by Del Tackett
The light of naturalism’s lamp illuminates only the natural. Therefore, nothing outside of the material realm can be seen. But it’s not that naturalism then supposes there “might be” something out there... in the dark. No, it explicitly states that NOTHING exists outside of the material box.
Since the current scientific paradigm is wedded to naturalism, its lamp also illuminates only that which is material. Therefore, when postulating about causes, the current paradigm can only discover causes that are natural. Its lamp can’t illuminate anything else.
This is very unfortunate, because the current scientific paradigm is therefore shackled, with blinders, so that it can’t see design or purpose or intent, even if it were really there. The fire investigator would never suspect an arsonist and the crime scene detective would never deduce a murderer. Every effect would simply, by definition, have to come from a natural cause.
The problem is that most things look designed. Most things appear to have a purpose. The paradigm’s mantra is that there is no designer, no purposive forces, no supernatural causes in play here.
So when the moon perfectly eclipses the sun, philosophical science sees nothing but really, really amazing coincidences instead of the gracious design of a Creator who made the sun, the moon and the earth in such a way that we might see a total eclipse.
And when we do, it takes our breath away… and maybe even produces a few tears in the presence of such wonder and magnificence.
I just returned from Tennessee where I had that great privilege.
Two dear brothers and I drove to the Cumberland River bank, set up my tripod and my jury-rigged lens made up of a #14 welder's lens, a custom-cut block of Styrofoam, and 6 mini-bungee cords.
And then waited for the show.
And what a show it was… an astounding, phenomenal astronomical event.
We watched the moon as it slowly crept across the face of the sun and we felt the temperature drop. We heard the crickets and the cicadas start their chirping. We saw the strange phenomenon of the light becoming dimmer and dimmer. It wasn’t like what you experience with cloud cover or the evening dusk. It was something very different. It was a strange kind of darkness.
There were wavy lines on the ground, called “shadow bands” and the horizon had a reddish glow, like a sunset or sunrise, but it was all the way around, 360 degrees.
And as the sliver of sun disappeared, we saw “Baily’s Beads”, tiny specks of light that were shining through the valleys on the outer edges of the moon, and then just one “bead” that became the “diamond ring”. I think that is when the first tear formed in my eye.
It was spectacular.
It was moving.
And then we had the precious seconds when the moon slid into a perfect match in front of the sun, and we could see with bare eyes the sun’s corona and then the amazing glow of the chromosphere. Wow! The only time you can see this is during a total solar eclipse. And we were seeing it.
The sun is 400 times the size of the moon. But the sun "just happens" to be 400 times farther away from a human observer on the surface of the earth. This is why the moon and the sun appear to be the exact same size. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t experience a total solar eclipse.
This means that the size of the sun, the size of the moon, the distance from the earth to the moon and the distance from the moon to the sun all have to be perfect in order for us to see this.
And when one considers that the sun needs to be the size it is for life…
And the moon needs to be the size it is for life…
And the distance between us and the moon and the sun needs to be what it is for life…
Oh, and all of these sizes and distances also just happen to be perfect for us to see a total eclipse…
Well, I suppose one could say that it is just another amazing set of coincidences along with a whole lot of other amazing coincidences like blood-clotting and hearing and vision and DNA and RNA and fingernails and bees and bombardier beetles and beauty and music and… well almost everything around us.
The lamp of naturalism has to suppose that all of these things are just incredible coincidences that somehow came into being from random, purposeless forces.
But, the lamp of Scripture reaches way beyond the material. It illuminates for us not only that there is design, but a Designer; not only purpose, but a Purposer; not only beauty, but the Beautiful One.
“The heavens declare the glory of God.”
We beheld that glory on a riverbank in Tennessee.
And, oh my, what a glory it was.
[I took this photo with a Cannon EOS 5D Mark II, 300mm, 2x, ISO 3200, f/6.3, 1/80; #14 welder's lens, 8/21/2017, 1318:47 CDT. Notice the stars in the backgound]