Hubble killed God?

There is quite the discussion going on here. The author claims that the light in the universe shows us what the universe looked like billions of years ago. He claims that the fact that we can even see these far off galaxies means that th universe is old. He neglects one small fact: none of us were there at the beginning. If we weren’t there, then isn’t it possible that God not only created these far off galaxies, but also created the light path from those galaxies to us?

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18 Comments

  1. theologian said,

    November 13, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    Not only that, but i was under the impression that God created things mature from conception. In other words, all that God created in the beginning was created with age not in infancy as we consider creation today. Otherwise Adam and Eve would have been babies in the Garden.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    November 13, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    That’s really the same argument, I think. Just as God created the world to be mature, so also He created the universe to be mature.

  3. theologian said,

    November 13, 2006 at 3:28 pm

    I’m not saying He created it “to be” mature, but created it mature from the beginning. For instance, Adam and Eve were not created as infants to become mature, but were created mature from their very conception.

  4. greenbaggins said,

    November 13, 2006 at 4:06 pm

    Oops, sorry. What you said is what I meant. :-)

  5. Susan said,

    November 13, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    I’m young earth, to clarify before I say anything more :). But I’ve heard a very good philosophical reason to answer your question, Lane. Yes, he could have created the light paths, but that means that the movement of the stars, their twinklings, etc. never really happened, since the activity we see now happened long before the projected age of a young universe. So in essence, God would have not only created the light paths, but also given a false depiction of events that never happened. Now, as the scientist I heard explained (Jonathan Sarfati or John Bomgardner, perhaps?), this is a philosophical issue, not a Biblical one so much, so it certainly is not a watertight objection. It’s just something to ponder.

    I personally am interested in the young earth/older universe, expansion theory. The speed of light does not have to be constant, which may account for some of the discrepancy. But I admit I haven’t studied all this as diligently as I should, so I’m not claiming lots of knowlege on this. My dad is far more in-the-know on young earth explanations for starlight from distant galaxies :).

  6. Gomarus said,

    November 13, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    So, did Adam and Eve have navels? If you had cut down a created tree in the garden, would it have had annual growth rings? Does the idea of creation ex nihilo necessarily include an appearance of age? I think so. Is this to be viewed as deceptive on God’s part? I don’t think so.

    I’m just throwing in my 2 cents here and am no particular authority. Perhaps the philosophical question can be answered by suggesting that there is no deception or “false depiction” if God is taken at his word.

    Do we believe God created, ex nihilo, a functioning universe in process or did he create/cause the “big bang” and guide the development process over billions and billions of years?

    I tend do be a Young Earth guy myself, but there are many sound Christians who are not, so I hesitate to be too dogmatic. There are certainly issues to ponder. :-)

  7. theologian said,

    November 13, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    I think one of the deals is that we always try to force things so that they relate to our experience. And that’s not always the right way to go about it. Some assume that the earth and all of creation young (as infants growing into adulthood) simply because we only experience that in our experience of regeneration. But God in the beginning did not regenerate, but generate. And we have no experience with creating ex nihilo, so we force an improper comparison.

  8. greenbaggins said,

    November 13, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    The other answer to Susan’s question is this: God could have told Adam, could He not, that He created everything with an appearance of age? Where would be the deception then? I think we assume that God could not have told Adam about this, when in fact, Adam had complete access direct to God all the time. Adam and Eve were adults when created. Didn’t God tell them about their real age? If God had created an earth that looked as young as it was, then there would be practically nothing interesting for Adam to discover. Would not God have wanted Adam to know how something would look if it was old, in addition to how something would look if it was young? This is arguing against the hypothetical interlocutor, of course, not against Susan. :-)

  9. Susan said,

    November 13, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    The “hypothetical interlocutor.” :) Hehe.

    I tend to take the position that Adam and Eve did not have belly buttons, trees were not created with growth rings, etc. I could, of course be wrong on this point, so I refuse to be dogmatic :). Belly buttons are scar tissue, a symbol of the results of the fall (presumably), so I find it amusing to think of Adam and Eve having belly buttons.

    Very good point that the rest of the universe was also created to look older. That is precisely why I think this is a philosophical question, and not a matter of Biblical orthodoxy :). I do think viewing star twinkles that never existed is a different category from fully-formed humans, but it is certainly not completely different. It’s an interesting thing to consider. Starlight and Time is an interesting look at the issue.

  10. Gomarus said,

    November 14, 2006 at 7:44 am

    I was posing the questions about belly-buttons and tree rings because they have been brought up as legitimate rejoinders. Heh! I tend to agree with Susan that they did not. But, since Adam was created a man, he was by necessity created with the appearnce of age by nature of the processes which had just begun.

    On the other hand, I tend to see theistic evolution is a combination of bad theology and bad science, although there are different brands of it. It seems to be prominent among liberal Christians here in the States, but is found in some degree of prominence among evangelicals in continental europe and perhaps Great Britain.

  11. Josh said,

    November 14, 2006 at 8:28 am

    I still hold to a literal six days. I do not understand some things. Adam did quite a bit of work in one day, created light without celestial bodies, maybe a few others. I do not see a problem with 6 literal days of creation and the 7th day still being without close. There is a literal/symbolic synergy all over the bible. I think its hard for us 20th century Americans to always understand 5th or 6th century (ok I didnt do an exact count) Oriental Writers.

    I agree with Gomarus, I am not dogmatic enough to be a seratist over the issue. Obviously there are enough questions that even the greatest Evangelical and Reformed minds are not in 100% agreement. I have heard it said, that we will spend eternity learning about God. I hope we start with Genesis :-)

  12. Josh said,

    November 14, 2006 at 8:29 am

    seratist = seperatist sleepy fingers.

  13. Daniel said,

    November 14, 2006 at 10:02 am

    Okay, so I can see how Hubble in no way killed God. What I do not see is how postulation of God having created “light path”, etc. mitigates against the observable age of the universe as being “billions of years” old. Talking about possibility as opposed to probability only ignores evidence. Even if God told Adam that He created the universe with the illusion of age, does not explain why the rest of humanity did not have this information passed down to them so that is not an acceptable response.

    I firmly believe in God, but if the observable universe has literally “tons” of evidence that supports an extremely old universe, then it seems ludicrous to me to maintain a literal “6 day” position. At least four alternatives are suggested to me if the universe is (as indicated by overwhelming evidence) extremely old…

    1) God’s time is not to be equated with our time so the “seven days” of God are not literal 24 hour periods.

    2) The creation story is about the family of humans that gave rise to the Hebrews, Israelites, Jews and Messias.

    3) The story (in general) is deeply metaphorical while not limiting God or the truth presented therein.

    4) The Genesis story is a rich combination of all of the above and much more.

    As for “theistic evolution”? I don’t believe in evolution, but an extremely old universe does not prove or mean that evolution is true. The two concepts need not be intertwined.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts about the matter. Cheers and Godspeed.

  14. theologian said,

    November 14, 2006 at 10:13 am

    “Even if God told Adam that He created the universe with the illusion of age, does not explain why the rest of humanity did not have this information passed down to them so that is not an acceptable response.”

    I would say that it’s not an illusion, but He created everything with actual age/maturity. It was passed down to the rest of humanity as the Bible tells us that God created man with age/maturity, so there is a precedent.

    “1) God’s time is not to be equated with our time so the “seven days” of God are not literal 24 hour periods.”

    But when God talks to people He does use terms that they would understand.

    “3) The story (in general) is deeply metaphorical while not limiting God or the truth presented therein.”

    I would disagree with that as the style it is written in is historical narrative, not metaphorical.

  15. greenbaggins said,

    November 14, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    To Daniel, are you so certain that the earth actually and always gives the appearance of age, even? There are many scientists who would dispute this. The Institute for Creation Research, for one. Ken Ham’s organization, for another. Not that their arguments are always airtight. However, to work on the assumption that the earth even gives the appearance of age in all respects is a precarious footing for argumentation. For instance, after Mt. St. Helens erupted, rock layers appeared where there were not any before. In a matter of a few weeks, these rock layers appeared. Do we know all of what might give the universe an appearance of age? Dare we be that dogmatic about it? I think the question needs to be asked, because many so-called scientists today are so dogmatic about their facts (oops, “theories”) that anyone who asks a question that might challenge the status quo in science is viewed as a moron and religious bigot. Of course, I am not accusing you, Daniel, of such bigotry. However, it is difficult to ask honest questions in such an environment. In fact, such an environment stifles science. Witness what the scientific community is doing to the ID movement. Absolutely infantile, their reaction. If they were true scientists, they would lay aside their ego and see if these ideas fit the facts better than their current theories do. I therefore am not ready to concede that by overwhelming evidence, the earth looks old. In some ways it does, but in other ways, it does not.

  16. November 14, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Greenbaggins-

    John Frame has a brief (but good) discussion fo the “apparent age” issue in his Doctrine of God (under the chapter on Creation, as I recall). Apparently, Poythress also discusses it in his new book on science, and Steve Hays has addressed the issue in various articles (do a keyword search at triablogue).

  17. edarrell said,

    November 16, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    Have any of you read the 19th century book Oomphalos and the Christian criticism of it? 150 years ago Christians rejected the “apparent age” argument because it makes God out to be a deceiver.

    Why is anyone uncomfortable with the idea that God might take 14 billion years or so to create the conditions that allow us to live the lives we do? Isn’t that another indication of God’s great patience?

  18. greenbaggins said,

    November 17, 2006 at 10:08 am

    God could have done it that way. He didn’t. And there is zero evidence for evolution.


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