THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
The research completed in the book Unraveling the Christmas Star Mystery was accomplished using the scientific method. To be accepted by the scientific community, any scientific study should follow the scientific method to ensure that the problem is solved correctly. The steps in the scientific method include: stating the question/problem, creating a hypothesis, making a prediction, designing the experiment, conducting the experiment, collecting and recording data, analyzing findings, stating your conclusion, repeating all the steps to confirm you end up with the same answer, and publishing your results so that others may copy the work to confirm it.
I began my research by asking the question, “What was the Christmas star?” I based my attempt on previous knowledge I had acquired through my former science education, extensive reading, and my Christian education. I expected to be able to understand any astronomy data uncovered. It had to make sense and match current knowledge about astronomy. If not, like an engineer, I knew where to go to try obtain answers.
My first action was to study previously published material about the Christmas star. Most articles, papers, and books I read were based on conjecture from other astronomers and personal theories, not facts. In addition, most authors involved apparently didn’t study about ancient history. I was dismayed the information ignored the fact that at the time of Christ’s birth, the time of day for astronomical observations was during the predawn and dawn hours. Any findings of significance had to occur during those hours.
My hypothesis was based on earlier readings throughout my lifetime and what I already knew about outer space. There were no remnants of nova or supernovae attributed to that time in history. The only other finding which appeared often was that of the planet Saturn, one of the “wandering stars.” Wandering stars looked like other stars to the ancients, but wandered through the heavens on mathematically precise and predictable paths. I questioned how the appearance of one planet could be a symbol interpreted as a sign of a new God being born on Earth. I hypothesized the Christmas star had to be more significant than a normally occurring planet. There had to be something else.
To make a prediction, I needed information. Realizing my ignorance of symbols and symbolism as used by the ancient astronomers, astrologers, cosmologists, wisemen, magicians, alchemists, magi, and priests of over two-thousand years ago, I began a detailed study of the subject. I used the public libraries in Newark and Zanesville, Ohio with eager reference librarians obtaining requested material from libraries throughout the United States. I utilized the Ohio University libraries in Athens and Zanesville, Muskingum College, and numerous church and pastor libraries. I surveyed the Internet to find additional data. In the process, knowledge was accumulated about numerous civilizations. Surprisingly, they were very similar in their symbolic interpretations. Many were based on older Babylonian records that were handed down and followed for several thousand years. Whether information was from India, China, Egypt, Persia, Rome, etc, it was gathered. The key criterion was that any ancient, symbolic, astronomical event interpreted to mean the birth of the greatest God of the universe had to have happened at the birth of Jesus Christ.
Movements of objects in the heavens are mathematically precise. Therefore, using computers which are based on mathematics, the celestial movements can currently be predicted for hundreds or thousands of years in advance. The ancient astronomers with their mathematical knowledge and studies of the celestial sphere could also make predictions. I surmised if computers could make future predictions, they could also be used to determine what happened in the past. Finding very few commercial astronomy computer programs on the market, I decided to base my research on sixty-eight astronomy computer programs sent to me from NASA. There is no way I could have conducted the study without these computer programs. Persons in the future wishing to verify my data would be able to do so using the same NASA programs or any other astronomy program.
In conclusion, I was surprised with what I discovered. I was correct that there was no symbolism with reference to Saturn announcing the birth of a major God on the Earth. I was expecting to find another significant event. Instead, I found nine spectacular celestial events which did refer to the birth of a new God. They appeared rapidly in the sky, one after another, and showed the new God would be the most powerful one in the universe. Saturn was the last and the position marker.
I had to ask myself, why were the other symbolic events that previously announced the birth of Christ not mentioned in the Holy Bible? I concluded that, most likely, it was because Herod and his Roman associates were concerned with the position marker “star” the wisemen were following as it passed over Bethlehem in Judea. Herod wanted to know where this new King/God was born. Avoiding Herod, the wisemen secretly left Judea taking their knowledge with them.
Once I wrote the results of my study, I prepared a document to publish in a format and vocabulary so that readers ages 12 and up would understand the information presented. A few of my illustrations were included. I would appreciate reader input as to what other illustrations they would like to see included in a revised edition.
Readers are invited to use the data presented in the book to duplicate the research. Even though I duplicated the results before publishing, they need to be duplicated by others to prove they are correct. With the new computers available on the market, the data should be found more quickly. Since both computers and astronomy are based on mathematics, there should be no problem. I would appreciate knowing the results of readers who have checked my data.
Without performing experimentation, readers are invited to give opinions concerning other theories or about the facts found during my research. I respect everyone’s opinion.