Last week the Times newspaper published the following,

“To astronomers, it is an ‘extraordinary accretion event’. To the rest of us? It’s a very big explosion!”

What is particular, according to scientists, is that this event took place 8 billion years ago when a huge cloud of dust and debris seems “to have wandered into the path of a super massive black hole” – the light from that ‘cloud’ has just reached the earth. Needless to say, astronomers are reported as being very excited even though they are not really sure whether it was actually gas and dust falling into a black hole or a large star that caused the bang – but the professor of astrophysics at Oxford University looks forward to catching many more such extreme events because of improved technology.

I found it hard to get my head round all this. If I understand correctly, they were looking at something that actually happened 8 billion years ago? I’m not sure my brain will actually process the concept of 8 billion years ago – how do you count it? How do you know?

It is also difficult to process all the huge advances in science, engineering and technology that have taken place in such a short time – who could have dreamt we would have all the information we need on a day-to-day basis in a device as small as a mobile ‘phone when our parents invested in huge bookcases full of the Encyclopaedia Britannica? Who has the vision to see into the future as well as look into the past?

Many say that all this amazing science disproves the existence of God – for me it entirely the other way round. I can only explain life the world and the universe by my belief in a much greater power than anything the scientists can prove. Long before 8 billion years ago I am sure there is God.

[Jo Spray]