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Ages of Time: Astronomical
Astronomers have a severely restricted set of data on which to theorize and reach conclusions. It is worth remembering what the famous Astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington pointed out in 1926, "There are no purely observational facts about the heavenly bodies. Astronomical measurements are, without exception, measurements of phenomena occurring in a terrestrial observatory or station; it is only by theory that they are translated into knowledge of a universe outside".
Eddington said this before space probes had enabled us to approach the planets. His remark is still true for the heavenly bodies beyond Pluto. As noted in "Solid Ground" many of the conclusions about the planets reached after intensive study using the best available telescopes turned out to be wrong. The stars are much further away than the planets, far more difficult to study, and many of the conclusions reached by astronomical theorizing about them are likely to be at least as wrong.
We can immediately see that something is drastically wrong in Astronomy when we look at high energy cosmic radiation. As Soddy pointed out in his address to Nobel Prizewinners some cosmic radiation is traveling so close to the speed of light that the annihilation of a thousand uranium atoms would be needed to accelerate them to that speed. Rather than examine the possibility that the basis of their theorizing must be wrong astronomers have come to the conclusion that chance interactions of electric and magnetic fields in space form cyclotrons which accelerate cosmic particles to enormous speeds. As Soddy pointed out, such an idea is "as fanciful as the sorting demon of Maxwell that could upset the 2nd law of Thermodynamics.". But the astounding fact is that astronomers actually believe that such cosmic cyclotrons really exist!
Another example concerns observations of bursts of gamma radiation. Current theories of astronomy demand that the sources of these bursts must be so far away that to be detected as they are they must be caused by explosions so powerful they generate as much energy as the rest of the universe produces altogether. At least one gamma ray burst occurs every day, so the astronomer bound to current dogma must believe in incredible amounts of energy daily exploding into being.
And the Big Bang theory, which John Maddox, the editor of Nature, pointed out more than a decade ago is "thoroughly unsatisfactory" continues to "explain everything by varying the nature of nothing".
One could almost imagine the famous conversation between Alice and the White Queen taking place between an astronomy student and his professor :- "one canít believe impossible things". "I daresay you havenít had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes Iíve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
There is certainly reason to suspect that not all the wisdom of current Astronomy is correct. What of Astronomyís pronouncements of age? Most astronomical speculation of age comes from astronomical speculation of distance. So what then of distances? Dr. Neville Jones noted "A very common misconception, even amongst professional astronomers, is that telescopes provide us with a measure of distance. They do not. Exactly as with a microscope, the telescope is an optical instrument that simply provides an angular resolution greater than that of the human eye. ... A telescope does not "see" more distant objects; rather, it "sees" the same things as we do with our eyes. However, the telescope resolves these objects, or magnifies them. Just as when using a microscope to examine the detail of a flower, we can use a telescope to examine the detail and structure of the firmament. What we observe is therefore not things that are further and further away from us, but finer detail of the same thing." Astronomical theory transforms the detail into distance, more theory transforms the distance to age. As Dr. John A. Eddy, world renowned authority on the sun noted "I suspect that the sun is 4.5 billion years old, however, given some new and unexpected data to the contrary I suspect we could live with Bishop Ussherís value for the age of the earth and sun, I donít think we have much in the way of observational evidence in Astronomy to conflict with that."
There appears to be no observational evidence which conflicts with Bishop Ussherís age of about 6000 years. Astronomical ages are uniformly founded on theories, many, if not most of which may be deeply flawed. There are, however, a number of observations which present great difficulty for the astronomical time scale of billions of years. A selection includes: short period comets, planetary ring systems, supernova remnants, planetary details, and rapidly changing stars. Brief descriptions are given in Some Difficulties for Astronomical Ages.
A major problem with all astronomical distances and ages is that they depend on cosmology, the conception of what the form and structure of the universe actually are. This is looked into in Towards A Bblical Cosmology.