Nobody likes double standards. There have been long, sometimes bloody, and in some cases – ongoing – battles to make the same rules apply to everyone. This is true in the work place – most want equal pay for equal work. This is true in race relations – no one in this day and age will abide Jim Crow laws or making African Americans sit at the back of the bus. It’s true in sports – no one like cheaters – however they choose to break the rules thus applying a double standard. Why then does it not apply to the sciences of cosmology and evolution? Since the focus of this article is on distant starlight, I will focus in on the double standards used in cosmology, but understand the same points apply equally to evolutionary “scientists” who give explanations which are no more than smoke and mirrors.1
Naturalistic Cosmologists regularly breaks the laws of physics
|Why is it that naturalist cosmologists can break the laws of physics at will and with impunity; and still have it be called “science” (not pseudo-science), but creationist scientists, following the laws of physics are not scientists, and are told they’re not practicing science? No such thing happens you say? Let’s dismiss the notion that creation scientists are treated fairly, and with respect. If they were, there would be no need for the recent article by Creation Ministries titled: Fallacy: creationists can’t be scientists;2 or Ben Stein’s recent movie on the censure faced by scientists who don’t toe the evolutionary line and instead support intelligent design.3|
The fact that creation scientists are not given the respect they deserve is already well documented. What is not as well documented is the ability for materialist scientists to play fast and loose with the laws of physics and still be considered “scientists” contributing “valid” theories. Consider the following conversation:
Big Bang Theorist: The universe began 13.7 billion years ago when a singularity which consisted of all the energy that will ever exist, which did not exist previously, suddenly exploded into existence out of nowhere (and nowhen4) creating time and space in an event commonly known as the big bang. The universe has been rapidly expanding ever since.
Creationist: No, the universe began about 6,000 years by an act of God as recorded in Genesis 1.1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Big Bang Theorist: If the universe is only 6,000 years old, how do you explain distant stars whose light has taken million of years to reach earth?
Creationist: There are a number of theories that explain that. How do you explain the big bang’s Horizon problem?
Big Bang Theorist: That’s easy: Inflation.
Creationist: Inflation is not the answer – many scientists don’t believe it, and simply put: the whole theory is impossible. As for distant starlight, there are theories on how to resolve that apparent problem.
For those defending a young earth, creationist world view, this conversation is likely a familiar one. But before I point to some of the answers regarding how distant star light can be seen in a young creation, let’s first look at the many problems for big bang cosmology. Let me start with an overview of the big big as provided by Morgan Freeman from his series, Through the Wormhole
“With the addition of inflation, the big bang became a cohesive three act play.
Act one – a singularity pops into existence out of nowhere and nowhen and containing in one single dot all the energy that will ever be in our universe.
Act two – Inflation suddenly takes hold. An unimaginably rapid expansion of space smooths the spreading out of that energy bringing order to the universe. It’s now a massive soup of evenly expanding plasma.
Act three – the universe cools. Matter begins to clump together under the force of gravity.
Eventually forming stars, galaxies and planets.5
Inflation has been mentioned a couple of times now. If you think it has something to do with your money, the economy or the amount of air in your car’s tire, you clearly need this overview.
The Big Bang theory: Playing fast and loose with the laws of physics
You don’t have to get deep into the big bang theory before scientists have to start playing fast and loose with the recognized laws of physics.
Problem 1: The Singularity
The first one – in act one – is a familiar one. “A singularity pops into existence out of nowhere and nowhen.” Stop. This is impossible. Nothing exists. From nothing comes nothing. How can a “singularity” which consists of “all the energy that will ever exist” be created? It defies the law of conservation of energy which states in a closed system, energy can be neither created nor destroyed.
Problem 2: “Popping into Existence”
Just as importantly how can it “pop into existence” when nothing exists? What is there to pop into? Neither space nor time exists at this point. As our narrator Morgan Freeman points out, there is no “where” for it to pop into, and there is no “when” to pop into since time does not yet exist. Thus there is no “existence” for it to pop into. This breaks the law of causality which states in the cause-effect chain of events – effects follow causes (not the other way around) and those causes are separate from the effects. This is essentially the argument made by the Kalam Cosmological argument for the existence of God. Yet big bang cosmologists essentially want you to believe that the singularity is self caused – because again there is nothing in existence, according to the big bang theorists, so nothing could have caused it but itself.
So here were are in the “first act” of the big bang, we haven’t even gotten to the difficult problems, and already 2 fundamental laws of physics have been broken.
Paul Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein professor of physics at Princeton University explains how physicists allow themselves to get away with this nonsense:
“This is normally referred to as the cosmic singularity, some sort of breakdown in the laws of physics, which in the standard big bang theory you simply ignore.”6
They simply ignore it. Pretend it isn’t a problem or it doesn’t matter. And they call that science, and themselves scientists?
Problem 3: The Horizon problem
The Horizon problem is yet another show stopping issue for the big bang. Big bang theorists will tell you it has been “resolved” by sleight of hand tricks involving the laws of physics with the aforementioned theory of inflation. But before delving into the problems with inflation, you need to understand the problem7 that inflation “solves” for the big bang.
I’ve put the more detailed explanation (complete with video) in the sidebar here,8 which does a good job of showing the extent of the problem. The short explanation is this: using the WMAP satellite, scientists have measured the average temperature of the universe. It varies no more than 1/50,000 to 1/100,000 of a degree anywhere in the universe. That is extremely uniform – to a degree we never see naturally from an explosion. The only way to get such uniformity is for hotter and colder regions of the universe to touch – and mix thus transferring temperature and even things out. The problem is this: when scientists calculated the speed of the big bang, they figured the universe expanded faster than the speed of light – which means the various particles of the universe could not have moved together and touched – because nothing can move faster than the speed of light. Thus they have a problem. To have an even temperature, the particles must have touched. But the universe was expanding too fast for the particles to reach one other. Put another way, the particles were blown so far apart so fast, they have not yet had enough time to travel from one end of the horizon to the other end to touch, mix and make the temperature uniform. They call this the Horizon problem.
If you have concerns for abiding by the known laws of physics, there is no solution to this problem. If you don’t care about the laws of physics and just want to dream up a solution read on, that’s been done for you – it’s called Cosmic Inflation, but it’s beset with problems as well.
Problem 4: Problems with Inflation.
Recognizing they had a serious problem, big bang theorists needed a solution. Alan Guth obliged with his theory of Cosmic Inflation, typically referred to simply as Inflation. It forms the core of Act 2. Once again, the more detailed explanation is in the sidebar here9. The short explanation is this:
The singularity pops into existence with a small bang. Somehow gravity, a force of attraction reverses and becomes repulsive. This repulsive force somehow mixes all the particles together to make them nice and uniform, then explodes them apart faster than the speed of light – which is the second and real “bang” in the big bang. Then it stops – as magically as it started.
How many problems do you see with this theory? I count at least six: (apart from the ones in act one).
a. What physical property allows the direction of the force of gravity to change from being attractive to repulsive?
b. What is the mechanism that starts the change from attractive to repulsive?
c. How can an unguided, undirected force work to conveniently bring order? As Guth pointed out in the long explanation above – that doesn’t happen in any explosion we’ve observed. And how does it manage to do so in the precise time frame needed?
d. What is the mechanism that changes the first “little bang” to the second “big bang” (effectively changing the strength of the now repulsive force of gravity)
e. What is the mechanism that stops the expansion of the second “big bang” and slows it to the rate we observe today? (once again changing the strength of the force of gravity)
f. What is the mechanism that changes the direction of the force of gravity back from repulsive to attractive?
The whole theory of inflation is so obviously an Ad Hoc Rescue fallacy it’s hard to believe that cosmologists actually propose this as a serious “scientific” theory. That just goes to show how desperate they are to save their cherished theory of the big bang, and they won’t let mere things like conflicting evidence (the uniformity of the temperature of the Universe) and the laws of physics (which say it’s impossible) dissuade them from it.
There are additional errors in Act 3, but we’ve spent enough time on big bang errors already. Let me move on to the primary difficulty for believers in Creation: distant starlight.
Creationists on the whole, believe the universe to be about 6,000 years old.10 That presents a problem for stars at great distances – which is most of them. If the time it takes the starlight to travel to the earth from a distant star is more than 6,000 years, how then can we see it? Not enough time has elapsed for the light to travel to get here. Early answers to this question such as the light was created in transit; or the stars were created with the appearance of age – much like Adam and Eve would have appeared to be fully mature adults when 1 day old – won’t work. Those types of answers are unacceptable to creationists because they have negative implications for the Character of God. Creationists Carl Wieland and Don Batten explain why the “created in transit” theory won’t work:
This would mean, for a (say) 10,000 year-old universe, that anything we see happening beyond about 10,000 light-years is actually part of a gigantic picture-show of things that have not actually happened, showing us objects which may not even exist.”11
Dr. John Hartnett gives another example of the problem:
“In July 1054, the Chinese reported seeing, in the region of the Crab constellation, a ‘guest star’ appear suddenly in the sky.
Now the problem here is that the Crab Nebula is about 6,500 light-years from earth. In A.D. 1054, only about 5,000 years had elapsed since creation, so it should not have been visible. According to the ‘created light beam’ scenario, this supernova should not have become visible until about A.D. 2500 at the earliest, even if it occurred immediately after creation week. This problem is called the ‘starlight and time problem’ and it is the most important scientific issue that any creationist cosmology must address.”12
As he points out, since light beams contain embedded information, such explanations that involve the “appearance” of age in light beams that have no basis in the real history of the stars they represent is problematic because it “lays God open to a charge of deception in a manner unlike the creation of Adam as a mature adult.”13
How then do Creationists resolve this issue of Distant Starlight? The answers to that question get very technical very quickly, so I will not be able to go in depth into any of them; I will merely point to them so you can do further investigation. Please take note that this approach is a scientific one. It involves multiple theories by multiple scientists, and requiring evaluation of the evidence to come up with the correct answer. This is how science is supposed to work. Exchanging and working with various ideas. Not as the big bang crowd would have it – with the big bang the only option available, monopolizing cosmology circles, with no research time or dollars going toward any other theory; and no other theories featured in texts books for schools. That approach is not a scientific one; that approach is the guarding and maintaining of a preferred world view – even when the worldview has shown to be at odds with science as the big bang has shown to be above.
Distant Starlight Solutions
Following are the most promising theories for the resolution of the distant starlight problem. Space does not allow me to present them all.
1. Humphrey’s White Hole / Time Dilation Cosmology
Russell Humphrey’s applies Einstein’s relativistic Time Dilation principle to the creationist time scale problem to work out how light could have arrived on day 4 of a 6 day creation.14
2. Carmeli’s Cosmological Relativity
John Hartnett demonstrates how Moshe Carmeli’s application of cosmological relativity solves both the distant starlight problem, and the problem of distant spiral galaxies which are moving much too quickly. The theory involves the use of a 5th dimension where two related entities exist: Einstein’s familiar concept of spacetime; and Carmeli’s concept of spacevelocity.15
3. Lisle’s Anisotropic Synchrony Convention Solution
Jason Lisle proposes that the speed of light in one direction (for example towards the earth) might be very different (in this case much faster) than it’s speed in the opposite direction. Lisle demonstrates that this concept, though recognized by Einstein16, unfortunately can not be verified by measurement without already knowing the one way speed of light – the very thing you’re trying to measure.17 It does however allow for the instantaneous arrival of light when God says:
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,
15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.
Popular scientist and teacher Michio Kako notes regarding the big bang theory:
“This is the holy grail of physics, we want to know why it banged, we want to know what banged, we want to know what was there before the bang.”18
Though the big bang dominates cosmology in terms of popularity, these question will not go away (from a materialist standpoint) because they break the laws of both physics and logic, and deny the truth of scripture. This illustrates how big bang problems that are due to misplaced a-priori assumptions, lead to a misplaced focus on solving problems that appear to be unsolvable – given a materialist framework. This leaves the big bang as a popular, but untenable theory.
On the other hand, scientific models to resolve the distant starlight problem exist and are viable using well understood physics, making the creation model better science and a better and believable origin model. But are such theories taught? Are research dollars allocated to them? Are college professors rewarded or punished for teaching them? The answers are in general, no, no, and punished. Which goes to show that the real problem for Creation’s distant starlight problem is neither a physics problem, nor a tenability problem. The biggest problem for the distant starlight question is that the big bang is an entrenched worldview; and thus requests to get the appropriate dollars and support to teach or research any of the above Creation theories that could provide additional evidence to confirm its validity will typically fall on deaf ears.
But let’s have no more non-sense about the earth must be billions of years old because of distant starlight. For those who want the truth, and are not satisfied with parroting what the big bang magicians tell you – there’s plenty of science to defend a young earth position and how distant starlight is visible in a young creation. Thus the Christian faith – including belief in a young universe – remains intact as a rational faith – despite the nay saying of those deceived by the big bang magicians.
Update July 31, 2015
Dr. John Hartnett just published today an excellent article covering Distant Starlight with detail that space didn’t allow for here. Highly recommended if you’re interested in further detail.
“Starlight and time: Is it a brick wall for biblical creation?”
– DC 7/31/15
Update Nov 13, 2015
Dr. John Hartnett published today a very instructive article on Dr. Jason Lisle’s ASC (Anisotropic Synchrony Convention) Solution to the distant starlight problem. Dr. Hartnett explains a critique some have used in an attempt to “refute” the ASC model, which sets the stage for Dr. Lisle to very effectively defend his theory. Included in the defense is a very brief video which is itself worth the price of admission – since it first demonstrates how his theory works – demonstrating the difference between the ESC (standard) model where speed of light is constant, and the ASC model where the one way speed of light is faster, and in effect could be infinitely faster. The video then goes on to demonstrate how his response nullifies the critique. The video is so helpful I have included it below. The entire article ls here: http://johnhartnett.org/2015/11/12/aberration-of-starlight-and-the-one-way-speed-of-light/
– DC 11/12/2015
Alternate link if the above is not working.
Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D. Unmasking Evolution’s Magic Words, accessed 12/12/2014,
Chad Gross, The Magic Wand of Evolution, 6/22/2012
2 Mark Howard Fallacy: creationists can’t be scientists July 21, 2015,
3 Ben Stein Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed documentary,2008
4 According to the big bang theory, neither space nor time exist before the big bang, so before the singularity that is the big bang, there is no space (no where) and there is no time (no when).
6. Paul Steinhardt, Princeton University, Through the Wormhole, episode What happened before the beginning? Science Channel Documentary, 2010
Steinhardt mentions this in support of his own Brane theory which has an alternate explanation for the singularity, but the point is that most physicists refuse to deal with the irrational concept of the self caused singularity. (Steinhardt’s own theory moves the irrationality back to two previously existing parallel membranes – so while he can criticize the big bang, the same critiques could be made regarding his Brane theory.)
7. Technically, Inflation “solves” more than just the Horizon problem. As noted by Hartnett and Williams, it also solves is the unbelievable rate of expansion needed for the big bang, and the problem of the missing magnetic monopoles; but those issues are beyond the scope of this article.
10 This age is based on adding up genealogies in Genesis. Since there are different types of genealogies – complete ones and “summary” ones; to account for genealogies which may be summaries, some round creationists round the age of the earth up to 10,000 years.
11 Dr. Carl Wieland and Dr. Don Batten How can we see distant stars in a young universe? Creation Ministries International (booklet), 2008, p.5
12 Alex Williams and John Hartnett, Ph.D. Dismantling the Big Bang, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2008 p. 170
13 Williams and Hartnett, Dismantling the Big Bang, p. 171
18 Michio Kaku referenced from How the Universe Works episode Big Bang TV documentary, 2010