Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Scientific Support for the Young Earth Creationist Timeline

Here is a guest post from my husband, Doug. (He's awesome!)

It is often suggested that those of us who accept the young earth creationary timeline – otherwise known as Young Earth Creationists (YECs) – do not accept science, or are in denial of science, etc. Basically, these critics (who are often either evolutionists or Old Earth Creationists – OECs) seem to believe that we are ignorant of the scientific evidence which “everyone knows” has proven that the universe is actually billions of years old. They often suggest that we are simply clinging to our YEC interpretation of the Bible and are willing to ignore overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. This notion could not be further from the truth.
In fact, the YEC model does have scientific support, and YECs are actively involved in scientific research on the matter. An article by Dr. Ronald Samec in the most recent Creation Matters provides a good example. (See Samec, R.G. 2014. Questioning Pulsar Ages. Creation Matters, 19(3):1-2.) This article discusses the traditional method of age determination for supernova remnants (SNRs) which yield typical ages for these objects which often exceed the YEC age of the universe. However, the paper also outlines a second chronological method which seems to me to be more objective and which seems to have more observational support (i.e. less model dependent and more observational).
This alternative dating method is based on the observed expansion rate of the debris cloud surrounding the SNR. With that observational data in hand, deriving an age estimate for the supernova event is simple mathematics. The interesting thing is that these ages typically fall well within the young earth creationary timeline and even more significant than that – they often match with a date on the Chinese calendar when just such an event was observed. This is phenomenal! The fact that these YEC dates match with recorded observations provides tremendous support for this method. Thus, it seems that this dating method (which yields dates consistent with the YEC chronology) is actually better supported than the more traditional method which is much more model dependent.
Note that this does not mean that every object in the universe is only thousands of years old. In fact, one of the most widely accepted YEC cosmologies (White Hole Cosmology) involves a great deal of gravitational time dilation on a cosmic scale. In this model, the entire universe was created during the same six ordinary days of creation (a few thousand years ago – by earthbound clocks), but the distant universe has experienced significantly more time than has passed here in the vicinity of the earth. This time dilation is predicted by the same gravitational field equations (from Einstein’s General Relativity Theory) that are used in modeling the Big Bang. The fundamental difference between these two vastly different results is in the boundary conditions assumed for the universe. And guess what, these boundary conditions are unobservable because they are quite beyond the edge of the observable universe. Thus, there is no objective reason to believe that one set of boundary conditions should be preferred over another. So it does not contradict the YEC chronology to point out that it is quite possible that objects in the distant universe have experienced more than a few thousand years of real history since they were created.
However, the main point here is to show that YECs are not ignorant of science, that they are not ignoring scientific discoveries, and that they accept the YEC chronology, not simply because they believe that’s what the Bible most clearly presents, but because they have good, scientific reasons of their own which suggest that it is reasonable.

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