Although the newest galactic image captured by a NASA telescope is being reported widely, there’s a major irony in the name given to the remarkable photograph – the “Hand of God.”
Today’s scientific establishment is largely secular, even atheistic, so naming the image of an exploding star – captured by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR – the “Hand of God” seems just a rare and whimsical acknowledgement of God, since the image does bear an unmistakable resemblance to a giant, cosmic “hand.”
However, renowned scientist Arthur Robinson, commenting on the photo’s name, tells WND that until the current historical era, everything in nature was considered by scientists to be evidence of the “hand of God.”
“Scientists during most of history have recognized that the vast natural beauty they are privileged to see and study could only have been the product of an awesome Creator,” Robinson said.
The new NASA photo resulted when the NuSTAR telescope X-rayed the explosion of a star and subsequent ejection of a huge cloud of matter that shows up as blue in the image.
In a press release, NuSTAR telescope principal investigator Fiona Harrison, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said, “NuSTAR’s unique viewpoint, in seeing the highest-energy X-rays, is showing us well-studied objects and regions in a whole new light.”
Robinson, a former CalTech professor and co-founder with Nobel laureate Linus Pauling of the Linus Pauling Institute, and later of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, assured WND that while science has become increasingly atheistic, “many scientists today still recognize the hand of God in the natural world.”
In “The Marketing of Evil,” author and WND Managing Editor David Kupelian points out a few other scientists who see the “Hand of God” everywhere:
“This ubiquitous natural wonderland caused man to acknowledge and honor the Creator of creation, as Copernicus did when he wrote, ‘[The world] has been built for us by the Best and Most Orderly Workman of all.’ Or as Galileo wrote, ‘God is known … by Nature in His works and by doctrine in His revealed word.’ Or as Pasteur confessed, ‘The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.’ Or Isaac Newton: ‘When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.’”
Newton, interestingly, is universally regarded as one of the most important scientists in history, and his 1687 book, “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy,” is considered perhaps the most influential science book of all time, laying out the basis for classical mechanics.
But Newton also wrote another book many people have never heard about: “Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John.” In fact, a devout Christian, Newton spent a significant amount of his time researching and studying the Bible.
With views like that, which by today’s academic standards might be regarded as “unscientific,” it is questionable whether Sir Isaac Newton, history’s most famous scientist, could have landed a professorship at a modern secular university.
Here are a few other images that scientists of past eras, had they been privileged to view them, would certainly have regarded as the handiwork of a divine Creator.
A star swirl:
Two interacting galaxies called Arp 273. It is thought that the smaller galaxy has actually passed through the larger one. (NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))
The Mystic Mountain:
This craggy fantasy mountaintop enshrouded by wispy clouds looks like a bizarre landscape from Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.” (NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI))
This celestial butterfly is far from serene. What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to nearly 20,000 degrees Celsius. The gas is tearing across space at more than 950,000 kilometers per hour – fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes! (NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team)
The Hubble Space Telescope has trained its razor-sharp eye on one of the universe’s most stately and photogenic galaxies, the Sombrero galaxy, Messier 104 (M104). (NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA))
This is among the largest images produced with the Earth-orbiting observatory – an shows theh entire Crab Nebula. (NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University). Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble))
Part of the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). Rising like a giant seahorse from turbulent waves of dust and gas is the Horsehead Nebula, otherwise known as Barnard 33. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI))
In his book, “God and the Astronomers,” world-renowned astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, explains the “fear of faith” many of today’s scientists experience.
There is a kind of religion in science, it is the religion of a person who believes there is order and harmony in the universe, and every effect must have its cause; [but] there is no First Cause. …
“No First Cause,” however, means there is no Creator, no God. As Jastrow continues:
This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens, the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications, he would be traumatized. As usual when faced with trauma, the mind reacts by ignoring the implications – in science this is known as “refusing to speculate” – or trivializing the origin of the world by calling it the Big Bang, as if the Universe were a firecracker.
Consider the enormity of the problem. Science has proven that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks, What cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter and energy into the Universe? Was the Universe created out of nothing, or was it gathered together out of pre-existing materials? And science cannot answer these questions …
“Now,” Jastrow continues, “we would like to pursue that inquiry farther back in time, but the barrier to further progress seems insurmountable. It is not a matter of another year, another decade of work, another measurement, or another theory; at this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation.”
The famed scientist’s ultimate conclusion is astonishingly candid, particularly in light of his own professed agnosticism: “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”