Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

This image provided by the Space Telescope Science Institute, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a hot, star-popping galaxy that is far, far away, farther than any previously detected, from a time when the universe was a mere toddler of about 400 million years old. (Space Telescope Science Institute via AP)

Question: How does the recent discovery of a galaxy 13.4 billion light years away—close in time to the Big Bang approximately 14 billion years ago—fit the biblical creation model of a universe only thousands of years old?

The question that really needs to be asked is ‘How is this galaxy’s distance in space and time measured?’

Astronomers use a phenomenon called “redshift” to determine the age of distant stars, quasars and galaxies. Redshift describes how light that shows up white-hot at its source can appear to shift toward the cooler red hues of the light spectrum as it travels over distance. You can see this phenomenon in your own fireplace. The hottest temperature of the flame is in the white-blue color range at the center, while the outer edges of the flame shift to yellow and red. That’s “redshift.”

When astronomers apply redshift to the vast distances in space, they assume that the shift represents a universe that has been expanding away from the hot-zone of the Big Bang for billions of years. The cooler the redshift, the farther away from the Big Bang. While the Bible does not support a Big Bang billions of years ago, it does teach an expanding universe:
         Is. 40:22b  He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

In addition, the Scripture teaches that all the heavenly bodies were created simultaneously on day four and sent out into space from the relative position of earth (Gen. 1:16-17). If this is true, then the evidence should support it.

According to a 2010 study of over 900 quasars, estimating quasar age and distance by their redshift often proved inconsistent with their actual known distance in light years:
         “Even though the distant quasars were more strongly redshifted than the closer quasars, there was no difference in the time it took the light to reach Earth. This quasar conundrum doesn't seem to have an obvious explanation.”[1] (Emphasis mine)

Therefore, “Redshift” cannot be used as an accurate tool for determining the age of the universe. This newly discovered galaxy may indeed be far, far away—even 13.4 billion light years away—but that does not say anything about the age of the universe. When God instantaneously “stretched” out the matter and energy of the universe to their present position relative to the earth it caused light and radio waves to dramatically speed up across space.  That sped up process makes it possible for us to see objects in space billions of light ears away. That same process also distorts the effect of redshift, making it an inaccurate tool for measuring the time it takes for light to travel cosmic distances.
         Ps. 8:1  LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.

[1] Quasars Quash Big Bang Assumptions, Brian Thomas, M.S., ICR, April 29, 2010., quoting  Zyga, L. Discovery that quasars don't show time dilation mystifies astronomers. PhysOrg. Posted on physorg.com April 9, 2010, reporting on research published in Hawkins, M. R. S. On time dilation in quasar light curves. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Published online in advance of print April 9, 2010.

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