the science of black holes

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

December 16, 2008

black_holeBreaking News: After a 16-year study of the center of the Milky Way (galaxy, not candy bar) scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) have determined that there is a massive black-hole around which several other stars are orbiting. With careful measurement and meticulous tracking, these astronomers have been able to measure the movements of 28 stars over the 16-year period. Based on their measurements, they have identified a black hole that is influencing the movements of the other stars. Even though the black hole, called Sagittarius A* (A-star), cannot actually be seen, its existence can be proven based on the evidence of those surrounding stars.

Reinhard Genzel of MPE states:

Undoubtedly the most spectacular aspect of our long term study is that it has delivered what is now considered to be the best empirical evidence that supermassive black holes do really exist. The stellar orbits in the galactic centre show that the central mass concentration of four million solar masses must be a black hole, beyond any reasonable doubt.

Really? I am not a scientist, and don’t pretend to know everything about how they’ve come to their conclusions. I am also not here to dispute their findings in any way.

BUT…
This really sounds like a statement of faith to me. So they cannot actually see the thing, right? So the only way that they know it is there is by the effect that it has on its surroundings, right? They can measure other things, and say with a certainty that something that they’ve never been actually able to prove the existence of is there, right? Doesn’t this sound an awful lot like faith? Atheists will try to back believers into a corner by looking for ’empirical evidence’ and then ridicule them (us) for not being able to provide it. But isn’t that what is happening here?

Like I said, I am not trying to say that the black hole doesn’t exist. I am simply asking for a consistency in standards. Does evidence count even if it is only the evidence of the presence (or lack thereof) of God? If not, then can we please apply the same standards across all of science? Because according to the “lack of evidence” atheists label Christians as needy people who believe in fairy tales. But if we apply the same standard to this study of black holes, then wouldn’t we have to label scientists as psychos that believe that there are giant, invisible space blobs out there that suck everything into them?

I certainly could be off on my thinking here, so if you have any opinions or thoughts either way, then please feel free to share them…

30 Comments

  1. Angel

    I have to say I agree with you 100%. It works both ways. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Angel

    I have to say I agree with you 100%. It works both ways. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Angel

    I have to say I agree with you 100%. It works both ways. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Sam Nichols

    I have always been fascinated by stars and planets and Universe but I have to admit is like a foreign language to me. I understand so little…

    Reply
  5. BibleDude

    @Angel
    Thanks for stopping by again! I always look forward to seeing you drop by!

    I just hate the double-standard that secular humanism serves up when it comes to dealing with things that are spiritual in nature.

    Reply
  6. BibleDude

    I've always been fascinated by the universe as well, but am more fascinated by the God that created all of it!

    Reply
  7. Sam Nichols

    I have always been fascinated by stars and planets and Universe but I have to admit is like a foreign language to me. I understand so little…

    Reply
  8. BibleDude

    Thanks for stopping by again! I always look forward to seeing you drop by!

    I just hate the double-standard that secular humanism serves up when it comes to dealing with things that are spiritual in nature.

    Reply
  9. BibleDude

    @Angel
    Thanks for stopping by again! I always look forward to seeing you drop by!

    I just hate the double-standard that secular humanism serves up when it comes to dealing with things that are spiritual in nature.

    Reply
  10. BibleDude

    I've always been fascinated by the universe as well, but am more fascinated by the God that created all of it!

    Reply
  11. jim

    i think you bring up a very valid point. as soon as i was half way through the article i instantly saw point of the article. people are willing to let a hypothesis about a black hole go unchallenged because a blackhole doesnt afect anyone here on earth. but see people like to doubt there is a GOD because if there is then they are suddenly held accountable for their actions. which those of no faith would find this an inconviniance to their day to day life of sin. see once you know then u have no excuse. so people would rather go on being ignorant than to know the truth. because like i said, then they are held accountable for their actions.

    Reply
  12. jim

    i think you bring up a very valid point. as soon as i was half way through the article i instantly saw point of the article. people are willing to let a hypothesis about a black hole go unchallenged because a blackhole doesnt afect anyone here on earth. but see people like to doubt there is a GOD because if there is then they are suddenly held accountable for their actions. which those of no faith would find this an inconviniance to their day to day life of sin. see once you know then u have no excuse. so people would rather go on being ignorant than to know the truth. because like i said, then they are held accountable for their actions.

    Reply
  13. jim

    i think you bring up a very valid point. as soon as i was half way through the article i instantly saw point of the article. people are willing to let a hypothesis about a black hole go unchallenged because a blackhole doesnt afect anyone here on earth. but see people like to doubt there is a GOD because if there is then they are suddenly held accountable for their actions. which those of no faith would find this an inconviniance to their day to day life of sin. see once you know then u have no excuse. so people would rather go on being ignorant than to know the truth. because like i said, then they are held accountable for their actions.

    Reply
  14. Sam Nichols

    I have always been fascinated by stars and planets and Universe but I have to admit is like a foreign language to me. I understand so little…

    Reply
  15. BibleDude

    Thanks for stopping by again! I always look forward to seeing you drop by!I just hate the double-standard that secular humanism serves up when it comes to dealing with things that are spiritual in nature.

    Reply
  16. BibleDude

    @AngelThanks for stopping by again! I always look forward to seeing you drop by!I just hate the double-standard that secular humanism serves up when it comes to dealing with things that are spiritual in nature.

    Reply
  17. BibleDude

    I've always been fascinated by the universe as well, but am more fascinated by the God that created all of it!

    Reply
  18. BibleDude

    jim… thanks for popping by again! as usual, you make some great points! i agree that people tend to not want to accept God because of the accountability that it brings. i just had a conversation with a friend who is struggling to reconcile their faith and their personality/life, and the tension between them seems to be perceived as having to act certain ways and becoming accountable to God for their actions… i hope that i am not loosing anyone with this sort of cryptic explanation of my conversation, but i want to be sensitive to my friend here. bottom line, the accountability does seem to be a pretty common issue…

    Reply
  19. BibleDude

    jim… thanks for popping by again! as usual, you make some great points! i agree that people tend to not want to accept God because of the accountability that it brings. i just had a conversation with a friend who is struggling to reconcile their faith and their personality/life, and the tension between them seems to be perceived as having to act certain ways and becoming accountable to God for their actions… i hope that i am not loosing anyone with this sort of cryptic explanation of my conversation, but i want to be sensitive to my friend here. bottom line, the accountability does seem to be a pretty common issue…

    Reply
  20. BibleDude

    jim… thanks for popping by again! as usual, you make some great points! i agree that people tend to not want to accept God because of the accountability that it brings. i just had a conversation with a friend who is struggling to reconcile their faith and their personality/life, and the tension between them seems to be perceived as having to act certain ways and becoming accountable to God for their actions… i hope that i am not loosing anyone with this sort of cryptic explanation of my conversation, but i want to be sensitive to my friend here. bottom line, the accountability does seem to be a pretty common issue…

    Reply
  21. Jordy

    So, here's the deal just because you may not believe in something doesn't mean that it's non-existent. Can I share a quick story bible man?

    Ok, there was this man I new who refused everything that me and several other Christians shared with him about God. His point was there was no evidence…He eventually got very ill and was admitted into the hospital. The doctors told him, “your going to die today.” Three of us believers stayed with him at his bed side for close to twelve hours on the day of his death. About two hours before he passed, we were once again trying to pursued him to surrender his life to God. Finally in the last few moments of his life, he reached out both arms and said lets pray. I believe I will see him in heaven.

    We cannot get discouraged and give up on the people we minister to who deny the existence of God. Our message never changes, Jesus is the way the truth and the life. There are loads of us Christians revolving around the truth. Just like the stars are a sign that a black hole exists because they revolve around it, we are a sign to the ones who cannot see the existence of God. So with that being said, shine like a star.

    Reply
  22. Jordy

    That picture looks nothing like me…Hmm, I've been abducted by aliens from the black hole.

    Reply
  23. Jordy

    So, here's the deal just because you may not believe in something doesn't mean that it's non-existent. Can I share a quick story bible man? Ok, there was this man I new who refused everything that me and several other Christians shared with him about God. His point was there was no evidence…He eventually got very ill and was admitted into the hospital. The doctors told him, “your going to die today.” Three of us believers stayed with him at his bed side for close to twelve hours on the day of his death. About two hours before he passed, we were once again trying to pursued him to surrender his life to God. Finally in the last few moments of his life, he reached out both arms and said lets pray. I believe I will see him in heaven. We cannot get discouraged and give up on the people we minister to who deny the existence of God. Our message never changes, Jesus is the way the truth and the life. There are loads of us Christians revolving around the truth. Just like the stars are a sign that a black hole exists because they revolve around it, we are a sign to the ones who cannot see the existence of God. So with that being said, shine like a star.

    Reply
  24. Jordy

    So, here's the deal just because you may not believe in something doesn't mean that it's non-existent. Can I share a quick story bible man?

    Ok, there was this man I new who refused everything that me and several other Christians shared with him about God. His point was there was no evidence…He eventually got very ill and was admitted into the hospital. The doctors told him, “your going to die today.” Three of us believers stayed with him at his bed side for close to twelve hours on the day of his death. About two hours before he passed, we were once again trying to pursued him to surrender his life to God. Finally in the last few moments of his life, he reached out both arms and said lets pray. I believe I will see him in heaven.

    We cannot get discouraged and give up on the people we minister to who deny the existence of God. Our message never changes, Jesus is the way the truth and the life. There are loads of us Christians revolving around the truth. Just like the stars are a sign that a black hole exists because they revolve around it, we are a sign to the ones who cannot see the existence of God. So with that being said, shine like a star.

    Reply
  25. Jordy

    That picture looks nothing like me…Hmm, I've been abducted by aliens from the black hole.

    Reply
  26. Jordy

    That picture looks nothing like me…Hmm, I've been abducted by aliens from the black hole.

    Reply
  27. BibleDude

    Jordy… Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your story here, and agree with you 100%. The power of our walk and our testimony are amazingly powerful, and do provide the 'evidence' for God. It makes me think about how important it is to ensure that we are 'skilled' at delivering it in a way that helps the skeptic to also accept the evidence.

    Reply
  28. BibleDude

    Jordy… Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your story here, and agree with you 100%. The power of our walk and our testimony are amazingly powerful, and do provide the 'evidence' for God. It makes me think about how important it is to ensure that we are 'skilled' at delivering it in a way that helps the skeptic to also accept the evidence.

    Reply
  29. BibleDude

    Jordy… Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your story here, and agree with you 100%. The power of our walk and our testimony are amazingly powerful, and do provide the 'evidence' for God. It makes me think about how important it is to ensure that we are 'skilled' at delivering it in a way that helps the skeptic to also accept the evidence.

    Reply
  30. BibleDude

    Jordy… Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your story here, and agree with you 100%. The power of our walk and our testimony are amazingly powerful, and do provide the 'evidence' for God. It makes me think about how important it is to ensure that we are 'skilled' at delivering it in a way that helps the skeptic to also accept the evidence.

    Reply

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the science of black holes

by Dan King time to read: 2 min
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