A few science-related notes

A few science-related notes June 5, 2018


A newborn planet in its nursery
A NASA artist’s conception of a new planet spinning through the stellar dust from which it was formed
(Wikimedia Commons, public domain)


Here’s a challenging little essay:


“There Are No Laws of Physics. There’s Only the Landscape.”


And here’s something that challenges a currently popular hypothesis:


“A New Study Could Explain Away Some Evidence for Planet Nine: A new model provides an explanation for the bizarre orbits of distant objects in the solar system that doesn’t require influences from a massive ninth planet.”


Finally, here’s a bit of science with a connection to Brigham Young University:


Scientists reveal the secrets behind Pluto’s dunes”


Professor Jani Radebaugh, by the way, has been a participant in both of the “Science and Mormonism” conferences sponsored, thus far, by the Interpreter Foundation.  See for example, this presentation, which she delivered  on 9 November 2013:


Jani Radebaugh on “The Outer Solar System: A Window to the Creative Breadth of Divinity”


You can read a more formal text of her remarks in the conference volume published by the Interpreter Foundation:


Science and Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth, and Man

See, too, her introduction to the keynote address given by Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ, Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, at the 2016 Interpreter Foundation Science & Mormonism Symposium: Body, Brain, Mind & Spirit, which took place on 12 March 2016:


Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ – Keynote Address: Astronomy, God, and the Search for Elegance




Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 14: 115-116 (14 May 1871):

I am not astonished that infidelity prevails to a great extent among the inhabitants of the earth, for the religious teachers of the people advance many ideas and notions for truth which are in opposition to and contradict facts demonstrated by science, and which are generally understood. Says the scientific man, “I do not see your religion to be true; I do not understand the law, light, rules, religion, or whatever you call it, which you say God has revealed; it is confusion to me, and if I submit to and embrace your views and theories I must reject the facts which science demonstrates to me.” This is the position, and the line of demarcation has been plainly drawn, by those who profess Christianity, between the sciences and revealed religion. You take, for instance, our geologists, and they tell us that this earth has been in existence for thousands and millions of years. They think, and they have good reason for their faith, that their researches and investigations enable them to demonstrate that this earth has been in existence as long as they assert it has; and they say, “If the Lord, as religionists declare, made the earth out of nothing in six days, six thousand years ago, our studies are all vain; but by what we can learn from nature and the immutable laws of the Creator as revealed therein, we know that your theories are incorrect and consequently we must reject your religions as false and vain; we must be what you call infidels, with the demonstrated truths of science in our possession; or, rejecting those truths, become enthusiasts in what you call Christianity.

In these respects we differ from the Christian world, for our religion will not clash with or contradict the facts of science in any particular. You may take geology, for instance, and it is a true science; not that I would say for a moment that all the conclusions and deductions of its professors are true, but its leading principles are; they are facts–they are eternal; and to assert that the Lord made this earth out of nothing is preposterous and impossible. God never made something out of nothing; it is not in the economy or law by which the worlds were, are, or will exist. There is an eternity before us, and it is full of matter; and if we but understand enough of the Lord and his ways, we would say that he took of this matter and organized this earth from it. How long it has been organized it is not for me to say, and I do not care anything about it. As for the Bible account of the creation we may say that the Lord gave it to Moses, or rather Moses obtained the history and traditions of the fathers, and from these picked out what he considered necessary, and that account has been handed down from age to age, and we have got it, no matter whether it is correct or not, and whether the Lord found the earth empty and void, whether he made it out of nothing or out of the rude elements; or whether he made it in six days or in as many millions of years, is and will remain a matter of speculation in the minds of men unless he give revelation on the subject. If we understood the process of creation there would be no mystery about it, it would be all reasonable and plain, for there is no mystery except to the ignorant.


Posted from Fredericksburg, Virginia



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