Hello my fine friends! How has everyone’s week been? Very busy for me as usual! But not nearly as busy as God must have been when he created the stars!
But a question that seems to stump many believers of the holy bible is the distance the stars are away from us. How does that fit into a young earth? After all, we know that some stars are millions of light-years away (a light-year is the distance light travels in one year). How can we be seeing light from these far away stars if the universe is not very old?
Let’s take a closer look. This is a very in-depth scientific subject and I will be writing a series on it. Each will build on the last writing so it is important to know what the previous blog has talked about in order for all to make sense.
First I must reiterate that there is biblical and scientific evidence for a young earth and universe. More so actually than for the old earth/universe theory (billions of years).
Though it has some big problems, I am going to give an explanation that has been used in the past and in many cases is still being used. It is the most familiar explanation given. Perhaps you even use it. It is the “light beam in place” (light on the way) theory. This theory states that not only did God make the light source but placed the light beams across the extensive distances so even when Adam was first created, he could see stars in the sky. Otherwise he would have to wait years and years and years for the light of even the closest star to reach our planet. I used to use this theory myself. But it has some immense flaws.
The biggest problem is this. The light we are seeing from a distant star, giving us information about that star (i.e. it is a pulsar or a nebula, etc.) never happened because what we are seeing was created ‘in route” by the Creator 6 to 10 thousand years ago. A million light-years distance would go back in time past ten thousand years and thus had to be created as the light beam in route, and therefore never really happened. Do you see the problem?
“To explain this problem further, consider an exploding star (supernova) at, say, an accurately measured 100,000 light-years away. Remember we are using this explanation in a 10,000 year old universe. As the astronomer on earth watches this exploding star, he is not just receiving a beam of light. If that were all, then it would be no problem at all to say that God could have created a whole chain of photons (light particles/waves) already on their way.
“However, what the astronomer receives is also a particular, very specific pattern of variation within the light, showing him/her the changes that one would expect to accompany such an explosion – a predictable sequence of events involving neutrinos, visible light, X-rays and gamma-rays. The light carries information recording an apparently real event. The astronomer is perfectly justified in interpreting this ‘message’ as representing an actual reality – that there really was such an object, which exploded according to the laws of physics, brightened, emitted X-rays, dimmed, and so on, all in accord with those same physical laws.”1
So what the astronomer sees is consistent with the physical laws including the spectral patterns in the star’s light that gives a “chemical signature”, so to speak, of the elements contained in it. This makes the light-beam in place have to contain all these elements already in place, being transmitted from the instant of its creation or added later on, both without having originated from the distant star itself. Because if it had originated from the star (assuming there even is a star there), it would still be 90,000 light years away!
The whole thing about this theory, besides the above mentioned problems, is that it is not consistent with God’s nature. “To create a series of signals in light beams reaching earth, signals which seem to have come from a series of real events but in fact did not, has no conceivable purpose.”2 It would be deceiving and confusing, neither are attributes of our Holy and Just Creator God.
So if the “light-beam in place” theory does not explain light from distant stars, what does? Could it be possible the speed of light can change? Or maybe was different in the past? Is part of the ‘big-bang’ theory relevant? Or does general relativity play a part in all of this…
Well, my friends, you will have to tune in next week because we are out of space (lol)!
Until next week, take care and God Bless!
This week’s night sky:
Look very low in the west-southwest in early twilight for the slender crescent Moon. On Tuesday September 18, just after sunset in the early twilight, look for the sliver of a waxing moon in the southwestern sky. Well to the Moon's right, Saturn is departing for the season. Also, the tiny black shadow of Jupiter's moon Io crosses the planet’s face from 10:53 p.m. to 1:01 a.m. EDT tonight, followed by Io itself from 12:10 to 2:18 a.m. EDT. Remember that Jupiter doesn't rise until around 11 p.m. local daylight time.
Also autumn officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere (spring in the Southern Hemisphere) at the equinox, 10:49 a.m. EDT. This is when the center of the Sun crosses the equator heading south for the year and our daylight hours are virtually the same as our nighttime hours.
1,2,The Revised And Expanded Answers Book, Ken Ham, et. al., March , pgs 95-97.