The Image of the Eclipsed Sun Projected by a pinhole!
Chalfont, Pennsylvania, August 21, 2017 2:44 PM
Below: Appreciation of the event presented on Public Radio by Jesuit Brother and Scientist, Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J. He calls this phenomenon a "lovely trick of the Universe."
If you ask Guy Consolmagno, science and religion are two things that go together quite nicely. Brother Guy, as he’s known, is a Jesuit brother from Ohio. He’s also the director of the Vatican Observatory based in Rome.
How does something like this solar eclipse highlight for you the glory of God’s creation?
First of all, anyone can see it. You don’t have to have a PhD. You don’t have to have NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. And the fact is that a total solar eclipse is so surprising and so beautiful.
But, built into all of that, is also the science. We can predict this sort of thing. And during this eclipse, we can see a whole realm of solar activity in the corona that normally is blocked out, because the sun blinds us to it. Then there’s the fact that you can use this eclipses to test the theory of general relativity. So, it’s got everything! It’s got excitement, deep science, wonderful history, and anyone can enjoy it.
But how does a total solar eclipse fit into your theology?
Well, you have to be very careful. You cannot use scientific works to say, “ [...] and therefore, there is God.” God doesn’t come at the end of your science. God doesn’t come at the other end of the telescope. But if you already believe, if you’ve already accepted the reality of this universe and the fact that it can’t explain itself, and that there’s something outside of the universe, and we’ll call that God — if you accept that this is the God that we’ve encountered in the history of scripture, and you look at the universe already knowing that whatever is going on out there, that is indeed the expression of this God, then whatever you find out there is a way of finding out about God.
You get to know somebody by knowing the things they make, the choices they make. And the fact that this eclipse is so beautiful, the fact that it’s even possible! It’s a remarkable coincidence that the moon also happens to be in the sky almost exactly the same size at the sun appears in the sky, so that the one can completely block out the other, without blocking out too much or too little.
Is that proof of the existence of God? Of course not. It’s a coincidence. But maybe it’s a divine coincidence. It’s just one of those lovely tricks of the universe that has to make you smile.