Night Sky

Yes, folks: That's a Video!
The ICR’s That’s a Fact video series returns after a brief hiatus, with a video that differs slightly from normal in appearance, if not content. This video has a dark background, has animated pictures rather than the usual word soup and stock images for visual entertainment, and is even shorter than the usual. The first two, at least, represent a slight improvement over the norm, but as the colour is likely to do with this video’s theme, Night Sky, it’s unlikely to last:

We begin:

If you’re in the city you probably don’t get to see many stars in the night sky. But if you’re camping, live out in the country, or are on a ship at sea, you can see hundreds, or even thousands of them.

This is true – though I would hope that you would definitely be able to see ‘thousands’ when you’re in the country. I take it that the US has a little more light pollution than NZ. Normally, a set-up like this would be used to explain the concept of light pollution, by the way, but the ICR doesn’t make ‘normal’ videos.

From down here, stars pretty much look the same. But the Bible says that God made each one unique.

The Bible says that He made them (Genesis 1:16), and it also helpfully points out that they differ in magnitude (1 Corinthians 15:41). Which is more-or-less the same thing. But it’s all very well for it to simply claim this – some evidence would be nice.

Like our Sun. Did you know that our Sun is over a million times bigger than the Earth?

*Yawn* Yes. That is to say it’s mass is ~330,000 times larger, it’s radius is ~100 times larger, but its volume is indeed ~1.3 million times larger than the Earth’s. What of it?

That’s pretty big, but other stars are larger, like Betelgeuse, which is about a thousand times the size of the Sun.

VY Canis Majoris, the largest star known, is about twice that – it dwarfs even the orbit of Jupiter (if not Saturn) in radius. But again, these are but factoids, and not the most useful ones either.

And like stars, each Galaxy is uniquely designed.

This is a little like claiming that each pebble, or sand grain – which are, of course, all unique – are designed. Design is not contingent on uniqueness, and “in our experience” (which is what Paley’s Watchmaker Analogy, the core of much of the creationist argument, boils down to in the end) they are quite often mutually exclusive.

Astronomers estimate that there are more than 170 billion galaxies in the observable universe.

But what is the ‘observable universe’? It’s quite definitely a Big Bang concept, and sticks out here like a sore thumb. It makes no sense in the context of young Earth creationism to say that there is an ‘edge’ to the universe, billions of light-years away, formed by the fact that light from beyond has not yet had time to reach us. And yet said edge exists, which presents creationists with the famous Starlight Problem. Various solutions have been proposed, from the simple in the form of c-decay and similar, to the bizarre white hole cosmology. I’m not sure what the ICR holds to – both of those have articles in support on their website, both are rather flawed – but we’ll find no discussion of that here. Moving on:

And they all come in different shapes. Our Milky Way, for instance, is a barred spiral galaxy. And while other barred spirals are out there, none of them are quite the same.

Again with the sand grains – “none of them are quite the same” either, I’m sure. Too many variables, from the weathered shape of the grain to the state of the electrons in its component atoms. And the same goes for the galaxies – it would take divine action for them to be anything other than all different. But what does that prove, other than that God is clearly busy at the beach right now and can’t take your call about your sick aunt?

And that’s just one more thing we can be thankful for, as we look at the big and beautiful night sky that God made for us.

But why is the night sky beautiful? And why aren’t magnified sand grains, for that matter? This is the Argument from Beauty. To paraphrase Brian Thomas: “When do the ugly things come into the conversation?”

So this video, like most, is just a dance around a number of issues, without ever going into any detail. And they don’t even provide a ‘find out more’ link this time, so they really give me no leads.

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2 thoughts on “Night Sky

  1. “But the Bible says that God made each one unique.”

    — I think they’re getting more at somewhere it says something about “he knows each of them by name.” At least, that’s the reference I’ve often heard.

    • Psalm 147:4? I did a quick search while I was writing this and the 1 Corinthians verse was what I saw first, and at any rate identical twins still tend to have different names. 😉

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