Distant Star Light in a “Young” Universe

“He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.”

[Psalm 147:4-5]
NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope picture of the Sombrero galaxy, Messier 104 (M104). The galaxy is 50,000 light-years across and is located 30 million light-years from Earth.

Our Creator God is the God of history. Historical accuracy matters to God. Using the basic genealogical records provided in the Bible and extrapolating time back to the creation week in Genesis 1-2, one can easily deduce that God created the heavens and earth and everything in them about 6,000 years ago. Noah’s flood occurred around 4,400 years ago, and Abraham was born approximately 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. To take God at His word, one must accept that God was specific in providing a reliable account of creation and the historical record of the world.

Of course, there have been competing views throughout the centuries. For example, many of the ancient Greek philosophers proposed that the universe was eternal. This view once was widely accepted by the majority of Darwinian evolutionists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An eternal universe provided plenty of necessary time for both cosmic and biologic evolution to take place. But a brilliant Jewish scientist by the name of Einstein changed all of that with his theory of general relativity, which mathematically established that the universe was not eternal after all. The universe had a beginning — a point of origination.

Once the theory of relativity put a limit on the age of universe, the evolutionists had to scramble to come up with a new hypothesis to explain the origin of the universe . Enter Big Bang cosmology. The more evident it became that naturalistic evolution was not viable without enormous amounts of time, the older the universe would get. Although the proposed age of the universe has repeatedly been changed to fit the evolutionary model, right now they are sitting on 13.8 billion years.

That’s quite a difference! Biblical cosmology says that the universe is about 6,000 years old. Secular cosmology says 13.8 billion years. Which view should be trusted?

Distant Starlight

On the surface, one of the largest stumbling blocks for Biblical creationists is the “distant starlight” problem. Secular physicists and mathematicians scoff at the notion that the universe could only be about 6,000 years old. Using modern measuring methods, it has been scientifically established that there are countless stars and galaxies billions of light years removed from earth. If we can see light from distant galaxies billions of light years away, then it only stands to reason that it has taken billions of years for that light to transverse space and reach our planet. The distant starlight argument goes like this.

  1. We can observe light from stars and galaxies billions of light years away from earth.
  2. It has taken that light billions of years to travel from those stars through space and reach our planet.
  3. Therefore, the universe must be billions of years old.

Problems with Presuppositions

The logic of the distant starlight argument seems sound, but hidden within that argument are several presuppositions that must be taken into account.

  1. A Light year is a unit of distance, not time. Light years are used to measure distance in space by using the two-way speed of light.
  2. No one knows the one-way speed of light, therefore it is a convention.
  3. All mathematical calculations that measure the distance of the stars use the two-way speed of light, which is not scientifically viable when measuring distant stars and galaxies.
  4. It is widely assumed that the speed of light has always been constant, but more evidence is emerging that the speed of light is slowing down and could have been traveling must faster in the past.
  5. Although our universe operates today under many physical and mathematical laws and constants, the creation itself was a supernatural act of God and therefore most likely transcended the physical laws of the universe.

Stretching out the Heavens

One fascinating theory that addresses the distant starlight problem has been proposed by astrophysicist Dr. Russell Humphries. Dr. Humphries is a Bible-believing Christian who also is a brilliant physicists and operational mathematician. He believes that as the LORD created the stars on day four of creation week, He stretched out the heavens — the very fabric of space — which dispersed the stars throughout the far reaches of the universe in just a matter of seconds. The Bible refers to God stretching out the heavens at least 17 times.

“It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.”

[Jeremiah 51:15]

“It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in.”

[Isaiah 40:22]

“I made the earth
and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host.”

[Isaiah 45:12]

“Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
covering yourself with light as with a garment,
stretching out the heavens like a tent.”

[Psalm 104:1-2]

To read a more in depth explanation of Dr. Humphries theory, click here. https://www.icr.org/article/new-creationist-cosmology-no-time-at/

One Way Speed of Light

Another brilliant creation scientists is Dr. Jason Lisle, who also has proposed a solution to the apparent distant starlight problem. Dr. Lisle’s hypothesis involves the one-way speed of light. For those who are interested in the details of his argument, you can read here. https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/starlight/distant-starlight-thesis/

“He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.”

[Daniel 2:22]

““Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?”

[Job 38:19-20]

The reason it is important to address these apparent contradictions between “science” and the Bible is so that we can give a reasonable defense to a secular world that upholds the scientific community as the voice of authority in our culture. Fallible men are limited in knowledge, will always make mistakes, and are blinded by their own sinful biases. God, on the other hand, has infinite knowledge, is perfect in all His ways, and is the only objective standard of truth.

Believers need to realize that there are viable, logical explanations to the scientific objections of Biblical creation. The conflict is not in the science itself. The conflict is in the worldview behind the science and the interpretation of the science.

Furthermore, we must realize that there is an inextricable connection between Big Bang cosmology, billions of years, evolution and one of the fastest growing religions in our culture — the belief in Ancient Aliens and the UFO phenomena.

Stay tuned til next time, as I plan to address this modern extraterrestrial obsession.

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