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There are too few supernova remnants for an old universe (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (There are too few supernova remnants for an old universe (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 CE401:

If the universe is old, many supernova remnants (SNRs) should have reached the third, oldest stage. We observe no Stage 3 SNRs and few Stage 2 SNRs. Both observations are consistent with a young universe, not an old one.

Source: Davies, Keith, 1994. Distribution of supernova remnants in the galaxy. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism. Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship.


CreationWiki response:

This seems to be an out of date argument. This happens in science all the time.

There are a few issues the Talk Origins that needs to be addressed. (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

3. Supernovas are evidence for an old universe in other ways:

  • Supernovas are evidence that stars have reached the end of their lifetime, which for many stars is billions of years.
  • The formation of new stars indicates that many are second generation; the universe must be old enough for some stars to go through their entire lifetime and for the dust from their supernovas to collect into new stars.

This assumes both the standard solar model and the standard model of star formation. In the creation model stars did not form from collapsing dust clouds. Furthermore a created star could start at any point in its possible life cycle and as such a star going supernova proves nothing about its age. It is only an indicator of age if all stars started out at the same stage. A created star on the other hand could be preset to go supernova the next day or billion years later.

This amounts to saying, your theory does not work under my theory so your theory must be wrong.

There is also another creation model that recognizes the experimentally known fact that the passage of time is local, not universally constant, according to Einstein's famous special relativity theory. With this model, even billions of years could transpire in a moment of Earth's time. Some anti-creationist physicists have dismissed this with cosmological arguments and have avoided Russell Humphreys' answers to some of their criticisms, while very few have bothered to give it due attention. See the reference to time dilation. See specifically How do spiral galaxies and supernova remnants fit in with Dr Humphreys’ cosmological model?.

Another point is that astronomers and physicists are discovering ever-increasing "anomalies" that contradict their conclusions, especially in the last few years leading up to this year 2005, and are revising their cosmologies.

So the above still holds: this amounts to saying, Your theory does not work under my theory so your theory must be wrong.

  • It takes time for the light from the supernovas to reach us. All supernovas and SNRs are more than 7,000 light-years from us. SN 1987A was 167,000 +/- 4,000 light years away.

If the the distant starlight problem can be resolved without time dilation, the distances would have no relation to time. If it is solved with time dilation, the universe would only be about 6000 years old by clocks on Earth, but could be billions of years according to deep space clocks.