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Astronomical Age of Earth and Heavens

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Age of Earth and Heavens
By: Dr. Charles Brewster

Why do we need to know this stuff?

We know from the Scriptures that God created the heavens and the earth, the sun and moon and stars about 6,000 years ago. But today we are finding out that the farthest stars appear to be ten to twenty billion light years away. If God created those stars about 6,000 years ago, how can they be farther away than 6,000 light years? Could they travel faster than light? And if they are twenty billion light years away, how could light get from them to us in only 6,000 years?

What is a light year? It is the distance light travels in one year. Light travels 186,000 miles in one second. When light leaves the sun it takes about 8 minutes to get to the earth (we’re about 93 million miles away). The light that passes the earth continues on into outer space at 186,000 miles every second. There are about 31 1/2 million seconds in a year so in one year light travels about six trillion miles. So when we’re talking about distances, it’s easier to talk in terms of light years rather than miles. Otherwise it would be like planning your vacation trip measured in microns (one millionth of a inch increments) rather than in miles.

And how do we really know that the stars are billions of light years away? Well, we don’t know for sure. We know that as a train comes toward us blowing its whistle, the pitch of the whistle is higher--the faster the train is going the higher the pitch. As the train is going away, the pitch is lower--and the faster the train is going, the lower the pitch. So if we knew the pitch of the whistle while the train was not moving, we could listen to the whistle and determine how fast the train was moving and whether it was coming toward us or going away from us.

Sound travels through the air as waves. When the source emitting the sound is traveling toward us, the waves appear to be “bunched up”--so the wave crests are closer together and the sound appears as a higher pitch, a higher frequency. When the source emitting the sound is traveling away from us, the waves appear to be “stretched out”--so the wave crests are farther apart and the sound we hear is a lower pitch, a lower frequency.

The same is true for light--it also travels in wave form. As a light source is coming toward us, the wave crests of the light are “bunched up” as they reach us--so the wave crests are closer together. This means that the light it emits reaches us as higher frequency light--it is shifted toward the violet end of the light spectrum. As it goes away from us, the wave crests are “stretched out” and its light is shifted toward the red end of the spectrum (lower frequency light). This is called the Doppler shift--if it shifts to a lower frequency it’s going away from you. If it shifts to a high frequency, it’s coming toward you.

By using a prism we can separate a light beam into its individual colors--each color is determined by the frequency of the light as it reaches the prism. This fact helps us determine the chemical make-up of far-away stars because, when heated, each element emits a characteristic pattern of light emitted at certain specific frequencies and that element will emit light at only those frequencies.

We have standard charts which have been made to show the various frequencies of light emitted by each of the elements. So if we have a glowing object, we can pass the light from it through a prism and compare the pattern we see to the standard chart. Each pattern is so unique we can tell which elements are present in a sample just by analyzing the light patterns. Hydrogen gas when heated emits its own unique characteristic pattern and starlight passed through a prism indicates that the makeup of the stars (including our own sun) is mostly hydrogen. But the pattern for most stars is shifted toward the red end of the spectrum which means that they seem to be receding at high speed away from earth.

Now we can measure the distance to several hundred stars directly by using trigonometry. This is called the parallax method. Using this method, we find that the closest star is four light years away.

Hundreds of years ago men believed that all the stars were the same distance away from the earth because they did not seem to change positions with respect to one another as we went from one side of the sun to the other. The problem was that our telescopes were not powerful enough to detect the small “apparent” changes in location.

Parallax Method

For instance, if you move your head side to side, near objects seem to “move” in relation to what you see in the background. And the closer you are to the object, the more it seems to “move” in relation to the background. The problem was, for thousands of years we could not see any stars “move” in relation to the background. But now, with our most powerful telescopes, we can see several hundred stars “move”.

With today’s powerful telescopes we can measure the locations of stars out to about 100 light years away by taking photographs about six months apart and using trigonometry. But even with our most powerful telescopes we can only detect a change in location of a few hundred stars.

So evidently, the universe is much larger than 6,000 light years across. But how can that be if God only created the universe about 6,000 years ago?

The answer lies in the physics of Black Holes.


Black Holes

Any object which has an “escape velocity” at its surface equal to or greater than the speed of light is, by definition, a “Black Hole” because no light can escape from it.

For hundreds of years we have known how to calculate how high an artillery shell will go if we know how fast it is going as it leaves the cannon barrel. We also knew from experiment that it would go slightly higher fired from a mountain top than from a valley (less air resistance and slightly less gravity). So men began to speculate on how fast they would have to fire a missile to get it to go into outer space. To do this, the missile would have to gain enough speed to “escape” the earth’s gravitational pull. This speed was called the “escape velocity”.

Newton’s calculus and theories of gravitation allowed him to work out the formula for the escape velocity (v) from any planet or star if we knew its mass and diameter. It was really quite simple--not rocket science at all. All we needed to know was the mass of the planet and the radius of the planet.

Escape velocity squared, v2 = 2Gm r Where G = the “universal gravitational constant”, the gravitational force which two, (1) gram, objects exert on one another at a distance of one centimeter apart. G=6.67x10-11nt.m2/kg2

m = the mass of the object

r = the radius of the object--the distance from the surface to the center.

So any object that attains a speed greater than (v) will be able to escape the gravitational pull of that planet. If it can’t attain a speed as high as (v) then it will be drawn back to the surface.

We know that nothing, not even light, can go faster than the speed of light. So any object which has an escape velocity equal to or greater than the speed of light is, by definition, a “Black Hole”.

Keep in mind that Black Holes do not necessarily need to be massive. If you notice in the formula above, as the radius gets smaller, the escape velocity goes up. So any mass concentrated into a small enough sphere will become a Black Hole. We can calculate the radius required to reduce a mass to a sphere small enough to become a Black Hole as follows:

The formula for the escape velocity is:

Escape velocity squared, v^2 = (2Gm)/r. Multiplying both sides of that equation by r/v^2 and changing v to c to represent the speed of light, we get:

Radius to the center of the mass, r = 2Gm / c^2.

This radius is called the Schwartzschild radius, named after Karl Schwartzschild who proposed it in 1916 after Albert Einstein had proven that light and matter were limited as to how fast they could go. Schwartzschild showed that any mass concentrated into a volume which was contained within the Schwartzschild radius was a Black Hole.

Using this formula we find that if the earth were concentrated into a ball about 3/4 of an inch in diameter (so that r = 1 centimeter) it would become a Black Hole. If the sun were concentrated into a ball about 1 1/4 miles in diameter (so that r = 1 kilometer), it would become a Black Hole. Since mass varies directly with the volume, and volume varies directly with the cube of the radius, with larger masses the density can be much less and still be a Black Hole. If the sun were 420 times its present diameter it would be a Black Hole even at its present density. Now that you know all this, you can answer the question, “Did God create the universe as a giant Black Hole?

The answer, if we believe Scripture, is, “yes!”


In The Beginning . . .

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Gen. 1:1-2)

So in the very beginning of God’s creation was water. (Hebrew--Mayim) In I Peter 3:5 we are told: “But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

This is very important! The earth was formed out of water and by water. But at the time of creation there was nothing but darkness and the earth was formless and empty. Then . .

. . . God said, “Let there be light,” . . . (“Yehee or.”)

Visible light is just one very small part of the total electromagnetic spectrum. The radiation emitted by a CB radio antenna is exactly the same as visible light--except at a different frequency. The same is true for AM radio stations, Ham radios, FM radio, TV stations, radar installations, microwave ovens, and infra-red light (heat). They are all photons, they are just emitted at different frequencies. And of all those mentioned, their frequency is less than visible light so they are said to be in the “infra-red region”. Their frequency is less than visible red light.

Those things which are in the “ultraviolet region” are ultraviolet lights, X rays, and gamma rays. Their frequency is greater than visible light so their energy is also higher. This is why these are all dangerous to living things--their high energy actually damages our cells.

So when God said, “Let there be light,” (“Yehee or.”) I believe that the entire electromagnetic spectrum and its associated fields came in to being--visible light, heat, gravity, magnetism, electric fields, etc. All of these were included in the “or” that God called into being at that instant.

. . . and he separated the light from the darkness.

Now the only thing that separates light from darkness is solid matter. If all of the initial creation was water, pure clean water will transmit light undiminished a long way. But if all of the matter in the universe was initially water gathered into one spot, it would make a blob of water about 2 light years in diameter--about 12 trillion miles in diameter. And if you recall, if the density is the same, the Schwartzschild radius expands as the cube of the radius of the sphere. This means that when God said “Let there be light,” the creation was a huge Black Hole! The Schwartzschild radius would have extended about 450 million light years out into space!

Also, as soon as God said, “Let there be light,” gravity also came into being. And in that crush of pressure at the center of that huge ball of water, unbelievably high temperatures would have been generated creating the heavy elements that make up the earth and planets. Now, isn’t this exactly what God said? That the earth was created out of water by water?

These heavy element are what divide light from darkness. And all this happened on the first day--the first 24 earth hours of the existence of the cosmos.

Then, . . .God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.

This word “expanse” is from the Hebrew word “raqia.” It means “a hammering out” as in hammering out gold sheets to make it expand. This expansion separated the waters above the expanse from the waters below the expanse. God called the expanse “heaven.” (Shamayim) (vs. 8) and this is where He places the sun and moon and stars. So this expanse is what we call “outer space”--but God called it heaven, shamayim.

The expanse, which God called heaven, has been “stretched out” in three space. Several Scripture passages speak of God “stretching out the heavens.” (Job 9:8, Ps. 104:2, Is. 40:22, Zech. 12:1) This stretched out expanse divides the waters above the expanse from the waters below the expanse.

So we know that there is water out there somewhere, beyond what we know as “outer space”. This may be the source for the “cosmic background radiation” that is such a puzzle to scientists. Everywhere in space we point our infra-red detectors we read a uniform temperature of about 3 degrees Kelvin. I think it is the “water above the expanse” that God has left out there. This expanse was started on the second day and may be still continuing since the universe seems to be expanding.

On the fourth day, God created the sun and moon and stars and put them in outer space. Now if the universe had not expanded beyond the 450 million light year Schwartzschild radius by the end of the fourth day, the universe would still have been a Black Hole. But no matter when it happened, as the first blobs of matter went beyond the Schwartzschild radius, strange effects would have occurred regarding the synchronicity of clocks on opposite sides of the Schwartzschild radius. So lets look at what we do know about the synchronicity of clocks in relation to Black Holes.

We know that several things seem to affect how fast time itself seems to “flow”. Scientists have taken two perfectly synchronized clocks accurate to one microsecond per year, leave one at sea level and take one to Denver Colorado (one mile elevation above sea level). The clock in Denver will gain five microseconds per year--time flows slightly faster in Denver because the gravitation is slightly less there.

The same is true for astronauts--while they are accelerating, their clocks slow down. And when they are decelerating on re-entry their clocks slow down. But while they are in outer space in free-fall their clocks speed up--a lot! We know these effects are there--we can measure them. So in the presence of large gravitational fields clocks slow down. When the gravitational fields are smaller the clocks speed up.

Suppose we have two astronauts synchronize their watches and then one of them started moving toward a Black Hole. If they continue watching each other, they will soon find that their clocks are not moving at the same rate--the flow of time is different for each astronaut.

The one who is stationary will believe that time is flowing normally for himself. But as he observes, the one who is approaching the Black Hole will seem to be moving in slow motion. The astronaut who is approaching the Black Hole will appear to be moving slower and slower as he approaches closer and closer to the Schwartzschild radius of the Black Hole. Finally, when he reaches the Schwartzschild radius, he and his clock will appear to stop completely and then disappear. No light can escape from them after that.

But for the astronaut who is approaching the Black Hole, he will think that time is flowing normally for himself. But as he observes, the stationary astronaut will seem to be running around like a madman. He will appear to be a video running at fast forward. As the moving astronaut approaches closer and closer to the Schwartzschild radius, the effect becomes greater and greater until the stationary astronaut and his clock seem to be just a blur of motion until they seem to be moving almost infinitely fast as he reaches the Schwartzschild radius.

Now this effect would be true no matter if it happened just as God said it did or if there was a “big bang.” The effect would have been the same. As matter moved beyond the initial Schwartzschild radius, its flow of time would be moving at almost infinite speed compared to our earth time clocks.

So consider these diagrams:

900 million light year diameter

two light year diameter ball of water

Schwartzschild radius

As the material of the universe expanded beyond the Schwartzschild radius (lighter area), it would seem to have a flow of time almost infinitely faster than the flow of time below the Schwartzschild radius, (darker area).

Schwartzschild radius

Earth

(Note:small earth)

As the universe continued to expand, only localized groups of constellations would still be entirely contained within their own local Schwartzschild radius. Instead of one large Black Hole there would be many smaller Black Holes.

Picture early universe

many smaller Black Holes

Waters above the expanse

As the universe continued to expand, the Schwartzschild radius would eventually collapse below the surface of the earth as we see today. But while we were near the surface of the Black Hole, our clocks would have been almost stopped in relation to the stars. So even though the earth was created four earth days before the stars were created, it is possible that even billions of years passed sfor them while our earth clock has only ticked off about 6,000 years.

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