We discussed an interesting conundrum during our Bible study session on January 19 having to do with a challenge in creation science. (The discussion was on this lesson: http://ssnet.org/lessons/13a/less03.html.)
But first, is creation science unscientific or pseudo-science? Not according to Del Ratzsch in his books The Battle of Beginnings and Science & Its Limits. Ratzsch has a very wide understanding of science because he has a PhD in the philosophy of science. From him I understand that there isn’t any entity called Science who is running around out there somewhere, knowing all things, telling us what is true.
Instead, all humans start their understanding from assumptions and beliefs. That doesn’t mean that there’s no such thing as truth. It does mean that we interpret what we see in different ways.
For example, two people can use the exact same concrete fact as evidence for two opposing beliefs. I saw a cartoon drawing recently that showed two people tugging on the Earth from opposite directions, one claiming it was proof for creation science and the other claiming that it was proof for evolution.
According to Ratzsch, that’s the way it is. Creationists can’t beat evolutionists over the head with some piece of evidence to force them to believe, and the same goes for evolutionists.
So creation science is based on particular assumptions that evolutionists don’t accept, but that doesn’t make creationists medieval or unscientific. Creation science works if you accept the assumption that all the fossils were laid down recently in a world-wide flood, among other assumptions.
Anyway, the issue we were discussing was how the light from distant stars could reach Earth when the Bible says that stars and planets were created on the fourth day of creation, which is usually accepted as being between 6,000 and 12,000 years ago among creationists.
The problem is that some stars we can see in our galaxy are so far away from us that their light wouldn’t have been able to get to us yet if they were created such a short time ago. We wouldn’t be able to see them.
Some group members argued that our galaxy probably had existed for a long time before life on Earth was created, taking care of the light problem. But I asked, then why does the Bible say that the stars were created on the fourth day?
An alternative explanation that I proposed (without knowing if it’s true) is seen if you think about the creation of trees. When the first trees were created, some of them would have been hundreds of feet tall and looked centuries old. But of course when Adam first saw them, they were only three days old.
And when they were created, sap would have been everywhere inside them right away; God didn’t create them with no sap so they would have to wait while sap was laboriously pumped all over their insides. All the systems of the tree were created fully formed and functioning.
And so I submit that light is the sap of the galaxy: if this galaxy was created recently, all the light between the stars would have been instantly created as part of a fully-functioning system just like all the sap created in a tree. God wouldn’t make us wait for light to reach us before we could enjoy looking at the stars He made for us.
Again, is it foolish even to wonder about things like this that are so unscientific? Well, according to Del Ratzsch, science is the pursuit of truth through many different means. Leaving the supernatural out of science is useful up to a point, but there’s no logical reason for saying that the supernatural can never be a part of our scientific thinking.
(Praise Team Leader at New Horizons SDA Church in Republic, MO)