Back when Genesis was written, no one knew about the speed of light so there was no apparent problem in saying that the stars were created on the Fourth Day of creation week, a few thousand years ago, and were immediately visible on Earth. We’ve been writing about this since the earliest days of our blog — see How Old Is The Creationists’ Universe?, where we said:
One of the creationists’ lesser-known difficulties is their Starlight problem, which asks this question: If the universe were only around 6,000 years old, then how is it possible that we see light coming from stars and galaxies that are millions of light-years away from us?
Today, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom — is taking another whack at this most difficult problem. Their article is titled Uniformitarians Stumble on Distant Starlight . It was written by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. He has two middle initials, which is very classy, and he not only has a law degree, but he’s also a Doctor of Theology. He’s described at the end as “Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
The accuracy and authority of God’s Word are often attacked by those who claim that science shows biblical claims to be erroneous if not impossible. 1 Peter 3:15 calls on believers to be always “ready to give a defense [apologian] to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” A good place to start is to 1) examine the assumptions of the questioner, and 2) examine closely what the Bible actually says.
Right. Don’t even think of starting with the evidence presented to you. Then he says:
For instance, one common stumbling block uniformitarians introduce is the question of how long it took starlight to reach Earth, saying it couldn’t possibly have both started and arrived on Day 4 of the creation week as recorded in Genesis.
Yes, that is a common “stumbling block.” What’s Johnson’s advice for dealing with it? He tells us:
No human observed or measured the travel time for its original delivery. However, as Dr. Henry Morris observed, we know starlight accomplished God’s declared purposes listed in Genesis 1:14-18, which included starlight being promptly visible to mankind on Earth.
Right, we know that. He quotes Henry Morris, the founder of ICR, and the material in brackets is in Johnson’s post:
In order to serve these purposes [for the sun, moon, and stars], however, light energy trails would need to be established already in place in space [raqia‘ ] between each star and earth. Thus, men would have been able to see stars billions of light-years away at the very moment of their formation, in accordance with the principle of mature creation, or creation of apparent age.
Very impressive! Johnson continues:
Most creationists no longer believe God created starlight “in transit,” but they all agree distant starlight reached Earth quickly. The Hebrew text demands that starlight’s complete transmission first occurred within the timeframe of Day 4. The main action verb in Genesis 1:17 — a form of nathan usually translated “give,” more literally “transfer” or “deliver” — emphasizes the original transmission of starlight, not God’s positioning of the stars. This means that during Day 4, distant starlight logistically began and completely arrived at (i.e., was “delivered” to) Earth.
Did you understand that? We didn’t, and we may end up in the Lake of Fire as a result. Let’s read on:
Uniformitarians assume that starlight began its intergalactic journey eons ago because they assume distant starlight — even “from the beginning” — has always required billions of years to reach Earth.
According to Johnson, those hell-bound uniformitarians are fools! However, our observation of supernova SN1987A undeniably indicates that lightspeed hasn’t changed for more than 168,000 years, and we’ve never seen a creationist address this. This is how Johnson deals with the starlight problem:
But God-designed beginnings are not always representative of later continuation norms. Consider a human baby’s embryology; it is not representative of how newborn humans grow and develop. Consider the form and behavior of an adult Monarch butterfly; it is not a good “key” for guessing what its earlier caterpillar phase was like. Likewise, during the creation week, creation’s processes included many mighty miracles that are not normal today.
Good, huh? Here’s more:
Therefore, assuming that evolutionary eons of billions of years of “deep time” are needed for Earth to originally receive starlight is simply wrong — because God transmitted the original starlight by special delivery!
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Special delivery!
Johnson ends his brilliant essay with a little poem he wrote:
Deists pegged Earth’s years in the millions.
Many stretch that, today, to the billions.
Dismissing Day 4,
God’s Word they ignore,
Thus erring by margins of billions.
That was adorable! Well done!
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