Re: Geometric evidence of an old galaxy

From: Mervin Bitikofer <>
Date: Sat Dec 10 2005 - 23:29:52 EST

George Murphy wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dr. David Campbell"
> <>
> To: "ASA list" <>
> Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 1:10 PM
> Subject: Geometric evidence of an old galaxy
>> >New Science "Sciencexpress" articles have been made available (for
>> the period 1 Dec 2005 to 8 Dec 2005):
>> The Distance to the Perseus Spiral Arm in the Milky Way
>> Y. Xu, M. J. Reid, X. W. Zheng, and K. M. Menten
>> p. 11209141<
>> They were able to use triangulation to measure the distance-just over
>> 6000 light years. As a relatively close part of our own galaxy, this
>> distance indicates that the light from other galaxies would require
>> well over 10,000 years to reach us, unless basic geometry doesn't
>> hold.
> Yes, this is certainly significant evidence (if any more were needed)
> against YEC claims. (Though of course "The light was created in
> transit" is still good for laughs.) But besides that, it shows the
> tremendous advance in astrophysical techniques over the past few
> decades. ~1970 trigonometric parallax was only good out to a few
> hundred LY. Being able to measure distances more than 10 times that
> is something.
> Shalom
> George
I recently read "Faith, Form, and Time" by Kurt Wise (a YEC) -- and
while I disagree with his theological arguments, I found several aspects
of his work refreshingly different from more typical YEC literature.
He did not follow the usual strategy of trying to make it sound like
'true' science is independently confirming everything the YEC would like
it to show. He pretty much states outright that his theology informs
his science (not vice-versa) and that his main motivation for thinking
of the earth as young is his straightforward (as he views it) reading of
scripture. He even states that from a scientific perspective there does
seem to be an 'appearance' of age which, of course, necessitates the
awkward or unconvincing explanations which themselves become a source of
levity for so many. But I found in all this a refreshing honesty; it's
as close to a concession as I've heard from a young earth writer that
science offers a lot of opposing evidence. Usually one hears how all
the ancient earth evidence is flawed or any young-earth evidence is
dismissed a priori or even ignored in a conspiracy. But Wise just lays
it out like it is -- a theological conclusion for which much of science
would have to be re-interpreted or even ignored. And I, for one won't
join in the laughter. Because, while I didn't find his theology
compelling, nor do I find compelling our modern attitudes showcasing a
kind of scientific arrogance.

I remember with shame occasions where I sat in the seat of a mocker, but
I am forced to remember that my own beliefs are the subject of mockery
for others (an atheist friend of mine tears apart everything of central
importance in the Christian faith and constantly reminds me how silly I
am to not be satisfied with the more 'parsimonious' explanations of
unaided naturalistic science -- occam's ruthless razor is the repeated
mantra.) Anyway, when the scientific community declares something so
obviously true, perhaps they are right. Then again academic communities
throughout history have been finding many things to be 'obviously' true
only to be the laughing stock of a future generation. There is nothing
wrong with staking out our allegiances on some position, but I have been
impressed with the attendant humility shown by many on this sight and
hope to grow in that myself. Because what goes around comes around. As
seen on a poster: "Lord, may my words be sweet and tender because some
day I may have to eat them."

Received on Sat Dec 10 23:37:12 2005

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