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Creation/Evolution
Creation and Evolution, Science, Darwin, Scientific Method, Natural Selection
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The Legend of the Shrinking Sun

By Dawn Huxley
Posted on: 4/5/2002

Henry Morris jumps on a flawed study and insists the Sun is shrinking, but there are a few things he seems to have forgotton.


In 1979, two astronomers examined solar meridian transit records recorded between 1836 to 1953 in various journals at the Royal Greenwich Observatory in England. At first glance, the records suggested that the Sun had decreased in diameter over several observational periods, but that study turned out to be flawed. Later, other astronomers discovered that our Sun pulsates with varying changes in “apparent” luminosity, but the mass of the solar diameter itself remains unchanged.

But true to form, the members of the Institute for Creation Research and Creation Research Society seized upon their original data and fabricated the outrageous claim that our Sun was shrinking at the rate of five feet per hour! Even worse, they “assumed” that this shrinkage had been occurring at a steady, invariable rate throughout all of recorded history. Creationist author Henry Morris claimed that if the Sun were a million years old, then it would have swallowed Earth’s orbit inside its bloated mass. (One critic said that’s like measuring the low tide mark at dusk, and then decreasing the ocean’s depth back in time by ignoring its rise and fall.)

They’ve published dozens of books and newsletters supporting this fallacy, while conveniently ignoring the fact that if our Sun had truly been shrinking at such a swift rate throughout history, then many total solar eclipses recorded over the past three thousand years couldn’t have taken place. The Sun would’ve been too big for the Moon to obscure, but creationists dismissed such objections as “nit-picking.” Years later, many were forced to admit that they rushed to premature judgments, although some of their publications still repeat the shrinking-Sun myth because it conveniently suits their strategy.


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