The Museum of Curiosity

Listening to the back end of a programme called The Museum of Curiosity (Radio 4, noon, Sunday, 6th June, 2010), my interest was suddenly grabbed by what was being said. Simon Evans, one of the panellists, was pointing out the ‘bizarre degree to which natural objects match up.’ He said that ‘the moon and sun match up to a very high degree of accuracy’, and went on to explain why. ‘The sun is 400 times the size of the moon but the moon is also about 400 times nearer to us, which makes them appear the same size.’ I’d never thought about this and found it really interesting. Of course, this ‘matching’ of the sizes explains why the moon exactly covers the sun in a solar eclipse. ‘It doesn’t prove there’s a God’, says the presenter, ‘but I have to say that if there were a God, and he wanted to arrange the heavens to give us some clue that there was something going on, he couldn’t have done a much better job than he did.’

The speaker continued by telling us about the strange number, one over 137 (1/137). This number is believed to be the most important number in physics, a number that Richard Feynman (a prominent US physicist who died in 1988) believed that every physicist should have writ large on their walls. It was an indicator said one panellist of ‘how little we actually know about anything.’ One over 137 is apparently the value of a mysterious thing called the fine structure constant, which is sometimes called the DNA of light.

Very strangely, in the Kaballah, (the ancient belief system of Hebrew theology and mysticism, written around 5,000 years ago), the two most important numbers are 137 and 26. Hebrew numerology assigns a number to each letter and the number 137 is the numerical equivalent of Kaballah. The number 26 is the numerical equivalent of Yahweh, or God. The same number is also (apparently) the number of hyper-dimensions in string theory. This has been discovered only in the last 10 years.

Of course, there are millions of such ‘coincidences’ and maybe we shouldn’t read too much into them. But I do think Christians would be wise to keep an open mind on such things. I pray that non-believers will do the same.

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