Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Star of Bethlehem

One of the most beautiful images at Christmas is the Star, leading the Magi to Jesus at Bethlehem. But was there really a star? Many believers claim it was a supernatural act of God, and reject scientific explanations. Of course, Atheists claim it’s all a myth (despite the overwhelming scientific evidence for God and the historical fact of Jesus!) In this post I’ll suggest a way to harmonize science, modern computers, the Bible, and history. It’s a stellar example of modern science supporting belief in God and the truth of the Bible.

In our modern search for the Star, we have two advantages. One is computers. Computers can reproduce how the sky looked from any point on Earth at any time in history. Second is the 1998 discovery that Herod the Great died in 1 BC, not 4 BC as had been believed. (It was discovered that there was a copying error in later manuscripts of the Jewish historian Josephus.) When we examine the skies of the Middle East for the years 3 BC and 2 BC, astonishing events appear.

Below is a spectacular theory that supports every claim in the Bible. I have come to believe it is true. To shorten this, I’ll give you the events in chronological order, and you can go back yourself to check how these match up exactly with the Biblical statements in the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, and with dozens of other Biblical references and historical facts. I am indebted to Rick Larson and his excellent video The Star of Bethlehem, and to Gerald Culley and his extremely well-researched article The Star of Bethlehem in Bible and Spade magazine.

September, 3 BC – Jupiter begins a 7-month triple conjunction with Regulus. Babylonian astronomers, quite possibly the best in the world at that time, who may be of Jewish descent (remnants of the Babylonian captivity, during which time Daniel was their leader), witness a spectacular triple conjunction of Jupiter (known to the ancients as the “King Planet”) and the star Regulus. The Babylonians called this star “Sharru,” meaning “the King,” and Regulus was also known as the “King” star by the Romans. Jupiter passes Regulus three times, and traces a crown above it. Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation of Leo the lion. The Bible in different places compares the Israelite Tribe of Judah, the tribe of King David and Jesus, with a lion. This triple conjunction of the two kings happens only twice in every 83 years.

September 11, 2 BC – As the triple conjunction begins, the Sun rises with behind it (an experienced astronomer would know this) the womb of the virgin in the constellation Virgo. At the foot of the Sun is a slim crescent moon. The Sun appears here only one day every year, and the moon has this shape one day each lunar cycle (29 days), so this combination is a very rare event. The signs point to the birth of a King in Judah. This could be the date of Christ’s conception, where the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary. Remember that planets in those days were thought of as wandering stars, because they appeared to move around the heavens. Compare this also to John’s vision in Revelation 12:1-2:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.

February 5, 2 BC – The Roman Senate orders an empire-wide census. Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem, the town of King David, to be counted.

June 17, 2 BC – Nine months after the Jupiter/Regulus conjunction, the King Planet Jupiter joins the planet Venus, universally associated with femininity, in conjunction. The planets are so close that they appear to the naked eye to be touching. It is the brightest “star” anyone alive has ever seen. It is visible for about an hour after sunset. Such an event has only occurred three times in the 2,000 years since, and the other occasions were not visible in the Middle East. This conjunction takes place in the constellation of Virgo the Virgin. Jesus is born. The sacrificial “lamb of God” is born in Bethlehem, which is where sacrificial lambs were bred and born for the Temple at Jerusalem. Jesus is born in the late spring, not winter, and the shepherds who cared for those lambs were out in the warmer weather sleeping with the flocks during birthing season.

Late December 2 BC – The Babylonian astronomers, known as “Magi” or wise men, arrive with their entourage in Jerusalem. It’s been a long and difficult journey, and there was doubtless time needed to prepare. Marco Polo wrote in his travels that he visited the tombs of the Magi in Saveh, Persia, and that the Magi also left from that city when they set off to find Jesus. The Magi travel about 600 miles by camel and as they travel Jupiter stays ahead of them. The Magi ask Herod “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star [rising] in the East, and have come to worship him.” Herod doesn’t have a clue. (This shows the star was not a comet or supernova.) Herod asks his priests where the Messiah is to be born, and they quote him the Old Testament prediction of Bethlehem. Herod tells the Magi to go and report back.

December 25, 2 BC – The Magi leave Jerusalem and head south to Bethlehem, only five miles away. Jupiter is directly south on this date as they walk out of Jerusalem, and they get to Bethlehem by following the “Star.” On this exact date Jupiter goes into retrograde motion, it appears to “stop” its wandering among the stars. The Magi would know that Jupiter had stopped its motion. The Magi bring gifts; it is the first Christmas. Jesus is no longer a newborn infant; the original Greek refers to him as a toddler at this point. I also find it interesting that a good argument can be made that 2 BC was the high point of the Roman Empire.

The heavens operate like clockwork. For these cosmic events to have accompanied the birth of Jesus, God had to have known the exact dates when the universe was created.

Merry Christmas!

The DMS Epidemic

There’s an epidemic in our world. It’s widespread in the United States, and worse in Europe. I call it “DMS,” short for deliberate mathematical stupidity.

I’m not talking about people who are not skilled in math, or just don’t like math. I’m talking about educated people, proficient in math, who choose, deliberately, to ignore obvious mathematical facts.

Obvious facts like you can’t get new technology by accident. For the technology of life, the functional parts are generally proteins made up of linked chains of 20 different types of amino acids. The odds of getting a comparatively short chain of 150 amino acids to fold into any sort of useful protein, any sort of remotely possible useable part in the machinery of life, is about one in a number with 74 zeros. In the real world, those are impossible odds to overcome. It’s not clear there have been that many mutations in the entire history of all life on Earth, even if you assume that life has existed for billions of years. And that’s just one protein. To get any sort of new technology you need dozens or hundreds of new proteins coordinated to fit together and work together just right. The odds of doing that are less than one in a number with a thousand or so zeros, like the odds of winning a powerball lottery more than a hundred times in a row. And life has millions of different systems, technology that supposedly was created by accident, by the Darwinian process of keeping the best mistakes.

There has never been a random collection of words that formed a useful book. There has never been a working machine created by a tornado ripping through a junkyard. There has never been a useful computer program designed by entering gibberish. In the entire history of human existence, it takes a mind to write a book, build a machine, or design a computer program.

The Darwinian delusion is you can get around this math problem by taking little steps. You invent a series of smaller steps to get where you want to go, note that each of those steps could perhaps occur, and then imagine that they can easily be combined. That’s mathematical nonsense, it doesn’t change the impossibly low probability that it will all work out right.

Another Darwinian delusion is that while you are waiting for one new piece of technology to supposedly arise by mutations, all the other systems of the organism are unaffected. That really is deliberate stupidity. If there are mutations affecting one system in an organism, all of the machinery/code of that organism is subjection to mutation. We humans have millions of systems in our body. We are devolving, not evolving. The Darwinian pretension that systems generally improve through mutations, errors, makes no sense.

DMS is not harmless. A common complication is belief in Darwinism, that we are chemical scum, and that life has no purpose. DMS leads to racism (my mistakes are better than yours), depression, suicide, and mass murder. One of the killers at the Columbine massacre in Colorado in 1999 wore a “Natural Selection” T-shirt, and both made a video stating that they were helping natural selection eliminate the weak among humankind (facts suppressed by our “popular” media).

The good news is DMS can be cured. It doesn’t take drugs, it takes an open mind and a willingness to actually look, look very hard with total honesty, at the mathematics of getting technology by chance. If you have friends or family who suffer from DMS please ask them to do that. Chapter 12 of my book, Counting To God, may be helpful.

Thanks for reading. Please spread the good news that science proves the existence of God. Together we can change the world.

Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings

I consider myself a rebel. I fight against the misconception that science is contrary to God, against the dogma handed us by pompous bullying professors who never venture outside the opinions of their colleagues. Their inability to recognize new truths is seen most clearly in their refusal to admit Darwinism is a failed theory, that it cannot possibly account for the technology and complexity of life. To insist that the human brain, with technology so fantastic we cannot begin to comprehend how it works, “evolved” from a Darwinian process of keeping the best mistakes is to me the apex of stupidity, the most pathetically sad example of deliberate blindness to the facts, and the most cowardly acquiescence to the status quo.

And so it was with delight that I stumbled upon a book overturning, with hard evidence and detailed scientific analysis, the accepted history of civilization. The book is Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, by Charles Hapgood. As the preface begins, “This book contains the story of the discovery of the first hard evidence that advanced people preceded all the peoples now known to history.”

The book begins with the discovery, in 1929, of a map created in 1513 by a Turkish Admiral known to us as Piri Re’is. Piri stated that he based his map on 20 older maps, including 8 from the time of Alexander the Great. The map uses a sophisticated understanding of the spherical trigonometry of map projections. Even more amazing, the map shows South America and Africa in correct relative longitude. Latitude, the extent to which one is north or south on the globe, can be measured relatively easily, such as by measuring the angles above the horizon of astronomical objects. But latitude, the extent to which one is east or west of some north-south line on a map, requires advanced technology, particularly at sea. It could not be reliably determined in western civilization until the invention in the late 1700s of clocks that remained accurate during sea voyages.

The center of the map is the intersection of the meridian of Alexandria (a north/south line running through Alexandria in Egypt) and the Tropic of Cancer. This confirms that the original maps go back to the time of Alexander. The Piri map is based on an overestimate of 4.5% in the circumference of the Earth. This exact mistake by made by Eratosthenes (276 BC to 194 BC). When the map was redrawn to eliminate this error, all of the longitude errors in the map were essentially eliminated. This suggests the ancient Greek mapmakers had before them source maps without the Eratosthenes error.

Perhaps the most astonishing feature of the Piri map is that is depicts the coastline of Antarctica without ice. Antarctica was supposedly unknown until 1773. Modern seismic maps disclose that beneath the ice cap the coast of Queen Maud Land is rugged. The Piri map shows this, including two bays where the seismic maps first showed land. When experts were asked to check their measurements, they found the Piri map was correct. The Piri map shows a mountain range in Antarctica that was discovered in 1952. Someone mapped Antarctica before it was covered in ice!

The Piri map is genuine. No one in 1929, let alone 1513, let alone at the time of Alexander the Great, possessed the technology and the geographical knowledge to draw this map. The Piri map is not alone. One reader summarized: “The Orontius Fineus map of 1531 shows rivers in Antarctica where today mile-thick glaciers flow; the Hadji Ahmed map of 1559 depicts the Ice Age land bridge that existed between Siberia and Alaska. The Zeno brothers, in 1380, may have accurately pictured the topography of Greenland below the northern icecap, while the Andrea Benincasa map of 1508 indicates that northern Europe was covered by the farthest advance of the Ice Age glaciation.”

Hapgood’s book describes other amazing maps. Some show islands that are now submerged, and river deltas that have since been much enlarged. The original source maps were produced by an advanced civilization that perished thousands of years ago.

This is exactly what the Bible claims. The Bible states that a great flood, the flood of Noah, destroyed civilization as it then existed. Noah had 120 years to build the ark and prepare for the flood; surely he preserved technology then in existence. Genesis 10:25 tells us of Noah’s great-great-great-great-grandson “named Peleg, because in his day the Earth was divided.” Peleg means division, and a more accurate translation of the original Hebrew could be “in his day the Earth was measured and surveyed.” The Bible indicates that Peleg and his contemporaries surveyed the post-Flood world 4,500 to 4,800 years ago.

Hapgood’s book was first published in 1966. Most history professors are either unaware of it or choose to ignore it. Like Darwinian biologists, they are afraid to risk criticism. But the maps are hard evidence that the Bible is accurate. Human beings are devolving, not evolving (Second Law of Thermodynamics, look it up!), and early humans not only possessed superior brains but lived for many hundreds of years, and developed advanced technology.

Many choose to ignore evidence that contradicts their beliefs. I delight in it. I will give you more hard evidence of ancient, advanced civilizations in future posts.

Thanks for reading. True science and reason point directly to God. Please share the good news. Together we can change the world.