Category Archives: Astronomy

Reflection Paper

Reflection Paper

A creation perspective refers to the conceptualization that a Supreme Being created the universe and everything in it. The creation perspective ascribes to the Biblical account of creation. The creationist perspective holds that the universe is only thousands of years old (Psarris, 2013). Secular views indicate that the universe formed on itself and without a creator billions of years ago. General revelation refers to God’s self-disclosure by use of a mediator and found in the natural order of the world. Special revelation refers to self-disclosure through a contiguous and supernatural mode. The relationship between special and general revelation is that they are the unique ways that God chose to reveal himself to humankind. The two represent the specific ways that men can interpret evidence from a creationist perspective.

There is a key difference between scientific data and scientific interpretations. Scientific data refers to the set of information that is collected using scientifically proven methods and for the specific purpose of analyzing something (Morris, 2007). On the other hand, scientific interpretations refer to the use of scientific data to explain a particular phenomenon. Scientific interpretations may apply assumptions in interpreting data. Nonetheless, scientific interpretations should match the given data as much as possible (Morris, 2007). An example of scientific data is the observation that short period comets that orbit the sun lose some of their mass on each swing. An example of scientific interpretation basing on this data is that the solar system is relatively young, contrary to assertions that it is billions of years old. One can also make the scientific interpretation that young comets keep coming from outer space and begin orbiting the sun.

The scientific method holds that for information to be regarded as useful or valid in science, it should be empirically verifiable. The scientific method is committed to the use of observations in order to draw valid conclusions. The scientific method holds that for every scientific statement, there should be a way of verifying or falsifying it (Detwiler, 2016). In other words, there should be a way of testing whether a particular hypothesis is wrong or right. Scientific method is important since it ensures that scientists follow a particular method (observation) while making scientific statements. A key limitation of the scientific method is that not everything in the physical world can be observed or be explained in a logical way. A specific example of this is the “Starlight” presentation on the speed of light. While scientists assert that the speed of light is 186,282 miles per second, the one-way speed of light is not yet known. For instance, it might be that light travels faster on the initial trip than during the round trip.

References

Detwiler, C. (2016). Science As a Way of Knowing [Course Handout]. Retrieved             from https://learn.liberty.edu/

Morris, J. D. (2007). The young Earth: The real history of the Earth, past, present, and future.     Retrieved from http://www.worldcat.org/title/young-earth-the-real-history-of-the-earth-         past-present-and-future/oclc/892430369

Presentation. “Starlight”.

Psarris, S. (2013). What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy, Volume 1: Our Created Solar             System.

Related:

Naked-Eye Astronomy

Astronomy

Question

DISCUSSION BOARD FORUM 2 PROMPT
Throughout the past modules/weeks, the course has incorporated some creation resources, including the DVD What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy, Volume 1: Our Created Solar System. You may have watched portions of the DVD multiple times as we have moved into our textbook discussions of the solar system. Mainstream secular astronomy is going to interpret data to fit a naturalistic worldview, resulting in conclusions such as the Big Bang theory and the nebular hypothesis. It is important for you to see that when you approach the same data with a biblical worldview, you can come to very different conclusions.

In no fewer than 250 words, discuss the 1 or 2 chapters of the DVD you found most helpful or interesting. Use the following steps when composing your thread:
• Identify the topic.
• Briefly summarize the main points.
• Explain how the content was valuable to you in terms of understanding a creationist perspective.

Should you decide to discuss 2 chapters, repeat these steps for the second chapter, but do not discuss more than 2. While there may have been some things that could have been done better, more clearly, or differently in the DVD, the purpose of this particular Discussion Board Forum is not to offer your critique or criticism. What did you find that was helpful or interesting from the DVD?

Sample paper

Astronomy

Venus

Psarris (2013) examines nebular theory, the most rational explanation of how the solar system formed according to scientists, in relation to Venus. The goal is to identify whether this planet conforms to the claims of the nebular theory. Venus has high temperatures of about 900 Degrees Fahrenheit because its atmosphere is mainly carbon dioxide (green house gas). The evolution model propounds that Venus and Earth formed at the same time, same place, same materials, and through a similar process. However, as Psarris (2013) explains, Venus is very different from Earth. First, its surface is covered by lava flows and seems relatively young. Evolutionary model predicted that Venus’ surface would show evidence of billions of years of erosion and chemical weathering. None of this exists. While Earth is made up of tectonic plates, Venus does not have. Venus also lacks magnetic fields and moon, things that Earth does have. The explanation for lack of moon is weak – that an asteroid collided with Venus’ moon hence destroying the moon.

Uranus

This planet takes about 84 Earth years to make a complete revolution around the sun. Uranus has unique poles in that instead of being at the top and bottom like all other planets, the poles are located on the sides. Evolutionists explain the phenomena by linking an asteroid collision with Uranus to its current pole position. However, there is no evidence for this. Uranus’ orbit around the sun is a perfect circle. Uranus’ orbit also lies closely within its ecliptic plane than any other planet on the solar system. It is impossible that a collision with an asteroid this huge could put the planet in an almost circular orbit around the sun. In addition, such a collision could not put the planet very close to its ecliptic plane. Uranus has rings and over two dozen moons orbiting around the planet’s equator (equator is in up and down position rather than sideways). According to Psarris (2013), it is extremely difficult to place all the moons in their current almost coplanar circular orbits. This could not have happened by random chance as scientists argue, but points to the work of an orderly Being.

Reference

Psarris, S. (2013). What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy, Volume 1: Our Created Solar             System.

Related:

Naked-Eye Astronomy

Naked-Eye Astronomy

Question

DISCUSSION BOARD FORUM 1 PROMPT
As you begin the course, it is very important that you sometimes walk outside and actually look at the night sky. If you cannot incorporate some naked-eye astronomy into the term, you will be missing out. You have easy access to observe many of the things discussed in the Module/Week 1 reading and the presentation on naked-eye astronomy. During the term, you need to literally see some things for yourself, whether it is the position of the sun at sunrise and sunset; the phases of the moon; the planets; or the brightest stars, clusters, asterisms, and constellations. The Module/Week 1 presentation provides several resources about naked-eye astronomy, which are summarized here, but feel free to find other, similar resources on your own if you prefer.

1. Star Gazers: A weekly, 5-minute program designed to help amateurs with naked-eye astronomy. Browse through past episodes for help with everything from phases of the moon to eclipses to seasonal constellations. Go to http://stargazersonline.org/index.html.
2. What’s Up?: A monthly program found on the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory website. There are many other worthwhile tools on this site, but this one is there to help you with naked-eye viewing. Go to http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/, scroll down to “What’s Happening Now,” and choose “videos,” or just search “jpl what’s up.”
3. Sky Maps: Each month, you can print out a free copy of these “maps,” with versions that correspond with any location on Earth. So while most of us would print out the “Northern Hemisphere” sky map, there are versions for equatorial and southern hemisphere viewers as well. Go to http://www.skymaps.com/index.html.
4. Astronomy Notes: This online “book” includes a chapter on naked-eye astronomy. There are multiple pages, and you will find links to even more sites. Go to http://www.astronomynotes.com/nakedeye/s1.htm.
5. Sky Map Online: This website hosts an online planetarium program. See the sky from anywhere in the world at any time of day. Go to http://www.skymaponline.net/default.aspx.
6. Astronomy Applications for iPhones and tablets: There are dozens of these to choose from now. Some are free, and even those that come at a price tend to be inexpensive. Some titles to consider include “Star Walk,” “Sky View,” Sky Gazer,” “StarMap,” and “Star Chart” for iPhone.

In no fewer than 250 words, discuss any 2 of these resources (or others of your choosing) that have helped you navigate the skies more effectively. First, discuss the 2 resources themselves, how they assisted you, and how others might also find them useful. Then, briefly summarize what you have been able to find in the night sky as a result of using these resources. The goal here is to get you engaged in using tools to be a better astronomer. Share your own experience in the thread.

Sample paper

Naked-Eye Astronomy

The first resource in chose is Sky Maps, which is a guide that contains maps of stars, constellations, planets, and position of the moon at different periods. I downloaded the Northern Hemisphere sky map. This map assisted me by providing directions on where to look and the patterns made by various constellations. By sketching the patterns or counting the number of stars in the night sky, it is possible to identify certain constellations, particular stars and planets. Other people might find the map useful since it is very easy to use. The other resource that I used is the Google Sky Map. This application allows one to point his/her Android device toward the sky and identify stars, planets, constellations, and nebulae. The application was very easy to use since it is similar to playing games on your mobile device. The phone should have a compass for the application to work.

While using Sky Maps, I was able to locate a number of planets, stars and constellations. One of the planets that I could easily located was Venus. I could also be able to see Mars, which was not so distant from Venus. However, Mars appears less bright. I was able to observe Capella in the constellation Auriga. Sirius, the brightest star was visible in the South. Sirius is in the constellation Canis Major, which I also located. I was able to identify Polaris, the North Pole Star, and the constellation Ursa Minor in which it belongs. The Google Sky Map was the most useful as it could identify virtually any object I pointed. Using the application, I was able to find Algol in the constellation Perseus. I was able to locate planets Venus and Mars. I was also able to find constellation Rigel, and Orion, which is the brightest star in the constellation.

Related:

Naked-Eye Astronomy

Nature of Science

Astronomy

Short-Response Question 1 Prompt:

  • “Naked-Eye Astronomy,” name 2 key landmarks in the night sky and explain how they can be used to help you find other objects, asterisms, or constellations.

One key landmark in the night sky is the Big Dipper, which is an asterism found in the constellation Major. The Bid Dipper is quite a familiar shape in the night sky and can be observed by people living in the northern hemisphere. The Big Dipper has a unique appearance, but this may change due to orientation and its position. The Big Dipper can help find the star Arcturus by following the arc of the Bid Dipper’s handle. By drawing a diagonal line through the Big Dipper’s bowl, one can be able to find constellation Gemini in winter. Canopus is another important landmark in the night sky. Canopus is the brightest star in the southern hemisphere. Canopus can help one to find the constellation Eridanus. It can help in finding the constellation Canis Major, which appears just above the star.

  • Clearly identify each flaw and use examples from the presentation to illustrate your points. The authors of your textbook point to Giordano Bruno as an example of how science and religion have been at odds. “History, Science and Worldview,” explain 2 flaws (problems) that can be found in the textbook claim related to Bruno.

One of the claims by Bruno is that the universe is infinite, and comprised of an infinite number of worlds. Classical understanding of the universe held that the universe was finite, as it comprised of the solar system and stars, which were located just outside the solar system. This was a contentious claim which put Bruno at loggerheads with many religious leaders as well as scientists who held the idea that the universe was finite. Bruno also postulated that the sun was not the center of the solar system, contrary to classical thought that the sun was at the center of the universe. Scientists and philosophers held the belief that the sun was at the center of the solar system, and including the stars. Bruno argued that the sun would appear like a star if viewed from other stars.

Short-Response Question 3 Prompt:

  • “Nature of Science,” explain the difference between historical science and operational science. Define each term and use examples from the presentation to point out the differences.

Historical science refers to those sciences that draw their data from past or historical events and for which often lacks experimental data in the development of conclusions. Historical science aims at evaluating the history of nature and examining the events of the past. Historical science involves the application of a set of beliefs or assumptions in order to make quests about the past. This is because it is impossible to use observational methods to ply the past. An example of historical science is the study of how the universe formed. Operational science, on the other hand, is involved in the testing as well as verification of ideas that are in the present. Operational science leads to the development of new products such as new machines. Operational science is the study of nature in the present. For example, if scientists study the universe as it is today, that forms operational science.

Short-Response Question 4 Prompt:

  • “The Heavens Declare and Men Suppress,” why can’t everyone agree that “the heavens declare the glory of God?” Limit the scope of your answer to the specifics of the presentation.

Everyone cannot agree, “The heavens declare the glory of God” because in the modern world, the fascination to man is not more about the beauty of the universe, but by the sheer vastness of the universe. Prior to the 19th century, scientists had little understanding of the solar system, let alone the universe. In the recent period, scientists have gained a better understanding of the solar system and the universe. For instance, scientists have been able to estimate the age of the earth and develop conceptualizations of how the solar system formed. In addition, scientists can be able to observe galaxies in their early stages of development using telescopes, which confirm the Big Bang theory. This is an indication that the earth also formed through a similar process. Thus, not everyone would agree with the statement.

Short-Response Question 5 Prompt:

  • “Get a Life! The Search for Life in the Universe,” explain the underlying secular reasoning and justification for the search for extra-terrestrial life.

The underlying secular reasoning is that there is probably life somewhere in the universe. The statement “Get a Life!” indicates that searching for extra-terrestrial life can be on its own a career. The justification for the search for extra-terrestrial life lies in the discovery that the earth is not unique, and neither is it at the center of the universe as earlier postulated. In the recent past, there have been discoveries of many systems of earth-like planets orbiting their respective stars, just like the solar system. This gives hope to scientists that, indeed, there could be life somewhere in the vast universe. The current knowledge indicates that there are far more earth-like planets than ever conceptualized in history. Moreover, scientists have only been able to explore a very small section of the universe due to its vast nature. This gives hope that there is life in the universe.

Related:

Naked-Eye Astronomy