Click here to view CMI's position on climate change.
Also Available in:

Explaining nearby objects that are old in time dilation cosmologies


One of the problems with time dilation theories is that they explain objects at cosmological distances but not objects in local space. How can old objects exist in nearby space, such as the white dwarf (WD) star orbiting Sirius.

Figure 1. Inside the expanding universe, during Creation Week, the shrinking white hole is sustained down to small radii with a singularity at its core. In this phase, matter is still escaping out of the white hole and the Schwarzschild radius (R) is still shrinking. The shrinking white hole will eventually pass the solar system and the time dilation event will be over for the earth-based observer. The white hole will eventually dissipate, ending its effects on space-time.

Sirius B is a Carbon-Oxygen (C-O) WD with a measured temperature of 25,000 K.1 Like other WDs, it has no energy source but is steadily cooling down from its former hot stellar state. In fact, Sirius is itself a mature, spectral type A1V star only 2.6 parsecs (8.6 light-years) distant from the sun. Its white dwarf exhibits an elliptical orbit which varies from 8.1 to 31.5 Astronomical Units (1 AU is equal to the semi-major axis of the earth as it orbits the sun, or the average distance between the two bodies), so it has little interaction with its companion. The binary system is thought to be about 200 Ma years old, based on stellar evolution and cooling rates of WDs (see the Solar Age Condition, or SAC,2 which brings these large absolute ages into doubt).

C-O WDs are cores of massive stars that began with masses 4–5 times that of the sun. These systems have gone through various nuclear burning stages, the first core burning hydrogen to helium. After the hydrogen burns itself out, it continues on to shell burning, leaving the helium ‘ash’ in the core. As the core helium increases in density, its pressure and temperature also rises. Finally, after a stage of degeneracy, it attains a temperature of about 100 million K and begins burning the helium, converting it to carbon and oxygen. The core never attains a temperature high enough to burn the C-O products. But it goes through an unstable ‘AGB’ stage as a red giant, where it loses a great deal of its mass to the interstellar medium. The leftover debris is called a planetary nebula. The final WD, called Sirius B, has a mass of only one solar mass.1 So it is believed to have lost 80% of its previous mass.

How does such an old system exist near our youthful, directly created solar system, which is less than 10,000 years of age?

The answer is the existence of a timeless region!3 Russ Humphreys found that there is a timeless region inside the white hole (or a black hole for that matter) (see figure 1).

In the ‘White Hole’ (WH) cosmology of Russ Humphreys or in his more recent cosmology,3 as long as the earth is inside the event horizon of the WH (and therefore inside the timeless region), objects outside of it continue to age and their light continues to impinge upon the earth. So nearby objects are old in the model. That is the simple answer. The actual details may be more complex. For this process to work up close to the solar system, the event horizon may have dispersed (evaporated) somewhere between the solar system and the nearest mature star, Proxima Centauri, about 4.2 LYs away. This would allow ageing in the Centauri system also. The minimum radius to take in the entire solar system, including the Kuiper Belt, is ~70 AU. This would require the presence of a 3.5-billion-solar-mass singularity at the core to maintain a 70-AU-radius WH. (Here we have ignored the Oort Cloud since there is no direct observational evidence for its existence.)

Of course, it’s not only the earth that’s within the white hole as it collapses but the entire solar system, including the sun, created on Day 4. The singularity will cause the ageing process of objects external to the white hole as seen from the earth to continue until the event horizon gets close. After it loses sufficient matter, we would expect the WH to evaporate and the time dilation apparent to Earth-based observers to cease. All other related phenomena that affect space-time would also cease, e.g. blue-shifts. The WH would evaporate quickly as the event horizon collapses inward and all matter leave the timeless region, much the same as a miniature black hole does.

References and notes

  1. Holberg, J.B., Oswalt, T.D. and Barstow, M.A., Observational constraints on the degenerate massradius relation, The Astronomical J. 143:68, 2012. Return to text.
  2. Samec, R.G. and Figg, E., The apparent age of the time dilated universe I: gyrochronology, angular momentum loss in close solar type binaries, CRSQ 49(1):5–18, 2012. Return to text.
  3. Humphreys, R., New time dilation helps creation cosmology, J. Creation 22(3):84–92, 2008. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

M. C.
Just to clarify: I assume the term "burn" is here referring to fusion reaction, and not to standard exothermic chemical oxidation, since helium does not chemically burn at any temperature, and, if it did, it would form an oxide of helium (if that were possible) rather than new elements, such as carbon and oxygen. Also, carbon and oxygen would certainly combine (i.e. burn chemically) at temperatures much lower than 100 million K.
Shaun Doyle
That would be correct, yes.
Peter H.
I may be missing something (admittedly I have not studied Russ Humphrey's cosmology in detail) but at first glance, it seems that if objects outside the timeless region are actually old, then the 6 day Genesis creation account breaks down.
Shaun Doyle
Please see A fourth-day light transit-time scenario for more information on how this could be consistent with Genesis 1.
Michael T.
Does a 'timeless' region fit the Bible?
Is it valid to speak of time and 24-hour days if the earth is experiencing timeless-ness?
Shaun Doyle
Why not? If there was a period of relativistic timelessness (i.e. physical clocks stop moving on earth relative to other places in the universe), this doesn't mean there was more than 24 hours on Earth's Day 4; it just means that physical clocks in other places in the cosmos were moving while they would've been stopped on earth. But since Genesis 1 is clearly written from the perspective of an observer on Earth, what matters for Genesis 1 is how much time passed on Earth. For more information, please see How can we see distant stars in a young universe?
gabriel S.
Ok, I am Joe soap, your average guy - I think. listening to J.S. Bach I thought I might try and venture into this article. I got lost in the second paragraph. So I scrolled down and there was a reference to Russ Humphreys - the main brain behind the achronicity idea. It dawned on me that the 'achronicity' is the key to understanding this article [I was wrong, Scripture is]. So i clicked on it. wonderful, great, Psalm 148:1; an explanation regarding the mass of water in the universe; then, as soon as the formulas kicked in, my brain kicked out - but NOT my faith!
Is it not wonderful that there are people out there who actually UNDERSTAND some of this!
God is so infinitely great that even "...the simplicity that is in Christ" [2 Cor 11:3] cannot be fathomed - hence believing!
Again I praise our Creator not only for the gifts bestowed on mankind, of which many on the atheist, but for fruits like this, from people who, correctly, take Him at His Word!
Reminding us that it is not a matter of gifts, but of fruit!
Malcolm D.
According to Genesis 1:1&2, The heavens and the earth were created before time. If time is defined as events, which is contrary to the theory of relativity, then the next event is the creation of light. Then our Lord divided the light from the dark and so the beginning the first day. The first day started in the evening so the first day must have started before the first day, unless I am misreading the meaning of day as a 24 hour period. The first day (daylight) could very easily be billions of years until God divided the light and the dark.If you consider the first day ending at the morning and only beginning when God divided the light from the dark, then the first day could be the same as the rest of the days, 24 hours.

This still does not resolve the creating of the sun, the moon and the stars on the third day. When considering the apparent distance of the stars, could the bodies of the stars have been created when the heavens and earth were created? Then on the third day the light was consolidated into the sun and stars and the light from the sun is reflected off the moon.

Cheers, Malcolm
Shaun Doyle
The first act of Genesis 1 was the creation of the (raw) heavens and earth in verse 1, that was initially in darkness, which God then spoke "light" into. Now, if we take the "darkness" of v. 2 as the "night" of v. 5, and the "light" of v. 3 as the "day" of v. 5 (the "day" that contrasts with the "night", not the "day" of the "one day" at the end of the verse), then we do indeed have the first 5 verses constituting a day-night cycle as "one day". This means that the first 24-hour period encompasses everything in Genesis 1:1-5, leaving nothing of the heavens and earth existing before the first day. This comports with Exodus 20:11, which says that "the heavens, the earth, and all that is in them" were created in the first six days of history. See Gap theories for more information.

As to when the physical matter of the celestial bodies coalesced, there's nothing in Genesis 1 that suggests they couldn't have been coalesced before Day 4 unseen, and then 'switched on' to become lights on Day 4. This would probably be inconsistent with time dilation cosmologies, though (or at least ones that rely on a single time dilation event on Day 4), since it would require more than one time dilation event during Creation Week. It's not impossible, but it does seem unnecessarily complex.
Dwight F.
Hi there, you make some interesting points but the one about a timeless space or area needs more explaining. Psalms 102 say that the heavens will grow old like a garment. Everything in our universe has time and the universe's age is less than the age of the Earth. I am no scientist but some of your points seem to go against what the Bible say.

Shaun Doyle
Psalm 102 isn't really relevant to Humphrey's 'achronicity' idea. Humphrey's theory is a physical theory concerning what might have happened on Day 4 of Creation Week, after the Earth had already been made. Psalm 102 is concerned about comparing creation's seeming eternality to God's actual eternality. Nonetheless, the Bible doesn't say that the universe is younger than the Earth; it says that a "formless and empty" 'earth' was the starting condition of the whole cosmos. Perhaps a simple way for us to describe the initial condition in modern language would be 'undifferentiated watery mass' (although some might think that the rocky earth was underneath the deep even in v. 2; the text doesn't say definitively either way). Even the sky was not distinguished from the earth (i.e. a basic 'up there' vs 'down here' relation) until Day 2.
robert R.
I love this field of science. I am a bit confused about the state of all the other stars. In this model are all these suns created first [with galaxies & planets and everything] and then they come out of the white hole. Then the Earth is created inside the white hole. Then the sun and moon (Genesis 1:16) are created in it and come out. Or are the sun and moon created once the Earth is out of this white hole?
Shaun Doyle
In time dilation cosmologies, the time dilation event occurs on Day 4 of the Genesis Creation Week. It is saying that billions of years worth of physical processes happened in the cosmos (including the creation of the sun, moon, and stars) while one day passed on Earth. All these celestial bodies therefore were created after the Earth was.

Comments are automatically closed 14 days after publication.