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Reason and Revelation Volume 27 #6

Off by Only 142 Million Light Years

In general, our modern society places a huge premium on “scientific” data. Often, modern “findings” are used to “prove” that God does not exist or that the Bible is not an accurate portrayal of verifiable reality. Scientific journals suggest that scientists have produced all the evidence any reasonable person would need to accept such theories as the evolution of humans from lower mammals or the Big Bang. But this simply is not the case. Data that evolutionary scientists present often are flawed, do not verify what they allegedly prove, and should be rejected.

For instance, Big Bang cosmologists assert that modern scientific observations of the Universe, using high-powered observation equipment such as the Hubble Telescope, confirm that the Universe formed from a huge explosion about 14 billion years ago. But when we consider critically the methods and findings of much that is called astronomical or cosmological science, we realize that lofty claims of factual information fall far short of reality.

For example, for the last 23 years, researchers thought that a galaxy named NCG 5011C was a huge galaxy far away from our own. Its small appearance, they suggested, was due to its great distance. But recent “findings” suggest that they were wrong—seriously wrong. Initially, astronomers placed the galaxy in the Centaurus cluster, which they believe to be located about 155 million light years away. [NOTE: A light year is the distance light travels in a year. The actual distance in miles is about 6 trillion.] The new information, however, seems to indicate that NCG 5011C is not a huge galaxy 155 million light years away, but is instead a dwarf galaxy only about 13 million light years away (Goudarzi, 2007). As researcher Ivo Saviane stated: “Our new observations with the 3.6-m ESO telescope thus confirm a new member of the nearby Centaurus A group whose true identity remained hidden because of coordinate confusion and wrong distance estimates in the literature for the last 23 years” (as quoted in Goudarzi, emp. added). To put this mistake in numeric form, researchers were wrong about the distance of NCG 5011C by 732 quintillion miles or 732,000,000,000,000,000,000! That is a considerable miscalculation! And that is assuming that the new “findings” are accurate.

While not all scientific research is plagued by such egregious error, the generally accepted idea that modern scientific “findings” trump every other source of information is simply false. In regard to scientific research in general, John Ioannidis stated, “Most published scientific research papers are wrong.... [S]mall sample sizes, poor study design, researcher bias, and selective reporting and other problems combine to make most research findings false” (as quoted in Kleiner, 2005). Ioannidis concluded that about one out of two (50%) randomly picked scientific papers is wrong (2005).

More specifically, astronomical findings that relate to cosmology—the study of the origin of the Universe—contain an enormous degree of subjectivity and inaccuracy. Geoffrey Burbidge and his wife Margaret were honored with the Gold Medal for Astronomy, the British Astronomical Society’s most prestigious award. At the ripe old age of 80, Burbidge said: “As you get older, you realize that you really don’t know very much. Cosmology has progressed very slowly. Mainstream cosmological theory is like the emperor who had no clothes” (as quoted in Davidson, 2005, emp. added).

In truth, information in science books changes from year to year. A science book is virtually out of date the moment it comes off the press. Yet the biblical text has stood for centuries. Its integrity has surpassed that of any book ever printed. And the scientific information in it coincides perfectly with all factual data. Truly, science texts will come and go, astronomers and cosmologists will miscalculate by quintillions of miles and billions of years, but “the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

REFERENCES

Davidson, Keay (2005), “Galaxy Like a 3-Year-Old With Bodybuilder Physique,” San Francisco Chronicle, [On-line], URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/10/10/MNGSEF 53O01.DTL.

Goudarzi, Sarah (2007), “Oops, Huge Distant Galaxy Actually Small And Close,” [On-line], URL: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/070312_giant_dwarf.html.

Kleiner, Kurt (2005), “Most Scientific Papers are Probably Wrong,” New Scientist, [On-line], URL: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opin ion/dn7915.



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