Young Earth Cosmology Just Doesn’t Cut It

by Max Andrews

I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been quite busy doing research papers on theological fatalism, J.M.E. McTaggart’s arguments against the reality of time, and Einstein’s theory of relativity’s impact on theology.  While researching for my Einstein paper I chose to do a piece on his influence in natural theology by discussing his epistemic method and big bang cosmology.  I discussed how Einstein, Lemaître, Friedman, and Hubble collectively overturned young earth cosmology (if anything they were the catalyst in the overthrow).  I gave young earth creationism a voice with Russell Humphrey’s book Starlight and Time, which is supposedly the best model of young earth cosmology (Russell holds a PhD in physics from Louisiana State University).  I soon discovered that Humphreys made a cluster of errors in relativity.

I found this rebuttal by Samuel R. Conner and Don N. Page (Page studied under Stephen Hawking and specializes in quantum cosmology and black holes).  The paper made an interesting read because both parties had respectable credentials.  Granted, it is a technical paper so it may be a tough read, (Starlight and Time is the Big Bang).  I don’t have any rights to the paper, it’s publicly available at: The abstract is below.

The physics of Dr. Russell Humphreys’ new cosmological model presented in Starlight and Time is profoundly flawed and the conclusions drawn from this model are seriously mistaken.  An accurate treatment of the physics indicates that this model is actually a trivial variant of the standard Big Bang model, with its attendant implications for the age of the Universe and the Earth time required for light to travel from distant galaxies to the Earth.

I wanted to add a brief note about the speed of light and whether or not it changes [or has changed].  There are models consistent with a 13.7 billion year old universe that suggests a change in the speed of light.  Recent varying-speed-of-light (VSL) theories have been suggested as a possible alternative to cosmic inflation for solving the horizon problem, the problem of causality over long distances in initial inflation, suggesting that the speed of light was once much greater.  This is not a popular view since it is difficult to construct explicit models permitting such a suitable variation.  Other constants have been suggested to change (a theory of varying fundamental constants) in part due to superstring theory and eternal inflation.  Even so with these theories and cosmic models, there are still more-fundamental (in contrast to varying) constants in the parent universes (preceding universes in the multiverse models).  Even with a theory of varying fundamental constants Einstein’s equations [of STR] still stand in such models. (Andrew R. Liddle, and Jon Loveday, The Oxford Companion to Cosmology (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2009), 316.)  The speed of light is [approximately] 300,000 km/s.  Einstein’s E=mc2 states that energy is proportional to the mass of an object multiplied by the speed of light squared.  If c decays then that would imply that there has been a change in the quantity of energy in the universe.  This creates a problem for thermodynamics.  This would not be the only problem; many other constants would need to change as well to preserve the stability of a life-permitting cosmos such as Planck’s constant h.  Suddenly the objection is not only with c because that would in turn change all of physics. All of this would be done to circumvent an old universe suggested by a constant speed of light.


4 Responses to “Young Earth Cosmology Just Doesn’t Cut It”

  1. Here is something to ponder for the old earth cosmologist, which i shall further address in my book.

    How do we know how fast the speed of light is? The claim by evolutionists is that it takes 8 minutes and 12 seconds for the light of the Sun to reach the Earth. However, they base this on the scientifically unproven assumption that the Earth revolves around the Sun once a year. But, if the Sun revolves around the earth, then that means that it takes 365.25 times LONGER for light to travel than is currently estimated. thus, instead of 8 minutes and 12 seconds, it would take 49 hours, 30 minutes, and 27 seconds.

  2. Hello Max –

    With regard to Einstein’s equivalence relation (E=mc^2), your comment that variations in c over time would result in non-conservation of energy is not a necessary conclusion.

    Einstein’s relation doesn’t imply that mass is an independently conserved quantity. If energy is fundamental and conserved, then it is mass that would vary with changes of c, not the other way around. And this is not a problem for thermodynamics.

  3. With regards to Kevin’s comment: yes we could change mass as well as h when we change c. But are we really changing the universe when we do all that? Changing the speed of light is simple: we could, for example, decide that starting in 2015 one second will have ten times its current value. Then the speed of light, which after all is just distance/time, would be ten times faster. But c is so fundamental to physics that we would have to go through and change every constant that depended on time. And it is nonintuitive, but true, that mass is related to time through E=mc^2.

    I spent some time studying Setterfield’s ideas on changing c, and came to the conclusion that if c changes, so must the orbital velocity of the earth around the sun. In General Relativity, spacial curvature is related to the mass/energy system by the constant 8piG/c^4. So to keep the sun/earth system stable, if c were 10 times what it is now, G would have to be 10,000 times its current value! The same results occur in a Newtonian system. If c were 10 times more, mass would be 100 times less. Plugging these values into G*M1*M2/r^2 we can see that M1*M2* is 10,000 times less, so G needs to be 10,000 times more to keep a stable earth/sun system. Same result as in GR.

    The problem for changing c theory is that if G is 10,000 times greater and M is 100 times less, when we plug these values into the equation for orbital velocity: v=sqrt(GM/r) we find that the increase in v is exactly ten times. This is a specific example of what holds generally: orbital velocity v is directly proportional to the speed of light c. (I don’t have the expertise unfortunately to demonstrate this in GR.) So regardless what the speed of light may or may not have been sometime in the past, the earth has still gone around the sun about four and a half billion times in its history.


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