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Author Topic:   Doesn't the distance of stars disprove the young earth theory?
nlerd
Member (Idle past 1887 days)
Posts: 48
From: Minnesota
Joined: 03-03-2010


Message 1 of 138 (549001)
03-03-2010 3:46 AM


Since we know how fast light moves and how far away certain stars are from the earth wouldn't any star being more then 6000 light years away disprove the young earth theory, or at least a young universe? This popped into my head a couple of nights ago and I haven't been able to discuss it with anyone.

And hello everyone.


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Message 2 of 138 (549014)
03-03-2010 8:15 AM


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Huntard
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From: Limburg, The Netherlands
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Message 3 of 138 (549016)
03-03-2010 8:37 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by nlerd
03-03-2010 3:46 AM


No and yes
Hello nlerd! Welcome to EvC

nlerd writes:

Since we know how fast light moves and how far away certain stars are from the earth wouldn't any star being more then 6000 light years away disprove the young earth theory, or at least a young universe?


It doesn't disprove a young earth since the age of the universe has nothing to do with the age of the earth. It does however disprove a young universe. At least, it does without invoking some crazy, completely unevidenced stuff like "God created the light en-route to earth!".

The age of the earth is determined differently, and independant from the age of the universe. Current scientific understanding places it at 4.5 billion years old. Whereas the universe is, according to current scientific understanding, 13.5 billion years old.

A little posting tip: Click the "peek" button on the bottom right of my post to see how i made that nice little quotebox. It's not hard to do, and makes your posts so much more pleasant to read.


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Taq
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Message 4 of 138 (549025)
03-03-2010 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by nlerd
03-03-2010 3:46 AM


Since we know how fast light moves and how far away certain stars are from the earth wouldn't any star being more then 6000 light years away disprove the young earth theory, or at least a young universe? This popped into my head a couple of nights ago and I haven't been able to discuss it with anyone.

Young Earth Creationists have tried to work their way around this evidence by using relativity. One famous attempt is Russel Humphrey's book "Starlight and Time" in which he suggests that the Earth and our solar system were in a "white hole" causing passage of time in our solar system to slowly tick by while the universe sped up outside the event horizon of the white hole. The problem is that this model predicts a blue shift in distant starlight, but the shift is in the opposite direction.


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Flyer75
Member (Idle past 706 days)
Posts: 242
From: Dayton, OH
Joined: 02-15-2010


Message 5 of 138 (549026)
03-03-2010 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Huntard
03-03-2010 8:37 AM


Re: No and yes
Welcome to the board:

The speed of light does present a problem to a young universe and certainly presents a mega problem to a literal 6 day creation.

I've read a couple of things from some creation scientist that I know won't hold water on this board but some explanation is as follows: the decay of light theory. This subject has been debated since the 1980s.

The argument is that the speed of light has been slowing down (and thus travelled much more rapidly in the past), and if correct, would indicate a very young universe in terms of thousands rather then millions or billions.

An Australian scientist named Barry Setterfield has studied this extensively and authored a book titled, "The Velocity of Light and the Age of the Universe". According to Setterfield the first careful measurement of the speed of light was made by a Danish scientist, Roemer, in 1675 and then by an English astronomer, Bradley, in 1728. It has been measure over and over since at which we've reached an equilibrium of 299,792.458 by 1960 (now atomic clocks are used).

The data indicates that that the speed of light was around 2.6% faster in 1675 then it is today. Setterfield postulates that the speed of light was 5 X 10 to the 11th power faster at the time of creation. I'm not going to go into his formulas unless someone wants me too as it confuses me but this is one theory.....is it a stretch? Yes, and there are many creationists who don't believe this theory. There have been other studies done by scientists that have also found decreases in the speed of light but we can never know for sure what the speed of light was at the time of creation. I feel that the theory does deserve some attention but much more research needs to be done to verify any of this.

There's another theory, which I won't go into detail on, but it's called the Distortion of Time in White Holes. Nevermind, lol, Taq just described it. To me, that's even more of a stretch the the decay of light speed theory.

Edited by Flyer75, : comment on Taq's post.


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PaulK
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Message 6 of 138 (549028)
03-03-2010 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Flyer75
03-03-2010 9:51 AM


Re: No and yes
Setterfield's hypothesis is more of a stretch than you know.

Aside from the problem that the curves are arbitrary and it relies hugely on older - and less accurate - attempts to measure the speed of light it needs to make the following assumptions:

1) That the decay in the speed of light just happened to stop at the point where accurate measurements became available.

2) That other changes occurred so that just happen to mask any evidence of the change in speed. (For instance we should see a "slowing down effect" in observations of distant objects because the later the light is emitted, the slower it must go).

The "White Hole" hypothesis is supposed to be nearly as bad (it has been mauled by the Creationist astronomer Hugh Ross, for one).


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Taq
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Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 7 of 138 (549033)
03-03-2010 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by PaulK
03-03-2010 9:59 AM


Re: No and yes
Aside from the problem that the curves are arbitrary and it relies hugely on older - and less accurate - attempts to measure the speed of light . . .

Exactly. If we applied the same reasoning to other constants we could arrive at some pretty wacky conclusions. Not only has the speed of light changed but so too has the mass of subatomic particles (e.g. protons, neutrons, electrons), the density of water, and on and on and on. We could also cherry pick (as Setterfield did) in order to arrive at any conclusion we wanted such as the electron becoming lighter over time.


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Flyer75
Member (Idle past 706 days)
Posts: 242
From: Dayton, OH
Joined: 02-15-2010


Message 8 of 138 (549036)
03-03-2010 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Taq
03-03-2010 10:35 AM


Re: No and yes
Taq, what you are saying is true no doubt....but it doesn't mean he was wrong necessarily. Doesn't mean he was right either. This is a theory that we may never, or least for a long long time, know any answers too.

Quite frankly, we have no clue what the speed of light is in another galaxy. It might be the same as here on earth...it may be a ton less or a ton more...who knows?

Edited by Flyer75, : No reason given.


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Theodoric
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Joined: 08-15-2005
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Message 9 of 138 (549038)
03-03-2010 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Flyer75
03-03-2010 11:15 AM


Re: No and yes
Quite frankly, we have no clue what the speed of light is in another galaxy.

Do you mean another universe? Or do you want to stick with galaxy here?

If you are sticking with galaxy, I am sure the hard science, physics guys here are going to have a field day tearing this apart.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

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Flyer75
Member (Idle past 706 days)
Posts: 242
From: Dayton, OH
Joined: 02-15-2010


Message 10 of 138 (549039)
03-03-2010 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Theodoric
03-03-2010 11:24 AM


Re: No and yes
Sorry, I did mean universe...I understand we know about our Milky Way.

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Theodoric
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From: Northwest, WI, USA
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Message 11 of 138 (549041)
03-03-2010 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Flyer75
03-03-2010 11:27 AM


Now you seem to be more confused
The Milk Way is just one galaxy of millions in our Universe. By galaxies I am not just referring to the Milk Way(Why doesn't someone name another galaxy, snickers or three musketeer).

My question is, when you make the statement that we don't know the speed of light in other galaxies, do you mean the other galaxies in our Universe? Like the Andromeda galaxy and the Large Magellanic Cloud. These are galaxies observable from our vantage point.

Or are you acknowledging the existence of other Universes? For example a parallel universe? A universe with possible different scientific laws and totally distinct and separate form our universe. Unobservable to say.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

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Taq
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Posts: 8081
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 12 of 138 (549044)
03-03-2010 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Flyer75
03-03-2010 11:15 AM


Re: No and yes
Taq, what you are saying is true no doubt....but it doesn't mean he was wrong necessarily. Doesn't mean he was right either. This is a theory that we may never, or least for a long long time, know any answers too.

It is a theory that makes testable predictions, and those testable predictions turn out to be wrong. Changing the speed of light also changes the amount of energy per unit of mass. You know, that whole E=mc^2 thing. This would have long reaching effects, including the energy released by radioactive decay and the observations of supernovae. Those effects are not seen. Anywhere. At all. What we do see is universal constants with the speed of light being one of them.

A good place for you to start would be supernovae 1987a discussed here.

Quite frankly, we have no clue what the speed of light is in another galaxy.

Yes, we do. Type Ia supernovae in distant galaxies tell us that. If the speed of light were different the energies involved would be different which would result in deviations from expected observations. The light spectra from distant galaxies tell us that. If the speed of light were different the energy levels would be different and we would see different spectra lines for different elements. We don't see that (other than redshift due to expansion).


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Apothecus
Member (Idle past 694 days)
Posts: 275
From: CA USA
Joined: 01-05-2010


Message 13 of 138 (549045)
03-03-2010 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by nlerd
03-03-2010 3:46 AM


Other creationist "theories"
It depends upon how much a creationist is willing to accept pertaining to scientific evidence. For example, a star may be shown by the parallax (and other) method to be 1600k light years distant. Many creationists do not accept that these measurements are even close to being scientifically accurate, and will choose to ignore them in favor of a young earth/universe. Some will do this even in the absence of any contradictory evidence of their own. If it doesn't support or is not supported by the bible, then it isn't true...

Others will argue that god is an omphalistic creator. In other words, god made everything we see in nature with an appearance of age. Fossils of animals which never existed were fashioned to look as if they died millions of years ago, and likewise - starlight was created already in transit. Thus many stellar events that we witness today (which actually happened millions of years in the past) never really happened; they were just made to look that they did.

It all depends on how much suspension of disbelief a creationist will require to maintain the young earth/universe stance.

Have a good one.


"My own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. J.B.S Haldane 1892-1964

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misha
Member (Idle past 2911 days)
Posts: 69
From: Atlanta
Joined: 02-04-2010


Message 14 of 138 (549056)
03-03-2010 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by nlerd
03-03-2010 3:46 AM


This is precisely the question I asked myself in my high school physics class that pushed me on a long path from YEC->OEC->ID->Science.

The situation that arrises is that in order to believe in a young earth someone must either deny mathematics and physics OR they must believe that God created everything with an appearance of age.

Many would rather say that God placed all the photons from far away stars in transit when he created the heavens. However, this would make God decietful, like someone peddling forged antiques.


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Flyer75
Member (Idle past 706 days)
Posts: 242
From: Dayton, OH
Joined: 02-15-2010


Message 15 of 138 (549076)
03-03-2010 8:56 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by misha
03-03-2010 2:45 PM


Misha,

Good points. I think most Creationists (certainly the 6 day literal ones) believe that God created an "aged" universe, but still not one that is millions of years old. For example, if you believe the Genesis account, it's fairly obvious that God didn't create Adam as a newborn infant, but more likely someone in their 20's or so. Same with the vegetation.

The more I read on this board and have done some very new studying on my own, the more I realize that the issue isn't whether science can prove or disprove something, but whether man is choosing science or God. That's why theistic evolutionists really baffle me. I can understand the atheist more then I can the Christian who feels the need to have science prove "God" and creation. If you believe in a God that raised his Son from the dead after being buried for three days (something science cannot do or explain), then why is it so hard to grasp the creation event? The atheist at least says, "there is no God". That makes more sense.


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