“For the first time, astronomers have evidence of gravitational waves that were created when black holes devoured dense neutron stars. The gravitational waves were created nearly a billion years ago but just reached Earth in January 2020.”
Our universe is staggering in its beauty, in its mystery, in complexity, and its sheer size is incomprehensible. When I think about a distant, until recently, unknown and invisible sphere of some kind, consuming another obscure and incredibly dense mass of neutrons left over from a star that exploded, pushing a bow wave across our shores one billion years after it occurred, I am stunned and silenced before the One with Whom we have to do. That I might know him…
“For the first time, astronomers have evidence of gravitational waves that were created when black holes devoured dense neutron stars. The gravitational waves were created nearly a billion years ago but just reached Earth in January 2020.”
NEWSWEEK JAN 15, 2015
A response by Michael L Brown
But does Newsweek paint an accurate picture of conservative evangelicals? Certainly not.
More importantly, does Newsweek paint an accurate picture of the reliability of the Scriptures? Emphatically not.
But the vast majority of those discrepancies are inconsequential (akin to writing Doctor vs. Dr.), and as noted by Prof. Bart Ehrman, a foremost New Testament textual scholar and a well-known agnostic, “Essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.”
The significance of this is explained by Darrell Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and a Humboldt scholar hosted at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Bock wrote, “What this means is that people on all sides recognize that what we have in the Bible in terms of the core things it teaches is a reflection of what made up these books originally. The caricature by Eichenwald that what we have in our hands has no resemblance to what was originally produced is misleading in the extreme, as even Ehrman’s own writing (the journalist’s source!) has argued, as the text noted above shows.”
And so, scholars translating the Greek New Testament into English are reading essentially the same Greek texts that were read by Greek speaking Church leaders in the second and third centuries of this era, beginning just a generation or two after Paul. This is highly significant.
The truth is that the evidence for the reliability of our New Testament manuscripts massively outweighs the evidence against it. To quote Wallace again, “. . . we have Greek manuscripts—thousands of them, some reaching as far back as the second century. And we have very ancient translations directly from the Greek that give us a good sense of the Greek text that would have been available in those regions where that early version was used. These include Latin, Syriac, and Coptic especially. Altogether, we have at least 20,000 handwritten manuscripts in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic and other ancient languages that help us to determine the wording of the original. Almost 6000 of these manuscripts are in Greek alone. And we have more than one million quotations of the New Testament by church fathers. There is absolutely nothing in the Greco-Roman world that comes even remotely close to this wealth of data. The New Testament has more manuscripts that are within a century or two of the original than anything else from the Greco-Roman world too. If we have to be skeptical about what the original New Testament said, that skepticism, on average, should be multiplied one thousand times for other Greco-Roman literature.” Dr. Michael Brown is a Messianic Jew and holds a Ph.D in Near Eastern Languages and Literature from New York University.
I truly believe that it doesn’t require gobs of unrealistic faith. 1. To believe God is and. 2. His own Son visited our planet.
Black holes are both more and less dangerous that people might think.
It is difficult to get swallowed by a black hole because of the conservation of angular momentum. So it is not like a drain emptying a bathtub except in the accretion disk surrounding the black hole. That is where there is enough friction for you to lose that angular momentum.
On the other hand if you are close enough to see the event horizon of a black hole (with your own eyes), you are most likely already dead since the tidal forces quickly turn you into spaghetti.
To give you some idea of the sizes involved… consider the following remnants with a mass close to that of the sun.
A white dwarf would be about the size of the earth.
A neutron star would be about the size of a city.
A black hole (event horizon) would be a bit smaller than that.
Unlike the other two a black hole can be any size but the effects reach out into space by the same proportion. So to be close enough to see the event horizon is just way too close already. In all the simulations I have run it is over too fast for your brain to even acquire an image of the thing.
Astronomers spotted a quasar 12 billion times the size of the Sun.
Mitchell, I’m sure you know about this fella. Can you begin to grasp its size and power? Not me. How could there not be God?
Quasars were discovered in 1963 and are the most powerful objects beyond our Milky Way galaxy. They beam vast amounts of energy across space as the supermassive black hole in their centre sucks in matter from its surroundings.
Scientists have discovered the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole we have ever seen. It has the mass of 12 billion solar masses, emits the energy of 420 trillion Suns, and is at a distance of 12.8 billion light-years from Earth.
The discovery of this quasar, named SDSS J0100+2802, marks an important step in understanding how quasars, the most powerful objects in the universe, have evolved from the earliest epoch, only 900 million years after the Big Bang, which is thought to have happened 13.7 billion years ago.
Mitchell, what happens to time in a black hole? Light can’t escape, but does it shine inside a black hole? Does it fade away, transferring its energy into heat? We can’t shoot anything through one either because its gravity would block it from leaving, I guess. If we could force them to expand enough, their gravitational force would be spread out over a greater area and decrease its effective attractive power, wouldn’t it?
From black holes to textual criticism. I give your first post a resounding AMEN!
The reason is doesn’t matter is because theologians harmonize competing scriptures and will still end up with the same whole despite different works potentially teaching different things. On historical grounds, some of the changes are significant. Bart Ehrman clarifying his statement that is often misunderstood
<<<Why is it that “threats to significant doctrines” are taken to be the only standard of what is important to the Christian religion? In my view this idea is completely wrong-headed. There are SCORES of things that are important to Christianity that are not “significant doctrines.” Here’s the example I often use, and have probably used on the blog before: suppose tomorrow morning we were all to wake up only to discover that in every Bible on the planet the books of Numbers, Ezekiel, Proverbs, Mark, and 1 Peter were no longer to be found. They had simply disappeared. They no longer existed. Which “significant Christian doctrines” would then be affected? None. Zero. Zilch. Does that mean the disappearance of the books would be insignificant? No, on the contrary, it would be HUGELY significant. Significance is not determined solely on the basis of the effects on Christian doctrine.
For one thing, not only the presence of books in the Bible (such as Numbers, Ezekiel, and Mark) matter, but their interpretation matters. Does it “matter” if Jesus is portrayed in Mark as an angry man instead of a compassionate one? I would think it matters. And it hinges on a textual variant. Does it matter if the Gospel of Luke indicates that Jesus became the son of God at his baptism instead of from eternity past? I should think so. Does it matter whether the Gospel of John ever identifies Jesus as the “unique God” or not. It matters big time. Does it matter if a book – such as Luke – rejects the very idea that Jesus’ death was a substitutionary atonement? In fact, depending on which variant you choose, Luke either has or does not have a doctrine of the atonement (and thus either has, or doesn’t have, a completely different understanding of Jesus’ death from other NT writers). Does it matter whether John’s Gospel tells the beautiful story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery (a story found only in some manuscripts of John, and nowhere else)? . . .
It is not good enough, in my view, to say that in fact it does not matter if Luke has a doctrine of atonement, because Mark and Paul clearly do, so you can find the doctrine of the atonement in the NT even if Luke doesn’t have it. That is doing the work of the theologian (which, in fact, I do not object to) rather than the work of the interpreter. If it turns out that Mark does have a doctrine of the atonement, and that Luke has a different understanding of Jesus’ death, then you have to figure out which one is right – especially if they cannot be reconciled. And that leads to an entirely different approach to the books of the New Testament. And that in itself is highly significant.
So, in short, it’s true that variants may not overthrow the Nicene Creed. But for anyone interested in the meaning of the books of the New Testament, they are highly significant.>>>
GOD IS UNREAL
10 BILLION YEARS AGO
“LET THERE BE LIGHT”
AND THERE WAS LIGHT
Closer to 14 but yes. Unlike the other deities at the time, creation was at the mere word of God.
Objects approaching a black hole experience time dilation, which means… the events happening for those far from the black hole will be happening in a shorter time for those near the black hole. In other words, it makes the experience of anyone (ignoring the fact that they have already been ripped to shreds) being sucked into a black hole happen that much faster – all over before you have time to be aware of it. For an imaginary person at the center of a black hole, the entire history of the universe would pass in an instant.
Yes this means that many common explanations of this are wrong. They are in fact incoherent. for example in Wikipedia it says… “an object falling into a black hole appears to slow as it approaches the event horizon, taking an infinite time to reach it.” According to that description black holes would never absorb anything or get any bigger, which is obviously not the case. Time dilation seems to be often understood rather poorly – difficult for people to wrap their head around.
Light does not shine. Objects like stars shine by sending out light. All the light in the black hole is traveling towards the center of the black hole. An imaginary person (nobody could really exist in such conditions) inside the event horizon would thus be able to see the whole universe outside the black hole.
Heat is not more fundamental than light. Heat exists in two forms: radiation (light) and the vibration of molecules. Almost all of the energy from the sun is in the form of radiation, the only other form is that of the “solar wind.” I cannot find any information on how much of the energy coming from the sun is in the form of solar wind but I think this only accounts for a very small proportion of the total energy.
Correct. Nothing going in will come out except the energy of Hawking radiation which is generated by the gravity of the black hole itself.
I guess you are talking fantasy, like the movie “Honey I Blew up the Kid.” There is little that science can coherently speak about such fantasies.
13.8 I guess. But, if He stopped supporting the universe, everything would come crashing down in less than 1 billionth of 1 billionth of 1 billionth of 1 second. In him we move and have our being. Can you get your mind around the fact that light from that object travelled for 10 billion years to get here? 10 billion years! We have the opportunity to look back in time billions of years. That picture shows us exactly what it looked like 10 billion years ago. We can’t travel into the past (yet), but we can literally see the past.
And literal waves just passed through the earth from an event that took place 1 billion years ago.
"On 29 June 2021, the LIGO, Virgo, and KAGRA collaborations announced the discovery of GW200105 and GW200115 – the first confirmed observations of neutron star-black hole (NSBH) binaries. The first binary, GW200105, consists of a 8.9 solar mass black hole and a 1.9 solar mass neutron star. The second binary, GW200115, is a 5.7 solar mass black hole and 1.5 solar mass neutron star.
The cosmic merger described in the study, an event dubbed GW190814, resulted in a final black hole about 25 times the mass of the sun (some of the merged mass was converted to a blast of energy in the form of gravitational waves). The newly formed black hole lies about 800 million light-years away from Earth. It travelled 469,760,256,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles
I wonder if we will discover that certain events take place as the result of these waves passing through our planet like earthquakes or droughts?
Thanks for your input. It is awesome to see how much thought, hard work and concentrated effort you have put into forming your opinions on these things. Your views represent more like a lifetime of dedication to this field. How cool is that!? You are amazing and I applaud you.
Bart has stated the variants add up to nothing of significance. When he raises the issue about the uncertainty we have about Luke’s position, it seems like a cruel tactic to shake people’s confidence in the doctrine. He knows the doctrine is well supported, so why bother to say Luke may have a completely different take on it? If it made a difference, fine, but Bart knows full well it doesn’t. I think it is immoral to do this.
When Zacharias mouth was opened he spoke of the redemption of God’s people (Lk 1:68). Anna, “…spoke of Him [Jesus] to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Lk 2:38). Isaiah 44:22 states, “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” Christ has paid the price for our sin when he suffered on the cross in our place. Redemption involves paying a price: Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches,
none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him for the redemption of their souls is costly, and it shall cease forever - that he should continue to live eternally, And not see the Pit (Ps 49:6-9). Zacharias went on to say about John the Baptist’s ministry of preparation, “To give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God …” (Lk 1:76, 78). Salvation is by God’s mercy – we don’t work for it. This is clearly shown by the scapegoat: Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. … But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn[c] of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit[d]; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
Atonement involves a substitute who bears our sins – Jesus
When Simeon held the baby Jesus in his arms he said, “With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation” (Lk 2:30). That is, Jesus IS salvation, not the one who points the way to enlightenment. Jesus died on cross – Christ himself in his own person took the penalty for our hateful deeds. Jesus is Lord (Lk 2:11), so he is perfect and thus did not die for his own sins – he must have died for the sins of others.
You know for certain that the created universe was made to be so fragile that it would fall apart the minute God tired of holding it together? Was there no reason to make it self sustaining or did He just choose not to?
Just an opinion. I think he is the entity that holds everything together, the grand unifying theory. If he withdrew who he is from anything, there would be nothing left, for he is everywhere. But, just my personal belief. How about you? You have some thoughts?
But, we know that Jesus didn’t get sinfully angry. Scripture makes that plain. It doesn’t depend on a variant and a variant we are unsure belongs.
He was God before time began. The NT says that. He “always was” and He “always was” for the very purpose of buying us back. The NT says that, too. God is God. There is a quality or something, that means He is God or makes Him God, that isn’t related to his knowledge or power or size. He Is. He IS I AM. (Imagine a person saying that, especially to his Jewish peers.)
Taking the scriptures together is not a way to get around controversy. It may be used that way by some, but controversy is controversy. I want nothing to do with a fake god, a fake christianity, fake anything along these lines. But, we should use all the information we have to try to understand him. That is normal. That is healthy.
I am embarrassed to use the word love as a man, but I shouldn’t be. I love Jesus. He is too cool. My best friend. My Lord and my God. It hurts when people mock and insult and dismiss him with a disdainful smirk and use his name to swear. But, if He isn’t who I believe him to be, what good does it do me to walk around believing a bunch of nonsense. Some may act like we don’t want others to share Him with us because it makes us feel superior. Forgive us Lord.
I desperately, earnestly, with everything I am, don’t want anyone to miss out on Him, knowing Him, becoming his very own child, to end up in hell whatever you may think about it. I have my convictions about hell but the point is: hang out with Jesus. He loves us. It seems impossible to get that across to others, but I am not giving up. It just breaks my heart. If He wasn’t real, I think I would know. I am, contrary to popular opinion, not the biggest idiot who ever lived. Close, but not the biggest. He’s with me 24/7. We discuss everything. He has never taken off on me, although one time it seemed pretty close. (He was not happy, that’s for sure.) He does hate sin because it destroys us and others. He doesn’t hate it because He’s too good for us and wants to make demands on us to make us miserable or because He’s got nothing better to do. Sin kills us; spirituality is the first to go. I was so dead in my “spirit”. I had forgotten what love was. I felt love as a little guy. (Once, I was in a gift store. A little girl was ahead of me in line purchasing something and she was 3 pennies short. She got upset and I felt sorry for her. They wouldn’t let her have it. I had an extra 3 pennies but I was little and I didn’t know if it would be ok with my dad if I gave them to her. It would have been fine, but I didn’t know and I didn’t want to let my dad down by disobeying him. So, I didn’t offer them to her and she left crying. I’ll never forget. I bought my toy or whatever it was and cried the whole way home. It was about a 10 minute walk. I went inside and I couldn’t stop. I told my dad and he said I had a good heart.) I did. I was once a loving guy, but I stopped. I grew to be so hateful and bitter and angry, I’d forgotten that love is nice and it is good to love others. Had no memory of sweet love, until He came along. He put love in me, I swear, and I felt like an innocent child again and it felt so good to love again, I could not believe what was happening to me. It was from another world, another dimension, something that just doesn’t happen, not to me. I didn’t believe in nonsense.
And no one is interested enough to pray, to ask him to prove He’s real. It is so simple.
The fact is we have several accounts of his life and the letters and together they make the case for the foundations of Christianity, according to Bart himself. Do the variants matter? Yes and no. Of course we would prefer to have every original document comprising the NT. But, imagine the wars we would have fought over them. Good thing they aren’t around or we would have annihilated each other.
I have been investigating in order to understand where this comes from. I think it is from the following equation of time dilation near a black hole.
It says that the time tf measured between two events by an observer far from a black hole is measured as t0 by an observer close to the event horizon (at rs). From the second expression we can see that this means that as an observer approaches the event horizon the time he measures between events in the universe goes to zero and thus some corrections to what I said above is needed.
For an imaginary person at the event horizon (not center) of a black hole, the entire history of the universe would pass in an instant. And remember this is still happening extremely fast for them.
But I don’t think it follows that the person outside the black hole doesn’t see the person cross the event horizon until the end of the universe – that is what would lead to that incoherent claim I quoted from Wikipedia above, where black holes never get any bigger. Time dilation is not in agreement between two observers in Special Relativity (i.e. both observers on ships passing each other see the clocks on the other ship as slowing down), so I don’t see why they should be in agreement for General Relativity. In fact, the next equality above equating the gravitational time dilation to a velocity time dilation according to the escape velocity ve would imply that the same equation would operate in reverse in the same way as it does in SR. Accordingly those far from black hole would see the time between events near black hole also shrinking to zero. Thus instead of seeing them slow down they would see them speed up to be gobbled by the black hole that much faster.
Another confusing things about all this, is that these relativity equations are not about what the observers actually see because they don’t take into account the time it takes light to travel to them (also known as the aberration of light). So it is really what they calculate to be the case when they take the velocity of light into account. And while I (like others) have done the calculations for what you actually see in the case of special relativity, I have not done this for black holes and general relativity. We do know some things, like how light is distorted around the black hole because of the way it bends light, and thus we would see (in a telescope since getting that close would be fatal) the whole universe duplicated in circles around the black hole from light looping around the black hole before it reaches us.
That’s what I was thinking!
I have absolutely no idea what all of that means, but you do and that is amazing. Congratulations. Really. My goodness.
I was finished with my times tables when I reached my 35th birthday.
That is true of most people. But there are a lot of sharp people on this forum and if I don’t check out my claims thoroughly I have little doubt they might show me up as Vinnie already has done a few times. I have a masters degree in physics but authority doesn’t really count for much in science.
I think God cares most about the size of the human heart. It can grow incredibly large.
Indeed. One of the things we are learning from AI is that intelligence really isn’t such a great and marvelous thing as we might have thought previously. All it takes is the ability to follow a set of rules and computers do that extremely well. Heck, even electrons and photons can do that too. So instead of being this ultimate achievement of mankind putting us at the top of the evolutionary ladder, intelligence is really something the universe started with in its basic structure already. If we want to know what makes us great then intelligence isn’t it. Of course, Jesus had something to say about that, He said if we would be great then we would be a servant… even a servant of servants.
Yup and you know I really don’t mind being a servant. In fact, I actually enjoy it a lot. As long as everybody is watching and applauding and marveling at what an incredible and awesome servant I am!