An interesting episode about black holes and the universe on The Science Channel started me thinking. If the gravity of a black hole is so strong that nothing can escape its grasp, not even light, can that help me understand God’s power? I am assuming there is a God of course. That’s my faith. If you choose to believe in a big accidental bang without a “banger” that is your faith. But, you may still find the practical comparison of strength herein interesting. I intend no spiritual put down. But, if one of these eons we in the Milky Way Galaxy are going to be sucked down the gullet of the super massive black hole at its center, it is comforting for some of us to believe there is someone stronger holding our eternity? So just how strong is God? Is he strong enough?
Let’s use a strength we deal with every day, gravity. A Baseball weighs 5 ounces and is easy to pick up and throw. But, how fast can you throw it and could someone throw it strong enough to beat gravity? When you throw it up it always comes back down. Even Nolan Ryan who was clocked at 100.9 mph is not stronger than gravity. He would have to be strong enough to throw at 2300 mph (or just over 38 miles per second) to beat gravity. So, that is how strong a rocket is (adjusting for weight). It beats gravity by throwing with all its strength to achieve 18,000 mph and reach space. (I want that pitcher on my team.) That would be a lot of strength, but it is still not nearly as strong as a black hole.
To understand a black hole, Imagine two earths squashed together into the same size ball. It would have twice the mass, thus twice the strength of gravity and need twice as strong a pitcher. So let’s keep the math simple and just say that now to fling that same baseball into space would take 4600 mph (or 76 mps) to escape the strength of gravity. Imagine 10 earths squashed together (380 mps). One hundred would be 3,800 mps. Now, imagine one thousand earths, enough to fill up the Sun, all shrunk down to the size of earth. (Where is Nolan Ryan now?) But, we are not done. Imagine a few million Suns, all shrunk down to the size of the sun. That is how strong a black hole’s gravity is. (Largest one found by May of ’09 is the size of 18 Billion suns ("Largest Black Hole Found").
Light hurls through space at 186,000 mps. (Who threw it?) That is 4,856 times faster than our rocket. A pitch that fast would reach home plate in 1/16,392,651 ths of a second. But, even light, that fast, cannot escape a black hole! The gravity of a black hole is just way too strong. Scientist now guess that there is a black hole at the center of every galaxy and there are millions of galaxies. There sure is a lot of “strength” in the universe. (And, that is not even counting the newly theorized “dark matter.” It is what they suppose must be pulling the galaxies faster and faster away from the big bang instead of allowing them to slow and “fall” back together.)
So is there anything stronger than a black hole? What will we learn of dark matter? And, what (Who?) started light on its journey?
This all goes to show us just how strong god is. He holds up the entire universe in the palm of his hand (Ps 102:25). He simply flicked his wrist and pitched light forth from the ultimate black hole of non-existence; a big bang indeed.