Formed By God

Upholding the biblical account of creation.

The Big Bang Theory

The Bible and Astronomy

world

Earth: The Blue Planet

God’s Word says that creation of the Earth and universe is one of the most unmistakable proofs of His existence and power.

Psalms 19:1-3  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

It is not surprising that those who oppose God would assail the validity of the biblical creation account. As the sciences have progressed however, it has become increasingly obvious that there is no process whereby the universe as a whole, and living creatures in particular, could have come into existence without special creation by God.

One problem secular cosmologists face is the existence of oceans on the Earth. The Bible teaches that the Earth began as a water planet, with dry land appearing later.

Genesis 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Secular cosmologists teach that the Earth and Solar System were formed out of a process called accretion. The Accretion Theory asserts that tiny bits of matter floating together in one of the many Molecular Clouds of the Milky Way Galaxy began clumping together due to gravity. One astronomer put it this way; “Giant molecular clouds are the nests of star birth. Deep inside these great clouds gravity can pull the matter inward and create new stars.”[1] These clumps of matter then grew into the Sun, planets, asteroids, and comets of the Solar System. Vast quantities of hydrogen gas are located within these clouds. Of course water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. This theory recognizes that the Earth’s gravity is not strong enough to attract hydrogen from outer space or to keep hydrogen atoms from constantly escaping from the Earth into space even today.[2]

Where did the water of our planet come from then? Secularists say that comets are the solution to this dilemma. In the currently prevailing theory, (outgassing of water from volcanoes is one of the previous theories that have been discarded[3]), innumerable comets, containing large amounts of water ice, are thought to have formed through accretion beyond Jupiter. Untold numbers of these comets then brought their water to the Earth in frequent impacts.[4] The oceans, lakes, and rivers of the Earth are believed to be the result of this process. Somehow the fact that comets don’t have enough gravitational force to attract hydrogen and form water-ice hasn’t deterred this theory. Genuine science isn’t a necessary component of evolutionist thinking.

The claim that Christians reject science is therefore the exact opposite of the truth. As the Psalmist said, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” In the last analysis, there are only two choices. We can trust the inconsistent (and unscientific) words of men, or we can trust in the unfailing Word of God.

[1] Michael A. Seeds, Foundations Of Astronomy (Scarborough, Ontario: Wadsworth Publishing Company 1999), 212.

[2] Ibid., 418-421.

[3] James Trefil, 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Science (Doubleday, New York, NY 1992), 215 – 216.

[4] Robert Burnham et al., Night Sky: a Guide (San Francisco, Fog City Press 1997), 116.

planets

Testimony of the Planets

When God created the universe, He made it in such a way, so that it would be impossible to have a credible naturalistic explanation for its existence.

Psalms 86:10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.

God in His wisdom has placed a great obstacle before evolutionists in their never ending quest for legitimacy. This obstacle is the fact that there is no credible naturalistic explanation for many of the phenomena that are observed in the universe. One area of cosmology where this is apparent is planets that rotate the “wrong way” in our Solar System.

According to the commonly accepted Accretion Theory of secular cosmologists, tiny bits of matter clumped together to form the Sun, planets, asteroids, and comets of the Solar System. If this theory were true, (which, of course, it isn’t) then because of the conservation of angular momentum all of the bodies of the Solar System would orbit the Sun in the same direction, and in fact, (except for comets), they do. However, many of the over 500 newly discovered planets orbiting stars other than our Sun, orbit in the “wrong” direction. This has become such a problem for the accretion theory that one secular astronomer has jokingly remarked, “Stupid reality, always mucking about with our ideas. How dare it!”[1]

Further, accretion theory physics demand that all of the planets spin on their axis in the same direction, and this is where the difficulty lies within our own Solar System. The planets Venus, Uranus, and Pluto, all rotate in ways inconsistent with secular accretion theory. Venus actually rotates backward in a retrograde direction. Both Uranus and Pluto rotate at high inclinations, essentially “on their sides.”

The most common theory that attempts to explain away this divergence from the laws of physics is that these planets each collided with other large celestial bodies, resulting in an altered rotational orientation.[2]

The Earth’s moon is also supposed to have formed from such a collision. A Mars-sized planet is believed to have crashed into the Earth, resulting in the formation of the Earth–Moon system. This theory is sometimes called “the Big Whack.”[3] However, the Earth and Moon rotate in ways consistent with the laws of physics mentioned above and in no way display the rotational characteristics of “wrong way” planets. Nor does Venus have a moon from its theoretical collision with another planet. Clearly, secular cosmologists are just inventing a sequence of events that cannot be consistently applied to all of the planets.

If these collisions had actually occurred, the planets involved would have been shattered to pieces, and also thrown into more elliptical orbits than they now have. However Venus has the most circular orbit of any of the planets, proving that it was never in a gigantic celestial collision.

Because of these inconsistencies, secular cosmologists are hoping to improve their theories of Solar System formation. However, an improved falsehood is just a more sophisticated fabrication. The real need is to recognize what the magicians of Pharaoh came to know in their dealings with God’s wonders; that this is “the finger of God”.

[1] Phil Plait http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/04/13/wrong-way-planets-screw-up-our-perfectly-good-theories/

[2] Michael A. Seeds, Foundations Of Astronomy (Scarborough, Ontario: Wadsworth Publishing Company 1999), 421.

[3] Robert Burnham et al. Night Sky: a Guide (San Francisco, Fog City Press 1997), 92.

light

The Universe: Filled with Light

Genesis 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

God spoke light into existence on the first day of creation. On the fourth day, God created the Sun and stars that emit light. How is this possible?

Certainly many of the things that God has done continue to be a great mystery to believers. In fact, God has said that certain things are not for men to know.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Looking at the account of creation in Genesis, we see that God created the universe in an orderly process. Obviously God could have said, “Let there be everything”, and instantly it would have existed. However the Bible tells us that God chose to create things in stages, often using previously created things to fashion new things. Examples of this are the facts that the Earth was created as a water planet, and a part of it was then fashioned into dry land; Adam was not made out of nothing, but from “dust”; and Eve was made from Adam’s rib bone. Clearly there was an orderly “building up” process in creation. Besides all this, the Garden of Eden was also prepared to receive those who would after inhabit it.

We now know that light is electromagnetic radiation. It has been discovered that the human eye can detect light that is between the wavelengths of approximately 400 to 700 nanometers. Interestingly, the wavelength of the color green, which is so prevalent in nature, falls near the middle of the electromagnetic spectrum that people can see.

Electromagnetic radiation has been detected in every corner of the universe by sophisticated satellites. A radiation filled universe is every bit as natural for the heavenly bodies (Sun, planets, and stars) to inhabit, as oceans, rivers, and lakes are to fish.

The fact that the human eye cannot directly detect this light in the heavens is not an impediment to this reality. Radio waves, microwaves, and x-rays, are all detectable by humans with the proper equipment or film. Indeed, if you look into the front of your TV remote (which uses ultraviolet light) as you press the button, you will see nothing. However if you look into the remote through the viewfinder of your digital camera, which is more sensitive to the shorter ultraviolet wavelength, you will see the light quite clearly. The light is there, whether or not you can see it.

God created light for man, but, of course, God is not subject to His creation, but His creation to Him.

Psalm 139:12  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

This principle of preparation is the reason God created “light” before He created the Sun and stars. Just as God placed Adam into a garden that He had prepared for him, so too, God prepared the universe with electromagnetic radiation before placing the heavenly bodies into the space He had provided for them. This principle was then passed on for man to follow.

1Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

tubes

Science or Philosophy?

Secular cosmologists insist that the biblical account of creation can’t be correct because it isn’t scientific. However it can be shown that the secular view of creation and cosmology is founded on philosophy, and not science.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Looking at the biblical account of creation, it is easy to see that the universe is not the result of natural laws. God super-naturally created all that there is. Those who reject the biblical account of creation often charge that this is not a scientific approach to the creation event. They then substitute their own creation event, such as the Big Bang theory, and insist that they are following a scientific path. Let’s look at a few examples of where philosophy has overruled science in secular cosmology.

Aristarchus of Samos (born about 310 BC) correctly deduced that the Sun was the center of the Solar System. However the philosopher Aristotle believed that the Earth was in the center and that the Sun and planets moved in perfect circles around the Earth. The great influence of Aristotle’s philosophy overcame the science of Aristarchus, and the Earth centered geocentric view of the Solar System prevailed for about the next 1,800 years.

The Accretion Theory had its roots in philosophical thinking. As one author observes; “The fundamental ideas underlying today’s theories for planetary formation were first put forward by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant in 1775, and later elaborated by the French mathematician and astronomer Pierre-Simon de Laplace.”[1] As is customary in evolutionist cosmology, science is absent as the foundation of this theory.

Albert Einstein published the theory of General Relativity in 1915. Einstein included in his theory a value that came to be called the Cosmological Constant. He did this so that computations using his theory would result in a stable universe – one that is neither expanding nor contracting. Einstein’s philosophy of how the universe should behave caused him to include this value. Years later, when observations by astronomer Edwin Hubble indicated that the universe was indeed expanding, Einstein repudiated his cosmological constant. He later called it the biggest blunder of his life, believing that his philosophy had been proven wrong. Oddly, the idea of a cosmological constant is experiencing a revival among today’s secular cosmologists.[2]

Although he was not the first to propose evolutionist philosophy, the Theory of Evolution was widely popularized by Charles Darwin in his book “The Origin of Species.” Notwithstanding the acceptance of this theory by many secularists, it remains merely a philosophy and not a science. The diligent search for liquid water in our Solar System by the USA space agency NASA and the space agencies of other governments around the world is firmly based on the belief that liquid water is a necessary ingredient for the evolution of life. As one astronomer put it, “Moreover, liquid water has allowed life to form and flourish here…”[3] The brilliant Italian physicist Enrico Fermi (who helped to develop the atomic bomb), originated the proposition known as the Fermi Paradox. This proposal successfully rules out any scientific basis for believing in evolved intelligent life in the Milky Way galaxy.

All naturalistic based beliefs in creation suffer from the same shortcomings. First, they are not based on the truth of God’s Word, and second, they are not based on science. This leaves them in the position of being only the opinions of fallible men. One day men’s opinions will be discarded, and only God’s Word will remain.

[1] Tom Wilike and Mark Rosselli, Visions of Heaven: The Mysteries of the Universe Revealed by the Hubble Space Telescope (London, England: Hodder & Stoughton 1999), 37.

[2] Thomas T. Arny and Stephen E. Schneider, Explorations: An Introduction to Astronomy (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill 2010), 505-506.

[3] Ibid., 229. [emphasis added]

starlight

The Distant Starlight Problem

The Reason for the “Problem”

Secular astronomers are often challenged by young earth creationists over various problems with their evolutionist theories, ranging from the “Big Bang” model of creation of the universe, to the “Dark Matter” and “Dark Energy” theories which are being used to prop up the Big Bang and account for the old ages of spiral galaxies. It’s no surprise then, that when secularists find a way to challenge the biblical account of creation they are quick to take advantage of it.

One such challenge to biblical creation is the issue known as “The Distant Starlight Problem.”

This issue centers on the idea that, if the universe is only about 6,000 years old as the Bible asserts, how could light from stars and galaxies considerably more distant than 6,000 light years have already reached the earth? For example, the Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years across, therefore, according to those who see this as a problem, we should not be seeing stars beyond a radius of 6,000 light years. Understandably then, we would not even be aware of stars beyond that distance. The Andromeda Galaxy which is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way galaxy is thought to be over two million light years distant, and there certainly hasn’t been enough time for its light to reach the earth.

The immediate normal response to this argument is that God created the light from the stars “in transit”. This is an untenable position for many young earth adherents. Here is a quote by Dr. Jason Lisle found on the Answers In Genesis website.

“But the light-in-transit model undermines the basic reliability of our senses. Consider: the light-in-transit model would mean that all events (supernovae for example—fig. 1) beyond about 6,000 light years have never happened. They would merely be a sequence of images in a beam of light created by God. These images would not correspond to any real event. But if God is willing to make movies of fictional events at distances beyond 6,000 light years, then why would we arbitrarily assume that He would not also make fictional movies nearby? (Is the tree outside my window real, or is it merely a picture embedded in light beams created by God?)”

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/anisotropic-synchrony-convention

The Biblical Age of the Earth

According to the calculations of the Anglican Archbishop James Ussher, the first day of creation began at nightfall proceeding Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC. Any reasonable reading of the genealogies allows that there may be missing or non-linear lineages in the genealogies in the Bible. Because of this, there is speculation that the world is older than the date given by Bishop Ussher. My personal belief is that setting a very specific date for the beginning of the creation week is not possible. Since it is also not possible to know exactly what generations may or may not be missing in various genealogies found in the Bible, many Christian astronomers allow for a creation date up to four thousand or more years earlier than 4004 BC. My personal belief is that an extension of one thousand years to the age of the earth is not unreasonable, but that a further extension is unwarranted. For the remainder of this article I will use 6,000 years as the age of the earth, since adding a moderate extension in no way improves or detracts from the creationist position.

The Definition of a Light Year

It is essential to note that a light year is a measure of distance and not a measure of time. When we speak of one light year, we are really talking about the distance that light travels in a period of one year. Light travels at about 186,282 miles per second in a vacuum. In 6,000 years it would travel about 3.52709989 × 1016 miles in the vacuum of space. Without the scientific notation it can be written as 35,270,998,900,000,000 miles, or to put it yet another way, about 35.3 quadrillion miles. Although this seems like a great distance, in the cosmic scheme of things, it is only a tiny fraction of the distance that the universe encompasses.

Cosmic Distances

Some might argue that the supposed great distances to stars are inaccurate. Indeed, there is much debate among astronomers about what the precise distance to any particular star or other celestial object may be. This section will deal with what is known about cosmic distances. However the measurement of the closest stars by the use of trigonometric parallax (triangulation), make it clear that only the tiniest minority of stars are within 6,000 light years of earth.

There are several stellar objects and groupings that are mentioned in the Bible.

Job 9:9  Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.

The star Arcturus is just over 36.7 light-years distant.

The Orion Nebula constellation is thought to be about 1,300 light-years distant.

The Pleiades open star cluster is thought to be only about 440 light-years distant.

Acts 28:11  And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.

The star Castor (which is really a multiple star system), is 49.8 light years away from Earth.

The star Pollux (which is known to have an extrasolar planet), is 34 light-years from the Earth

Interestingly, none of the stars or clusters named in the Bible is far enough away to be part of the “Distant Starlight” issue.

Some Solutions Offered by Creationist Astronomers

Dr. Jason Lisle is an astrophysicist with a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He believes that one possible solution to the distant starlight problem is in the possibility that light from the stars does not have the same speed as light emanating from our planet. He conjectures that light from the stars traveled almost instantly to the earth, but that light from the earth is going about half-speed on its way into space. This would mean that light travels an average of 186,282 miles per second. I believe this suggestion has no merit. Genesis 1:15 does indicate that the light from the newly created stars traveled to earth within the 4th creation day. The verse calls for the stars to give their light “upon the earth”, and then says “and it was so”, all within the same day.

Genesis 1:15  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Dr. Russell Humphreys has a PhD in physics from Louisiana State University. In his book “Starlight and Time”, he lays out a solution using the principles of relativity. His contention is that while time moved at a normal pace on the earth during the creation week, it was moving very quickly in the outer reaches of the cosmos. Therefore the cosmos could indeed be 13 billion years old, while only a week passed on earth. Some creationist physicists have pointed out that his equations could really only account for about 500,000 years of time in the cosmos. I believe that a creation week is a creation week, and that using relativity to shrink 13 billion years into one week is not a viable solution.

The Biblical Option

The real answer to the distant starlight problem is not found by looking for naturalistic solutions to supernatural questions. We have allowed the evolutionists to frame the question, and are now attempting to answer it on their terms. The creation of the cosmos was a miraculous event, and the distant starlight issue can not, and should not, be separated from that truth.

Accordingly I believe that God created starlight “in-transit”, and that this option is not as obnoxious as some have said. We would do well to compare this solution with other events and statements found in the Bible.

Joshua 10:12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

This miracle performed by God poses some interesting questions. Did the earth instantly stop spinning? Did the moon stop its motion in its orbit around the earth? Did the sun cease to travel around the Milky Way? Probably all of the above did happen. No answer can be found by postulating some naturalistic solution involving relativity or Newtonian physics. Plainly it was a miracle, and nothing less. In 1936, Harry Rimmer wrote a book where he asserted that scientists have “found” the missing day. Such assertions are unfounded; nevertheless they persist even in our day.

Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Now we need to ask ourselves, can God really use stones to raise up children to Abraham as Jesus asserted? If the answer is yes, then how shall the genealogy be reckoned? Obviously, at least in Jesus mind, these difficulties pose no dilemma for God. Here is a case where the past has to be created after the fact. I choose to believe that if God does such a thing, He is neither creating fictional descendants to Abraham, nor deceiving those that trust in Him into accepting what is not a reality.

A common rebuttal by creationists in speaking on the Distant Starlight Problem is to point out that the Big Bang model also has it own distant starlight problem. Thus a good offense is seen as the best defense.

The Big Bang model requires that certain areas of space get colder than others area in the early cosmos. By early, we mean in the first few trillion, trillion, trillion, trillionths, of a second. The center of the Big Bang, (well, actually they say it happened everywhere at the same time, but that is another discussion), is hottest, and that which is away from the center is cooling rapidly, resulting in a loss of equilibrium of temperature.

Think of it this way. As you’re filling the bathtub with water, you realize that it’s colder than you’d like it. So you increase the hot water pressure to warm it up. At first, only the end of the bathtub that’s by the spout gets warmer. Eventually the entire tub gets to the same temperature, but it takes a while. In the mean time, the temperature is not uniform. (And you can’t stir the universe like you might stir the water in a bathtub around.)

However the universal temperature of space has been shown to be about 2.725 Kelvin (-454.7 degrees F), and is isotropic (uniform) to within 100,000 parts in all directions. The Big Bang model simply cannot account for this, and many secular astronomers realize that the model must be significantly flawed (and rescued) in some way.

This disconnect between the actual temperature of space (2.725 K), and the theoretical “prediction” of the Big Bang model (that space is not isotropic), is commonly called the “Horizon” problem.

To add to this difficulty is the belief that the universe is expanding at nearly the speed of light in all directions. This makes it impossible for light from one end of the universe to ever “catch up” to light on the other end of the universe, and homogenize the temperature there.

By the way, the light and heat from stars doesn’t count in this scenario; it’s only the “background” radiation from the Big Bang floating around the universe at microwave wavelengths that this discussion pertains to. Any heat exchange between stars even on a galactic scale is considered a “local” event.

There is one hypothesis called Inflation Theory that attempts to solve this problem. Inflation Theory says that very early in the formation of the universe there was hyper rapid expansion. Depending on what flavor of Inflation Theory you reading about, the universe expanded from virtually nothing, to the size of a grape, or maybe a grapefruit, or in the older versions, the size of a galaxy, in trillionths of a second. After this short period of expansion, the universe resumed it “normal”, that is to say present, rate of expansion. Anti-gravity or some other unknown exotic force is thought to have powered it. When that “fuel” ran out, the explosive expansion settled down to the “normal” expansion that is postulated today.

You may ask, but doesn’t this mean that the universe expanded trillions of times faster than the speed of light, which is supposed to be the all encompassing speed limit according to Einstein’s theory of special relativity? While it would seem this is a problem, inflationists deny that it is. They say that everything in the universe during this period of inflation was actually “carried along” within the expansion, and did not travel at greater than the speed of light on its own. This would be analogous to asserting that a man cannot run faster than 25 miles per hour, but he might be walking on a plane that is going 500 miles per hour, and so though it is impossible for him to attain high speed normally, because he is being carried along by the plane there is really no “speed limit” being broken. Inflation Theory introduces its own set of difficulties, such as where did the anti-gravity come from, and why did it run out so quickly, and why didn’t inertia keep it going for an extended period. Therefore Inflation Theory is undergoing continuous modifications to try to make it more acceptable to the secular cosmologists who can plainly see the flaws in this theory. They needn’t be too concerned though, since any theory that answers flaws in the Big Bang model is going to be accepted until something more palatable replaces it.

To sum up, Christians need not be concerned that secular scientists find flaws with what the Bible teaches. God’s word is true, no matter what objections may come up to its teaching. In the end, we need to believe God rather than man, confident in the fact that God has given us all we need to faithfully live for Him.

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