Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
On 29 March 2006 Answers in Genesis guest columnist Dr. Danny Faulkner (assumed Ph.D. in Astronomy), commented on whether or not a NASA news release was proof of the Big Bang.1
Dr. Faulkner gives a quick summary of cosmic microwave background (CMB), which is one of the great discoveries proving the Big Bang is a valid theory. He does an acceptable job of this summary. He goes on to say that as the big bang has run into difficulties, it has been "liberally modified" in order to explain the difficulties. However, two facts arise from these modifications. First, as the modifications were proposed, they were debated within the peer-reviewed literature before they gained general acceptance, thus whether or not they are "liberal" (any big bang idea is liberal to a young earth creation theorist) is a matter of opinion only. Second, as Faulkner has watched these modifications, he has had the opportunity to publish works that criticize these new modifications. A review of his works on his universities website revealed no such publications. Instead, Faulkner has made a name for himself by publishing works that avoid any issues of the age of the universe. If he truly has evidence that the big bang is false, why has he not published it in secular peer-reviewed publications?
I've heard the excuse that "but they will not entertain any research from creationists." Probably true, but think about what is at stake. If true, the lives of billions could be affected for Christ. Should not young earth creation scientists, out of their ethical responsibilities for the Gospel, not present evidence for it? Even if they are turned down, at least they tried.
Returning to Faulkner's article, he next explains that one of these modifications is the theory of inflation. I will not go into details about it here, as Faulkner gives some good background. However, for a proper understanding of the subject, examine the link below.
There were two indications that inflation theory would be correct. One is "E-mode polarization" and the other is "B-mode polarization." In March 2006, NASA did a press release, saying that the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) had detected evidence of E-mode polarization. Since this was one of the predictions of the inflation theory, it goes a long way towards proving inflation theory and the big bang.
The last few paragraphs are the telling ones for "reading between" Faulkner's young earth spin on this story. First, he says "Cosmologists now regularly take data from very different experiments and combine them into a single result, though press results rarely discuss the input of the disparate data." He then gives an example from February 2003. However, reading the article on the NASA website for the critique Faulkner is doing, there is no indication of any combining of experimental data from different sources. In this case, it all comes from WMAP. I thought that Faulkner would eventually go back and tie this into the inflation theory story, but he does not. Probably what he is referring to is that it "builds upon the earlier WMAP work," but it's all WMAP work...all the data comes from the same source!
Faulkner makes the claim that this building upon earlier data amounts to circular reasoning. He says "cosmologists interpret the data assuming inflation, and then used the data to support inflation." However, the polarization was expected, as part of inflation theory, many years prior to the actual discovery of the polarization by WMAP. It is not a matter of "interpreting the data" of polarization to prove inflation...inflation already included this data in the first place, we just had to discover it to confirm it. I see no circular reasoning.
The true revealing nature of this article is in the final paragraph. He says "However, even if B-mode polarization is found, the conclusion that it must result from inflation will be model-dependent." While true, this statement provides a window into Faulkner's thoughts, and the young earth culture in general. Even if B-mode polarization is found, young earth creationists will never accept it as evidence of inflation. No amount of evidence in the world can convince them they are wrong. It's like getting hit over the head with a club, and then grasping the wound and claiming that the club does not exist.
What is the final position of the young earther to evidence that is contrary to their point of view? Here are the words of another young earth creationist, Jonathan Sarfati...
We now have answers to both the Piltdown and Yellowstone challenges. We should remember, if confronted with other ‘unanswerable’ challenges to the biblical world view, that even if we don’t have all the answers, God does. And He, in His good time, may raise up godly scientists to discover them." 2
In other words, if it doesn't fit the young earth model, then it must be flawed, and re-evaluated until it does agree. Therefore, using this assumption, it is impossible to prove an old earth from their perspective. So much for young earth creation scientists honestly evaluating the evidence without any bias. They have already reached the conclusion that the earth is young, before they examine the evidence (for more, see Creation Scientist?)
For Further Reading
1 Have Cosmologists Discovered Evidence of Inflation?, published at answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0329inflation_indepth.asp
2 Creation Magazine, Volume 21, Issue 2. Published on the web at answersingenesis.org/creation/v21/i2/yellowstone.asp
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