Re: apparent age

Paul Arveson (
Tue, 2 Apr 96 09:50:53 EST

In message <v01540b01ad85b97042a7@[]> Bill Dozier writes:

> On the "appearance of age" question, I allow that God most definitely
> *could* have created the earth with fossils already buried, light on its
> way here from distant galaxies and radiodecay products already in place.
> However, as the list of things gets longer and longer and the reason for
> doing such trickery gets harder and harder to discern, the probability of
> this having occurred vanishes. For one thing, I pointed out that our being
> able to observe various stages of stellar evolution is a curious thing.
> This point of view also implies, at least to me, that God has no intention
> of us trying to understand natural processes at all.
The best article I have seen on the "appearance of age" notion was an old
article in the Journal ASA by T. H. Leith, titled something like "Logical
Problems with the Thesis of Apparent Age". He gives strong arguments to the
effect that such a thesis is not just trickery, but absurd. I will try to get
this article uploaded to the server.

Another way to illustrate the magnitude of the "trickery" is this:

Age of YEC universe: 10,000 years = 10^4
Divide by estimated age of universe: 10,000,000,000 years = 10^10
Equals 10^-6, or one millionth of the time.

This means that 99.9999% of the history of the universe is an illusion.

Consider that the universe is 3 dimensional, and we can look out in a 3D space.
Then the volume of the observable universe is on the order of 10^30 light years.
The volume of the YEC real universe is 10^4*3 = 10^12 light years. Divide to
yield the volume fraction, 10^-18. This means that for the YEC,
99.9999999999999999% of the volume of the universe is an illusion.

If my numbers are off a magnitude or two, the conclusion isn't affected.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)
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