Ancient. Where is the proof?

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The determination of just how old the universe might be is a daunting and complicated endeavor.  As a student of science, I will readily admit that in many ways it appears that the universe might be very old.  If we assume that everything we now see has existed since the beginning, and nothing has changed.  If we assume that God did not create everything, as the Bible suggests, a few thousand years ago (which is the basis for current atheistic science).  If we assume that we could know the ratio of the so called parent and daughter isotopes in various rocks when they were created (we cannot). If we assume that the light from the stars is not being affected by anything (such as the 95% of the universe we cannot measure) and they are therefore exactly as far away as they appear, then one would easily be led to believe that the universe is quite old.  (1)

However, Dr. John Baumgardner, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory has a M.S. and Ph.D. in geophysics and space physics from UCLA, and he clearly believes the evidence does NOT indicate an old earth or an old universe.  He states “Most people… including most scientists, are not aware of the systematic and glaring conflict between radiometric methods and non-radiometric methods for dating…”(2)  He notes the vast differences that result when using different chemical methods of dating.  For example, based on experimentally measured helium diffusion rates found in the zircons of Pre-cambrian granite, the age of the fossil layer is only a few thousand years old. Yet Uranium in the same crystals gives an entirely different (and much older) result.

Dr. Baumgardner notes that the present rate of uplift for the Himalayan mountains and the rate of ocean mineralization also point to a young age for the earth. In fact at their current rate of uplift, if these mountains are a mere 1 million years old, they should be 40 miles high!  And of course, the presence of unmineralized proteins in dinosaur bones from many locations should place a limit of a few thousand years at most on the age of the bones. (3)

Then he tackles the thorny issue of light from distant stars. This is generally thought to show the universe is billions of years old. Although it involves principles such as cosmic inflation, general relativity, and the place of the earth in the universe, it  may be said that Dr. Baumgardner, and many other scientists, believe that there is no reason to reject the possibility of a young universe, because there are far too many unexplained variables to compute any certain age at all.  (See blog entitled Bang… and nothing.)  “If, instead, the cosmos has the earth near its center, then its early history is radically different from that of all big-bang models.”(4) In fact, the massive distribution of matter near the center of any exploding model of the universe could alter the time gradient drastically, slowing time almost to a standstill (relative to the other/outer areas of expansion) if earth were indeed near the center.

We can imagine the possibility that as written in the Creation Science website, “factors combine in various ways: 1. A decrease in the speed of light. 2. An expansion of space. 3. Large concentrations of dark matter with each galaxy. 4. Dark matter concentrated near the center of the universe. 5. Stars dimmer earlier in their history. 6. An age of the universe somewhat larger than 10,000 years. In addition, there may be other factors that we are not aware of. But even the factors we know about seem sufficient to explain the observed universe within a short time frame.”(1)  All this being said, there is no reason to rule out a young earth based on science.  The Bible story is no less believable now than at the time it was written.

Yet one more point bears mention here.  Most atheistic scientists would discount it.  (See Unethicalists for reasons why).  Nevertheless, for a Christian it makes logical sense.  We know that a cell cannot operate without all its parts (DNA, RNA, nucleus, organelles, cell membrane, proteins, etc.)  No part of the cell will function meaningfully or reproduce without all the others. Therefore isn’t it logical that all cells were created intact, fully functional at the moment of their creation?  Likewise Mankind is not functional without the brain, liver, eyes, heart, skin, and all organs functioning.  So it is easy to believe that Adam was a fully formed, functional, adult human being at the moment of his creation.

Is it not equally possible, infact likely, that an infinitely wise, infinitely powerful Creator God would create a universe fully functional from the moment of its creation? What good are the stars in the beautiful sky if Adam will not seen them for millions of years?  Why create them at all? Creating light in transit is not a difficult thing for God.  It is only a difficult thing for us!  Yet who are we (our most brilliant scientists still do not understand the nature of light itself, and cannot tell if is is a particle or wave… so they say it is both).  Who are we to tell God how He should order his new and wondrous creation?

 

(1) Is The Universe Young?  https://tasc-creationscience.org/other/plaisted/www.cs.unc.edu/_plaisted/ce/universe.html

(2)  in six days, john r. baumgardner, Master Books, p 234.

(3) Ibid, p. 237.

(4) Ibid p. 238.

Individualism

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Sometimes it just comes down to who you want to call God.  Do you want to believe there is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator (One who might have rules and deserve worship)? Or would you rather put yourself in the place of God?  Both metaphysics and observation of reality suggest that we are sentient beings. They also suggest that we have choices in life.  I would propose that an infinitely wise God, in order to create beings who might truly CHOOSE to love Him, would create a universe in which they had the option NOT to love Him.  In fact they might have the option to despise Him, ridicule Him, and even deny His very existence.  Such is our very society. We get to choose.

David Foster WallaceThis Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life, writes,Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.”

I see evidence of the truth of that statement daily when I work in the ER.  I have seen thousands of people who chose to worship sex,  drugs, or alcohol, and I have seen the havoc and destruction it has wreaked in their lives. We all know of persons who worshiped popularity, and were crushed when it vanished.  Some have worshiped themselves, through vanity, and many have slipped into despair as their power, looks, or influence faded.

One of the things that offends many atheists is the idea of a personal God.  They are often critical of the idea that God could be described as a “jealous God”.  Richard Dawkins wrote, in the God Delusion,

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

Dawkins has been quoted thousands of times, and hailed as a hero for his bold words by those who are offended at the thought of a Supreme Being.  (See also blog posts on Science and Scientism,  and Differing with Dawkins).

On the other hand, C.S. Lewis wrote, in the Problem of Pain,

You asked for a loving God: you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the ‘lord of terrible aspect,’ is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist’s love for his work and despotic as a man’s love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father’s love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes.” (1)

And somewhere, supposedly hiding from you in this vast and beautiful universe is the REAL God. Or perhaps he really is all around you.  But the point is that you, personally, get to choose in this life whether to believe in him or to love and worship Him.  You see, all though history, God has allowed persons to either believe in Him, or to worship other Gods. History is littered with gods (small g) who have been relegated to the trash heaps of time; Baal, Osiris, Marduk, or the entire Roman Pantheon of gods.

Today, we still have the same choice.  Do you worship the god of science (scientism)?  Or do you worship the Creator God of the Universe who has given us the Bible?  It is an important choice.  Choose wisely.