Conundrums in Genesis: Luminosity

The creation story in the first chapter of Genesis contains a number of items that are incoherent as well as incompatible with scientific discoveries. The development of light is particularly interesting. Here is what the book of Genesis has to say about it.

Genesis 1: 1ff In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 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. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Since neither the sun, the moon or the stars had been formed, what was this light? If the earth was formless then how could it revolve in front of a light source in order to separate the light from the darkness in a morning-evening cycle?

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

How did flowering, seeding and fruiting plants flourish on the earth in the absence of the particular light spectrum from our Sun? They need sun-light in order to photosynthesize food.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

The sun, moon and stars are created on day four – after three days when there was an inexplicable sequence of light separated by darkness, a morning and an evening. Where happened to the light that was created before the sun, moon and stars existed? Where is it now?

This sequence is incompatible with what we know about the evolution of the universe. Our sun was born long before there were any planets orbiting around it. The moon is the result of the collision of the proto earth and another inter-spatial body. The sun is a light source but it is incorrect to refer to the moon as a light: it is merely a reflector of light.

Star Formation
by Jon A. Covey.
June 16, 1997. Revised July 5, 2004.

A Creationist argues that god created all the stars during the Great Creation and therefore current star formation is impossible. He supports his claim with selected material from scientific papers and books written last century.

The man has an American College-Level Bachelor degree and a trade credential in medical technology. He has no credentials in astrophysics or in any related areas. He demonstrates his unfamiliarity with the very basics of the scientific method when he defines it as necessitating direct visual observation and subsequent replication of all events under investigation.

The main reference material that he uses to support his conclusion was written between 1968 and 1985. The Hubble Space Telescope has been in orbit since 1990 and has since provided a wealth of visual material showing the on-going process of star formation in our own and remote galaxies. The author failed to comment on any of this dis-confirming evidence although some would have been available to him at the time he wrote this essay (in 1997) and lots of it existed when he revised this essay (in 2004). The material that is available right now (2013) completely destroys this man’s arguments and the last remnants of his credibility.

Covey provides examples of the mathematics that he claims prove that stars could not still be forming. He draws attention to the advanced nature of the math in a manner that creates a the logical fallacy of Proof by Intimidation. This rhetorical trick is mainly used to refer to the presentation of a purported mathematical proof that is loaded with jargon and and obscure terms and formulae such that the audience is obliged to accept it or suffer the shame of admitting ignorance and lack of understanding.

This is an egregious example of intellectual dishonesty and a failure to follow the ethics and principles of good research practice.

A thorough debunking of Covey’s inexpert article.
Nov 11, 2009
=Rapid star formation spotted in ‘stellar nurseries’ of infant galaxies=

==The Universe’s infant galaxies enjoyed rapid growth spurts forming stars like our sun at a rate of up to 50 stars a year.
– -This is a Hubble Space Telescope observation showing the red ‘arc’ of the rapid star forming galaxy MS1358arc — seen as it was 12.5 billion years ago. ==
March, 2010
=Most distant star-forming nebulae observed=

=A faraway galaxy has been discovered forming stars at a rate of 250 Suns per year in four star-forming nebulae that stretch hundreds of light years across. The discovery bolsters evidence that galaxies formed stars, and therefore grew in size, much more quickly in the past than they do today.=
August 28, 2012
=Rapid Star Formation Observed in the Phoenix Cluster=

==A team of astronomers discovered the Phoenix Cluster, which is located 5.7 billion light-years away and is undergoing a massive burst of star formation with about 740 solar-masses worth of new stars being created every year.==
November 08, 2012
=The Universe Is Almost Done Making Stars=
= =In its youth, the universe was a roiling soup of star ingredients, with new stars forming rapidly. But now it’s much quieter, and things are not expected to get more exciting anytime soon, astronomers say. For the first time, astronomers have figured out the universe’s star-birth rate, and found that today, it’s 30 times lower than its likely peak some 11 billion years ago. As a result, all of the future stars may be no more than a 5 percent increase above what we’ve got now.= =
March 14, 2012
=Astronomers Get Rare Peek at Early Stage of Star Formation=
== Using radio and infrared telescopes, astronomers have obtained a first tantalizing look at a crucial early stage in star formation. The new observations promise to help scientists understand the early stages of a sequence of events through which a giant cloud of gas and dust collapses into dense cores that, in turn, form new stars. ==
March, 2012
How stars are formed. This contradicts the sequence given in the first chapter of Genesis where the earth and its plant life is formed before the sun.
April 17, 2013
=Astronomers Discover the Earliest Starburst Galaxy Ever Observed – One of the Highest Star-Formation Rates Ever Seen in Any Galaxy=

==Astronomers- -have discovered a dust-filled, massive galaxy churning out stars when the cosmos was a mere 880 million years old. This is the earliest starburst galaxy ever observed. – – HFLS3 is about as massive as our Milky Way galaxy but produces stars at a rate 2,000 times greater. These stars are forming from interstellar gas remarkably rich in molecules such as carbon monoxide, ammonia and water. Generating the mass equivalent of 2,900 suns per year, the galaxy is making stars at a rate as high as any galaxy in the universe, prompting the team to call it a “maximum-starburst” galaxy. ==
August 22, 2009
=Star formation in the milky way and nearby galaxies.=

A scholarly article enumerating the major discoveries of star forming sites in the recent past.

==The past decade has witnessed an unprecedented stream of new observational information on star formation on all scales, thanks in no small part to new facilities such as the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Herschel Space Observatory, the introduction of powerful new instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and a host of ground based optical, infrared, submillimeter, and radio telescopes.==

= =A star develops from a giant, slowly rotating cloud that is made up entirely or almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. Due to its own gravitational pull, the cloud behind to collapse inward, and as it shrinks, it spins more and more quickly, with the outer parts becoming a disk while the innermost parts become a roughly spherical clump. This collapsing material grows hotter and denser, forming a ball-shaped protostar. When the heat and pressure in the protostar reaches about 1.8 degrees F (1 million degrees C), atomic nuclei that normally repel each other start fusing together, and the star ignites. Nuclear fusion converts a small amount of the mass of these atoms into extraordinary amounts of energy — for instance, 1 gram of mass converted entirely to energy would be equal to an explosion of roughly 22,000 tons of TNT.= =

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