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Dick Elmendorf writes:

I…have a question about one thing in your “How Big Is the Universe” piece (BA #64, p. 10, Spring 1993).

You state flatly that “…the Bible teaches that the universe is expanding,” and you give nine references to back up that assertion, I cannot see how those verses furnish an unequivocal authority for such an idea.

All but four of the verses are past tense (”stretched out”), so could only refer to an expanded universe, if that is meant at all. Ps 104:2 has the phrase “…stretcheth out the heavens like a curtain,” and surely a curtain does not imply something continually stretching, at least not necessarily. Isaiah 44:24 combines “…maketh all things” with “…stretcheth forth,” and certainly God is not still making all things like the evolutionists claim, so the stretcheth forth would imply a past creative act, too. The same reasoning applies to Zech 12:1. Also in Isaiah 44:24, surely the earth is not now “spreading abroad” is it? Isaiah 40:22 again combines the idea of a curtain like Ps 104:2.


I agree that the present-tense passages talking about the expanding heavens apply either to the creation event or to a future event. Still, my argument that an infinite universe could not exhibit expansion holds. Neither could an infinite universe be created by expansion for the ”expansion rate” would have to be infinite which means that the concept of expansion is nonsense. The past tense terms, when contrasted with the present-tense ones, could also indicate that God actively expanded the universe at the creation but that it is now “coasting.” I guess I may be over reacting to what I see as a knee-jerk reaction by creationists against an expanding universe as if it were anti-biblical. It could also be argued that if the heavens were stretched out like a curtain that then there are folds in space and that could lend support to “bends” in the space-time continuum. Now there's something to think about.
As for the earth “spreading abroad,” I suppose the erosion of the soil onto the continental shelf could be interpreted that way (river deltas and all that). There have been proposals made that the earth has expanded since the time of the flood and that such explains the lack of sediment on the ocean floors, but although I am not antagonistic to the idea, I don't subscribe to it either.

The Nebular Hypothesis

Could you give me some information on the Nebular Hypothesis about the origin of the solar system?

You may already know this, but originally Laplace “borrowed” the nebular hypothesis from Immanuel Swedenborg who received it from the inhabitants of the moon and Mars during a seance. Laplace put some equations to it to give it respectability and the rest is history. The problem with the theory is that once the gas and dust cloud collapses to a certain point, the heat radiated from the central “protostar” causes the cloud to disrupt before planets can be formed. Theoretically, half of the energy gained during the collapse goes into heat and the other half goes into angular momentum. (This is called mechanical equilibrium.) If I were you I would not hit the angular momentum problem head on; instead, I would home in on the fact that according to the collapsing cloud theory, there should be no planets around any star, at least, not as observed.

Similarly the collapse of a galaxy from a cloud is also interrupted by the emission of radiation from its center, long before the center is dense enough to form stars.

As for the solar wind, I have not seen any numbers to support Page's claim of stars “aging” because of mass loss by blowing mass off into space as a stellar wind. Observationally, hot, massive, “young,” stars are seen to rotate quite rapidly and it has been supposed that they have no planets as a result. Once one gets to spectral types F and K (a bit hotter and more massive than the sun) they suddenly show a marked drop in rotation speed. Personally, given the sudden drop, I don't see how ”aging” via a stellar wind fits in with observation.

Response to a Question About Geostationary Satellites

The critic you mentioned is comparing the proverbial apples and oranges. In the first case he says that the satellite orbits the earth, but he only knows this because he can see the rest of the universe and the rotation appears to take place against that backdrop. In his imagined geocentric perspective, he has either thrown away the rest of the universe or else assumed that there was no relative rotation of universe and earth (that is, that the same stars would always be overhead at a given point on the earth). In the former of the critic's imagined perspectives, if only the earth and satellite existed, any notion of rotation or revolution would be meaningless. The latter is clearly not equivalent to the true state of affairs. The key to understanding the geostationary satellite in both the geocentric and heliocentric models is the presence of the universe. One might answer that if the geocentrists's faith holds up the stationary satellite, that then the heliocentrists' faith creates the universe.

Response to a Question On Quantum Mechanics

Thank you for your letter of 12 August with the enclosed review by Harpainter. I find a general misconception among scientists of all persuasions with the quantum theory. There is a Biblical basis for quantum mechanics simply because the universe is finite. This allows for two ”realities.” One applies only to the creation and it is allowed to be discrete (non-continuous) without violating either the sovereignty of God or his existence. The other, superior reality, is an uncreated existence, embodied by God himself, which need not be susceptible to physical measurement. Most scientists equate the two and don't see the distinction. In short, the creation may exhibit quantum mechanical effects, but God cannot. To equate the two is a type of pantheism.

I don't know if that clears up anything, but it is my understanding of this little-understood, highly mathematical field. What I'm saying is that God's nature is different from the universe's nature because the former is uncreated whereas the latter is created, and never the twain shall meet save in the body of Jesus Christ, and then only because he is the truth, the way and the life.

Helium3 Abundance and the Earth's Atmosphere

In your article and letter you mention that the “paucity of Helium” is evidence for a young earth. It is my understanding that it is not a paucity but an overabundance of the He3 (Helium atoms with two protons and one neutron) isotope when compared with He4 (which have two protons and two neutrons). In the introductory course in astronomy at the University of Rochester we were shown that He3 should escape from the earth into space faster than He4, and as a result, over the earth's alleged 4.5 billion years, almost all of the He3 should be gone: but it isn't. The escape of helium into the air from gas and oil wells cannot account for the ”aberrant” ratio, and hence there is an overabundance of He3 in the earth's atmosphere. This has led some scientists to suggest that the He3/He4 ratio was “reset” by a gigantic solar flare about 25,000 years ago. These scientists even saw the presence of glass in the bottom of lunar craters as evidence for such an event. As for the glass, it was noted by several of the Apollo moon missions and was of such a nature that it could not have survived on the moon for more than about 25,000 years: more evidence that the moon is young, for such a flare bright enough to form the glass on the moon would have done major damage to life on earth. No one speaks of the glass anymore. I wonder why….

Cox on Newton

Predictably, Douglas Cox did not like my article in issue number 65, page 11, (Summer 1993) which dealt with his theory that the firmament is the crust of the earth and that Antiochus Epiphanes corrupted the Bible so that people would never be able to recognize that the firmament was not heaven but the earth's crust. Cox maintained that Newton's discovery of his three laws (which are actually one, see The Geocentric Papers) cleansed the heavenly sanctuary of Antiochus' corruption so that now we see clearly that the firmament is the crust of the earth and that we should convene a new translating committee to correct the Bibles and versions corrupted by Antiochus. (This latter is my statement of the affairs, not Cox's.) Since Cox's letter is very long, and since he copyrighted it, I'll not reproduce it here. I'll just paraphrase the highlights. Cox claims that I'm dead wrong in assuming that God would preserve the Bible free of corruptions, even through translations. Cox maintains that God preserved it by hiding the truth between the lines in the original text [which no one living has ever seen or handled, so how do we know what was in it?] where people like Cox can cut through the corrupters' noise to recover the lost or hidden truth. Furthermore, Cox maintains that I am wrong in claiming that Antiochus corrupted the book of Daniel since that's were Cox found the “truth.” No, I'm not wrong, for Antiochus would have to have corrupted the meaning of the Hebrew tamiyd from ”continual” to “daily sacrifice,” otherwise, why would more than two millennia of Jews and Christians have missed the truth?

Cox maintains that in Psalm 12:6-7 the word of the Lord is compared to silver refined seven times and that could not be the preservation of the Bible since the Word of the Lord does not need refining. True enough, but the passage says words of the Lord, not word. What is referred to here is the refinement of the language into which the words of the Lord are being poured, not his word. Hence there are seven translations of the Bible into English culminating with the King James Bible, which is the Bible.

Of course, since I do not go along with Cox's claims, God's Spirit does not enlighten me; I am foolish because I refuse to remove a great stumbling block; I refuse to believe or appreciate the truth; I love darkness instead of light; I am arrogant because I think no one can figure out stars being cast to the earth in Daniel 8 (and Revelation 12, I might add); I think God is a dimwit because I expect him to say what he means and mean what he says; I don't believe that at times a year can stand for a day in the Bible; mine are all lame objections, Cox deals only with proven facts; I don't appreciate that since silver tarnishes, God's word [sic] can also tarnish as per Psalm 12:6-7 [see above]; I'm too stupid to realize that there are errors in the KJV, for I John 5:7 doesn't belong in the Bible because it is not in any Greek manuscripts but, instead, came from late copies of the Latin where it was added to support the flagging doctrine of the Trinity;1 praise be that Newton, the cleanser of the heavenly temple, confirmed his Unitarianism as a result; I am a legalist of the ”circumcision faction;” and Christians who promote geocentricity rely on statements now identified, thanks to Cox, as corruptions. I also don't know that geocentricity is absolutely disproven my modern science. Hey, all you physicists who are experts in relativity and cosmology out there, did you know that that heliocentrism has been absolutely proven? I'll bet you didn't. My University professors certainly didn't, either. But take heart, fellows and gals, you now have it on no less an authority than Douglas E. Cox that God is on your side and that you can go back to absolute space and time.

One thing is clear, Cox cannot read; for he evidently did not read my article, has not read any advanced physics texts or even some of the deeper history of astronomy books, and he certainly overlooks the presence of s's at the end of words in the Bible. I repeat (actually, I'm stealing this from Peter Ruckman), when a man messes with the Bible, God messes with his mind. Thank you, Lord, for mine enemies: they make my point every time.


1 Indeed, it appears that v.7 is omitted in the majority of Greek manuscripts. The verse does appear in a 4th century Latin translation (which antedates the so-called “oldest and best”), and it is present in 13th and 14th Century Greek manuscripts. But that's not all. In actual fact, the following ancient Greek Mss. include the passage: 34, 61, 88, 99, 105, 110, 162, 173, 181, 190, 193, 219, 220, 221, 298, 429, 629, 635, 636, and 918. In addition, 60 lectionaries contain it as do manuscripts R, F, M, and Q. Furthermore, Tertullian quotes it as do Cyprian, Augustine and Jerome. Now this might be evidence enough for the authenticity of the “Johanine comma,” but as if matters were not bad enough, exclusion of the seventh verse creates grammatical problems: for in verse 8, “spirit”, “water”, and “blood” are all neuter but “these three agree” is masculine and so cannot refer to the neuter “spirit, water and blood” but must refer to something else. The only manuscript evidence for the “something else” is v.7 as it reads in the Textus Receptus and, of course, the K.J.V. Needless to say, the doctrine of the Trinity is affected by the omission of verse 7.

Translated from WS2000 on 5 February 2006 by ws2html.