The more we learn, the more young Earth creationists become isolated, frightened, and demented. They insist that what they call creation science — based on Genesis — must be true, and all modern science to the contrary is not only blasphemous, but it’s based on false assumptions — i.e., verifiable observations and testable hypotheses.
The universe described in the bible is a cozy arrangement, with the Earth created as the only world in existence, in the center of what seemed to be a rather limited universe, consisting of the Sun and the Moon, with the stars as lights set in a presumably solid firmament rotating around us, just below the glorious realm of Yahweh.
The people who wrote the bible weren’t idiots, but they were limited to naked eye observations, so they believed The Earth Does Not Move. And being limited in geographic knowledge by their primitive transportation methods, it’s understandable that they thought The Earth Is Flat. Those beliefs found their way into several scripture passages, which we cited in those two links. Despite the bible’s clarity on those issues, young Earth creationists have abandoned the idea of a flat Earth, and most seem to have accepted the idea that the Earth moves as part of the solar system — but they still insist on the truth of everything else in Genesis.
Until very recently they insisted that ours was the only planetary system in existence, so they could still believe that Earth was specially created for us as the focus of divine attention. But in recent years, to their increasing horror, other planetary systems have been discovered, and more are constantly being sighted. The total of verified extra-solar planets is now over 3,000, of which over 500 are rocky planets like Earth, and more than 20 of those are in their star’s so-called Goldilocks zone, or rather, the Circumstellar habitable zone.
We still haven’t found any aliens. That will be the creationists’ ultimate crisis. But today we have some news from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that will certainly add to the discomfort of creationists. The first item is Building Blocks of Life’s Building Blocks Come From Starlight. It says:
Life exists in a myriad of wondrous forms, but if you break any organism down to its most basic parts, it’s all the same stuff: carbon atoms connected to hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and other elements. But how these fundamental substances are created in space has been a longstanding mystery.
Now, astronomers better understand how molecules form that are necessary for building other chemicals essential for life. Thanks to data from the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, scientists have found that ultraviolet light from stars plays a key role in creating these molecules, rather than “shock” events that create turbulence, as was previously thought.
How did they figure that out? We’re told:
Scientists studied the ingredients of carbon chemistry in the Orion Nebula, the closest star-forming region to Earth that forms massive stars. They mapped the amount, temperature and motions of the carbon-hydrogen molecule (CH, or “methylidyne” to chemists), the carbon-hydrogen positive ion (CH+) and their parent: the carbon ion (C+). An ion is an atom or molecule with an imbalance of protons and electrons, resulting in a net charge.
“On Earth, the sun is the driving source of almost all the life on Earth. Now, we have learned that starlight drives the formation of chemicals that are precursors to chemicals that we need to make life,” said Patrick Morris, first author of the paper and researcher at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech in Pasadena.
“This is the initiation of the whole carbon chemistry,” said John Pearson, researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and study co-author. “If you want to form anything more complicated, it goes through that pathway.”
Scientists combined Herschel data with models of molecular formation and found that ultraviolet light is the best explanation for how hydrocarbons form in the Orion Nebula. The findings have implications for the formation of basic hydrocarbons in other galaxies as well. It is known that other galaxies have shocks, but dense regions in which ultraviolet light dominates heating and chemistry may play the key role in creating fundamental hydrocarbon molecules there, too.
Starlight is what starts the process going. Very nice. The next item we found at the NASA website is Hubble Reveals Observable Universe Contains 10 Times More Galaxies Than Previously Thought. We’ll give you only one excerpt:
The universe suddenly looks a lot more crowded, thanks to a deep-sky census assembled from surveys taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories. Astronomers came to the surprising conclusion that there are at least 10 times more galaxies in the observable universe than previously thought. This places the universe’s estimated population at, minimally, 2 trillion galaxies.
So there you are. The chemistry of life begins with starlight, and now there are ten times more galaxies out there than we had previously thought. The simple, Earth-centered universe of the creationists is becoming ridiculously huge, and the miracle of life is becoming increasingly less miraculous. As a result, creationism is becoming increasingly absurd. Now, let’s see if any of the usual creationist websites bother to mention these new discoveries.
See also: Bible Astronomy Is Always True.
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