Our galaxy—at the center of the universe after all!

7 August 2002

Recently, new evidence has surfaced that restores man to a central place in God's universe. The latest TJ presents these amazing findings in a pioneering paper by physicist, Dr Russell Humphreys.

Astronomers have long observed that light from distant galaxies is usually redshifted. That is, their light spectrum is 'redder' (i.e. a longer wavelength) than light from similar light sources near Earth. According to the law developed by astronomer Edwin Hubble (after whom the Hubble telescope is named), the redshifts are progressively larger for galaxies progressively further away.

Over the last few decades, astronomers have discovered that the redshifts of the galaxies are not evenly distributed but are 'quantized', i.e., they tend to fall into distinct groups. This means that the distances to the galaxies also fall into groups, with each group of galaxies forming a conceptual spherical shell. The shells turn out to be about a million light-years apart.

It is remarkable that the shells are all concentric and all centered on our home galaxy, the Milky Way. If they weren't, we would not see groups of redshifts. Russ Humphreys shows that groups would only be distinct from each other if our viewing location were less than a million light years (a trivial distance on the scale of the universe) from the center.

The odds for the Earth having such a unique position in the cosmos by accident are less than one in a trillion. The problem for big bang theorists is that they suppose the cosmos was not created but happened by accident—by chance, natural processes. Such naturalistic processes could not have put us at a unique center, so atheistic cosmologists have sought other explanations, without notable success so far.

It is encouraging to see this evidence for the centrality of humans to the plan of God. It was a sin on this planet that subjected the entire universe to groaning and travailing (Romans 8:22). Ours is the planet where the Second Person of the Trinity took on the (human) nature of one of His creatures to redeem not only us, but also the entire cosmos (Romans 8:21). This knowledge that God gave minuscule mankind prime real estate in a vast cosmos astounds and awes us, as Psalm 8:3–4 says:

'When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?'

This groundbreaking paper is featured in TJ, 16(2) (download PDF file). Also included in this issue:

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Published: 3 February 2006