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Starlight and its appearance of age

By Alan Bouyssou
Posted on: 1/6/2003

All correspondence received by Skeptic Friends Network or its staff becomes the property of Skeptic Friends Network, and may be printed without the consent of the author.

A small plea for belief in God's big lies.


To:   Tommy Huxley
From: Alan Bouyssou
Date: September 21, 1999

Hello, I was just glancing at your site and wanted to make a few
comments.

God created everything else with age, why not the star light? Adam and
Eve were created as adults not infants, as were the animals. The trees
and plants weren't seeds, they were fully grown. When God said "Let
there be light," there was light, everywhere.

I don't care what anyone else believes, but it really makes me mad
that I was taught evolution in school, and that I have to hear about
it every time I turn on the TV or read a magazine.

I think it takes more faith to believe in evolution than creation.


To:   Alan Bouyssou
From: Tommy Huxley
Date: September 22, 1999
The biggest problem with the “appearance of age” hypothesis is that it invalidates all of the natural sciences. You could just as easily claim that God created the world yesterday and implanted false memories in all of us to create an “appearance” of individual life spans that never happened.

How could we “godless naturalists” prove you wrong? You could always respond that God can do anything He wants! How could we refute your ad hoc supernatural explanations that violate natural laws?

But let’s get back to your “starlight” proposal, where you suggested that God created starlight “in transit” between distant stars and us. That simple-sounding explanation has its own intractable problems.

In February 1987 for example, astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere discovered a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Since this star is 160,000 light years from earth, that means we can see what that star looked like when it exploded 160 thousand years ago.

But if the universe is only six thousand years old, yet we’re observing a supernova that’s 160,000 light-years away that didn’t “appear” until 1987, where and when in time and space did that explosion actually happen “in transit?”

It’s a paradox outside scientific resolution, but ideal for magical metaphysics where all tortured rationalizations are treated equally. You could even introduce angels and fairies into your theorems.

That’s the problem with “creation science.” Its scientific explanations take second place to scriptural interpretations, which themselves are disputed among competing theologians. Robert Pennock’s recent book Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism points out that creationists can’t present a united front even among themselves, and accuse each other of heresy over scriptural issues that are irrelevant to “science” to begin with.

And the “appearance of age” starlight dilemma becomes more difficult when young-Earth creationists try to explain the existence of late-blooming supernovas that are millions of light years away, and gamma ray bursts that take place billions of light years away.

You should seriously look at the inherent contradictions in your overly simplified religious solutions.

And on a separate issue, old-Earth creationists like Hugh Ross and Don Stoner have written books that hotly dispute the claim that Genesis 1 and 2 “say” that God created plants, animals, and humans fully mature. But that’s a religious argument I couldn’t care less about. I only brought it up to shatter your simplistic self-certainty.

It’s really too bad you didn’t grow up in the Bible Belt like I did. Then, you could have attended a high-school biology class that only discussed Gregor Mendel’s peas, with a brief lecture on dominant versus recessive traits. Since more serious evolutionary topics were considered taboo, I enjoyed a breezy class with lots of intellectual sterility.

Since it makes you angry when teachers mention the “E-word” in school, why don’t you move to Kansas? That State’s school board recently purged any mention of the “E-word!” Just think: your children would be protected!

And if you’re sick of hearing about evolution on TV or in magazines, then why don’t you subscribe to fundamentalist magazines and listen to Christian radio? Then, you’ll have the smug satisfaction of listening to like-minded evangelicals tell you that evolutionists like me are sexual deviants colluding with Satan.

That should satisfy your sense of moral superiority and self-righteousness!



To:   Tommy Huxley
From: Alan Bouyssou
Date: September 23, 1999

Tommy Huxley wrote:

But if the universe is only six thousand years old, yet we're observing a supernova that's 160,000 light-years away that didn't "appear" until 1987, where and when in time and space did that explosion actually happen "in transit?"
I think it happened at the Creation and God placed the light at a certain point in space so it would arrive when it did. When God made the stars, he said that they would be for signs and seasons.
You should seriously look at the inherent contradictions in your overly simplified religious solutions.
I agree, but you should do the same. There are just as many contradictions in the evolutionary theory.
And on a separate issue, old-Earth creationists like Hugh Ross and Don Stoner have written books that hotly dispute the claim that Genesis 1 and 2 "say" that God created plants, animals, and humans fully mature. But that's a religious argument I couldn't care less about. I only brought it up to shatter your simplistic self- certainty.
Well, I don't think they would have survived very long as infants, and they would surely need food. God said that the fruit trees and the green plants were for food. So they must have all been mature.
And if you're sick of hearing about evolution on TV or in magazines, then why don't you subscribe to fundamentalist magazines and listen to Christian radio? Then, you'll have the smug satisfaction of listening to like-minded evangelicals tell you that evolutionists like me are sexual deviants colluding with Satan.
I do listen to Christian radio, and I have nothing against anyone for what they believe or don't believe. I just want to know the truth, and evolution is not the truth. God said that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts. For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an Earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God: 2 Peter 3:3. You are fulfilling Bible prophecy.
That should satisfy your sense of moral superiority and self-righteousness!
I am just a humble servant of God. Thanks for replying.


To:   Alan Bouyssou
From: Dawn Huxley
Date: Unknown
In response to your latest comments:
I think it happened at the Creation and God placed the light at a certain point in space so it would arrive when it did. When God made the stars, he said that they would be for signs and seasons.
Again, you wrongly assume that your explanation solves all your “Biblical dilemmas” with a tidy, simplistic resolution. But you’ve overlooked three fatal flaws:

First, your solution relies entirely on “magic” without a single shred of physical evidence. Creation “science” must be desperate when it resorts to apologetics that say, “The universe isn’t that old, Silly. God made it look that way on purpose.”

But Alan, do you realize that over ninety-nine (99) percent of the entire visible universe is more than six thousand light years distant? Is God deliberately playing astronomers for fools? Where’s the empirical validation for your hypothesis?

Second, your rationalization isn’t Biblical to begin with! Can you cite one specific chapter and verse that says God created starlight “in transit” between their points of origin and the Earth? Your “religious” apologetics aren’t even Biblical! You must have overlooked the verse that warns not to “add to God’s words, or else He will rebuke you and prove you a liar!” (Proverbs 30:6)

Third, your solution proves your unfamiliarity with basic astronomy. Starlight does not travel through a clutter-free vacuum. Instead, it must penetrate through volumes of interstellar and intergalactic clouds of dust and gas that broaden its spectral lines in direct proportion to the distance it travels.

If God sent the light from stars and galaxies from a “fixed” point only 6,000 light years distant instead of their points of origin, the spectral absorption lines would be consistent with the broadening and reddening of those shorter distances.

Are you suggesting that God artificially doctored each star’s individual spectral emissions from more than 10 billion billion stars to invoke a nonexistent “history” of that starlight’s journey through space?

Earlier, you made a big deal out of God making Adam and Eve instantaneous adults. But on a similar note, did he create them with scars, liver spots, stretch marks, and belly buttons to attest to a nonexistent history as well?

Be careful, Alan. I don’t think God appreciates you alleging that he stoops to conjuring tricks.
You should seriously look at the inherent
contradictions in your overly simplified
religious solutions.
I agree, but you should do the same. There are just as many contradictions in the evolution theory.
Gee, that’s an original cliché. Your declarative statement is long on sermonizing and short on concrete specifics.
You are fulfilling Bible prophecy.
And you’re fulfilling the book of Proverbs:
A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinions. The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 18:2 and Proverbs 12:15
You closed with:
I am just a humble servant of God.
Likewise, I’m a humble servant for corroborative truth.


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