The Age of the Universe

Latest Creationist Thinking...Exciting Possibilities

"The most beautiful picture of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being." (Sir Isaac Newton, Principia, Book III, as cited in Newton's Philosophy of Nature; Selections From his Writings, H.S. Thayer (Ed.,) Hafner Library of Classics, N.Y. 1953, p42)

Y oung earth creationists believe - in the main - that our universe is somewhere around 6,000 years old. It is true, however, that some believe that 8-10,000 years could be closer. Nevertheless, we certainly refuse to accept the billions of years scenario which modern materialistic science has inherited from Uniformitarianism and Darwinism.

He Stretches Out the Heavens Like a Canopy...

Might This Be More Than a Symbol?

Could what we have always assumed to be a beautiful symbolic picture of a Creator God stretching out a grand curtain of the universe actually be a cosmological fact? Strange as it may seem, many are now considering this very possibility! This, after all, is precisely what Scripture says; moreover it can explain various problems.

We have to admit, however, that our view is not without its problems. How could galaxies which are millions of light years away have even been visible to Adam and Eve in such a young earth scenario? Does this make any sense? However, essentially we believe that it would be no difficulty for an Eternal and omnipotent Creator God to set up a creation which gave an appearance of age and maturity. Indeed, it is usually believed that Adam and Eve were placed in a garden which was in an autumnal state (ripe fruit available on the trees etc.,) since this garden appears to have been in the northern hemisphere. Therefore since it was plainly no difficulty for the Lord to create an apparently mature garden, so why not an apparently mature universe?

Some of the latest thinking from young earth creation science has involved looking agaIn at quite a large group of Scriptures which appear to actually describe the act of divine creation. Have we ignored some of these for too long?

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. (job 26:7).

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. (Isaiah 40:22).

I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself (Isaiah 44:24b).

Dr R. Humphreys Ph.D is probably the leader of a group of Christian creationists who have done much study on the scientific principles which might be involved in such Bible verses. The concept that God "stretched out" the universe over empty space is certainly intriguing. Numerous other Scriptures teach something similar, this is not confined to just one or two verses. Check out Jeremiah 51:15; 2 Samuel 22:10; Job 9:8; Job 37:18; Psalm 18:9; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 48:13; Isaiah 51:13 Jeremiah 10:12; Zechariah 12:1.

The concept of "stretching out" and 'hanging' the world and universe like a vast curtain, or canopy, seems to agree with the well-established fact that our universe continues to expand and it is now known that it was once smaller; so our universe continues to expand in every direction, moreover the speed of this expansion continues to increase! The creation commenced, therefore, when the 'stretching' and 'hanging' commenced. The sense of the Hebrew appears to be that the universe was flung out, or stretched out into a previous nothingness. Symbolic? Certainly, but very possibly based on sound cosmology, even if that is not fully understood at present. Moreover, it is obvious that this "stretching" is continuing since the outward expansion has not ceased. Science calls the force that causes the universe to continue to move apart, "dark energy." When pressed, however, scientists will admit that "dark energy" refers to something they don't understand at present.

If space can be stretched, then space-time can surely also be stretched. If so, it would be stretched more at the edges than in the centre, that is simply how 'stretching' works. Dr Russell Humphreys has calculated that, according to the stretching principle, time could pass millions of years right at the edges but only thousands of years at the centre. We know that time varies even on this earth but not by too much on this earth, yet going well out into space, time would probably get 'thinner' and faster moving. So a theory has been postulated in which distant stars would be seen in an advanced stage because of the difference in time (that is: time moving ahead slowly on an earth which could be at the centre of the universe but rapidly in distant space). If correct, this would mean that when we look up into the sky we really do see a millions of years old outer space but only because of the time-bending at the edges of the 'curtain.' For us, thousands of years would still be correct! There is much more to this and it is quite a complicated theory but it is based heavily on the biblical model of God 'stretching out the creation.' 'Starlight and Time' is the name of the book, or DVD, to obtain to read deeper into the original Humphreys theory. By the way, Dr Humphreys admits it is only a theory at present, he also admits that not all creationists agree with his model.

More recently Dr Humphreys has suggested that we should all look again at a group of Scriptures which seem to teach that the heavens themselves are but a fabric, or cloth. For example,

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! (Isaiah 64:1).

In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. (Psalm 102:25-26).

This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. (Haggai 2:6).

You can rend (tear) a fabric, or a cloth, a fabric can 'wear out like a garment,' and one can 'shake' a cloth too. Then, at the end of time, Revelation 6 states,

The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up,.. (Revelation 6: 14a).

Again, this is all very intriguing. So here we have a highly-qualified scientist explaining how such Scriptures seem able to explain much about the earth and heavens and it seems to fit with much known data. You can catch a video lecture by Dr Humphreys here. But, be warned, this is not easy material to take in, especially on first hearing.

We should stress that Dr Humphreys and others supporting his theory remain staunch young-earth creationists and reject the errors involved in so-called 'old earth creationism.' The millions, or even billions, of years old scenario would just apply to the far extremes of our creation because time passes much faster as we go further away from the centre of our Earth. Even now it is known that a clock placed on the top of a very high mountain moves faster than one placed at sea level, the difference is not huge but there is a measurable difference. So the suggested scenario here is that our Earth is indeed around 6,000 years old, but stars which are many millions of years away would work according to a different rate of time.

Other Views...

In fairness, one should point out that other creationists look at this subject differently, there is now even a school of thought that suggests that the stars and planets are not as remote as we have all been taught and that the sun and moon are incredibly close. Interestingly, these two schools of thought place our Earth - not the sun - at the Centre of the universe.

However God has done it, it remains the case that considerable evidence, good scientific evidence, exists to support the young earth principle. This evidence is presently ignored because it does not fit too well with the current secular and naturalistic beliefs of modern science. This website contains many articles on young earth creation science for those wanting to explore further.

Robin A. Brace. October 2nd, 2015.