A Major Problem with the speed of light, Young Earth Creationism, and the appearance of age argument:
Seven Points about starlight in honor of the Seven Days of Genesis-
- It takes light 8 minutes to reach us from the sun. If we observe a solar flare we are actually looking at what was happening 8 minutes ago on the sun.
- The further away an object is from us the longer ago what we are observing occurred. Therefore when we look at Andromeda scientists tell us we are seeing what happened 2.5 million yrs. ago since it is that many light years away.
- According to Young Earth Creationism (YEC) this is impossible since the universe is only 6000 yrs. old. Therefore on Day 4 God must have created everything in the universe with multiple billions of different velocities for the speed of light depending on how far away the celestial object is from the earth so it could be visible to Adam when he was created on Day 6. Forgetting for a moment that all the physical constants of the universe are interconnected and finely tuned so that such an increased speed of light would have left the world a burned out radioactive wasteland incapable of supporting life…
- On Day 6 Adam looked at Andromeda and saw what was happening at that exact moment in real time on Andromeda with no time delay. Now for Andromeda (and all the other stars) to remain visible to man throughout his 6000 yr. history the light would have to remain CONSTANTLY accelerated to earth.
- So, even though we are seeing our own sun 8 minutes in the past, we must be seeing all the stars outside of the 6000 light year “Faith Bubble” as they are relative to earth RIGHT NOW with no time delay.
- Therefore the question is: what year are we really seeing when we look at Andromeda 2.5 million light years away? According to YEC, the light CANNOT be older than 6000 yrs. The only way we can see the stars then is if the light had been accelerated at Creation and since then has been stable at 186,282 miles per second. So somewhere between the light we received from Andromeda 6000 yrs. ago and the light leaving Andromeda 2.5 million light yrs away we have a major gap in light history on the order of 2,494,135 yrs. (and the same for all the multiple billions of stars relative to their distance from earth). Somewhere in this space we should have no light. Yet there are no gaps of light like this observed in the universe.
- So the YEC are proposing that there were as many billions of speeds of light as there are objects in the sky. For Adam to see Andromeda on Day 6 at 2.5 million light yrs. away the light had to be accelerated much faster than for Sagittarius at a mere 60,000 light yrs. away. The light from each star and galaxy had to be accelerated at a different rate in order for all of them to reach the earth at the same time. That alone would have thrown our entire universe into a chaotic mess. Each of nature’s laws are dependent on each other. Even secular scientists acknowledge that the all the physical constants of the universe are so finely tuned and work so closely together that if even one natural law changed the entire universal machine would result in chaos. The fact is that each law of nature depends on other laws of nature and are prerequisites for life. The law of gravitational force depends on the speed of light and the electromagnetic force. The proton mass and the electron mass and the nuclear force need to be consistent in order for the Universe to exist.
What Young Earth Creationists must do in order to explain their Creation model is twist the fundamental laws of creation into a presuppositional interpretation of Genesis 1 to achieve a 6000 yr. timeline for the universe. This sets up Scripture for ridicule and is becoming as much a stumbling block for evangelism as geocentrism was at the time of Copernicus and Galileo.
We should look to both of God’s Books for understanding. Both the Creator’s Word and His Work teach us truth and, rightly understood, they do not contradict one another. Religion tells us who created the universe and why; science tells us how and when with more specificity.
Let us follow the wise advice of how to connect science and Scripture of Blessed Augustine who in his Literal Interpretation of Genesis wrote:
“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]”