Distant Starlight

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The fact that distant starlight can be seen on earth has always been a major problem for the young earth idea. Because the speed of light is finite, when you look at an object, what you are actually seeing is an image of that object from the past. On Earth, the delay caused by this phenomenon is incredibly minor — when you look at an object a mile away, you are seeing it as it was five microseconds ago. When you look at the sun, you are seeing it as it was 8.3 minutes ago.

But on the cosmic scale of things, this delay is far from minor. When astronomers look at the closest star to Earth (Alpha Centauri), which is roughly four light years away, they are seeing the star as it was four years ago. When astronomers look at objects in the region of space known as the "Hubble ultra deep field", they are seeing the stars there as they were over ten billion years ago.

Therein lies the problem for young-earthers; if the universe is only 6,000 years old, how can objects billions of light years away — and therefore billions of years old — be seen?(1)

(Main page: White Hole Cosmology)

Russell Humphreys, an American physicist and creationist author, proposed in 1994 that the Earth is located near the center of a finite and bounded universe and that the entire universe expanded out of a "white hole" (the reverse of a black hole). He invokes relativistic time dilation to explain how billions of years elapsed in the distant universe while only a few days or weeks passed on Earth. Light from distant galaxies billions of light years away reaches Earth for a relatively short history of less than 10,000 years. Humphreys also claimed that his model explains cosmological redshifts and the cosmic microwave background radiation23.

Humphreys' proposal grows out of the addition of three assumptions to Einstein's equations:45
1. The universe has expanded from a previously denser state
2. The universe is bounded in space
3. The earth is located at or near the center of the universe(6)

(Main page: John Harnett Cosmology)

John Hartnett has recently developed a new creationist cosmology which he claimed to be superior to Humphreys' "white hole cosmology". Hartnett's model incorporates a concept of "cosmological relativity" and a 5-dimension universe78. Similar to Humphreys, Hartnett invokes time dilation to solve the starlight problem. For details, please visit: http://creation.com/a-5d-spherically-symmetric-expanding-universe-is-young(9)

God made His creation in a mature state. Adam and Eve were not made as fertilized eggs, but as mature man and woman. Likewise, the rest of His Creation exhibited instant maturity, so that they fulfilled the purpose for their creation. For instance, Genesis 1:12 says that trees were made with seed-containing fruit on them. So also, man was made in a state that he would be capable of worshiping God, and working in His Creation.

Now with respect to the heavenly lights, Genesis 1:15 says, “let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and it was so.” So it looks here that God made the stars in a state where they would instantly fulfill their created function, e.g. with the light paths already created.

(Main page: C-Decay)

The concept of c-decay, the slowing of the speed of light, was first proposed by Barry Setterfield in 1981 in an article for the Australian creationist magazine, Ex Nihilo. He selected a number of historical measurements of c starting with the original measurement by Ole Rømer in 1667, and proceeding through a series of more recent experiments, culminating in "modern" measures in the 1960s. These showed a decreasing speed over time, which Setterfield claimed was in fact an exponential decay series that implied an infinite speed in the not distant past10. The claim was later expanded to cover an apparent similar decay of several other physical constants11. Setterfield argues that this resolves the so-called "starlight problem".

As Setterfield's original suggestion in Ex Nihilo notes, "If you propose that the universe and all in it is the product of an act of creation only 6-7000 years ago, many people ask - 'How is it that objects millions of light years away can be seen? Surely such light would take millions of years to reach us." If c is a constant, as is widely accepted, then this implies the universe is billions of years old because we can see objects billions of light years away. However, if the speed was significantly faster in the past, as Setterfield argues, then the light would have traveled most of this distance in a short time. Setterfield proposes this as an alternative to mainstream physical cosmology and, as such, c-decay represents a unique creationist cosmology12.(13)

Theoretical problems abound with the idea that the velocity of light might be changing with time. Einstein's famous theory of general relativity is the most serious challenge. To remind you, the theory is reproduced here: [E = mc2, where E = energy, m = mass, and c = velocity of light]

Although still called a "theory", Einstein's equation has survived the tests of nearly a century of observational confirmation. The equation above shows that any change in the velocity of light results in huge changes in either the amount of energy or mass in the universe. For example, a modest 2-fold decrease in the velocity of light would result in a 4-fold decrease in the amount of matter, or amount of energy in the universe. There is no evidence that any of these kind of changes are occurring in our universe.(14)


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