Answers in Genesis Discusses Gravity Waves

You already know about the recent discovery of gravitational waves. It’s a great triumph for science. But gravity waves aren’t mentioned in the bible, so you have no doubt been wondering: What do creationists say about this?

Today we have a reaction from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. Their headline is What Does the Detection of Gravity Waves Mean for the Creation Model?

It was written by Danny Faulkner. Here’s AIG’s biographical information about him. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University — an impressive credential indeed. Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us for emphasis. He begins by saying:

On Thursday, February 11, 2016, the physics and astronomy community were abuzz with the announcement of the first direct detection of gravity waves. Albert Einstein had predicted the existence of gravity waves a century ago.

Yes, we know. Most of Danny’s post is a description of how the discovery was made. We’ll skip that because there are far better sources of information — for example, The inside story of the gravitational wave observation. Near the end, he finally gets around to what interests us:

What does this mean to the creation model? Not much.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Why not? The bible is supposed to tell us everything there is to know, yet it doesn’t mention gravity, black holes, or anything else relevant to the discovery of gravity waves. Surely, from the creationist perspective, this whole thing should be blasphemous rubbish. But Danny doesn’t think so. Let’s read on:

Some creationists may wonder about the distance, but we already know about many objects even farther away.

Danny is referring to the source of the detected gravity waves — a black hole collision 1.3 billion light years away from us. Those gravity waves should have taken a wee bit longer than 6,000 years (the biblical age of the universe) to get here. But Danny isn’t troubled by that. He explains:

Creationists are well aware of the light-travel-time problem, and we have proposed several solutions.

Oh yeah, they’ve got solutions. Danny links to something he wrote earlier, but let’s not get into that. Here’s more:

Others may wonder about the modeling that went into this. As an astronomer and physicist who happens to be a biblical creationist, I don’t see a problem with this.

Gasp! Why would Danny accept mere modeling? That’s sinful man’s information, which AIG usually urges us to reject. We’re getting very confused. Moving along:

There is good evidence that black holes exist. Contrary to what a few creationists seem to think, black holes were not made up to salvage evolutionary ideas.

This is very strange. Here’s another excerpt:

God probably made neutron stars and black holes on Day Four, along with the other astronomical bodies.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, probably. And now we come to the end:

This first direct confirmation of gravitational waves is just another example of how far out and cool God’s creation can be.

We’re getting mixed messages from creationists. As you recall, we recently wrote that Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, claims that Gravity Waves Are Caused by Sin. Now, ol’ Hambo’s outfit says they’re “far out and cool.” Someone less charitable than your Curmudgeon might suspect that those creation scientists are just making it up as they go along.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

35 responses to “Answers in Genesis Discusses Gravity Waves

  1. Ergo, sin is cool!

    I knew it!

  2. “God probably made neutron stars and black holes on Day Four, along with the other astronomical bodies.”

    Or, he made them earlier this morning, Thursday, February 19th, 2016, along with everything else in the universe.

  3. Creationism. Jazzy! Us hepcats have definitely got our needles in that groove.

  4. 1) It shows once again the proverty of creationism. One more thing that creationism has nothing to say about. Other striking things that creatonism has nothng to say about include: taxonomy, biogeography, embryology, genetics, etc. etc. etc. and creation.
    2) The lame attempts to deal with the distant star light problem are, beside being abject failures and contradictory, mostly about electromagnetic radiation. Gravitational waves are something totally different. To explain them away will take a totally different approach, as well as yet another case of coordination of phenomena (as different as ice cores and radioactivitiy).
    3) Ah, yes, the creation of the Sun, Moon and stars on day 4. The sun was created to mark the passage of time after three days had passed, not to mention how this is inconsistent with heliocentrism. But aside from that, this speculation that black holes were created on day X – this is as much just making stuff up as saying – well, when were the microbes created?

    There ought to be panic in the realm of YEC as science discovers more things about which the Bible has nothing to offer. Almost as if the Bible isn’t the source of all truth.

  5. So black holes and sin came into being at the same moment? The implications are far out and cool. Probably a lot more far out than cool but whatever.
    I’m beginning to suspect that Brownian motion may actually be micro sin spreading it’s evil influence. I can’t wait to read the AiG’s research papers.

  6. Dean says: “So black holes and sin came into being at the same moment?”

    Danny says black holes were made during creation week, so they existed long before sin. I’m surprised by that, because the bible says the stars were made for light. Black holes shouldn’t exist before sin.

  7. Yes, indeed, Dean. I imagine teams of creation scientists are hard at work right now searching years’ worth of astronomical data and devising computer models to test which of the “several solutions” to the “light-travel-time problem” is actually supported by the evidence.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    I’ve seen a few articles at AIG by ‘scientists’ who, to me, display their cognitive dissonance in their writing. So is the case with this posting. Danny thinks the waves are ‘far out and cool’, and the bible is groovy, too. Peace man, peace … to your brain’s little battle over fact and fiction.

  9. Is it possible that these people really believe all this idiocy or are they just carny barkers trying draw in the rubes?

  10. Cynic, most of them believe, as sincerely as they can. They either have a large number of unexamined contradictions in their thoughts, or they’re aware that the contradictions exist and have consciously chosen to not address them.

    It’s straight up magical thinking. In the end, they’re pretty much saying, “Yes, if you look at it from one perspective, you can make that argument, but I believe in magic, and so therefore . . .” They gussy it up with “special creation,” “baraminology” and sciencey sounding stuff, but ultimately it’s no more scientific than Harry Potter.

  11. Clearly a controversial topic for the children of Idaho schools. Surely having their bibles on hand in classes will illuminate and resolve the problem for them as they can quick reference the topic of gravitational waves in the bible’s index.

  12. “But gravity waves aren’t mentioned in the bible.”

    While that statement is correct, it is also irrelevant in this context.

    The HAMster has referred to “gravity waves” as though they were the same as “gravitational waves”. What LIGO detects are gravitational waves, *NOT* gravity waves.

    Gravity waves are waves caused by gravity, like ripples in a pond when a pebble is dropped into the water. Likewise, ripples occur in the atmosphere when the wind blows over a mountain range, and these are also examples of gravity waves.

    In contrast, gravitational waves are ripples in space-time caused by varying gravitation. If you could stand at a fixed point in space and a planet passed by you there would be exceedingly weak gravitational waves passing through you. If a star passed by the gravitational waves would have a larger amplitude, and so on up to and including a black hole passing by.

    Two neutron stars or black holes (or one of each) co-orbiting near each other cause *huge* ripples in space-time and it is this radiation of energy that causes the co-orbiting bodies to spiral in towards each other. This radiated energy is what LIGO detects. The approximate amount of energy radiated by the detected gravitational waves stated is equivalent to converting the entire mass of 3 times our sun into energy. Do not confuse this with the amount of energy that the sun generates through fusion. In other words, combine the mass of 3 suns with an equivalent amount of antimatter to get the gravitational energy radiated. Matter annihilation of hydrogen produces about 100 times as much energy as fusion.

    Similarly the planets in the solar system orbiting the sun cause ripples in space time but these ripples are minuscule compared to co-orbiting multiple stellar sized masses.

    Improvements in the sensitivity of LIGO detectors should eventually make orbiting planet detection possible in the future.

  13. Oops, “The HAMster” was intended to be “The HAMster’s website” since the phony excuses were actually made by that famous unknown scientist Danny Faulkner rather than the HAM.

  14. Danny Faulkner, AiG’s crack scientist:
    “God probably made neutron stars and black holes on Day Four, along with the other astronomical bodies.”

    Uh, Danny? Did you forget that we can see them being formed in the here and now? You do know about supernovae, don’t you? And you do know about the Crab Nebula with its embedded neutron star, and you do know that we can precisely date its formation, right?

    Danny, you should officially change your name to Gobble D. Gook. You can keep “Danny” as your middle name.

  15. Keep in mind Xr. Danny Faulkner’s solution to the light travel problem is that God put the universe in fast forward, just like your DVR. While it is silly, it at least isn’t as (quite as) absurd and impeachable as Xr. Jason Lisle’s infinite one way speed of light solution. It also has the benefit of not contradicting the recent findings. On the other hand it seems that Faulkner has nothing to say about anything except to alleviate creationist’s fear that those evil scientists are contradicting the Bible.

  16. Danny writes: “As an astronomer and physicist who happens to be a biblical creationist…”

    I can imagine a very good equivalency to that:

    “As an interior designer and decorator who happens to be a homeless vagrant…”

  17. I know where you’re going, Dean, let me finish the job – so to speak.

    I’m beginning to suspect that Brownian motion may actually be micro sin spreading it’s evil influence.

    According to the old spiritual, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” Brownian motion is not only sanctioned, it’s encouraged! Talk about generating some gravity waves.

  18. michaelfugate

    Or a fashion designer who happens to be a naturist?

  19. This is Danny Faulkner all over. He loves astronomy and won’t lie about it, so he just hopes that young creationists will become astronomers and someday figure it all out. Poor man.

  20. FaulTner says “What does this mean to the creation model? Not much”
    Einstein’s Theory, corroborated by gravity wave data from a distant and long ago black hole collision and recorded by sensitive equipment. Not important.to his keen and inqusditive mind. What an intellectual giant… …..
    I think this means AIG won’t be getting any of the grant money thats going to come screaming into astrophysics and particle physics research because of this breakthrough.

    This choice does leave AIG alot of time to do research on how Noah got rid of all that poop however.

  21. Cyano de Bacteregerac

    TomS,

    Biblical literalists have been in damage control mode ever since flat-earther Samuel Birley Rowbotham cooked up his “north pole is the center” model to account for circumnavigation of the Earth. That ad-hoc hypothesis held out until 1957, when Sputnik sent its beeps from space.

    In a way, I feel sorry for them, those Biblical literalists of all baramins. They’re on the treadmill of the advances of science, and each time a new discovery is made, they have to scramble to devise a new ad-hoc hypothesis lest they lose the credulity of their flocks.

  22. Spoiler Alert! God did it!

  23. See, here’s the thing: how does it matter one way or the other to creationists whether gravitational waves have been discovered? How does that bear on whether or not God created the universe in six days 6,000 (or 10,000, or whatever) years ago?

  24. @Cyano de Bacteregerac
    I think it was on the occasion flight of Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager in 1986 when I saw an interview with a flat-Earther. He had no problem in describing a circumnavigation in flat-Earth terms. Has any flat-Earther confronted a surveyor?

    What interest me are the heliocentric literalist inerrant creationists. The Bible clearly says that the Earth is fixed, while there is nothing which says that a species (or any taxon) is fixed. Up until the rise of modern science, everyone thought that the Bible said that the Earth was fixed (and no one mentioned that species were fixed). So much for the out of “obvious figurative language” – it wasn’t obvious enough so that there was someone who so remarked over 2000 years.[-

  25. Hm, what do creationists think about black holes in general? Physical models describe how after hundreds of millions of years, a star that has exhausted its fuel may collapse into a black hole; do creationists dispute that these models are correct?

    And surely, while we might accept the use of “star” to describe other celestial objects, like planets and comets, in a phenomenological sense, surely it does not apply to dark object like a black hole. Genesis 1 says God put “lights in the sky” to serve as signs and for keeping time. A black hole is useless for all these purposes. We must conclude, then, that there is no mention of their creation in Genesis, and we must ask the creationist why that is.

  26. God probably made neutron stars and black holes on Day Four, along with the other astronomical bodies.

    In a universe that is supposed to be all about us, why did God do that? What purpose does a black hole “long ago, in a galaxy far, far, away” have to do with us – whether or not it was created on the 4th day?

    Other than blathering about “how far out and cool God’s creation can be”, when has a creationist ever explained why there is so much more universe than humans can ever see or experience? By “more universe”, I mean essentially all of the universe. Our local space is so small relative to the universe that it is statistically nonexistent.

  27. michaelfugate: exactly.

  28. Cyano de Bacteregerac

    @TomS

    I’ve always thought of those “Earth is established that it shall not be moved” type of verses as meaning God promises not to yank the foundation from under mankind’s feet, much like the promise not to flood the world again. The case for Biblical fixity of the Earth is surely strong, but I can see how a literalist can get around it.

    What really fascinates me is the verse Job 37:18, where it says in the most explicit way imaginable that the sky is a solid roof above our heads. A simple web search can lead you to Biblical literalists’ attempts to dance around that wording, with very un-literalistic results that they would never accept when applied to the age of Creation and other pet issues.

    Apropos, geocentrism took a far longer time to die out than people think. In the middle of the 19th century, when we’re told it’s already a dead letter, there were still quite a few clingers to the Ptolemaic system (Scottish Calvinists especially), as well as those who opted for Tycho Brahe’s compromise (Copernicanism with a fixed earth; the Missouri Synod Lutherans preferred that system), and very interestingly, the Muggletonians, adherents of a geocentric cosmology where the Earth is a huge solid ball at the center of the cosmos while the Sun, moon and stars are small points of light stuck to the sky. In other words, identical to the ancient flat-earth cosmology except for the Earth being a sphere. The Muggletonian system looks a lot like a hard-boiled egg, with the Earth as the hard egg-white inside the yolk of air-space (whose upper limit, the sky, is solid just like the Bible requires).

    I expect geocentrism took a back seat after the middle of the 19th century when the theories of Lyell and Darwin made the literalists realize they had bigger fish to fry. So geocentrism, while more Biblically supported than heliocentric YEC, is just not as fashionable.

  29. Geocentrism lingered well into the 20th century, particularly among Missouri Synod Lutherans. (They were one of the two big sects that founded creation science, the other being the Seventh Day Adventists.)

  30. The standard way of dealing with troublesome texts is to say that they are clearly meant figuratively. Take, for example, the Fable of the Trees in Judges 9. We know that many people knew about the Aristotelian-Ptollmaic universe, and had no problem with the Ancient Near Eastern cosmology in the Bible as being figurative. But we all know that there was no such suggestion about geocentrism being only figurative. Galileo would have loved to find an ancient that he could cite.

    So I am making the point that it is impossible to say that geocentrism in the Bible is obviously meant figuratively. Not when nobody, for something like 2000 years, noticed that. Something which is obvious does not go unnoticed for 2000 years.

  31. BTW, I think that it is very interesting to study how geocentrism became accepted. What evidence was there in 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000? Right now, what reason is there available to the non-specialist for the annual orbital motion of the Earth? (I’m going to concede the daily rotation of the Earth.) If you are not familiar with Lagrangian mechanics and general relativity.
    Actually, the motion of the Earth turns out to be a minor consequence of the big idea: There is no difference in kind between terrestrial (sub-lunar) things and the celestial. Galileo saw mountains on the Moon, spots on the Sun, satellites of Jupiter, phases of Venus; Newton explained the motions of the planets by the same laws as applied on Earth. (An early example of the micro-macro mambo.)

  32. Whereas biology makes no sense without evolution, astrophysics makes no sense without the passage of billions of years.

  33. @TomS Look up “stellar aberration” particularly http://cseligman.com/text/history/bradley.htm

  34. How many people can observe stellar aberration?
    How many people did not need the observation of stellar aberration to accept heliocentrism?

  35. If I were asked to prove the Earth went around the sun and not the other way around, I couldn’t do it.