Another astronomy/cosmology related DpSU today. Apparently, “‘Wildly Unexpected’ Galaxies Defy Simple Naturalistic Explanations“. I see problems already…
First, the ‘Naturalistic Explanations’ are hardly ‘Simple’. And the explanation that Mr Thomas (the author, as usual) wants to substitute is simple as well: ‘Goddidit’, nothing more, nothing less.
But I will continue onwards anyway…
The crux of this article is that the current theories about galaxy and bulge formation don’t quite fit with the observations. Basically, it is thought that spiral galaxies such as our own acquire bulges in their centres over time due to cannibalism of other galaxies. However, some such galaxies don’t have bulges, and the reason why is a bit of a mystery. Mr Thomas quotes a scientist referring to the current models as saying “We don’t know how to prevent bulge formation when galaxies grow big via mergers.” This may be true, but that doesn’t mean that they never will, you understand. Betting on science never being able to explain a thing is always a losing bet in the end. Unless, of course, you seem incapable of understanding the explanation.
In short, as Mr Thomas again quotes, “galaxies are complicated and we don’t really understand how they form. It’s really an embarrassment.” I would really like to know the context of that quote, but unfortunately I don’t have a New Scientist subscription. This is probably a mistake, but those things are expensive. Is I’ve touched on before, some galaxies don’t have bulges at all, but others do. The reason behind this isn’t entirely clear. Mr Thomas claims that:
Part of the standard model is that early on, small proto-galaxies crashed into one another to become today’s massive galaxies—a conjecture that lacks observational verification. But even the conjecture holds that such crashes make messes and bulges, whereas close to half of the galaxies they observed are clean and flat.
Like with the whole transitional fossils thing, what would make ‘observational verification’ in the eyes of the ICR is unclear. The picture at the top of this post is of two (mature) galaxies colliding – though admittedly it’s creating a (beautiful) mess – while there is good evidence that the milky way is swallowing small galaxies now, without major mess.
As it happens, Mr Thomas is probably misrepresenting the scientific papers anyway, type AE style. The Nature ones at least seem to take the angle of working out what the relationship between Galactic Bulges and the Black Holes that inhabit the same parts of galaxies, more than anything else.
The ICR article makes a few mistakes, it seems. It uses both the Milky Way and M101 as examples of ‘slimline galaxies’, despite both of them having a bulge, last I looked. He also says:
Wouldn’t their billions of stars have had ample opportunity over billions of years to collide, especially in dense regions? At least some, but probably most, of those stars should have been bumped out of the galactic plane. But instead, their arrangement is as orderly as so many ink dots on a vast sheet of paper.
No. They wouldn’t. As the Master wrote:
Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.
Basically, there’s too much room for stellar collisions to be all that common. It is much more likely for them to slingshot around each other, in the manner of spaceships and planets. This could be a contributor to the bulge come to think of it, but I doubt it. And they’re hardly ‘orderly’, at any resolution.
Finally, a clue into the argument that creationism is not science is provided at the end of the article:
This thin, youthful appearance is no problem for the Bible’s recent creation account. And the mixture of bulged and “no bulge” galaxies is easy to explain as the handiwork of a Creator who crafted a unique signature for each of His cosmological formations.
You see, you can explain anything as a result of an omnipotent god. You can’t falsify it (prove it didn’t happen) or use it to tell you anything. If God could do anything, including making it look like he did something else, how can you use creationism to predict that any given thing did or did not happen. ‘Naturalistic Explanations’, on the other hand, can at least try, and have in many cases succeeded.
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On a almost totally unrelated note, in my Dinosaurs post I mentioned that:
creationists [such as those from the ICR] do not believe that we “face imminent extermination from a random space collision”
Now, read this. We do alright, we’ve just got lucky lately…