Did God create light from distant stars only 6000 years ago?

supernovaby NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Created History
[Via NeuroLogica Blog]

Creationists are an endless source of logical fallacies and pseudoscience. There are several reasons for this – creationism is institutionalized motivated reasoning, they have had over a century to make up fallacious arguments, and evolutionary theory is complex and multifarious so there are many opportunities for distortion and error.

For this reason creationism is an excellent foil for learning critical thinking skills. But it is also challenging, because effectively countering creationist arguments often requires a thorough and accurate understanding of evolutionary theory, geology, paleontology, genetics, and even astronomy and physics, in addition to familiarity with creationist arguments themselves. Often the errors in logic and distortion of scientific facts are subtle or a few layers deep, and having only a superficial understanding of the arguments can get even scientists into trouble. This is partly why the infamous Duane Gish was so “successful” debating evolutionary scientists in public – they knew the science but they did not have a mastery over creationist nonsense.

A recent example of this, in my opinion, comes from debate.org. A debate was started by someone wishing to defend evolutionary theory who wished to focus on one issue (it’s always a good idea to keep any such debates as focused as possible). His position is this:

This is a debate that can take many forms and include many arguments, but I will simply make one observation that I think immediately decides the debate:

The fundamentalist idea that the universe is only a few thousand years old must also come with a denial of the known, immense distance between other galaxies and our own. If the cosmos were only a few thousand years old, and the speed of light is accepted as known, then we would have no way of seeing these very distant galaxies, the light from which having to had traveled billions of years to make them visible to us.”


There is an interesting discussion here about a common creationist argument – the Universe only SEEMS to be billions of years old. That God created the light reaching us now in transit from other stars. So all light has only been traveling 6000 years.

Even if it looks like it came 10,000 light years away or 10 billion.

But that requires Him to lie to us, to deceive us, something that He is not capable of.

This Omphalos hypothesis postulates that God created everything in place 6000 years ago, making it only look like things had existed before the Creation. So trees had growth rings indicating ages older than 6000 years because God made it so. The archeological excavation of Jericho, indicating that it was inhabited 10,000 years ago, is wrong. God just made it look like it was 10,000 years old. We have ice cores back 50,000 years becasue God made it look that way, even though the world is only 6000 years old.

God purposefully created a Universe whose actual age is very different from its perceived age. Why?

Of course, this leads to the reductio ad absurdum of “Last Thursdayism” . If there is no connection between the real age and the perceived age than perhaps God created everything only last Thursday, making it seem like things were much older by simply making it so.

How would we know?

But, to my mind, the refutation of this argument actually has a religious basis – God does not lie; He cannot lie. By their own dogma. Every Christian believes God does not, and cannot lie.

So He cannot purposefully be deceitful, presenting lies directly to us. He cannot  show us light from stars that appears to be millions a years old when it is only 6000. It is not possible that He would show us the light from the explosion of a supernova that actually never existed. He could not give us evidence of ice 20,000 years ago when it never actually existed then.

He cannot and does not lie.

A factual record indicating tremendous age of the Universe when it is only a few thousand. That would simply be lies.

He cannot deceive us, by a Christian’s own faith. Only Satan can deceive us.

But it cannot be Satan who accomplished this because the Devil cannot create anything and is incapable of doing anything more than twisting the facts.

So, by their own dogma, which is more likely – the Universe is actually only 6000 years old but God is purposefully misrepresenting that age, thus lying to us? Or is it more likely that the Universe is actually billions of years old, God is properly representing that age and that the only deception is coming from Lucifer?

I chose to believe that God actually is not deceiving us and that He has shown us exactly what is true. He has shown us a Universe that appears to be billions of years old. He would not try to fool us by giving us falsehoods.

If I was going to pull out my dogma, I would suggest that more likely thing happening here is that the literal reading of the Bible is an attempt from Lucifer to sow dissent. Only He would be excited by getting Christians to follow obviously falsehoods.

God cannot attempt to get us to follow falsehoods.

I believe it is more likely that the Prince of Lies is behind the deceitful idea of a young Earth than the Creator.

If God presents us with a Universe that appears to be billions of years old, than it has to be billions of years old. Anything else is a misrepresentation and a lie.

I would make the argument that the only twisting of the facts being done here are by the Creationists, suggesting they are seem more interested in spreading the distortions of Lucifer than the world God gave us.

Now back to rational arguments.