The Big Bang; the Age of the Universe; and Red Shift

by Dr Grady McMurtry

Here we go again! The astronomers who believe in evolution have attempted to better “define” the age of the universe and the rate of expansion of the “Expanding Universe”, a presumed event based upon a belief in one of the various Big Bang theories. I will quote an article, taken from Science News, Volume 148, with my personal comments interjected.

“Yet another set of observations indicates that the universe – as described by a popular cosmological model – appears to be younger than its oldest stars. The new study puts the age of the cosmos at 8.4 billion to 10.6 billion years, younger than the 13 billion to 16 billion years estimated for elderly stars.”

I distinctly remember the time, only 30 years ago, that like-believing evolutionists were pegging the age of the universe at between 15 to 30 billion years old. Isn’t it interesting that they keep making the earth older to accommodate evolutionary theory while at the same time they are making the universe younger for the same reason? Note, too, that the estimated age of some stars is much older than the new estimated age of the universe based upon this new measurement.

“Like the findings that made headlines a year ago, the new work relied on the Hubble Telescope to obtain the distance to a faraway cluster of galaxies. Combining that distance with the speed at which this cluster recedes form the Earth, researchers determined the Hubble constant, which measures the expansion rate and age of the cosmos.”

The Hubble is perhaps one of the greatest scientific achievements of our time. However, one must remember the primary reason we are funding NASA and the space exploration effort – to prove that evolution is true! For all the advertising about the military, communication, medical and technological spin-off benefits derived from the space program, the single biggest reason we are in space is to prove evolution true. Consider the reason given for funding Hubble in the first place. We were going to be able to “see” back in time across the universe to the very beginning, perhaps even to be able to see the remnant of the Big Bang itself.

How about that Hubble “constant”? It hasn’t been constant since Dr. Hubble came up with the idea of having one. Every few years a “new” measurement of the Hubble constant has caused it to be changed. This “constant” is supposed to be the uniform rate at which the universe is expanding, presuming that it is expanding from a single spot somewhere in the middle of the universe. A spot where the Big Bang is supposed to have occurred. The only thing constant about the Hubble constant, however, is that it is constantly changing. Doesn’t that make it the Hubble variable?

The belief that the universe is expanding is based upon the “red shift”, the Doppler effect applied to light, seen in light which has come to us from distant stars and galaxies. This red shift, however, does not necessarily have to be caused by an expanding universe. I know of at least six, perhaps seven, reasons why we could have what appears to be a red shift of light without having the universe expanding at all.

The following is a list of short explanations for the physical evidence of red shift as seen in the universe, without having to have the universe expand. The most important thing to remember is – never ever confuse distance with time! A light-year is the distance that light travels in one year at the current rate of the speed of light, or about 186,000 miles per second. If light traveled at a different speed in the past, then that distance would also be different.

I am not endorsing any one of these ideas as being the correct one. There may be truth in any one of these; or a combination of these; or even in another idea which we haven’t yet come to understand which is actually correct. These are just food for thought until the Creator chooses to reveal the actual truth to us.

1. When God created the Sun, the Moon and the Stars He could have simply created all the interconnecting light beams at the same time. Although not totally satisfying, this is a possibility.

2. If Einstein were correct and Space is curved, then light could travel across a 15 billion light-year distance in a matter of a few thousand years.

3. Space is not a true vacuum. As light travels across space it will eventually hit a gas or dust particle. When it does, the object will heat up and re-emit light at a “warmer” or “redder” wave length, thus making the light appear as though red shift had taken place, when indeed it had not.

4. Einstein also said that light is bent by the force of gravity as it travels by “heavy objects”, meaning stars and galaxies. Today, we know he was correct. Today we have lots of photos, many taken by Hubble, which clearly show that light is often bent by gravity as it travels through Space. If the speed of light is a constant, when light is bent it must travel a greater distance, and in order to maintain speed it must shift to a redder (a longer) wave length. Again, producing a red shift without an expanding universe.

5. A fairly recent idea in science is that perhaps the speed of light is not a true constant. Perhaps it only appears to be constant today, but has in fact been faster in the past. The speed of light has been measured for over 300 years and the data could support such an idea. This data indicates that the speed of light could have been nearly infinite less than 10,000 years ago, thus allowing light to traverse a 15 billion light-year distance in only a few thousand years.

6. Dr. Russell Humphreys has recently proposed that the solution is found by using Relativity Theory and the Scripture. Although too complex for this short article, he proposes that since the creation, the universe has experienced “Gravitational Time Dilation”. While this idea will be argued for a long time to come, many of his ideas are sound in concept and could help to explain why we have a universe that is only 6,000 years old, but appears to be 15 billion light-years across.

7. The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that all things degrade spontaneously over time. Why should light be different from any other physical entity in the universe? If light is subject to the effects of the Second Law then perhaps light has become “tired” over the 6,000 years since creation. This might cause light to “slow down” in its frequency, which in turn would appear to us as red shift.

“… the team found a distance of about 345 million light-years and a Hubble constant between 61 and 77 kilometers per second per megaparsec (1 parsec is 3.26 light-years [I megaparsec is 3,260,000 light-years]). In models in which the universe has just enough matter to keep from expanding forever, this corresponds to an age of about 9.5 billion years.”

“The discrepancy between this age and the age of old stars suggests that astronomers have come to a crossroads. They must either embrace a more complex cosmological model or reexamine how they estimate stellar ages. However, cautions theorist David N. Schramm of the University of Chicago, ‘You have to be very careful about [drawing conclusions] because all of the [Hubble constant] measurements have huge systematic errors.’” [Rob Cowen, Science News, September 9, 1995]

Well, there you have it. The newest “constant” is a constant plus or minus 11.5% per second per 3,260,000 light-years. I suppose that that does qualify as a “huge systematic error”, doesn’t it?

How about embracing a simpler cosmological model instead of a more complex one? Like believing that the Bible is true and stop trying to come up with man made fairy tales about how all the complexity in the universe came from random chance? How about that cosmological model?

Perhaps the single best idea is to listen to the Apostle Paul when he wrote to Timothy in First Timothy 6:20-21: “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called Science [pseudo-science] – which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.”

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  1. I’m sticking with Apostle Paul’s guidance! He’s got my vote!!! Thank you Dr McMurtry and Pastor Navarre for the reminder!
    rick stambaugh

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