Star Struck – Quick DpSU

Blue straggler stars in the Milky Way (Click for larger image)

The Hubble Telescope captures blue straggler stars in the Milky Way bulge Credit: NASA, ESA, W. Clarkson (Indiana University and UCLA), and K. Sahu (STScl)

A survey of the centre of the Galaxy by Hubble has revealed a number of “Young Blue Stars”, which Brian Thomas claims could not exist in “standard long-age cosmologies”. They also don’t like the explanation for the star’s formation:

long-age astronomers have been forced to resort to a non-explanation that is indistinguishable from an appeal to magic: that blue stars somehow formed in the distant past through unknown, unobserved processes.

Actually, if you go look at the news release for the survey that Thomas links to, their explanation doesn’t seem to fit that description:

It is not clear how blue stragglers form. A common theory is that they emerge from binary pairs. As the more massive star evolves and expands, the smaller star gains material from its companion. This stirs up hydrogen fuel and causes the growing star to undergo nuclear fusion at a faster rate. It burns hotter and bluer, like a massive young star.

Make up your own mind…

The ICR also seems to have a problem with star formation in general:

The physical barriers to star formation by collapsing gases—the standard nature-only story of star formation—are prohibitive, because the denser a cloud of gas becomes, the more vigorously its particles repel one another.

*sigh* This is why you need to give ’em a good shock before they’ll collapse. See here and here.

They also argue that nobody has ever observed a star forming. What, exactly, is their definition of “observed”? Stars take time, a lot more time than we have been watching them. We can see, however, star nurseries – do these not count? Or are they disputing even that?

On a related note, the article admits that the stars are 26,000 light years away, still longer than their chronology allows. How do they explain them?

Why did I ask?

The scientific evidence shows, and the Bible clearly states, that blue stars were put in place on purpose recently.4

Naturally, the citation is to the Bible (there have been a lot of those lately):

“Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion” (Amos 5:8)

No mention of a purpose (or blue stars, or for that matter the whole starlight problem) there, and I have a hunch that he has misinterpreted the entire verse. Ah, well, no surprises here…

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The Earth Was Uniquely Created

I reckon I can swallow this category whole. It’s not really much, and I’ve covered much of it before.

Article I: Earth Was Created For Life

“It has been suggested that this page be merged into Earth Was Created in a Wonderful Location” (actually, if this was on wikipedia it wouldn’t last long for other reasons, but that’s not the point)

Basically, we go over he whole goldilocks zone thing that would be better served under the “Wonderful Location” title. But anyway…

So apparently, life couldn’t arise anywhere else in the solar system, but there’s life here, therefore the universe was created. Interestingly, they only talk about the other planets – no mention of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.

I would make the claim that we can’t say at this point that there really is no other life in the solar system. On earth, life survives on volcanic vents under the sea – this could easily be the case on other planets and moons as well (though not necessarily under a sea). We can’t rule out non-earth life at present, we just haven’t found any yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if, should life be confirmed on Titan or anywhere else, the ICR will immediately pronounce it to be evidence of the power of God or some such – after all, if God is omnipotent, why can’t he create life anywhere? They’ll also declare it to be proof that scientists are wrong if if is found outside of the goldilocks zone – they have no trouble talking about other outmoded ideas as if they are the last word in science…

Article II: Earth Was Created in a Wonderful Location

This article is broken up into two parts. It should be three and include the above article as well, but never mind…

The first part is about how, if we were located anywhere in the galaxy other than where we are (two thirds out and on a minor spur of a spiral arm) there couldn’t be life in the solar system. As I alluded to before, this doesn’t really help the creationist case. If God is omnipotent and created the world only a few thousand years ago, he wouldn’t have had to be concerned about this sort of thing. Alternatively, had life arisen via natural means some time ago, it could only have survived in such a place as this (if the premise is correct, which it may well be). Therefore, only in such a Wonderful Location could we be here talking about it.

The second part, entitled “Our Planet is Perfectly Located Within Our Solar System”, is not actually about the “goldilocks zone”. Instead, it’s more about how the set-up of the solar system (such as Jupiter and the Moon) prevents asteroid impacts on the earth. This is… odd. This is coming from people who believe the earth is only a few thousand years old, while the craters would have taken a few billion to build up via such a method that we could be conceivably “protected” from them. This section also suffers from the criticism I gave for the above – if God is omnipotent, why did he rope in a moon and a few planets to his work for him? Also, what makes our moon “unusually large”? If the moon is, what is Charon?

Article III: Earth’s Core Was Created to Protect Life

This article seems to be a pile of half-baked ideas that haven’t really been expanded into a full-sized article:

Our planet was created for life.

A smaller planet, like Mars, would be unable to hold our atmosphere, which protects us from meteoroids and keeps the temperature within the range needed for life.

A larger planet, like Neptune, would trap too much atmosphere. The pressure and temperature would greatly increase.  A  stronger gravity from the increased size would also trap harmful gases in the atmosphere.

Earth has a strong magnetic field. This protects us from harmful radiation from the sun.

Venus has a much thicker atmosphere than us, but is around the same size as we are. Titan is much smaller than us, with a much larger atmosphere than we do. And define “harmful gases”. All of these, including the magnetic field reference, have the same problems as the previous article.

Article IV: Earth’s Water Cycle Protects and Provides

A nice piece of water chauvinism here.

“Water is the most abundant chemical compound on earth” – what about Silica and Alumina? They’re pretty common.

This article is basically waxing lyrical about how the water cycle is such a wonderful thing. It doesn’t really help the “Uniquely Created” story though – Titan has a similar system with methane, while Mars probably used to have a water cycle as well. The article also implies that you need water for life. You need it on the earth, yes, but not necessarily anywhere else. There’s plenty of water on Europa as well, as it happens.

Annd that’s it for that category, and indeed all of the “physics” section, as the all the categories under “Branches of Physical Science” are empty (Even Radiometric Dating) excluding the “related articles”. I’ll go over them after I finish the “Evidence from Science” branch of the Topics tree.

Next up in the archives: Catastrophes.