Are Stars Older than the Earth?

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Dec 30, 2001.

  1. Administrator2

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    Several of the original posts have been condensed here to include the facts the authors wished to present without their repeated quoting of others.


    BWSMITH
    There has been much talk about the age of the universe and the age of terrestrial life. Let's go halfway at a point where the scientific model and the supposed "Biblical history" are in direct chronological conflict.

    1) What is the age of the earth (and how do you know that)?
    2) Are any stars older than the earth (and how do you know that)?


    PASTOR LARRY

    1) What is the age of the earth (and how do you know that)?

    No one really knows. The evolutionists suppose about 4.5 billion years at last count but the number keeps getting bigger. It seems that if they knew they wouldn't keep changing. Their continuous change (where each modern year seems to add several million to the earth) indicates the conjectural nature of their work. Most creationists say around 8-12 thousand years but could go a little higher. Much less does not seem to work.


    2) Are any stars older than the earth (and how do you know that)?

    There do not appear to be any stars older than the earth. You know this from Gen 1 where the earth and dry ground were created on the second day and the luminaries on the fourth day. Again, this is not real difficult. What you fail to understand is the conjectural nature of evolution on these points.


    THE BARBARIAN

    There do not appear to be any stars older than the earth.

    The closest one certainly is. The Earth formed in its accretion disk. And distant ones are billions of years older.
    How do we know? Because they are billions of light years away, some of them.
    Some have countered this by supposing that God created light on the way to the Earth so as to make the appearance of age. It's hard to see why. Further, we have see supernovae many millions of light years off, exploding out of existance. In this case, that would mean God is showing us a perfectly-executed fake of a start that never existed. To imagine that God engages in dishonesties of that sort is more than I can accept.

    One recent attempt was the suggesting that the speed of light was much greater in the past. But that won't work, either. The speed of light determines how atoms go together. If the speed had been significantly different, there would be no atoms other than hydrogen.


    You know this from Gen 1 where the earth and dry ground were created on the second day and the luminaries on the fourth day. Again, this is not real difficult. What you fail to understand is the conjectural nature of evolution on these points.

    Evolutionary theory has nothing to say about such things. It is merely about the way living things evolve. Physics, and astronomy have a lot to say about it, though.


    PASTOR LARRY

    The Earth formed in its accretion disk.

    Conjecture based on a naturalistic presupposition.
    As for the “appearance of age” argument, you say that it is hard to see why. It is actually not hard at all. It is hard to see why not. It is obvious that God created a mature universe. He created trees not seeds, animals not eggs/larvae/etc., full grown humans not adults. Why would we suppose the stars to be any different?


    In this case, that would mean God is showing us a perfectly-executed fake of a start that never existed.

    Only if you accept the flawed presuppositions that are necessary to even posit such a start. You must presuppose that the conditions observed sprang from the start you presuppose. The evidence does not indicate that apart from the presupposition.


    To imagine that God engages in dishonesties of that sort is more than I can accept.

    Why is this “dishonesty” (which I will shortly challenge) more troubling than the dishonesty that states a literal six-day creation? God said and verified in several places that he created the world in six days. You would have him be dishonest in Scripture which, only with great difficulty, can be interpreted otherwise. The universe, which you are claiming as authoritative, can be readily interpreted otherwise and has been for years even by those who agree with you against God. The universe says nothing apart from presuppositions with which it is interpreted.

    As for the dishonesty of “appearance of age,” it is only dishonest if God said he did it differently. God openly declares creating with the appearance of age. Therefore, we should expect to see an appearance of age. It would be a problem if we did not see an appearance of age. Only a mind blind to basic reasoning and theology could claim dishonesty in an appearance of age. This has been addressed in many places.

    One recent attempt was the suggesting that the speed of light was much greater in the past. But that won't work, either. The speed of light determines how atoms go together. If the speed had been significantly different, there would be no atoms other than hydrogen.

    It is secular science that made such a suggestion. I do not believe that idea came from creation science.


    JOHN WELLS

    The Barbarian said, "And distant ones are billions of years older. How do we know? Because they are billions of light years away, some of them."

    This is what God the LORD says-- he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: (Isa 42:5 NIV)

    I don't subscribe to the "Big Bang" per se, but in like fashion God created all the matter in the universe in the middle and stretched it out just right. Things drawn out billions of light years in distance still shown light in the middle before being stretched out. Works for me!


    HANKD

    To imagine that God engages in dishonesties of that sort is more than I can accept.

    For thousands of years man believed what he saw with his eyes: The sun rose and then set after circling the earth.
    Did God deceive us just because we didn't understand that the earth rotates on its axis and the sun only gives the APPEARANCE of circling the earth?

    How are we to understand the creation who are subject and in bondage to it?
    We cant and if fact we never will.

    KJV Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

    Part of the beauty of Our Father's creation is its mystery.


    THE BARBARIAN

    The evidence tells us that the earth goes around the sun. This was first pointed out by Aristarchus, long before Christ. If God had made the sun go around the Earth, but made the motions of the planets somehow so that the sun went around the Earth, this would indeed be a dishonesty on His part.


    Did God deceive us just because we didn't understand that the earth rotates on its axis and the sun only gives the APPEARANCE of circling the earth?

    Stars APPEAR to be tiny dots of light. But when one collects more evidence, it turns out that this is wrong. God would be guilty of a deception if He provided evidence that contradicted reality.
    For this reason, it is impossible for me to believe that He did so. I can believe the stars are billions of light years away, and that the universe is billions of years old, or I can believe God is not honest.
    There are no alternatives.


    How are we to understand the creation who are subject and in bondage to it?
    We cant and if fact we never will.


    God gave us minds and abilities and told us to go out and subdue creation. When we refuse to do so, we are opposing what He wants for us. In fact, we are learning more and more about His creation, and this is a good thing. "Know the truth" He says. About Him, and His works.


    Part of the beauty of Our Father's creation is its mystery.

    One gains a better appreciation for God and His works, as one learns more about them. Ignorance is the enemy, not our ally.

    The Big Bang is simply the realization of the creative act in Genesis. "Let there be light". And now, we finally discover that at the beginning that's all there was. But none of this would support a young universe.


    Things drawn out billions of light years in distance still shown light in the middle before being stretched out.

    That would still require that God send us perfect simulations of stars that never existed. That is a great dishonesty. I can't accept that God would do it.


    --Barbarian, Earlier: The Earth formed in its accretion disk.
    ------Conjecture based on a naturalistic presupposition.


    Nope. Evidence. We can see it happening now, in nearby stars. Newton's laws let us do simulations that show most accretion disks will form planets roughly like ours.
    We know that a forming star would have a disk, since conservation of angular momentum would produce a spin, and the matter would spread out along the equator of the spinning mass like tossed pizza dough. Conjecture is unneeded.


    As for the “appearance of age” argument, you say that it is hard to see why. It is actually not hard at all. It is hard to see why not. It is obvious that God created a mature universe.

    No, the evidence does not support that. We can see the light from very distant galaxies, which is essentially seeing back into the past. And the universe was different then.


    He created trees not seeds, animals not eggs/larvae/etc., full grown humans not adults. Why would we suppose the stars to be any different?

    This isn't what happened. It makes no sense to do it this way, and the evidence is compelling that all living things evolved from others.

    We know how light travels. We know that if the speed of light were much different, matter as we know it would not form. There is no way to reconcile what the astronomers see with a young universe.


    You must presuppose that the conditions observed sprang from the start you presuppose. The evidence does not indicate that apart from the presupposition.

    If so, the theory would never have formed, since it is based on evidence, not presupposition. From Erastosthenes onward, scientists have been learning about the universe based on the evidence.
    The presupposition is supposing that an allegory in Genesis is literal fact. There is no evidence for that. If God presented Genesis as a literal representation of origins, it would be a dishonesty. But He does not.
    Remember, the Bible is filled with examples of figurative language. And the two creation stories in Genesis are two of them. Most Christians note that the allegory in Genesis does not contradict reality.


    The universe, which you are claiming as authoritative, can be readily interpreted otherwise and has been for years even by those who agree with you against God.

    I never argue with God. His creation is clearly what it is. Reality is authoritative, but so is Scripture. We find no conflict there.
    It remains that what we know about the universe is gained from evidence, and the evidence does not support a literal Genesis.
    But Genesis doesn't support a literal Genesis, either.


    It is secular science that made such a suggestion [that the speed of light was faster in the past].

    Nope. The Creationist Barry Setterfield did that.


    from Pastor Larry: I was referring to the non-supernatural worldview in general that is conjectural.

    The "nonsupernatural" approaches may or may not be conjectural. Science, depending on the evidence, is not conjectural.


    BWSMITH

    Wells has openly taken the position that God tells lies in nature, and we should deny what we see in nature and trust only Gen 1-11 as the true source of truth.

    Even if the speed of light were different, the stars would still be older than the earth.


    PASTOR LARRY

    There is so much being said here and it is turning into one-liners with no support. Let’s start with the “appearance of age.”

    That God created a mature universe is not really debatable from Scripture. Scripture is clear that the universe was mature when God created it. You may disagree with the text but Scripture clearly says that it was mature when God created it. It is only outside of Scripture that such an idea comes from. And only then because you presuppose against the text and in favor of man's changing views on nature.

    Again the issue is that you make God a liar in his Word by interpreting his creation apart from it. Barbarian says that God did not represent Genesis as literal representation of origins. Where did he tell us this? There is nothing in the text that says that or indicates it. You have denied the plain meaning of the text. God did represent it that way.
    That is what the text says. No matter how many people line up to say the text doesn’t mean what it says, it doesn’t change the meaning of the text. At least BW is honest enough to say that the text communicates what I believe. He just thinks it is wrong.

    You say that creating a mature universe doesn’t make sense. I would argue that such a view shows that you are thinking with a very small mind. It is the only thing that makes sense. Take reproduction for example. Everything known today reproduces in its own likeness. It is a fact of biology. For something to evolve into something else denies the most basic science of reproduction. There are genetic mutations within a species (hence hair color, eye color, skin pigmentation, height, etc.). We can observe reproduction and there is no evidence that anything has ever happened contrary to it. In that sense we can legitimately call reproduction a science. To start the process, you must have two mature adults of any sexual species. You must argue the introduction of genetic material from somewhere (spontaneous generation???) that fundamentally changes the nature of a living organism.
    There are not scientific examples where this has been observed. It is not reproducible. Yet it is accepted as science. Why? Because you don’t want to believe the alternative.

    BW and Barbarian want to say that God lied in Scripture because they choose a conflicting interpretation of the universe. I prefer to believe that Scripture and the universe completely coincide with each other. Creationism does not deny what we see in nature. It understands it in light of Scripture. Non-creationism denies what we see in the word and understands nature in light of man’s flawed mind. You say Scripture cannot possibly be true in Gen 1-11 because of the universe. I say the universe as we see it is exactly what we would expect to see if Gen 1-11 were true. Go back to the example I used of a tree earlier. I could say it is planted but I have no proof. I could say it is accidental but I have no proof. The evidence is exactly what I would expect to see from either view. Enter a second person, a grizzled old neighbor who says, “I saw the owner of the house plant the tree in 1935.” Now I can assert that it was planted because I have an eye witness who was there. In talking about origins the evidence can be argued (though only marginally for evolution) to be what we would expect for either view. Enter the second person, God, who can authoritatively say what happened. Do we contradict him because we have watched nature for a little while? How many more “scientific” opinions will we go through until we reach a conclusion? Say for a moment that all your current experiments are right. If the earth if 4.5 billion years old, you are sampling from a scientifically non-existent pool of information. It would be like me taking a poll on the religious views of the world’s population by asking my neighbors on the left and the right and then making authoritative statements. You simply do not have enough information.

    As for the speed of light that Barbarian attributes to creationism, his failure to do his homework shows up again. Consider the following article.
    Speed Of Light May Not Be Constant, Physicist Suggests http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991005114024.htm

    A creationist may too hold this; I don’t know. But it is not a “creationist pet.” It is your type of people who are saying this. Yet your failure to do your basic homework calls into question your credibility. What else are you saying here that is as wrong as this statement appears to be? We all make mistakes and I can handle that. I have made a few myself by misreading something or simply getting my facts wrong.

    [ December 30, 2001: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  2. Administrator2

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    PHILLIP
    Administrator’s Note: Phillip has informed us that he has recently changed his stance to that of a young creation.

    As an engineer I have studied the Bible and compared it to what I see. I have no doubts the universe is MUCH older than 4 to 6 thousand years. In Genesis 1:1 we have no 24 hour day because the Sun had not been created yet. Just as the Bible says a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day to God.
    Time was invented for man. God does not live in a time-line as we do. In fact, he is seeing it all at once, including the death of his Son on the cross (have you ever thought of it that way?) Anyway, I am writing a book on the subject of time and God and also another one on God creating man in His image--what exactly does that mean since we are so limited in capabilities. I place forth some very interesting theories that are not in contradiction with the Bible in the slightest. I believe in an old earth--I believe in a relatively young man, but I also know it was a habit of Jewish culture to skip generations that were not so important and say so and so was the father of so and so when he may actually be a great-grandfather. We cannot date the time man was created based on historical records in the Bible for this reason--and this does NOT mean the Bible lies--it is simply the way things were done.

    Also, can anybody tell me exactly how long Adam and Eve lived in the garden before they sinned? Remember, they had eternal life.....To my knowledge there is NO indication of the time of paradise in Eden before the fall of man. It could have been thousands and thousands of years. This does not conflict with the Bible at all, plus it might explain the distinction of dinosaurs and other animals that have become extinct.


    JOHN WELLS

    Phillip,
    That's an interesting "new twist" to reconcile the PERCEIVED age of the earth with the Bible. Let me ask you this, would you develop this theory if there was clear evidence of a young earth? I'm guessing probably not. There is also not clear evidence of a 4.6 billion year old earth either. Since the Bible says Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died (Gen 5:5 NIV), I do something kind of novel in this day and age; I believe it!

    BWSmith said, "Wells has openly taken the position that God tells lies in nature, and we should deny what we see in nature and trust only Gen 1-11 as the true source of truth."

    How do you get from my stand that God's Word is truth to Wells says God tells lies?

    Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 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. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools . . .(Rom 1:19-22a NIV)


    HELEN

    Phillip: As an engineer I have studied the Bible and compared it to what I see. I have no doubts the universe is MUCH older than 4 to 6 thousand years.

    The only indications that it might be are in radiometric decay dates and light speed. Since radiometric decay rates are fully and proportionately dependent on light speed, the only thing standing in the way of a young creation is current light speed. However, with the current studies showing that light speed was faster in the past, the young universe suddenly becomes quite feasible. The age, by the way, is probably closer to eight thousand years than four or six.


    In Genesis 1:1 we have no 24 hour day because the Sun had not been created yet.

    The sun is not necessary for a 24 hour day. The rotation of the earth on its axis is what determines the length of the day. All that is needed in addition is a directional light source. In the center of our galaxy we have a black hole. The centers of most galaxies are quasars and their associated black holes. A quasar is not just brighter than your average star, but brighter than your average galaxy. A quasar at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy the first three or four days would have been more than sufficient to give the directional light needed for the earth to have rotational days with evening and morning, just as Genesis says happened. We do have a black hole there now, and it is not just conceivable, but probable, that a quasar had formed around it during its earliest, most active days.


    Just as the Bible says a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day to God. Time was invented for man.

    And the Bible was written to explain things to man, so time as we know it is what is presented in the Bible, for our sakes. In the meantime, the phrase regarding a thousand years being like a day in the sight of God is idiomatic, not literal, and refers to God being outside of time. Still, even if you had each Genesis day to be a thousand years, you are still only six thousand or seven thousand years up from the early earth estimates! So you cannot take that phrase the way you would like. It not only rips it out of context, but it doesn't help the old age cause at all anyway.


    God does not live in a time-line as we do. In fact, he is seeing it all at once, including the death of his Son on the cross (have you ever thought of it that way?)

    Read Revelation 13:8. Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation (creation) of the earth. It was already accomplished as a decision and simply had to be worked out in time.


    We cannot date the time man was created based on historical records in the Bible for this reason--and this does NOT mean the Bible lies--it is simply the way things were done.

    In other words, Genesis 5 and 11 are fictional?


    Also, can anybody tell me exactly how long Adam and Eve lived in the garden before they sinned? Remember, they had eternal life.....To my knowledge there is NO indication of the time of paradise in Eden before the fall of man. It could have been thousands and thousands of years. This does not conflict with the Bible at all, plus it might explain the distinction of dinosaurs and other animals that have become extinct.

    Well, considering that the Lord told them to multiply, and that they were obedient up to that time of sin, and that it only takes 9 months to have a baby, I would suggest that they were in Eden much less than a year before the first sin. Dinosaurs, by the way, hung around for a long time. They are the same as the Chinese 'dragons', and are also pictured on Roman pottery, recorded in histories, drawn by American Indians and Australian aboriginals… there is no problem with dinosaurs except with the evolutionists!


    PHILLIP

    from John Wells: That's an interesting "new twist" to reconcile the PERCEIVED age of the earth with the Bible. Let me ask you this, would you develop this theory if there was clear evidence of a young earth? I'm guessing probably not. There is also not clear evidence of a 4.6 billion year old earth either. Since the Bible says Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died (Gen 5:5 NIV), I do something kind of novel in this day and age; I believe it!

    No--Actually, John, it is a very old twist which started several centuries ago even before they realized the earth was nowhere near the center of the universe-- by theologians trying to reconcile the Bible with "real world" observations. The ideas of old earth vs. young earth are still held by many, many pastors and theologians who understand that Genesis was written not as a science book, but an overview of the fact that God DID create the earth, heavens and man. (I am not talking about evolution here. This is not my issue, nor do I believe man evolved from a lower life-form) I simply believe that man, in his interpretation of the Bible, has not understood completely what is written and that is FINE. Because it really does NOT matter if I believe in and Old Earth or a New Earth AS long as I believe in an everlasting God who sent his son to this earth who died on the cross for my sins.

    I could discuss the issues all day with you from the Hebrew word "Yom" used as day in Genesis 1, but used elsewhere in the old Testament many, many times to indicate "age" such as in the age or days or David, etc. I could go on and on about how we see planets and stars being born tens of millions of years ago due great distances and we see back into history (God's history). Tell me, just how many years were Adam and Eve in the garden before they sinned? One year, ten years, 10,000 years? what? Add up the numbers yourself with only the people listed in the Bible and see if you can populate the world entirely by the flood. I could go on and on showing you evidences of an ancient universe (ancient to us, not to God).

    I will try to clarify one point to you, the other posts regarding why they say God would not lie and young earth indicates that. What is being said is that as an example: we look back into history through our telescopes we see a star being born or possibly going nova and swallowing up its planets within its solar system. This is all they are trying to say. The big bang theory and creation of the universe go hand-in-hand. If you study the big bang, every bit of matter and energy in the universe came from a singularity (infinitely small point). This indicates creation!!!!!!!!! Wow! Now science and the Bible agree that God creates the heavens and the earth. Many, many scientists have turned to faith in God as a result of these findings--I'm not talking about the fanatics like Carl Sagan who had to prove atheism as his motive and not pure science--I am talking about every day scientists and engineers working on everyday issues.
    Have you ever read any of Yancey's books? I disagree with some of his statements, but his reasoning for why God does not show himself today and everything appears natural is excellent.


    HELEN

    When the Hebrew language uses yom as an indefinite length of time, it is nearly always followed by what in English translates into a prepositional phrase. "The day of the Lord," "in the day of David," etc. It is at those times when it is a period of time 'belonging' to something or someone that marks the indefinite use of 'yom.' In Genesis 1, the evening and morning notations as well as the ordinal system mark them as normal days as we know them. This is how it was understood in ancient Judaism as well as in the early Christian church. The concept of long ages of time only came into play with the concept of uniformitarian gradualism, as per Lyell et al in the 19th century.

    In addition, it would be impossible for fruiting trees (day 3) to exist long without insects (day 5) and other animal life forms to pollinate them. The 'fossil record' says birds came after the dinos. That reverses Genesis days five and six. So the order is all wrong for long ages.

    Genesis -- and indeed the entire Bible -- needs to be accepted or rejected on its own terms, and not convoluted to try to mash it together with whatever current knowledge man is so proud of having.


    PHILLIP

    from Helen: The only indications that [creation] might be [old] are in radiometric decay dates and light speed…I think the answer is already in the Bible…

    Helen,
    Yes I believe you hit the nail on the head with your last sentence, but I was not making specific arguments -- only throwing out a few points for my brother John that do become of interest if studied under the light of true science.

    I will make one point-- To actually believe that the speed of light has changed by a factor of at least 40 million times in eight thousand years and to stretch the idea that a quasar lit the earth so that you can have your 24 hour day is a stretch to say the least. Now, don't get me wrong--I have nothing wrong with six day creationists and I realize God can do anything, but for the whole most of the NEW creationists to take true Hebrew out of its context and basically call for damnation on all the Christian scientists (not the religion, of course) who disagree with you..

    Please note, in NO place did I say God did NOT create the universe nor did I say that man evolved from lower life-forms. I believe Genesis explicitly.


    HELEN

    If you want to fight about the constancy of c, best you should know more about it. Here, these are all evolutionist sources:

    http://arXiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0007/0007108.pdf
    n Charge Conservation and time varying speed of light
    n
    http://www.ldolphin.org/dethrone.html
    Magueijo interview

    http://www.newscientist.com/ns/19990724/isnothings.html
    John Barrow New Scientist Article, "Is Nothing Sacred?"

    http://www.varsity.utoronto.ca/archives/120/oct07/scitech/faster.html -- John Moffat's take

    http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/9811018 -- A&M paper, Physics Review D

    http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/9811022 -- Barrow paper from Physics Review D

    http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/9907340
    Astrophysical Probes of the Constancy of the Velocity of Light

    http://www.cnt.ru/users/chas/halo.htm -- Chashihin, Relativistic correction of interstellar and intergalactic distances solves paradoxes of galactic halos and of superluminal expansion

    I haven't updated this for awhile, so I know there are others.

    In the meantime, the ONLY person I am aware of who is actually working with the data astronomically where this subject is concerned is Barry Setterfield:
    www.setterfield.org


    PHILLIP

    Okay, since I am very busy today I will discuss two little issues. First, you say the earth is lit by a quasar or other light source in the center of the galaxy--I thought the stars were not created until later in the week?

    Second, It would be an extreme stretch in any scientific community to believe that absolute speed of light has dropped a factor of over 40,000 times within an 8 thousand year period. Huh, uh, won't work. If you want to discuss slowing down of light near the singularity/boarder then maybe so, but as an overall basic change--no way.
    Possibly, 10 to 20% change, but not the amount you are trying to put across.

    "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
    2 Peter 3:8

    THIS statement is pretty CLEAR and YES it does relate to the relationship of time and God. It is not taken out of context considering the discussion is about the length of both God's patience and his return to Earth.


    HELEN

    First, you say the earth is lit by a quasar or other light source in the center of the galaxy--I thought the stars were not created until later in the week?

    If you check Job 38:1-7, you will notice a reference to 'morning stars'. Astronomers also know there are two populations of stars – Population II (formed first) and Population I (formed later). There is a little muddying in the middle between the two because of our galaxy cannibalizing some stars, but the two populations are otherwise pretty distinct. Population II stars could easily be the morning stars referred to in Job. All Genesis says is that "He made the stars also." It is a passing reference and has nothing to do, actually, with day four! Our sun is a first generation star and was formed then. My assumption is that all first generation stars were formed then. At any rate, both the Bible and astronomy seem to agree that all the stars were not formed at the same time.

    Second, It would be an extreme stretch in any scientific community to believe that absolute speed of light has dropped a factor of over 40,000 times within an 8 thousand year period. Huh, uh, won't work. If you want to discuss slowing down of light near the singularity/boarder then maybe so, but as an overall basic change--no way.
    Possibly, 10 to 20% change, but not the amount you are trying to put across.


    What is your scientific reason for this?

    [referring to the 2 Peter quote that a thousand years is as a day to the Lord, Helen then relates the original use of this phrase to Psalm 90]
    Here is the beginning of Psalm 90

    Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
    Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
    You turn men back to dust, saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men."
    For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
    You sweep men away in the sleep of death;
    they are like the new grass of the morning --
    though in the morning it springs up new,
    by evening it is dry and withered.


    I think you will find the frame of reference used in Psalms to be much wider than that used by Peter.
    Peter borrowed the phrase, which the Jews would have known.

    I've read quite a bit on a number of different sides of this question. But I have not seen anything substantive in your posts which would give me reason to consider your point of view. Aside from your own ideas, what evidence do you have that 'yom' means a long period of time in Genesis 1, that the speed of light did not drop quite suddenly at first (which you seem willing to consider) and then gradually slow from there (which is what happened, by the way, in the shape of a Lorentzian curve)?

    I enjoy learning more about either and certainly have been known to revise my own thinking in both areas as evidence requires. So give me evidence and I will be happy to consider it carefully. I know I am a very fallible and finite human being and I do not have a corner on God's truth. I know I can be (and, ask my teens, often am!) wrong about a number of things. So please feel free to present your evidence so that it can be considered.

    [ December 30, 2001: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  3. Administrator2

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    REKLAW

    I'd say the earth is the same age as everything else, give or take a few days of course. Modern science doesn't include the possibility of a world-wide Deluge, as the idea seems preposterous to them in most cases...

    When these factors are added into calculations then the age of the planet comes to be about 6000 years old, maybe at max at couple of millenia older. My resources for this are the Kent Hovind videos offered on his website. The addy used to be www.drdino.com , but that may have changed, as it's been down once or twice. I don't agree with everything he says but I can affirm most of his scientific views, which I've taken the liberty of adding as my own personal views.

    As per the idea of how light from stars billions of light years away could not be thousands of years old... For one thing our method of judging the distance between stars and the earth is very speculatory and hides a great deal of possibility for error. It lies in trigonometry, but the distances we use to judge the distance between a star and ourselves lie in first judging the span between the earth and say, the sun. This distance is very small and is inaccurate because of this. We don't have anything else to judge by, so we're left to guess. This is a view that I don't generally agree to completely, but there is another more theological view...

    How can we limit God by saying that creation must have been a certain way? He could have very well have created the light near earth so that we could enjoy the beauty of the stars without having to wait millions of years for it. Light doesn't need to travel for millions of years before arriving at earth, not with Divine intervention.

    Another concept would be that we do not yet even know what light is... Due to our limited grasp on quantum mechanics, we've yet to determine what light is precisely and how it moves. We have some concept but this must be noted.


    THE BARBARIAN

    Um, no. The measurement of distant stars is not based on trigonometry, although the distance to nearby stars can be so found.

    And yes, it's pretty arrogant to decide that God was limited to the kind of creation that would require no more than a little middle eastern fertility god. He's a great deal more majestic and powerful than any YE creationist is willing to grant.


    PHILLIP

    BINGO! I was going to hit upon the star measurement issue. It is my understanding that the absolute maximum distance stars can be measured using trigonometric means is approximately 500 light years away which leaves out MOST of the stars in our very own galaxy. Actual measurement of distance is a VERY complex science in itself, partially involving taking a standard type of star as measured by spectrographic means and then determining the brightness as compared to what that particular star should be radiating with a certain mass of hydrogen/helium ratio. This is only part of the process. Let us assume that the theory is off by a huge amount.....what would you say a huge amount would be--I would say 100%. Okay, we have measured a star or galaxy 200 thousand million light-years from earth. By being 100% off in the "long" direction then we have 100 thousand million light-years.

    My point is for the measurements to be off to make the universe as small as some of these scientists (a Russian) believe (1000 light years or so--see Helen's links) then the measurements would be off by thousands and thousands of times which is certainly out of the question.

    One American Scientist she linked to indicated that light has slowed down by a factor of 10^30 times in order to make the physics calculations come into agreement. If this is so then we have 194 million light years. 8000 years, huh, uh---won't work.


    HELEN

    Regarding measuring the distance of stars -- the following is used by permission from a friend of mine (this was written a year or so ago and I have it in my email files), Dr. Danny Faulkner, who teaches astronomy:

    In the Large Magellanic Cloud
    (LMC), a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, we can observe a
    huge number of individual stars. The distance to the LMC is an
    important step in finding the distances of more distant objects,
    because it offers calibration of indirect methods. In the LMC we can
    observe some eclipsing binary stars.
    With these systems we can find the actual radii and masses of the
    stars involved. The determination of radii in these stars does not
    depend upon the distance, and so this is the only direct way of
    finding the sizes of stars. Spectroscopy gives us the temperature.
    The brightness of a star depends upon the square of the radius
    and the fourth power of the temperature. Knowing those quantities,
    the actual brightness, or absolute magnitude can be determined.
    Measurement of the apparent magnitude directly gives the distance.
    The researchers of this paper find a distance of about 150,000 light
    years [for the LMC], consistent with other methods. I offer this as an
    example to those who question whether galaxies really are that far
    away. Details can be found in the Astrophysical Journal Letters 509:
    L21-L24. That's the December 10, 1998 issue.


    Here is another explanation giving some of the standard methods of measurement from another professor of astonomy. By the way, both these men are strong Christians and young earth creationists.

    Nearby stars, 4 to several hundred parsecs are measured by straight
    forward trigonometric parallax (surveying method). Distances can also
    be inferred from proper motions. These measurements are very
    accurate today and are in the milliarcseconds (mas). These and their
    associated uncertainties) can not be doubted. Trigonometric
    measurements form the basis for the calibration of other distance
    determination methods like the Cepheid variable Period Luminosity
    relationship. The Cepheid distance scale was tied into the straight
    forward distance scales by the Hubble Space telescope. We have
    detected sequences of Cepheids in extragalactic environs. I think that
    distances in Astronomy have now reached a high degree of accuracy
    and should no longer be scoffed at.



    As far as the speed of light slowing, it is not only possible, it has happened. The immediate period following creation was a period of extremely fast dropping of the speed of light followed by an evening out, although there was still a continuing drop.

    For those who are interested in this subject, I recommend Barry Setterfield's website at www.setterfield.org
    Go into the science essays section and you will find several theoretical summaries of different levels of lay understanding. I have been Barry's editor for about three years now, so feel free to either email me with questions, post them here, or email Barry himself ([email protected]) with questions. He is very good about answering emails and the data is for real -- not just older measurements of the speed of light, which ALL trend downward, but the measurements of other constants related to the speed of light which vary in relation as well, as well as the findings concerning the redshift from stars (and galaxies).


    PHILLIP

    Originally posted by Reklaw: I'd say the earth is the same age as everything else, give or take a few days of course. Modern science doesn't include the possibility of a world-wide Deluge, as the idea seems preposterous to them in most cases...
    When these factors are added into calculations then the age of the planet comes to be about 6000 years old, maybe at max at couple of millenia older. My resources for this are the Kent Hovind videos offered on his website. The addy used to be www.drdino.com , but that may have changed, as it's been down once or twice. I don't agree with everything he says but I can affirm most of his scientific views, which I've taken the liberty of adding as my own personal views.


    Sorry, and hate to be so blunt, but it is obvious that most of your material is coming from some creationist book that has quite a few errors. It represents neither real world scientific concepts nor what I would consider as solid theological concepts.

    As for limiting God's universe--You and the other "young earthers" are limiting his universe. I believe it a millions upon millions of light-years in size.
    As for God creating light on earth for us to "enjoy" his creation without waiting a million years--more hype. Not saying that he couldn't but he has no need to. In other words, when we see a star going supernova and destroying an entire solar system--I assume you think he just made that up so that we could see it?

    Yes, we have a good feel for the structure of light. It is based on photons which have the ability to act like waves or wavelette patterns. I'm not going to go into the specifics on light because I would fill up three pages, but suffice it to say that light is not an unknown and neither is gravity as someone said in an above post.

    NOW, Let me clarify myself ONE MORE TIME. I believe in creation of Heavens, earth and man. I do not believe in evolution outside of the species, especially on the upper level of mankind. But, I do not buy a "young earth" theory, it does not fit with either the Bible (ancient Hebrew) or scientific observation. I am not saying God could not create everything in six days--I just don't think he did. But, if he did, he went way out of his way to hide it.

    Well, bottom line here is that non-Christian scientists are using the "theory of change in the speed of light" in order to correct for anomalies in their theories which just do not add up. Just like the theory of dark matter in space. Albert Einstein did the same thing when he added a cosmic constant to correct for errors when he found out the universe was expanding and could not accept it and adjusted the formulaes to make it appear as stationary.
    These speed changes are very significant (on the order of 1000X) the speed of light today. But, then again, let us remember they are nothing more than a theory that has allowed young earth creationists something to grab hold of as an answer for the BIG question of, how can we look back into the past.

    As for the make-up of light itself, let me say that a LOT more is known about light than is assumed by the general public and many secular scientists not working on specific projects. The same with background radiation which is within 2% of being perfect for the "Big Bang" creation of nothing to an entire universe (the instrumentation cannot be that accurate with surrounding interference factors/noise floors.)

    Finally, we come to a universe that when calculated properly by scientists such as Stephen Hawking we find that the universe is within approximately 1% of the matter which would implode upon itself causing a universal black hole singularity much like the creation, but it is JUST PERFECT to keep expanding without this occuring. Too many coincidences here for God not to be involved deeply in the makeup of this HUGE--almost limitless universe as seen by our finite little brains.


    HELEN

    1. 350 years of measurements don't care what people want to use them for -- they just sort of sit there anyway. 'c', the speed of light, has been measured as slowing.

    2. Yes, there are some serious problems with all cosmologies which depend on a constant c.

    Contrary to theoretical work, the speed of light research actually has data.
    The highest estimate, by evolutionary theoretical researchers, is 10^60 times its current speed. Setterfield (and Troitskii) calculates a much more conservative 10^11 times its current speed at the beginning of creation. The fact that you are referring to only one thousand times (10^3) its current speed indicates you are not familiar with the writings of any of these men!


    But, then again, let us remember they are nothing more than a theory that has allowed young earth creationists something to grab hold of as an answer for the BIG question of, how can we look back into the past.

    Speaking in regard to Barry Setterfield, that is patently untrue. He came at the research looking only at data, not having any presuppositions. In fact, I believe that when he started he was something along the lines of a theistic evolutionist, and definitely a believer in the long ages. It was the data and the research itself which led him to the YEC position.


    As for the make-up of light itself, parts of this I can't discuss and therefore you can believe what you wish, but let me say that a LOT more is known about light than is assumed by the general public and many secular scientists not working on specific projects.

    First of all NO ONE knows what light actually 'is'. However we do know a photon is emitted when an electron, bumped out of position by some kind of subatomic 'hit' on the nucleus, bounces back into its position. This 'bounce back' emits light.

    God stated that He stretched out the heavens. The Big Bang states the universe expanded. The difference between these two explanations is that when God stretched it, He imparted potential energy into the fabric of space in the stretching. The BB presumes all the energy for expansion came from within. It is in the stretching, however, that we have a reason for the relatively uniform background radiation -- it is one of the results of the stretching.

    By the way, the 'stretched' used in the Bible in reference to God stretching the heavens is always in the past completed tense, indicating it is currently static. This is also what the redshift data actually shows as well.

    You go with Stephen Hawking. I find it much more scientifically viable to go with the data and the Bible itself. By the way, are you aware that Hawking just called a large conference for invited physicists to discuss the speed of light slowing?


    REKLAW

    My reference to trig was not a whole one, I was making it as general as possible, as I'm not too fond of reading page-posts, and I'm sure most of us like to be blunt as well. Referring to most modern scientists admitting to a world-wide flood, the extremities are very limited from what I've heard and read. Could you give a reference for this claim?

    And the idea that it's all "hype" and that it was unnecessary for God to create light in-space... For one thing, God didn't have to necessarily make stars at all. Why do you think He put them there, other than to display His majestic creation?
    Most of your "debunkings" were just your own views: "I believe it a millions upon millions of light-years in size.", "Not saying that he couldn't but he has no need to.", "most 6000 year creationists films are full of hype, scriptures pulled out of context". These are all your opinions. You've already made a generalization about most of the evidence people have presented here, all based on your own concepts rather than their own evidence. Saying that typically people are wrong about things won't cut it in the real world. Not only are generalizations ludicrous but they're also offensive. And by no means do we know everything about light or gravity. If we did we'd be far far along technologically. It can be said by some that it's the basis of the universe after all. If we knew this then there'd be no problem about the concept of "time travel" or such things. While we know more about this than we ever have, by no means do we know the whole truth. Science is built on theories, and while these theories can hold ground, we can also accept them blindly until they're refuted years later.


    HELEN

    Hi Reklaw,
    I would suggest not using Hovind as a credible resource. He is a charismatic speaker and a lot of people really love and admire him, but he is not really up to date or sharp where science is concerned. He has been an embarrassment as often as not to actual creation scientists.
    However there are some very credible resources on the net. The first one I would suggest is Tim Wallace's response to 'talk origins' which he labeled 'True.Origins'.
    http://www.trueorigins.org/indexfl.htm
    There are essays by a number of very well-qualified people there on many different aspects of the creation-evolution controversy. In addition, you can email Tim with a question and he will refer it to the person who knows on that subject from the actual creation science field. I have worked as an editor for a number of these men and women for several years now and I would be happy to do the same for you.

    The following two URL's also have some excellent material by the intelligent design folks:
    http://www.arn.org/arn2.htm -- Access Research Network
    http://www.discovery.org/crsc/ -- Discovery Institute


    REKLAW

    hehe... Yes, I disagree with Hovind on a lot of things, but in my curiosity, what's your support? He's not my only reference scientifically, thank goodness.

    If you can, please give some references from quotes he's made and then debunk them. I'd enjoy hearing that. There're a lot of decent arguments I've heard from several people that I can't find opposition to.

    My beliefs thus far - (How big is the galaxy?)
    I believe that there isn't enough information (at least for me) to make a good generalization, so I've left it alone until someone can back it up with very good evidence, which is why I'm being so nit-picky!

    (When was it created?)
    I believe the galaxy to have been created when the heavenly bodies were.

    (Was day one in Genesis 24 hours, twelve hours or some time period other and what is your background for making such a statement?)
    I believe it to be 24 hours, as in accordance with the literal meaning of the word day. There may be questions about specifics in science, but if it was written as a literal day, then I will accept it as such.

    {How old is the earth?)
    I believe it to be about 6000 to 8000 years old. I hate to be so general but that's what's been left to me.


    PHILLIP

    Helen,
    Let me ask you some specifics: EXACTLY, How much has light slowed in the last 350 years and how do we attribute the accuracy of equipment which was 100 years or older?
    You didn't respond to my background radiation information because the background radiation is based on matter leaving the singularity and escaping the event horizon. This background radiation maintains the exact white-noise spectrum and is radiated in ALL directions as would be expected from a constantly expanding universe.

    Just exactly how large do you think our galaxy is? Just exactly how large do you think our universe is? With such accurate numbers you are claiming you should have a pretty good handle on some specific numbers give or take 100% which is adequate for the discussion I will follow with.

    By the way, Albert Einstein's cosmic constant is no longer a theory since we realize that the universe is expanding from a Big-Bang and he thought it existed forever and was trying to correct for that.
    Dark matter is no more theories than the stretch that a single star lit up the earth from the center of the galaxy...especially considering the stars were not created until the fourth day. Sorry--can't buy the Morning star business. Doesn't fit Biblically or scientifically

    Regardless of whether we believe in an earth that has been here for 10 million years or 8000 years, my guess is that you believe man sinned and Jesus was God and paid the price for those sins. Bottom line.........
    Let me make it real clear that I am NOT an evolutionist. God created everything, including man. You may disagree with the Big-Bang but one thing I like about it is that you can't believe in it without believing in God (it is a perfect description of a creation -- matter coming from an infinitely small point in space--sounds like something coming from nothing to me.) Many scientists have turned to God after realizing that SOMETHING had to start the Big-Bang. I will also tell you that I believe God could create everything in six days. He is capable of doing it in one second, but that is not my opinion based on study of the Bible and science. So, if nothing else we can agree to disagree.
     
  4. Administrator2

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    REKLAW

    I'd say the only problem that would make me "dance around" the fact that the universe is in motion is that since I hold my view that the universe was created step by step over a period of 6 days, then how can it be that it all came from a single explosion? If you can find an answer to this question, I'd appreciate it.

    The only reason I can give right now that God would create the universe in motion is so that the universe wouldn't collapse on itself due to gravitational forces (as I understand it). Of course, God could have used a different means for this, or used a different set of natural laws altogether, but obviously this is what He thought would be best, so here we are. As I said, my reason for thinking this is the 6 day creation. (It would even pertain to thousands of years, as long as you accept that the creation was step by step.)

    I can possibly see an explanation if it is held that the 1000 year/day theory is used, but can anyone think of a good logical explanation for a literal 6 day creation? With the 1000 year one used, you'd have to possibly dance around Darwinism, but I think it can be avoided. Input anyone?

    So for now, unless I'm offered a better solution, I'm going to hang on to the idea that the universe was created step by step over 6 days with a day of rest, and was put into motion as a part of the natural mechanics of the universe, all a part of God's wonderful and majestic plan. It may be hard to wrench that away from me without convincing me of the non-literal aspect of the details of creation though, but as I try to be, I'm open to discussion!


    PHILLIP

    Hi Reklaw,
    Yes, you can't go wrong with your beliefs. In fact, my beliefs about the big-bang, etc. are simply "theories". I do believe God could have created a specific working universe piece by piece in six days and he MAY very well have done that. I can tell you have a very open mind and you stand firm on your beliefs too--you can't go wrong doing that. I'll try to provide you with what I see and the way I see it and you can either throw it out or whatever you want to do. This is just discussion and as long as we don't disagree on the Diety of Jesus the Son of God I think these other issues can be interesting to talk about. Let me say: God is capable of ANYTHING--including making the universe in six seconds.


    THE BARBARIAN

    Hi Reklaw. There wasn't actually an "explosion". The "Big Bang" is kind of a misnomer (the term was actually coined as a perjorative by someone who did not agree with the idea).
    Rather, there was a sudden expansion of space itself, not an explosion within space. Initially, there was nothing but radiation ("Let there be light.") and only later did matter condense out of the intensely hot universe. The microwave background we see everywhere we look is the cooling radiation from that event.

    It's true that God could certainly create any way He chose; we are free, as Gallileo pointed out, to use our intelligence and senses to learn more about how that happened.

    What happened just "before" the Big Bang is a meaningless question for science, because none of the physical properties of the universe existed before then. It's the "deep magic just before the beginning", as C.S. Lewis remarked.


    HELEN

    The websites I gave were simply given to show you that research into the speed of light is going on by a number of folk right now and is not even primarily a matter of creationism. This does not endorse what they are saying, but simply point out that it is being researched and discussed.


    Let me ask you some specifics: EXACTLY, How much has light slowed in the last 350 years and how do we attribute the accuracy of equipment which was 100 years or older?

    First of all here, the measurements, whether old or more recent, show a consistent downward trend when the same methods of measurement were used, and often by the same people. This is no accident. The measurements taken for the last 350 years are quite well documented in the 1987 Norman-Setterfield report, here: ]http://www.setterfield.org/report/report.html


    You didn't respond to my background radiation information because the background radiation is based on matter leaving the singularity and escaping the event horizon. This background radiation maintains the exact white-noise spectrum and is radiated in ALL directions as would be expected from a constantly expanding universe.

    I did respond by pointing out that it is a result of the stretching of the universe by God Himself. You seem to have assumed that the Humphreys white hole model is correct. If it is to be interpreted as you say, then there should be an area close to the earth where the background radiation differs significantly. We don't find this. After all, Humphreys has the earth holding at the horizon for a number of billion years as far as the rest of the universe is concerned. You seem to have tried to take the concept of the BB singularity and squished it into the biblical model, but that doesn't work at all.


    Just exactly how large do you think our galaxy is?

    about a hundred thousand light years across.


    Just exactly how large do you think our universe is?

    The observable universe is about 15-16 billion light years across.


    By the way, Albert Einstein's cosmic constant is no longer a theory since we realize that the universe is expanding from a Big-Bang and he thought it existed forever and was trying to correct for that.

    The redshift measurements are quantized. This could not be the case if the universe were expanding. It is not expanding. It is static. Any expansion would smear out those measurements the same way it does locally in the centers of some rapidly moving galaxies.


    Dark matter is no more theories than the stretch that a single star lit up the earth from the center of the galaxy...especially considering the stars were not created until the fourth day. Sorry--can't buy the Morning star business. Doesn't fit Biblically or scientifically

    Dark matter is a retreat into an unknown to solve old universe problems of galaxies holding together. In the meantime, here are some links on the two basic populations of stars:
    http://www.rca-omsi.org/rca/library.htm
    http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~posmer/Ay162/L20.html
    http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0856747.html

    Those are just the first three hits I got from the search engine "Google." I didn't even have to check through a bunch for the information I wanted!
    In the meantime, the Bible also seems to indicate more than one time of star formation, as per the Job reference.
    As far as a quasar originally lighting up the earth, what on earth do you think was at the center of our galaxy before the observable black hole we have now?

    Phillip, you are under no requirement to respond, but yes, this issue has everything to do with the Great Commission. The point is that God is trustworthy. He knows how to communicate with humans clearly and has done so in Genesis as well as the rest of the Bible. There is no need to 're-interpret it' to fit any other meaning. God means exactly what He says and says exactly what He means. And He communicates in our terms – terms we understand in everyday usage.

    If people cannot trust God to communicate correctly and clearly, how on earth can they trust Him enough to submit to Him, trust Him, obey Him? To me this is a central point and this is the reason I am willing to keep presenting the actual data so that people will understand that God is, indeed, trustworthy.

    If this helps at all, here is part of one of Setterfield's presentations regarding astronomy and the Bible:

    ---------------

    The night sky is bedecked with the jewels of the stars, resplendent in their variety of colour, for "one star differs from another in glory" just as the Bible insists. Not only do their colours vary, but also their masses, but usually within a set range. There is a reason for this. A star is a sphere of gas, which ordinarily would contract under its own weight were it not for the pressure of its gases and the pressure of the radiation it produces. In order to balance the forces involved, the majority of stars range between ¼ to 100 times the mass of the sun. If the mass is too much greater, the core temperature becomes so high that the resultant nuclear reactions set up a condition that may cause the star to explode before any significant aging occurs. Thus super-massive stars are rare.

    Sir Arthur Eddington suggested (The Internal Constitution of the Stars, p.20) that a star might be considered to be two bodies superposed: a material body of atoms and electrons, and an aetherial body of radiation. He pointed out that if there were no interaction between these two bodies, the store of radiation in the sun would dissipate within a short time. However, because it is tied to the material body of gas with its electrons and atoms by the process of absorption and emission, the radiation diffuses away at a slow rate. That is to say the factor that resists the outward flow of radiation is the opacity, or "opaqueness" of the stellar material. Thus the radiation generated in a star's core is imprisoned and slowly released over a period of time. Interestingly, the Genesis 1 account literally states that the stars were to be "light-holders," while Psalm 74:16 states that "God has prepared the light AND the sun."

    The Two Main Types of Stars

    Broadly speaking, there are two main types of stars in our Galaxy, namely the "old" or Population II stars, and the "young" or Population I stars. It is true that there are gradational types in between, some of which may have been cannibalised from our Galaxy's nearby satellites. However, the existence of two main Populations is a useful starting point for any discussion. If the basic differences between these two main Populations can be accounted for, it will become more apparent where the gradational types fit into the broad picture. The "young" or Population I stars, like our Sun, have a relatively high "metal," or heavy element content, such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, etc, (up to 3%), and generally inhabit the spiral arms of our Galaxy. By contrast, the "old" or Population II stars are metal poor (0.1%), and can be found in the halo, and disk of our Galaxy, and in most globular clusters around it. An overview of one model that may account for the main groupings and their features is given below. It is based on the evidence for changing light-speed as presented in an August 1987 report for SRI International and Flinders University entitled The Atomic constants, Light and Time, and a major scientific paper that has been undergoing a review process throughout 2000 and 2001.

    A Clue From the Scriptures

    From the Scriptural record of Genesis 1:14, it is apparent that our Sun started shining, along with the other stars that "give light upon the earth," midway through the 4th Day of Creation Week. This statement is in broad agreement with astronomical observation since the Sun and most other stars in our stellar neighbourhood are spiral arm stars. As such, they classify as the "young" or Population I stars. Broadly speaking, this indicates that the time of formation of many Population I objects was on Day 4. However, the question then arises as to when the "old" or Population II stars were formed. The answer probably appears in the book of Job, when the Almighty personally instructed His suffering servant in these matters. There in chapter 38:4, 7 the Lord Himself asked Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth … when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Taken at face value, it seems from this statement that the "morning stars" were already shining when the foundation of the earth was laid on the 1st Day. For the purposes of this discussion, let us accept that the "morning stars," are the "old" stars that were created very early on Day 1. On this basis, then, the Scripture speaks of two main periods of star making: the "morning stars" or Population II objects on Day 1, and the Population I or spiral arm stars like our Sun on Day 4, which are the "old" and "young" stars respectively.

    The Stellar Power-house

    It can be shown for conditions of changing light-speed, c, that gas pressure, radiation pressure, and the inward pull of gravity remain unchanged if all other factors are unchanged. These are important considerations for a star's structure. The radiation and gas pressures tend to expand the star, while gravitational attraction tends to collapse it. It is normal for these forces to be in equilibrium, unless the star has developed an instability, which may cause it to pulsate like the Cepheid variables. However, there are two key factors that are variable for a star in a changing c scenario. The first of these is the radiant energy of a star that is generated in its core. The second is the conditions under which this energy has to battle its way to the surface through the star's material, since the rate at which this energy is released is dependent upon the stellar opacity.

    As demonstrated in the main paper undergoing review, the reaction rate within stellar cores is proportional to c. In addition, there is a factor of c in the luminosity equation for stars. However, these two items, which make the luminosity proportional to c^2, are precisely offset by the increased opacity of the star, which makes the luminosity proportional to 1/c^2. From this it can be shown that a star's total luminosity remains unchanged as c varies. However, with the high rate of injection of energy from stellar cores during Creation Week, and gradually diminishing thereafter, the stage is set for every star to rapidly acquire its physical characteristics.

    The Ages of the Two Populations

    A study of the Thorium to Neodymium ratio in stars like our sun has concluded that the age of the sun and similar Population I stars was 9.6 billion atomic years as a minimum, and 11.3 billion atomic years as a maximum. This view finds some support from the fact that the age of the oldest events recorded in Moon rocks ranged up to 8.2 billion atomic years [Science, 167, pp.479-480, Jan. 1970]. From these above figures, a good average age for the sun would be about 10.5 billion atomic years. This means that the radiometric data from meteorites indicating 4.5 billion atomic years as the age of the Solar System may well be referring to events that re-set these clocks by a radioactive heating process, accentuated by high c values. This process probably differentiated the interior of the parent body from which meteorites originated, since the data indicate that a similar process was acting in other bodies in the solar system.

    At the close of the 4th Day of Creation Week, when the stretching out of the heavens was complete and light-speed started to decline, the redshift c decay curve indicates that light-speed was approximately 4 x 10^11 times its current value. This means that the atomic clock was ticking off 4 x 1011 days during each Day of Creation Week up to the end of Day 4. The sun, and many other stars in our stellar neighbourhood, thus had 0.5 days burning at 4 x 10^11 faster, which is an atomic equivalent of 0.55 billion years. Furthermore, since the sun became active halfway through Day 4, that is Day 4.5, and the morning stars started shining at the beginning of Day 1, that is close to Day 1.0, then it means that the oldest stars of Population II had 3.5 days of ageing with light-speed some 4 x 10^11 times faster than now. This totals an atomic equivalent of 3.8 billion years of ageing beyond the age of the sun and similar stars. Thus, nuclear burning up to the beginning of Day 5.0 will have imparted an atomic age of 4.35 billion years to Population II objects, with an equivalent of 0.55 billion to Population I. Now a recent study of Population II stars using the Uranium to Thorium ratio has indicated that the oldest stars in our galaxy have an age of 12.5 ± 1.5 billion years. Let us take the upper limit on this analysis, which allows room for later refinement of the technique, so that the age of the oldest stars will be about 14 billion years. The amount of ageing that has occurred from Day 5.0 down to the present will therefore be 14 billion years less 4.35 billion, which equals 9.65 billion atomic years. This amount of ageing from Day 5.0 down to the present has also occurred with the Population I objects like our sun. Thus 0.55 billion years plus 9.65 billion totals 10.2 billion atomic years for the age of the sun. This is right in the middle of the range indicated by the Thorium to Neodymium ratios. In this way, a concordant result is attained for the age of both stellar populations

    Dealing With Rapid Stellar Inflation

    On this approach, therefore, the usual mechanism for the ageing of the stars is accepted, and the consequent appearance of the various stars is explicable in terms of known processes. The only difference on this model is that, for most stars, this ageing process was accelerated during the first four days of Creation Week due to high light-speed values, after which the activity exponentially declined. The initial fast rate of burning supplied a store of radiation within each star's layers that has been slowly escaping ever since. Thus, the more massive the star, the hotter its interior, and the faster it burnt its nuclear fuel, causing the star to rapidly inflate with radiation, and at the same time giving it a characteristic appearance.

    There are two items that need to be raised as a result. The first is the situation with regard to the pressure within the star that this rapid radiation influx would produce. Importantly, Harwit and others have shown that "any appreciable deviation from pressure equilibrium leads to a [stellar] readjustment that takes no more than about an hour." [Astrophysical Concepts, p.310]. It may therefore be concluded that, as stars rapidly inflated with radiation during Creation Week, they swiftly came to an appropriate pressure balance.

    The second item concerns the establishment of a stable temperature gradient within a star. When radiative transport of energy is too slow to maintain thermal equilibrium, a temperature gradient is generated that is sufficient to give rise to rapid convective motion. Harwit has shown that, even today, an excess gradient of one millionth of the total gradient is sufficient to ensure transfer of energy through a star's convective zone in a time approximating to one month. For higher excess gradients, the equations show that the time to transfer this energy by convection would be less [op. cit., p.316, 329]. As each star rapidly inflated with energy, it might thus be expected that this convective process dominated stellar interiors allowing a stable temperature gradient to be rapidly established. This convection process is still visible on the sun today as its gases boil up to the surface in cells called 'granules' that are about 1,000 kilometres across. Hoyle and Schwarzschild have suggested that "sound waves are generated by the moving gases: the granules make a noise!" [Frontiers of Astronomy, p.115]. This may well be why the "morning stars" were described by their Creator as "singing."

    The Appearance of Stars

    Finally, initial calculations have been performed based on core temperatures for a given stellar mass, and the resultant energy injected during Creation Week. They reveal that stellar characteristics can generally be accounted for, including the vast, cool, extended atmospheres of the red giant stars, or the more compact internal structure of stars like our sun. These initial calculations also suggest that stars like our sun may have core temperatures today that are a little lower than currently estimated. This is in agreement with some solar oscillation data. Furthermore, the somewhat lower nuclear reaction rate that this would entail may also partly account for a lower neutrino flux. In view of these developments, it seems possible to account for the general appearance of the two main Populations of stars on a contracted time-scale.


    [ December 30, 2001: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  5. Administrator2

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    REKLAW

    Question concerning the "Big Bang:"
    What caused the sudden expansion, what would be necessary for this, how does the preexisting elements necessary tie in with the content of creation, and a more thoughtful question than scientific... If the universe has infinite space (nothing around or outside of it to judge it by), then how can we say it's expanding? (That's more of a tree falling in the woods kind of question, but a nice little thought nonetheless.)


    JOHN WELLS

    Barbarian,
    Question: why do you put an "eye-witness-like" matter-of-fact spin on everything you state?


    THE BARBARIAN

    The question was: "How can scientists make statements about how things were before any human was alive to see them happen?".

    Evidence. We have increasingly strong and consistent evidence for creation the way it is. The microwave background is just one small part of it.
    Perhaps you might try reading "The Big Bang" by Joseph Silk. Another very readable and useful one would be "Coming of Age in the Milky Way". Can't think of the author right now, but I'll get it if you want.
    There's no shame in God doing things this way. If you want to imagine it so, God could have miraculously run all this stuff in some kind of speeded-up time to just make it look really old. Of course he could have done that yesterday, too. No evidence one way or the other, but if you'd like to think so, there's no way to refute a religious doctrine.

    I see from where you got your "two populations of stars", Helen. Your source is talking only about stars in our little corner of space, the Milky Way. And even here, we see new stars being formed right now, and others in all stages of maturity within the galaxy. And outside the galaxy, we see that also.

    Stars have been forming, maturing, and "dying" since the beginning; there wasn't just two moments where the stars formed. The Hubble shows us some remarkable instances of new stars forming and we see from time to time, the sudden end of stars in an explosion (which is the usual end for giant stars, which are much larger and more short-lived than our own)

    It's important to know, Reklaw, that your stand on evolution and the age of the universe are not salvation issues.
    God is not about to determine your final home based on your opinion of the way He handled creation.


    HELEN

    I see from where you got your "two populations of stars", Helen. Your source is talking only about stars in our little corner of space, the Milky Way.

    Well, no, Barbarian. You are wrong. Here is a pretty good evolutionary explanation for you:
    http://www.space.com/reference/brit/galaxies/overview.html

    And here is a stunning picture of a few little stars....
    http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/AAO/images/captions/aat092.html [/i]


    And even here, we see new stars being formed right now, and others in all stages of maturity within the galaxy.

    Well, no, again. We presume we are seeing stars form, but we have never seen one form. Nor are they in 'all stages of maturity' in our galaxy. They divide pretty reasonably into two basic populations of stars. You are only teaching biology, right? [​IMG]


    And outside the galaxy, we see that also.

    Again, only by presumption in many cases. Please, please read the primary material if you are really interested in this.


    Stars have been forming, maturing, and "dying" since the beginning; there wasn't just two moments where the stars formed.

    I have no trouble with that concept in theory, however I don't think you ought to state as fact what you have no way of really knowing for sure...


    The Hubble shows us some remarkable instances of new stars forming and we see from time to time, the sudden end of stars in an explosion (which is the usual end for giant stars, which are much larger and more short-lived than our own)

    You know what's neat about the Hubble data that is coming back? It fits perfectly into the Setterfield model and predictions of what will be found. Kind of exciting...


    HANKD

    KJV John 2:10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

    How old was this "good" wine that Jesus had just made?
    How long did it take to cultivate the vineyard?
    How long did it take the grapes to grow?
    How much rain did it take?
    How long did it take for the grape juice to be extracted?
    How long did it take for the grape juice to age and mellow?
    Etc, etc...

    KJV Job 9:1 Then Job answered and said,
    2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? …
    9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.
    10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.


    KJV Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.


    GARPIER

    After reading all the posts on this topic, I have to admit I am not the brightest person involved here. However there seems to be some items that should be considered. If the account of Genesis 1 cannot be taken literally as some have suggested, then at what point do we begin to take the Bible at face value. And if Genesis 1 cannot be taken literally then why should we take any of the Bible literally. Who decides what is truth and what is allegory?
    Almost without exception every has said that God could create any way He chose. Then why not believe what He said He did in Genesis 1?

    If we take Genesis one literally, we are left with a six day creation (24 hour days) I will not get into the Hebrew since there are arguments on both sides. However in Exodus 20:11, God while giving the 10 Commandments instructed the children of Israel to rest on the Sabbath day by reminding them that He created the heaven the earth the sea and all that in them is and then rested the seventh day. Certainly Moses did not take that to mean extended periods of time. I understand that this is taking this portion of Scripture literally, but again I ask if you do not take this literally then where do you start. Further if this is not to be taken literally then God is guilty of lying, and we know that is not an option.

    Another point to be made in this discussion is that death did not occur until Adam sinned.(Romans 5:12) This would mean that there could not have been vast ages between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. If there were vast ages during which time countless animals lived and died, then again the Scriptures are in error. I don't see that as an option.

    Now I admit I am not a scientist, and maybe I am too quick to believe the Bible needs to be taken literally, but if we cannot trust the Bible to be right in matters of science and creation, how can we trust it to be accurate in the matter of salvation?

    I believe that although the Bible is not a book on science, when it speaks of scientific matters, it is 100% accurate.

    As for the apparent age of the stars, Dr Russell Humphries has written a book entitled Starlight and Time, in which he gives a theory on how the universe could have been created so that the stars were created on the fourth day as God says and yet are today millions of light years away. It is based on Einstein’s theory of relativity and although it was tough reading for someone like myself, some of you folks would probably have no trouble following his line of thinking.

    As in the matter of salvation, the account of creation must be taken by faith. "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." I may not understand all the science involved, but I will trust the One who established the laws of science and gives a literal factual account of what He did in Genesis 1.


    THE BARBARIAN

    -- I see from where you got your "two populations of stars", Helen. Your source is talking only about stars in our our little corner of space, the Milky Way.

    ------ Well, no, Barbarian. You are wrong.


    Nope. It's talking about the differences between the stars in the galactic disc and those on the periphery and the bulge. Our galaxy.
    And even here, we see new stars being formed right now, and others in all stages of maturity within the galaxy.


    Well, no, again. We presume we are seeing stars form, but we have never seen one form.

    No person has ever seen a giant redwood grow from a seedling, either. But we see them growing from seedlings, and in all stages of growth. I think we are on pretty solid ground, given the evidence.
    Remember, astrophysicists do know how stars form, and we can directly observe the process in all stages.


    Nor are they in 'all stages of maturity' in our galaxy. They divide pretty reasonably into two basic populations of stars.

    Nope. We recently saw a supernova go off in our own galaxy, as a giant star finally burned off the last of it's usable fuel, and blew up. We can also see bright new stars like the very young Pleiades,
    http://www.ras.ucalgary.ca/~gibson/pleiades/

    And older stars like Barnard's Star, a cool red dwarf, which will have a longer life than the expected ten billion years for our own, rather ordinary star, the sun.

    Here's a nice NASA site, on the way stars form and mature:
    http://observe.ivv.nasa.gov/nasa/core.shtml.html


    -- And outside the galaxy, we see that also.

    ----- Again, only by presumption in many cases.


    Nope. Inference from evidence. That's what science is about.


    Please, please read the primary material if you are really interested in this.

    You read that stuff? Maybe you can help. I'm trying to understand why such a specific number of solar masses are required to burn iron in giant stars. Can you run the math past me and explain it? It appears that the astrophyscists are very sure of this (so far, all the literature seems to be in agreement on that) .


    -- Stars have been forming, maturing, and "dying" since the beginning; there wasn't just two moments where the stars formed.

    ----- I have no trouble with that concept in theory, however I don't think you ought to state as fact what you have no way of really knowing for sure...


    Logical certainty isn't something science will ever provide. But the evidence is compelling enough to be very confident. Maybe there's really a cleverly disguised computer chip in our televisions that produce all that garbage, instead of receiving it in broadcast. But the evidence seems overwhelmingly against it.
    The Hubble shows us some remarkable instances of new stars forming and we see from time to time, the sudden end of stars in an explosion (which is the usual end for giant stars, which are much larger and more short-lived than our own)


    You know what's neat about the Hubble data that is coming back? It fits perfectly into the Setterfield model and predictions of what will be found. Kind of exciting...

    I was always intrigued by the fact that the speed of light ceased to slow down just when we had sufficiently sensitive instruments to precisely measure it. Apparently, even the Institute for Creation Research has published rebuttals to Setterfield's work, although they sometimes publish rather shoddy critiques, and that may have been the case this time against Setterfield. Have they re-evaluated Setterfield's claims?


    HELEN

    Why not read the links I looked up for you? You will find from some very authoritative sources that there are considered to be two populations of stars throughout the universe.

    The speed of light, meanwhile, has followed a Lorentzian curve, which means it was a very fast drop at the beginning and slowed way down later. It has not stopped, but it looks as though the natural oscillation which is superimposed on it might have caught up with it at this time, or since about 1980. That means we actually may see a slight speed-up in c for awhile before it continues to drop. In the meantime, as long as atomic clocks are being used to measure c, the circularity of that will make it look like c is constant, as the atomic clocks are dependent on c!

    The ICR rebuttal of Barry's work was published in 1987 and was known to be shoddy before it was published by several familiar with the material who saw it ahead of time. The refutation was done by Lambert Dolphin and Alan Montgomery both in a published peer-reviewed article and, by Alan, at the following International Conference on Creationism. Neither the article nor the presentation (in the Proceedings) has ever been refuted. ICR embarrassed themselves badly on that one.

    Your argument that seeing a star form is analgous to seeing a redwood grow is ridiculous. We can plant redwood seeds (I have), and watch them sprout (I have), and grow (I have). After that it is only a matter of size. And while stars may still be forming, we are only presuming how and where and we have never seen it happen, no matter how distant the observation by Hubble or anything else. The presumption may be right, but that is all it is. The fact is that while we have seen a redwood grow, we have never seen a star form. And no, astrophysicists can only model what they think is the right way for star formation -- they cannot be sure. We know extraordinarily little about astrophysics, actually.

    And again, trying to provide an analogy with a television set is absurd as well. We build televisions! We do not build stars.

    And I know we have seen stars destruct. That was not the argument, so please don't make the effort to 'convince' me of something I already know happens!

    You asked a question about solar masses and the burning of iron in giant stars. I will get back to you on that. I have several astronomy professors I can ask and I will bring their responses back here. But yes, I do read a lot of the primary material.


    THE BARBARIAN

    You will find from some very authoritative sources that there are considered to be two populations of stars throughout the universe.

    One way (I think the way you mean) is to classify stars by where they are in our galaxy. The halo stars, out on the periphery, are older than those closer in, and they have less metal,about one percent of the metallic elements found in more typical stars like the sun. These are moderately-sized stars, which could not produce most of those elements, and so are considered to be the result of previous supernovae from primary stars that then condensed other gas clouds from the shock wave. Going in, we see progressive enrichment of heavy metals, until we find the typical stars near the core and on the galactic disk. So we see, in time, two generations in the halo, and numerous other "generations" farther in.


    The speed of light, meanwhile, has followed a Lorentzian curve, which means it was a very fast drop at the beginning and slowed way down later.

    That's not really something we could know, because we lacked instruments of modern precision in earlier times.


    It has not stopped, but it looks as though the natural oscillation which is superimposed on it might have caught up with it at this time, or since about 1980. That means we actually may see a slight speed-up in c for awhile before it continues to drop. In the meantime, as long as atomic clocks are being used to measure c, the circularity of that will make it look like c is constant, as the atomic clocks are dependent on c!

    It's one of the reasons scientists are skeptical of the whole idea. The very structure of the atom is dependent on c being what it is. If it had been significantly different, we wouldn't be here.

    Has the ICR formally retracted the criticism?


    Your argument that seeing a star form is analgous to seeing a redwood grow is ridiculous…. And while stars may still be forming, we are only presuming how and where and we have never seen it happen, no matter how distant the observation by Hubble or anything else.

    Nope. We can watch them mature, but no human will ever see a star form and grow to maturity, or watch a seed grow to become a full-sized redwood. Fortunately, we can see them in all stages of maturity and understand how that happens.
    The masses of gas can be observed moving and gathering, and sometimes a star will suddenly change in ways that stellar theory predicts. We can watch this happening with stars as you can watch your tree grow.
    Nope. It's an inference based on evidence. No presumption needed.
    The fact is, while we can watch a star develope, we have never seen a seed grow into a fully mature redwood.
    Turns out that the recent supernova in our galaxy was remarkably close to what astronomers thought it would be. And when they went back and looked at historical supernovae, they found what the theory expected. We know nothing completely, but fortunately, we don't have to, in order to understand how they work.


    And again, trying to provide an analogy with a television set is absurd as well. We build televisions!

    You and I don't. You don't really know for sure. You just use a little reasoning and evidence to accept that the evidence is compelling.


    And I know we have seen stars destruct. That was not the argument, so please don't make the effort to 'convince' me of something I already know happens!

    Nevertheless, a supernova doesn't really end the star, does it? That's just a stage in the further development, which can go to a pulsar or possibly a black hole. So we can watch the process of maturation.
     
  6. Administrator2

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    HELEN

    I'm trying to understand why such a specific number of solar masses are required to burn iron in giant stars. Can you run the math past me and explain it?

    Ok, discovered that was a cute one, Pat, and typical of you. A Nobel Prize was given for some analysis of this. But you want me to 'run the math by you' in simple form.

    Astrophysical Concepts by Martin Harwit (1988) from page 341:
    "If a star runs out of all energy sources, a rapid implosion can take place on a free-fall time scale, which as we saw earlier, corresponds to times of the order of one thousand seconds. Extremely high temperatures then set in and iron group nuclei can be broken up into alpha particles and neutrons; for, in Fe56 there are four excess neutrons for thirteen alphas. All this takes place at temperatures of the order 10^10 degrees K and with neutron fluxes of order 10^32 cm^-2 seconds^-1 (per square centimeter per second). The r-process can build up elements to about a ~ 260a ['a' is atomic mass number], where further neutron exposure induces fission that cycles material back down into the lower mass ranges."


    THE BARBARIAN

    Yes. I know that. But why doesn't the process go beyond iron, without a catastrophic explosion?
    Why are higher elements only formed in such explosions? Not that I spend that much time in the literature, but I don't see the answer anywhere.



    HELEN

    [Helen had linked Barbarian to several websites explaining that stars are classified in terms of two basic populations. Barbarian’s response was:]

    One way (I think the way you mean) is to classify stars by where they are in our galaxy. The halo stars, out on the periphery, are older than those closer in, and they have less metal,about one percent of the metallic elements found in more typical stars like the sun. These are moderately-sized stars, which could not produce most of those elements, and so are considered to be the result of previous supernovae from primary stars that then condensed other gas clouds from the shock wave. Going in, we see progressive enrichment of heavy metals, until we find the typical stars near the core and on the galactic disk. So we see, in time, two generations in the halo, and numerous other "generations" farther in.

    You are incredible! You had no intention of reading the material I linked you to from even an encyclopedia, did you? Here, for those who are watching:

    Stars and stellar populations

    The concept of different populations of stars has undergone considerable change over the last several decades. Before the 1940s astronomers were aware of differences among stars and had largely accounted for most of them in terms of different masses, luminosities, and orbital characteristics around the Galaxy. Understanding of evolutionary differences, however, had not yet been achieved, and differences in the chemical abundances in the stars were known but their significance was not comprehended. At this juncture chemical differences seemed exceptional and erratic and remained uncorrelated with other stellar properties. There was still no systematic division of stars even into different kinematic families in spite of the advances in theoretical work on the dynamics of the Galaxy.

    Principal population types

    In 1944 Baade announced the successful resolution into stars of the centre of the Andromeda Galaxy, M31, and its two elliptical companions, M32 and NGC 205. He found that the central parts of Andromeda and the accompanying galaxies were resolved at very much fainter magnitudes than were the outer spiral arm areas of M31. Furthermore, by using plates of different spectral sensitivity and coloured filters, he discovered that the two ellipticals and the centre of the spiral had red giants as their brightest stars rather than blue main-sequence stars, as in the case of the spiral arms. This finding led Baade to suggest that these galaxies, and also the Milky Way Galaxy, are made of two populations of stars that are distinct in their physical properties as well as their locations. He applied the term Population I to the stars that constitute the spiral arms of Andromeda and to most of the stars that are visible in the Milky Way system in the neighbourhood of the Sun. He found that these Population I objects were limited to the flat disk of the spirals and suggested that they were absent from the centres of such galaxies and from the ellipticals entirely. Baade designated as Population II the bright red giant stars that he discovered in the ellipticals and in the nucleus of Andromeda. Other objects that seemed to contain the brightest stars of this class were the globular clusters of the Galaxy. Baade further suggested that the high-velocity stars near the Sun were Population II objects that happened to be passing through the disk.

    As a result of Baade's pioneering work on other galaxies in the Local Group (the cluster of star systems to which the Milky Way Galaxy belongs), astronomers immediately applied the notion of two stellar populations to the Galaxy. It is possible to segregate various components of the Galaxy into the two population types by applying both the idea of kinematics of different populations suggested by their position in the Andromeda system and the dynamical theories that relate galactic orbital properties with z distances (the distances above the plane of the Galaxy) for different stars. For many of these objects, the kinematic data on velocities are the prime source of population classification. The Population I component of the Galaxy, highly limited to the flat plane of the system, contains such objects as open star clusters, O and B stars, Cepheid variables, emission nebulas, and neutral hydrogen. Its Population II component, spread over a more nearly spherical volume of space, includes globular clusters, RR Lyrae variables, high-velocity stars, and certain other rarer objects.

    As time progressed, it was possible for astronomers to subdivide the different populations in the Galaxy further. The Table summarizes the properties and membership of the five subdivisions that were accepted at the time of the Vatican Conference on stellar populations in 1957. These subdivisions ranged from the nearly spherical "halo Population II" system to the very thin "extreme Population I" system, and each of the subgroups was found to contain (though not exclusively) characteristic types of stars. It was even possible to divide some of the variable-star types into subgroups according to their population subtype. The RR Lyrae variables of type ab, for example, could be separated into different groups by their spectral classifications and their mean periods. Those with mean periods longer than 0.4 days were classified as "halo Population II," while those with periods less than 0.4 days were placed in the "disk population." Similarly, long-period variables were divided into different subgroups, such that those with periods of less than 250 days and of relatively early spectral type (earlier than M 5e) were considered "intermediate Population II," whereas the longer period variables fell into the "older Population I" category.

    An understanding of the physical differences in the stellar populations became increasingly clearer during the 1950s with improved calculations of stellar evolution. Evolving-star models showed that giants and supergiants are evolved objects recently derived from the main sequence after the exhaustion of hydrogen in the stellar core. As this became better understood, it was found that the luminosity of such giants was not only a function of the masses of the initial main-sequence stars from which they evolved but was also dependent on the chemical composition of the stellar atmosphere. Therefore, not only was the existence of giants in the different stellar populations understood but differences among the giants with relation to the main sequence of star groups came to be understood in terms of the chemistry of the stars.

    At the same time, progress was made in determining the abundances of stars of the different population types by means of high-dispersion spectra obtained with large reflecting telescopes having a coudé focus arrangement. A curve of growth analysis demonstrated beyond a doubt that the two population types exhibited very different chemistries. In 1959 H. Lawrence Helfer, George Wallerstein, and Jesse L. Greenstein of the United States showed that the giant stars in globular clusters have chemical abundances quite different from those of Population I stars such as typified by the Sun. Population II stars have considerably lower abundances of the heavy elements--by amounts ranging from a factor of five or 10 up to a factor of several hundred. The total abundance of heavy elements, Z, for typical Population I stars is 0.04 (given in terms of the mass percent for all elements with atomic weights heavier than helium, a common practice in calculating stellar models). The values of Z for halo population globular clusters, on the other hand, were typically as small as 0.003.

    A further difference between the two populations became clear as the study of stellar evolution advanced. It was found that Population II was exclusively made up of stars that are very old. Estimates of the age of Population II stars have varied over the years, depending on the degree of sophistication of the calculated models and the manner in which observations for globular clusters are fitted to these models.

    from http://www.space.com/reference/brit/galaxies/overview.html

    So, number 1, I think you will find that the two populations of stars in terms of categorization extends just a 'wee bit' beyond our Milky Way Galaxy, let alone 'our little corner' of it.
    And 2, as a teacher, you really ought to be aware of this basic stuff. If I, as a creationist, know more about basic astronomy than you do, then by the standards of your evolutionary peers, I would think you would be in real trouble.

    ------------

    Helen: The speed of light, meanwhile, has followed a Lorentzian curve, which means it was a very fast drop at the beginning and slowed way down later.

    ----- Pat: That's not really something we could know, because we lacked instruments of modern precision in earlier times.


    This has nothing to do with direct measurements of light, but of the indirect measurements possible due to the much higher degree of technology available today. Measurements of the other constants ('h' - Planck's Constant, for instance, has increased in time. hc, however, has been shown to be invariable. So where does that leave c?) as well as of the redshift give ample data for the calculation of the curve. Why do you keep retreating to the old evolutionist canards instead of thinking for yourself or actually doing some reading of real stuff instead of indoctrination?

    ----------------

    Helen: It has not stopped, but it looks as though the natural oscillation which is superimposed on it might have caught up with it at this time, or since about 1980. That means we actually may see a slight speed-up in c for awhile before it continues to drop. In the meantime, as long as atomic clocks are being used to measure c, the circularity of that will make it look like c is constant, as the atomic clocks are dependent on c!

    ----- Pat: It's one of the reasons scientists are skeptical of the whole idea. The very structure of the atom is dependent on c being what it is. If it had been significantly different, we wouldn't be here.


    First of all, glad you understand that using atomic clocks will automatically negate the concept of a change in c. This doesn't mean c hasn't changed - it just means we can't measure the change in this manner.
    However, secondly, it is not the atomic structure that changes with a change in c. Atomic structure itself is independent of c. Atomic energy is what gives rise to a change in redshift, not c. c is independent of both. Think of them (atomic energy levels and light speed) as children with the same parents. Who on earth told you that atomic structure is dependent on c? We can so some measuring of one with the other, but they exist independently of each other.

    In the meantime, one does not have to watch the tree grow for a thousand years to know that it will continue to grow. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with how a star forms. We - again - can plant a redwood seed. Next time you find a star seed, let everyone know, please. It will fascinate the entire world. Everything we suppose about star formation is inference (which you actually admitted). What we know about redwoods growing is experience.
    There's a world of difference. We may be right about star formation, but until we actually see one form, there is no way of knowing. Why are you resorting to this kind of ridiculous argument? You know better!

    ------------------

    Regarding your question about star mass, your response to my answer was
    Yes. I know that. But why doesn't the process go beyond iron, without a catastrophic explosion? Why are higher elements only formed in such explosions? Not that I spend that much time in the literature, but I don't see the answer anywhere.

    No matter what I say or reference for you, you either respond with 'I know that' or an argument against it.
    Do your own research. Find out for yourself. Why ask a creationist about material you can find out yourself on the net with a search engine? Do your own work, buddy. And when you present materials and your broad generalizations, referencing them would be really nice for everyone here.

    GARPIER

    I can see that this discussion will never be based on what the Bible says but rather on what finite man thinks about the origins of life. It's a shame that we simply can't believe what the Bible says. Every time man tries to prove the Bible is wrong, there comes some "discovery" to "prove" that the Bible was right all along. Science has been proved wrong many times in the past and will be proved wrong many more times before the Lord returns.
    The Bible on the other hand has never been proved to be wrong. Therefore when Genesis 1 tells me that there was light before the sun, moon and stars were created, I believe it. Incidentally there will be light with out the sun again.(Revelation 21:23 and 22:5) And when the Bible tells me in Genesis 1 that the sun moon and stars were created on day four, I believe it. After all the Bible is the preserved Word of the living God who created the heavens and the earth and He should know what He is talking about. Science has not shown anything in Genesis or any other place in the Bible to be in error. For those of you who insist on trying to "prove" that the Bible is wrong and those of you who are teying to "prove" the Bible is right, you are wasting your time and effort. God has spoken and His Word stands certain for all of time and eternity.

    "The Bible stands like a rock undaunted through the raging storms of time;
    Its pages burn with the truth eternal and they glow with a light sublime.
    The Bible stands like a mountain towering far above the works of men;
    Its truth by none ever was refuted and destroy it they never can.
    The Bible stands and it will forever when the world has passed away;
    By inspiration it has been given all its precepts I will obey.
    The Bible stands every test we give it for Its Author is divine;
    By faith alone I expect to live it and to prove it and make it mine.
    The Bible stands tho the hills may tumble, It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;
    I will plant my feet on its firm foundation for the Bible stands."

    Haldor Lillenas, 1885-1959

    If we only put as much time and effort into reading and studying the Bible as we do in these issues that the are clearly answered by the Bible, we would all be much better off.


    THE BARBARIAN

    The Bible, as one wise man observed, is to tell us how to move to heaven, not how the heavens move.


    HELEN

    Here, Barbarian, from a fellow YEC who isn't even an astronomer -- he just knows how to look things up. As long as this response came in, might as well pass it along (by the way, what looks like the number 160 is actually what became of the original emails notation for oxygen 16):

    -----------

    Stellar energy generation & nucleosynthesis has been characterized by a said sequence of alternate "stages" of gravitational (what I believe to be electromagnetism) contraction to higher temperatures (and densities) and thermonuclear burning of the available fuels at these temperatures. The various burnings said "stages" in the "lives" of stars were first defined in 1957 in papers by E.M. Burbidge, G.R. Burbidge, W.A. Fowler, Sir Fred Hoyle & A.G.W. Cameron. By far the greatest fraction of the active burning "lifetime" of a star is said spent converting hydrogen into helium (hydrogen burning) in its core, releasing about 7 MeV per nucleon. Nuclear transformations can provide at most only another ~ 1.1 MeV per nucleon, assuming burning proceeds all the way to 56Fe. This is found to occur only in stars more massive than aproximately 10 solar masses. (M()). Less massive stars are said to have developed dense cores in which electron degeneracy pressure becomes dominant; following the loss of often a substantial fraction of their envelope mass, they are then said to become white dwarf stars of helium, carbon-oxygen, or oxygen-neon-magnesium compostion. Nuclear transformations in massive stars are said to build upward 56Fe in a "succession of stages": helium burning to 12C & 16O proceeding via the reactions 34He - 12C & 12C(a,y)16O; carbon and oxygen burning by the heavy-ion reactions 12C+12C - 20Ne + 4He - 23Na + p16O+16O - 28Si + 4He - 31P + p,
    to intermediate mass nuclei; and silicon burning proceedings by a complex sequence of photonuclear and charged-particle-induced reactions to nuclei in the immediate vicinity of iron. Since 56Fe is the most tightly bound nucleus (per nucleon), further processing of this matter cannot provide a nuclear energy source.
    The formation of nuclei heavier than iron is due primarily to neutron-capture reactions. Two distinct environments are required, defined by the conditions that the rates of neutron capture are either slow (s-process) or fast (r-process), compared to electron decay rates in the vicinity of the valley of beta stability. Production of the most neutron-rich isotopes of heavy nuclei and of nuclei heavier than lead both require more substantial neutron fluxes (r-process), as may be realized in supernova environments. Less extreme neutron fluxes, realized during helium shell burning in red-giants stars, can provide an approximate s-process environment. The presence of technetium in the atmosphere of red giants testifies to the operation of this nucleosynthesis mechanism.
    From the point of view of nucleosynthesis, these stable "phases" serve as the likely source of the 12C and 16O existing in our galaxy and of the designated s-process heavy elements. Concentrations of nuclei from neon to iron, thought to have formed during stable burning "phases", can be substantially altered as a result of their shock ejection in supernova events.



    THE BARBARIAN

    Thanks, Helen.
    Maybe I'm just stubborn, but there's something that bothers me about that explaination.


    HELEN

    MAYBE you are just stubborn?????
    I shouldn't have told you it was from a creationist. That's what made all the difference...

    Just checked that response with a professor of astronomy and physics at a university (secular) and he responded that it was a good answer. So there you are from the professional with a Ph.D. in the subject...


    THE BARBARIAN

    Helen, again, I'm quite sure the preponderance of opinion of scientists is correct, as you assert. It's true on the question of evolution, after all.
    The problem is that when I ask for the math, no one can explain it to me. I appreciate the endorsements, but that isn't what I was looking for. I've already heard the endorsements, and given that people who know better than you or I agree on it, I conclude that they are right.
    But I would like to understand the mechanics of the process.
     
  7. Administrator2

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    JOHN2001

    Originally posted by BWSmith:
    There has been much talk about the age of the universe and the age of terrestrial life. Let's go halfway at a point where the scientific model and the supposed "Biblical history" are in direct chronological conflict.
    1) What is the age of the earth (and how do you know that)?


    I would refer everybody to _The Age of the Earth_ by G. Brent Dalrymple for information regarding this topic.
    The 4.6 billion year figure has been pretty much it for the past 50+ years (contrary to Pastor Larry's erroneous claim that the age of the earth "keeps increasing").


    2) Are any stars older than the earth (and how do you know that)?

    Obviously since we can see galaxies that are more than 10 billion lightyears away, there must be stars that pre-existed the earth.
    The physical evidence that the earth is composed of materials that were formed in a supernova explosion of a pre-esixting star comes from studies of extinct radionuclides, most notably those in the natural nuclear reactor at Oklo in Gabon. (See Chapter 15 of Dickin, 1995 and Kuroda, 1975.)

    References:
    Dalrymple, G. Brent, (1984), The age of the earth, Stanford University Press.
    Dickin, A. P., (1995), Radiogenic Isotope Geology, Cambridge University Press.
    Kuroda, P. K. (1975) Fossil Nuclear Reactor and Plutonium-244 in the early history of the solar system, _in_ le Oklo
    Phenomene proceedings of a symposium on the Oklo phenomenon, Vienna, IAEA.


    HELEN

    OK, I'll bite. Could you please explain what you are talking about here [regarding Oklo]? I know a little about the Oklo site and the paucity of 235U there. I know the standard explanations. So you can take it from there if you like to explain what you are talking about here. Thanks.


    JOHN2001

    The idea of a pre-solar nebula supernova comes from the fact that 136 Xe is found in meteorites, terrestrial rocks, and lunar rocks, which are not likely to have had sufficient 235 U fission events to produce the quantities of Xe seen. [Kuroda, 1975] showed that it is possible to distinguish between 136 Xe created by the "supernova", by normal 235 U decay processes, and by natural nuclear reactor sources. Kuroda did this by plotting the ratio of 136 Xe/248 U vs the age of the specimens from each of the sources. There is a very definite set of signatures associated with each of these sources. Kuroda also noted that there appears to be rapid loss of 136 Xe from the natural reactor source, not seen in any of the other sources.


    HELEN

    Thank you. I noted that Kuroda's paper was 1975. This 1999 Geotimes article might help confuse the issue a little....grin. It seems that there are some problems with Xenon which are not so easily solved. See what you think.
    http://www.agiweb.org/geotimes/nov99/newsnotes.html

    However, as I recall, U235 decays into Pb207. But I figured you must have something else going, so I kept going on search engines until I found the following: www.srs.gov/general/sci-tech/fulltext/dpms7982/dpms7982.pdf

    Production of Isotopes of Xenon and Krypton

    Several isotopes of Xe (Xe-131, Xe-132, Xe-134, and Xe-136) and Kr (Kr-83, Kr-84, and Kr-86) are formed as fission products in the spontaneous fissioning of U-238, U-235, and Th-232. Spontaneous fission half-lives are 1.9 x 1017 yr for U-235, 6.8 x 1015 yr for U-238, and >1021 yr for Th-232. Significant amounts of fission thus would occur only in U-238, and fissioning of U-235 and Th-232 can essentially be ignored.

    Fission yields for the isotopes of xenon and krypton were estimated (Argonne National Laboratory, 1963), and volumes of xenon and krypton per gram of uranium were calculated. Results are shown on Figure 1. Quantities are very small compared with quantities of He-4. It should be noted that all the xenon and krypton isotopes are stable and that in each case natural xenon and natural krypton contain stable isotopes that are not formed as fission products and thus would not be formed in rocks.


    Now I have to admit a lot of ignorance in this area, but from what I have been able to see on the net, with these two articles as samples, I'm not sure that (whether the earth is old or young), the conclusions Kuroda drew are not somewhat premature.

    Can you help me out here? Thanks.


    JOHN WELLS

    john2001 said, "Obviously since we can see galaxies that are more than 10 billion lightyears away, there must be stars that pre-existed the earth."

    Unless God "stretched out the heavens" which the Bible refers to four times. By the way, since you are new, do you believe in Him?


    JOHN2001

    Helen, thanks for the link. While the issue of mobility of noble gases is important for the study of geochemistry, it is less of an issue in this case.

    Kuroda's paper largely depended on the ratios of Xe136/U238 found in meteorites and in moon rocks. The levels found in these sources were approximately 2 orders of magnitude greater than those found in terrestrial sources. This is with the exception of Oklo, which had ratios of Xe136/U238 which were 4 orders of magnitude larger than the normal terrestrial sources. Even taking into account mobility issues, these facts are not really changed.

    Kuroda's analysis was more sophisticated than merely studying one or two isotope ratios.
    Through the comparison of the ratios of many isotopes, Kuroda was able to distinguish between Xe136 produced from the normal fissioning chains of U238, from the fission decay of Pu244 in the natural nuclear reactor at Oklo, and the "unknown" source, which, based on the levels seen meteorites, fit the decay curve of Pu244 produced in the hypothetical "supernova explosion" some 4.9 billion years ago.

    I would mention that I have discussed Kuroda's paper not because it is necessarily the most modern paper, but because it was the seminal paper which used decay products of an extinct radionuclide (Pu244) as a way of studying pre-solar system chemistry.


    HELEN

    Aren't you presuming it is pre-solar system chemistry in the first place? My point is that isn't the presumpton of long ages relected in the conclusions?

    Second question -- what about variable decay rates? More and more research is indicating these are not constants. Would this have the same effect?


    JOHN2001

    The importance of Oklo to physics is that because the chain reaction fission products were the same at Oklo as in a modern fission reactor, it is an inescapable conclusion that the strong and weak nuclear forces, which govern fission decay, were the same when Oklo formed as they are today.

    Geologically, Olko is Precambrian. Radiometrically, Oklo is 1.2 billion years old. Because the values of the strong and weak nuclear forces also govern normal radioactive decay rates, we know from Oklo that the radioactive decay rates 1.2 billion years ago were the same as they are today.

    There is little evidence to suggest that the decay rates have changed in the past 5 billion years. You will have to look elsewhere for ways of shooting down mainstream sciences' view of the age of the earth.


    HELEN

    You sure got defensive fast!

    First of all, I do know that the presupposition of old age is what gave rise to the conclusion of old age.

    Secondly, I also know that the speed of light, c, is in the numerator of every radiodecay rate equation.

    Thirdly, I am also aware that the speed of light question is being researched by both our camps and that Hawking himself recently called a conference on the question.

    If the speed of light is higher, radio decay rates are faster. Conversely, if the speed of light is lower, radio decay rates are slower. There is evidence that the speed of light has changed -- more so the further back you go.
    Therefore radio decay rates have changed as well.

    What this means depends on what researcher you talk to. But direct measurements of the speed of light for the past 350 years show a consistent downward trend, regardless of method used. Even apart from that, constants which are c-related also show variation in the correct proportions. And, finally, the redshift data indicates the same thing by an indirect method.

    The better part of science is to admit your presupposition and then do your best to go in with an open mind to check the data.

    You had said that the Oklo material proved we came from a star, I think. I asked for information about that. What I got was possible evidence when looked at the 'right' way. When I asked you about the way you were looking at it, you got defensive.

    I was curious about your evidence. What I got in the long run was sudden defensiveness. That told me a lot.


    JOHN2001

    First of all, I do know that the presupposition of old age is what gave rise to the conclusion of old age.

    Actually, no. We presume an old age for the earth because presuming a young age simply isn't consistent with what we see in the world. There is powerful and compelling evidence that the earth is of a great age.


    Secondly, I also know that the speed of light, c, is in the numerator of every radiodecay rate equation.

    I believe that you are referring to the dependence of radioactive decay on the value of the fine structure constant, which also has the property that it is related to the constants that govern the speed of light. Change the fine-structure constant, then the value of the weak and strong nuclear interactions also change, as well as the speed of light.

    There is some exciting experimental evidence supporting the idea that the fine structure constant was different in the past:
    http://physicsweb.org/article/news/5/8/11
    and
    http://www.nature.com/nsu/010816/010816-8.html

    which would mean that the speed of light would have been faster in the past.. Unfortunately for creationists, the fine structure constant appears to be essentially unchanged over the of history of the earth.

    Recall that we have Oklo giving us strong observational evidence that the fine structure constant was the same more than a billion years ago as it is today.

    I assume that you are referring to Barry Setterfields' attempts to measure changes in the speed of light using historically determined values. Setterfield's results are inconclusive because the error bars on his data values are bigger than the phenomenon he is claiming he is seeing. It was a nice try, though.

    A critique of Setterfield's work may be found at:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c-decay.html


    The better part of science is to admit your presupposition and then do your best to go in with an open mind to check the data.

    Indeed. That's why what creationists do often falls far short of the mark.

    Science can determine consistency versus inconsistency, that's all. The situation is that young-earth young-universe ideas are inconsistent with the physical evidence, which is why the mainstream scientific community operates from an old-earth old-universe direction.

    My experience with creationism is from the perspective of being a professional scientist in the earth sciences. Creationism is just plain bad science. There are maybe two results which can be looked on with any seriousness at all, but the majority of it that I have seen (which is about 20 years worth) is just plain bad.
    Now, of course, it takes a long time to debunk these things, because the creationist movement has used a shotgun approach, by attaching the word "evolution" to any science that they perceive as being in conflict with their young-earth global-flood view of the world.

    If creationists wanted to make a contribution, they could do it by assuming the role of the "loyal opposition". A couple of creationists have done that. Robert Gentry and Harold Coffin are examples. (Maybe the only two examples.)


    HELEN

    John,
    Thank you for your response. First of all, I mentioned you are presuming an old earth and therefore your conclusions will be old-earth, to which you replied:

    Actually, no. We presume an old age for the earth because presuming a young age simply isn't consistent with what we see in the world. There is powerful and compelling evidence that the earth is of a great age.

    And I had to laugh when I read that. First you said 'no' that you did not presume an old earth, followed immediately by the presumption of an old earth because you did not think the alternative was reasonable.

    So, first of all, you ARE presuming an old earth. Secondly, your only given reason philosophically that I can see is that you don't like the idea of a young earth. I suppose that could hold philosophically in some way, but scientifically, that's just not the way things are supposed to be done! Not that they aren't done that way, but the idea is to look at the evidence as objectively as possible.

    I then mentioned, "Secondly, I also know that the speed of light, c, is in the numerator of every radiodecay rate equation. To which you responded:

    I believe that you are referring to the dependence of radioactive decay on the value of the fine structure constant, which also has the property that it is related to the constants that govern the speed of light. Change the fine-structure constant, then the value of the weak and strong nuclear interactions also change, as well as the speed of light.

    No, firstly, they all needn't change. In fact, because hc is invariant, a change in the fine structure constant would not necessarily affect either Planck's Constant or the speed of light. What it would necessarily effect, if it has changed (and that is really doubtful given the degree of measurement and the way the math had to be tweaked) is the electronic charge and/or the permittivity.

    As far as the presumed change in the fine structure constant, perhaps Setterfield's response on his website might help clarify things:

    "In Physical Review Letters, published on 27 August 2001, there appeared a report from a group of scientists in the USA, UK and Australia, led by Dr. John K. Webb of the University of New South Wales, Australia. That report indicated the fine-structure constant, …[alpha], may have changed over the lifetime of the universe. The Press came up with stories that the speed of light might be changing as a consequence. However, the change that has been measured is only one part in 100,000 over a distance of 12 billion light-years. This means that the differences from the expected measurements are very subtle. Furthermore, the complicated analysis needed to disentangle the effect from the data left some, like Dr. John Bahcall from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., expressing doubts as to the validity of the claim. "

    The second paragraph of this response to a question he received contains the fine structure equation which has the alpha and epsilon which I don't know how to reproduce on this forum. However it is the last response on this page: http://www.setterfield.org/queries/index.html

    Back to the original topic, however, when you reduce any of the decay equations, you will find the equivalent of c in the numerator - just sort of sitting there. Thus, if c changes, or has changed, then the rate of decay changes, or has changed, proportionately.

    Regarding the Oklo evidence, I honestly found nothing in what you presented which did not depend on a presupposition of old age in order to reach the conclusion of old age. Please show me if I missed something there. But if your conclusion came about primarily because of your presupposition, which is how I saw it, then all you have is an essentially circular argument, and self-referencing is not an explanation.

    You then went on:
    I assume that you are referring to Barry Setterfields' attempts to measure changes in the speed of light using error bars on his data values are bigger than the phenomenon he is claiming he is seeing. It was a nice try, though.
    A critique of Setterfield's work may be found at:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c-decay.html


    Talk Origins is not a website I would congratulate for their honesty or ethics. This particular piece is a case in point. They don't link to Setterfield's refutation here: http://www.trueorigins.org/ca_bs_02.asp nor, when appraised of the dishonesty of this particular review, did they have the grace to remove it from their website.

    As far as Norman and Setterfield's use of the data is concerned, it was quite ably defended by Alan Montgomery, a professional statistician who has never met either author to the best of my knowledge, and Lambert Dolphin, a retired senior physicist from the Stanford Research Institute, in 'Galilean Electrodynamics', a peer-reviewed journal. There have never been any refutations of this article. Please also keep in mind that the Norman-Setterfield 1987 paper was jointly issued by Flinders University (whose math department had inspected the math and statistics and approved them) and Stanford Research Institute itself as an invited paper.

    It makes the Talk Origins article look like the sloppy and deceitful mess it is.

    I continued, saying, "The better part of science is to admit your presupposition and then do your best to go in with an open mind to check the data." Your only reply to this was a sort of attack on creation science:
    Indeed. That's why what creationists do often falls far short of the mark.

    Everyone falls short of the mark, many times. That is not the issue. The issue is to try to avoid doing that. To at least aim for the mark. When I see you resort to the nonsense TO is willing to post, that tells me you are not checking things for yourself but simply responding to propaganda from the evolutionist side. For my part, although I know a lot of work on both sides of the fence falls far short of the mark, as an editor who has worked with some top class scientists on both sides of the debate, I would have to say that I have seen some outstanding research and science on both sides, and I am more than willing to acknowledge that. Talk Origins simply is an internet propaganda machine, though, and I urge you strongly to expand your reading.

    A little later you stated:
    The situation is that young-earth young-universe ideas are inconsistent with the physical evidence, which is why the mainstream scientific community operates from an old-earth old-universe direction.

    You know I disagree with you here, or I would not be YEC! The mainstream scientific community, by the way, not only has a great number of creationists in it, but the number is growing. The evidence really does not stack up for evolution, first of all, and the data indicating the universe and earth are not that old are accumulating. But the main thing I want to mention here is that long ages and evolution are used primarily, and foundationally, not because they are so evident, but because they eliminate God from the equation. Science cannot deal with God.
    Therefore mainstream science has, for the most part, declared Him not to exist as far as they are concerned.
    Any explanations outside those which are both material and naturalistic are denied on an a priori basis, simply because science cannot deal with them. Science long ago had the choice of recognizing that these might be legitimate answers regarding causes - even if they couldn't manipulate them, or to choose to deny their existence. They picked the latter. There was no reason for that other than a desire to eliminate God from the scene.

    The problem is, He doesn't disappear. Whether or not science wishes to acknowledge Him, he won't disappear.

    But at least long ages and evolution can totally marginalize Him in men's minds, and if you listen long to Michael Ruse, or Eugenie Scott, or Ken Miller, or any of them, then you will see that there is definitely a religious motivation behind what they are saying. Dawkins certainly makes no bones about it, does he? And although Gould proclaims non-overlapping magisterium, thus giving a sort of nod to religion, he totally marginalizes it as of little or no importance to 'educated' people. The religious and rebellious connection to evolution and the long ages it requires could not be more evident.

    You told me:
    My experience with creationism is from the perspective of being a professional scientist in the earth sciences.
    Creationism is just plain bad science. There are maybe two results which can be looked on with any seriousness at all, but the majority of it that I have seen (which is about 20 years worth) is just plain bad.


    On a purely professional basis, I am curious as to what you have come in contact with that you consider just plain bad and that which you consider good.


    Now, of course, it takes a long time to debunk these things, because the creationist movement has used a shotgun approach, by attaching the word "evolution" to any science that they perceive as being in conflict with their young-earth global-flood view of the world.

    This honestly makes me wonder how much you have actually read and how much you are simply listening to propaganda. Allow me to recommend some of the others I think are quite excellent:

    Andrew Snelling (geologist)
    Curt Sewell (nuclear physics - worked on the Manhattan Project in WWII)
    Dean Kenyon (biologist)
    Walter ReMine (his "The Biotic Message" is a classic piece of research and logic)
    Leonard Brand ("Faith, Reason, and Earth History")
    Ariel Roth (biology)
    Keith Wanser (physics)
    Timothy Standish (biology)
    Ben Clausen (nuclear physics)
    Elaine Kennedy (geology)
    Werner Gitt (information science)
    Art Chadwick (biology and geology)

    (I have purposely left out the better-known names at ICR etc., except for Snelling, who is simply one of the best anywhere, because you very probably are already predisposed about them. I don't think you are about the above list, though, which is miniscule compared to the number of names I would like to throw at you.

    A number of these are Seventh Day Adventists, working at GRI (and not all are YEC). I am not SDA, but have had the privilege of meeting and corresponding with some, and of working with others there. They have some of the top brains in the business going.

    What I am trying to say is that I think you are falling for the evolutionist stereotypes regarding creation science. You can do better for yourself.

    One more point I forgot to add. It has occurred to me that Kuroda's 'evidence' is pointing him to the supernova explanation precisely because he refuses to consider a young earth -- which is what that evidence very well could point to, couldn't it?
    When you don't want one possibility badly enough, ANY other possibility is more acceptable, no matter WHERE the data seems to pointing...
     
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    JOHN2001

    Originally posted by Helen:
    It has occurred to me that Kuroda's 'evidence' is pointing him to the supernova explanation precisely because he refuses to consider a young earth -- which is what that evidence very well could point to, couldn't it?


    Actually, no. The absolute age of the earth is irrelevant in Kuroda's (and just about everybody else's) work in radiometric dating. The results stated are in radiometric years, so, in calendar year terms, the supernova would have been 5000 years ago.

    (Of course, this would require that the radioactive materials would be millions of times more radioactive to show the same amount of net decay.)


    Helen wrote:
    First of all, I mentioned you are presuming an old earth and therefore your conclusions will be old-earth, to which you replied: “Actually, no. We presume an old age for the earth because presuming a young age simply isn't consistent with what we see in the world. There is powerful and compelling evidence that the earth is of a great age.”
    And I had to laugh when I read that. First you said 'no' that you did not presume an old earth, followed immediately by the presumption of an old earth because you did not think the alternative was reasonable.
    So, first of all, you ARE presuming an old earth. Secondly, your only given reason philosophically that I can see is that you don't like the idea of a young earth. I suppose that could hold philosophically in some way, but scientifically, that's just not the way things are supposed to be done! Not that they aren't done that way, but the idea is to look at the evidence as objectively as possible.


    Helen, I believe that I misunderstood your comment. You wrote:” First of all, I do know that the presupposition of old age is what gave rise to the conclusion of old age.

    I couldn't tell if you were asserting this as a generality, or talking specifically about studies of Oklo.
    If you are talking about the origin of the general result in earth science that the earth is old, then your statement is false. It was the presumption of a young earth that led to the conclusion that the earth was old, based on contradictions between the expectations from the young earth hypothesis and observations of geology.

    If you are saying that old earth conclusions in studies of Oklo are the results of the assumption of an old earth, then your statement is also false. Kuroda is not studying the age of the earth. He is applying accepted methods of radiometric dating to numerous rock samples and concluding from the relationships between _radiometric ages_ and the ratios of 136Xe and 238U for samples of various origins that an event, which he calls a "supernova" occurred about 4.9 radiometric years ago. Oklo was about 1.8 billion radiometric years ago. (I believe I wrote 1.2 billion years ago in my previous message. That was a mistake.)

    The issue of whether or not _radiometric ages_ are the same as _calendar ages_ is not being considered in studies of Oklo. What is being considered in studies of Oklo, among other things, is the question of whether or not the fusion chain reactions were the same at the time of the Oklo phenomena, whenever that was, as they are today. Geologically, the Oklo structure is Precambrian, which is determined first by the geological setting.


    Helen wrote: No, firstly, they [referring to the fine structure constant] all needn't change.

    Yes, I am aware of Setterfield's explanations.
    The question is: Is it merely an ad hoc device to have c, h, and epsilon_0 behave in such a way that just happens to keep the fine structure constant from changing? We could argue that having h change to offset c is "necessary for conservation of energy". However, is h really changing? Setterfield produces the historically determined values of h as evidence, but are these really real changes or is this merely an effect of improved measuring technology?


    Back to the original topic, however, when you reduce any of the decay equations, you will find the equivalent of c in the numerator - just sort of sitting there. Thus, if c changes, or has changed, then the rate of decay changes, or has changed, proportionately.

    Yes. Please recall that radioactive decay is an exponential decay law where the decay constant, that parameter which you have as being proportional to c appears in the exponent of the exponential. So, changing all radiactive decay constants will have the effect of causing profound discordances between radiometric dates obtained via different methods.

    Generally, the reverse is observed. We see profound *concordances* between radiometric age dates determined using different methods. This is why geologists are able to state specific radiometric dates for the geologic ages.

    The idea of compressing 5 billion years of radioactive decay into a mere 6000 years requires that radioactive materials be millions of times more radioactive in the past than today. Is the idea that 3000 years ago, the earth had an ambient radioactivity greater than that in a nuclear reactor reasonable? I don't think so.


    Regarding the Oklo evidence, I honestly found nothing in what you presented which did not depend on a presupposition of old age in order to reach the conclusion of old age. Please show me if I missed something there. But if your conclusion came about primarily because of your presupposition, which is how I saw it, then all you have is an essentially circular argument, and self-referencing is not an explanation.

    As I point out above, there were no "age of the earth" conclusions from Kuroda's study.
    What other studies of Oklo show is that at the time that fission was occurring at the site, the nuclear processes associated with the fission chain reaction were the same as they are today. So, at a time that is billions of radiometric years ago, then, we have an independent measure of the rates of nuclear processes. This supports the idea that radioactive decay was the same billions of radiometric years ago as it is today, which leads further credence to the idea that radiometric years are not vastly different from calendar years.


    You then went on:
    Talk Origins is not a website I would congratulate for their honesty or ethics. This particular piece is a case in point. They don't link to Setterfield's refutation here: http://www.trueorigins.org/ca_bs_02.asp nor, when appraised of the dishonesty of this particular review, did they have the grace to remove it from their website.


    If you have issues with the contents of the talk.origins site, and propose alternate FAQ's I am sure that you could post them on the talk.origins news group. I have found their treatment of the topics of earthscience to be accurate and genrally informative for the layman.


    As far as Norman and Setterfield's use of the data is concerned, it was quite ably defended by Alan Montgomery, a professional statistician who has never met either author to the best of my knowledge, and Lambert Dolphin, a retired senior physicist from the Stanford Research Institute, in 'Galilean Electrodynamics', a peer-reviewed journal. There have never been any refutations of this article. Please also keep in mind that the Norman-Setterfield 1987 paper was jointly issued by Flinders University (whose math department had inspected the math and statistics and approved them) and Stanford Research Institute itself as an invited paper.
    It makes the Talk Origins article look like the sloppy and deceitful mess it is.


    If you read Montgomery's paper, you will see that he and Lambert Dolphin are concerning themselves with an analysis of the data which Setterfield selected as the "best". Yes, Setterfield played by the book with his statistical analysis of that data.

    Yet, the selection of the "best" data is a matter of opinion. Of course, Setterfield is playing the game. He has the ball and has run with it as far as he could. That just isn't as far as he (or you, for that matter) think he has.

    I can say good things about Setterfields' work. He has presented his data, stated the issues, and has done what he could do to back up his claim.

    The biggest issue is that Setterfield's phenomenon disappears coincidentally at the same rate as measurement quality improves (this is also true of his other examples of other physical constants varying). Indeed, if you throw out all of his data prior to about 1860, you don't really see his phenomenon.

    Now, if c were to start changing tomorrow, Setterfield is sitting pretty. He got there first, and maybe even his data do show the phenomenon. (A new episode of c change would be compelling evidence.)

    Setterfield is not correct to say that his data show "strong" or "convincing" evidence of an exponential change in c. At best we can say that we can hide a change in c of the size Setterfield proposes in the historical data.
    Indeed, Setterfield's phenomenon is a very fragile one, and not a strongly represented one at all.
    We can further see this, in terms of a concept that should be familiar to anybody who took a science class at the college level----significant figures. If we write the modern value of the speed of light, 2.99792458x10^5 km/s as it appears for different numbers of significant figures we have:

    1 sig figs -> 3x10^5 km/s
    2 sig figs -> 3.0x10^5 km/s
    3 sig figs -> 3.00x10^5 km/s
    4 sig figs -> 2.998x10^5 km/s
    5 sig figs -> 2.9979x10^5 km/s
    6 sig figs -> 2.99792x10^5 km/s

    So, from merely increasing the number of significant figures in the measurement we can apparently "lower" the speed of light by the same amount that Setterfield is claiming.
    As you know we must have the same number of significant figures in the quantities that we input into the calculation as we expect for our answer.

    If you go through Setterfields' tabulated data at: http://www.setterfield.org/report/report.html
    you can then apply this reasoning to his data.

    1) Roemer-type measurments. Even if we have infinite precision for the distance across the Earth's orbit, the number of significant figures in the time measurement will govern the number of significant figures in the caculated values of c.

    We can see from the tabulated data that most likely the delay times are determined to 2 or possibly 3 significant figures for the Roemer-type measurments, and are thus in agreement with the modern value of c to that number of sig figs. Only the measurments in 1861 and 1876 may be thought to possibly approach 4 significant figures.
    Recall, that 4 sig figs is a measurement to .1 seconds of accuracy, even in the 1800's would be via visual observation with a stopwatch. Indeed, there is strong evidence that this is not the case from comparison with the rotating mirror lightspeed determinations that I will discuss below.

    2) Bradley (aberration) measurments.
    Fortunately, Setterfield lists plenty of these measurements. While the data are presented as if they were good to 4 or even 5 significant figures, it is apparent from the scatter of the data, particularly that in data collected in relatively small time intervals (compare the measurments of 1889-1898 for example) of years, that the abberation parameter could actually be determined to 3 but only rarely to 4 significant figures. All of these measurments of the speed of light agree with the modern value to 3 significant figures solidly.
    and many agree with the today's figure to 4 significant figures.

    3) Toothed wheel (Fizeau-type) experiments.
    These data suggest that the number of significant figures avialable is more likely related to the baseline length of the experiment, than with time. After 1855 most of the measurements agree to 4 significant figures with today's values.

    4) Rotating mirror experiments. Interestingly, all of the values listed agree to within 4 significant figures, and within the stated error bars, with the modern value of the speed of light.

    All the more modern results Setterfield presents show orders of magnitudes of improvement in the number of significant figures over past methods.

    So, basically, Setterfield's stuff is interesting, but inconclusive. The fact that we can make his phenomenon go away by simply considering the significant figures in the data shows that his results are not "strong" results of anything.
     

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