Category Archives: Journey of Faith

Holy Week

It’s been a few weeks since my last post; I’ve been speaking at conferences. Just two weeks ago, at the Westminster Conference on Science and Faith outside Philadelphia, I met John Lennox and Michael Denton, two published and well known scholars. If you go to my Facebook “author” page you can see our smiling faces!

Today is Good Friday. The astronomical evidence is that, if you project the modern calendar backwards – in other words if you pretend the present calendar was in effect during Jesus’s lifetime – then Jesus died on the cross exactly 1,982 years ago today. He died April 3, 33 A.D. This follows from the Biblical references that Jesus was crucified just before Passover on “Preparation Day.” Other references from the Book of Acts and the Old Testament indicate that there was a “blood moon” – a lunar eclipse – the night he died. These events and other historical evidence suggest Jesus died April 3, 33 A.D., exactly 1,982 years ago. If this is true, then of course Easter this year will fall exactly 1,982 years after the day Jesus rose from the dead. The website Star of Bethlehem does a great job of explaining this.

The next year that Easter will fall on April 5 is 2026.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed Easter!

The Star of Bethlehem

Was the Star of Bethlehem myth or fact? I am greatly indebted to Wayne Taylor of Louisiana for pointing me to Rick Larson’s excellent video on this subject. It is yet another example of modern science supporting belief in God.

Computers today can reproduce how the sky looked from any point on Earth at any time in history. Armed with this new knowledge, here is a spectacular theory that supports every claim in the Bible. To shorten this, I’ll give you the events in chronological order, and you can go back yourself to check how these match exactly up with the Biblical statements in the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, and with dozens of other Biblical references and historical facts. I haven’t personally been able to confirm all the details, but I have summarized the theory below.

Mid-September, 3 BC – Babylonian astronomers, the best in the world at that time, who are probably of Jewish descent (remnants of the Babylonian captivity), 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 is a very rare event, and suggests at least that something kingly is going on or is about to happen 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.

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 BCNine months after the Jupiter/Regulus conjunction, the King Planet Jupiter joins the planet Venus, universally associated with femininity, in conjunction. This is the closest alignment of Jupiter and Venus in thousands of years on each side of this date. The planets are so close that they appear to the naked eye to be touching. It is the brightest “star” the Babylonian astronomers will ever see. 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 thousands of sacrificial lambs that were bred for the Temple at Jerusalem were born. He 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 a long and difficult journey, and there was doubtless time needed to prepare. They 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 of Judea. Herod tells the magi to go and report back.

December 25, 2 BC – The magi leave Jerusalem and head due 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 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.

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 Solar System was created 5 billion years ago, and perhaps when God flung the universe into existence 14 billion years ago.

Merry Christmas!

An Inconvenient Truth

You may remember a 2006 documentary with Al Gore talking about global warming. It was titled “An Inconvenient Truth.” The film described global warming as “an inconvenient truth,” because, although the scientific evidence was overwhelming, many people were in denial.

Could the existence of God be an inconvenient truth for our society? The scientific evidence is overwhelming. My book “counts” through seven areas of science where, in the last few decades, new mainstream scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the existence of God. To name just two, there is no atheist explanation for the origin of life, and Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution has been emphatically disproven. The “emperor” of Darwinian Theory has no mathematical clothes.

So why is our society so hostile to God? I think the answer is complex, and varies from individual to individual. Perhaps part of it is we don’t want to be bothered. We don’t want to take time on the weekends to go to church or synagogue or mosque; we don’t want to part with any of our income, which of course we attribute solely to our own talents and not to God.

Perhaps another part is that we like to think we are in control. We like to think we are the masters of the universe. We don’t want to acknowledge a higher power.

Perhaps a third reason is that advertising dominates our culture. You can talk all you want about the glories of your favorite professional sports team, but know this – that team exists because its sponsors want you to buy their products. Advertising is everywhere, and it bombards us with the message that life is about money and spending it to buy the right products. Advertising and God don’t mix well.

I’m not sure about these reasons. I majored in math and physics, not sociology. So in this week before Christmas I’ll just leave you with a question. Do you think that, for some people, and perhaps even for yourself at certain moments at least, the existence of God is an inconvenient truth?

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!

Let’s Be Thankful

In this week of Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks to God.

We don’t normally put our lives in historical perspective, but the average person in the United States today has a quality of life superior to that of even royalty as recently as 100 years ago. We have better food and nutrition, better entertainment, better medical treatment, better transportation, and on and on. Personally, I’m not willing to give up modern dentistry.

Compared to earlier generations, we are incredibly spoiled and easily annoyed. We drive around in our modern cars, with radios and GPS and heated seats, and get annoyed if we get delayed in traffic. We complain if our restaurant meal is not hot enough or exactly what we ordered. We get enormous benefits from our society and government yet love to complain about taxes. Consider that, for almost all of human history, when the sun went down, there wasn’t a lot to see. Average life expectancy in the Bronze and Iron ages was 26. In medieval England, even if you made it to age 21, and even if you were a member of the aristocracy, you could only expect to live to age 64.

So let’s be thankful for what we have. Let’s also be thankful for a universe that reveals evidence of a Creator in so many ways, such as the fine-tuning of the constants of nature, the origin of life, and the creation of new species. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

Thanks for reading.

Pope Francis

As you may have read, Pope Francis recently made some interesting remarks on evolution and the Big Bang. The media coverage of those remarks has been pretty confused, to say the least, and often hostile.

Here’s what I believe the Pope actually said (translations may differ):

“When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining that God was a magician, with such a magic wand as to be able to do everything. However, it was not like that… And thus creation went forward for centuries, millennia and millennia until it became what we know today, in fact because God is not a demiurge [demigod] or a magician, but the Creator who gives being to all entities.”
“The Big Bang, which is today posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creation; rather, it requires it. Evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.”

Now the Pope is not a scientist, but I think he got it pretty right. The Big Bang is a theory of creation. It stuns me how often people don’t get that. I was on a syndicated radio program, and the host said to me something like – “Religious people believe in creation, but scientists have the Big Bang Theory.” The Big Bang is all about creation – all of time and space and matter and energy created in a single instance from absolute nothingness. It is scientific verification of the first words of the Book of Genesis. Until the 1965 discovery of relic photons from the Big Bang, many scientists objected to the Big Bang Theory because they said it was too religious. Now that it is mainstream, accepted science, atheists somehow want to pretend that it is contrary to God.

As for evolution, the key point to keep in mind is that the Pope is using that word in its normal sense – as a process of change. He certainly isn’t referring to Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution. What the Pope is saying is that life evolved over billions of years into what we see today, that all of life was not teleported onto this planet, that God worked over billions of years to create each species. That is absolutely consistent with the scientific evidence. As I’ve noted before, Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution has been emphatically disproved in recent years, although you won’t find much evidence of that in the popular media. But mainstream evidence, such as the findings of 450 scientists working on the ENCODE project to map the human genome, that our DNA is mostly or entirely functional and has more than one level of information buried in it, clearly disproves unguided evolution.

So the Pope got it right. I’m not a Roman Catholic, but I’m finding a lot about Pope Francis to like.

Thanks for reading.

Different Paths

This week I drove across Florida to be a guest on “It’s Time with Herman and Sharron,” also known as the “Herman and Sharron Show.” I had never heard of Herman, or Sharron, or their show, but I thought it could be fun. I also thought that perhaps it was an invitation I was supposed to accept.

The show is produced by the Christian Television Network, is widely syndicated, and has been rated in the top 10 Christian programs on cable television. I bumped into Herman backstage before taping, and he radiates genuine warmth and peace. He proudly introduced his bride of 51 years. The half hour went by too fast. I’m told it will be broadcast on Monday, September 15, beginning at 10 am on the East Coast. As they say, check your cable listings. The show will also be available on YouTube a few days after that.

Herman and I have taken different paths. His show focuses on prayer and faith healing. He noted, at the beginning of the show, that most of his programming assumes no more than a 5th or perhaps 8th grade education. Yet he clearly wanted to reach beyond that, and I guess that is why he invited me. I did my best to explain the scientific evidence for God, the subjects of my book. I noted that you can’t get meaningful information by chance, and that scientists have found tremendous new information in every species. We discussed how many people are not willing to adapt their views when the evidence changes. We chuckled at the truth that, although many perceive believers as refusing to adapt, in reality it is Atheists who ignore the evidence of modern science. I have a tendency to get too technical, and I was probably guilty of that again. But Herman kept smiling and wanting to learn more, and I loved it.

I envy Herman his path to faith. I often wish I wasn’t a sort of scientific doubting Thomas, a person who took decades to sort through the evidence of science. But that’s my path. As I say in my book, there are many paths up the mountain, many different ways to seek God. Whatever your path is, I wish you the best. If you can achieve the faith of Herman and Sharron, you will be high up on the mountain.

Thanks for reading.

The Best of Science and Religion

My publisher has promoted my book as combining the best of science and religion. I like that. It’s a succinct statement of why I wrote the book.

Of course, you have to be careful with terms. By “science” I mean the basic definition in the dictionary: observation, experimentation, and reasoning – what I call “figuring it out.” By “religion” I mean the essence of Abrahamic faith – the simple belief that our universe and life were designed, that we are not here by accident.

The basic theme of my book is that when you do true science, when you try to “figure it out,” the evidence that our universe and life were designed is overwhelming. Evidence from established, mainstream science — cosmology, nuclear physics, molecular biology, the fossil record, planetary physics, quantum physics. I am constantly astonished by the general but false perception that science and religion are in conflict. I had one person recently ask me three times: “So you think science and religion are compatible?” He had a hard time even hearing my message.

He and many others confuse “science” with a belief system that attempts to make a religion out of “science,” which says that the natural world is all there is and that there are no truths other than the truth of science. That belief system has different names – Scientism, Naturalism, Materialism – but one purpose, to deny the existence of God. Scientism is not science. Scientism puts a box around science, and says you can’t look outside the box for truth, even when you ask how the stuff in the box came to be.

We need both true science and religion. We need to keep figuring out how our world works and how to make it better. I, for one, am not willing to give up modern dentistry! There’s no going back on the comforts and wonders of modern science.

We need religion too. Science without religion is empty. Scientism would have us believe that existence is pointless, and that human beings were created by random events, mere “chemical scum.” That pathetic philosophy is the cause of many of our social problems. How wonderful and liberating that true science supports the existence of God.

Pope John Paul II wrote: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.” I like that. As we move forward in this third millennium and twenty-first century, let’s combine the best of science and religion

Thanks for reading.

Is it “Smart” to Believe?

If you’re reading this, you probably know that millions of people think belief is outdated and that science is in conflict with religion. Atheists claim that “smart” people move past the old superstitions to some sort of materialistic philosophy. Like many other Atheist claims, when you look at the facts, it’s blatantly false.

A recent article claims that, of the 10 people on Earth with the highest IQs, at least 8 are Theists and at least 6 of those are Christians.  I don’t know whether these really are the 10 smartest people on Earth, but it is a very impressive group.

Before 150 years ago, basically all educated persons were Theists – they believed in God. Many were Deists rather than Christians, they believed that God created the universe and life and then left us to sort it out on our own, but they were overwhelmingly believers. People then studied science to learn how God worked – how he made the universe, the Earth, and life. Now we’ve got a small but vocal group of Atheist scientists who want us to think that all of this design, all the wonders of the universe and every species on Earth, happened by chance. The basic message of my book is that science actually strongly supports belief in God, and I give seven areas where that is true. Each area, by itself, is very strong evidence for the existence of God.

So I would answer “yes,” it is smart to believe.

Thanks for reading.

My Mission Trip to MIT

Some people go to Africa, others to Asia.  I went to MIT, and I was nervous.  I was there to nail seven scientific challenges on the door of the church of atheism.   But just days before, at the request of student atheists, MIT agreed to ban mention of God and prayer from its commencement ceremonies.

Forty-three short years ago I received my Bachelor’s degree from MIT. During that time, I took seven semesters of16 math courses along the way and also majored in physics.  I was back to talk about my book – “Counting to God:  A Personal Journey Through Science to Belief”.  MIT set me up in one of their modern lecture rooms, and my friend who is head of the Physics Department agreed to introduce me.  But would anybody show up?  Would people try to disrupt the talk?  I was nervous.

I’m told the count was 118 people; not bad considering commencement was the week before and the campus was quiet.  It was a mix of students, faculty, and the general Cambridge community including some folks from Harvard.  The talk went well; I saw nods of understanding and light bulbs coming on with smiles as I “counted” through seven wonders of modern science:  the creation of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, the origin of life, the technology of life, the puzzles of macroevolution, the special qualities of Earth, and the non-material nature of the universe as revealed by quantum physics.  A video of my talk and my slides should be available soon on  I hope you get to see them and let me know how you think it went.  My friend the Physics professor, who hosts dozens of events each year, told me he received at least five emails later thanking him for sponsoring the talk, and that he couldn’t remember the last time he got that kind of email.

Why did I go to MIT?  I went to spread the word that science and religion are not opposites.  I went to show the objective basis for belief, that math and science facts support belief in God.  I went to expose Scientism, the belief that science can or will explain everything without God, as just a system of belief.  I went to spread the word that modern science strongly supports belief in God.  That’s why I wrote my book, and that’s why I’m writing this blog.

More next week.  Thanks for reading.