Skepticism On The Age Of The Universe

Uncommon Descent had recently posted a lengthy critique on YEC’s (Young Earth Creationists) stance on the age of the universe and then the earth which wasn’t exactly pretty or flattering…vjtorley writes…

“As I was reading the article, however, I was struck by an intriguing thought. Obviously, if you’re going to argue for young-earth creationism, you’ll have to invoke some pretty “far-out” models in the fields of astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology and geology, in order to explain how the world came to look the way it does today, even though it was created only 6,000 years ago. Certainly, you’re not going to advocate uniformitarianism.”

There are important aspects that vjtorley from UC overlooks when he critiques YECs on the age of the Universe and the big band theory which he most likely believes that intelligent agents were behind it.  If one is going to “advocate uniformitarianism” in trying to find evidence on how old the universe is, it’s going to create some problems. Better data has shown that background radiation temperature is almost uniform, to one part in 100,000, at about 2.725 K even when one looks in the opposite direction. The big bang theory predicts enormous different temperatures. In order for the temperature to even out as it appears now would require more time than the evolutionary time frame would allow which is what modern intelligent design proponents go by.

So the big bang theory which assumes billions of years, has a light-travel–time problem of its own, even New Scientist, a proponent for evolution, makes a realistic observation…

“Our universe appears to be unfathomably uniform. Look across space from one edge of the visible universe to the other, and you’ll see that the microwave background radiation filling the cosmos is at the same temperature everywhere. That may not seem surprising until you consider that the two edges are nearly 28 billion light years apart and our universe is only 14 billion years old.”

“Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, so there is no way heat radiation could have travelled between the two horizons to even out the hot and cold spots created in the big bang and leave the thermal equilibrium we see now.”


Wouldn’t you say, one would have to invoke pretty “far-out” models in the fields of astronomy, and physics in order to explain the unified temperature in the universe?  In order to speed things up, cosmologists came up with the idea of  “inflation” which has it’s own observational problems.  Some others who support the big bang have come up with another explanation which says, the speed of light was much faster in the past than it is now. This was actually proposed by creation scientists years before.

In fact, creationist cosmology has been exploring two major proposals, one has to do with astronomical observations and Einstein’s General Relativity equations. You can read, Starlight, Time and the New Physics by John Hartnett for more information about it. Below is one of his lectures on the big bang theory and it’s quite interesting.

The second proposal which was critiqued in UD, was developed by Dr. Russell Humphreys. His model is also based on general relativity, and explains things like, time dilation, and recent observations showing that suggests we live in a galacto-centric universe. More information is found in his book, Starlight and Time.

vjtorley rests his faith in uniformitarianism in other areas of science and certain dating methods as well, like geology but even there has it’s problems even with the fossil record, abrupt appearances of complex animals with no intermediates before or after. Since many in the modern intelligent design movement advocate, common descent, this is a problem for them as well. And even if you believe those things like vjtorley does, what law of nature dictates how fast it can operate (like forming complex variants) and for how long? If he believes in intelligent agents, don’t you think the information comes by a lot quicker than choosing random mutations?

Estimated age of this comet, 700 years old.

The age is not limited to starlight, comets are often assumed to be billions of years old by those who believe in the evolutionary framework on age, until lately, when comets like Hartley 2 which was observed only 507 miles alway. Scientists calculated lost of material, and estimated that the comet will last no longer than 700 years. Rapid loss of material is common with comets.

So with this better data, not even evolutionary scientists could fit this one into it’s billions of years time frame. So an Oort Cloud was invented to explain why comets like Harley 2 are only hundreds, perhaps thousands of years old. However, this tends to be one of those “far-out” models because there is no observational data to confirm an Oort Cloud even exists let alone being able to create new comets as older ones burn out.

Understanding how starlight works and the age of the universe is an interesting topic, creationists nor evolution or intelligent design proponents know all the answers, it’s a learning process. But one thing is for certain, evidence does point to a young universe which has been and will continue to be addressed!

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Skepticism On The Age Of The Universe

  1. Oh dear, another rambling post, with the usual “evoutionists” who seem to work on cosmology as well.

    Obviously the universe is measured to be 13.75 billion years old (WMAP 7 year data), this is not assumed, as you seem to think.

    “…and recent observations showing that suggests we live in a galacto-centric universe.”

    I’ve looked at that, and he is actually using VERY OLD observations to make that point (long since refuted).

    A lot of old creationist stuff in here, no point to refute that again.

    Where is the new stuff, Michael ?

  2. Michael: “The big bang theory predicts enormous different temperatures.”

    You really have no idea what you are talking about … where did you get this silly idea from ?

  3. John Christopher Sunol,

    The earth is only 6,000 years old because written history matches that? — Written history began 5000 years ago! The flood occured 4,400 years ago, that is, 600 years after. Hmmm, if anything, written history actually disproves the global flood, if you want to go by your own reasoning….That is. unless the flood were confind to the mesopotamian region.

    And even if you were right that the earth is only 6,000 years, that would not mean that evolution doesn’t work. Some evolution works really fast (for example, the HIV virus evolves extrememly fast.) The processes for Evolution would still be workable even if the earth were only 6,000 years old.

  4. The above video is NOT intended to be sacreligious.
    It is simply an what Creationists have been known to do to the Bible.

  5. John Christopher Sunol said: “The earth is only 6,000 years of age as that is all recorded history matches with.”

    No, John. The earth is only 72 years of age. That is how old I am, and nothing could have happened before I was here to see it. QED.

  6. New Scientist: “Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, so there is no way heat radiation could have traveled between the two horizons to even out the hot and cold spots created in the big bang and leave the thermal equilibrium we see now.”

    It’s quiz time again, Michael. The problem is that if you have no understanding of the theory you try to attack, then your attack will look stupid, and people will laugh at you.

    So here is the question: If, as New Scientist says, nothing can travel faster than light, then how could inflation have expanded the universe faster than the speed of light? That is, why is inflation a solution to the uniformity problem, rather than an obvious contradiction with relativity?

    I thought not. . . . . . .

  7. Michael: “This was actually proposed by creation scientists years before…. In fact, creationist cosmology has been exploring two major proposals, ….”

    Creationism has explored several proposals, none of them major.[0] Including one Michael seems to have missed, because he doesn’t even read the creationist journals. Makes us wonder about his qualifications in creationism as well as in science.

    Russell Humphreys’ proposal is the older of the two Michael mentions. In fact, it is old enough that even creationists have labeled it as false.[1] Humphreys posits (without any evidence) a humongous time dilation that aged the stars billions of years in a few Earth days. What Humphreys neglects entirely is that such a dilation would require two other effects: (a) a gravitational force upon the Earth large enough to crush it into a mini black hole several times over; and (b) a repulsive gravity in the rest of the universe strong enough that no matter could ever condense into stars. So much for Humphreys.

    John Hartnett’s Starlight, Time & the New Physics is at bottom a recent (2007) refurbishing of Humphreys, with some irrelevant bling supplied by Halton Arp.[2] Like Humphreys, Hartnett requires that the Earth be fixed at the center of the universe. He posits that on Day Four—and only then—Earth clocks ran 10^11 times slower than clocks in the rest of the universe. Of course, he proposes.no mechanism whatever for this effect; pure magic. Unfortunately again, Hartnett’s model predicts that the redshifts of distant galaxies should change thousands or even millions of times more rapidly than any that have ever been observed.

    Jason Lisle, the theory that Michael missed, proposes an entirely different solution. Lisle discards Einstein’s simultaneity convention in favor of another one, “anisotropic synchrony.” He claims that Einstein himself considered this one, which (simplistically) spreads simultaneous events throughout the bottom half of the light cone .In this way, almost everything in the past become simultaneous with everything else. Voila! 6,000 years in the past is as 14 billion years.. So far, so good, right? The problem is that this assumption requires that the speed of light vary according to its direction.[3] More specifically, the speed of light toward the Earth is almost infinite, while the speed away therefrom crawls on tiny cat feet.[4] This theory also, therefore, requires the Earth to be smack dab at the center of the universe.

    .

    It is worth noting that all creationist jousts at the starlight problem violate the Copernican Principle. Perhaps, subconsciously, they still regret giving up on the geocentric theory that provided scientists with so much amusement in the first half of the 20th century..

    ===================

    [0] I neglect entirely here the theory that starlight was created already in transit. Apparently this baldfaced appeal to miracle chokes up even most creationists.

    [1] Bible Science News, Sept. 1995: Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1997 Didn’t take long, since Humphreys’ book was published in 1994.

    [2] Arp is still around, but his theory that red-shifted quasars are actually distorted nearby objects is not. Unfortunately for him, data from the past decade of Hubble have confirmed their great age, and failed to find any anomalies in their spectra that would indicate that they are not in face older than dirt.(Question for Eelco: How did Arp ever persuade the Burbidges to sign on to his theory? )

    [3] Altho out and back must average to a round-trip speed that is constant, as relativity requires.

    [4] This is why Einstein rejected it. And everyone else who didn’t need it to prove a cockamamie cosmology.

  8. Olorin: “[2] Arp is still around, but his theory that red-shifted quasars are actually distorted nearby objects is not. Unfortunately for him, data from the past decade of Hubble have confirmed their great age, and failed to find any anomalies in their spectra that would indicate that they are not in face older than dirt.(Question for Eelco: How did Arp ever persuade the Burbidges to sign on to his theory? )”

    Yep, Arp is still around (in the building just across the road from me, in fact), so I could ask him what he did to the Burbidges … but he will probably just say that he is right and everybody else isn’t …
    Both Arp and the Burbidges are excellent observational astronomers, though, so most people just ignored their theories but did make use of the observations they did (although most have been superseded by now !).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s