Astronomy

Red Shift Riddles

January, 2011
Red Shift

 Shifts in the lines of absorption in the spectrum of visible light

When astronomers view distant objects through the telescope, they find that the more distant objects have a larger red shift. This means that their light is shifted towards the red end of the spectrum; in other words, the wavelengths have become longer than for similar objects seen close to us. They interpret this as meaning that these distant objects are receding from us and that objects farther away are receding from us faster. It’s a little like the Doppler effect that makes sound have a lower pitch when the source is traveling away from us. The faster an object travels, the larger the change in pitch. However, some properties of the red shift call this interpretation into question; these are the subject of the article that follows. One such property is the quantization of red shifts. They seem to occur in abrupt steps rather than continuously, which has interesting implications for the study of the universe. This suggests that the red shift may be caused by something other than the expansion of the universe, at least in part.

Accurate Predictions Based on the Young Earth Creation Model

January, 2008

Good scientific theories are able to explain data and make testable predictions. For the Christian, a third element is required, that the theory be in harmony with the clear teachings of scripture. Some creation scientists even begin with scripture to formulate theories and hypotheses. In this essay, we will look at three predictions ultimately based on scripture, made by physicist Russell Humphreys of the Institute for Creation Research. The predictions deal with (1) the magnitude and dynamics of planetary magnetic fields, (2) the existence of a cosmic rotation axis, and (3) diffusion of helium through zircons. All of these predictions are in accord with a young earth interpretation of Genesis 1. As we will see, the data fit the predictions well.

D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D.

Evidences and Events of the Flood

December, 2007

Geological structures give considerable evidence about the sequence of events during the world-wide flood described in Genesis and also give evidence for the flood itself. These structures include the chalk deposits during the CCretaceous period, paleocurrents, which indicate the direction of water flow when fossils were deposited, coral formations, and others. Astronomical findings also give us information about the flood and its development.

He Made the Stars Also

July, 2006

What is the reason for life, the universe, and everything else? It is a loaded philosophical question that the answer of “42” just really does not seem to answer well. It is humorous when we read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, to have the answer to such mysteries given in such a simplistic manner. But putting science fiction and humor aside we can give some simple answers also; they exist for very much the same reason every created thing does exist. They exist to give glory to their creator!

Image

This is the famous horsehead nebula. Actually it is a dark nebula classified as Barnard 33. From the Astrophotography Gallery of Bobby Middleton. Used by permission

Evidences for a Recent Creation: Part 3

December, 2005

Parts I and II mentioned young carbon 14 dates as evidence that very old isotopic dates correspond to true ages in the thousands of years. Also, helium retention in zircons and the pattern of discordances in isotopic dates suggest an increase of decay rates in the past. There is also evidence that human mutation rates were faster in the past, which is consistent with a higher level of radiation. Furthermore, the genetic diversity of humans and other organisms suggests an origin a few thousand years ago. Several references by Anderson and Spangler suggest that decay rates can vary.

Creation Ministries Creation 2015 International Superconference

October, 2015

Dr. Dan Reynolds attended the recent Creation Superconference held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina July 13-17. Dr. Reynolds has provided us a summary of each of the sessions at the conference.

My wife, Cassie, and I recently spent a week in Myrtle Beach where I attended 19 of 20 talks on creation and related topics given at the Creation Ministry International (CMI) Creation 2015 Family Superconference. Cassie, while supporting my interest in creation, only attended one session and spent the rest of her time sewing on her portable sewing machine in our hotel room! The conference was held at the Springmaid Beach Resort located right next to the ocean. The accommodations, food, and staff were excellent. Mornings and evenings were filled with talks while afternoons had options for free time, a tour of a nearby aquarium with Dr. Robert Carter of CMI, or playing chess with Jonathan Sarfati, former chess champion of New Zealand. And as usual, there was an extensive bookstore offering hundreds of books and videos, often at reduced prices. I came home with a couple of bags full!

Scientific Evidence That Points to a Creator

April, 2016

I was recently invited to give a talk on intelligent design to a college philosophy class on Darwin, Marx, and Freud. I have known the professor for a number of years and had presented to his classes before. He usually has had me come in and present the case for intelligent design (ID) at the start of the section on Darwinism. The professor is an atheist but interested in discussing various views. I can only imagine what he has to say about my presentations afterwards; no doubt he tries to counter my arguments. Since I only had one chance to speak to these students, I wanted to present them with what I considered to be the best evidences for theism. This article is based on that talk. The discussion here will be brief and in everyday language. References are provided for those who wish to learn more.

The title of my talk was “Science that Points to a Creator.” First I set the ground rules for investigation in the historical sciences (geology, archeology, cosmology, history of life, etc.) by discussing Causality and Inference to the Best Explanation. Then I presented six topics that point to a creator: The Universe Had a Beginning, The Fine-Tuning of Physics, The Origin of Life, The Origin of Phyla, The Origin of Humans, and Worldviews and Morality. Any one of these evidences suggests a designer. Taken together, they form a strong reason to believe in a supernatural creator. Here are the topics.

Pluto and New Horizons in review

December, 2016

The following article is reprinted with the author’s permission posted by Terry A. Hurlbut on November 4, 2016 at the Creation Science Hall of Fame, http://creationsciencehalloffame.org/2016/11/04/astronomy-2/space/pluto-new-horizons-review/. The reader is directed to the Creation Science Hall of Fame web site for additional videos related to this article.

On 27 October 2016, controllers for the New Horizons deep-space mission achieved a milestone. They got back the last data from their spacecraft’s flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto. Alice Bowman, head of the mission team, said the team would first verify the data. They then will order New Horizons to erase its memories. New Horizons must do this ahead of a planned rendezvous with another Kuiper Belt object (2014 MU69). It will make this flyby on or about 1 January 2019).

New Horizons flew past Pluto on 15 July 2015. Now NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) have all the data it gathered in that passage. So now would be a good time to review what New Horizons found, and what it means. In fact, the Pluto findings mean a great deal, not only for Pluto, but also for Earth.

What New Horizons found in the Pluto system

New Horizons flew toward a body everyone thought was 4.6 billion years old, like the rest of the solar system. So the mission team expected to find signs of great age. Instead they found signs, not of age, but of youth. They also found or confirmed several things they still cannot explain.

One of the first articles from JHUAPL discussed the first shocking findings:

  1. Equatorial mountains on Pluto, made of water ice, rise 3500 meters (11,000 feet) above the surface.
  2. Charon, largest moon of Pluto, has cliffs, troughs, and a seven- to nine-mile deep canyon.
  3. Methane ice abounds on Pluto, in some places far more than others.

Equatorial region of Pluto

Fig.1:, showing mountains rising to 3500 feet above mean ground, and standing out in stark relief. Source: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

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