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.

Rare Earth

March, 2004

It is interesting to put together all the data. Isaiah 28 mentions learning, teaching, doctrine and knowledge. It mentions line on line, here a little and there a little, and precept on precept. This is how we come to truth in mathematics—in a proof of a theorem, we see line upon line and concept used to prove another concept. Math builds on itself.

For example, we generally learn to crawl before we learn to walk. And, it is often necessary to put all the relevant information together to come up with the best interpretation. We have all heard of the blind men who examined the elephant. Alone, in isolation, they came to erroneous conclusions. This is because they had only a part of the data. Missing information was the problem. One thought the elephant was like a fan, because he had examined the ear. Another, however, who had examined (by touch—remember, these were all blind men) the elephant's leg, said the elephant was like a tree. Well, the part of the elephant that each man examined was as he found it, but that was not all there was to the elephant.

It does seem that we have been jumping to conclusions a bit too quickly in some areas, and in evolution in particular. For example, some scientists have said that dinosaurs evolved from birds, and others that birds evolved from dinosaurs. One must wonder, if there is room for such difference of opinion among scientists, whether the evidence is actually all that clear-cut and conclusive, after all.

Baby Picture

March, 2003

On February 11, 2003, a NASA press release announced "the best ‘baby picture' of the Universe ever taken." The "baby picture" shown here has subsequently been featured in prominent science journals and newspapers across the globe.1-4 It was taken about 1.5 million kilometers above Earth by NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), a satellite that measures the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB).

Copyright NASA 2003

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!


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 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.

The Universe: Accident or Design

May, 2005

The universe is vast. The Earth seems large, yet when examined on a cosmic scale, it is like a spec of dust, even less than a grain of dust. The sun itself is large enough to hold about one million Earths. And the sun is only an average star in a galaxy containing many, many stars in a universe of many, many galaxies.

If we stop to think about it, the vastness of the universe is amazing. While we go about our day-to-day business, we may think of the Earth as being the entire realm of reality. Yet this whole planet is like a spec of dust in the solar system. And the solar system is like a spec of dust when compared with the galaxy. And the galaxy—there are clusters of galaxies, and even superclusters.

The universe is undoubtedly large, almost beyond imagining. Yet, all this majestic expanse of galaxies, stars, and other celestial bodies, could not exist if certain values were not precisely what they are. There are many constants, such as the gravitational constant, that could be any value, yet they are the correct value for the universe to exist, and in some cases for life to exist.

Evidence for Creation from Astronomy and Physics

October, 2002

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:20 (KJV)

The data of modern astronomy and physics provide compelling evidence for design and creation in nature. By all appearances, the universe had a beginning and has been finely tuned for life as we know it. The finite history of the universe is established by the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics and strongly suggested by the cosmic expansion and red shift of galaxies. The fine-tuning is manifest in the four fundamental forces of nature, the low entropy of the universe, the quantized red shift of galaxies, the lack of antimatter, several features of the earth and solar system, the chemical properties of the elements, and the properties of water.

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.

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.


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