C Evaluation of recent-creationist scientific criticism of long ages and the Big BangFirst we must review what that evidence is, and add some more. Ch. 1, VI, and ch. 6, I, discussed the expansion of the universe and its indication of the time period involved. Many other kinds of evidence tell us something about the age of the universe. Here briefly are the most important ones.
We can see light from galaxies whose distances we estimate to be at least 10 billion light years, so it appears that their light has traveled at least 10 billion years to reach us.
Star clusters seem to have many different ages up to about 13 billion years, indicated by their H-R diagrams. (Some background in astronomy is required to understand this.) There are many types of stars, some of which are precisely explained as the result of a process of several billion years beginning from a contracting gas cloud. We have not found any white dwarf stars which seem to be older than about 10 billion years. All these facts lead us to estimate the age of our galaxy as at least 10 billion years.
We see galaxies in all stages of colliding and combining with each other, a process that takes as much as 1 billion years. We see jets and bubbles of gas with sizes up to 1,000,000 light years and speeds of 1/100 the speed of light or less, which indicates a process continuing at least several hundred million years. This doesn’t require specialized astronomical background, only the ability to divide a distance by a speed to get a time interval. Children learn this in grade school.
The sun’s mass and luminosity fit calculated models for a main-sequence star with an age of about 5,000,000,000 years.
For rocks from the earth, the moon, and meteorites, radioactive dating indicates ages up to a little less than that.
Jupiter is emitting heat; calculation of the cooling rate of Jupiter indicates a time of about 4-1/2 billion years beginning from a contracting cloud of hydrogen gas.
All the solid surfaces in the solar system have many craters, indicating a long, complex history of impacts which must have taken at least several billion years. This was discussed earlier in connection with the moon-dust “evidence” for recent creation.
The rock layers on the earth indicate long time periods of erosion and deposition, at least several billion years.
So there are several independent evidences that seem to indicate the solar system is between 4-1/2 and 5 billion years old; the current best estimate is between 4.8 and 4.9 billion.
Recent-creationists of course contest all these assertions. So we must consider their attempt to refute all this.
The light-travel-time problem has been a thorn in the side of recent-creationists ever since the beginning of the movement, and they have attempted every imaginable way (and some unimaginable) to remove it. It is still there.
It is undeniably a uniformitarian extrapolation, assuming that the speed of light is the same everywhere in the universe and always has been. In the 80s a vast amount of recent-creation ink and paper was devoted to questioning this assumption, and assuming instead that the speed of light was initially far higher than it is now, so that the entire universe became visible from earth almost immediately after creation. This claimed some basis in the history of measurements of the speed of light, which seems to show a downward trend from the earliest 17th-century measurements to the mid-20th. They even found a formula which seems to fit the three centuries of data, which extended backward zooms off to a very large value several thousand years ago.
Even other creationists raised questions about these data and this interpretation. It was originally suggested by Barry Setterfield and other Australians, and questioned by ICR in the US, leading to some unfriendly comments about national prejudice which we will not pursue. It is sufficient to say that there are other ways to account for the observed trend in the measurements, so it is doubtful whether there has been any variation in the speed of light at all. Even if this observed trend is genuine, it is a very tiny variation, which levels off in the 19th and 20th centuries, so that almost any curve with this general behavior fits the data. It is a vast extrapolation to assume that any particular formula is the correct one and then extend it out to assume huge variations have occurred in the past.
It also seems almost perverse if the Creator really did arrange such a variation in the speed of light, just exactly leveling off in the 20th century and staying just ahead of improvements in precision that could clearly verify it.
The speed of light is such a fundamental property of the universe, and linked to so many other properties, that the burden of proof is on anyone who proposes otherwise. The speed of light is not simply one of a list of unrelated specifications of the universe; it is intimately tied by several physical laws to other constants that describe the basic structure of atoms and thus of all matter, even highly ionized plasma. As was explained in ch. 6, II, it is incredible how the many characteristics of the universe are all so precisely mutually suitable so as to produce a universe in which life is possible. Now these people are trying to say that this unique solution is not enough, we also must assume a continuously sliding variation of many of these constants over a very wide range of values, always of course keeping the universe in existence and stable. Among the results, we have the light emitted from distant galaxies reach us with spectra identical to that seen in our own laboratories except for a red shift. There is no proof that such a path of continuous mutual variation even exists, and it is probably impossible for us ever to know enough about that many “what if”s to construct such a proof. Some people have published complex attempts to do so, but I remain skeptical that it could possibly be done. Therefore there is also no proof that it is impossible, but it seems we should be reluctant to assume it exists and has happened unless there is overwhelming evidence for it. The burden of proof is on those who assert it. This must be a last resort in solving the light travel time problem. I do not believe such a last resort is necessary. Frankly, of course, I do not believe the problem exists at all. I believe the universe really is old enough for the light we see to reach us. The problem only exists for recent-creationists. If all these gymnastics with sliding constants had anything to do with the long-age model, recent-creationists would heap scorn on it, just as they do on missing mass, the Oort Cloud, and so on.
We have already discussed in sec. A the suggestion that God created light rays already on their way to us from distant stars and galaxies. That is “created history.”
Another common recent-creationist attempt to pull out this light-travel thorn has been to question whether the galaxies really are so distant, but this has mostly been dropped in recent years. At the 1980 Summer Institute at ICR, one speaker spent an hour raising questions about the accuracy of astronomical distance estimates, and concluded by pointing out that it doesn’t matter anyway. There are uncertainties in the methods used to estimate the distance of remote galaxies. But the estimated uncertainty is about a factor of two, and a worst-case scenario could barely reach a factor of ten. That sounds terrible at first, but it is tremendous progress from, say, the early 19th century when we had no idea at all of the size of the universe, and even the early 20th when galaxies outside the Milky Way had not even been recognized as such. Review the history of 20th century science in ch. 1. How do you determine the distance of a fuzzy faint glow? It is not easy, and an uncertainty of two is pretty good. But when the distance is estimated to be over 10,000,000,000 light years, an uncertainty of even ten is just one less zero, scant comfort to someone who is looking for evidence that the universe is less than 10,000 years old. You may be unsure whether a particular place is 100 or 200 kilometers away, but that does not mean that it might in fact be 1 centimeter away. Grasping at such straws is a sign of desperation, and most recent-creationists have let go.
In a strange attempt to reinforce this admittedly irrelevant straw, recent-creationists note that a few professional astronomers raise objections to the use of the red shift of light as a measure of distance. The foremost one in this has been Halton Arp, accompanied by Geoffrey and Margaret Burbidge, Fred Hoyle, Jaylant Narlikar, and a few others. Their argument is that there are a number of high-redshift quasars which are observed very near low-redshift galaxies, and even in some cases seem to show a visible link to them, and that there are many more such cases than would occur simply by chance placement of the quasars in the sky. They agree that in many other cases the redshift is truly an accurate indication of great distance; they are just quibbling about these cases, and about the Big Bang theory of the beginning.
This debate in the astronomical world is not finished yet, but they have won virtually no converts, and others point out many factual and philosophical flaws in their case. Their alternative theory is that these quasars are newly created and ejected from the galaxy near them. Yes, they say “created,” matter that did not previously exist, a violation of the generally accepted principle of conservation of matter and energy. They are atheists, and one motive of their objection to the Big Bang is its unpalatable resemblance to a creation, because of its inability to account for anything before the Big Bang. They consider this as in principle inadmissible as a scientific theory. Others, not just Christians, reply that this is a subjective philosophical standard, a matter of personal opinion, on which others prefer to suspend judgment. It is a truly curious state of affairs when recent-creationists find common cause with such a group! Their common cause is opposition to the Big Bang; but what they advocate instead is an eternal godless universe and a young created one, respectively!
Enter Russell Humphreys and his application of general relativity. In his model, as nearly as I can understand it, the universe was initially a small sphere (of water! but never mind that detail) that collapsed under its own gravitation and then rebounded in a huge explosion. This explosion and rebound was assisted by divine manipulation of Einstein’s cosmological constant, so that for a while there was a repulsion which was stronger than the gravitational attraction. For a brief time during this process, there was a white hole from which material was streaming outward to form the present universe. The surface of this white hole miraculously coincided with the present surface of the earth. At this surface, time proceeded far more slowly than it did in the more distant matter, so that while six days transpired at the surface of the earth many billions of years transpired in the distant universe.
This gives me a headache too. Dr. Humphreys spent several years studying general relativity, and has carried on a spirited debate with various critics of his theory, especially some long-age creationists who claim sufficient expertise in this area. I don’t make any such claim. But for what it’s worth, in Paul Davies’ book It’s About Time, he describes a black hole. Dr. Humphreys asserts that a black hole and a white hole have many similarities. As viewed from the outside, an object at the event-horizon surface of a black hole is frozen in time. But Dr. Davies states that the reverse does not hold; it does not mean that an observer at that surface will see the universe passing through an eternity. He will sense his time as proceeding normally, and himself as proceeding rapidly through that surface and onward inside of it. He will observe signals from the outside universe as proceeding forward in time quite normally. Fortunately, Dr. Davies has not heard of Dr. Humphreys’ theory; if he did it would only prompt him to ridicule it and the Bible on which it claims to be based. But it does seem to undermine Dr. Humphreys’ assertion that an observer at the surface of a white hole would observe the external universe passing through a far longer time period than he himself does. That assertion is the motivation for his entire project.
Hugh Ross distributes an article by Christians, in which they evaluate Humphreys’ theory and find it scientifically incorrect, which Humphreys of course strongly rejects. So it is a battle of claims of competence. Based on past performance, I would not bet on Humphreys.
The existence of black holes is increasingly well verified by astronomical observations, but white holes remain a mathematical curiosity in the theory, with no demonstrated connection to reality. Also, the concept of the cosmological constant has a complex history and even its existence is still an uncertain matter. See ch. 1 and 6, I.
Finally, I offer a personal comment on the significance of such an attempt to solve the light-travel-time problem. Its crucial element is supernatural manipulation of Einstein’s cosmological constant. It seems to assume that God Himself is bound by the laws of general relativity, and must find ways to work through or around them. If we must assume so much supernatural intervention, it seems much simpler to revert to created age, and just say God created a universe that is billions of years old. Dr. Humphreys finds this assumption difficult to accept, for many of the same reasons that I do. But it does not seem to me that he has found a better answer. Many recent-creationists are awed by his ability to claim to understand general relativity, and they hope maybe he is on to something, but still cautiously (and wisely) don’t quite commit themselves to trusting it.
All of this discussion for several years is motivated by a desire to maintain the credibility of the recent-creation interpretation of the Bible in the face of contrary evidence from nature. It is a non-solution to a non-problem. The appropriate conclusion is to send the theologians back to work, not the scientists.
Recent-creationists often list both this and the no-old-supernova-remnant arguments, usually not realizing that the two are contradictory. One says the universe is billions of years old, the other says it is not.
The issues involved in uniformitarianism are essentially the same as those involved in the discussion of miracles in general; review ch. 5, V, A.
It is contradictory to criticize the Big Bang theory as both “something from nothing” and “naturalistic.” Recent-creationists must choose one or the other of these objections. Something from nothing is not naturalistic.
Christians, of all people, should have no objection in principle to an unexplained beginning or one that violates the Second Law of thermodynamics! Of course creation is beyond science and violates the Second Law, not to mention all the other laws; isn’t that exactly what we have believed all along? As stated earlier, we must not make our faith dependent on any particular scientific theory, but when a theory fits the Bible so well and removes a previous conflict, it is legitimate to point that out. The Big Bang theory can very naturally be compared with the Biblical concept of creation. It is at least an important shift from apparent conflict to consistency between science and theology, which could be considered a confirmation of both theology and the Bible.
The Big Bang theory may or may not eventually be replaced by a different theory that is not consistent with the Bible. But in the meantime we need not be paralyzed by fear of that possibility. We trust that God’s Word can stand up to the truth, whatever new discoveries may be made. The possible future loss of one apparent confirmation would not endanger our faith; there are plenty more. In opposing the Big Bang on some purported principle, recent-creationists are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
There are three primary types of theories of the origin of the universe currently under discussion: an eternal steady state, a Big Bang beginning, and recent creation. All three violate the Second Law, so that is an irrelevant consideration in choosing among them. However, we must be clear where each one violates the Second Law. My graduate-school thermodynamics course was somewhat beyond me; the Second Law in its full quantitative form is no simple matter. But its basic principle is simple enough, as already described in ch. 6, I; any natural system will change to states of increasing disorder.
The steady-state universe is no longer advocated by more than a tiny few astronomers who are atheists; their only recourse is to assume that the Second Law somehow does not apply on this scale, or can be circumvented by an infinity.
The Big Bang theory begins with the bang, not before; the origin of the bang is left unexplained. This can be considered a violation not only of the Second Law but of every law! It is the beginning of all observed laws. Many in the scientific community also are uncomfortable with an unexplained beginning, and of course hope to find a natural explanation, but they must be content with a theory that is confined to the limits of what is presently known. If some scientists speculate about a primordial cosmic egg and so on, that is an admission that they have no scientific explanation beyond the Big Bang, but that has nothing to do with whether the theory is valid up to that point. The theory begins at that point, and any speculation about things before that is exactly that, speculation, a personal opinion that has nothing to do with the Big Bang theory itself, and for which it should not be blamed. To place such blame on it is to place guilt by association, a serious logical fallacy. If a theory is to be judged by the flaws in other unrelated ideas held by some of its proponents, then recent creation is in big trouble.
In addition to this question, recent-creationists also often state that the formation of the present “highly complex” universe from an initial explosion is a violation of the Second Law. However, they have never given any competent proof of this assertion; they are only playing games with the words “complexity” and “order” so as to suit their preconceived purposes. This charge of violation of the Second Law is baseless. In what sense is the universe ordered? In recent-creationist videotapes they often show pictures of living things while stating this point, which is changing the subject. Of course a Big Bang can’t create life; this is discussed below. But if the question is the origin of the universe, then let’s stick to astronomical examples. Stars in a star cluster are scattered randomly. Galaxies in a galaxy cluster are scattered and oriented randomly. The solar system is inclined over 70° from the plane of the Milky Way. What signs of unnatural order are there here? The burden of proof is still on the recent-creationists to substantiate their charge of a violation.
The proportion of matter and anti-matter in the universe is not yet well explained; this is a valid question. However, there is a phenomenon in high-energy particle physics called CP-violation, which involves a slight imbalance between matter and anti-matter. So there is a possible answer in sight on this one. And of course we who believe in creation can always just say that God initially created slightly more matter than anti-matter, so that there would be a little left over. On what basis must we assume that they were initially equal? If Russell Humphreys can envision God making wild adjustments in the cosmological constant, surely we can envision Him making an infinitesimal tweak of the proportions of matter and anti-matter. But I do not think even this is necessary.
The four Second-Law objections to star formation are deliberately placed together here so as to highlight how mutually contradictory they are, so perhaps I am slightly misrepresenting recent-creationists by stating it in this way. But I have seen recent-creationist articles in which they actually are placed side-by-side, apparently with no awareness of a contradiction. Obviously, the Big Bang can’t be both too chaotic and too uniform, and the universe can’t be both too complex and too ordered; recent-creationists must at least pick one or the other as their objection. They state it both ways because the Second Law is sometimes stated in terms of order and sometimes complexity, so they are trying to apply both terms. But in this application they are demonstrating that they understand neither the Second Law nor order nor complexity. They are just arguing about words, and saying what a lot of people want to hear. The Apostle Paul warned against this, in a slightly different context, 2 Timothy 2:14; 4:3, 4.
Recent-creationists often claim that the formation of stars from contracting gas clouds is an increase in order and/or complexity, but this has never been demonstrated by anything more competent than hand-waving. A gas cloud contracting under its own gravitation and emitting part of the resulting heat is moving toward a lower-energy and more-probable state than its initial state; this is no violation of the Second Law. If this is a violation, then so is a ball rolling down a hill, or the water running down a recent-creationist’s shower drain. If an increase in complexity is a violation, then so is a proverbial bull in a china shop, or an explosion (hmm, like the Big Bang!). Recent-creationists claim that the Second Law forbids both the expansion of the universe and the contraction of a gas cloud. Obviously their logic has stripped a gear somewhere.
The late beloved George Mulfinger wrote an article in which he claimed to show that the gravitational contraction of a gas cloud violated both the Second Law and the laws of mechanics. His article was in CRSQ 7:7-24, 1970, and also published as CRS (Creation Research Society) Monograph no. 2, 1983, Design and Origins in Astronomy, ISBN 0-940384-5. This article is occasionally cited as a basis for recent-creationists’ claims of flaws in the usual theory of star formation. It is preposterous to assert that all the highly-developed computer models of stellar structure and development continue to contain a flagrant violation of the Second Law which has gone entirely unnoticed.
The article contained errors for which a freshman physics student would be flunked, so recent-creationists are best advised to leave the article like its author to rest in peace. The article also listed many of the other invalid criticisms of the Big Bang discussed elsewhere in this section. This also disposes of CRSQ’s ambition of being a competent, peer-reviewed professional journal, at least at the time this article was accepted. More recent editors have struggled to raise the standards, but they have received more opposition than help from the recent-creationist constituency. May their efforts continue and their tribe increase.
To head off any hopes that I am only bluffing and have insufficient basis or competence to make this statement, I briefly summarize the errors. His Second-Law calculation quoted an early (1963) model of stellar formation, giving initial and final radius and temperature. Mulfinger took these as being a uniform temperature throughout the cloud, but certainly the final temperature was non-uniform, highest at the center. The quoted temperature must have been meant to apply only to a particular point, probably the surface. I do not have access to that article to confirm this, but it is unimportant. His formula for entropy only included the two terms of a simple ideal gas, sensible heat and mechanical work. It failed to include gravitational potential energy, which obviously is an essential part of the process. It also omits the phase change from atomic and molecular to ionized plasma. A simple ideal gas model is hopelessly inappropriate.
Mulfinger’s mechanical calculation purported to calculate the pressure at the outer surface of the cloud and show that it is greater than the gravitational attraction, thus it will not contract. But his pressure calculation used the hydrostatic equation beginning from an assumed zero pressure at the center and integrating outward with pressure increasing with distance from the center; this is obviously all backwards!
Recent-creationists would be much better off if they totally abandoned their attempts to employ the Second Law in their criticism of the Big Bang theory and stellar evolution.
There are of course many unanswered questions about the early stages of the development of the universe from the Big Bang. It is still debated whether stars formed first and then began to gather into galaxies, or galaxies formed first as concentrations of primordial gas and then began to form stars. At present external influences are required to compress interstellar gas sufficiently to begin contraction to form a star, but in the early universe the density was much higher. This is a complex situation, on a par with the analysis of the core of the earth and the geomagnetic field, discussed in sec. B. Repeating the example given there, the atmosphere performs before our eyes and we still cannot account for all that we see let alone predict tomorrow’s weather accurately, but we do not insist that what we see therefore must not exist. The very early universe is forever beyond our observation, but must remain a subject of estimation and modeling. No wonder there are many unanswered questions and uncertainties, and no doubt there always will be. But this does not prove it did not exist.
Finally, there is the observation of the tiny ripples in the cosmic background radiation, which were first reported in 1992 from continuing analysis of COBE satellite data. Recent-creationists had for years been pointing out that no such ripples had been observed, and claiming that this was a fatal flaw in the Big-Bang theory. When the ripples finally were reported, recent-creationists at first doubted the observations were valid, because they were barely above the level of instrumental uncertainty. But this has since been confirmed, and several projects are in progress to measure the ripples much more accurately.
In summary, recent-creationist objections to the Big Bang are that they claim it does not explain what it should and explains what it should not. It does not explain its own origin, nor the origin of life, and does at least partly explain the origin of galaxies, stars and planets. These are unreasonable objections. Why should the Big Bang theory be expected to explain the origin of the bang or of life, and why should it not explain the origin of stars and planets? What it does explain involves no violation of known physical principles. In the aspects where it provides an explanation, recent-creationists call it naturalistic, and that’s bad. Where it does not, they call it unscientific, and that’s bad too. Recent-creationist objections to the Big Bang have a consistent history of retreating in the face of new observations. No wonder the scientific community is less than impressed with such criticisms. It tells little about creation, but a lot about recent-creationists.
The statement I saw about stars of different ages in a star cluster had no documentation. The only example I can think of that it could be referring to is the existence of “blue stragglers,” a few bright, blue and therefore young stars in globular clusters, which otherwise contain only small, red, old stars. When first discovered these blue stars were puzzling, but it is now well confirmed that such a star is the result of a recent (perhaps “only” millions of years ago) merger of two small red stars in a binary system, and that such mergers will occur occasionally in the crowded inner region of a globular cluster.
The assertion that stars cannot change is a truly amazing statement, one which is difficult to answer reasonably or politely. Responding is like trying to prove two plus two is not five. It just isn’t. How could stars possibly not change? What is there about Biblical creationism that requires the assertion that they do not? They are obviously spewing out huge amounts of energy, which must come from somewhere, and cannot go on forever, any more than you can drive your car forever without running out of gas. The well-established explanation is that stars produce their energy by nuclear fusion in their cores. In main-sequence stars this is fusion of hydrogen into helium, and in giant stars fusion of helium into carbon and oxygen, and, if the star is large enough, so on up to iron-56, after which comes a supernova explosion. This is all based on extensive computer modeling based on well-determined data from particle-accelerator research and other branches of physics. There are of course many uncertainties in details, which are being pursued in ongoing research as computer capabilities steadily increase. But there is no reasonable doubt about the basic process, and it is overwhelmingly confirmed by agreement with the characteristics of the countless stars in the sky. It is a blunder to equate this with biological evolution, which cannot be numerically modeled or confirmed by observation, and has no basis in known physical principles.
Another area of confirmation and refinement of this theory is helioseismology, the study of oscillations of the surface of the sun with periods of a few minutes. These are sound waves, which travel throughout the entire sun, and thus give us a window on its interior which is inaccessible to visible light or any other form of radiation. As its self-contradictory name implies, this is analogous to the study of the inaccessible interior of the earth by detecting earthquake waves at the surface. In the 90s this field is progressing rapidly, and in simplified form can also be applied to more distant stars.
To be fair, I must note that the few in the recent-creation community who are competent in this area acknowledge all this and have even published an article or two saying that the usual recent-creationist criticisms of stellar evolution are invalid. There has been no response from the rest of the community. One such article is “Toward a Creationist Astronomy” by Danny R. Faulkner and Don B. DeYoung, CRSQ vol. 28, Dec. 1991 pg 87. These two authors were introduced in sec. I. They state that there is at present no such thing as “creationist astronomy.” It remains to be constructed. They attribute this state of affairs to the fact that there are only a handful of workers, and they appeal for more. None has yet appeared. In my opinion the primary obstacle is there are no construction materials.
And now we come to the simultaneous objections that stars have never been observed to form or change and have been observed changing too quickly (including the shrinking-sun fiasco mentioned earlier)! These are plainly contradictory objections, and each one is invalid.
The first is especially blatant. It is equivalent to a recent-creationist’s two-year-old grandchild refusing to believe that grandfather was ever different than he is now; what would recent-creationists accept as evidence for a process that takes many millions of years? Two further examples hopefully will be helpful, if help is needed, which apparently it is. This is like cutting one frame out of a movie and denying the movie exists, or taking a one-hour walk through a forest and denying that trees sprout and grow. It is simply absurd, and it well deserves the derisive response it receives from the astronomical community
The claim that stars have never been observed to change is often qualified by the concession “except exploding supernovae,” but even this is a fatal concession, because something must have been changing to bring on the transition from stability to explosion. This is an objection based on lack of information, and as such is vulnerable to refutation when information becomes available. Some already is becoming available, as the time-span and precision of modern scientific observation continues to grow. There are brief stages in their lifetime at which stars do change comparatively suddenly, and it is inevitable that sooner or later we will with luck and skill catch a few in the act. Some pulsating variables show slight changes in their pulsation. Some white dwarfs show measurable cooling.
As long as we are complaining about things that have never been observed, we also have never observed a galaxy cluster or star cluster dispersing or a spiral arm winding up, as recent-creationists insist is happening. That also is a projection of present processes. If such a projection is invalid for the interior of stars, why is it valid for clusters and spiral arms?
As for the instances of changing too quickly, it is doubtful whether Sirius really was a red star in Roman times; the word translated red can also simply mean bright, and the quotations in question also may refer to its appearance when just rising, and reddened like the Sun at sunrise.
The reason a star has (arguably) not yet been observed in the act of forming is because it occurs inside a dense dust and gas cloud that is opaque to visible light, and because it is so small when it reaches that stage. But that cloud is transparent to infrared and radio emission, and detectors in those ranges are progressing rapidly. Already many examples have been observed that are almost certainly stars in process of forming, and will within a few years be clearly confirmed as such.
Returning to the grandfather and forest analogies, in both cases it is simple common sense to piece together the many individuals we see, and thus form a picture of the development process. We see babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and so on up to centenarians. We are told they are related to one another in various ways, and sure enough the family resemblance is there. In the forest we see tiny tree sprouts, saplings, on up to decaying huge trees. Types of trees occur in groups, and we see the seeds on the branch and on the ground.
In the sky we see stars of many different types, with various masses, brightnesses, and compositions, located in various environments. Their development with time is well represented by computer models based on established physical principles, and the results of those models compare extremely well with the stars we observe. As already stated in sec. B about supernovae, large short-lived stars are always found near dense nebulae in which they could form, and near other such stars, presumably their siblings from the same nursery. The actual process of formation must occur in the densest parts of nebulae, which contain so much dust that visible light is totally blocked. However, longer-wavelength infrared and radio waves are not blocked, and beginning in the 90s instruments have been built to observe at these wavelengths. They have found large star clusters hidden within these nebulae, and showing characteristics expected of newly formed stars. Far away from such neighborhoods, only small long-lived stars are found. If this is not sufficient evidence to establish the validity of the process of star formation and change with time, what would be?
Recent-creationists who give such prominence to this statement denying star formation and change are cooking crow for their successors to eat, and the meal has already begun. What conceivable justification is there on which they have led themselves and their followers into such a total debacle? Even assuming recent creation and apparent age, that age should be assumed to progress naturally from that point on.
The so-called Sakurai’s object is a specific instance of a star observed to be changing rapidly, and furthermore seemingly in the wrong direction, from a white dwarf into a red giant! This is certainly interesting, and is under close attention by astronomers. But by what stretch of logic can this be construed as overthrowing all of astrophysics, or supporting recent creation? Since when did God’s creation run out of surprises for us? There is no attempted cover-up of this case; how did recent-creationists hear about it except by reading published accounts? There certainly are no recent-creationists doing such observations or research themselves.
A long-standing debate in the astronomical community has been over the value of the Hubble constant, the rate of expansion of the universe, which in turn leads to an estimate of its age, the time elapsed since the explosion. The Hubble constant is measured by observing the speed and distance of many different galaxies. The speed of distant galaxies is precisely measured by the red shift in their spectra; the uncertainty is in their distance. There have been two major research groups, who have used different methods of estimating distances, and arrived at significantly different answers, in the 80s differing by a factor of 2. The higher estimate of the expansion rate leads of course to a lower estimate of age, just over 10,000,000,000 years, which turns out to be lower than the estimated age of globular star clusters in the Milky Way, around 15,000,000,000 years. As some astronomers stated it, you can’t be older than your mother! As both groups continue their research, their respective results have moved steadily toward each other’s, narrowing the gap.
One of the key goals of the Hubble Space Telescope was to observe Cepheid variable stars in galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, which could be used to measure their distance more accurately than before and thus improve the accuracy of the Hubble constant. Ground-based telescopes are unable to resolve individual stars at that distance. When this was done, after the repair job on Hubble’s optical system, the result was in the range of previous estimates but still toward the higher end, and thus lower age. This was what made headlines in the mid-90s. But it was not the end of the story.
The Hipparcos satellite made high-precision measurements of the positions and motions of several hundred thousand stars in the mid-90s, and the results were published in 1998. This gave new, accurate distances to stars out to about 500 light years; the previous range was less than 200. For the first time, this gave direct measurements of the distances of the nearest Cepheid variables, and resulted in a small but significant correction in the calibration of their distances. This correction raises the estimate of the age of the universe and lowers the estimate of the age of the globular clusters, bringing the two very near acceptable agreement.
Another major research topic has been to attempt to measure the rate of change of the expansion of the universe. The primary means used has been to observe very distance supernovae, since that is the brightest well-understood object known at present. The result amazingly seems to indicate that the expansion rate is actually accelerating, not decelerating as expected. This means the expansion in the past has been slower than previously assumed, which further raises the estimated age and perhaps removes the discrepancy between the age of the universe and the age of the oldest star clusters. This is a preliminary result, announced in 1998, and it is definitely not the end of the story.
It is impossible now (2000) to predict the outcome. The various estimates of the age of the universe may soon be satisfactorily reconciled, or new contradictions may appear. For this book, it is sufficient to say that research continues, and recent-creationists’ announcements of the death of Big-Bang cosmology are very premature. Be that as it may, there is nothing here that gives any support to a 10,000-year age of the universe. Recent-creationists’ only resort is still created age.
Our final look at the Big Bang considers whether it could create life. Evolutionists of course are happy to try to jump on the Big Bang’s bandwagon of apparent success and popularity, and try to link stellar evolution to biological evolution. The appropriate response is to kick them off the wagon, not burn the wagon. Of course the Big Bang can’t create life (ch. 6, II). Storks can’t bring babies, but that does not prove storks do not exist or cannot bring other things, even baby storks.
Now for the questions about the formation of the solar system. In response to the usual accounts of this, recent-creationists enjoy rebutting with “Were you there?” and the assertion that God was there so we should listen to His story. We have already discussed the content of His story, and found it is not necessarily recent creation. Another matter to point out is that recent-creationists make many confident assertions about what could not have happened, claiming that a gas and dust cloud could not possibly form planets and satellites and so on. An appropriate response to such claims is “Were you there?”
This too has been extensively studied in computer simulations, though it requires many more assumptions and approximations than the simulation of the structure and changes of a star. There is no inherent violation of known physical principles, especially not the Second Law of thermodynamics, which was discussed earlier. But this is another instance of the principle that what is not fully understood is not therefore necessarily impossible, for instance rain and lightning. It is also an instance of the principle that lack of total understanding is not total lack of understanding.
It is interesting to note that recent-creationists cannot imagine particles collecting to form planets in the early solar system, but they can imagine meteor dust piling up gently on the surface of the moon. The computer models portray particles in similar orbits in the early solar system meeting one another at tiny relative speeds, and including much icy material that would easily stick together. In Saturn’s rings, presumably formed from the breakup of a satellite or comet, motions have settled down to precisely concentric orbits in a plane about 10 m thick. Adjacent objects move past one another at a rate that is almost imperceptible if you could ride on one of them, too slow for either coalescence or breakup. At the other extreme, the asteroid belt now is a demolition derby of elliptical orbits intersecting at suicidal relative velocities, which is a result of eons of perturbation by massive nearby Jupiter. Recent-creationists’ comparison of the early solar system with any of these other situations is invalid.
Recent-creationists make another pair of contradictory objections, that the solar system is both too orderly and too chaotic to result from a process instead of direct creation. I have seen these two claims listed side-by-side in a recent-creationist article, and when I wrote a letter to the author he still totally failed to see the problem and replied only with theological arguments. As an example of orderliness, recent-creationists point to the fact that the axial rotation and orbital revolutions of the planets are mostly in the same direction. However, Venus turns very slowly in the opposite direction, and Uranus and Pluto are tipped approximately on their sides; this makes three out of nine that are exceptions. So there is an undeniable trend, but hardly a high degree of order. The four major moons of Jupiter are a model of order, but many smaller ones are obviously the aftermath of accidents, one group being in reverse orbits. Saturn has its own retinue of very assorted satellites. Neptune has a major moon going the wrong direction, and a small one in a highly elliptical orbit. Pluto’s orbit is eccentric and inclined 17°. The solar system contains countless small objects that are essentially bouncing in a pinball machine; see the earlier discussion of comets and meteors. This is precisely what would result from a natural process that is still ongoing.
The origin of the moon is a particularly interesting case. Its slow recession from the earth was discussed earlier. Recent-creationists insist that there is no satisfactory explanation of its origin. The astronomical community has generally come to accept the collision theory as most nearly adequate. Such a collision is of course highly improbable. But Christians of all people should be able to believe in God’s providential arrangement of such events to accomplish His purposes. This was discussed in the earlier section on Biblical considerations.
The angular momentum distribution in the solar system raises a good question; the contracting gas cloud should have left the sun with a very high rotation speed. But there are possible solutions for this problem. Newly forming stars (T-Tauri stars) have jets of gas escaping from their poles; this could carry away considerable angular momentum. Also, in the plane of the rotating disk, during the process of contraction turbulence would constantly be transporting angular momentum outward. In the inner regions where the temperature is high enough to ionize the gas and produce a plasma, magnetic fields would also have a strong influence, similarly resisting differences in rotation rate and thus transporting angular momentum outward. The earliest stages of a newly-formed star include a period of rapid mass loss from its outermost layers, which also would carry away angular momentum. This process continues even now in the solar wind, though it is at present a negligible effect. So there is not an absolutely proven solution to the angular momentum problem, but there is a possible one. That possible one is not recent creation.
Radioisotope dating methods have received varying degrees of emphasis in the scientific community as a whole, and in recent-creationist literature. One videotape in the Origins series devotes nearly half its time to criticizing these methods. Notice that in my presentation we don’t even mention it until this near the end. It is neither a primary nor a crucial factor in the decision between recent creation and long ages. In giving it such emphasis recent-creationists divert attention away from many other aspects in which their arguments are deficient.
The importance of these dating methods is that they are hopefully the most quantitative method available to geologists; everything else is relative, based on the sequence of layers, and times are only estimated from assumed rates of formation. So this is an important factor in establishing the geological time-scale, or at least confirming the estimates made on other bases.
Recent-creationists list many examples of inconsistent results from dating methods. One ongoing project is obtaining datings on rocks from the Grand Canyon, including lava flows from upper layers that are therefore at least geologically recent and a few even within recorded history. Their conclusion is that most datings are inconsistent with the usually assumed geological time scale, and therefore are disregarded. A few results of course do fit expectations, and those are published.
This is a valid complaint, but it does not totally discredit the method. There are instances in which many measurements do give consistent results. The textbook example is dating of the Hawaiian Island volcano string, which gives progressively older ages for obviously more eroded islands sequentially down the row.
Recent-creationists point out three basic assumptions in these dating methods, and claim all three are false. They have a good case about uncertainties in initial composition, and in some cases about contamination during the intervening period. But in questioning the constancy of the decay rates, they destroy their credibility and unfortunately divert attention from the other two points.
The decay rates of radioactive elements are determined by the properties within the nucleus, which is virtually unaffected by anything that happens to the atom from outside. That is why, for instance, fusion only occurs at extremely high temperatures and pressures, such as in the core of a star or in a nuclear explosion. The very existence of a rock proves that it has never undergone such conditions since it first solidified.
Recent-creationists give footnote references to some radioactive decay processes that have been observed to depend on pressure, but give no details about what decay processes. The only one of which I am aware is decay by the capture of an inner-shell electron, which can be affected by pressure which slightly forces that electron nearer the nucleus. But this effect is slight, and none of the dating methods involve this decay process. So it is irrelevant to a debate claiming many zeros (orders of magnitude) of error in the computed age.
The only other external factor which can influence decay rates is high-energy radiation. But recent-creationists have never stated any feasible model of what kind of radiation, when it occurred, and how it is confirmed by the observed results of dating measurements. Such radiation is absorbed very rapidly; fortunately for us, most of the radiation from space is stopped high in the atmosphere. If any large amount of radiation reached the surface, enough to really invalidate dating measurements, it would be dangerous and perhaps fatal to living things. What reached the surface would be quickly absorbed by the rocks within a few meters at most, not penetrating deeply to, say, several kilometers. The only way radiation could penetrate deeply is to be very weakly absorbed and therefore have little influence, such as neutrinos that pass through the entire earth with virtually no interaction. There is no possible case in which high-energy radiation could have a systematic effect invalidating radioactive dating methods.
ICR began in 1998 a major research project aimed to produce a recent-creationist reinterpretation of the entire subject of radioisotope dating methods, not merely criticize its deficiencies. This is a commendable project, and it will be interesting to see the result in a few years. But with a miraculous recent creation to determine the initial composition, and other miraculous interventions always imaginable where needed, they have enough variables at their disposal to explain any possible case. So it dubious whether any really significant conclusions can come from the project. Recent-creationists ridicule fields like Big-Bang cosmology, claiming that it has so many unknown adjustable variables that the purported confirmations are meaningless. This is a double standard.
The lack of comets from outside the solar system in the past 300 years of scientific observation is an interesting point. Astronomers have raised this question too. Perhaps it is merely a statistical fluke, like the dearth of naked-eye supernovae from 1604 to 1987. Recent-creationists suggest it indicates that there has not been enough time for a comet to reach us from another solar system. This is another “not yet” evidence, which is only waiting to be disproved sooner or later.
Perhaps it means solar systems are not common. This point will at least make progress in the next few years, as it is becoming possible to detect the existence of planets orbiting other stars. So far (2000) only preliminary results are in, but already several dozen planets outside the solar system are known, and this number is certain to continue rising rapidly in the next few years. The methods used are sensitive to the largest and closest planets, which produce the largest influence on the motions of the stars, so of course the planets detected so far are very large and close. In fact astronomers are surprised how many such planets they have found, and are at a loss to account for their existence. As the methods are improved, they will be able to detect smaller and farther planets, and perhaps by ten years from now there will be sufficient data to indicate some patterns in the nature of solar systems. Results so far do give hints that stable systems like ours are rare.
Another bit of evidence is the detection of large disks of dust around some nearby young stars, which in a few cases have a hole near the center, perhaps indicating that planets have already formed there. Stand by for many further developments in the next few years. If solar systems are rare, that only adds to the evidence for God’s providential guidance in the formation and survival of this one. If they are common, that weakens recent-creationists’ insistence that only direct creation could produce a solar system, though of course they can always insist that it only shows God created a lot of solar systems. The high or low frequency of occurrence of solar systems is irrelevant to the truth or falsehood of recent-creationism.
It is interesting to note, though, that a portion of the dust entering the atmosphere from outer space has unique isotopic compositions different from that of meteorites and comets; it appears to be interstellar dust. This has been known for a number of years. In recent years, radar tracking of tiny meteors also indicates some are coming from outside the solar system. In fact, most of them are on paths pointing back to a particular nearby star, Beta Pictoris, which is known to possess a large dust disk. Either these particles were created as is already on their way, or they formed in the vicinity of another star and have taken millions of years to reach us, at least far more than 6000 years.
Dust particles can only form in the atmosphere of stars; the density in gas clouds between stars is too low to produce any significant rate of condensation of solid particles. One recent-creationist book uses this fact to argue that interstellar dust particles could only have been created, neglecting the possibility of formation near stars.
If the lack of interstellar comets is quoted by recent-creationists as evidence against a long time period since the creation of the universe, then is the existence of interstellar meteors evidence for a long time period? What would recent-creationists say if an interstellar comet did appear? I doubt they would all accept it as fatal evidence against recent creation, and abandon that position. It must have been created. So this point is irrelevant to the truth or falsehood of recent creation.
Concluding summary and evaluationThis finally finishes the discussion of the evidence and logic commonly presented in support of recent creation and against long ages. Every item can be classified under one or more of the following categories: factually incorrect, true but irrelevant, or true but inconclusive (including all the “not yet observed or explained” items). It can be viewed as inconclusive in individual detail but cumulatively persuasive; if it weren’t right, why would so many pieces seemingly fit together so well? On the other hand, it can be viewed as cumulatively incompetent and inconclusive and therefore the whole thing crumbles like a proverbial house of cards or row of dominoes leaning on each other. Why do so many of the purported pieces fail to fit together, and in fact fit a different viewpoint? If it is right, why do its supporters feel the need to grasp at so many straws and commit so many logical and factual errors? It is disconcerting to see well-intentioned, capable, educated people enmeshed in such a self-reinforcing web of confusion, so much so that it makes you wonder if you can trust your own rationality. We can only take this as a reminder to proceed with humility and caution. I hope the reader feels I have achieved that difficult goal, and you will attempt to do likewise.
Recent-creationists sometimes admit that there are many weaknesses in their materials, but they plead that at least they are trying, and should be given credit for doing the best they could with admittedly inadequate backgrounds. But they are not willing to be as generous with the efforts of others, such as Hugh Ross, who come to different conclusions, such as long-age creation.
Now I have some questions for recent-creationists. First, a Biblical and theological question. If all this is not sufficient reason to reconsider recent creation, then what would be? If recent creation is a mistaken interpretation of God’s Word, how could God Himself tell them so? It becomes a box, a trap, with no escape. God, Whose Son called Himself the Truth, need not place us in such a box. Cult groups like Mormons make subjective feelings and loyalty to authoritative leaders the basis of faith, setting aside all possible consideration of facts and leaving no way that God Himself could convince them otherwise, and this is one of many reasons we do not believe such cults.
Next, some scientific questions. Why are all the constants of physics, the chemical composition of the universe, and the solar system’s structure and location in the universe, so precisely consistent with an interpretation in terms of a multi-billion-year process, if God created the universe instantly in its present form and only needs the universe and the earth to exist for a few thousand years? If God created the universe recently, fully formed and functioning, and did so as a demonstration of His power, why did He disguise it so carefully? It is easy to imagine many ways things could be created so as to make the assumption of such a long past process clearly impossible; but He did not.
Re-emphasizing a question already raised, when were all the craters in the solar system formed?
If recent-creationists will not listen to these comments from their friends, then they will have to continue to listen to them from their enemies.
ConclusionFinally we have completed the discussion of the commonly listed scientific evidences for recent creation and against long ages and the Big Bang. No doubt I have missed a few, but this at least covers all that are being widely publicized at present. After investigation, they fall into several categories: most are factually in error, logically fallacious, or irrelevant. A few of the best are uncertain and inconclusive, not sufficient basis to overthrow the entire long-age viewpoint and establish recent creation in its place.
Now that we have discussed both the Biblical and scientific support claimed for recent creation, we can make an observation. There seems to be a circular reinforcement between recent-creationist theologians and scientists. The scientists are confident that they should interpret the data in this way even when there are uncertainties and alternatives, because they are convinced the theologians have proved that this is the clear teaching of the Bible. The theologians, though reluctant to admit it, are greatly reassured in their recent-creation interpretation of the Bible, because they are convinced that their scientist friends have found abundant clear scientific evidence to confirm it. Both groups would be much more soft-spoken and open to alternatives if they realized how dubious the other one’s case is.
As introduced in ch. 5, I, F, there must be thresholds for points of science and theology to be subject to review due to conflicting input from the other. Because God’s Word and God’s world cannot conflict, we can be certain that there will not be seemingly insurmountable thresholds on both sides in a point of conflict. If this occurs, we must have overestimated at least one of the thresholds. Recent-creationists have placed the threshold for recent-creation theology at the insurmountable level, citing arguments from Biblical interpretation and from related theological considerations. The conclusion of this chapter is that that threshold is nowhere near insurmountable, in fact it is quite low, therefore open to reconsideration and possible revision. I personally feel that the threshold is below ground, overcome by Biblical considerations alone, even without scientific ones. On the other hand, science gives a very high threshold for long ages for the universe and the Earth, and even recent-creationists themselves confirm this point by their need for the concept of apparent age. It seems that this is a case in which theology would benefit by accepting corrective input from science.
As stated at the beginning of this long chapter, my goal is not to disprove recent creation, only to point out flaws in the support for it which is widely publicized. With that support removed, the reader is free to choose whether to continue to accept the recent-creationist conclusion. Therefore for now the age of the universe need not be considered an apparent conflict between the Bible and nature, nor an obstacle to faith in the Bible’s God.
Nearly 400 years ago, Galileo turned out to be right for some wrong reasons, and his critics were wrong for some right reasons. Thus it is still conceivably possible that recent creation is true and long-age creation is false.
Sources for further information:Books and organizations promoting recent creation were listed at the end of sec. I.
At least four organizations produce material similar to that in sec. II.
ARN: Access Research Network, P. O. Box 38069, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80937-8069. Phone (719) 633-1772. www.arn.org This organization was founded as Students for Origins Research, and initially took a recent-creation viewpoint, largely because there was no coherent alternative available at the time. But it has long since shifted into the long-age camp.Books presenting viewpoints other than recent creation:
Foundation for Thought and Ethics, P. O. Box 830721, Richardson, Texas 75083-0721. Fax (214) 669-9339
IBRI: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, P. O. Box 423, Hatfield, PA 19440. www.ibri.org
RTB: Reasons to Believe, P. O. Box 5978, Pasadena, California 91117. Phone (818) 335-1480. www.reasons.org This is Hugh Ross's organization.
By Christians advocating a position similar to my own, in chronological order:
Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth, Robert C. Newman and Herman J. Eckelmann, Jr. Hatfield, PA: IBRI. 1977. ISBN 0-944788-97-1By Christians, containing some opinions with which I disagree, because they lean toward a liberal view on the authority of the Bible. But they have many important comments about recent creation, and their science is competent.
The Genesis Connection, John Wiester. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 1983. ISBN 0-8407-5296-2
Evolution: Nature and Scripture in Conflict?, Pattle P. T. Pun. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. 1982. ISBN 0-310-42561-1
The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, Roger L. Olsen. New York: Philosophical Library. 1984. ISBN 0-8022-2447-4. Also later editions.
Creation and Evolution, Rethinking the Evidence from Science and the Bible, Alan Hayward. Minneapolis: Bethany House. 1985. ISBN 1-55661-679-1
Neglect of Geologic Data, Sedimentary Strata Compared with Young-Earth Creationist Writings, Daniel E. Wonderly. Hatfield, PA: IBRI. 1987. ISBN 0-944788-00-9
Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins, Percival Davis, Dean H. Kenyon. Dallas, Texas: Haughton. 1989. ISBN 0-914513-00-12
The Fingerprint of God, Recent Scientific Discoveries Reveal the Unmistakable Identity of the Creator, Hugh Ross. Orange, California: Promise Publishing. 1989. ISBN 0-939497-18-2
A Brief History of Eternity, Roy E. Peacock. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, Good News, 1990. A specific response to Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. ISBN 0-89107-573-9
Darwin on Trial, Phillip E. Johnson. Washington, DC.: Regnery Gateway. 1991. ISBN 0-89526-535-4
Darwinism: Science or Philosophy? Proceedings of the Conference on Darwinism and Intelligent Design, March, 1992. Richardson, Texas: Foundation for Thought and Ethics. 1994.
The Creator and the Cosmos, How the Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God, Hugh Ross. Colorado Springs: NavPress. 1993. ISBN 0-89109-700-7
Creation and Time, A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy, Hugh Ross. Colorado Springs: NavPress. 1994. ISBN 0-89109-776-7
The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer, J. P. Moreland ed. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity. 1994. ISBN 0-8308-1698-4
Show Me God, What the Message from Space Is Telling Us About God, Fred Heeren. Wheeling, Illinois: Searchlight Publications. 1995. ISBN 1-885849-51-6. There have been two more recent editions.
The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side Is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1996. ISBN 0-8308-1529-S. Basically says that neither side understands or responds to the other, and neither side understands science. He calls his position “theistic evolution,” but it is very near my own, which I prefer to call “progressive creation.” Insightful, constructive. I wish I could be as clear, and as humorous.
The Genesis Question, Hugh Ross. Colorado Springs: Navigator Press, 1999. 1-576831116
A Biblical Case for an Old Earth, David Snoke. Hatfield, PA: IBRI, 1999
Christianity and the Age of the Earth, Davis A. Young. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1982This book fits in no other category; it gives a comprehensive presentation of the evidence for intelligent design, but the (agnostic) authors attribute it all to chance:
The Fourth Day, What the Bible and the Heavens are telling us about the Creation, Howard J. VanTill. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. 1986. ISBN 0-80028-0178-1
Science Held Hostage, What's Wrong with Creation Science AND Evolutionism, Howard J. VanTill, Davis A. Young, Clarence Menninga. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity. 1988. ISBN 0-8308-1253-9
Portraits of Creation, Biblical and Scientific Perspectives on the World's Formation, Howard J. VanTill ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. 1990. ISBN 0-8028-0485-3
The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church’s Response to Extrabibilical Evidence, Davis A. Young. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995. ISBN 0-8028-0719-4
The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler. New York: Oxford University. 1986. ISBN 0-19-851949-4
An atheist criticizing the Big Bang:
The Big Bang Never Happened, Eric Lerner. New York: Random House. 1991. ISBN 0-8129-1853-3. His viewpoint is not generally accepted by the scientific community. Among other things, he denies the Second Law of thermodynamics!This book is a history of creationism by a former Seventh-Day-Adventist who now describes himself as an agnostic, and attributes his loss of faith to his disillusionment with recent-creationism. Ironically, the specific case he cites is the multiple layers of petrified forests in Yellowstone Park, which the geologists themselves have since reinterpreted under pressure of recent-creationists’ study of the detailed characteristics of the formation.
The Creationists, The Evolution of Scientific Creationism, Ronald L. Numbers. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1992. ISBN 0-679-40104-0