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Stars and galaxies are unchanging (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Stars and galaxies are unchanging (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CH370:

The creation model predicts galaxies constant and stars unchanging, in the main. They may decay, but they were created entire and did not build up over time.

Source: Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 13,24-25.


CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. The claim is baseless. The formation of stars takes on the order of millions of years, so we cannot expect to see major changes as we watch, but that does not mean the stars are unchanging.

This is not a claim about what is, but about what we should expect to see. In fact it agrees with actual observation, since the only real change ever seen in stars are supernovae, which definitely qualify as decay.

Given our knowledge of physical laws and our observations of stars and interstellar matter, we expect star formation to be occurring continuously, as molecular clouds form and condense. And we see molecular clouds, protostars, and young stars in all stages of formation, in close agreement with what we expect.

The problem with this statement is that stellar life cycles, in the current and generally accepted model of star formation, are based on observations of stars at supposedly different stages of 'evolution', so the statement is not a prediction, but a starting assumption. Furthermore, stellar evolution, in terms of star birth and ongoing development, has never been directly observed because of the time scales required under the current model. Labels describing stages of stellar evolution are arbitrary descriptors of the current (i.e. observed) characteristics of the particular star or type of star being described. That is, a "young" star exhibits the characteristics required of a "young" star by the current model of stellar evolution. The actual birth or creation of the star in question was not observed and so therefore cannot be ascertained in an observable or repeatable manner. Furthermore, molecular clouds in the interstellar medium have never been seen to collapse and experiments performed in the laboratory and in space to try and mimic the conditions required for collapse have failed to yield results. The current model, therefore, has no experimental or observational basis.

The existence of stars with differing amounts of heavy elements is also in good agreement with star formation over time, since the heavy elements come only from supernovae of earlier stars.

This interpretation assumes the Big Bang. The observed data are also consistent with a supernatural creation of the elements and of stars. Another problem for this claim is that even very old stellar populations (i.e. proposed population II stars) have traces of heavy elements present (i.e. elements heavier than Helium which astronomers refer to as metals) leaving astronomers to require an even earlier progenitor stellar population (population III stars), of which none have so far been observed.

2. Galaxies have changed over time, too. Quasars were more common in the earlier universe; there are no recent ones.

The age of quasars is dependant upon the interpretations of one property of these stellar objects, namely redshift. In terms of the Big Bang, quasar redshifts are interpreted as relating to their distance from us and their recessional velocity as a result of the expansion of space (i.e. the redshifts are cosmological in origin and relate directly to the Hubble Flow or expansion of space itself and not the proper motion of the objects themselves).

While the Hubble interpretation of cosmological redshift (as detailed in the Hubble Law) is currently the popular explanation, it is not the only explanation. A growing body of evidence, presented by reputable astronomers, seems to support the hypothesis that quasar redshift is not related at all to the Hubble Flow but rather is a function of the creation of these objects in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) associated with galaxies that appear nearby in images of quasars and that exhibit a greatly reduced redshift when compared to the redshift of the quasars in question.

In some cases evidence of physical interaction between high redshift quasars and low redshift 'parent' galaxies has been directly observed and in one well documented case (Quasar found in nearby galaxy) a quasar has been found to exist within 8 arcseconds of the nucleus of an active galaxy. This evidence pours cold water on claims of redshift/distance, and therefore on redshift/age relationships, which means that the above statement is essentially defunct.

We also see galaxies in various stages of colliding.

The claim that observations of interacting galaxies are of collisions is an assumption, based, again, on big bang time scales. It is possible that what is observed is the late stage of galaxy formation and the interacting galaxies are in the process of moving apart, rather than colliding. This view fits better the observed evidence for galaxy formation through a process of ejection (as described above) than the big bang assumptions.

Change as a result of collision is a form of decay. So this is no big deal, particularly under Dr. Russell Humphreys' White Hole Cosmology