One of the very finest cultural television channels in France is ARTE, which features French-German programming. A recent ARTE production was titled, “The Cosmos and the Origins of Life” (here and throughout this short article, I provide English translations). The programme summary follows:
“For the very first time, on April 2, 2019, a team of scientists succeeded in photographing a black hole—50 million light years from the earth, located at the centre of a galaxy baptized M87. The present German documentary shows that such a feat can reveal how life on earth, and doubtless elsewhere, was created. As one of the astronomers interviewed suggests, ‘The relationship between black holes and the appearance of life may seem abstract, but it exists and is of fundamental importance.’
“Granting this hypothesis, 400 million years after the Big Bang that brought our universe into existence 13.8 billion years ago, a gas cloud came on the scene. The first stars then appeared. Some of them we term supernovas, i.e., whatever results from the implosion of a star at the end of its life. When they finally explode, they liberate the chemical elements synthesized during their lifetime. From those explosions would have arisen the super-massive black holes, the most ancient of which, 13 billion years old, was identified by the Chilean astronomer Eduardo Bañados.
“These celestial objects have a particular interest for the scientific community. Each emits jets of matter which would be disseminated and spread in a virtually identical manner throughout the universe before producing life under certain conditions—as in the case of our planet.”
So—we humans derive from black holes.
Why does this remind one of the Scopes evolution trial, where William Jennings Bryan taunted Clarence Darrow with having a monkey as the explanation of his existence? At least the monkey was empirically identifiable, which can hardly be said for the connection between black holes and life on earth. The ARTE programme is a ghastly potpourri of unprovable speculation—as are virtually all the cosmological theories offered up by today’s “scientific experts.”
Some years ago, I wrote an article entitled, “From Enlightenment to Extermination” (now available as an Appendix in my book, The Shaping of America), in which I maintained that, just as the sad history of the Jews follows on their rejection of the Saviour, so the miseries of modern Germany can be regarded as the consequence of its substitution of Enlightenment rationalism for the Reformation gospel.
Perhaps the swallowing of such astronomical speculations as offered by the ARTE programme—in utter disregard of God’s revelation in Genesis 1-2, as Jesus believed it to be—can be seen as further evidence of how sinners in a fallen world will accept almost anything rather than trust the word of the God who loved them enough to die for them.
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Never think that the Global Journal is but the dull publisher of stereotyped theological articles! The present issue should put paid to any such notion.
Our lead article is “God’s Own Wind: Sherlock Holmes as Conan Doyle’s, and Modernity’s, Post- Christian Search for Meaning,” by Brett Graham Fawcett of Newman Theological College. (Your editor’s book, The Transcendent Holmes, demonstrates our commitment to the theological value of The Great Detective.)
That fascinating essay will be followed by something African: “Commercialization of Religion in Neo-Prophetic Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches in Ghana,” by George Anderson Jr., Department of Religion and Human Values, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
John Warwick Montgomery