I concur with MamaElephant.
I explicitly stated that I wanted to discuss creationist
ideas about the starlight problem. If anyone is possesed of sufficient masochism to wish to discuss the absurd and whimsical beliefs of Casseritides then may I request that they do so elsewhere. (I would also draw the attention of the moderators to any further posts by Casseritides on this thread).
Unfortunately I am having some trouble viewing the Creation Answer Booklet PDF (I just get an error message and then my whole browser crashes - there's an issue with my software, which I'll try to resolve). But I have read the AIG link you posted, so I will now raise some points from that for discussion.
Here's the link again: http://www.answersin...starlight-prove
That creationist page offers four responses to the starlight problem. Here they are with my initial thoughts:
1) The speed of light may not be invariant.
The AIG page more or less rejects this as a reasonable argument for creationists to make. I would simply remind people that it would not be sufficient for a creationist to show that the speed of light has decreased - they would have to show that it had done so to the huge degree that would be required to reduce the age of the universe by a factor of 1,000,000. Such a decrease ought to have been observed in the measurements of c that have been made over the last 100 years or so. No such decrease has been observed.
2) Time dilation.
The second response seems to argue that the passage of time on Earth may be slower than in the rest of the universe. This is the most interesting response to me as it does seem plausible in terms of general relativity. I have two questions/comments:
i) The argument suggests that God has placed the Earth in a "special" position in the universe. So astrophysicists would be broadly correct about the overall age of the universe. But why would God carry out this suggested "stretching of time"? What purpose would it serve? And is the creationist argument that this "time stretching" would be empirically distinguishable from the current scientific consensus? If not then it is an argument from non-naturalism (see point 4). If so then:
ii) If the Earth really is at the centre of the universe (and thus at the bottom of a "gravity well") then that ought to be empirically detectable. This is good news as it means that the issue can be settled. But initially I would say that such a configuration would mean that you would expect the density of galaxies in the universe to get higher the closer you got to Earth (just as the density of material increases as you get closer to the Earth's core (a gravity well)). This is at odds with what is observed - the homogeneity of material in the universe (at larger scales).
In addition (contrary to what Casseritides has claimed) relativity is an exact empirical science. The maths is incredibly difficult, involving tensor analysis, but nevertheless, it should be possible to calculate how deep and steep
the Earth's gravity well would need to be in order to dilate time enough that the distant universe was 1,000,000 times older than the Earth. It would have to be incredibly steep
to allow a significant time dilation to take effect even when observing objects within our own galaxy
, which is believed to be about 100,000 light years across. Where are the calculations?
3) Clock Synchronization
This seems similar to the time dilation question, but I found it harder to understand. I would need further explanation in order to discuss it.
4) Naturalism is an assumption.
I agree with this. I do not wish to argue against the possiblility of supernatural events. I would, however, suggest that by their nature supernatural events might be beyond the ability of science to detect. It would make creationism a lot less convincing to me if it simply picked the science that suited it, but when faced with incontrovertible scientific evidence against it, fell back on "naturalism is only an assumption". If so then the science that creationism accepted would be just as questionable as that which it did not. How would we know where the boundary between the natural and supernatural lay?
Ok - I wanted to avoid posting walls of text (sorry)
, which was why I invited creationists to briefly summarise their views. But as MamaElephant was the only one to offer something substantial I thought I'd start with that. I'd invite other evolutionists to take this as a starting point.