As noted in part 1 of this article, distant starlight has been called the best argument against biblical creation and a young earth. A serious charge. So I thought it would be helpful to identify the best answer to this “best” charge against creation. A number of solutions to this problem have been offered by scientists who happen to also be creationists. We briefly examined the popular ones in the previous article. Now that we’ve completed an overview of possible solutions, we’ll get to the meat of the matter: identifying which theory or theories both have a possibility of working, and surviving the principle of Occam’s razor. So without further ado: Continue Reading
Distant starlight: It’s been called the best argument against biblical creation and a young universe. Why is that? Because Big Bang Theorists, secularists and anyone who believes in an ancient universe believe they have an iron clad case against a young universe with regard to distant starlight. The argument goes like this.
We can see stars hundreds of thousands, millions even billions of light years away. Take the Andromeda galaxy – 2.5 million light years away. A supernova was observed in that galaxy. That implies the light took 2.5 million years to get to earth. But if the earth (and indeed the entire universe) is only 6,000 years old. How can we see Andromeda or the supernova? Using standard understandings and formulas, there hasn’t been enough time for the light to get here from Andromeda. Yet we can see it. On the face of it that suggests that the earth is at least 2.5 million years old – much older than the 6,000 years that Biblical creationists claim for the universe. And the problem only gets worse for more distant stars. This is indeed an acknowledged problem. Continue Reading
Do scientists accurately represent their ability to estimate the age of the universe?
Ever since the rebellion in the garden of Eden that sowed seeds of distrust against God and his word, there have been two groups of people: those who believe and obey the word of God and those who don’t. Among those who don’t believe it has become quite fashionable to smirk and be amused at the quaint beliefs of those bible believing unsophisticates – until of course – evidence for those beliefs are found and confirmed. Here is the typical sequence:
1. A pronouncement is made that directly contradicts the bible – such as “King David didn’t exist because no archeological evidence can be found confirming his existence.”
2. Bible doubters jump on the band wagon and poke fun at those quaint bible believers – until evidence is found that confirms the Bible. In the case of King David, it was the Tel Dan Stele, a monument erected in the 8th or 9th century BC by one of the kings of Aram (ancient Syria) which bore the inscription “…of the House of David…”
3. An acknowledgement is made that the Bible was right (again) and off they go looking for some other part of the Bible to doubt.
In the case of King David, all but the most obstinate doubters will agree with the myth hunters:
“When the inscription at Tel-dan was found, that put the debate to rest. It was clear that David did exist.”
Today, one of the Bible truths most attacked by scientists in every field is the Bible’s proclamation that the entire universe was created in 6 days. This proclamation is strongly denied because if true, it means that neither the Big Bang nor Darwinian evolution can be true, because both of those require billions of years. Therefore atheistic and materialistic scientists have a vested interest in keeping belief in a billions year old universe alive – it’s required for their worldview. And thus they take every opportunity to promote that godless belief. And so we regularly see such scientists either outright mocking Christian belief, or attempting to show why, according to their calculations, it cannot be correct. Here is one of those attempts made during the reboot of Cosmos, as narrated by the show’s host, Neil deGrasse Tyson:
“The crab nebula is about 6,500 light years from earth. According to some beliefs that’s the age of the whole universe. But if the universe were only 6,500 years old, how could we see the light from anything more distant than the crab nebula? We couldn’t. There wouldn’t have been enough time for the light to get to earth from anywhere farther away than 6,500 light years in any direction. That’s just enough time for light to travel through a tiny portion of our milky way galaxy.”
“To believe in a universe as young as only 6 or 7,000 years old is to extinguish the light from most of the galaxy. Not to mention the light from all the hundred billion other galaxies in the observable universe.”
This actually points to a bigger problem – the problem of distant starlight. And what the Big Bangers won’t tell you is that the Big Bang has its own distant starlight problem. I dealt with the distant starlight problem in the article “Which theory has the fatal flaw, Big Bang or Creation“, so I won’t cover that ground again here. In this article we’ll focus instead on the problems with the big bang proclamation of a 13.75 billion year old universe.
As far as such scientists are concerned, people who believe in a 6,000 year old earth are like believers in a flat earth – hopelessly backwards and foolishly ignorant. But there is an important distinction to be made here. Believers in the Bible are not like believers in a flat earth. Besides the fact that the bible proclaimed the earth is round thousands of years before 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, there is direct, clear evidence that the earth is round: photographs of the earth from space being one of them. This site is about rational reasons to believe, so for those really seeking the truth, that should be the end of the matter.
Now that we’ve established Christians believe because of strong, direct, evidence supported reasons, let’s apply the same standard to the age of the earth. Let’s have the scientists present direct, clear evidence that the universe is 13.75 billion years old as they claim. Direct evidence would be something like a clock that has been running since the beginning that we could consult, or an eye witness that existed for the duration that can give testimony as to the passage of time or the time frame.
Scientists will say something to the effect “a clock running since the beginning – that’s absurd. That would require the clock to exist in the beginning before anything existed which is clearly impossible. Likewise, a testimony would require an immortal being outside of time and space – which is also impossible.” So scientists have no direct, conclusive evidence of a 13.75 billion year old universe. What evidence do they have? Let’s come back to that question. First, let me point out that we do have an eye witness testimony of an immortal being outside of time of space – that of God who said:
“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.”
Scientists of course do not accept that testimony- it’s not scientific. But please note that the Bible describes God as having the needed qualities: scripture testifies that God is both immortal (1 Tim 1.17,) and existed before any created thing, and thus is outside of space and time (Gen 1.1, John 1.1-3). (Note – scientist agree that space and time were both created – though they believe they were created in the Big Bang).
So Christians have the direct evidence of the God of Creation who testifies as to how long it took him to create the universe: 6 days. Scientists have no direct evidence of a 13.75 billion year old galaxy. So let’s return to the question above: exactly what evidence do they have as to the age of the universe?
How Scientists Calculate the Age of the Universe
Since scientists cannot consult clocks to determine the age of the earth, and they can’t use tools like the much abused and misused radiometric dating process as they do for materials on earth. Since the stars they want to measure are light years away, they have no physical samples to work with. What then, do they have to work with? Continue Reading
With the discovery of the earth like planet Kepler-452b, we have the opportunity for a valuable object lesson. Contrary to what scientists are hoping for – this will not be a lesson to Creationists that evolution is true and extra-terrestrial life has been found, thus validating evolution. No, the lesson this discovery affords is a demonstration of the foolishness of trying to disprove anything (much less the Bible) when:
1. Your primary evidence has yet to be discovered; and
2. You’re arguing from a scientific theory that flies in the face of the established laws of science.
The object for today’s lesson will be Jeff Schweitzer’s article in the Huffington Post, “Earth 2.0: Bad News for God“. Schweitzer makes a number of mistakes common to scientists and others trying to debunk the Genesis account of origins. We’ll use his mistakes to identify these common errors so 1. You’re aware these are not unique earth shattering questions, they’ve all been handled before, and 2. You can more easily identify them, and respond appropriately when next you see them. We’ll look first at the problem with his whole approach and in the process answer his objections. Schweitzer believes he has mounted a serious challenge to the Genesis account. He’s seriously mistaken.
1. Lack of Objectivity
Most people believe scientists are objective, impartial promoters of the truth – whatever the truth turns out to be – because that is the image scientists have projected since the dawn of the modern scientific age. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Exhibit one: an example of a scientists who is biased and has obvious preferences as to what the truth is: Schweitzer himself. Schweitzer can’t hide his obvious glee at the mere prospect of proving Bible believers wrong.
I would like here to preempt what will certainly be a re-write of history on the part of the world’s major religions. I predict with great confidence that all will come out and say such a discovery is completely consistent with religious teachings.1
“Preempt” the world’s religions? In other words he anticipates the world’s religions being wrong, and he wants to afford them no wiggle room to claim they were not, and thus this “preemptive” strike. An attempt to box them in; and to create the strongest case to say “see you’re wrong, and I told you so.” Hardly an objective position for a scientist. But Creationists and Intelligent Design theorists have been saying that the average scientist is neither objective nor unbiased for a long time. Creationist Ken Ham has been making this point for over a quarter century:
Many think of scientists as unbiased people in white laboratory coats objectively searching for truth. However scientists come in two basic forms, male and female, and they are just like you and me. They have beliefs and biases. A bias determines what you do with the evidence, especially the way in which you decide that certain evidence is more relevant or important than other evidence.2
One’s bias is of critical importance because it determines not only what evidence will be accepted3 but also the a-priori assumptions use in interpreting the evidence. For instance some look at the Grand Canyon and see a little bit of water acting over a long period of time (millions of years). Others see a lot of water (as in a world wide flood) acting over a short period of time. Same evidence, but a-priori assumptions determine how the evidence is interpreted. Clearly such assumptions are critical to one’s approach to both science and life.
2. Incorrect a-priori assumptions
Schweitzer is convinced that life exists out there in the universe, and one day we’ll discover it:
As I stated at the beginning, none of this will matter upon life’s discovery elsewhere.4
I make the case in the Waning, Great Scientific Hope that the search for life on other planets is a hopeless one, with no chance of success. Why does Schweitzer consider it a certainty, and one day we’ll discover it? It’s based on his a-priori assumptions. Most scientists are naturalists – meaning they will allow only natural causes as scientific explanation. This forces them to adopt an anti-God, pro-Big Bang, pro-evolutionary world view which assumes: Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading