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"Young Earth = Old Universe"
By: David Deschesne
Fort Fairfield Journal, December 20, 2006
For at least the past 100 years, Creationists and Scientists have been struggling to fit the Biblical timeline of creation into a universe that appears to be billions of years old.
According to the Bible, the universe is only 6,000 years old, but its great expanse indicates it must be billions of years older. However, new theories on time allow the earth and universe to paradoxically be the same age and not the same age at the same time. The key to the theory is the yardstick used to measure time.
According to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, clocks at a low altitude - or closer to a gravitational force - should tick more slowly than clocks at a high altitude. Observations confirm this effect, which some call Gravitational Time Dilation.
“For example, an atomic clock at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, ticks five microseconds per year slower than an identical clock at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder, Colorado, both clocks being accurate to about one microsecond per year. The difference is exactly what general relativity predicts for the one-mile difference in altitude.”1
This prediction was also tested in 1962, using a pair of very accurate clocks mounted at the top and bottom of a water tower. The clock at the bottom, which is nearer the earth, was found to run slower, in exact agreement with general relativity.2
Stephen Hawking, in his book A Brief History of Time, on page 87 describes an astronaut falling into the intense gravity field of a black hole by being observed by an astronomer a safe distance away. Each man has his own clock and appears to be running at the correct speed. As the astronaut gets closer to the event horizon of the huge black hole, or the gravity source, the astronomer would observe the astronaut’s clock ticking slower and slower. By the astronomer’s wall clock, it takes an hour for the astronaut’s clock to go from 11:57 to 11:58. And then a day to reach 11:59 The astronomer never does see the astronaut’s clock reach 12:00. Instead, he sees the motionless images of the astronaut and his clock getting redder and dimmer, finally fading from view completely.
Hawking doesn’t note what the astronaut would see if he could look back at the astronomer’s clock. However, if he did he would see the hands on the astronomer’s clock spinning faster and faster until they blur as he reaches the event horizon of the black hole.
The theory here is that in a bounded universe, clocks in different places, under different gravitational fields tick at different rates (in addition to gravity, velocity does also affect time, by slowing it down the faster the timepiece physically moves).
In the theory of relativity there is no unique absolute time, but instead each individual has his own personal measure of time that depends on where he is and how he is moving3 as well as how closely related to gravity (which is inherent in mass) he is.
During Creation, time on earth was likely subject to gravitational fields more powerful than in deep space. In Dr. Russel Humphrey’s book1, he theorized the universe started as an expanding “white hole” where a day on earth (Earth Standard Time) inside the white hole would have been equal to millions or billions of years zipping by in deep space (Starlight Standard Time) outside the white hole’s event horizon during the same period. Other theories show that velocity affects the rate at which time is perceived and measured, as well as gravitational fields affecting the actual speed of light itself by bending it rather than allowing it to flow in a straight line. Paradoxically, then billions of years in deep space during Creation ticked at the same rate as hundreds of years on earth, since earth clocks were subject to increased gravity and tick much more slowly. This intrinsic relationship between time and gravity may be able to corroborate the two different times, allowing the universe and earth to appear both “young” and “old” at the same time.
1. Starlight and Time, Dr. Russell Humphreys, Ph. D. ©1994 Master Books, Inc., pp.11-12
2. A Brief History of Time, ©1988 Stephen Hawking, p. 32.
3. ibid, p. 33