What About Distant Starlight Models?

A very small molehill, less than one centimeter tall!

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The article scarcely scratches the surface of the problems with all of the models. For example, the Milky Way Galaxy is 100k light years across. For cosmology purposes, it is a single frame of reference. Therefore, any valid cosmological model must yield an age with a lower bound of at least 100k years in our frame of reference.

The only option left is the omphalos hypothesis (appearance of age). Note that the dasha model is not really a model, but just the omphalos hypothesis dressed up.



I agree that this is the only option left for YEC. It isn’t really surprising. They start off with a non-scientific premise (the Bible is literally true), and then it turns out that none of the empirical data supports that. So, really there is nowhere for them to go other than retreat into a non-scientific conclusion: it isn’t really old, even though it looks old.

I don’t really understand why they don’t take that way out. It would make sense. Why are they so obsessed with having science on their side, if they start out from a fundamentally unscientific position anyway?


It’s because in our Western culture science and technology have been responsible for almost all the improvements in our quality of life in the last century. YECs see that almost everyone agrees science = good so they desperately want their position to be “science” and therefore “good” too. It’s like hoping to have Lionel Messi play for your local soccer team. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yes, but at the same time they rail against scientism - they maintain that we shouldn’t try to explain everything with science. Yet, that is exactly what they try to do with the Biblical account. Very odd.


Ken Ham is representative, I believe, of those who insist on a literal Biblical interpretation in the face of overwhelming evidence of an old universe. I truly believe he, and others like him, are sincere in proclaiming that;

Ultimately, the controversy about the age of the earth is a controversy about the authority of Scripture. If millions of years really happened, then the Bible is false and cannot speak with authority on any issue, even the Gospel.

Furthermore, they see their adherence to biblical literalism as essential to salvation. AIG has an interview with the coauthor of The Genesis Flood (1961) John Whitcomb, credited with starting the modern creationist movement;

Dr. Whitcomb then made this pointed application about our need to be concerned for our reputation before God, not men: “Your reputation, your relationship to God in eternity, is dependent on your diligence in handling accurately the word of truth. You don’t just say you believe it, you have to show that it’s true and what it really means. What a challenge!”

Sure, but that is not where my puzzlement lies. Why not maintain that the Bible is true, but also that the models of science, of any science, can only be provisionally true - including the YEC models? According to them, the Bible trumps empirical evidence and whatever it is that we reason from it, so does it really matter what the empirical evidence is?

I think I have heard of one YEC (Kurt Wise perhaps?) who said that even if all of the evidence pointed at an Old Earth, he would still believe in a Young Earth because that is what (he believes) the Bible says. So it would seem that at least to him it doesn’t really matter what science has to say about it all. That, I think is a reasonable position when you start from where he starts. It is the YEC’s who so doggedly insist on having science on their side that I don’t understand. Espcially because most scientists will agree that science isn’t about finding Truth in the first place. These YECs seem to make life extraordinarily difficult for themselves.

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I think a big part of it is they’re using science not to try and convince others, they’re really trying to convince themselves.

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They also lack self awareness, which led to this rather eye opening Answers in Genesis article:

Ironically, Flat Earth actually offers an answer to the distant starlight problem since stars and planets are just projections on a dome above the flat Earth.


I coudn’t say, I am not a mind reader. Perhaps we should ask @stcordova why he values it so much having science on his side. For me personally that is not a hard question to answer, but then I am not a Biblical literalist so I wouldn’t look there for answers on geological questions like the age of the Earth.

I was unfamiliar with the term, and my Google search on “dasha model” returned some not-too-unexpectedly wrong results. Fortunately, this Dasha model was indeed completely dressed! :grinning:

In my experience, when I point out that a literal interpretation of Genesis is not a salvation issue, the YEC will agree, but will immediately bounce back to the essential literal interpretation. They do not seem to understand how they are contradicting themselves.

faded_GloryDutch Geologist


[Faded glory said this, not me:] “I agree that this is the only option left for YEC.”

That you both think “dasha” is some kind of option shows that you do not really understand the problem at hand. For Faulkner’s idea to have merit, it must not only get starlight to our location quickly via a miracle, it must invoke a miracle at every subsequent moment thereafter - at the emission of every wave of light from the cosmic source - in order to continue to get starlight here quickly. And remember, I am YEC (or at least very close to it).

I don’t think I was clear. “Dasha” doesn’t really work. That what I was trying to tell you.

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Well, once you are into miracles, where do you draw the line? Is there a limit on how frequently they can occur? Is there a list of which miracles are allowed and which ones are not?

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Excellent analysis. Any variation of the “appearance of age” hypothesis must make special pleadings for astronomical structures that would have required millions and billions of years to appear by normal physics, for patterns of red shift, for radiometric dates that range from 4.5bya to 7kya… The list could easily stretch on and on and on.

Nevertheless, since the YEC models that do not invoke appearance of age are so deeply misaligned with scientific evidence, the only working YEC “model” that provides any explanation for the vast array of scientific evidence is appearance of age.

There is another option, I suppose: a YEC adherent could admit that there is no acceptable working model at present, and express hope that one will emerge in the future.

Grace and peace,

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Miracles leave physical traces. Unless you see a miracle in action, you may have no idea that one even occurred - that is, from a purely physical standpoint. Let me explain. How do you know for certain that God did not create the earth in a Minkowski “now” spacetime, then 72 - 96 hours later, create the universe 14 billion years earlier? Looking at the physical universe would give you no clue that that may have occurred. It would be impossible to rule it out from your stunted view. Only one who had actually been there and seen it could tell you what happened.

Self-contradiction in two sentences.

This is a form of Last Thursdayism. But I have no problem with it, since according to that theory, everything happened in a week and in a particular sequence in God’s time, but happened in 14 billion years and in a quite different particular sequence in the universe’s time. Plants were created before the sun only in God’s week, but not in the universe’s time. And so on.

One who had actually been there, if that person were embedded in the universe’s time, would have seen what science sees. Only an omnipotent, time-independent being could possible have seen God’s week. Anyway, doesn’t this make both stories true?

Of course nothing like this is in the bible. You have to make it up yourself. I suppose it would have been hard to figure out what verb tenses to use, especially since Hebrew is a bit impoverished in that regard. Let’s see: “And God said ‘Let there have been light 14 billion years ago Tuesday’.”


If God wanted us to think that the world is 4.5 billion years old, I’m sure he could set things up so that it really looks like that. I have no idea if and why he would want to do so, but I don’t think it is up to us to tell him that he couldn’t have done so.

Last Thursdayism is about appearance of age. Where did I propose that?

If one is going invoke the miraculous in a literal six-day Creation, this proposal is about the only way to do it and get it right in a physical sense. That would make your claim not only wrong, but profoundly wrong. This proposal may be precisely what the Bible is recording in the opening statements of Genesis.

This is confusing. That statement sounds like YEC. Is that what you intended?

Try again. You have no idea why he would do “what”? Be specific. And how did you misinterpret my statements to mean I was trying to tell God what to do?

If we agree that the Universe we see through our telescopes is 14 billion years old, then we could move on to evidence from geology.

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