Before I go any further, I want to touch on a issue that has been brought to my attention. In older entries, I've talked about the work and discoveries of Ron Wyatt. While I have in the past been intrigued by his discoveries, I never claimed that they were irrefutable proof, and that Noah's Ark could not be located elsewhere, or that the Red Sea is not located elsewhere. What I have said was that his discoveries are very interesting and should be made light of, not ignored, but I am not saying these are the true artifacts of the Bible nor do I say that science fully supports this.
On the contrary, I tend to agree with Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis on several issues with Ron Wyatt's discoveries, but nevertheless, his findings are interesting. But if you are attempting to win somebody for Christ, using Wyatt's findings as irrefutable evidence is not recommended, though there is value in consideration. Moving on to the subject at hand.
Distant starlight itself does not prove that the Universe is old. The argument says that galaxies are far away, and must be old. Yes, Hubble Deep Field proves that there are galaxies far away, but this does not prove that the Universe is millions or even billions of years old. This is contrary to Scripture. What does the Creation model tell us? The stars were created on Day 4, after plants, but before land animals.
If you add up the genealogies found in Genesis, (Abraham lived around 2,000 BC) you come to the conclusion that the Earth is a little over 6,000 years old. This agrees with scripture. What we see in God's World agrees with what we read in God's Word. An issue arises when people try to harmonize scripture with modern secular theories. Take the Big Bang theory for example.
Actually, the term "theory" is incorrect. A lot of people outside of the scientific community do this. It is technical vocabulary, just as English, Science, Math, Social Studies, what have you, all have technical vocabulary. They are words that when used in a specific field have meanings that are not necessarily the same as the everyday usage of the word. Perhaps by defining these three terms, it will clarify:
Hypothesis: An idea based on observations of natural phenomena. This is the everyday man's definition of what we call a theory. Theory: A hypothesis that has been tested repeatedly by many people and not proven false. Law: A theory that has been tested repeatedly by many people over centuries and never proven false. The 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics, the Law of Cause and Effect, and other such laws are examples of this.
For the sake of a common reader, however, I will attempt to leave theory in where it actually means hypothesis. Now, people attempt to fit the Big-Bang hypothesis into the Bible. The issue? The two cannot be unified, cannot be harmonized, because the order of creation in each model is different. In the Big Bang model, the stars are made, and the ocean is made much, much later. However, with the Creation model, the oceans are made first, on Days 1-2, with the stars created on Day 4. The two are what we would call mutually incompatible.
The real question here is not, "How old is the Earth." The Bible clearly teaches six, literal twenty-four hour days of creation, or Creation Week. The real question is, "How did God get the light of stars to the Earth in a few thousand years, or a much shorter period of time?" Well, is this a solvable problem itself? It's been said that it's possible to prove that there are more things that are true then can be proved.
Creation itself was a one-time event folks, and it is not repeatable. It cannot be replicated. Creation was supernatural in origin, and therefore, certain aspects of Creation cannot be proven through scientific means, because God's natural law, by which he upholds the Universe today, is not the way in which he had created the Universe.
Today, we have the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy: the amount of things in the Universe is constant, but that was not the case during Creation, since God was bringing new material into existence. Now, because of all this, we cannot merely assume that Science is able to comprehend all of the things that occurred during Creation, including the creation of the stars and the initial light transit of stars to the Earth. Christians should not be ashamed of the fact that science cannot understand everything about Creation, because it was supernatural!
God has allowed much of the universe to become understandable to us, but he is not by any means required to reveal or make all of the Universe understandable to us. If God does not want to answer, he does not have to, because he is Sovereign. It is possible that one day we may discover the "language" God used to created the Universe, but as of yet, we have not. Understand that History has a way of showing that many of the "problems" or issues that people pose concerning Creation are easily explained by newer evidence. Take the Mt. St. Helen's eruption for example.
It was said for years that for rock to be laid down and canyons to be carved out, large amounts of time, many years, had to pass before it could happen. Low and behold, when Mt. St. Helen's erupted, rock was laid down and a canyon 1/40 the size of the Grand Canyon were made very, very quickly - similar to conditions from the Deluge, though only by fire and not water. (See entry: "The Great Flood (Part One)")
Now, supposedly, sedimentary rocks erode at a rate of 1" per 10,000 years. By a biblical worldview, the Earth is only a little over 6,000 years old, so would this not disprove a Young Earth? No. Take this into consideration: if there was a global flood spanning about year, along with all matter of underwater activity - shifting, volcanic activity that had initiated a 700 year-long Ice Age, and as such, sedimentary rocks can erode at a much faster rate.
If you are not science-savvy, bear with me as I go into a few scientific calculations. The Travel-time equation is D=vt, Distance = velocity x time. Here's an example of the equation at work. 160 miles (D) = 80 mi/hour (v) x 2 hours (t). Well, the speed of light, "c," is 670,615,200 mi/hr - which is much faster than any car. Many people assume that c=1 ly/y, or supposedly one light year per year. However, even secular Science proves that a light year cannot take a full year, that will be touched upon later. "c" actually equals 300,000,000 m/s. (9,460,730,472,580.8 km)
The speed of light is the reason for the problem. We do see galaxies that are billions of light years away, which lead some to believe that it would take billions of years to reach Earth. Folks, this cannot be, and again, even Secular Science knows this. Now, what are a few Creationist solutions? Well, we are going to cover CDK, GTD, and ASC, and while there are many possibilities, these are just three of the more dominant solutions to Distant Starlight.
The CDK solution asks, "Is the speed of light constant in time? The speed of light in the past may have been greater than the current speed of light." While this is a great idea, there is a few problems. CDK changes the D=vt formula, changing the velocity variable. Although, this does not necessarily negate Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
Einstein's Theory of Relativity says that the speed of light is always constant. Yes, the speed of light is always constant, but the theory does not say that light is constant in time. What is the issue here? A formula most have at least heard of comes to mind. E=mc². The c² is the speed of light squared, a very large number. If the speed of light were exponentially greater in the past, then there should have been dramatic shifts in the energy - or mass - of everything in the Universe.
There is not exactly very compelling evidence for CDK, as there is nothing in observable science that shows that the speed of light has decreased over time. Does this refute the solution? Of course not. This is a potential solution to distant starlight, but some of the details have, as of yet, not been resolved, though it is a plausible solution.
Let's take a look at another, GTD. (Gravitational Time Dilation) "Time can flow at different rates. Perhaps the universe has aged millions of years while only 6,000 years elapsed on Earth." It is true that General Relativity has shown that the rate in which time passed is related to gravity. Gravity affects time, this is a scientific fact. GTD makes use of well-tested physics, though it utilizes alternate boundary conditions.
There are potential problems with GTD. Has the effect been significant enough to allow starlight to reach earth in 6,000 years (earth time)? Is the expansion that is required to make this solution work compatible with observable red shifts? This has yet to be determined, and though a potential solution, it is perhaps the less plausible of the few, as it still says "millions of years," when God says "thousands of years." A problem that came to mind for me is, if millions of years were to pass around the Earth, would that not make our Sun age much more quickly, into a Red Sun perhaps?
I am not discrediting GTD, it is a very plausible solution that makes use of good physics, I am merely stating that like everything else scientific, it has its issues. Now, onto the final solution we will look at: ASC. (Alternate Synchrony Convention.) According to the Creation model, stars were created on Day 4, and their light reaches earth on Day 4. (CLT=Cosmic Local Time) If we use CLT, events in space happen as we see them on earth. Why use CLT? It does not require knowing the distance to the source.
Astronomers use CUT, or Cosmic Local Time, as well as CLT, such as when they named Supernova 1987A, 1987 based on Cosmic Local Time. So, what is the real issue here? The question is, Does the Bible use CLT or CUT? In today's world, CUT is considered to be the standard - the "true" time. However, Astronomers for thousands of years used CLT, since CLT does not require knowing the distance to the source. When the Astronomers of old would see something occur, they would record it, CLT.
What is the conclusion of the three? ASC is the natural solution if the Bible uses CLT. Other people propose that God supernaturally sped up time during the six days of creation, during Creation Week. It's certainly plausible, as it would not be the first time God adjusted time. (Joshua's Long Day and Hezekiah's Reverse Day.) Such solutions are highly possible.
So, let us recap. We have CDK, which says that the speed of light may have been greater in the past, GTD, which says that time may have flowed more slowly on the earth than elsewhere, and ASC, which says that "time zones" allow light to leave stars on Day 4 and arrive at Earth on Day 4. (CLT) What can we learn from this? Distant starlight does not conclusively prove the big-bang hypothesis, or the ideas of secular science. Distant starlight was intended to explain one observed phenomena, but many believe it was developed for secular science. The only thing that distant starlight proves is that galaxies are moving apart, hence, a red shift.
Why? If there were no other possibilities, then Distant Starlight may prove an old universe. However, there ARE many possibilities, therefore refuting the claim that Distant Starlight conclusively proves an Old Universe. If there were no other possibilities, then an old universe could not be refuted. However, there are several possibilities based on as Young Universe. You may of course be angered that I have not given a definite answer to the question, but the fact is, just like Evolutionary science, we are still testing, I don't claim to know everything in the Universe, but I do know someone who does, and he told us about how he created everything.
We can test these different solutions using things such as the Age-Distance Relation. With CDK, t(r) depends on when, as well as how, c was changed, if in fact the speed of light did change over time. With GTD, t(r) has not yet been derived. With ASC, t(r)=+LSN/(z+1) - the time divided by the redshift plus one. (This is in simplest form, of course.)
There are other models, and it is highly possible that more than one of these can be right. Stellar Aging can also be used to test. It can tell us how far these stars have aged, then we can search for trends. Take for example, older galaxies. Older galaxies ten to be slightly bluer and slightly brighter than nearby galaxies, and while there is not a large difference, there is a slight one. If that is the case, it would mean that stars go from Blue to Red over the course of time, though it could be that God merely decided to put Bluer stars farther away from our Solar System.
|Hubble Deep Field (Hubble)|
Now, there will still be people who will say, "I don't like any of those solutions, so I'm going to believe in the big-bang theory." However, there is a problem, even if CDK, GTD, ASC, and all other solutions were proven to be wrong, light travel-time cannot be used to support the big-bang with its billions of years, since the big-bang theory has a light-travel time problem of its own: The Horizon Problem.
The big-bang requires that the different regions of the universe started with very different temperatures. However, today they have almost exactly the same temperatures, which is very uniform, to one part and 10 to the fifth power. The Problem? Assume theoretical point A and B. A and B would come to the same temperature if and only if they could exchange radiation. (3°
If you make a cup of hot tea and put an ice-cube into it, it will become lukewarm - because they are in contact, the ice and the tea, and reach thermal equilibrium. There has not been enough time for these regions to exchange light in order to come to the same temperature. Even in the theoretical 13.7 Billion years, there has not yet been enough time elapsed for light to get from Point A to B because the two locations are so far apart. This is what you would call a light-travel time problem, since the Universe is very uniform in temperature.
As we have gone over, there are various solutions to Distant Starlight, although there is no consensus among Creationists, but that's good science, because Science thrives on competing models. Scientists can test these various models in various ways, and that is what is called good science. If you would bear with me just a while longer, I am almost done. Recently, secular Scientists measured the size (diameter) of the Universe at 156 Billion Light Years, which means that we can observe 78 Billion Light Years into Space. It is the diameter of the universe measurements are what has thrown the age of the universe into question among Astrophysicists.
However... they say that the Universe is only 13.7 Billion years old. Even secular Scientists think that light from 78 billion light years away can reach Earth within a short amount of time. Creationists and Secularists alike both agree that light can travel a great distance in light years that is greater than the time in years. We all agree on this, so it is no longer an issue, therefore, light years cannot take a full year to travel. We do not, however, all agree on the age of the universe, and that is where the controversy lies.
Ideas in the scientific community are held until fully proven false. Once, scientists believed that the Earth was flat, and that it was on the back of a giant turtle. At the same time, God's Word stated it was round and that it had free-float in space. (Isaiah 40:22; Job 26:7, 10) Science, gaining new insight and technology, discovered that the earth was round and that it hung on nothing.
The Bible tells us that the light from observable stars reached Earth within the last 6,000 years, and perhaps, much, much quicker. For all we know, it may have been here by the end of Day 4, the day stars were created. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. As we have discussed, there are several possibilities in which starlight can traverse large distances in a relatively short amount of time. Even Secular Science agrees with this. In saying this, the fact that the Universe itself is large does NOT prove that it is billions or even millions of years old.
Think on this: how many times can you recall in which you have seen articles or news stories that say that Scientists will need to re-think their position on something, which overturns the previous discovery? Many. If you believe that God created the universe in six, literal, 24-hour days, then you believe that when the simple phrase, "and he made the stars also" is used, God created the stars of our universe that we see today.
We do not know everything there is to know about the Universe, as God so rightly points out in Isaiah 55:9, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Paul points out in 1st Corinthians 1:25, "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." How true indeed.
If God truly Created the Universe, that means that the Fall of Man through sin also happened, and that we are in need of a Savior. God gave us a savior, Jesus Christ. When Jesus died and rose again, he paid the penalty for our sins. (See entry: "Why Did Jesus Died For Our Sins?") God, the creator of the Universe, merely asks, that if we confess with out mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and if believe in our heart that Jesus, (Romans 10:9) the Son of God, died and rose again, we will be saved. God asks us to repent of our sins, and ask for forgiveness, and we will be forgiven, even if we do not feel forgiven.
I trust that this special has helped, and I thank you for reading this entry of "The Truth." If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, simply leave a comment below, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the facebook page. This concludes this entry of "The Truth." Take care, and may God Bless! Troy Hillman