Are you stardust?
Despite the floundering on the age of the universe, evolutionary misconceptions dominate the news media
Published: 2 March 2007 (GMT+10)
Whoops! It’s time (again) to revise official evolutionary estimates of the age of the universe. As one news agency reported, ‘the earth and in fact the universe are a few billion years older than anybody realized.’1
New research points to the galaxy identified as M33 as being 15% further away than astronomers had previously thought, i.e. an additional distance of three million light years. As evolutionists assume that the age of the universe is intimately linked to its size, this new finding will significantly revise upwards the current 13.7 billion years estimate of the age of the universe.
However, as we’ve pointed out many times, ultimately the only reliable indicator of the age (history) of anything is an eyewitness account of its history (Deuteronomy 19:15; Job 38:4,21; 2 Corinthians 13:1). From the Bible—an eyewitness account of the universe’s origins and history—we see that the universe is only around 6,000 years old.
But doesn’t that leave a problem for Christians, namely, how to reconcile such a ‘young’ age with the vast size of the universe? Actually, evolutionists have the same problem—their own age estimate is too ‘young’ to explain observed features of the universe, including distant starlight—and even a few extra billion years added because of this latest M33 finding won’t solve their problems either. And creationists are making good progress in continually updating cosmological models2 that already go a long way towards explaining distant starlight in a thousands-of-years old universe.
Note, though, that the evolutionary paradigm is rarely publicly challenged (except by creationists—see the booklet of our debate with the Australian Skeptics). Whenever the latest astronomy findings are presented by the media, it’s almost invariably in evolutionary terms. For example, when the ABC’s Karen Barlow interviewed the astronomer in charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Dr Fred Watson, about the M33 observations,1 she framed her question in line with popular evolutionary misconceptions about our origin:
‘So the universe is bigger, the universe is older, and therefore the stardusts that make up everyone and everything, that is older as well?’
Dr Watson replied:
‘That’s right, although not that much older. You’re quite right that we are made of stardust. For a human being who is sort of three quarters water, that means about half the atoms in a human being’s body are hydrogen, and these hydrogen atoms actually come from the big bang, right at the beginning.’
Correction—God has told us that we are not the product of the stars; rather He made the Earth before He made the stars (Genesis 1:1–16), and our ancestor, the first man Adam, was made from the dust of the Earth (Genesis 2:7), not stardust.
- Scientists claim universe older than once thought, ABC Radio National ‘AM’ program, broadcast 29 December 2006, transcript at <www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1819137.htm>, 8 January 2007. Return to text.
- Hartnett, J.G., A creationist cosmology in a galactocentric universe, Journal of Creation 19(1):73–81, 2005; Starlight, Time and the New Physics: How we can see starlight in our young universe (book in press).Return to text.