The Speed Of Light And The Age Of The Universe 

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

The Bible teaches that the Earth is relatively young, meaning thousands of years old instead of billions (Genesis 1-5; Mark 10:6; Romans 1:18-20).

While there are dozens of scientific evidences which document this fact, they are often ignored by those in the evolutionary community.

Sadly, inaccurate dating methods are instead heralded as being accurate in determining that the universe is supposedly billions of years old (even when these methods are shown to be highly inaccurate).

It is usually when discussing questions of the age of the universe that the question is often asked, “What about the speed of light?”

Light travels at 186, 000 miles per second. Yet at this speed, it would take literally millions of years for the light from the stars to become visible to us, since the stars are so far away.

So, the question is asked: if the universe is only thousands of years old, then how can we see the light from the stars when it would take that light millions of years to be seen by us?  

These are excellent question; and fortunately, God’s Word (from Scripture and from nature as discovered by science) has some excellent answers.

First of all, we must understand that God created the universe to be mature.

The Earth and the universe were fashioned in seven days (Genesis 1; Exodus 20:9-11) so that mankind could be created and the Earth could be inhabited (Genesis 1:26-27; Isaiah 45:18).

Since stars were made for the purpose of beings signs and seasons (Genesis 1:14-15), then it follows that He made the universe mature just as He did Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:7, 18-25).

God could easily have created the stars, therefore, in a fully developed way in order to carry out His purposes.

Second, it is important to realize that the universe is expanding-and this means at earlier times in history, everything was much closer together.

Brad Harrub expounds on this excellent point:

“This is a scientific fact that can easily be proven by the movement of modern-day stars. This movement indicates the universe is not eternal, but rather is expanding outward. As Robert Jastrow observed, “The lingering decline predicted by astronomers for the end of the world differs from the explosive conditions they have calculated for its birth, but the impact is the same: modern science denies an eternal existence to the universe, either in the past or the future” (WW. Norton, (1977), Until the Sun Dies, New York, p. 30, emp. added). This constant expansion means that some of the light we are observing today originated from distant galaxies that were closer in the past. In other words, the light we see today must have began its journey when galaxies were closer (and also much smaller and less energetic) than today.” (Brad Harrub, Convicted: A Scientist Examines The Evidence For Christianity, 5064-5071 (Kindle Edition); Brentwood Tennessee; Focus Press)

On a side note: isn’t it interesting that modern science has confirmed the expansion of the universe, which the Bible has declared all along (Psalm 102:25-27; Isaiah 40:22; Jeremiah 10:12; Zechariah 12:1)?

In a day and age in which the Bible is often ridiculed by an unbelieving and skeptical society, it is refreshing to see another example of how the Bible is once again vindicated.

The Bible is not a textbook on science; but when the Bible teaches about science, it is correct.

Finally, it needs to be pointed out that there is scientific evidence which suggests that the speed of light may be decreasing, which means it was actually faster in the past, and those may not have taken as long to reach the Earth as has been previously believed.

Chuck Missler discusses some of this evidence:

“Light is known as one of the fundamental constants of nature. Yet, we’ve learned in recent years that the constants of nature aren’t so constant. The speed of light in a vacuum appears to have slowed down over the centuries, as documented by Barry Setterfield and Trevor Norman. [ 1 ] John Webb in Sydney has spent years determining that the fine structure constant “alpha” fluctuates depending on which direction researchers look into the heavens. In January of 2006, Webb and fellow physicist John D. Barrow published an article in Scientific American with the astonishing title: “Inconstant Constants.” [ 2 ] Barrow and Webb make the case that physical “constants” like the speed of light can fluctuate after all…That’s exciting. The observable physical universe is apparently just a mask that hides a deeper reality.” (Dr. Chuck Missler, Beyond Newton, 158-175 (Kindle Edition); Coeur d’Alene, ID; Koinonia House).

From these facts, there are some very powerful lessons that we can learn.

First, when the Bible speaks on a matter, it is correct.

Science has continually confirmed the Bible; and when skeptics have renounced Scripture, further discovery and evidence has vindicated Scripture.

Second, it is good to ask questions when studying the Word of God.

God commends this (Isaiah 1:18), and Christians have nothing to fear from science (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 Kings 4:33; Job 12:7-10).

While we should thus be students of science, we must be careful to watch out for that which is falsely called science (1 Timothy 6:20).

Finally, we should stand in awe at the amazing universe that God has designed for us.

In every way, nature testifies to God and His redeeming grace to mankind (Psalm 19:1-6; Revelation 10:14-18).

The God of Heaven loves mankind so very much that He sent His Son to die in our place at Calvary. Jesus, carrying the sins of the world, thus became the perfect Sacrifice for every sinner (1 John 2:1-2). He who knew no sin because sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died for us, was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

He has declared that believers who repent of their sins, confess their faith in Him, and are baptized will receive the remission of their sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38; 8:35-38; 22:16).

Why not obey Him today?

If you are a child of God who left the Lord for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life: do you know that apostasy will lead to Hell (2 Peter 2:20-22; 1 John 2:15-17)?

Why not today repent of your sins and come back to the Lord, confessing your sins to God and being restored to Him (1 John 1:9)?

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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