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Question

What impact does red shift have on creationism?

red shift
Answer


Redshift, sometimes written as red shift, is a change in light wavelengths due to objects moving apart from each other. This is the electromagnetic equivalent to the Doppler effect, which occurs with respect to sound. The most commonly cited example of the Doppler effect is that of a passing train or automobile. As the machine approaches, passes, and moves away, the sound it makes seems to rise in pitch as it nears, and drop in pitch as it moves away.

So far as electromagnetic waves are concerned, the “dropping” of frequency as a light source moves away is redshift. The name comes from the fact that lower-frequency, higher-wavelength signals are in the red/infrared range, while higher-frequency, lower-wavelength signals are in the blue/ultraviolet range. When a light source moves toward an observer, the observer experiences blueshift as the frequency increases and the wavelength decreases.

Redshift’s existence in nature uniquely supports the Bible’s description of creation. Edwin Hubble, a famous astronomer, is credited with two especially interesting observations. Both are related to the observation of redshift. One is that, no matter which direction we look, stars and galaxies all appear to be moving away from us. Second is that, the further away a star or galaxy is, the faster it appears to be moving away. Taken together, these observations mean the entire universe is expanding—that literally everything is moving “outward.”

Hubble’s observations, combined with the work of men like Albert Einstein, Georges Lemaître, Arno Penzias, and Robert Wilson, established a striking idea. The universe constantly expands as time moves forward; therefore, as we look backward in time, the universe would constantly contract. At some point in the past, all matter and energy in the universe would have been contained in a single, infinitely small point. Now part of what is commonly called the big bang theory, these combined ideas flatly contradicted atheistic assumptions that the universe was eternal, collapsing, or cyclical.

This makes redshift a key empirical argument that the universe was created. In keeping with scriptural statements such as Psalm 19:1 and Romans 1:20, the more we see and learn about the universe, the more clearly we see that it was intentionally “begun” just as the Bible notes in Genesis 1:1.



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This page last updated: April 26, 2021