Thursday evening was a fascinating night at the Apologetics Mega Conference. One talk focused on the incredible design God placed in this world, even in tiny microbes that are necessary for life. The other session dealt with one of the most common objections against biblical creation: how can we see light from stars that are billions of light years away?
Throughout the conference we have been giving away some resources to attendees. I (Tim Chaffey) was happy to see that three of my books, The Truth Chronicles (and new study guide), were given away on Thursday evening to a family with a fourteen-year-old son and twelve-year-old daughter. These are perfect ages for this series. I spoke with the mother of these two young people and she said they were very thankful for the books and excited to get into them. For more on these books, see our article Truth for the Youth.
Dr. Joseph Francis: God’s Global Life Support System
In his first talk of the day, Dr. Francis focused on some of the harmful bacteria and viruses, which account for a tiny fraction of all bacteria and viruses. Many actually have beneficial uses in their original environments.
In the second talk, Dr. Francis discussed some of the incredible bacteria and viruses that are necessary for life on earth. Some of them are vital for regulating nitrogen and other gases. There are bacteria that help clean up the oceans, such as the oil-eating organisms that helped clean up the recent oil spill in the gulf. There are even some that eat plastic containers that are dumped into the ocean.
God has thought of everything. This planet is perfectly capable of supporting and sustaining life because the Master Designer (Jesus Christ) has created it to be inhabited.
Dr. Jason Lisle: Distant Starlight
One of the biggest objections people have to biblical creationism is based on distant starlight. Since some stars are billions of light years away, how is it possible that we could see their light if the universe is just 6,000 years old?
Dr. Lisle is an astrophysicist and has devoted a great deal of time to this issue. He points out that it is hypocritical for those who believe in the big bang to use this against biblical creationists since they have a similar light time travel problem known as the horizon problem.
Christians have come up with several approaches to this complex issue and Dr. Lisle offered a brief critique of these positions.
Some have proposed that the speed of light was much faster in the past, but this would be problematic since many other natural processes seem to be tied to the speed of light (magnetic fields, radioactive decay, etc.) Dr. Lisle wondered if atoms could even exist if the speed of light was much faster.
Others argue that God created the light in-transit from distant stars, so that their light would arrive on earth by the time Adam was created. There are some difficulties with this view as well. God is certainly capable of creating light in-transit, but would he use such a process since it would be likely be deceptive? In other words, we would see supernovae (exploded stars) that were never actually stars that blew up. Dr. Lisle rejects this theory because it does not seem to fit God’s character.
One of the more popular views in the past fifteen years has been based on time dilation. Dr. Russ Humphreys and Dr. John Hartnett have developed theories that show how, during the course of a few days on earth, vast amount of time could have taken place the further one gets from earth. Dr. Lisle views these as plausible, but he doesn’t think they provide sufficient time in the distant areas.
His own view is known as Anistropic Synchrony Convention (ASC). The idea is that we do not know the one way speed of light. So it is possible that light arrives instantaneously. But don’t we know that the speed of light is 186,282 mph? Not necessarily. The constancy of the speed of light in a vacuum is based on a round trip time, so it only gives us the average speed of light. Who is to say that it doesn’t go faster one way and slower in the other direction? The laws of physics do not require that the speed of light must be the same in all directions.
People may object to this, but there is no known method for measuring the one-way speed of light. Dr. Lisle provided several arguments in which one could try to measure the one way speed of light, but most rely on the assumption that we know the one way speed of light. In other words, there’s no way to synchronize two clocks that are separated by distance without already knowing the one-way speed of light.
Even if Dr. Lisle's idea turns out to be wrong, we know that the omniscient and omnipotent God is capable of bringing light from distant stars in the required amount of time.
There's only one more day of the Mega Conference left. I'm looking forward to hearing some great talks from Bodie Hodge, Tommy Mitchell, and Steve Ham. Thanks for reading!