Question: If light from the closest star takes 4.3 light years to reach earth, how could the light from that star—or any other—be visible from earth on the first day of creation?
The Question. The question assumes that the speed of light (186,000 miles per second) is, and always has been, a constant. There is no proof of this assumption. Rather, it is based upon Einstein’s theory of relativity (which describes the physics of the universe as it is now) and the observation that the speed of light seems to be a constant now. Yet even that theory is under question by some physicists.
To be fair, creation of the universe according to the Genesis model is also a theory, and it is based upon the assumption that God exists and His revealed Word is true. These, then, are our two options:
1) Assumption of a universal constant based on human observation; 2) Assumption of spontaneous creation based upon God’s revelation.
Creation. Genesis 1 teaches that sun, moon and stars were created on day four of a six-day creation model, after the earth was already formed. In fact, Genesis portrays the universe as expanding outward from the relative position of earth in space. Most current astronomical theories hold that there is no central starting place for the universe.[i]
According to Genesis, God created light itself and poured it upon the earth on day one, prior to the creation of the sun, moon and stars (Gen. 1:3). This light was clearly streaming from a stationary point upon a rotating earth since the light established the pattern of day and night. God did not need to create generators of light out of matter in order to create light itself (see Rev. 22:5).
On day four of creation God created the sun, moon and stars for a specific purpose. They are to:
Gen. 1:14-15 …serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years…
God created the stars by His command (Gen. 1:14) and “set them in the expanse of the sky to give light to the earth” (Gen. 1:17). From the vantage point of the earth, God both created and placed the stars (including galaxies, etc.) in one nearly simultaneous action so that their light would be immediately visible from earth. The stars were sent in motion to their appointed places in space at virtually instantaneous speeds, way beyond the speed of light. What remains visible from earth is the light trail left behind. By way of analogy, think of the “light trail” your eye perceives when you wave a light around in the dark, or picture the starship Enterprise as it streaks into warp speed.
This magnificent universe is a fantastic testimony to the existence of God, the Creator of all that is.
Rom. 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
[i] “The Big Bang—as far as we understand it—was not an explosion like that at all. It was an explosion of space, not an explosion in space. According to the standard models there was no space and time before the Big Bang. There was not even a "before" to speak of. So, the Big Bang was very different from any explosion we are accustomed to and it does not need to have a central point.” — Original by Philip Gibbs 1997.
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