Opponents of a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 often state, “Given the size of the universe and the speed of light, it would take the light billions of years to reach the earth. Therefore the universe can’t be young. If it was, we couldn’t even see most of the stars.” How can a young-age creationist answer this challenge?
First we believe that God is powerful enough to create a universe that can be seen! How He did this, we may never know. Some suggest that the light rays were created right along with the stars. Another idea we were given recently is that when God said “Let there be light, it permeated the universe. He then separated it, and later concentrated it on the fourth day into countless points called stars. While these explanations certainly recognize the wisdom and power of the Creator, some still question why there are exploding stars and supernovas. But as Dr. Morris tells us, even the concept of an exploding star is an interpretation of an increase in brightness, not a direct observation of the event. There may be other explanations for this increase in brightness.
Another possibility suggests that the originally created universe was much smaller than today, and that it expanded relatively rapidly to the present size, with the light rays also being “stretched” in the process. This idea seems consistent with Scripture and is currently under investigation.
Other possibilities involve how light travels through space. One idea is that light travels along curved pathways in “Riemannian space.” Some calculations have shown that if this is true, it could reach Earth very quickly from any part of the universe. Another idea is that light travelled more rapidly in the past. Thus, light from the most remote stars would have quickly reached us. (See Think and Believe Vol. 1 No. 3 or Vol. 6 No. 4). While some researchers offer supporting evidence, others hotly reject it. The debate goes on.
Perhaps one or a combination of these explanations is right. Then again, maybe the true explanation is something completely different. Although we have only speculative answers to the challenge at this time, it is also important to realize that the evolutionists and “long-age” creationists also offer only possible explanations based on assumptions and reasoning, not on direct observation and measurement. Thus, in the end, the question becomes. “Which explanation seems most plausible and consistent with Scripture?”, not “Which one has been scientifically proven?”
Originally published in the March/April 1992 issue of Think & Believe newsletter.
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