The Universe Looks Old, But It’s Not

Way back in 2008 when this humble blog was in its infancy, an amazing article appeared at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

The title of Hambo’s post was A Mature Universe, sub-titled “God created the universe mature. Instead of giving just an appearance of age, God created it fully functional, according to the Bible.” We missed the article when it first appeared, but fortunately, Hambo re-published it today. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

When God finished creating the heavens and earth, everything was fully formed. The stars burned brightly, the trees were laden with fruit, and animals were ready to bear young. The earth and its inhabitants were designed to last forever, without aging or dying. The first animals and humans were ageless — you couldn’t even tell whether they were alive only one day or alive for one thousand years. In short, God created a mature universe.

Then he criticizes creationists who say that the universe was created with the appearance of age — even though it wasn’t old. He says:

My response often shocks these speakers: “By saying the universe looks old, you are trusting that dating methods can give us an apparent old age for the universe — but they can’t.” [Ooooooooooooh!] Let me explain. When people say the universe has “apparent age,” usually they are assuming, for whatever reason, that the universe “looks old.” I have often found that, unconsciously, such people have already accepted that the fallible dating methods of scientists can give great ages for the earth. So if they believe what the Scripture says about a young universe, they have to explain away this apparent great age.

Isn’t Hambo brilliant? Next he tells us:

Does the universe really look old, or have we simply been indoctrinated to believe it looks old? [Wow, what a question!] Would the Creator God of the Bible, who does not lie, really deceive us into thinking that the universe looks old — when according to the Bible’s account of history, He created it only about 6,000 years ago? What would a “young universe” look like, anyway? Creation scientists have written many articles to clearly show that all dating methods (other than the record of history given in the Bible) are based on fallible assumptions and can’t be trusted to give absolute dates about the past.

There is no way you can trust those secular scientists! Hambo continues:

When God created the stars, He obviously created them mature and fully functional and for a specific purpose — to be for signs and for seasons. When God created Adam and Eve and told them to be fruitful and multiply, He gave them mature bodies that were ready to produce children.

That makes sense! Let’s read on, as Hambo explains why we’re so confused today:

When doctors look at the human body today, they can estimate age from various evidences in the body. But before sin, nothing aged — everything was created “very good.” The human body did not experience the effects of sin or aging. What would a doctor from today’s fallen world say if he looked at Adam and Eve’s bodies just after they were created? This doctor would be very confused. Such perfect bodies would show no degenerative aging, and he would be shocked to learn that these adults were less than a day old.

Hambo’s article goes on and on. No doubt you’ll want to click over there and read every precious word. After you do, you’ll never be confused again.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

19 responses to “The Universe Looks Old, But It’s Not

  1. Hambo asks,
    “What would a “young universe” look like, anyway?”

    Answer: Nothing but hydrogen, a tiny bit of helium, and just a smidge of lithium.

    From what we now know about astrophysics, it takes millions of years for any star to get to the point of fusing helium to form heavier elements. The most distant galaxies emit spectra that is metal-deficient compared to closer, and thus older, galaxies.

    Sure, God may have designed it this way from the start – but why? And why are the oldest fossils found on Earth the remains of nothing but very simple forms of life, such as algae that form stromatolites? No trees “laden with fruit”. In fact, no trees at all. No flowering plants. No land animals. For that matter, no animals. Stromatolites were only able to form from layers and layers of algae because there were no animals around to eat the algae. Once the grazers appeared in the fossil record, the stromatolites for the most part disappeared.

    And on and on. the evidence of an old Earth, old solar system, and old universe is overwhelming. All one need do is open one’s mind to see it. Of course, Ham is not at all interested in the facts — he’s too invested in his”6,000 year old” universe hustle to admit anything else.

  2. SC, would you be so kind to make that a “smidge” of lithium?
    The #@%** autocorrect changed it to “smudge”. Thanks! I really should proofread before hitting “Post Comment”, rather than after.

    [Voice from above:] Behold, it is done!

  3. Dave Luckett

    The usual. The dating methods are fallible. When several different and causally unrelated methods give the same range of ages, and those ages are far, far older than the ten thousand years, max, that Ham believes, they’re all wrong, to the same extent. Like, for example, sedimentation rates and K-Ar dating of the igneous rock that underlies the sediment. Like tree rings and lake varves. Like continental plate movement and ancient river deltas. Stuff like that. It’s all wrong, and it’s all wrong in exactly the same way. Uh-huh. ‘Cause Ham says so.

    So God created a Universe (says Ham) that is mature. That is, with the appearance of age in the billions of years. But it’s a false appearance, which means that God is deceiving us. He’s telling us lies about His creation. If he were not, the fossil record would show life-forms just like those of today, all the way down. It shows exclusively life forms different to today’s, and they get more different the older the strata, as evident from superposition. There would be no such things as supernovae – even the shortest-lived supergiants take millions of years to burn through their lighter elements and reach that stage. Light from distant galaxies wouldn’t have reached us yet.

    But what’s this Ham says about God? “Would the Creator God of the Bible, who does not lie, really deceive us into thinking that the universe looks old?” The answer is, Yes, he would. Yes, according to Ham, he has.

    Ham says God doesn’t lie. Ham had better take the matter up with St Paul. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. If sending people strong delusion isn’t lying to them, what is it?

    But this is wearisome. Ham’s delusions, like all idees fixes, cannot be dispelled by facts and logic. Ham’s crazy, but he’s cunning-crazy. He lies, but his untruths lie just beyond the mental horizons of his audience, and he knows that horizon perfectly. It’s no use talking to Ham. It’s no use talking to anyone who either doesn’t know what is real, or rejects reality altogether, or who doesn’t give a toss what reality is. The only reason we keep plugging away is that most humans are better than that, given a chance.

  4. Michael Fugate

    Isn’t mature a synonym of old?

  5. One part of our knowledge is knowledge gained from experience. We know where we can find such and such because we have the memory of having often found such and such there. We remember seeing the early sunrise at a northernmost point. Adam had to have experiential knowledge to survive. He had to have memories. The memories which gave him justification for his knowledge.

  6. chris schilling

    God gave Adam and Eve mature bodies, but skimped when it came to mature brains.

    Even I, as a young child, knew better than to listen to talking snakes.

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    Appearance of old would mean god created starlight in transit. Appearance fully formed would mean god created starlight in transit.

  8. The ongoing Gaia spacecraft is making measurements of distances of 30,000 light years by the direct parallax method. We are seeing events which happened 30,000 years ago, observational science!

  9. Well, rather, God made the stars AND their light on its way to us. Fine. So this light, which God created, included the light from supernovae in galaxies millions to billions of light years away. We see those supernovae flare and die. Which is to say, we see events that never happened. God just made the light on its way to us.

    And this is the God that cannot lie, and who isn’t trying to mislead us. Sure it is.

  10. “you are trusting that dating methods can give us an apparent old age for the universe — but they can’t.”
    I gotta love Ol’Hambo. No, we can’t trust operational science either (see also TomS’ last comment), for the same reasons as we can’t trust historical science.
    Ol’Hambo’s particular theology is the Queen of the Sciences (a twisted quote from

  11. Ham’s argument (if it can be called that) forgets that the Earth does not only show an appearance of age, but also an appearance of history: unmistakeable consequences of specific events which are not necessary for a mature, functioning Earth, but which cannot be squeezed into 6000 years.

  12. Michael Fugate

    Humans will believe anything. Just look at the election. Now Republicans want to condemn any Republican who dares to say Trump lost. Why destroy trust in US institutions for a failure on all fronts?

  13. @Michael Fugate
    One might think that, in order to have a particular position operative in the USA, the advocates of that position find no way other than to have no coherent theory and no evidence, and to destroy stanards for acceptance of positions; and they are willing to do that.
    Others may see that as a tacit acknowledgement of the weakness of their position.
    Veterans of this blog may find it interesting that the latest submission calculates the improbability of the vote as it stands in one state as something like 1,000,000,000,000,000 to 1 (I may be off by a factor of 1000 … we all are familiar with such meaningless figures that aren’t worth the effort to copy exactly) … and doesn’t even attempt to “calculate the improbability” of their preferred vote count.
    That should be an embarrassment to the serious proponents of such a position.

  14. Not a scientist, definitely not a cosmologist, but aren’t a whole lot of the stars we see NOT mature? As in, we have stars in every state from currently forming all the way to being the drifting detritus of old explosions?

  15. What does it even mean for a star to be mature and fully functional? I consulted Merriam-Webster.

    Mature: “having completed natural growth and development”
    “having attained a final or desired state”
    No single star will ever be mature on these definitions.

    Functional: “used to contribute to the development or maintenance of a larger whole”
    “designed or developed chiefly from the point of view of use”
    I suppose Ol’Hambo is not thinking of “used, designed or developed by school courses” or architects but of YHWH, so this has nothing to do with science.
    Instead he’s talking from the lower end of his digestive system.

  16. Successive sentences in the Ham post:

    “the trees were laden with fruit, and animals were ready to bear young. The earth and its inhabitants were designed to last forever, without aging or dying.”

    If you can’t see the obvious logical contradiction in that, you’re brain-dead.

  17. @Dave Luckett: Good point. But a creationist’s answer might be that God saw the looming problem of overpopulation, so He sent the serpent to tempt Eve to sin, thus creating death, and so saving the world.

    Voila! Problem solved.

  18. I don’t know about a creationist’s answer – “God did it” is their all-purpose explanation of everything – but theologians have extreme trouble with that idea. In fact, from that point of view the serpent story just about has to be treated as allegorical – which is of course exactly what it is.

  19. How does Ham know the Bible says it was 6000 years ago? Abraham is the last in the line that has a stated age. If you use Paul’s statement about the time between Abraham and the Temple, you still have to figure out when the temple was dedicated. Don’t you use secular science for that?