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Uncovering the Eclipse

BRAD SMITH (from 2017 blog, republished for the 2024 eclipse)

"This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being." — Isaac Newton, General Scholium to the Principia Mathematica, 1713

As many in America prepare for the impending total eclipse taking place on Monday afternoon, the phenomenon provides an opportunity for more than just an education in science and astronomy. It is a chance to focus on the wondrous Creator who has set in motion even the unperceived features of our universe.

eclipseglasses2017-08-18 07.47.08.jpg


Total Solar Eclipse

While total solar eclipses naturally occur at various locations around the earth approximately every 18 months, the continental United States hasn't seen one pass over in almost 100 years. The natural occurrence of the moon blocking the sun's rays from Earth has been referenced throughout scripture and in history. The location and timing of eclipses can be predicted with the precision of the "clockwork of the heavens" and opens a portal to a specific class of scientific data concerning laws of nature. Although the frenzy surrounding this eclipse may be greatly hyped and commercially enhanced, it is a rare opportunity to discuss the fine-tuning of the laws of physics and chemistry in our universe and to examine the evidence of a purposeful design. Through physics and apologetics, we can learn how occurrences like a total solar eclipse give us a glimpse of the critical role they play in understanding God's universe.


Search for Purpose and Design

Sean McDowell is a Christian apologist. He recently posted about The Privileged Plant written by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, describing the book as follows:
"The authors discuss the fine-tuning of the laws of physics and also how there needs to be a number of precise factors in place for life to survive on Earth — such as a carefully calibrated atmosphere of the right gases, a moon, surrounding gas giants, a sun of our size and age, and much more. But then they make an additional argument, namely, that our location in the galaxy is carefully designed for discovery. There is a surprising "coincidence" between the factors that enable us to survive and those that allow us to make discoveries about our universe. For instance, Earth sits within a narrow range of planets where life could exist, and yet Earth also has a rare platform uniquely suited for discovery. This book was a game-changer for how I look at our moon, surrounding planets, and our place in the galaxy."
When astronomical research gleaned from these types of cosmological events so clearly demonstrates the precision and perfection, science itself is proving yet again that our existence is not by accident. Moreover, the very factors that contribute to the habitability of our planet are inextricably linked to the ability to make scientific discoveries. The documentary inspired by the book referenced above in the "Search for Purpose in the Universe" can be found here: .

A Teachable Moment

MPCS students and families across America will get a rare chance to experience this astronomical event together. For the time leading up to the magical two-and-a-half minutes of totality, let's capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity to appreciate our divine creator. 

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world."
— Psalm 19:1-4

Educate Yourself

Please utilize the following informative links as resources to guide you as you watch the eclipse: 
Forgot to get eclipse glasses? Try this:

Photo credit: 2017 

Brad Smith serves as STEM/STEAM Coordinator, Physics and Engineering Teacher, and Eagle Robotics Team Head Coach at Mount Paran Christian School.



To learn more about academic rigor in a Christ-centered environment, please click here.



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