Hotseat Week!

Posted by barb on May 11, 2005 in Science Musings |

I love the weeks I spend answering questions for Ask a High Energy Astronomer (soon to be just “Ask an Astronomer”). Why? In part because I get to enlighten people who are curious about astronomy, but mostly because of the websites I run across while searching for resources to pass on in my answers.

Usually I come across crackpot science webpages (and today is no exception, see below), but today I also discovered a cool page, No Answers in Genesis. NAiG is a site devoted to pointing out the inaccuracies and inanities present in the creationist dogma. Much of the site is devoted to evolution and Darwinism, but there are a few things about cosmology and the origin of the Universe.

In the same web search, I also found a crackpot site, This site contains the text of The Urantia Book, which is a book containing “religion, history, science, and philosophy, and includes the life and teachings of Jesus.” The authors of this book?

No human being is listed as author of The Urantia Book. The Urantia Book refers to the authorship as a collaborative effort by many superhuman, celestial beings, all of whom brought to this endeavor individual areas of knowledge and expertise. [From the FAQ]

I stumbled upon this site through a quote on our Sun:

Your sun is now passing out of its six billionth year. At the present time it is functioning through the period of greatest economy. It will shine on as of present efficiency for more than twenty-five billion years.

Really? 25 billion more years? Five times more than the currently accepted estimate, based on solid science? But then, this comes down from superhuman, celestial beings, so it must be true.

The best quote, though, in the Sun section is this:

The larger suns maintain such a gravity control over their electrons that light escapes only with the aid of the powerful X rays. [From chapter 41, section 9]

That’s right, it’s gravity that keeps light from escaping from stars, not the incredible density of the central regions. I suppose that means that black holes are just larger suns that have run out of X-rays? And, of course, X-rays are separate from light, right?


Here’s a cute Interview with Sol by Robert J. Nemiroff (from 1987, so a bit old, but the information is still good).

AM: When did you decide to have planets?
Sol: Very early in life, although I’m not exactly sure when – that part of my life was very nebulous. I didn’t really plan to have planets because I never had a steady companion. They just sort of spun off of my care-free early life style.

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