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Scientists can’t be sure of astronomical impacts

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Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:00 am

According to one News-Sentinel Associated Press article of Feb. 8, by aerospace writer Marcia Dunn, NASA scientist Donald Yeomans and others were quick and sure to deny any possible chance of impact of the asteroid (2012 DAS4) with Earth — "No Earth impact is possible" Yeomans said, and he further opined, "I certainly don't anticipate any problems whatsoever."

Scientists report this asteroid will come remarkably close to Earth. They say a close, harmless encounter like this occurs about every 40 years. They also say the likelihood of something this size striking Earth is only once in every 1,200 years. Of course historical evidence is lacking, but we do have some crater evidence and pock-mark scars from past hits, and an account of a 1908 incident in Siberia when an asteroid, entering our atmosphere, exploded about five miles above ground, destroying many square miles of forest on the Tunguska River.

The News-Sentinel editorial cartoon of Feb. 7 put it all in perspective. It depicts this asteroid heading to Earth where scientists just realized their trajectory calculations are off by a decimal point, making impact in seconds.

It's written that sometime in Earth's future a "great burning mountain" or a "great burning star" or a "stone like a great millstone" will fall into the earth and sea, resulting in tremendous death and devastation. Scripture even accounts its name as Wormwood or bitter waters ("Chernobyl" in Russia).

Even with our sophisticated technologies and breakthroughs in scientific knowledge like the Hubble Telescope and our shared national space station, our knowledge and understanding is extremely limited and makes our forecasts and predictions speculative at best.

Scripture declares that the heavens proclaim the glory of God. These "close call encounters" should be seen as the portents they are, and encourage us to come to an understanding of the Divine will and plan.

William Van Amber Fields


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