove their content if they contact me through WordPress or directly to request this.

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Being, consciousness, existence, self-awareness.

Being, consciousness, existence, self-awareness.

It would be fair to say, a lot of philosophers, theologists, linguists, psychologists, neurologists and other accidental or deliberate ontologists have expended a great deal of time, thought, ink and small patches of electromagnetic difference on this topic.

The current secular physiological stand is roughly that a complex patternated network of neurons with differentiated potential transmission capabilities along the pathways within it, gradually forms in response to stimuli and that this is a knowledge representation of the world, in which the constant activity eventually also forms a representation of the self as part of this world-model. The relating of the self-portion of the model to the rest of the world-model, constantly necessitated through the interactive experience of agency (tocsin – reticulating actions in babies*) as part of this learning of the self), causes the emergent phenomenon we call consious experience.

This is of course a wholly self-referential system. As such it gives me some cause to question whether such a flying by pulling on ones bootlaces model is really sufficient to explain consciousness. Is it rather that the current theory just cobbles together the few bits of information it has into a partial theory that scientists hope is right and hope to be able to make more robust as more evidence, hopefully supporting it, comes along. Well of course it is, as that is what all scientific theories do. However, as such incomplete things, all scientific theories also have to suffer the slings and arrows of logical objections picking them apart, offering alternative explanations, and demanding a re-think. I present my slings, arrows and demand.

The self-referential emergence (I’ll shorten that to SRE) theory of consciousness does not really drill down into that nub of the question we all really want to get at: Who or what is it that experiences being? SRE just says, in effect, “It is me that experiences being me.” This kind of answer does not satisfy, me.

Generally wholly self-referential answers are deprecated in science, logic and philosophy. The whole thrust of these branches of enquiry is to constantly seek what the next underpinning layer is, with perhaps some vague vain hope that eventually there will be some irrefutably logical underlying truth. The secular scientists of today hope of course that this will not turn out to be some supreme deity forever beyond their understanding. That would bring a whole heap of consequences that society after thousands of years has only just managed to stop worrying about.
The problem is that firstly there is unlikley to be any end to the secular process of scientific burrowing because the answer would need to be sustained by logic and the question is then: “But what sustains logic?”

Are we to arrive at yet another self-referential answer – logic sustains logic? This would seem very unsatisfactory. Despite many attempts to burrow to the bottom, nothing more fundamental has yet been obtained.

We are given clues however. The problem is these clues point to the theistic explanation. One such clue is the etymology of the word we use “logic.” This greek word means “that which is spoken; the word.”

We are burrowing down to look for the bedrock, the underlying truth, the progenitor of being, the foundation upon which logic itself rests.

Let me tell you, anyone that is willing to hear to the (initially) difficult (in terms of personal and social consequences), THIS truth. We have arrived at the bedrock!

It is there written for all to see. Logic (the word) you seek. The spark of being that experiences consciousness you seek. The basic original progenitor you seek. Your answer was already written with absolute clarity by the man who was given all the answers 2000 years ago. He was told to tell them to us. His name was John and he tells you what he was told to tell you, then he tells you who he is, that he is just an ordinary man given a mission to hear the truth and pass it on, then he explains why people will find it hard to believe him. He does not say anything in this immediate answer part, about the consequences of you knowing this truth (that information comes later), he simply answers these ultimate existential queries that we all harbour.

John 1 King James Version (KJV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

You can stop digging only if you are prepared to yield that there is a God, that God underpins everything, including space and time so you cannot ask what was before God or where did God come from. The answer is not however self-referential for us, as it refers us and our world to something beyond. It refers us to God. God may seem self-referential to God, but we cannot apply logic to God as God is logic.

If you seek some Biblical confirmation – you will find that important things are usually stated in the Bible more than once – I can refer you to:

Colossians 1:17 King James Version (KJV)
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

There are numerous cross-references of course:

John 8:58 “Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, upholding all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Proverbs 8:22,23 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old…

Isaiah 43:11-13 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior…

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, …

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Revelation 1:8,11,17 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, …

Psalm 75:3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up …

John 5:17,18 But Jesus answered them, My Father works till now, and I work…

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also …

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his …

Finally, why am I spending my time telling you this? Because all my nearly 60 years I have enjoyed having an enquiring mind. “Why, why, why?” has been my way of thinking. Finally God came into my life and supplied answers. Incredible answers. Answers to questions that everybody asks. Answers that can be very hard to beleive, but there they are anyway. Finding answers is joyful and it is my joy to share them. In Mathew 7:7 you find the famous “Seek and ye shall find” passage. Matthew actually tells you that if you seek answers from God, He will give you them. John actually told you the answers already because God knew you would ask those questions. There of course many other questions people have, some very philosophical, some personal, some socio-political, some moral and ethical, and some very scientific. Pretty-much the answers to these are actually already in the Bible, and usually in shockingly more detail than you might suppose.

Today, instead of being in Sunday morning church (usually I am but not today), I have instead read some Bible and chosen to pass on some information, in the hope it might bring joy, enlightenment and blessing into your life. I cannot think of a better thing to do with that freely given by God than to share it.

Enjoy Being as God intended.
God Bless You. Amen.

being.jpg

NOTES:

* The presence of repetitive movements, described as the repetition of the same movement multiple times, is considered a necessary step for the development of voluntary purposeful movements and seems to have an adaptive role during limited temporal windows of psychomotor development.
(Thelen E. (1979). Rhythmical stereotypies in normal human infants.
                     Anim. Behav. 27 699–715. 10.1016/0003-3472(79)90006-X [PubMed] [Cross Ref])

Christmas giving – a lesson to me on grace.

Smart Car Banner

Wow, what a year it has been. My wife passed her driving test, I got told I don’t have cancer, I went the the XCEL men’s conference, and we sponsored a second child in Kenya. Career-wise I’ve worked as a Principal Designer on the biggest Mosque in Britain (yes Christians help people that don’t yet know Jesus also to have a nice place to meet – love thy neighbour… who is my neighbour?…). I have also worked on the biggest school ever built in our county, and on the largest project University of Cambridge have ever built (£1.2 billion). My wife and I attended some lovely functions including Cambridge Architecture Awards, the LuvEly winter ball and a lovely party with my colleagues at the Grad-pad in Cambridge. Christmas day this year (yesterday) was spent with my family and it was so lovely. We presented my wife with her Christmas gift, her very first car and course it had to be the car of her dreams, a Smart car. There have also been some awful challenges and fights, with cancer attacking many friends. Two have had the fight of their lives and beat it, two are in the fight of their lives against it now, another one is waiting to hear if he has it, and I was just told I do not have it. We just keep praying and hoping and trusting the Lord. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. It has been a roller coaster of a year, but this Christmas has been a real high note.

Here’s a thing. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would do the things I have done since Jesus took me from my old life. In 2017 I am living a life that I could not have dared dream for. I am married to the girl of my dreams and she is the best wife I could ever ever imagine, I have a fabulous job that I always wanted, working with architects on building design, we are sponsoring children in Africa and that feels so good, and I just bought my wife a brand new car. Five years ago none of these things were even in my mind. I had a hum-drum job that did’t pay so well, an appalling wrong relationship and the girl I was one day going to marry I had not then last seen since nearly 40 years.

God’s grace took me and put me in a place that I could not have foreseen or hoped for. Part of me never quite stops being amazed and asking the reason, but grace really has no reason except love, and love knows no reason as to where it lands, being a bird of the heart not the head.

Right now you may be in a hard place where you have forgotten to even dare to have dreams of anything different that the life you know, or awful health or financial issues are devastating you or those you love, but I now know from experience that He can change all of it in a second, and sometimes He does just that. Not only in your lifestyle and relationships, but in your health and the health of your friends. DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE. DO NOT STOP BELIEVING. There are miracles, healings, breakthroughs, reconciliations. Jesus does save lives, and He does love you. Remember Lazarus – even when hope seems irretrievably lost, yet Jesus can even rebuke death itself. He makes a way where there is no way. The Bible says: Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” and Acts 2:21 “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The timings and reasons of the Lord are not fathomable to us, but we can start to understand a little if we study His Word and try to follow his teaching. Ecclesiastes 9:3-5 teaches us that where there is life there is hope. So if you are in a hard place, call upon Jesus. Have the faith to ask. Do not be afraid of asking in case you are not answered. The evil one wants you to stay silent for fear of not being answered. Do not give in to fear of rejection, for you have nothing to fear except fear itself. The story of the prodigal son tells you that the father will not reject the child, regardless of what the child has done. So do not be duped by the devil’s deception, for deception is all he has. Call upon Jesus, put on the full armour of God, fill yourself with the Holy Spirit and stand, and when you can do nothing more, yet stand.

Jesus gently prompted me out of an old sinful life of which I had truly had enough, He made a way for me and I chose to follow Him, not knowing where it would lead, but just feeling comfortable that it was the the right path. Matthew 6:33 says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” That’s the closest I can come to understanding how and why He put so much blessing into my life.

As far as I can see I do not deserve this, but He in His grace and love and generosity has said it’s OK, take these gifts simply because I want you to have them. When you feel blessed, you start to want to bless others. Jesus lights a fire of love in your heart, and so here’s what I have learned yet more deeply this Christmas: It is far better to give than to receive. The pleasure of knowing I am helping to give children a hope and a future in a poor country far away, or of giving food and gifts to the poor in my own town as our church did, or of making my wife’s dream of a owning a car come true – these things fill me with a so much joy so I have literally walked along dancing.

Perhaps Jesus feels that sort of joy when He helps us in grace. Perhaps when we accept Him as real and enter into true friendship and relationship with Him, and through Him with all mankind and His creation, He feels such joy. If so, then I maybe I am starting to learn after all, why he extends grace to those that do not yet deserve it. Because He stands outside of time, He does not only see the people that we are, He sees the people that we can become for Him if we choose to accept fully His gift, which ultimately is the gift of His very own life itself, given freely for us, even though we did not deserve it.

May the Lord bless you, and keep you, and make His face to shine upon you – Numbers 6:24-26. Amen.

There are a couple of nice music vids at the foot of this post. Enjoy.

webcar.jpgK.JPGRJPG.jpeg

Approach

Jesus is clear that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must become as children. Jesus is also clear that we must be born again. Becoming as a little child flows from being born again. Children are the result of births. When Jesus said to suffer the little children to come unto Him, He gave us a subtle reminder that bebirth is necessary to become again as His trusting loving children because the only way to approach His Father’s Kingdom, is through Him, the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)

Cogito ergo… none!

Assuming the observer affects the observed (recent work in quantum mechanics challenges this or at least tries to explain/trivialise the effect away as being an artifact but let’s keep the accepted model for a while) if matter arises from consciousness (probability wave collapsed into existence) then consciousness did not arise from matter. If there were no observers matter could not arise so the mind (observation) of God was necessary for the universe’s matter to be created and His constant observation sustains it (not ours). Somewhat as the Bible says.

God speaks things into existence. Words express thought. It seems reasonable that God thought all the arrangements necessary for the universe, then expressed them as the universe.

There is likely and strangely more to it than that – a relationship between the numbers and meanings of the Hebrew alphabet and fundamental qualities of the universe may exist and if explored could bring much fundamental insight into physics – at an instrumentalism level.

So “I think therefore I am” is a trivial statement of existence compared to “He thinks therefore we are” that allows all of us – even Mr Kant who would say it doesn’t – such navel gazing.

The message of the Bible of course moves quickly on from how we came to exist to what a wonderful purpose we should put that privilege to.

Can you feel the force?

Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

I believe love is a force. Like the strong nuclear force or electromagnetism. I think there is more to love than the emotion, the good intent, the empathy we as humans feel. I think what we feel is like what God feels/produces. As we are made in His image I think we can feel it although of course He feels it so much more. I think God IS love, that ultimate force by which all things consist.

Being before all things I think means He existed before anything we would recognise as a universe. That by Him all things consist means that it is His continuing will that holds the universe in existence – His force, His will, which I believe is manifest in a physical force which creates and effects aspects of all matter and energy that exist in some of the ten or eleven dimensions we don’t normally perceive.

An aspect of us that is fundamental to us (in my opinion) that I think exists in those usually unperceived dimensions is our souls. I think the force of love can be accessed by us, working through our souls, through faith His grace giving us the permission to work in those dimensions through Him. I think that’s how faith moves mountains and other miracles happen.

So I don’t think miracles and souls are incomprehensible crazy notions produced by unscientific and gullible illogical minds as perhaps some militant atheists might assert. I think God created a complex physical universe that we don’t yet understand but a lot of it, including souls and miracles and a force called love are neither crazy notions nor beyond some measure of grasp of scientific understanding.

Many insights into the physics of reality can be gleaned by study of the Bible. It truly is His work and He has put it here to help and guide us in all things, including science.

Fish out of water

Water and fish are huge themes in the Bible. Right back there in Genesis they start.

There is something valuable in the fish as it appears in the Bible. If you needed a clue that we can find something of value in the fish just notice that Jesus told his disciples to go and get coins from the mouths of some fish.

He made it clear that the particular value in those specific fish was of no consequence and He was only paying lip service (my weak joke) to the tax so as not to offend. That was quite a pointed subtlety because of course the true value in the fish is not earthly gold, for as Jesus essentially indicates, He already owns the whole universe so has no need of gold. The lesson is that the value in these fish represents the souls in the men that the fishers of men will catch, that will be given over to the Lord as the tax is given over to the earthly authorities.

The pre-Christian fish symbol (of female genitalia – turn sideways nose up (my rude!) to see (yes it’s a deeply rude but funny semiotic joke that I do get – I wonder who first told it? Umberto Eco I think would have got along with that guy) – was appropriated and renamed as the acronymic form of ichthus and used as a symbol by the early underground church.

Scratching the fish on a wall as graffiti was a religious-political act of rebellion against Rome that could probably get you killed if they found you doing it.

Making the sign of the fish by crossing fingers was a way the Christian rebels could recognize each other silently and recite the assertion that ichthus represents.

The crossed fingers also echo the cross where He died to save us, so if you do cross your fingers “for luck” think not of luck for there is no such thing as luck, but think of our Lord by acknowledging what the ichthus means, say your hope in a prayer and thank the Lord for all the Christian martyrs who gave  and continue to give their lives in His service.

No such thing as luck? Indeed no. Luck would require chance which would require some underlying true randomness. True randomness cannot be created mathematically. Every ‘random” number or event is really just pseudorandom. God did not make an unplanned universe and it does not allow random. Random would have to be demonstrable and to do that it would have to match a rule and to do that it would have to defeat its own nature philosophically and logically. Random is an oxymoron and cannot exist. That’s one deep objection to a spontaneous Godless Universe by the way but I’ll leave instrumentalism to another day.

In Jonah’s tale we see a fish swallows a man who is not doing God’s will then it spits him out and the man then does decide to do God’s will. The fish (Christianity)  swallows you then upon baptism you are pulled from the water like a fish (Jesus makes fishers of men) ready to do God’s will. You are washed clean and filled with the living water, ready.

Habbakuk says evil catches men like fish but God reminds him they are storing up trouble, The Devil’s fishing will not bring you anything even as useful as a few small coins in the long run. Better to fish as Jesus teaches, on the other side of the boat.

If you graffiti a fish on a wall, you of course then walk away from it. There is a little symbolism you might like to think of in that act. In walking away from the fish you have graffitied, you echo the footsteps if the disciple who left the abundance of fish (that Jesus had helped him catch) on the quayside to go follow Jesus instead.

So when you see a fish in the Bible, remember the fisherman who put it there is subtle, look deep into it for value, and make sure you catch on to what He is telling you, and if you see a real modern ichthus graffiti on a wall, praise the Lord for His message of rebellion against evil still lives in the hearts of His Church.

Thoughtless acts of kindness

Is it an act of kindness when what you do to help one harms another?
“Kind” people keep doing it.

This morning I was rudely woken by a neighbour yelling at the top of their voice right outside my door because they were kindly waking up the person who lives at the door opposite so they didn’t oversleep.

That was my one chance to sleep in late gone as I work all week and have to get up early usually.

They could have used their doorbell or had a key to go in and wake the person, or buy them an alarm clock. There was no thought or consideration of the effect of their act of kindness to one on the lives of others.

When there is a long queue of cars to the train station one person lets another car into the queue ahead of the many waiting behind. The person let in is not late because of it, but all those behind are now a tiny bit later getting to the train.

Maybe they miss their seat now or worse miss their train or worse miss the train are late for work and lose their job.

Is thoughtless kindness Christian? You can say God has a plan but taking that too far, that would mean it doesn’t matter what we do at all.

I don’t think most Christians would agree with that because they would say it meant it’s OK to sin but God wants us not to sin. So why should bad consequences of well-meaning acts be different?

Perhaps thoughtlessness is a sin even when applied to good intentions. There is an old saying – “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Welcome

Hello. I’m a Christian. I have things to say sometimes so here’s a blog. One thing I heard on a Christian radio station struck a chord. It’s about how Christian groups churches organisations etc can be less than welcoming to new people. Wow yeah. I’ve experienced that and it’s a total turn off. As someone pretty new to the faith I found it very annoying and upsetting when some people did it to me. In the end after making several hints that I could do with a hand I resorted to just standing in obvious silence until one finally got the message and did what it should have been quite obvious was required. But even after nearly a year they still assume I know things they have grown up with over 30 years. I like those people a lot but they just assumed I would know stuff that a moment’s thought makes it quite clear I couldn’t, and being welcoming seems to be a skill in short supply everywhere.

Another unpleasant experience was with the very radio station that had said how counterproductive such unwelcomes could be. I really liked that station but they have really upset me and even when I told them this their perfunctory and pathetic attempt at an apology only made the hurt they caused worse. As a consequence I have never listened to them again. They sent out an email promotion for a programme that basically asked the question can fat people be Christians. I’m a bit overweight and even though I have a pretty thick skin I found it at once absurd unchristian and hurtful, and cannot imagine I’m the only one who did.

I can understand that people make mistakes – we are all human after all and acceptance and forgiveness is what Christianity is in part about, but the last place you expect to feel rejected is at the place people are asking you to come in to. No wonder many churches are empty. At least I know Jesus isn’t like that, which is why I haven’t given up, but I can see how easy it is for a few thoughtless people in the Christian community to turn away the very people they profess to want to join them and hear the good news.

Perhaps I’ll always be a bit if an outsider – it’s always been so – but perhaps the outsider on the inside is just what is needed by some groups to remind them how they really look to the rest of the outside world they are hoping to welcome in.