Secrets of the Deep Sky

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Secrets of the Deep Sky

Brian Ventrudo, author of Secrets of the Deep Sky, reveals how to look beyond the easy sights such as Venus, Mars, the Pleiades star cluster, and the moon, and find the much deeper parts of the beautiful night sky that most people never get see. You will learn to increase the reach of your telescope to look farther into the sky, and find any object of the night sky that you want to see. You will learn the celestial coordinate system, to learn how to map any object in the sky. You can also learn to estimate distances in the night sky. You can learn to change your field of view to see wide objects like massive nebula, and simple techniques to preserve your night vision and increase the sensitivity of your eyes by 20-40x. This eBook guide shows everyone, from the beginner to the more experience stargazer the best tricks to get the most out of every night sky. More here...

Secrets of the Deep Sky Summary

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History and its Discontents

The cultural wars of the Ottomans themselves had a long-term impact on their Christian subjects those of a fundamentalist tendency demanded the banning of coffee, smoking, dancing and singing, while asking for the official expulsion of mathematics, astronomy and natural sciences from schools. In 15 77 Sultan Murad (1574-95) built in the capital one of the most advanced observatories however a plague that was then devastating the city was interpreted by the zealous fundamentalists as the wrath of God against those who were attempting to intrude into his secrets. The sultan succumbed to the pressure and razed the whole building to the ground, so that archaeologists are unable to locate its foundations to this day.

Primordial Detective Story

Bradley let that thoroughly register with me before continuing. But then in the 1920s, some scientists said they agreed with Pasteur that spontaneous genesis doesn't happen in a short time frame. But they theorized that if you had billions and billions of years-as the late astronomer Carl Sagan liked to say-then it might really happen after all. Oh, absolutely Bradley declared. Sagan called it the single most significant step in convincing many scientists that life is likely to be abundant in the cosmos. Chemist William Day said the experiment showed that this first step in the creation of life was not a chance event, but it was inevitable. Astronomer Harlow Shapley said Miller had proven that 'the appearance of life is essentially an automatic biochemical development that comes along naturally when physical conditions are right. '

Measures by the Incumbent Firm to Raise Rivals Costs

As noted previously, the invention of movable type and the production of books in the middle of the fifteenth century posed a new threat to the Catholic Church's monopoly on matters of faith and morals. Most versions of early Protestantism extolled personal interpretations of Holy Scripture. The invention of printing reduced the price of books, including the Bible, and made them much more accessible to many more people. The Catholic Church reacted by imposing many kinds of censorship of literature, science, and art. Although the interrelationships between religion, science, and art are complex, the growth of science and the spirit of rationalism that accompanied it in the sixteenth century were often viewed as a challenge to the authority of the medieval church, which confronted this challenge by employing tools of censorship and repression. The Catholic Church eyed suspiciously the reintroduction of classical philosophy and the reawakening of classical aesthetics as pagan...

The Northeast Corner and the Corner Stone

In our attempt to account for the reason why the cornerstone was laid in the northeast corner, we will, of course, have, in the first place, to resort somewhat to conjecture, as no record of the reason is left but if by so doing, we finally arrive at a theory, not only in entire harmony with the facts of astronomy, but also with what is known of the peculiar customs and religious ideas of the ancients, and which, at the same time, gives a reasonable and sufficient cause, according to the same, for the custom itself, we may feel almost certain that the truth has been discovered.

Love and the Individual Abelard and Bernard

Heloise exulted in her pregnancy, but Abelard spirited her away to his sister in Brittany where their son was born. Heloise named him Astralabe, after the astronomer's instrument, perhaps in allusion to star-crossed love or heavenly bearings for their love. Fulbert, who had doted on his niece, was enraged when he discovered the affair and its consequence. Abelard offered marriage, provided ''the thing could be kept secret, so that I might suffer no loss of reputation thereby.'' We might note that at this time clergy in minor orders such as Abelard were still in an ambiguous situation vis-a-vis marriage. It was not until the first Lateran Council in 1123 that celibacy of the major clergy was mandated. Furthermore, a number of significant theologians and some synods argued against mandatory celibacy all the way into the fifteenth century. Nevertheless, the consensus of the day was that professors remain celibate also, marriage would have been a bar to a church career, the prime avenue...

Arab Christianity in the Classical Islamic World

In the eighth and ninth centuries Christians also performed for Muslim rulers and nobles the important task of translating works from Greek, sometimes via Syriac, into Arabic. This was another cause of admiration and praise, and it made available the ancient learning in philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, medicine and other disciplines to monolingual Muslims. Individuals such as the Nestorians Hunayn Ibn Ishaq and his son Ishaq Ibn Hunayn were courted for their abilities and offered payment in gold. It is clear that Christians and Muslims were intimately connected socially and professionally in early 'Abbasid society. But they were also connected intellectually. For not only did Christian translators provide the raw information from which Muslims developed their own distinctive forms of philosophy, mathematics, medicine, astronomy and so on, but they also provided a stimulus that in significant ways led to the emergence of Muslim religious self-identity.

The emergence of Neo Spinozism

Philosophy and theology therefore followed a paradigm shift in science. Previously, astronomy and mathematics had provided the scientific model of the universe and, as a result, if we take Jacobi as an example, the transcendence of the living God stood over against the inert matter and mechanistic causality of nature. When chemistry and biology suggested a new model of the universe, livingness became the essential principle of all reality, and, as a result, the transcendence of the living God no longer needed to be explained spatially - as outside, above, or beyond. Substance thus became substantial force the divine attributes became organic forces. Having thus rejected Jacobi's premise that Spinoza's philosophy of immanence was inescapably a form of materialism, Herder could then proceed to disarm Jacobi's accusation of fatalism and atheism.

Theological Accommodations to Science

Our interest here is in Baden Powell's long defense of Christian theology in The Connection of Natural and Divine Truth (1838). It represents an appeal to what was, for him, the only compelling evidence, namely, that grounded in a radically inductive natural theology. He was correct in his criticism of those who, like William Whewell - author of the third Bridgewater Treatise, Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology - were injecting into their natural theology a priori assumptions about a Divine creative intention. No, Baden Powell insisted, any proof of God's existence from nature must be entirely independent of any reference to theological or teleological presumptions. Inferences drawn from the inductive study of nature and its connections, as observed in the work of naturalists such as Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire and, later, Darwin, alone are legitimate. Baden Powell was blunt The stability of natural theology rests on the demonstration of physical...

The Big Bang Explosion

Most aspects of the theory are impossible, and some require parameters that would require miracles to fulfill. One example of this is the expansion of the original fireball from the Big Bang, which they place precisely within the narrowest of limits. An evolutionist astronomer, *R.H. Dicke, says it well

The Origins of Modernity

A good way to conceptualize the radical disjuncture between the modern world and its ancient and medieval predecessors is to start at the level of world-view in the most concrete sense of the term the picture of the world that every age carries in its imagination, and which functions as a means of physical, psychological, and religious orientation. Historians and philosophers have long associated the Copernican Revolution (the label was coined by the modern philosopher Immanuel Kant) with the origins of modernity and its break with the past. To understand why it was revolutionary, one must look at the image of the world that it displaced, which can be called the Aristotelian-Christian world-view.2 As the name suggests, this picture of the world originated in Greek antiquity, specifically in the philosophy of Aristotle, and was subsequently elaborated in the astronomy of Ptolemy (second-century ce). It was appropriated by Christian thinkers early in the Church's history and served as...

By successive addition

Apart from these philosophical arguments, there has emerged during the course of the twentieth century provocative empirical evidence that the universe is not past eternal. This physical evidence for the beginning of the universe comes from what is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and rapidly developing fields of science today astronomy and astrophysics. Prior to the 1920s, scientists had always assumed that the universe was stationary and eternal. Tremors of the impending earthquake that would topple this traditional cosmology were first felt in 1917, when Albert Einstein made a cosmological application of his newly discovered gravitational theory, the General Theory of Relativity (Einstein 1917, pp. 177-88). In so doing, he assumed that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic and that it exists in a steady state, with a constant mean mass density and a constant curvature of space. To his chagrin, however, he found that General Relativity (GR) would not permit such a model of...

Types of Mediation and Complementarity between Theology and Science

Hodge often cites the example of Copernicus' revolution in astronomy. In this case, as in others, it was not that scripture taught archaic science, but that archaic science had been read into scripture by its interpreters. 37 If persuaded by scientific evidence, Hodge was quite willing to correct his interpretation of the Bible, as he did in acknowledging that the word day refers to geological epochs. But he also felt quite justified in resisting any scientific theory that was not clearly supported by the facts or that contradicted what he considered explicit biblical truth. He applied these principles in his examination of Darwinism.

Why Is It Hard To Believe

The great cosmologist Allan Sandage, who won astronomy's version of the Nobel Prize, concluded that God is 'the explanation for the miracle of existence.' 40 Sir Fred Hoyle, who devised the steady state theory of the universe to avoid the existence of God, eventually became a believer in an Intelligent Designer of the universe. The astrophysicist Hugh Ross, who got his doctorate in astronomy from the University of Toronto and did research on quasars and galaxies, said scientific and historical evidence 'deeply rooted my confidence in the veracity of the Bible. ' Robert Jastrow, a confessed agnostic and director of the Mount Wilson Observatory and founder of the Goddard Space Institute, concluded the Big Bang points toward God. And I like what mathematical physicist Robert Griffiths said 'If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn't much use.''42 The evidence, Lee, is so clear.

Science and Discomfiting Discoveries

Robert Jastrow (1925-2008) was a scientist of impeccable credentials. He was the founder and former director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, professor of astronomy and geology at Columbia University (New York) professor of earth sciences at Dartmouth College and head of the Mount Wilson Institute, which runs California's world-famous Mount Wilson Observatory. He was a recipient of the Arthur Flemming Award for Outstanding Service In the U.S. Government, the Columbia University Medal for Excellence and the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. Professor Jastrow was also a prolific science writer, particularly In astronomy, cosmology and space exploration. He didn't hesitate to speak his mind, particularly when It came to discoveries that discomfited his fellow scientists and their not-too-objective reactions to such findings. The astronomical proof of a Beginning places scientists in an awkward position, for they believe that every effect has a natural...

Division and reconciliation

In 664 the Synod of Whitby ended the authority of Iona over the church in Northumbria and, via Northumbria, in much of southern England. Subsequent bishops among the Northumbrians were English and owed no allegiance to Iona. Moreover, the Synod ofWhitby was only one episode in a long-running controversy in which the prestige of Iona was also threatened in Ireland and among the Picts. From 664 to 716, when Iona adopted the Roman Easter, the dominant opinion in England and in southern Ireland was that Iona and those churches which agreed with it, were heretical and schismatic.25 Eventually, in the work of Bede, another opinion was to triumph, namely that Columba and his successors were wrong but orthodox.26 Modern scholars have sometimes found it difficult to appreciate that one reason why Bede made much of the paschal controversy was that he proposed to rescue the reputation of Aidan and Columba from the harsh condemnations of such men as Theodore, archbishop of Britain, and Wilfrid,...

The augmented power of the Papacy and Gregory the Great

Gregory came from a prominent Roman house and had a Pope among his ancestors. The family was deeply religious. Three of his father's sisters dedicated themselves as virgins and two of them were eventually enrolled as saints. After his father's death his mother adopted the monastic life and later was canonized. Gregory was born about the year 540 and was given as good an education as the Rome of his day could provide. That city had been sacked again and again, it was greatly reduced in population, its aqueducts were no longer functioning, and many of the huge public buildings of imperial days were falling into ruins. Gregory knew no Greek and cared little for the classical pre-Christian Latin authors or for philosophy, astronomy, or mathematics. He early showed marked administrative ability and was appointed by the Emperor to head the civil administration of the city. Through the death of his father he inherited large wealth. Much of that wealth was in Sicily and with it he founded and...

Copernicus Biblical Interpretation And The Solar System

In the 1540s, this fundamental assumption of the medieval era was called into question by the Polish astronomer Nicolas Copernicus. De revolutionibus orbium coelestium ( On the revolutions of the heavenly bodies ) was published after Copernicus's death in May 1543. The work caused a minor sensation in that it set out a heliocentric model of the solar system. Copernicus argued that the best explanation of a vast body of astronomical evidence was that the planets revolve around the sun and only the moon revolves around the earth. There were some loose ends in his analysis the final acceptance of the model would have to wait for the detailed work by Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) in the first two decades of the seventeenth century.

Stars in Talmudic Idolatry

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia ( Zodiac ) the findings of the ancient astronomer Hipparchus (160-125 B.C.) concerning the position of the constellations, in the cases of those which bore the same name, coincided approximately with the signs according to Talmudic tradition. In the case of the choice of symbolic signs All may be traced to Assyrian mythology and influence. The Jews during the Babylonian exile adopted . Assyrian names of the months and constellations.

The Rising Sun Of The Summer Solstice

The whole arrangement of the porch and pillars of ancient temples for astronomical uses thus depended to a great extent upon the accurate laying of the cornerstone in the northeast corner, so that the outer corner of the same should point to exactly the proper place in the circle of the horizon. The great importance attached to the ceremony of laying the cornerstone is thus accounted for. This explanation, although founded partly on conjecture, harmonizes so well with all that is known as to the religious customs and ideas of the ancients, with the facts of astronomical science, and the whole system of solar worship, as to render its truth in the main almost certain. No investigation appears to have ever been made as to the probable connection between astronomy and the porches of ancient temples, beyond the fact, apparent at first sight, that they all face the rising sun and this is attributed to religious ideas wholly, and not at all to scientific ones, although it was the well-known...

The Modern Relevance Of Traditional Interpretation

After such a catalogue of complaints, it may seem strange to end with a section, on the modern relevance of traditional interpretation. And there can be no question of a return to the sort of errors and distortions we have just mentioned. But there are, on the other hand, signs that it is no longer to be dismissed summarily, as though predicated on totally false premises, like pre-Copernican astronomy. Research into the work of pre-critical exegetes and commentators is now accepted as a legitimate department of biblical scholarship, and closer study of the past normally elicits a certain affection and respect for its positive achievements. Even the basic aims and methods of traditional interpretation, suitably qualified, are being rehabilitated to scholarly respectability, from a number of different directions. (In popular preaching and bible study, of course, they have always remained the norm.)

Organization of the Book Part

Part Two goes into detail about MASONIC astronomy, and the allegory of the seasonal death and resurrection of the Heavenly Sun. Chapter 5 shows Masonic astronomy in the architecture, words and ritual of Freemasonry. The relationship between the Masonic ritual and the symbols with the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem is revealed. Identification is made of the Masonic character of Hiram Abif, so important to the Masonic rituals and symbolism.

The Great Alexandrians Clement

In these books Clement so far conceded to those Christians who cherished an aversion to philosophy as to agree with Paul that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God, and to admit that Jeremiah was right in insisting that the wise man is not to glory in his wisdom. Yet he contended that the philosophy of the Greeks was a preparation for the Gospel, to those who were familiar with it paving the way for perfection in Christ. He held that God is the source of all good things, of philosophy as well as of the Old and New Testaments. Indeed, he held that the Greek philosophers had learned much from Moses. It is possible, so he said, for one who is unlearned to become a Christian believer, but it is impossible for one without learning to comprehend fully what has been made known in the Christian faith. While he repudiated those who are usually called Gnostics, he held that there is a truly Christian Gnosis, or knowledge, a Gnosis which comes by faith and not through reason. He who...

Have the sun and the moon been darkened in fulfillment of these predictions

Has there been a display of falling stars that would meet the specifications predicted The celebrated astronomer and meteorologist, Prof. Olmstead, of Yale College, says Those who were so fortunate as to witness the exhibition of shooting stars on the morning of Nov.13, 1833, probably saw the greatest display of celestial fire works that has ever been since the creation of the world, or at least within the annals covered by the pages of history The extent of the shower of 1833 was such as to cover no inconsiderable part of the earth's surface This is no longer to be regarded as a terrestrial, but as a celestial, phenomenon and shooting stars are now to be no more viewed as casual productions of the upper regions of the atmosphere, but as visitants from other worlds, or from the planetary voids. Our Lord's Great Prophecy. page 35.

The Historical Method of Christian Faith

Moreover revelation cannot mean both history and God any more than it can mean both nature and God. The events of history to which Christian revelation refers may be regarded from the scientific, objective, non-committed point of view as well as nature can be. So regarded they have no greater value than other events. They can be studied in their cause-effect relationship, in their cultural, geographic, economic and political contexts when this is done it is apparent that the scientist has as little need for the hypothesis of divine action as Laplace had in his astronomy. The birth of Jesus and the legends about it, the Sermon on the Mount, the miracles and parables, the crucifixion and resurrection stories, the institution of the sacraments -- all these may be explained by noting their place in a series of other events in

Protestantism the Arts and the Natural Sciences

The situation seems just as troubling in relation to the natural sciences. Surely the infamous Scopes monkey trial of 1925 made clear Protestantism's outright hostility to the entire scientific enterprise, especially when this seemed to pose even the slightest challenge to the literal reading of the Bible And what about Calvin's outright opposition to Copernicus when he lambasted the Polish astronomer for daring to place his own authority over that of the Holy Spirit Did not the Bible declare that God has established the world it shall never be moved (Psalm 93 1)

The Words Mysteryand Masonry

Another use of the word mystery arose from the fact that all scientific knowledge was formerly concealed in the ancient Mysteries, and communicated only to the initiated. Great skill, therefore in any art which required scientific knowledge, anciently implied initiation into the Mysteries. Hence, in process of time, and even after the Mysteries themselves were suppressed, the word mystery was applied to any art which required scientific knowledge in addition to manual dexterity. The art of architecture is one which requires not only a proficiency in geometry, but several other sciences. In more ancient times, owing to the peculiar position and construction of temples, considerable knowledge of astronomy, even, was required by the architect. This art was therefore preeminently above all others denominated a mystery, and the words mystery and masonry i.e., architecture became synonymous in meaning. Architecture was thus probably the first one of the arts called a mystery this name,...

Stephen F Brown

The term theology, although employed at times by Abelard, really became current only in the thirteenth century, in the setting of the newly formed universities. There, at first, the preparatory curriculum for those who were to study Scripture followed the seven liberal arts the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic) and the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music). Quite quickly, in the thirteenth century, that curriculum changed when many more of the works of Aristotle became available in Latin translations and expanded the area called dialectic. Since the time of Boethius (d. 524) some of Aristotle's logical works were available in competent Latin forms, and with solid commentaries. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the rest of his logical works and all of his more philosophical works became available. For our present consideration, the Physics and Metaphysics were most important. In different ways, they dealt with divine things. Aristotle himself speaks of...

Shattered Foundation

The Jewish physician in question was one Michele de Nostradame, better known as Nostradamus. He is a much misunderstood man. We may now see him as a mystic and prophet, but in his own day he was renowned as the foremost physician in Europe, good enough to be appointed court physician by Queen Catherine de Medici of France. He was also a first rate astronomer and mathematician who, while still a youth, had studied and accepted the heliocentric model of Copernicus for the solar system. This was more than fifty years before Galileo and the invention of the telescope. For this or some other heretical position, he had been called to appear before the Inquisition by the Church authorities in Toulouse he saved himself by leaving France and staying out of the country for six years.


On the other hand, there have been times when accepted scientific opinion has been in conflict with people's understanding of what the Bible said. For example, when the Italian astronomer Galileo (1564-1642) began to teach that the earth was not the center of the universe but that the earth and other planets revolved around the sun (thus following the theories of the Polish astronomer Copernicus 1472-1543 ), he was criticized, and eventually his writings were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church. This was because many people thought that the Bible taught that the sun revolved about the earth. In fact, the Bible does not teach that at all, but it was Copernican astronomy that made people look again at Scripture to see if it really taught what they thought it taught. In fact, descriptions of the sun rising and setting (Eccl. 1 5 et al.) merely portray events as they appear from the perspective of the human observer, and, from that perspective, they give an accurate description. But...

Reasoning By Analogy

The analogical method was described in the nineteenth century by astronomer John F W Herschel, who wrote If the analogy of two phenomena be very close and striking, while, at the same time, the cause of one is very obvious, it becomes scarcely possible to refuse to admit the action of an analogous cause in the other, though not so obvious in itself. 58

Faith And Reason

Basically, for Augustine, all the traditional Greek and Roman liberal arts (grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music) could be helpful indeed, even necessary for understanding the Scriptures, yet he always stressed that they must be at the service of the divinely revealed truth.


Having been considered at length in Volume I of this work, this, the first major division of Systematic Theology, need be given no more than a brief restatement here. Nothing could be more fundamental in the sphere of human knowledge than that God has caused His own Word to be written in a form which man can comprehend and has preserved that Word through the ages of human history for the benefit of all men. The extent of the field of knowledge thus added to man's own restricted observation is beyond human computation. Since this vast unfolding of added truth has come to men and has been their possession for more than three millenniums and has all been incorporated into that which man now understands, it becomes no more than a speculation to talk of what man could have known had he been left to himself or to ponder what, in its far-reaching effect, has been revealed to him through the ages. Man began under the direct tutelage of God in the Garden of Eden and has ever been indebted to...

The Evidence

This perplexity, of course, for Maimonides, does not affect the Astronomer, whose purpose is not to tell us definitively about the true reality of the spheres. That is the task of the Physicist or the Metaphysician. The job of the astronomer is to posit an astronomical system and then to attempt to save the appearances. Things beneath the moon are known by reasoning by means of causes and effects. Of all that is above the moon, man grasps nothing but a small measure of what is mathematical and you know what is in it. I mean thereby that the deity alone fully knows the true reality, the nature, the substance, the form, the motions, and the causes of the heavens (Maimonides, Guide, II, 24, 326-27).

The Beehive

The hourglass was one of the sacred astronomical emblems of the Egyptians. Clement of Alexandria, who gives a description of one of their religious processions, informs us that the singer went first, bearing the symbols of music, and that he was followed by the horoscopus, bearing in his hand an hourglass, as the measure of time, together with a palm-branch, these being the symbols of astrology or astronomy. It was the duty of the horoscopus to be versed in and able to recite the four books of Hermes which treat of that science. One of these books describes the position of the fixed stars another the conjunctions, eclipses, and illuminations of the sun and moon and the others their risings and settings. The hourglass is, therefore, peculiarly an astronomical emblem of great antiquity. The moral application of this masonic emblem is beautifully given in the Monitor.

The Arabs

Al-Kindi (d. c.873) knew no Greek, but he used to arrange for others to make translations for him and then improve their Arabic if necessary. He knew Plotinus, but the chief influence upon him was Aristotle. His chief interest as a philosopher was the study of the First Cause, which he thought the proper subject of philosophy at its highest. He had leanings towards natural science too, writing on meteorology, astronomy-and-astrology and music. It is instructive that his list of definitions of philosophy's scope emerges as very close to that of Arnulf Provincialis.32 His De Radiis33 among other works was, it seems, a strong influence on Roger Bacon, although its teaching was condemned by Giles of Rome in his Errors of the Philosophers about 1270, and the general condemnation of 1277 includes at least one of Al-Kindi's doctrines.


To Astronomy in order to devise a sociology of religious societies of the kind mentioned above in reference to Ancient Judaism.4 Yet, Bacon is very careful in making qualifications to Abu' Mashar's account, and these precisions may in fact echo the concerns of Maimonides. In keeping with Maimonides, he offers a thorough criticism of the necessitarianism of judicial astrology. Likewise, he attacks the stupid or false astrologers. Both authors defend a notion of Divine Creativity, the importance of the singular person and they stress the role of choice in freedom of action. Further, both authors hold that the Stars do not compel this individual to be necessitated to one form of life. Bacon's use of medical phenomena and the important role of experience and reason in medicine to limit the influence of the Stars may exhibit the influence of Maimonides (Bacon, Opus mains, part VI, Bridges 1897).

Awareness of History

The first important step in man's attempt to dominate nature was the de-mythification of the universe. Modern science, as Pierre Duhen observes, is based on the simple principIe of a creator God. It is this principle that allowed man to de.mythify the universe and take scientific control over the world. If the moon is something created, then I can go about the task of studying it. But if the moon is a god or goddess, then astronomy becomes mixed up with theology . and science becomes impossible. As you can see, the topic is an interesting one which deserves further study.

Emblem Of

This is a very ancient emblem, and formerly alluded to in the initiation into the Mysteries, which at once unlocked to the aspirant all the hidden secrets of religion, and furnished him with a key to those allegories and tales under which the sublime facts of astronomy and other sciences were concealed from the profane. In Freemasonry it is, more properly, an emblem of the first degree, which, in like manner, furnishes the candidate with a key, and opens the door to the hidden


Not all literati, however, sympathized with Christianity. Some were opposed to it and even took (legal) action against converts and missionaries.14 The first major anti-Christian incident tookplace in Nanjing in 1616-17 and was initiated by Shen Que (1565-1624), who was Minister of Rites in Nanjing. It resulted in the arrest of the missionaries and several converts, the expulsion of four missionaries and the temporary retreat of the other missionaries from the public scene in the Hangzhou region. This incident was an attempt to bring Christianity under the control ofthe government and state orthodoxy, just as Buddhism and Taoism had been, and to keep the missionaries away from the two capitals, where they had begun to influence officials with their ideas. The sole example of an anti-Christian movement or campaign was initiated by Huang Zhen (fl. 1630s) in the Fujian and Zhejiang provinces in 1634. It culminated in the publication of the anti-Christian 'Collection for the Destruction...

Ann Blair

1 I will use the term 'science' for convenience, as historians of science often do, to designate the various forms that the study of nature took in early modern Europe, which are often quite different from the practices and assumptions we associate with modern science. Since the term is anachronistic, I will also use terms that correspond better to the categories of the historical actors, such as natural philosophy, natural history, astronomy, mathematics, and medicine.

Country Estate

You can learn to build. You can learn about nature. Or maybe you want to study astronomy. Sometimes, when we look up into the heavens and see a little yellow star glimmering in the southwest sky, we say, My, I wonder what that little star is away up there Listen, someday we won't need to wonder we can just say, I think I will go and find out. Then we can visit that star. That is what the new earth will be like. We can travel with the speed of light. Angels can do it now. Daniel started praying one day, and before he ended his prayer an angel had come all the way from heaven to his side. The angel said, Daniel, when you began to pray, God sent me from His throne, and now I'm here in answer to your prayer. We will be able to travel like that. We can go out to visit the great, expansive universe

The Nice Symposium

In April 1972, the top minds in stellar physics, chemistry, and astronomy gathered at the Nice Symposium. A If you open a typical science book on astronomy, you will find theories about the origin of the universe and stars stated with great certainty, and you will be bombarded with paintings of gas clouds and protostars.


This out-of-print classic work by Robert Hewitt Brown is being reprinted by The Book Tree because it contains information as valuable today as when originally published. This book reveals the hidden meanings behind the occult signs and symbols contained in the stellar theology and Masonic astronomy from ancient times.

The Chosen People

More than 50 centuries ago, from their very early history, Egyptians believed that a human being consisted of spiritual as well as physical elements. They regarded death as the departure of the spiritual element from the body but also believed, provided the physical being could be kept safe and protected, that the spirit would return to the body at some point in the future and the deceased would then lead a second life. That is why they devoted such care to preserving a dead body by mummification and building a secure tomb to keep it safe. They also believed in the divinity of their anointed kings. An Egyptian pharaoh was regarded as the personification of the god Horus, his father being Ra, the sun god. The Egyptians were the first nation to build temples for their many gods, and to establish an organized priesthood that performed daily rites and supervised the annual festivals. The great pyramids still stand, after 47 centuries, as witness to the divine power of the kings and are a...


The triumph of the Abbasids over the Umayyads was in no small measure due to the Persian armies led by Abu Muslim of Khurasan. The Persians subsequently played a very significant role in early Abbasid rule, and when the new capital of Baghdad was built, many learned Persian families involved themselves in all types of state institutions. In the domain of science, the famous Nawbakhti family, many of whom were physicians at the still functioning medical complex and university of Jundi Shapur, built by the Sasanian emperor Anushiravan, served the period's medical needs. This scientific centre had furnished a refuge for many Greek philosophers who had fled the theological tyranny of Justinian, and when Baghdad was built, a degree of scholarship and the study of the sciences and philosophy was still alive there. Learned members of this centre joined the retinue of the Abbasid caliphs, and some served important functions at court. One example was Fadl al-Nawbakhtai, a celebrated Persian...

Chapter Xxii

ASTRONOMY1 My opinion of Astronomy has always been, that it is not the best medium through which to prove the agency of an intelligent Creator* but that, this being proved, it shews, beyond all other sciences, the magnificence of his operations. The mind which is once convinced, it raises to sublimer views of the Deity, than any other subject affords but is not so well adapted, as some other subjects are, to the purpose of argument. We are destitute of the means of examining the constitution of the heavenly bodies. The very simplicity of their appearance is against them. We see nothing, but bright points, luminous circles, or the phases of spheres reflecting the light which falls upon them. Now we deduce design from relation, aptitude, and correspondence of parts. Some degree therefore of complexity is necessary to render a subject fit for this species of argument. But the heavenly bodies do not, except perhaps in the instance of Saturn's ring, present themselves to our observation as...

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

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