AN UPDATE ON LIGHT
In the realm of update over the years since SMR was written (1988-1992, and extended to 1997, 3rd Edition), there has been interesting development, as noted already, and attested in much at the head of Ch. 2 of SMR. Something may further be added in the area of astronomy. The astrophysicist Dr Jason Lisle in his overview at a relatively simple level, of current areas of data here. has many points to make on which we touch in a broader perspective. The outline is not least in pp. 44ff. of his fascinating work, Taking Back Astronomy.
Thus there is what is called a 'horizon' problem, in that neither on the naturalistic and uniformitarian nor on mistaken applications of the same, in a logically illicit manner, made by some critics rovinig into the creation mode, is there solution found. There is no room for mix.
The creation model in accounting for the universe, its objects and subjects divests itself from the nothing model, categorically and with infinite difference. Thus nothing being a concept of what is not capable of ANYTHING, being not even there (actually, neither now, nor in the past, nor could it be at any point in the future, since then in self-contradiction it would be "something with a future" which decidedly is not nothing): it is merely a word, malapropos, not an object, subject, or situation! As Jason Lisle points out, this is mere circularity, arguing in a circle. In this our home site the point is sometimes made that it is a matter, from one angle, of mixed models. To bring in the opponent's ideas and seek to work with them in another model is invasion, confusion, inclined to bombast in assumption, and ultimately meaningless.
This is mere confused entanglement, ludicrous in any context. Separating out the two approaches, naturalistic and supernaturalistic, you find that the former cannot account for the arrival of light on earth from the distances at which certain objects appear. This is hardly surprising. It helps at all times to remember what we are here talking about: the matters of the nature of the universe, its mode of being brought into being and its current position in relation to this, and attempts to explain it all.
Since nothing (with whatever wholly irrelevant and irrational additives as some naturalists often have brought into it, such as those with complex concepts in view, full of sound and empty here of significance), it follows that:
a) if it were initially ALL that was, it COULD have no future and we would not be here; and
b) if it were EVER all that was,
this deletes what is to be explained: this removes indeed the problem, but also the universe.
If however we continue with logic (and denying it removes in terms of coherence and consistency, from this approach the means with which to argue, denying its validity), then SOMETHING and not nothing, in terms of the total situation, must always have been the case. That it must be competent causally for the consequences (as with finding a new car on your front lawn for those who do not believe in magic), is the demand of logic; and what are these ?They are the universe we now have, where even characteristics operate to produce results, in terms of causation (cf. SMR Ch. 5 and Predestination and Freewill, Section 4).
This, as recent DNA studies exquisitely and increasingly make plain, involves a co-ordinated complex of often mutually supportive, multi-tasked work, chronologically astutely governed, mathematically intensely brilliant and in terms of size, with magnificently miniaturised functions. As Dr Denton*1 (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis) has long pointed out, here evident and active are functions far beyond our human capacities (cf. Genetic Entropy, by Emeritus Cornel Professor, Dr J.C. Sanford).
Thus the eternal, totally adequate God of creation must be there. Following logical necessities as in SMR, we find that He has even spoken, not only in DNA for the generation by generation construction of our race, but in comprehensible words, testable formulations and predictions, and these evidentially and in history, experimentally confirm, verify and validate what logic required*2.
God has not made man for a hell of vacuity, a clash with His reality as the Creator of truth, having all things of His desire and needing nothing, let alone what contradicts, invades and denies Him. He has spoken. Verification as noted above, and in the references, is on a massive scale.
God is, always has been, made a universe of what is amazing liberties, tests, tries, offers, remedies, is explicit both in what He forms and what He formulates; and models concerning the universe concerning Him as source, are thus infinitely deep and more appreciative of all the facets, than any possible naturalistic or other invention. Though the authors of these, trying strenuously and continually without success, to have it all just make itself, abound, their universes do not.
Well then, Dr Lisle points out that to endeavour to deal with the naturalistic model, where God is not around, and the fact that light is here which is apparently from a far too distant source to have reached us even in the magnified times the naturalistic model envisages, has here one of its major problems. It is no surprising development, that omitting the base, you find it difficult to mould the top tower.
Going beyond the most expansive dreams of naturalism, which tends to make time the creator, they have used the concept of 'inflation', a strange acceleration of major proportions in the speed of light for a shortish time only (like fashion sales, only for a short time). Unfortunately, but expectedly, this has problems, two of which are simple: WHAT started this famous acceleration, and what turned it off! What started this not currently obsereved inflation, and what finished it ?
The biblical model has no such trouble. Indeed, it is obvious at a glance. The Creator of space and time, of matter and the logically sensitive mind of man, for a reason, may have stretched out the universe, and done so to indicate His own handiwork (man is very often inclined to ignore it or scoff at it). He may thus well at some point have stretched out the heavens so that when this extent was deemed sufficient, incapable of any misconception, He stopped it. As is often pointed out, not least by Dr Russell Humphries, the Bible refers to such a thing, namely God Himself stretching out the heavens (cf. Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 44:13,24, 45:12, 48:13).
Thus references to this divine, creative action abound at the very constitutive level, for creation. The reason for it, the power to do it, the nature of the result, all cohere like the peace of a quiet Summer night. As to any transfer of data or light, in the case of creation where the laws of operation are quite distinct from those of maintenance, as is normal in any creation (like that of making a painting and preserving it): for the Creator: this facility is quite beyond any current residues of results of His creative work. These are by nature entirely different things.
Sometimes, in confusion, naturalistic atheists carry over their presuppositions into the Creation Model, scarcely. it seems. realising what they are doing. But it is perhaps a sign of their desperation. that In no field does it work, nor is that other than a verification. How could it when the necessary agency of God is removed in mental gymnastics, while trying to account for the size and style and wonder and work apparent in the creation. It would be a little like finding the best paper in an examination and then finding there was no student anywhere near that level, in a case where all were very well known and cheating was alertly excluded.
As to the temperature similarity, the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) over the observed universe, that is so impressive, this too fits wonderfully well in a practical fashion. Before the stretching out, the nearness then of the components of the universe, Lisle points out, would be very much closer, enabling a readier heat exchange, as basic to the observed very close uniformity.
Thus the unnaturally naturalistic Model has no solution in this sphere as repeatedly is the case in others, while the Creation Model not only has answers, but they seem so natural as almost to be expected; and certainly there is coverage of the point not only once, but often, in the revealed Revelation of God in the Bible (cf. Isaiah 41, 44,45, 46, 48).
Indeed, all uniformities, whether of the pervasive laws which enable predictions concerning astronomical or terrestrial physical objects, bespeak or imply a law-constraining force acting upon nature; and certainly it is more than a little ludicrous to suppose that nature, before it was there to do it, was the source... first making itself from nothing, although it was not there to do it, then applying itself. Nature is itself merely a department of creation, others such being maintenance, power distribution, consistency, origin and destiny. And of course, we are not logically going to make some kind of lucky dip situation, where to gain something new (and put it into code for action - the DNA), we have just to stretch a lazy hand and say, It came because some of the worst went. To call that simplistic would be flattery.
Going is not coming, and departure is not invention, so that evolutionary ties or tantrums are merely close to tautologies. We gained the better because we got rid of the worse! Small wonder in simple practical fact. there are results right back to the Cambrian, but the causes of such multi-method abundances ? of its vast coming to be, of the apparent sudden onsets ?
Never are they seen at work: scarcely surprising, just as in an Art Gallery you don't expect to find the artists at work. It is there to preserve it, not create it. THAT is done in order to have something (for the library or any other party): creation is an entirely different matter, and matter, a specialised creation with many laws involved, is not adequate except as a material basis for material things. Other things, like the mind and spirit which uses it, which are used in thinking about it, which can make deliberate errors, transcend its lowly but useful ways.
I once saw something like this summary of the evolutionary method: nothing times anything equals everything. But that is giving them logically far too much. Actually it is nothing times not anything which is presumed to give everything. Times means a sequence, and this has to be of SOMETHING, which therefore has to be there. The system of mathematics of which such things are part, has to be there with it.
For that matter so does the ludicrous fantasising Big Bang pseudo-hypothesis and the power mentally to envisage hypothesis, and the imagination often to be wrong. It is all there now ...
Amidst the other items of this begging the question Big Bang parade site, you also have to have compression and (then) expansion, which means pressure and available space (it is extremely important to have it there ready, and something to compress so that it might then suddenly first expand and then, as in the inflation theory, stop doing so.
That is the position, on the twisted atheist theory, the naturalistic thus having some sort of brakes and accelerator; and then again, you also need what has the potential to be compressed and expand and then stop, to be stretched out, and then arrested. Moreover, for pressure, you need force, and for force its generative means for it as well as for what is to be forced (you can't have things conveniently lying around when you ascribe nothing to the ultimate source). Likewise, for a universe clamped with laws which scientists so nicely find and express in mathematical terms, some from what makes laws, some from the idol called nothing, and indeed these to spice their nothing (after all this metaphysical self-contradiction), you need again, a logical structure of cause and effect... and so on.
It is not a matter of matter, with its finesse and electrons and protons and neutrons and quarks and mesons and its slavish performance of what is demanded of it by the mind which conceives them, and uses its contribution till it is done, de-energised of the huge amount of relevant work enabled. It is also a matter of mind which traces it, spirit which chooses (or decides against) it, the law, the structure and the logic which did not invent its unsparing systematics in igornance, but groomed what happened and so made it investigable, as now.
As if ITS source, this Munificent Provider is not indifferent to its use, or unaware of its limits and of the laws He so carefully enshrined in it, and to which made it subject. You are not here alone with matter (and all the other things necessary as traced above) but with its source, cause and when you ignore its provision, the consequences.
I do not suppose there has ever been so big a begging of the question. It is like a young man starting out on a career, and assuming he is a millionaire already; and forgetting the work part ... and who does it!
Romans 1 even spells out some of the ultimate reasons for such errors. It even spells out milenia ago, as the Age trolls towards its end, the passionate joining of increasing knowledge (as in Daniel 12) and increasing mythology (as in Darwinism's heart thrust -(II Timothy 4:1-4). As to these aberrations and this spurious axioms-exposing trip to the Bible-diagnosed results read in Romans 1: they do not relate to the deficiencies per se of the individual capacities of those caught, but to the condition of the human race before God, who with magnificent grace, has provided for one as for all who will take it, a remedy (cf. Galatians 6:14), in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:25ff.).
To set God at nothing, is not a bright idea, for you can never start, and without starting, never finish; but to set nothing as God and then as often hide this fact in pompous sounding words that are logically irrelevant, what then is this! It is a vary fair dynamic towards the destruction of the human race. Nothing does not go, and anything which it is specifies as present, does not go along with the theory model chosen.
Shakespeare had the precise phrasing applicable to it: Much Ado about Nothing!
*1 On various ideas from Denton, see News 57 and The Wit and Wisdom ... Ch. 4.
*2 See for example Ch. 7 of The Meaning of Liberty ... with Ch. 10 of the same work.