Re: Geometric evidence of an old galaxy

From: George L. <>
Date: Sun Dec 11 2005 - 10:23:03 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."

There's a good deal of truth in what you write. Wise's position is certainly more honest, & more respectable, than that of many YECs. A clear statement of some version of apparent age at the outset shows more integrity than do many YECs, who fall back on that only after their other supposedly scientific arguments fail.

& in theology, revelation ought to have priority. But an unwillingness to let science provide any input at all to the way we interpret scripture (which of course can't be identified totally with the plain meaning of scripture) is a de facto denigration of the goodness of creation.
George L. Murphy
Received on Sun Dec 11 10:27:47 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Dec 11 2005 - 10:27:47 EST