The AIG article begins with a discussion of the recent discovery of what “may be the most distant yet detected in the universe,” a gamma ray burster (GRB), designated as GRB 090423. AIG attempts to explain what it is, but you’re probably better off with Wikipedia: GRB 090423. You might also check out this article at New Scientist: Most distant object in the universe spotted.
No doubt you’ve realized that a distant gamma ray burst is a peculiar subject for a creationist outfit to tackle, but you must remember that they don’t like astronomy or cosmology, because all those “secular” scientists keep saying that the universe is far older than creationists expect it to be, so any distant object that sent its light to us billions of years ago is troublesome.
AIG uses the astronomers’ estimate of distance to launch into a discussion of redshifted light from distant objects. They also discuss that there are different causes for redshifted light. But fear not.
For purposes of this post, you don’t need much background in such matters. If, however, you feel that you must dig in, then we recommend that you don’t read AIG’s discussion to learn about such things. Instead — and this material is totally optional — start with Redshift and Gravitational redshift and Metric expansion of space. But trust us, you don’t need to go there because we’re only dealing with creationism.
After “explaining” such matters, AIG discusses certain “problems,” mainly that the first generation of stars believed to have existed after the Big Bang shouldn’t have contained elements more complex than hydrogen and helium, because the more complex elements didn’t yet exist — but so far, no first generation stars have been detected. Theory says that they did exist, but they were very large and had a brief lifetime. They quickly went nova and produced the more complex elements that appear in stars of the next generation. See: Stellar nucleosynthesis.
It’s quite true that first generation stars haven’t been observed. As with gaps in the fossil record, creationists love any situation where scientific predictions are not yet verified by observations. Note that creationists don’t have or care about actual contradictions of Big Bang theory, which in this case don’t exist, nor do they care about other lines of evidence that are consistent with the theory — the mere lack of confirmation of any detail is entirely sufficient for their purposes. Creationists merrily assume that because first generation stars haven’t yet been seen, they never existed; therefore complex elements were present from the beginning.
Okay, having skipped all of AIG’s introductory prose, we can get to the conclusion of the their article. The bold was added by us:
How is this all to be understood from a creation viewpoint? In a biblical viewpoint, objects created during the Creation Week could be fully formed and would abruptly appear with all the necessary elements present from the beginning. There would be no need to postulate a special early generation of stars and galaxies that we find no evidence for. Thus, in a creation view there is no difficulty of not having time for objects to form by natural processes in the beginning.
Problem solved! Isn’t creationism great? Let’s read on:
Creationist physicists and astronomers continue to research many questions about the universe, including the meaning of large redshifts. It may be that when we look at objects with large redshifts, we are looking back into the Creation Week, possibly to the fourth day. The fourth day is when Genesis 1 indicates God created the stars. The young-age creation cosmologies of physicists John Hartnett and Russ Humphreys both imply the large redshifts are due to God’s stretching out space during the Creation Week.
It’s nice to know there are creation cosmologists. Thanks to them, we not only have Doppler redshifts, gravitational redshifts, and cosmological redshifts, we also have divine-stretch redshifts. We continue:
Creation scientists who hold to a young universe and six literal creation days do not reject everything that secular astronomers believe. However, assumptions need to be questioned thoroughly. The big bang does not agree with the creation account in Genesis.
That last sentence is certainly true. Here’s AIG’s final paragraph:
Creationist physicists generally accept the reality of black holes and accept the validity of redshift measurements. These things are all consistent with observational science. But, instead of the mysterious big bang process expanding the universe, creationists believe God “stretched out the heavens” (see Jeremiah 10:12) in the beginning as Scripture says. Scientists are still discovering parts of God’s creation that have never been seen before.
Now you don’t have to do any research to understand the latest observations. The creationists already have the answers. And don’t bother searching for ancient first generation stars. According to the creationists, there weren’t any.
Update: See Creationists and Cosmology, Part 3.
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