Jason Lisle Explains the Sun — Biblically

Jason Lisle is the new Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). Our last post about him was Jason Lisle and the Solar System, in which he tiptoed through the tulips — and the minefield — of what we learn from astronomy and scripture, which is (shall we say) not always consistent.

Today he continues our education in creationist astronomy with The Solar System: The Sun. A lot of it is just high school science, so we’ll skip that and give you only the unique parts — with bold font added by us for emphasis and scripture references omitted. Okay, here we go:

At the heart of our solar system is the sun, a stable hydrogen “bomb” that gives off more energy every second than a billion major cities would use in an entire year. The sun is remarkable in its complexity and power. When we examine the science of the sun, we find that it confirms biblical creation.

A most promising beginning! Hang on, it gets better:

The sun and other luminaries in the sky were created on the fourth day of the creation week. Genesis informs us that the purpose for these lights in the sky is (1) to separate day from night, (2) to help us mark the passage of time, and (3) to give light upon the earth. A fourth purpose is revealed elsewhere in Scripture — to declare God’s glory.

Yes, that’s what is says. Let’s read on:

Curiously, God provided a temporary light source to separate day from night for the first three days. [A footnote says: "Some people have supposed that these cannot be ordinary days without the sun. But in fact, the rotation of Earth relative to a light source determines the length of the day. So, of course the first three days would also have been 24-hour days."] Why was the creation of the sun displaced until day four? Also, why doesn’t the Genesis account mention the sun or the moon by name? They are only referred to descriptively as the “greater light” to govern the day and the “lesser light” to govern the night.

Creation science is all about vital problems like that. Here’s Jason’s answer:

The answer to both of these questions [why not name the sun and the moon, and why wait until day four to create them] may have been to discourage the worship of the sun and moon as “gods.” The sun is not the primary source of life — God is, hence the beginning starts with God on day one, not the sun. The sun is not a personal being with a personal name — it is part of creation and merely a great light made by God.

Good thinking! Jason continues:

[I]t is clear that the sun is designed for life to be possible on Earth. Some stars have superflares that release enormous amounts of deadly radiation. Fortunately for us, the sun doesn’t. Solar flares are mild. The sun’s temperature and distance from Earth are ideal for life. By contrast, hotter stars produce far more ultraviolet radiation that would have harmful effects on living tissue. And cooler stars emit far more infrared “heat” for a given amount of visible light.

The sun was designed for us — we’re so lucky! Imagine how difficult things would be if we lived on a planet orbiting a really hostile star. Here’s more:

Even the position of the sun in the galaxy seems optimized for life and for science. If the sun were close to the galactic core, harmful radiation could be a big problem. If the sun were on the outer rim, half of the sky would be nearly void of stars, making it harder to measure seasons or to investigate the universe.

Wowie — we’re in just the right place! It’s a miracle! Moving along:

The sun has long been a problem for those who reject Genesis. Secularists believe that the sun has been fusing hydrogen for nearly five billion years. But nuclear fusion gradually changes the density in the core, causing a star to brighten over time. The effect is negligible on a 6,000-year timespan. However, if the sun were billions of years old, it would have been 30 percent fainter in the distant past. But if the sun were that much fainter, then Earth would have been a frozen wasteland and life would not have been possible.

We never heard that before, but Jason provides a helpful footnote — citing an article in ICR’s creationist magazine. Instead of pursuing that worthy authority, we went to the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims, and there we found an entry for the faint young sun paradox. They say it’s not much of a problem at all.

Another excerpt from Jason’s article:

The sun resists naturalistic formation scenarios. Secular astronomers currently believe that the sun (as with other stars) was formed by the collapse of a nebula — a giant cloud of hydrogen and helium gas in space. Astronomers have discovered thousands of nebulae, but no one has ever seen a nebula collapse in on itself to form a star. The outward force of gas pressure in a typical nebula far exceeds the meager inward pull of gravity. As far as we know, nebulae only expand and never contract to form stars.

Jeepers — Jason says we’ve never seen a star being formed. Oh, wait — it only took a minute to find this: A burst of stars 13 billion years ago. We’re getting near the end. Does Jason have any other wonders for us? Well, there’s his final sentence:

It seems that science confirms what Scripture teaches: God made the greater light to rule the day.

So there you are, dear reader. Now you know the latest findings of creation science about the sun. Aren’t you glad?

See also: Creationists’ “Faint Young Sun Paradox” Solved.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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31 responses to “Jason Lisle Explains the Sun — Biblically

  1. anevilmeme

    Jason knows nothing about astronomy, no surprises there. What is really curious is he doesn’t know the Bible: who exactly was around on days one thru five to worship the sun and moon as gods? What day were Adam and Eve created Jason?

    ICR is either secretly run by the Onion or it’s a false flag operation to make the disco ‘tute look less insane. Either way its the gift that keeps on giving.

  2. “Curiously, God provided a temporary light source to separate day from night for the first three days.”

    Truly it was a very long extension cord used by the great designer to accomplish this temporary lighting feat, and the line was plugged into the designer’s …

  3. waldteufel

    Lisle’s comprehension of astronomy, as reflected in his pathetic scribblings for the rubes at ICR, is really weak and shallow. It’s hard to believe that the man holds a legitimate Ph.D. in astrophysics from a reputable university, but he apparently does.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    Wow, just wow with the ‘temporary light source’,BS. Its stuff like this if you slow down and actually read the creation story that proves it is incomplete and not well thought out, at the very least. God’s temporary light source. Wow.

  5. “Curiously, God provided a temporary light source to separate day from night for the first three days.”

    Curiously, for a biblical literalist, he sure does some serious interpretation of Genesis here. But let me double check my KJV…

    “And lo, when God returneth from the Home Depot, he noticed that all the lights in the sky he bought were just to darned radioactive, so he hungeth some temporary lighting. And he saw that it was okay, but he wasn’t about to fighteth the traffic at this time of day. But then on the fourth day, Mrs. God was all “I have to squinteth to read my TV Guide,” so God shot down to Ace Hardware, because it was closer and he had a gift card. And the cashier saw that it was good.”

    Well, I’ll be danged.

  6. Ah, “Director of Research”, no matter how many times I read that, it still makes me chuckle. An artisanal undertaking, no doubt.

  7. docbill1351

    Oh, Jason knows all about astronomy and how suns form and all that stuff. He knows it. He just lies about it. I think the term is pathological liar and sociopath. He was probably too much of a psycho to even work for Hambo and had to move to an even crazier more dishonest outfit, ICR.

  8. @Mark Germano: Hmmm. You must have a different version. Mine says it was Menards, not Ace. Might be a slight difference in translations.

  9. Well, aside from Lisle being a profound idiot, who apparently knows nothing about astrophysics, despite having a Ph.D. in the field (he is still a joke), I have to say, Curmudgy, that you are absolutely right;

    “Imagine how difficult things would be if we lived on a plant orbiting a really hostile star.”

    Indeed, living on a plant would be difficult! :)

  10. Great! So now I am “Anonymous!” How did that happen?

  11. Ceteris Paribus

    Jason says: “They [sun and moon] are only referred to descriptively as the “greater light” to govern the day and the “lesser light” to govern the night.”

    Yes Jason, sorrry, but it is true that the ID did create both “greater lights” and “lesser lights”. Better luck next time around the great Mandala.

  12. retiredsciguy

    Hey, Gary, do you have Menards in Maryland?

    I tend to agree with docbill concerning Jason Lisle’s knowledge of astronomy. He’s choosing to ignore and discount the science if it conflicts with a literal reading of the bible. I don’t understand how he can do that and at the same time keep his head from exploding. And yes, he is lying. He knows full well how gravity can cause a cloud of gas and dust to collapse and form not just a single star, but an entire open cluster of stars. We can see such nebulae and clusters in all stages of development — not just in our own galaxy, but in other spiral galaxies throughout the universe. I’m just guessing here, but I suspect the reason Jason doesn’t report truthfully what we know about star formation is that this gravitational collapse takes a whole lot longer than 6000 years. And of course, Jason’s universe is just 6000 years old, give or take a week or two.

    Stop lying, Jason, or you will wind up in the Lake of Fire!

  13. The part I’m still wrapping my head around – if the “light” was different on the first three days, how come the length of the days was still 24 hours?

    Anyway it’s remarkable that Jason needs to see a star forming but doesn’t need to see god. LOL

  14. Reblogged this on Tiffany's Non-Blog and commented:
    Religious people. Rejecting reason since 6,000 years ago. Wait, what?

  15. There must be some kind of increasing performance pressure on the ICR/WND/DI crews. They appear to be shotgunning the same old rhetoric repeatedly without taking the time to polish the spin in any manner. Are they facing a loss of funding if they can’t perform as effectively as directly manipulating political figures has been? What is throwing them off? Are they shutting down in the same manner as A.L.E.C has chosen to and begun breaking up into other groups?

  16. Maybe the light created before the sun was the light of stars created in transit from billions of light years away.
    It is interesting Lisle claims this was to prevent sun worship but solar cults have been a mainstay of most mythologies from Apollo to Amen Ra (and one of my favorites Utu).

  17. The whole truth

    The intellectual contortions that creationists go through in an attempt to justify and promote their beliefs is amazing.

  18. Gary notes:

    @Mark Germano: Hmmm. You must have a different version. Mine says it was Menards, not Ace. Might be a slight difference in translations.

    Or: at least one of you is using an heretical text that will land you in the Lake of Fire.

    The question is, how to determine which one (if not, indeed, both of you) has fallen into grievous blasphemy here. Trial by Combat, perhaps? Or maybe you both need to be “shown the instruments”?

  19. Jeesh, Megalonyx, I didn’t expect the actual Spanish Inquisition.

    Gary, the reference to Menards is in the second of the two Genesis creation accounts:

    “And on the seventh day, He wanted to rest and watcheth the game, because He had 20 shekels riding on Dallas, a one point home underdog. But, nooooo, the sun wasn’t resisting naturalistic formation scenarios, and Ace was closed due to the stupid Blue Laws, so He had to driveth over to the next county to go to Menards, because He would never walk into that Harbor Freight again. He replaceth the Ruler of the Day just in time to see Dallas line up for a game winning field goal. And He saw that it was good.”

  20. Anonymous says: “Indeed, living on a plant would be difficult!”

    Even my typos make sense. But I fixed it anyway. Thanks for the proofreading.

  21. Troy says: “Maybe the light created before the sun was the light of stars created in transit from billions of light years away.”

    No, no. If you recall one of Jason’s earlier articles, light travels instantaneously when moving toward the earth, and twice lightspeed in the other direction. Besides, if that’s the light he meant, it would have been daylight around the clock. But that’s heresy, because there were six literal days of creation. Jason is saying that in the beginning (as it were) there was a temporary sun, because he says the earth was still rotating at the same speed, and therefore the first three days were 24-hour days.

  22. This is a rather extreme example of how, when literalists want to accept some information from an extra-Biblical source, they are able to reconcile that with the Bible. Just think how easy it would be for them to do this with evolutionary biology. If they wanted to.
    One might wonder why, for a couple of thousand years, nobody noticed what the Bible was really saying. And one might thank the “secular scientists” for their help in uncovering the true meaning of the Bible. We might have gone on believing that the Bible meant to say that the Sun was making a daily orbit of the fixed Earth.

  23. docbill1351

    If we didn’t have Wikipedia we’d have to invent it! Oh, wait …

    The article on star formation is very good and up-to-date. Jason omits quite a lot of information about star formation that anyone can read at, well, Wikipedia!

    But, to compound Lisle’s perfidy his own auto-biographical sketch describes how he felt persecuted as a Christian in grad school and had to pretend to be “one of the guys” to get his degree. Yes, those mean old professors would have failed him, yes, FAILED HIM (can I have an a-men?) if he had been honest about his beliefs. He doesn’t make mistakes, he does all this stuff on purpose as in deliberately as in liar, liar, pants on fire.

    Yeah, right, like no graduate school ever.

    We had some God Squaders in our group and aside from being socially obnoxious little toads they did their work, finished up their dissertations just fine and moved out into the world. I can only imagine the collective sigh of relief after Jason walked out the door.

  24. Jumpin’ Jason writes:

    They are only referred to descriptively as the “greater light” to govern the day and the “lesser light” to govern the night.

    They Govern? Should we be paying taxes?

    Oh, and someone wasn’t expecting this.

  25. retiredsciguy

    Jason Lisle, Ph.D. — a master at spreading disinformation. He should be formally repudiated by the University of Colorado (I think that’s where his degree was conferred. I’m not going to bother with looking it up.)

    To those who would say, “Where’s the harm?”, I would answer, “In thousands of science classrooms across the nation. He’s making the job of being a science teacher very difficult.”

    Probably the little pointy-nosed terd’s intent.

  26. I am so tempted to ask a real astronomer that actually studies star formation about Lisle. I know one, but I’m afraid it would only annoy them.

  27. What I want to know, if God was busy creating a greater and lesser light, why did he go and create trillions of other “greater lights”, and many more lesser lights of all sorts to populate a universe that most humans would never, ever, see.

  28. Jason Lisle’s approach is summarized at the sequence starting at about 2:30 here:

    Interviewer: And what if experimentation and observation yielded evidence that appeared to contradict the statements in the scriptures?
    Lisle: Well, that can always happen, but since, you know, our mind isn’t perfect, and since our observations aren’t always perfect, if we find some experiment that seems to on the suirface disagree with the word of God we go with the word of God.

    In other words, evidence is irrelevant. Period.

  29. retiredsciguy

    Here’s a great photo of the Whirlpool Galaxy, M-51. I’ve had problems with imbedding so I’ll just put it up straight:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Messier51_sRGB.jpg/1024px-Messier51_sRGB.jpg

    The features that really stand out are the red nebulae in the spiral arms. These are regions of star formation. We see the exact same phenomena in every observable spiral galaxy in the universe, including our own. The red color is the hydrogen-alpha emission line caused by hydrogen gas being irradiated by ultraviolet radiation coming from extremely hot, energetic blue-white supergiant stars that have very recently formed within the nebulae. We know these stars are young because they don’t last long — they are fusing their hydrogen so rapidly, they go supernova within just a few million years. That’s just an astronomical blink of an eye.

    Jason Lisle, Ph.D. in astrophysics, knows this full well. And yet, he is determined to spread misinformation. He does not deserve to call himself a scientist, and he should not be afforded that honor by anyone else, either. He’s infuriating. He deliberately lies, and yet he calls himself a Christian??

  30. docbill1351

    Exactly, RBH, it’s the Kurt Wise Defense: even if all the evidence in the Universe points otherwise, the Bible is still correct.

    For a long time Kurt was considered the “honest” creationist because he didn’t try to hide his creationism – he was right out there full bore.

    However, Dawkins had a different assessment of Kurt Wise and I’ve changed my views, abandoning my last shred of accommodationalism to agree with Dawkins when he referred to Wise as “a disgrace to the human species.” Lisle, too.

  31. Mark Germano said:

    the reference to Menards is in the second of the two Genesis creation accounts:

    Ah! That was it. Must have slipped my mind.
    Or maybe I was reading “The Blasphemer’s Bible”. Bah! Old age. Getting to me.
    Oh, and Pope RSG? No. We don’t have Menards out east (sigh). However, every time, and I mean every time, we get back to the Hoosier state, my wife makes certain we pay our local Menards a visit. We just finished putting up the bunting for the Fourth. And where did we get it? Menards.