Cosmology hermeneutics Politics Science

Lift up the Word with gentleness and respect

Someone writes a book, or develops a theory (or even just presents some speculation), and then a believer in a church uses that information and says something like,

 “The YEC position is true and here’s the proof! You are crazy if you can’t believe it because we have this evidence.”

Sadly, sometimes I hear this sort of thing.  Folks it just should not happen. And a person who hears it might react, complaining with,

“A (creation ministry) speaker filled their heads with stuff, which isn’t true about the YEC interpretation of the Bible.”

Well that’s how the recipient may have understood the attack on his belief system, which was obviously not a biblical creationist one. Maybe he believes in theistic evolution or big bang or both. (I am not supporting those inconsistent interpretations, but I am talking about our approach.) This sort of thing has led to a division in the fellowship. Some even claim that the whole subject of biblical creation is divisive. That is not what I am talking about, but rather how some well-meaning people use speculations and theories like clubs trying to win an argument, when they should be categorized only as man’s attempts at a solution to a biblical creationist problem.

Now to balance this remember, Jesus said:

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32

He was speaking of the form of His death on the cross, but we can draw a lesson from this verse regardless. It is the character of Jesus we trust and hence should emulate. Follow him in love and compassion. Peter writes:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15

Meekness and fear is kindness and respect. That is how we need to defend the Scriptures to those within our ranks who don’t believe as we do. For those without,

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Proverbs 26:4

Let me explain what really concerns me. If someone rejects the truth of the gospel once given to them, or even the correct interpretation of Genesis history, that is their responsibility. My concern is that someone in a church would use a book (especially one that is so speculative, i.e. on the subject of cosmology) like some sort of a club, instead of saying to their brother in Christ,

“Just consider this idea. It’s not gospel but it might make some sense!”

That would be so much better a position to take with a sister/brother in Christ.

STNPCover 2nd edIn regards to my own published ideas on solving the creationist starlight-travel time problem as outlined in my book “Starlight Time and the New Physics” (STNP). Years ago I thought differently, but over the past few years (since 2012) I have come to believe that it is all so very speculative.

Some people think what I have presented in STNP is the solution to the starlight travel time problem. In hindsight, I think my fault in this was not outlining how science works, and what might be speculated on today, then a theory tomorrow, is discarded next year. I am sure I was more eager at the time, when I wrote the STNP book, to portray it as an answer. That is not the way I feel now. I was searching and experimenting with ideas involving time-dilation, which I hoped would shed light on the problem of starlight in a creationist cosmology.

So for someone to use my book like a club in such an argument is like they are using it to say far more than I would say myself.

Carmeli developed a big bang theory that worked on what we observe without dark matter or dark energy. I took some of his ideas and tried to develop a creationist model from that, without the big bang, but with different starting conditions etc. Some people have commented that my creationist development lacks detail. It is true. That is because I don’t have a 5D cosmological model.

I mention Carmeli’s 5D theory in the STNP book but really no general theory for the universe exists. Carmeli never found one. Carmeli’s papers only show that in the weak Newtonian limit you can get standard Einstein general relativity. Carmeli’s theory is at best an incomplete theory, or one of two theories 4D spacevelocity (Carmeli) and 4D spacetime (Einstein) for which there is no 5D unifying cosmological theory. One is an analogue of the other but there are many inconsistencies and unsolved problems. Even up to a year ago I held hopes of finding some answers, but more problems arose.

Carmeli never solved his 5D problem for the universe, and I certainly never did either. So my creationist extraction from his theory was really speculation.  I hoped I would solve some of the other problems in the meantime, but actually found more existed as time went on. I even found his formulation for the galaxy rotation curves was not necessarily correct, and I could not justify his approach. That was the only 5D model he developed, but I found that suspect. In editing his last book by World Scientific, after he died, I found blatant problems that could not be corrected because he had died and so I had to delete whole sections because they were wrong. Over the years, since then, I have found a few more minor sections that missed my editorial cutting unfortunately.

So all that to give you some insight into the science. It is a changing landscape and solutions are sought for that do not always come.

The real intention for my book was to offer hope from a simple lesson. In the field of astrophysics dark matter was invoked when all that was needed was new physics. Einstein’s general theory solved a vexing problem at the turn of the 20th century, in the way the orbit of Mercury was perturbed by the sun and the other planets, when he showed that correct physics was what was needed. His new physics improved on and added to Newton’s physics. In a similar way Carmeli’s general 4D spacevelocity theory solved analogous problems in cosmology without dark matter or dark energy. However, he introduced the concept of a velocity dimension, which in itself could be considered a fudge factor unless you can give it some real physical meaning. I think that that is the real problem. That science is far from settled, though it has been shown that it can explain what we observe in the large-scale structure of the universe without the additional fudge factors of dark energy and dark matter. That is to its credit.

My biblical creationist additions were far more speculative, and I only briefly give a sort of a map, from which I expect a solution could come. That was from time-dilation resulting from the Creator rapidly expanding the fabric of space. Nowadays, I am much more inclined to believe that the universe is not expanding at all. That the Creator created it as we see it, and that it could be static, or temporarily static. So my ideas are changing.

But what is not changing is my trust in the Word of God. That is true as God as written.  You can trust in His Word as authoritative. But a man’s words carry very little weight except where they agree with what God has already said.



By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

5 replies on “Lift up the Word with gentleness and respect”

I think the proper way to use YEC theories such as STNP is to show that secularists do not have a monopoly on scientifically viable explanations, and that there are ways to reconcile the scientific data with the Biblical text without engaging in novel hermeneutical schemes that undermine the authority of scripture. But certainly, all should be done with gentleness and respect–and humility as well, recognizing that any scientific theory, creationist or secular, is speculative and may be superseded by a better explanation. Except, of course, that we can be certain of anything that God has plainly revealed in scripture.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, Dr. Humphreys did not consider his White Hole Cosmology to be the final answer, either. He viewed it as a springboard for further research and invited creationists to offer competing ideas.

I’m curious about your suggestion that the universe may never have expanded. Why would there be red-shift in a static universe that never expanded? And why would this red-shift seem to generally obey the Hubble Law? Surely, the passages that say that God “stretched out” the heavens mean more than that He simply created them in place, don’t they? And if the “stretching out” is literal, then wouldn’t we expect significant time dilation? I also wonder whether the “rolling up like a scroll” mentioned in Rev 6:14 could be the end-time counterpart of God’s “stretching out” the heavens.


I have just finished reading your article “Our Galaxy near the centre of concentric spherical shells of galaxies?” in which you suggests that the Earth may be around 135 million light-years from the centre. If we accept, for the sake of argument, that the CMB is a relic of some sort of initial fireball, is it possible that the observed “axis of evil” reflects the amount that the Galaxy has drifted from this centre since the CMB light became visible?


This is a complex question because to answer it, one is required to make additional assumptions. In big bang cosmology the universe is assumed to be homogeneous as well as isotropic. The homogeneity is assumed to be universal, not local, therefore it follows from that assumption, the cosmological principle, that regardless from where you observe the CMB radiation you should see the same thing and it should not include a preferred direction in the cosmos, which has been called the ‘Axis of Evil.’ If we were to consider a different universe, not a big bang cosmology, could the ‘Axis of Evil’ come from an off-centre position in an finite-bounded unique-centred universe? This is essentially what you are asking. Without imposing additional conditions on that universe, I can’t see how it could. But to really properly answer that question one would need to understand the true source of the CMB, considering it is not in the background of all galaxy clusters, hence it cannot come from the alleged big bang. See ‘LIGHT FROM THE BIG BANG’ CASTS NO SHADOWS.


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