As Science Progresses Earth Remains Special

Scientists are now four months into the Kepler spacecraft mission and already they have labeled over 1200 planets for possible alien life forms with a surprise.  Due to selection effects of the transiting method which is based on  is based on the observation of a star’s small drop in brightness.

Now this occurs when the orbit of one of the star’s planets passes (‘transits’) in front of the star where the amount of light lost varies between 0.01% and 1%- depending on the sizes of the star and the planet; and the duration of the transit depends on the planet’s distance from the star and the star’s mass. Since the star’s mass and size  can be determined from spectroscopic observations, the planet’s size and distance can be determined.

Kepler has discovered systems with low inclinations. These have planets smaller than Neptune, because large gas giants can perturb the orbits of member planets into higher inclinations.  The Kepler team was surprised to find so many multiple-planet systems in their area: over one hundred, when only two or three were predicted to be there.

How do planets form? This topic has been going through major revolutions in the last ten years on how they supposedly evolved within its paradigm. Back in 2001, theories on planet formation began to fall apart especially with Jupiter-size planets.  A story that has been taught in public school textbooks known as the “planetesimal hypothesis” where dust accretes to build up a planet a grain at a time was deem too time consuming. It also predicts that Jupiter would have an iron core equal to 10 earth masses, but recent Galileo spacecraft data  indicate it is less than six earth masses – and there may be none at all.

Also, astronomer Alan Boss had proposed an alternative theory called “disk instability” in which the original gas cloud had lumps that condensed into the gas giants. But this mechanism doesn’t last long enough to form planets. And that’s not all, ever since secular astronomers have embraced the idea of the nebular hypothesis where disks of dust and gas will slowly condense into planets that have come into conflicting observational data with that idea.

This conflicting observational data has to do with the discovery of gas giants orbiting extremely close to their parent stars known as; “hot Jupiters” was shocking to astronomers because it indicated that planets migrate inward and will quickly be destroyed unless they can form much faster than the core accretion model would allow. In 2005, Nature publishes research with the problems of trying to explain how planets supposedly evolved…

“The binary orbital period of HD 188753 is just 25.7 years, and the orbital separation of the stars, both of Sun size, is a mere 12.3 AU – about the distance from the Sun to Saturn.  Konacki’s velocity measurements reveal that the primary star (the more massive star, denoted HD 188753A) has a planetary companion of a minimum of 1.14 Jupiter masses that orbits the star every 3.35 days at a distance of about 0.05 AU.  Yet according to the orbital migration theory, this planet should not exist.” 

“The secondary star is so close that its gravitational pull would have stripped away the protoplanetary disk of the primary star – where, even if it later migrated, the planet must have formed – reducing the disk to a radius of just 1.3 AU.  But within this radius, ices are unlikely to last and so cannot contribute to the formation of a massive core.  The alternative explanation – that the planet formed where it is – would challenge the standard picture, but runs into the problem of where the necessary solid material came from.”

Anomalies and constraints are good for science because they put the brakes on speculation which evolutionary planet formation, and Darwinism evolution thrives on in general. With all these problems in various planet formation stories, an upper limited was put on at ten million years or less to avoid the death spiral. But with more data coming in, this appears too long once again. The discovery of IC 348, a cluster of stars thought to be two or three million years old, shows that the dust is rapidly depleting in nine disks detected. In other words, you want to make a planet, you better hurry!

New Scientist makes an interesting observation concerning Kepler’s mission so far…

“Exoplanet systems around other stars are surprisingly flat compared with our own. The discovery means that the solar system must have had a far more colourful history than many of its counterparts and is forcing astronomers to rethink their ideas about the way planetary systems form.”

As science progresses, there have been no solutions or explanations found to problems that occurred with new discoveries in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2009, even with the latest Kepler Spacecraft observations. What does this say about their epistemic status? Perhaps they should reconsider their notions about planet formation and study what Johannes Kepler was so delighted with his discoveries that even with the progress of science today, the earth remains special in the universe!

Scientific Discoveries Disagrees With Evolutionary Explanations

In recent weeks, there has been quite a number of reports in many different areas in science which amplify the importance concerning the philosophy of science with  real-world examples.  Scientists help design very expensive but amazing tools for observation.  When these amazing tools observe things that defy evolutionary explanations, how far will scientists alter a theory to avoid these real-world falsifications?

Hubble has been one out of many amazing tools ever to be designed, recently scientists have tweaked it to look even farther into the universe where some claim like science daily will give more insights on how the universe supposedly evolved.

“The research is published Jan. 27, 2011, in the journal Nature. The dim object is a compact galaxy made of blue stars that existed only 480 million years after the Big Bang. It is tiny. Over one hundred such mini galaxies would be needed to make up our Milky Way.”

While it is quite an accomplishment with this thrilling discovery, their model did not predict finding just one.  Are they going to alter the big bang-theory so it doesn’t appear falsified? What does discovering one galaxy so close to what scientists consider the beginning, mean? On astronomer describes the significance, “This is an astonishing increase in such a short period, happening in just 1% of the age of the universe.”

Now the Big Bang theory tells us a story about earlier stars that were made of pure hydrogen which are called, Population III stars (that haven’t been observed)  before heavy elements had been cooked inside the first generation stars, because only hydrogen and helium atoms are supposed to have emerged from the particle soup of the big bang.

Will scientists and the public get to see the very first stars? In New Scientist which asks this probing question, gives an answer…”The earliest galaxies may be too distant and dim to see with JWST.” It’s almost like trying to calculate the age of a black hole where time stands still so it’s left up to one’s imagination. Perhaps this is a good thing for evolutionary theory considering that many predictions that have been falsified through real-world observations. As for creationism, we tend to go with the real-world observations as evidence.

Mars has been another interesting discovery. To the surprise of scientists, sand dunes on the surface of Mars can change very quickly. This presents an interesting problem for old age theorists who believe Mars is like 4.5 billion years old. THEMIS infrared camera used on Mars Odyssey orbiter which is another amazingly designed tool, has been studying the dust on Mars. Why isn’t Mars covered with a kilometer of dust which should have happened if Mars was billions of years old.

Real-time observations show the layer to be thin. This is when imagination comes into play. “Well, maybe throughout most of its history, Mars has had too thin an atmosphere to make dust or initiate saltation or wind abrasion,” Mars seems to have global dust storms that occasionally obscure the entire surface of the planet with dust as fine as talcum powder.  Calculations show that 100 meters of dust should blanket the planet in 4.5 billion years given current estimated dust creation rates.

To explain this anomaly to make things right again (altering unobserved evidence to fit the old-age theory), Christensen used his imagination by suggesting the atmosphere was cycling in and out, which actively produced dust only 2% of the time.  The story sounds great for a screenplay that entails science fiction, but not in the real-world. Always remember that evolutionary explanations are an entirely different enterprise than what is found in scientific discovery which evidence leads to the confirmation of God’s Word!

Newly Discovered Galaxies Surprise Scientists

Nothing makes sense in light of evolution. In 1995, Hubble revealed one of the most amazing sights in one of the deepest regions of space than was previously unknown to man. These galaxies are way too mature for big bang models that predict a chronological order of structure concerning different stages of galaxies development as one looks deeper into space. A new discovery has revealed even more mature galaxies found in very deep space.

These newly discovered galaxies are not only way too mature for the big bang theory, but also are very active says scientists quoted in science daily

“We have found a relatively large number of very massive, highly luminous galaxies that existed almost 12 billion years ago when the universe was still very young, about 1.5 billion years old. These results appear to disagree with the latest predictions from models of galaxy formation and evolution.”

“The newly identified galaxies were five to ten times more massive than our own Milky Way. They were among a sample studied at redshift 3≤z<4, when the universe was between 1.5 and 2 billion years old.”

Indeed, these mature galaxies being observed today are falsifying big bang models. This might make multi-universes more popular, but the big bang theory holds no creditable scientific value. Where is the light and where is the sense?  Could this mean a shift into more anti-realism by trying to explain this with multi-universes?  These are not the type of surprises that should be found for a theory that is believed to be correct.

Other observational problems have existed for awhile with the big bang such as “Population III”  which are supposed to be the first stars ever created but it has never been observed and secular scientists seek only to discover one to claim verification of the theory when they need to find several of  these types of stars to validate a prediction which comes from the big bang theory. Could scientists discover even more mature galaxies in very deep space? Yes, which would be awesome!

So we find no organized structure of development predicted by the big bang, we find massive galaxies that are way too mature, no “Population III” stars have been observed but many would be required to validate and detecting radiation that is too smooth. The theory is dead, the only ones who think  keeping it alive are going by blind faith. Observations are indicating a designed universe that is young, not billions of years old!

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!