“Now - let me add this. Weʼre not going to have all the answers. There will be some things like the issue of light from the farthest star in a young universe… we donʼt have all the answers.”
—Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis iTunes Podcast “Sermon: Six Days & The Eisegesis Problem”, time into program: 1:09:12
“Ken Hamʼs answer is consistent with his response on this question from his ‘Answers’ book. The last question is this and he attempts to offer an explanation for it by saying that some YECs support an “Appearance of Age” hypothesis but Ham agrees that hypothesis is unsatisfactory since that makes God looks deceptive. Ham concludes in his book with very similar language as his iPod broadcast that we really just donʼt know, and have to trust. This really was unconvincing to me as this was the first book I read when I was searching out this issue and this lack of response on this issue was instrumental in leading me away from YEC to the RTB position.”
—John Walley [a Christian] on the ASA listserv
Creationists Admit The Evidence For Stellar Evolution Poses Problems
“Perhaps the most important remaining question [in astronomy] for [young- universe] creationists is the origin of the turnoff points in the H-R diagrams of different clusters. The stars are real physical objects and presumably follow physical laws; we would rather not take the easy way out by saying simply that ‘God made them that way.’ But if creationists take the position of rejecting stellar evolution, they should provide a feasible alternative.”
—Paul Steidl [young-universe creationist], The Earth, the Stars, and the Bible (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), p. 153 — as quoted by Howard J. Van Till in The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens Are Telling Us about the Creation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), p. 239
“…the theory of stellar structure appears to be founded on a good physical basis and…stellar evolution is intimately related to stellar structure…
“If creationists wish to scrap stellar evolution completely, then it is incumbent on us to rework stellar structure and/or physics in a convincing fashion…
“The standard observational tool used in studying stellar structure and evolution is the Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram… It consists of a plot of stellar luminosity increasing upward and temperature increasing to the left…Most stars are found on a roughly diagonal band called the main sequence (MS)…
“This agreement is quite impressive and the physical assumptions that go into it are so well founded it is doubtful that many creationists would have much to argue with in main sequence (MS) stellar structure. However, what is generally called post MS evolution is not far removed from the brief outline of stellar structure given above.
“The most massive stars may pass through successive steps of fusing helium nuclei with increasingly more massive nuclei up to iron…Note that these transitions have not actually been observed. However, they are based on physics principles and will naturally occur…
“The upshot is that the most massive stars have MS lifetimes of only a few hundred thousand years (of course, still much longer than young-age creationists would allow), while the lowest mass stars have MS lifetimes approaching 100 billion years…
“And evolutionary assumption concludes that the stars in a star cluster should form from a single cloud so that the members represent…a homogenous group. Different clusters should have different ages, and though they technically have different compositions, even large differences in composition do not seriously affect the overall appearance of an H-R diagram…
“The agreement of the theory [of stellar evolution] is quite impressive…
“[The expected evolutionary] trend between globular and open clusters is observed…
“Evidence [exists] that the formation of planetary nebulae and the evolution of white dwarfs are related…These two ages have a very good correlation…
“A similar relationship holds for neutron stars and supernova remnants. As with planetary nebulae, the expansion velocity and observed size of the remnant can be used to estimate the time since the explosion…Where a pulsar can be identified in a supernova remnant, the ages of the remnant and the pulsar are well correlated.
“Very brief discussions of stellar structure and evolution have been presented. Though it would seem that creationists would not have much with which to quarrel in the former, most would largely dismiss the latter. However, the two are intimately related, and one cannot be rejected without seriously calling into question the other. We are appealing to readers to give much attention to the study of stellar evolution…”
—Danny R. Faulkner & Don B. De Young [young-universe creationists], “Toward a Creationist Astronomy,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 28, Dec. 1991, pp. 87-91
Admissions By Creationists Regarding The Evidence For An Old Earth
Young-earther creation-evangelist Duane T. Gish has refused to debate the age of the earth and has even admitted (much to his fellow creationistsʼ chagrin) that the evidence for fossil succession is a challenge that his fellow young-earthers at ICR have not adequately met:
“When I visited the Institute for Creation Research towards the end of 1978… The associate director is Duane T. Gish, who has a PhD in biochemistry from Berkeley. … Considering that I believe living things have a common origin and have evolved over a long period of time, and Duane Gish doesnʼt, there turned out to be a surprising amount of shared ground between us. … Duane Gish and others of his standing are well aware of this problem [for their young-earth views, i.e., the problem of the age of the earth], but in the end they let their faith over-ride it. When I asked him what were the biggest difficulties for creationist science the points in a debate which he felt least comfortable in answering - he answered after a momentʼs thought that it was the apparently great age of Earth as shown by the fairly recent advances in radiometric dating; and that the the fossil record could be interpreted as showing ecologically complete ages - the age of invertebrates, the age of fishes, the age of reptiles, and so on up to the present.” [from Hitching F., The Neck of the Giraffe: Or Where Darwin Went Wrong, Pan: London, 1982, pp.115-121]
In 1938 Harold Clark (a disciple of the Flood geologist, George Macready Price, whose work also inspired Henry Morris for hypothesis “flood geology” as an explanation for the geological record) was invited by a student to visit the oil fields of Oklahoma and northern Texas, where Mr. Clark saw with his own eyes why geologists believed as they did. Observations of deep drilling and conversations with practical geologists gave Clark a real shock that permanently erased any confidence he had left in Priceʼs vision of a topsy-turvy fossil record. Clark wrote to Price:
“The rocks do lie in a much more definite sequence than we have ever allowed. The statements made in your book, The New Geology, do not harmonize with the conditions in the field. All over the Midwest the rocks lie in great sheets extending over hundreds of miles, in regular order. Thousands of well cores prove this. In East Texas alone are 25,000 deep wells. Probably well over 100,000 wells in the Midwest give data that has been studied and correlated. The science has become a very exact one. Millions of dollars are spent in drilling, with the paleontological findings of the company geologists taken as the basis for the work. The sequence of the microscopic fossils in the strata is remarkably uniform. The same sequence is found in America, Europe, and anywhere that detailed studies have been made. This oil geology has opened up the depths of the earth in a way that we never dreamed of twenty years ago.” [Cited by Donald R. Prothero, A Review Essay of The Creationists by Ronald L. Numbers]
Another Challenge For Young-Earth Creationism
When dealing with stellar matters itʼs not simply a question of “apparent age,” itʼs also a question of “apparent HISTORY IN THE MAKING.” We see galaxies turning that never really turned, pulsars pulsing that never really pulsed, rings of matter expanding that never really exploded in the first place, stars changing in brightness and frequency but such events are not really taking place, they never took place, not ever. Stars exploding, but no such explosions ever took place. Our galaxy (one of over 50 billion such galaxies) contains about a hundred billion stars and is about 100,000 light-years in width. If you are a young-earth creationist that means all the light beyond 6,000 light years distance is “created light,” which means that most of the light from stars in our galaxy is telling us about the changing histories of stars and other matter that is completely fabricated history, such history never took place, but we SEE IT TAKING PLACE as if it had. And thatʼs just for our galaxy, beyond our galaxy lay over 50 billion more galaxies, all far far beyond 6,000 light years away. And all that we see is fabricated history taking place before our eyes.
So why even create the rest of the cosmos, maybe nothing really exists beyond 6,000 light years around the earth but a projection screen and God is showing a movie of things that donʼt exist and never really happened, but we just see it happening.
Think about it, the young-earth cosmos only presents us with true history from 6,000 light years away, and even That history, at the outskirts of 6,000 light years away, only just NOW kicked in. But the cosmos is Billions Of Light Years Across, thatʼs a heck of a lot of false history unfolding before our eyes of things that never ever happened, but we See It Happening, Unfolding, Becoming, Passing Though Stages, None Of Which Ever Really Happened?
Supernova 1987A and a 6000 Year Old Universe
Numerous articles on a classic piece of astronomical observation that poses multiple insoluble problems for young-earth astronomy: Supernova 1987
Scroll down the above web page for info on SN 1987A
(The above webpage consists of an email thread from a discussion group at the American Scientific Affiliation website, a major national organization consisting of Christian men and women who are professional scientists, most of whom are old-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists, with some young-earthers. It is older than Henry Morrisʼ ICR and Morris actually quit the ASA to form the ICR after having some of his pet young-earth hypotheses questioned by scientists who were ASA members. )
See also this discussion of SN 1987a
Ed (Edward T. Babinski, editor of Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists)
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