Our readers remember Jason Lisle. He’s the the creationist astrophysicist who used to be employed by Answers in Genesis (AIG), ol’ Hambo’s online ministry. For reasons which have never been explained, he left AIG a couple of years ago to become director of whatever it is that they call research at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.
Back when he was at AIG, we wrote several times about Jason Lisle’s “Instant Starlight” Paper. That was Jason’s solution to the Distant Starlight problem. The problem — for young-earth creationists — is that the light we see from distant sources required literally billions of years to reach earth, yet the creationist’s universe is only 6,000 years old.
Jason hasn’t written much at ICR, so many of us have been wondering what he’s doing there. We have some answers from the latest post from ICR: Planetarium Unlimited. It begins with this introduction:
The following are excerpts of an interview with ICR’s Director of Research and astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle about ICR’s plans to build a new creation science museum and state-of-the-art planetarium.
Wowie — ICR is going to build a creation science museum and a planetarium — just like Hambo! That’s big news!
We’re not told who conducted the interview — the questions and answers only have initials preceding them. Jason’s answers start with JL, of course, and the questions come from someone identified only as BT. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
BT: We’re here to talk with Dr. Jason Lisle about this museum, but let’s first get to know him. What got you started on space stuff?
JL: I’ve loved outer space since I was a little kid. I remember seeing these beautiful images…of star fields, stunning colors of these nebulae, it’s artwork of God. There’s something kind of spiritual about it. My dad had an interest in astronomy and his dad before him, so they kind of paved the way for me.
Isn’t that lovely? From now on, we’ll substitute “Question” for the unknown BT, and we’ll use “Jason” instead of JL. Let’s read on:
Question: Was there a challenge to your Christian faith as you prepared academically?
Jason: I went through the secular program all the way through …. There currently are no Christian schools that will give you a truly biblical six-day creation view of astronomy. So I had to go through a secular program if I was going to get a degree in astrophysics.
Most of astronomy, a lot of it is really just good science. Sometimes they’ll get into the storytelling aspect of it, “We think that millions of years ago this star formed.” Well, once you’ve talked about that you’ve left the realm of science, and I knew that — I recognized that it’s not something we can observe and test and repeat in the present. That really didn’t bother me — I could distinguish the storytelling from the genuine science.
Psychologically, it’s a little bit of a drain because you’re with a group of people, and most of them have a very secular worldview. And so the way they interpret the evidence is somewhat consistent with their worldview — and there’s a pressure to conform to what other people believe. But that’s a psychological pressure.
We’ve often wondered what goes on in the minds of creationists when they somehow get science degrees, so that’s an interesting insight. The interview continues:
Question: I hear from the world that some of the strongest arguments against biblical creation’s timeline come from the stars. If the stars are so far away — and they are — and the light travels at this speed — and we assume it does — then they have to be billions of years old in order for that light to have reached here. Is there a quick way to answer that or not?
Jason: One assumption … is that light travels the same speed in all directions … . The bottom line is: the speed of light, when it’s directed toward an observer, can be as fast as infinite. Using that definition, which Einstein agreed was one acceptable definition, it takes no time at all for the light from distant galaxies to reach the earth. So of course it can happen in the biblical timeframe. It’s hard to explain that in a quick soundbite answer. The fact is, physics — as we understand it — does allow for instantaneous light travel.
[*Groan*] It’s true that the One-way speed of light can’t be measured, but for Jason to be correct, either we’re in the center of the universe, toward which light always travels at an infinite speed (for some reason), or else light somehow knows when it’s coming our way. We’ve discussed all that before, so we won’t mess with it this time around. Here’s more:
Question: Wow, that’s a real game changer. [Hee hee!] Will you be able to incorporate that kind of information in our new museum and especially in the new planetarium? First of all, what is a planetarium?
Jason: A planetarium is basically a hemispherical dome where you can project images, generally images of the night sky; and in the past that’s all they could do. They could project images of the star field. The old-style approach was quite limited. Today, there are no limitations on what we can do. Modern projection systems are digital, which means we can project anything on our planetarium dome. We can leave the earth and travel into outer space, visit these other planets — and it looks like you’re there because it’s surrounding you on all sides. It’s really exciting.
Jason’s planetarium can do anything! That should make creationism shows a lot easier. Moving along:
Question: What other features would you want to put in those planetarium shows?
Jason: A lot of stuff that confirms biblical creation. There are many issues that demonstrate the universe can’t be anywhere close to the secular age of billions of years. For example, the internal heat of some of these planets. Most planets actually give off more energy than they get from the sun. Some of the big planets, like Jupiter, they’re made … mostly of hydrogen and helium gas, and yet Jupiter gives off twice as much energy as it gets. That’s also true for Saturn and Neptune. That’s a big problem in the secular view, and most people aren’t aware of that. That’s something that we’ll showcase in the planetarium.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s going to be a young universe planetarium. Another excerpt:
Question: Who cares if the stars are billions of years old or just thousands of years old — what difference does it make?
Jason: If the whole universe is thousands of years old then it means the Big Bang cannot be true. It means evolution cannot be true in terms of … molecules-to-man evolution. It blows away the secular worldview. If it could be demonstrated that the universe were billions of years old then it means the Bible’s not true. These issues do matter — they affect our worldview. …
No problem. Jason’s fantasy planetarium show will “prove” that the bible is true. On with the interview:
Question: And if the Bible’s right about history, then it’s right about important other matters.
Jason: Jesus made that point in [scripture quote]. He’s making the point that if we don’t trust the Bible on earthly matters — things we can in principle test scientifically — if the Bible got those details wrong, why would we trust it on how to inherit eternal life?
A lot of Christians don’t realize they have a double standard. They’re rejecting the Bible on some issues, and they’re accepting it on others. Their children see that inconsistency, and then they walk away from the church. And then people ask, “Why are our children walking away from the church?” Well, they can see that Mom and Dad don’t really believe the Bible in some areas, and that leads young people to think it’s not really trustworthy. Why should I trust it in matters of salvation if it can’t be trusted in matters of Earth history?
Jason’s right — it’s all or nothing! There’s more to the interview, but that was the fun part. It’s good to see Jason putting his education to productive use.
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