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Black holes and Lilith: reality and myth (respectively)

Published: 11 September 2010 (GMT+10)
Artist’s impression from ESA / V. Beckmann (NASA-GSFC) The evidence for black holes is very strong.
The evidence for black holes is very strong

This week we have two correspondents; Dayeton L. from Canada about black holes, and Brennan C. from the United States asks about Adam’s mythological first wife ‘Lilith’.
Dr Jonathan Sarfati responds.

Dayeton L. from Canada writes:

Two questions:

  1. In your latest article, you state that black holes are regions of space consisting of such intense gravity that no light or information can escape from them. So, really—all theories about them are really speculations? So, it is possible that they aren’t holes into other dimensions or even collapsed stars, etc. Am I thinking right on this—so far? Could they actually turn out to be something completely different than what we’ve been told? (A gateway to hell—just to push it to the limit … just although … ).

    What I’m really getting at here is this … is the thinking closed on black holes?

  2. Peering into the universe:

    How can a telescope actually see “millions” of “years” into the past, when all they do is magnify the light they receive? Light being as it is only transmits the “picture/snap-shot” of an event. However, once light is created, it travels until it is absorbed or dispersed.

    If we can see an object a million light years away—we are looking at a snap-shot of a moment in time that is constantly progressing in itstime-line continuum. So if we were to magnify that timeline tunnel until wecan see it with a magnification factor that enables us to see it from adistance of only a few miles … would we see it as it was a million years ago, or would we see it as we are presently seeing it but only with a greater clarity like you would when looking at an object from a distance on earth through a strong pair of binoculars?

I just want to say thanks in the meantime for the great work you are doing, I usually visit the site once a day, and have found many answers to many questions. I have so many more questions that need answers but they will work themselves out with time (I hope).

In Christ


Dr Jonathan Sarfati responds:

Dear Dayeton

Thank you for your generous comments about our work.

I think the evidence for black holes is very strong. They are certainly a theoretical possibility from Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Furthermore, once a star runs out of nuclear fuel, then the outward pressure would no longer match gravity. So the star must collapse. There are other known forces that prevent a complete collapse into a black hole. Electron degeneracy pressure stops the collapse and leaves the star as a white dwarf but gravity overcomes this if what is left of the burnt-out star is greater than 1.4 solar masses (the Chandrasekhar limit). Then the next barrier is neutron degeneracy pressure, which halts the collapse as a neutron star, but gravity will likely overcome this at about 3 solar masses (the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit). Unless a hypothetic quark degeneracy pressure kicks in, there would be nothing to stop the star collapsing completely into a black hole. (As for how we might be able to see such black holes under a creationist cosmology, the article How do spiral galaxies and supernova remnants fit in with Dr Humphreys’ cosmological model? explains this in principle.)

Finally, there are observations consistent with black holes, quite independent of any theories of their origin from stars. They tend to attract matter that forms an accretion disc around the equator. This matter falls inward and releases much gravitational potential energy. In fact, this is an extremely efficient mass-to-energy conversion process, turning 40% of the mass into energy, compared to only about 1% with thermonuclear fusion. This can be observed as a strong X-ray source. The process also results in powerful relativistic jets from the poles. This would explain X-ray binaries: a black hole sucks matter away from a companion star.

There are also observations consistent with supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies, including our own. A certain star (S2) orbits around something in the galactic centre at a distance of 17 light hours (about three times that of Pluto), and period of only 15 years (Pluto’s is 248 years). This is consistent with the gravitational pull of 4.1 million solar masses. Furthermore, if this object were not smaller still, the star would collide with it; it’s likely only to be 6.25 light-hours, not much more than Pluto’s orbit. But the only object known to theory that could compact over 4 million solar masses into such a small volume is a black hole.

I’m not sure exactly what you are asking with your second question. I would suggest that Dr John Hartnett’s application of Carmelian relativity would help (see for example chapter 5 in our Creation Answers Book, and his book Starlight, Time and the New Physics, above right).


Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

Brennan C. from the United States writes:

I was recently speaking with a co-worker about the Bible and whether or not its accounts can be trusted. My co-worker is the type of self-proclaimed Christian that believes that everyone has their own truth and their own way of believing/living. In her eyes, whatever works best for you is the right way, both, morally and spiritually.

She says that this worldview began the day that she was introduced to the idea of Eve not being Adam’s first and only wife. According to what she learned a few years ago, while Eve was created from Adam’s rib, his first wife, Lilith, was actually formed from the earth in the same manner that Adam was. She told me that this is made clear in the 2 accounts of creation.

After learning the above, she says, she realized that everything she had been taught about the Bible was a mere matter of interpretation. After all, if the church would attempt to supress and deny something as important as Adam having another wife, who knows what other misinformation they may be giving out?

Are you familiar with this version of creation?

I was told that Lilith was Adam’s true equal and he found her headstrong independence to be incompatible with him, causing the first divorce. Since the world had yet to fall, this doesn’t make much sense to me. It doesn’t seem like God, or Scripture, would be so blasé about the first divorce and I TRULY doubt He could have personally made an incompatible wife for Adam.

Although I did not think of it until later, it seems that both accounts of creation could refer to Eve. After all, even if God did take a rib from Adam to create Eve, wouldn’t it make sense to shape her form from the same material that He used to make Adam?

I would really appreciate some insight here.

Thank you very much and God bless!

P.S. I cannot begin to tell you how much of a blessing your ministry has been to me! Keep up the great work!

Jonathan Sarfati responds:

Dear Brennan

Thank you for your kind comments about our ministry.

This Lilith idea comes from extra-biblical Jewish legends, possibly derived from Babylonian/Assyrian demoness Lilit/Lilu. Further, not all rabbinic traditions say that she was Adam’s first wife—some say she bore Adam demonic offspring after Adam supposedly separated from Eve. Many claim ‘Lilith’ has been suppressed by male redactors, but like all accusers of textual tampering, they can’t produce any of these alleged untampered documents.

There is not a trace of this in the Bible. This colleague is not “re-interpreting” the Bible, but adding totally foreign ideas to it—nothing but self-serving feminism. Maybe remind her that Jesus, you know, the one she claims to follow as a Christian, rejected many rabbinic traditions, but said “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). See The authority of Scripture and Jesus Christ on the infallibility of Scripture.


Jonathan Sarfati

Readers’ comments

Narindra R.
A being is logically unable to go against his own nature, and God makes no exception.

As I like to point out, it is as difficult for God to go against His own nature as it is difficult for a cat to bark.
Denis W.
R. is certainly a thinker who has a articulated way of asking the question. I would hope to have the same capacity to ask God about the mirriad of things I would like answering but suspect they just may not be all that important by then.In the meantime I’ll just go on enjoying you site.
Gary F.
Thank you. A lot of excellent insights and points to think about. I have one comment:

Interesting piece. Off the cuff, it would seem that the origin of goodness is from God, but as in our secular culture, man would like to remove the necessity of God and then going about to emulate some of those “good” qualities apart from Him.
Wayne T.
A very enlightening discussion, but it was not what I expected it to be. In the context of Genesis, I was interested to know what ‘good’ means for creation generally, and how we could understand it. The best I can come up with is ‘fit for purpose as intended by God’. But having no comprehensible standard by which we can judge, this still doesn't tell us much. What does it mean for a tree, a rock, or a star to be ‘good’? When it comes to Man, Scripture does not say ‘it was good’, but that Man was made in God's image. Obviously we can infer good, but not perfect. If Man were perfect, he could not have sinned. God being omniscient, even before creation He would have known that Man would sin, yet He willed it to be so. I think that there is an important lesson here regarding The Fall, but this is not the vehicle for such an in-depth analysis.
Jonathan Sarfati
But this article was about Lilith and black holes, not about the goodness of creation per se. However, after God finished creating both Adam and Eve, He called it “very good”, and I explain why this phrase not ‘perfect’ was used, in Was God’s finished creation perfect? (published after this article). For one thing, there was no actual evil.

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