How Many Young-Earth Creationists Accept Genesis 1:16 Literally?

I wonder how many self-proclaimed Biblical literalists actually take Genesis 1:16 completely literally. I’ve asked before about the earlier part of the verse, which seems to imply that the moon is a source of light in the same way as the sun is. But today I’m asking about the very final statement, “He made the stars also.”

We can see stars in all their stages of evolution through our telescopes – indeed, we can see complete galaxies of them which the author of Genesis could never behold, and see those galaxies at various stages in their development.

I wonder how many young-earth creationists actually insist that those giant balls of plasma not have gone through the stages that we can see some of them going through with our own eyes (with the assistance of telescopes, of course). I wonder how many think it is worth fighting over their having come into existence instantaneously on a single day.

And if some of them do think it is important, I wonder why.

For a different way of looking at things than young-earth creationism, from a Christian perspective, see the book excerpt I’ve linked to on the Evolving Creation web site.

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  • Geoff Gummer

    Wouldnt most of them apply the theory that Dr Humphreys came up with in his book “starlight and time” ? ( It was based on faulty theology, but a few physicist friends tell me the science is feasible.

    • James Pate

      I read that book a while back. I’m not sure if I understood it entirely. He seemed to be arguing (if I understand him correctly) that God created the earth in a white hole, where the passing of time was different from outside of the white hole. And so six days could pass on earth, but outside the white hole (where, I take it, the stars were) millions of years could pass. That’s his way of explaining distant starlight travel. I guess that’s technically not a young universe!

      • Geoff Gummer

        yeah something like that. At the centre of the big bang, or rather because the big bang occurred, there was a alot of mass in a smaller area, which as it moved outwards has a lesser gravitational force, which meant time moved faster in one place than the other. So conceivably, time is still moving faster there.. I dont know.. it sort of made sense when I read it, but now it just seems like a futile way of explaining away an old earth.

        There may be some legitimately good science in it however, that explains some things that people had not thought of. But the premise behind it (that every thing that happens in Gen 1 is a literal description of events as though they were being observed in a lab), is of course, wrong.

    • David Evans

      My feeling is that the Humphreys model may be physically possible, but is completely inconsistent with the many observations of red-shift vs distance, cosmic background radiation etc which fit perfectly with the standard model. Also no-one has ever explained to me what else, apart from the Earth, is in the region where so little time has passed? Should we not be able to tell that from observation?

      Of course the real problem for Humphreys is that radiometric dating of Earth rocks, Moon rocks and meteorites all give ages of 4 to 5 billion years, which is consonant with the ages of stars inferred from stellar evolution.

      • Geoff Gummer

        David, highly likely. I’m not a scientist so I have no idea. I’m just a wannabe theologian 😛

  • Paul Tillman

    I’m no expert here, but the argument I was taught, which makes sense to me to support the young earth view, is that God created the universe with age. God spoke into being trees, not seeds, (or trees, saplings and seeds). The same could be extended to stars and galaxies. He could create them all at different stages of life, as well as the photons between that far star and us. Thus the universe was fully functioning after six days.

    • rmwilliamsjr

      that is the omphalos solution and even AiG recognizes it’s worthlessness

      ” AIG’s review of Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation (2002 edition) is introduced with a summary: “With heavy heart, AiG must give strong ‘thumbs down’ to beautifully-presented new creationist book.” Here is one reason for their negative review: “The ‘appearance of age’ model for how distant starlight arrived [page 25] is only one of many models now available. The author does not discuss shortcomings of that model, such as the fact that it requires God to have placed unnecessary indicators of age (like galaxies in the process of colliding) in the cosmos.” ”

      i think most people agree that creation with an apparent history of ongoing processes make God into a coyote trickster type of demon who deceives people for no apparent reason.

      • Paul Tillman

        Thanks for that reference. Like I said, I was just putting out a view I had heard for part of the discussion. I do, however, think that the rebuttal argument makes an unnecessary leap to assign “trickster” motives to a God who would create in this manner. I recall playing with plastic army men as a child. Sometimes I set up my two armies on different sides and then brought them together in battle as I played. Other times I set up a battle in progress, and played from there. There is no decpetion intended, it is just where and how I chose to begin.

        • rmwilliamsjr

          take a specific example of a process like the formation of lake varves.
          there are at least 100k years of deposition available in several places, maybe 150k. not just a single layer per year but a well defined larger to smaller particle size with pollen.
          now creation with apparent age hypothesis proposes that 6k or so of these varves are true-real-literal history and accessible to science, but somewhere there is a point where all the older varves are created “poof” by God in the beginning with an appearance of being a continuous process but not really. this is why people call it, rightfully i believe, deceptive.

          there is this great creation moment curtain, with the false history projector behind it, that falls into place in the YECist system. where i can look from 2012 back to 6kya and see history but somewhere this curtain then appears and what was history is nothing but a projection, a facade, an illusion of history, the projection of apparent age.

          this curtain is only visible by faith in the YECist world, not every Christian can see it, but only a privileged few. it reintroduces a private spiritualist epistemology back into the public world of science. you must have the right heart felt YECist to see the universe as it really is, this great curtain of creation which invalidates all science greater than 6kya.

          • Paul Tillman

            So at some point our perceived history is artificial in this argument, and thus it is a “trick.” I understand that argument. Thanks. Perhaps I should have said that we can’t necessarily assign nefarious intent to the trick.

          • rmwilliamsjr

            but it IS meant to be deceptive, it’s designed to deceive everyone who does not read the Bible with a specific interpretative system in mind, YEC. not separating people into supernaturalists and naturalists(where i believe a genuine distinction is to be made) or Christians and not(another imho valid distinction), but separating Christians into YECists and not. essentially saying if you are not YEC the world is deceiving you if you look at anything over 6kya.

  • Gary

    Why it does no good to argue with Young Earth Creationists, and anyone that subscribes to inerrancy…(I think sometimes the human body produces its own drugs, which overrules logic), from Joel Watts’ web site…

    • rmwilliamsjr

      the discussion is for the lurkers more than the participants. a few YECs do change their minds as a result of reasoning online, but not very many.