says the Universe is about 13.7 billion years old while the Bible says
the Earth is between 6000 and 10,000 years of age.
The Age of the
Universe is directly related to the size
of the Universe.
Astronomers use a
number of different methods to
determine how far away
planets, stars, nebula and galaxies are. For nearby planets,
and stars a simple method using trigonometric functions works well.
This method is also call Stellar Parallax
and is accurate out to about several dozen light years; however, the
measuered 118,218 stars to distances up to about 1200 light years.
A second method uses
the brightness of stars to
The problem with this method is that stars come in a wide
variety of sizes and brightness. To use the method with any
hope of accuracy one would have to know the real or absolute brightness
of the star. If you do know the actual brightness of the star
then you can use a well known law of physics to determine its distance.
Light from a source dims to the inverse square of the
Luckily a certain type
of variable star was discovered
to have a known
absolute brightness. These stars are called Cepheid
variables. The star
can easily be identified by its bright to dim cycle period.
This star then becomes the "standard
candle" to measure stars at greater distances.
As these stars are somewhat bright they can be seen at great
distances. These type stars can be observed in nearby
galaxies. We now have a method to use to measurements across
our galaxy and also to other galaxies. Nearby Cepheid
Variables can be measured using the Stellar Parallax method, thus we
have a confirmation with 2 systems giving the same results on
Astronomers are very
confident about these two systems of measurements.
Nearby galaxies are millions of light years away. Thus the
age of the Universe must be at least millions of years old.
There are several
other methods that Astronomers use to
distances, which extend measurements out to the edge of the observed
Universe. These other methods while not as accurate, indicate far
greater distances up to 10 billion light years away. Thus indicating
the age of the Universe is 10 billion light years away.
A light year is the distance light travels in
one year. This distance is about 5.88x1012
miles. This system of measurement also tells us how
long ago the light left the star it came from. So when you
look at the nearest star at 4 light years away; you are seeing the star
as it looked 4 years ago. If you look at the nearest galaxy,
Andromeda, you are seeing stars that existed 2.2 million years ago.
They are at least 2.2 million years of age, and 2.2 million
light years away.
Bible says God created the Universe in 6 days!
rational people will say that these
two accounts are very
different and both can not be true. If one is true then the
must be false. This would be a logic conclusion if it were
for Albert Einstein
and his theory of Relativity.
probably asking what
Einstein's theory of Relativity
says that "Time" is not constant and uniform. The flow of
time can be affected by 2 factors. First, if a clock is
moving at a high speed relative to the speed of light it will appear to
slow down. Second, if a clock is in a strong gravitational
field then the clock will appear to run slow to an observer not in the
BIG BANG: the
beginning of the Universe
Bang theory of the beginning of the Universe is one of the
most widely accepted theories in science today. The theory
states that all the matter in the Universe started from one very small
place and expanded outward to fill the space of the Universe we see
today. At the time of the Big Bang astronomers will all agree
on two major points.
- The Universe was very small and
- The Universe expansion was at very
approaching the speed of light.
Both of these extreme
factors would have brought the
Relativity into play. Time would have been warped by both the
very high density and by the very high rate of expansion. If
God was close by or in the Expanding Universe and was waring a Rolex
watch, the watch would have been running very slowly compared to our
clocks today. It may be possible that seconds were to God as
hundred, thousands, or even millions of years by our clocks today.
As God is the narrator in the story of Genesis, it is
possible that he experienced only 6 days in the creation.
would be like the astronaut, in Einstiens story, that travels to a
distant star and returned, to Earth hundreds of years later.
Everyone he knew on Earth had died of old age but his trip
had only lasted a few weeks by his clock!
I beleive that the
difference between science and the
story in Genesis
is resolved by Einstein's theory of Relativity and the Bible.
In the Bible it also states several places that, a day to
God is like a 1000 years to man1.
When you take
both of these into consideration, it may well mean that both accounts
states that what we observe is Relative
to our viewpoint. On Earth we see the Universe as 13.7
billion years of age, while to God, from his view point, the Earth is
but a week old. Einstein will say that both
observers are correct in their observations.
The First Three Minutes, A Modern View of the Orgin of
by Steven Weinberg (Basic Books, Inc. NY)
A Brief History of Time, From the Big Bang to Black Holes,
Stephen Hawking, Bantam Books, (Toronto, NY, London, Sydney)
Relativity, the Special and General Theory,
by Albert Einstein, Crown Publishers (New York, NY) 1961
A Matter of Days, Resolving a Creation Controversy, by Hugh Ross,
(Colorado Springs, CO.) 2004
Elegant Universe, Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest
for the Ultimate Theory, by Brian Greene, Vintage Books