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Pitch Perfect
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Wendy Wippel

As a scientist, one of the most intriguing verses in the Bible is  when Jesus tells His audience that if they don’t believe what He says about the physical realm, there’s no hope for what is spiritual (John 3:12).  Because that means that what He did say about the physical can be taken to the bank. Even to Job.

Job’s long lament to God is finally answered by his Creator, who confirms His love for Job but also reminds the suffering saint just Who it is that he is questioning:

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.Who determined its measurements?  Surely you know!” “Or who stretched the line upon it?To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Here’s a Summary:  Job, who created you?  And all you see?   Why do you think you have the right to question what I do?

(Wesley’s commentary on the passage translates God’s words (loosely) like this:

“Thou art but of yesterday; and dost thou presume to judge of my eternal counsels!  When I settled it as firm upon its own center as if it had been built upon the surest foundations.”

Summary: pretty much the same as above.

Job, a wise man, responds humbly, admitting “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?”

Which is something that we should keep in mind when we have the urge to question what God is doing in our lives.

But the intriguing thing to me, as a scientist (and as a student of the Bible) is, whether what God is telling Job through His soliloquy in Job just picturesque and poetic analogy? Or He telling us something factual about earthly things?

Apparently both.

At least, according to a recent scientific paper in Physical  Review Letters, which explains research that seems to show that sometimes the stars do actually emit sound.

They sing.

Thanks to our scientific progress over the last 40 years, we now know that the fabric of the universe is a plasma, essentially an energy  soup of containing lots and lots of protons and electrons  too hot to coalesce into atoms.

The group of researchers in questions shot high-intensity lasers at plasma (don’t ask me what made them decide to do that, but know that it probably involved our tax dollars) the impact of the laser caused the plasma to flow in the other direction.  And when the plasma flowed in the opposite direction,  the force of the flow created enough pressure to result in “sound pulses”.

In other words, noise.  

Here’s where it gets interesting.  The physicist who authored the report, Dr. John Pasley, went on to say that the only place that  this would probably actually happen in nature is on the surface of a star.

But  not just any star. 

Here’s where it gets really, really interesting.  Pasley says that "when they are accumulating new material, stars could generate sound in a very similar manner to that which we observed in the laboratory”

This would only happen as stars were accumulating new material.  In other words, while they were in the process of being created.

And here’s where it will blow your mind:  Pasley then said of these stars--these new stars, accumulating material through the transformation of plasma into matter, that it could be said that these new  stars were “singing”.

Just like God told Job:

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?...”? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:4

Pasley hastens to add that we couldn’t hear the concert, as the frequency of the sounds would be way higher than humans could hear.  And he adds:

“if a star makes a sound too high for mammals to hear does it even count?”

It does when there’s a whole other audience.  And apparently there was.  Apparently all the  angels joined the stars in singing praise to Jehovah as He worked during those six days in which the universe was created.

And wouldn’t that have been a concert to hear!

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: God From the Backside

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