The meteorite/asteroid shower that peppered Russia last night included a loud booming explosion that blew out windows, caused panic, and injured 1100 people. These events were caught on video (see posts below). “With a blinding flash and a booming shock wave, a meteor blazed across the western Siberian sky on Friday and exploded with the force of 20 atomic bombs, injuring more than 1,000 people as it blasted out windows and spread panic in a city of 1 million… The largest recorded meteor strike in more than a century occurred hours before a 150-foot asteroid passed within about 28,000 kilometres of Earth. The European Space Agency said its experts had determined there was no connection between the asteroid and the Russian meteor – just cosmic coincidence.” Um, yeah right.
As mentioned yesterday, science and the Bible have been at odds for centuries about the reality of asteroids. The Bible describes these events as real and (as it turns out) its numerous descriptions are scientifically accurate (as “rocks,” “fiery mountains” or ‘falling stars‘ [ie "comets"] falling from the heavens) to give some examples.
“Scientists didn’t realize the global fire consequence until the late 1980s! Mutch et al in Geology of Mars (1976) didn’t mention it; nor Lunan in Man & The Planets (1983); nor Sagan in Comet (1985).
“However, Time-Life Editors in Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites (1990) described the impact of a 9km-wide asteroid and wrote of trillions of glowing, speeding, microfine rock particles encircling the world and heating the surface to 3000oC. Also, 27km-thick layers of soot, dust and nitrogen oxide smog would envelope our Earth, blot out sunlight and make the surface inky black for half a year. A picture on pages 132-133 matches what the Bible says in words!”
Read more about the science/Bible dichotomy at Tripod, here.
Tripod continues, that “in Genesis 1:2 the word “Spirit” in “Spirit of God” is the Hebrew word “ruach” and means “wind”. “Wind of God” is a figure of speech referring to an exceptionally strong wind. Genesis 1, then, describes earth (=the land) “in the beginning” as water-covered, dark, wind swept and lifeless.
“This description corresponds to the consequences of impact(s) of one or more large asteroids in an ocean. The Genesis creation story would then be a story of God restoring our planet after a major catastrophe…”
Many scientists now believe the solar system was created by impacts and collisions of debris and planets swirling in motion. This fits the Hebrew “ruach” hypothesis. Remember, Moses (author of the Creation story) was writing in 1400 BC.
Genesis 19:24-28 and 1 Peter 2:6, discussing a historic Sodom and Gomorrah, mention “brimstone and fire…out of heaven” and the cities (including G. and S.) being reduced “to ashes.” Since “heaven” usually means the sky we can speculate that a small asteroid exploded above the cities, among other possibilities.
Joshua 10:11 describes a very unusual event during a battle between Israel and the Amorites, a neighbouring Semitic people.
…the Lord threw down great stones from heaven upon them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died because of the hailstones than the men of Israel killed with the sword.
In biblical parlance, “stones” (from the sky) is what we would now call a meteorite shower, as fell on the Urals last night, injuring 1100 people. The reference to “hailstones” is interesting, as meteorites are often associated with ice, and some comets are completely ice, as are some surfaces of outer system satellites and moons. If this was not an actual event, there is no way for the writers to have imagined this AND GOT IT so precisely RIGHT.
Acts 19:35 in the New Testament records, … the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky. Clearly a meteorite. The Dome of the Rock is also believed to house a meteorite. The Black Madonna idol is, i think, constructed from black volcanic glass but associated with an earlier tradition of a black meteorite, and worshipped as a diety. This was not uncommon among ancient societies. The ancient Hebrews knew these, however, simply as rocks, which they are, but from the sky/heavens.
Lewis (1996) quoting Revelation 8 has reasoned:
The central theme is clear and unambiguous: the events described in Revelation are of astronomical origin, and describe physical events, not mere portents or symbols. Did John somehow know more about impact phenomena than any scientist before the present decade? (p. 13)
Peter predicted the well-described Day of the Lord (end of the world) by fire (2 Peter 2:6; 3:1-13) saying it will start with a “loud noise” (3:10). The Urals intrusion last night included a loud bang caught on audio and video, like a sonic boom (see below).
The prophet Zephaniah before Peter, also predicted the “ day of the Lord is…a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness…(1:14-18). Descriptions of “a loud noise,” global fire, “sudden end” and thick darkness agree with the description of a large asteroid impact. Much later New Testament sources agree.
Revelation 6:12-17 and Matthew 24:29 are prophecies of “stars” falling from the sky. In Revelation 6 the falling “stars” follow a “great earthquake.”
In 1992 a scientist calculated one asteroid’s orbit and predicted the world’s end for 2126. Another doomsday alert in March 1998 was that asteroid 1997 XF11 which is 2km across would end civilization in October 2028! (Hecht 1998; The Advertiser 1998 May 16) Both calculations turned out wrong but they raise a question. If a large asteroid were on a collision course we might know months or years ahead. Yet the Bible predicts something unexpected – like a “thief in the night”.
Therefore, if the Bible is a supernatural book and if the asteroid impact interpretation of the “day of the Lord” is correct we can speculate whether there’s a source of asteroids other than the Asteroid Belt, Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud. Perhaps near the Sun where they can’t be seen!
The last book of the Bible, Revelation (ca 90AD) even gives a name to the large asteroid predicted to hit the earth, and pollute the seas and fresh water springs, at the end of time prior to Christ’s return. The Bible calls it Wormwood (poison).