Millions of Years and the Bible, Part 2b: A Scientific Defense of a Young Earth
In Part 2a of this essay, the very oft-touted 'evidence' of radiometric dating in defense of an old earth was discussed. The second major evidence is distant starlight. As we can see billions of lightyears out into space, secularists argue that the light should take billions of years to get here. There are two major theories that can explain this problem, however. Both are based on the Theory of Relativity.
The first was proposed by Dr. Russell Humphreys, and it is based on the premise that the earth is at the center of the universe (not an unreasonable assumption, considering God made man the glory of His creation). Being at the center, the earth is in a sort of time well in which time (for in Relativity, time is affected by gravity) travels slower here than in other parts of the universe. This means that light from far out in the universe could reach earth in 6,000 years because out there, time travels faster.
This is a very well-accepted theory, although there may be one small problem: the effects of such a time well may not be enough to account for the great distances.
There is, however, another theory, more recently proposed by Dr. Jason Lisle. It is called the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention, or ASC, and it is still being tested by observations and predictions.
ASC is based solely on the Theory of Relativity. In fact, it can be considered the Theory of Relativity as applied to the distant starlight problem. One of the things that Einstein discovered in his musings is this: we cannot know that amount of time it takes to make a one-way trip.
Let me state that another way: We have no idea how much time it takes for light to travel over any particular distance.
You can measure how long it takes light to make a round trip – say, how long it takes to travel away from you and then bounce back off a mirror – but you have no idea how long it takes to just travel from one spot to another.
Consider two clocks that can tell you the exact time they recorded when hit by a light beam. You synchronize these clocks, keep one with you and then place the other at the mirror to measure how long your flashlight’s beam takes to go from you to the mirror. But Einstein said that motion affects time; moving the clocks away from each other de-synchronizes them. So that doesn’t work.
But what if you were to position them, and then synchronize them? Well, you can’t do that without knowing the amount of time it takes light to travel the distance between them, because synchronizing them would require radio waves to send time messages between them. And radio waves are just invisible light waves, right? So, there is no way to measure the amount of time it takes light to make a one-way trip.
Here’s another interesting tidbit about light: Time does not pass when traveling at the speed of light.
If you were to get in a light-speed rocket ship (which is impossible, since nothing can actually travel at the speed of light), time wouldn’t pass at all, and you wouldn’t age. So as far as light is concerned, no time at all passes when it heads from one place to another.
Einstein took this into consideration and said that because we cannot know the amount of time it takes for light to make a one-way trip, it must not be a law of nature. It is simply conventional.
Light’s travel time, then, is as conventional as using the English or metric system in measuring something. If it takes a second to travel from your flashlight to a mirror and back to your eyes again, you can assume it took half a second to get there and half a second to get back.
Or you could assume it took no time to get there, and a second to get back.
According to Relativity, light from stars, no matter how far away they are, could reach the earth in no time at all.
That’s Einstein for you. And it also explains distant starlight with few difficulties. (It’s also a lot more mathematically and conceptually involved than this, but that would require a bit more space – and pictures.)
Distant starlight, then, is no problem for creationists. We have two competing models which can be tested with evidence and may or may not fulfill predictions. Some even suggest that they complement, and don’t compete with, each other. But actually, there is a starlight problem that the Big Bang theory deals with it, and its solution is not nearly as neat.
The Horizon Problem is found after recognizing the reasonable assumption that a random Big Bang explosion would leave random pockets of hot and cold areas. In other words, after the Big Bang, the universe ought not to be uniform in temperature; places would have wild variations in it.
But today, the universe is relatively uniform, and every corner averages out to a certain temperature. In order for the universe to reach such uniformity, then, hot and cold patches had to have exchanged heat until they equaled each other (kind of like a cup of hot coffee cooling down in a room to the outside temperature).
But considering the great distances in the universe, there is not nearly enough time in 13.7 billion years to account for the uniformity of temperature seen today. In fact, there would not be enough time in billions of years more than that. The solution to this problem is offered in the idea of inflation. That is, the particle exploding in the Big Bang slowed down and sped up at different points in its expansion, which of course only adds to the cause-and-effect problems already associated with the theory. So you see, the bias towards naturalism causes many scientists to reject creation models that have plenty of reasonable explanations while clinging to a theory that has problems of its own, and not so many good explanations.
Billions of years cannot explain the nature of the universe. And there is a lot more evidence to suggest the youth of earth and space. It includes fossils, comets, the ocean, the earth, and the moon.
In order to make a fossil, uniformitarians say that an animal dies, sinks to the bottom of the ocean (or maybe a bog) and is slowly covered by sediment, over millions of years. But when an animal dies in my backyard, it is eaten away by decomposers in a much shorter time period. And when fish die in the ocean, do they sink to the bottom? No! They float at the top and are eaten by the birds!
Furthermore, there is a lot of evidence that certain animals just had to have been captured by sediments quickly. A herd of jellyfish was found fossilized in the northern (and a landlocked place in) United States. Fish have been found fossilized in the process of swallowing another fish, and there is one Ichthyosaur (a type of marine reptile) that was fossilized while giving birth.
Clams are often found closed tight in the fossil record, but when a clam dies, it will usually spring open so that anyone can come along and eat the insides. When these fossil clams died, something had to be threatening it – and it had to be fossilized before that opening began.
We’ve all seen those dinosaur fossil pictures with the neck thrown back awkwardly. Did all the dinosaurs die of broken necks? Studies on modern animals show that some creatures’ necks will contort back in this manner when their dead body is soaked in salt water.
In addition, marine animals take up more than 95% of the fossil record, and that includes in the deserts and on top of the highest mountains. How did they get there?
It is obvious that the fossil record is a record of something global, catastrophic, and watery. How could jellyfish – which dry up on the beach within an hour – be found fossilized if they had not been buried quickly by lots of sediment? How could fish eating and giving birth be found fossilized when that is supposed to be a slow and gradual process? The uniformitarian assumptions simply cannot explain many aspects of the fossil record, but the Great Flood, which occurred around 4,700 years ago, can.
Then there are comets. Every so often they pass by the sun, and, being made of dirt and ice, lose a bit of their substance in so doing. Although a so-called Oort Cloud is supposed to help fix this by refurnishing the ice, no evidence for it has ever been found. After only 100,000 years, all the comets would be gone.
The third evidence I mentioned had to do with the oceans. Rivers leading to the ocean deposit sediment – including salt – every year, and as far as we know, there are no exit mechanisms. The oceans have been getting saltier, and supposing that they were originally salt-free, and that the salt intake rate has always been constant, the upper limit for the age of the oceans (and more and more evolutionists are finding the earth started out with just an ocean) is 67 million years. Of course, realizing that the oceans began salty and that a certain Great Flood would have deposited lots of it in there, that time frame can be explained easily within a Biblical one.
Then there is the earth’s magnetic field, which protects us from the sun’s most harmful rays. But it has been decaying steadily ever since we started measuring its potency. Uniformitarians use something called the Dynamo Theory in which the earth’s magnetic field slowly strengthens and weakens over millions of years, and today, we just happen to be in a weakening time. But creationists realize that the magnetic field has been decaying ever since the fall, and likely took a great drop during the Flood. When creationist and uniformitarian models were used to predict the magnetic field strengths of the other planets as we began exploring our Solar System, the creationist models predicted their strengths – and their similar decaying nature – very accurately, while uniformitarian models were very off. And again, a decaying magnetic field limits the age of the earth to be far under 4.5 billion years.
Finally, there is the moon. It is spiraling away from us at a slow, but constant, rate. Extrapolate that rate backwards and in just 2 billion years, the earth and moon would actually be in contact. Since uniformitarians believe that the moon started out 4.5 billion years ago along with the earth, they must assume that it started out at a very different rate than today (against their own constant, uniformitarian rates, of course) and at a closer distance. But rocks at the seashore show tidal patterns over the years, and they show that no matter how far back you push earth’s history, they have never really differed in their strengths (a closer moon, after all, would result in very different tides). But in the last 6,000 years, the moon has only receded a couple meters, which is not nearly enough to affect the tides very much at all.
There is a lot more evidence that the earth can only be young, just like the Bible says. Contrary to popular belief, the earth’s being 4.5 billion years old and the universe’s 13.7 billion year old age are not known facts, but are actually very scientifically disputable. Scripture says the earth is 6,000 years old, and creation confirms this.