AIG: Blue Stars Prove a Young Universe

This is about another ridiculous article from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG): Blue Stars — Unexpected Brilliance.

The author is Danny Faulkner. AIG provides this biographical information about him. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University. We’re impressed.

His essay begins with a lot of basic information about stars, and then he says, with some bold font added by us:

Perhaps the most interesting are the brilliant blue stars, which have lots of fuel but are so hot that they consume their fuel quickly. In fact, the hottest blue stars could last only a few million years at best. Both creationists and evolutionists acknowledge this fact.

Even evolutionists acknowledge it. That’s amazing, considering that their primary concern isn’t astronomy. Never mind that. The article continues:

Yet blue stars are found throughout the universe in spiral galaxies, both nearby and far away. This is not a problem for biblical creationists, who date all stars at around 6,000 years. But it creates a big conundrum for astronomers who reject the Bible’s history.

Observe, dear reader, that as is typical of creationists, Danny focuses only on the evidence he likes. First, he ignores the problem that old stars present for creationists who think the universe is young. Second, while focusing only on the new blue stars, he also ignores the fact that we see some of them millions of light years away. They obviously existed long ago, otherwise their light couldn’t reach us. But even if we limit the discussion to only blue stars, and we ignore their distance, why are they a problem for real scientists? Danny tells us:

To explain the prevalence of blue stars, these astronomers must assume they have been forming spontaneously throughout most of history, even in recent times. Despite their diligent search, however, they have never observed one of these blue stars forming — or any other star, for that matter. Nevertheless, they must believe that stars form continually because their theory demands it.

We don’t need to literally see one in the process of formation. They’re blue, so we know they’re new — at least they were when their light was being sent to us. Aside from that, as this recent article at PhysOrg says, we do observe the formation of new stars. It quotes University of Arizona astrophotographer and astronomy educator Adam Block, who describes a photograph he made of what was behind a dark cloud of dust and gas in the constellation Serpens:

“You can see that in the red area, toward the lower right of the image,” Block explained. “In the glowing, red area toward the lower right of the image, that’s where star formation is occurring. The young stars embedded in the cloud make the area glow.”

Why wouldn’t Danny know about things like that? It only took us 30 seconds to find it. [Addendum: here’s another — A fiery drama of star birth and death.] Danny hasn’t been keeping up since he joined AIG. What else does he have to say? He attempts to explain that gas clouds in galaxies somehow can’t form stars. He says: “The largest problem is that a gas cloud is so spread out that its gravity is miniscule.” Then he tells us:

The astronomer Sir James Jeans asked and answered this question in 1902. He found that the cloud must be somewhat larger than a star, but many orders of magnitude smaller than any observed cloud for this to happen. That is, no observed gas cloud is even close to the Jeans length.

Oh — that’s what James Jeans said back in 1902. Did we say that Danny wasn’t keeping up? It looks like we were right. Oh wait — he does seem to be aware of a few things:

As predicted, very distant galaxies (and hence galaxies from the early universe) are systematically brighter than nearby galaxies. Astronomers call these “starburst” galaxies and say the blue color is evidence for explosive star formation early in the universe. Furthermore, though astronomers have not observed the actual contraction of a gas cloud into a star, they have identified a number of different kinds of odd star-like entities that they view as snapshots of stars in various stages of formation.

If he’s aware of such things, then what’s the problem? There doesn’t seem to be one, except that Danny doesn’t like the idea that new stars are still forming. It contradicts his fantasy universe in which everything was created 6,000 years ago. He continues:

Despite these claims, we should note that astronomers think that in the universe today, condensed clouds overwhelmingly produce low-mass red stars, but in the early universe they formed massive blue stars.

“Overwhelmingly”? Even if that were true, it doesn’t say that blue stars aren’t still forming. Here’s how he finishes. It’s the predictable end of any creation science article:

[C]reation astronomers depend on the Book written by the infallible Creator who was there and made the stars. As we would expect, modern observations about the star-filled universe confirm the Lord’s creativity; and blue stars in particular are consistent with the Bible’s account of a young universe.

So there you are. But after reading it over again, we have no idea where that is.

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

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31 responses to “AIG: Blue Stars Prove a Young Universe

  1. Alex Shuffell

    If he doesn’t think that stars can be formed in the last 6,000 years I wonder how he gets around thinking about novas. Novas are easily observable but they rely on the same science that describes the evolution and formation of stars, would he think that stars can destroy themselves but they can not be formed, or would he ignore them too?

  2. Back to the medicine cabinet for more Tylenol!..

    My brain almost collapsed on it’s own like a large sun going super nova!

    Auch!

  3. Stephen Kennedy

    No astronomer would expect to see the formation of a particular star from the beginning of collapse of a gas cloud to the shining of a new star since this process takes anywhere from several hundred thousand years to many millions of years, depending on the type of star.

    Like other creationists, Faulkner appears to believe that if some process can not be completed during the lifetime of a human observer it can not happen at all. This is clearly absurd. Astronomers can speak confidently about the formation history of stars because they are not constrained to observe one particular star. They can observe millions of gas clouds in various stages of collapse, proto-stars and newly formed stars to obtain a very accurate picture of the process of star formation. It is hard for me to believe Faulkner does not know this, but he has become so deluded by YEC dogma that he refuses to accept any explanations other than those given by professional creationists like Ken Ham.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    I had to click thru to read the piece to figure out the point. Red stars form nowadays, so scientists can’t explain how blue stars formed before that. AHA! Science fails, while the bible clearly explains the formation of blue stars and how their starlight got here in less than 6,000 years. Good grief, pass the tylenol Dorrianmatter!

  5. Danny is IDiot. So called baby stars are born all the time. There are many recently formed stars in the Orion Nebula that are young enough to have not yet blown off the dust from their solar nebula and still lay hidden in the nebula. Eventually they will blow off the dust and a young star will be revealed. This process doesn’t happen in a few thousand years but in several hundred thousand years those new stars will be sending photons our way. Other stars have been observed just after this phase where the dust clouds are beginning to dissipate. So we can observe stars in all stages of development from birth to death. I guess for Danny, ignorance is bliss.

  6. Danny is but a member of Hambo’s coterie of kooks. His opinions on anything scientific are, to be kind, worthless.
    And Hambo and Co can’t figure out why young people are leaving the church en masse. . .
    Next time you wonder why they’re running away, Hambo, lock arms with Georgia, Danny, and Andy Snelling, and look into a mirror.

  7. This guy Danny is an idiot without even realizing it. He says

    In fact, the hottest blue stars could last only a few million years at best.

    and then tell us the stars were created by his deity 6000 years ago. How does he reconcile the two?

  8. Exactly. Kookoo for cocoa puffs.

  9. Why must they twist data to conform to their myth. Why not just leave it alone?

  10. Because they think they would loose their empire, which they are loosing anyways.

    The further science goes, the further they will erode.

    They’re just trying to stop it, but it’s futile.

  11. Is this representative for the level of physics and astronomy taught at Bob Jones University?

  12. As someone who has loved astronomy since childhood this is the first time one of these drooling idiots has managed to piss me off.

    Even if you know nothing of astronomy 2 minutes on Google is enough time to understand how full of crap this argument is.

    Ignorance is not a virtue.

  13. This reminds me of the puzzle about solar neutrinos some years ago. I recall reading YEC material which said that the small number of solar neutrinos showed that there was something wrong with conventional astronomy, so that if the model of fusion proposed for the Sun does not produce the required number of neutrinos, then – well, obviously, I guess, we don’t really know that the Sun is billions of years old.
    Of course, we now know that there is a well-confirmed explanation for the solar neutrino puzzle, one which shows, by multiple experiments, that there is no fundamental problem with the fusion model for the Sun.
    In real science, there are always puzzles waiting to be solved. The existence of even a real puzzle is not a demonstration that everything that we know is wrong.

  14. As usual, an IDiot looks at data for one phenomenon and bashes the living Christ out of it so that it “fits” his conception of reality.

    What I don’t understand, is how any person with a genuine interest in astronomy could hack out one misunderstood part of the awesomeness, and mangle it without actually comprehending the underlying data. It boggles my tiny mind.

    IANAS, but I’m trying to understand and enjoy as many processes as I can. That means that I understand some of the intricacies of processes like evolution, physics, chemistry, biology, and astronony just enough to cringe natively when these induhviduals blurt some new stream of misinformation. It’s awful. Like little tiny bits of my brain go ‘Whut?’ simultaneously…

    What the IDiots do is like smashing a car with a sledgehammer, so they can find a shiny bit of broken glass and shout “Oh! Look at the bewdyful thing what god made!”

  15. Referencing work from 1902 pretty much says it all.

  16. TomS wrote:

    In real science, there are always puzzles waiting to be solved. The existence of even a real puzzle is not a demonstration that everything that we know is wrong.

    Creationists/Fundamentalists don’t like unsolved puzzles, which is why they don’t like science: it makes them feel very uncomfortable. They desperately need a solution for every puzzle; any solution will do, even if it’s scientifically wrong, as long as that solution doesn’t change.

    Anything, scientific or otherwise, that disputes that preferred solution is what’s really wrong.

    Peter Naus wrote:

    What I don’t understand, is how any person with a genuine interest in astronomy could hack out one misunderstood part of the awesomeness, and mangle it without actually comprehending the underlying data.

    Faulkner’s interest in astronomy or comprehension of the data are unimportant compared to his mission: “confirm the Lord’s creativity” and reassure his readers that everything is “consistent with the Bible’s account of a young universe.”

  17. Where and how do stars form, then, according to evolutionary theories?

    Glad you asked. According to the theory of evolution, stars are formed as a result of the mating of their parent stars. As an example, two blue stars might get together, do their thing, and produce new little baby blue stars. Sometimes, however, there is a mutation and a slightly different color star is born. These stars might have an advantage in finding mate stars, or perhaps have longer lives, and thus will produce many offspring stars. Over time, this process accounts for all the different types of stars we see today.

    Interestingly, stars mate indiscriminately, further diversifying the variety of stars. We know this because we observe stars of different types orbiting each other, sometimes in threesomes and foursomes. We also observe, spectroscopically, stars which have approached each other so closely that we cannot separate them with our most powerful telescopes. These stars are obviously in the act of mating.

    In fact, just next door we can see the couple of Alpha Centauri A and B, who have almost pushed their little offspring “Proxima” out of the nest.

  18. All of this raises a deep question: Could a great big bag of wind become a star, blue or otherwise, in less than 6,000 years?

  19. MNb said:
    Is this representative for the level of physics and astronomy taught at Bob Jones University?

    Yes, unfortunately. But that points out the importance of creationists getting legitimate credentials from accepted universities, then flaunting them before the rubes as if they know what they’re talking about and making them sound convincing.

  20. Thanks, DavidK. As a Dutchman I sometimes have a hard time understanding that this is even possible. In the Netherlands this is simply impossible and I assume it neither is in France, Belgium and Germany
    An educational institute teaching manure like this would not receive any governmental funds and its certificates would not be legally recognized. In practice this means the end of such an institution; in The Netherlands only recently two primary schools and one secondary school had to close because of bad reports by educational inspection.

  21. Exactly. That is what is important. We cannot allow that to happen!

  22. This is a VERY good point and the US should find a method to do the same.

  23. dorianmattar says: “This is a VERY good point and the US should find a method to do the same.”

    I assume you’re referring to the comment by MNb, about the Dutch situation. That’s what Educational accreditation is supposed to accomplish.

  24. Yes i was. So how do we voice our concerns and don’t allow for any slack?

  25. This is Bob Jones University we’re talking about, a fundamentalist Baptist college, which was unaccredited last time I checked. Their degrees are pretty much worthless for anyone who wants a job outside the ministry.

  26. Answers in Genesis have been proclaiming Comet ISON as evidence of a ‘young universe’.

    This recent BBC TV programme suggested that the comet might yield new information or confirmation of existing hypotheses about the formation of the solar system. And the kind of information or confirmation that might result did NOT sound like anything that would confirm Genesis 1 taken as literal ‘science’.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03k3881
    “Comet ISON could well be the brightest and most spectacular comet for a generation. It should appear above the eastern horizon from December 2013 as a glorious streak across the sky. ISON has been travelling towards the sun for ten thousand years and will make only one orbit through its corona before disappearing off into the outer solar system.
    But as well as providing a great spectacle, ISON’s tail of vapourised gas and water, hundreds of millions of kilometres long, will give insights into some of the greatest mysteries of science; it will help explain the origins of the solar system, whether earth’s water was delivered on comets and even whether we are alone in the universe”.

  27. @TPK: How is Bob Jones University financed? Do they have tax exemptions? Private schools (ie no government money involved) have been tried in The Netherlands too, but fees tend to be four till six times as high as for “normal” educational institutions.

  28. Well to be honest all I really know about Baptist Bible colleges like Bob Jones comes from what I read on ex-fundy blogs. I know they’re private schools–they have to be if they’re tied to churches. Also, I was wrong when I said Bob Jones was unaccredited; I just now found out they got accredited in 2005 by TRACS, which specifically exists to grant accreditation to creationism-teaching Christian colleges. That still doesn’t carry as much respectability as accreditation from a secular regional accreditation agency, I don’t think.

  29. Stephen Kennedy

    @Mnb,

    The financing of colleges and universities in the United States is very complicated. The only schools owned by the federal government are the military academies which provide students with free tuition, free room and board and actually pays them a salary. In return, graduates are obligated to serve in the armed forces for a fairly lengthy period of time after graduation.

    State colleges and universities are managed and partially funded by the individual states. Examples here in California are the nine campuses of the University of California (UC), 23 campuses of the California State University (CSU) and over 100 two year Community Colleges. These institutions receive money directly from the state government but not enough to cover their costs so students have to pay tuition (about $12,000 per year at UC and about $7,000 per year at CSU) and provide for their own room and board. These institutions also receive U.S. Government grants for research. These public universities also receive funding from individuals and corporations in the private sector in the form of gifts and research grants.

    Private universities like Harvard do not receive funds from the state government and they charge much higher rates of tuition ($30,000 per year plus room and board). Most of these universities also receive research grants from the federal government and the private sector as well as contributions from individuals which are tax deductible.

    Private bible schools like Bob Jones University do not receive funding from either the state or federal governments. They tend to charge high tuitions and are especially reliant on private contributions from supporters and since these gifts are tax deductible you could say that American taxpayers indirectly finance these schools. Bob Jones University probably receives a large amount in contributions from conservative and religiously fundamentalist supporters.