I Said I Wouldn’t Do This, But…

Ok, so the ICR did put out a DpSU for today in the end. While I did say only a few hours ago that I’d leave it until Thursday due to exams, there’s nothing like beating Dr Robbins to a funny Brian Thomas post…

What’s this one called? Rare Supernova Recalls Missing Remnants Mystery. This is a classic ‘Type Io’ DpSU – in this case, supernovae are (well, were) in the news so that’s used as an excuse to talk about an old creationist ‘problem’ that relates to them. The actual news story has got nothing to do with the ‘mystery’ so I’ll ignore it today.

Brian Thomas took the first picture on the Wikipedia Supernova page, so I'll take the second.

What is the ‘mystery’ anyway? According to the creationists, we do not observe as many Supernova Remnants (SNRs) as we would if the universe was millions and billions of years old. Brian Thomas quotes Russell Humphreys (he misspells it ‘Russel Humphreys’) thusly:

According to astronomical observations, galaxies like our own experience about one supernova (a violently-exploding star) every 25 years. The gas and dust remnants from such explosions (like the Crab Nebula) expand outward rapidly and should remain visible for over a million years. Yet the nearby parts of our galaxy in which we could observe such gas and dust shells contain only about 200 supernova remnants. That number is consistent with only about 7,000 years‘ worth of supernovas. (emphasis from the original)

According to Talk.Origins’ massive supernovae article – which I should really just be simply linking to and leaving it at that – all this originates in an article by Keith Davies in 1994. There are multiple problems with it – here’s the most glaring:

[U]sing Davies’ own methodology, the actual number of observable SNRs in our Galaxy (225 from Green (2000)) gives a value of 11,970 years, not 7,000 years. The 11,970 is the lowest possible value for the age of the Universe as derived from his methodology.

There are innumerable more. On a related note, not covered in the DpSU:

One of the most important assertions that the YECs make is that there are no third-stage, i.e. SNRs in the radiative stage Indeed, the very presence of just one third-stage SNR would completely destroy the YEC argument for a young Universe, as the amount of time a SNR takes to reach this stage is way beyond anything that the YEC time scale allows.

Despite what the YECs say, radiative SNRs do actually exist.

The Talk.Origins article then goes on to list half a dozen or so.

Basically, the YEC arguments rely on:

  • Outdated data
  • Misquotes
  • Plain ol’ wrong data
  • Some math mistakes

Same old, same old…


Back to studying. What did I miss in this because of the rush?

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