Categories
Age of the Earth astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution Science

Israel Trip 2016: Biblical creation lectures

On Saturday 4th June we returned from our 2½ week tour of Israel where my wife, Christina and I teamed up with 14 others from Australia, USA, NZ, Japan and Finland. The trip combined a biblical creation ministry with a 10 day tour of the sites around Israel, with a focus of relevant Bible history and creation science teaching. Our tour guide was a professional archeologist and Christian. The tour was sponsored by a Finish Christian outreach ministry. We were also supported by Israeli Messianic congregations and an Israeli Messianic conference ministry.

Biblical creation lectures, “8 Reasons Why Evolution is Foolish” (JGH), “The Heavens Declare…” (JGH), “Evidence for a Young Universe” (RH), “Cosmic Magnets” (RH) and “Flood Geology” (JB), “A Linguistic Argument” (JB) and others were delivered all over the country. They were given at:

  • a student conference (about 40, mostly Arab Christians,18-25 years old)
  • a youth conference (270 Jewish children, between 13-20 years old)
  • about 8 Messianic congregations (Tiberias, Jerusalem, Modi’in, Beer Sheva, Tel Aviv and other cities)
  • Hotel presentations: 3 different talks, in 2 cities
  • Total of 24 talks presented over 12 days by 3 speakers: myself (Dr John Gideon Hartnett), Dr Russ Humphreys and Dr John Baumgardner

The talks were translated into Hebrew and video recorded. Eventually we hope they will be available on YouTube.

For highlights of the guided archeological tour watch this 6 minute video (Powerpoint presentation) Archeological tour. (Sound only in two places)

Album of some meetings

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Dr J. Gideon Hartnett speaking to students at the student conference

Categories
astronomy Creation/evolution Physics

Earth created from water

The Bible teaches that God first created the earth from a ball of water.  “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2)

37456337.EarthBig
About 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water and much water is found in the mantle also. Ref. 3. Credit: PBworks Service

To the contrary, the dominant evolutionary theory for many decades has been that the earth’s water was derived from ice-rich comets or asteroids, which allegedly hit the planet after it formed 4.5 billion years ago. Now new research overturns those notions and brings the ‘official’ secular creation story closer to the Genesis account. A team of scientists found evidence that,

Earth has had water since the beginning of its formation,” according to planetary scientist Lydia Hallis, who led the team.1

Their recent paper,published in Science, has the following abstract:

The hydrogen-isotope [deuterium/hydrogen (D/H)] ratio of Earth can be used to constrain the origin of its water. However, the most accessible reservoir, Earth’s oceans, may no longer represent the original (primordial) D/H ratio, owing to changes caused by water cycling between the surface and the interior. Thus, a reservoir completely isolated from surface processes is required to define Earth’s original D/H signature. Here we present data for Baffin Island and Icelandic lavas, which suggest that the deep mantle has a low D/H ratio (δD more negative than -218 per mil). Such strongly negative values indicate the existence of a component within Earth’s interior that inherited its D/H ratio directly from the protosolar nebula. (emphasis added)

This claimed discovery and its interpretation were boldly announced in the online Earth & Space Science News with the headline “Earth’s Water Came from Space Dust During Planetary Formation.” The article translates the science thus:

A new analysis of lava from the deep mantle indicates that water-soaked dust particles, rather than a barrage of icy comets, asteroids, or other bodies, delivered water to the newly forming Earth.1

Hallis and the team looked at the ratio (D/H) of the heavy form of hydrogen (deuterium) to the ordinary form. In the rocks (lava from deep in the mantle) they found a value of D/H much lower than that found in the earth’s oceans. They then interpreted this low value as strongly indicative of Earth’s water being derived from the alleged solar nebula, of gas and dust, from which it is alleged that the sun, the planets and all the smaller bodies in our solar system formed.

Categories
astronomy Creation/evolution Physics

Planetary system formation: exposing naturalistic storytelling

Attempts to explain how stars form naturalistically have encountered significant challenges because the known laws of physics indicate it is virtually impossible.1  There is a remote possibility for star formation via the mechanism of a nearby supernova, but dark matter is generally invoked as the ‘unknown god’, a ‘god of the gaps’ to make it work, because such events are extremely unlikely.Without this ‘unknown god’ in their uncreated universe, the formation of the star at the centre of a planetary nebula is essentially impossible. It also follows that planet formation has a similar problem. How do planets form in a nebula of gas and dust, which according to the known laws of physics cannot condense a star at its centre?

More importantly, how do you get a solar system with planets in habitable zones?  Radiation from the newly born star would drive out any excess gas and dust from the path of the planets via photo-evaporation and stellar winds, making the formation of planets very unlikely. The planets allegedly condense via the core accretion model resulting in (in some cases) a habitable planet in the habitable zone, at the right distance from the parent star where water can exist in its liquid state.3 Then water is assumed to condense on the surface of that new planet, but by what mechanism?  Ultimately this is a question about life elsewhere in the Universe. But I digress.

By product of star formation

solar sytem formation
Figure 1: Illustration of the star formation story. CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Standard astrophysical dogma is that planets form around stars as a natural by-product of the star formation process.4 But there are several problems.

For the initial molecular cloud to collapse, and eventually form a star, the cloud must eliminate any magnetic fields (due to unpaired charges) that oppose the collapse. The alleged process, which removes any magnetic field induced pressure from molecular clouds, entails the ions that carry the magnetic fields slowly diffusing out of the cloud, taking the magnetic fields with them.5

But these same magnetic fields are invoked to shuttle the angular momentum from the newly forming star, at the centre of the cloud, outward into the disk region of the solar nebula, to overcome another unsolved problem. This is the angular momentum problem, where the putative central star should have 99% of the angular momentum of the collapsing cloud, but in real observed solar systems like our own, 99% of the angular momentum resides in the planets, hence in the disk of material around the central star. Their suggested naturalistic solution to this problem is just-so storytelling. See below.

Categories
astronomy Creation/evolution Physics

Giant molecular clouds

A look at uniformitarian assumptions in star formation

41P1BB52W1L._SX372_BO1,204,203,200_In almost any standard university astrophysics text you will find a chapter on star formation. Stars are alleged to have formed, and still do form, from giant clouds of molecular hydrogen gas. That is the standard party line. Thus it follows from standard big bang thinking that they were not created by the Creator on the fourth day of Creation week as outlined in Genesis 1, but naturally condensed out of gas (and dust) under the force of gravity only.

Nowadays you can read about dark matter as the seeds of the formation of galaxies and hence stars.1  But dark matter is still just a hypothetical substance. So how does star formation stack up without invoking such stuff? What physics can explain the alleged collapse of giant molecular clouds (GMC) to form stars? What were/are the typical explanations for star formation when dark matter was/is not assumed? And what unprovable uniformitarian assumptions are required?

To discover the answer to these questions I went to (and hence I quote extensively from) a standard 1996 first year university astrophysics text “An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics” (1st Edition) by Carroll & Ostlie,hereafter referred to as Carroll & Ostlie. I also looked at what the authors might have added in terms of overcoming some of the problems for star formation, a decade later, in their 2nd Edition, and found no substantive improvements.3,4

Carroll & Ostlie write:

“In some sense the evolution of a star is cyclic. It is born out of gas and dust that exists between the stars, known as the interstellar medium (ISM).”5 (emphasis in original)

Categories
astronomy Cosmology Physics

Hairy dark matter is still dark matter, which is still a fudge

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought.” So says a recent report1 on a new theoretical study soon to be published in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau2 from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His theory proposes the existence of long filaments of dark matter, which have a form similar to “hairs.” See Fig. 1 reproduced from the published report. If you thought dark matter couldn’t get any stranger you would be wrong. But what is driving these type of theoretical investigations?

earthmightha
Figure 1: Artist illustration showing Earth surrounded by hypothesized theoretical filaments of dark matter called “hairs.” Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Pie Dark Matter Dark Energy
Figure 2: Pie chart showing the alleged dark matter and dark energy percentages in the Universe

Dark matter is the alleged invisible, mysterious matter that comprises 24% of the total mass/energy content of the Universe. The matter that we are all familiar with, they say, comprises only about 5% of the mass/energy content of the Universe. The remaining 71% is the alleged dark energy, a strange anti-gravity-type energy that is allegedly driving the accelerating expansion of the Universe. See Fig. 2.

Categories
astronomy Creation/evolution Physics

How did the Solar System form?

—A new analysis suggests that it didn’t (naturalistically, at least).

Evolutionary astronomers allege that the solar system formed about 4.5 billion years ago and scientists have for a very long time been trying to model that formation process using powerful computer simulations. New research has shown that the inner rocky planets and the asteroid belt in our solar system cannot simultaneously form naturalistically.

An online news article from the journal Nature discusses this new research, stating:1

Standard planet-formation models have been unable to reconstruct the distributions of the Solar System’s small, rocky planets and asteroids in the same simulation. (emphasis added)

Simulations ss
Figure 1: Schematic of the inner planets and asteroid belt in the solar system. Actual solar system (a) and simulated inner solar systems (b & c). From Ref. 1.
Categories
astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

Pluto’s moons a big surprise!

Most inner moons in the solar system keep one face pointed toward their central planet. This is claimed to have resulted from a gravitational tidal locking effect that is evidence for the very old age of the solar system (allegedly about 5 billion years). Due to the fact that the moons are not point objects, gravitational theory tells us ‘tidal friction’ causes the moons to eventually tidally lock to their respective planets after a long period of time, thus leaving one face of the moon always pointed at the parent planet. Therefore the moons rotate on their axis once per revolution around their parent planet.

PlutoMoonEOS_Main_Web-800x600
Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Mark Showalter

Categories
astronomy Creation/evolution Physics

A ‘protoplanetary system’ in formation?

What appears to be a solar system in the process of formation has been imaged by the newly commissioned Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope (see Fig. 1).1 The ALMA telescope, located 5,000 meters up in the Andes of northern Chile, on the Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert, consists of 66 mobile radio-astronomy dishes, which can be spaced up to 16 kilometers (10 miles) apart. This effectively combines their power into one 16-km-wide telescope which results in detailed images never before achieved. The telescope’s submillimeter wavelength resolution allows it to see through the clouds of dust that obscure it from sight in visible light images. Future improvements to the facility are expected to more than double its resolution.

HL Tauri
Figure 1: Caption from original article Ref. 1. “Planets are forming around HL Tauri, a young, variable star just 1 million years old. They’re leaving their imprints in the dusty disk leftover from the star’s formation, a protoplanetary system that spans 235 astronomical units (the distance between Earth and the Sun). The innermost disk gap appears at a radius of 20-30 a.u., roughly the size of Neptune’s orbit around the Sun. A second gap appears further out at 70 a.u., which would lie outside Pluto’s orbit, and still more gaps appear beyond that.” Credit: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ) / C. Brogan / B. Saxton

This leaves us asking questions. Have planets been imaged while forming around young stars? Have protoplanetary systems—as they are called—actually been observed while the formation process is happening? If so, how do they fit into the biblical creationist worldview? According to the latter God created the stars on Day 4 of Creation Week about 6000 years ago (as measured by Earth’s clocks).

Categories
Age of the Earth Belief in God Creation/evolution History Physics Roman Catholic church Science

Development of an “old” universe in science

Notes of a lecture on the historical philosophical development of the notion that the universe is very old. The lecture was given August 1st 2015. See Age and Reason Seminar Adelaide for details.


Bishop James Ussher was the Irish Archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland. He excelled in education, was fluent in Arabic and Hebrew. In 1654, after an exhaustive investigation, he published his date for the Creation of the Universe – 4004 B.C..When Ussher published this Creation date it was believed. There was nothing remarkable about that. If you add up the genealogies in the Bible, and with a bit of historical knowledge, you can easily get a time since the beginning of the world of around 6000 years. It was believed that God created the world as He said in Scripture about 4000 years before Christ. For roughly 18 centuries of the Christian era such a time period was widely believed.

In the 17th century Sir Francis Bacon developed the ideas of the modern scientific method – scientific empiricism—where one developed a thesis and did experiments to test it. Bacon has been called the ‘father of the scientific method.’

Middle ages onAnd it was from the Middle Ages science was nurtured in the Christian universities of Europe and flourished after that, from the Reformation on, underpinned by the rich Christian worldview that held that the Universe was created by a rational trustworthy God, and the unchanging laws of nature are His creation.

Categories
Age of the Earth astronomy Physics

The ‘waters above’

The disks of gas, dust and debris observed with modern infrared and millimetre-wave instruments in nearby star systems are considered to act as locators to large colliding bodies. These observations are problematic for the evolutionary nebula theory of the formation of planetary systems, but can be easily interpreted from a biblical creationist worldview. By that I mean they provide evidence consistent with a Young Solar System creation scenario as described in Genesis 1.

My proposal is that these cratering bodies are analogues for the ‘waters above’, mentioned in the initial creation of the world (Genesis 1:7), which in part were used by God during the Curse and the Flood.  Under this hypothesis, the ‘waters above’ would represent all the bodies, large and small, that lay beyond Neptune in our solar system, including all the cometary material, mostly made of water ice. 

“Artist’s Impression of a Kuiper Belt Object” by NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)