http://www.reasons.org/astronomers-age-of-universe
http://www.reasons.org/files/astronomers-statement.pdf

A group of Christians professionally trained in astronomical research has reviewed presentations by Drs. Danny Faulkner and Hugh Ross, covering arguments on the age of the universe. We appreciated the
civility and respect of the discourse on a topic often generating more
heat than light within the Christian community. Our analysis
concentrates on arguments made by the speakers dealing with astronomical
data and calculations, rather than about Biblical interpretation or
biological evolution, because the former are our areas of professional
expertise. We do note that, for example, one's view of Scriptural
interpretation and theology will affect the range of models one would
consider.

Our aim has been to assess the evidence for the age of the universe in the light of the arguments presented, using a standard scientific approach.  Science seeks to make progress in understanding the physical
world through inductive reasoning, rather than the watertight proofs
found in mathematics.  This means that scientific understanding advances
through an enormous amount of focused, incremental efforts with many
consistency checks in the context of a mutually accountable scientific
community.  Drawing sound conclusions about a general question such as
the age of the universe cannot be done on the basis of one argument
alone but requires many different independent experiments including
tests that could falsify competing claims. Any conclusions, along with
an evaluation of their certainty, are then made on the basis of the
overall weight of the available evidence.  There will often be some data
that appear to disagree with the rest of the evidence; this does not
automatically provide evidence for alternative hypotheses but often
means that our theoretical understanding is not yet entirely complete.

Ross's arguments provide solid evidence that the universe is billions of years old.  He presents several independent arguments, based on a wide range of data, indicating that the universe and most objects in it
are much older than ten thousand years.  The light-travel-time argument
is particularly strong in both its basis in physical principles and its
simplicity.  Faulkner does not present evidence for a universe thousands
of years old but rather makes claims for isolated inconsistencies in
the case for great age.  While it is common scientific practice to look
for holes in well-established theories, the new contrary evidence must
either be very strong to counter the existing evidence for the theory or
else be supported by a new theory that readily explains both the new
evidence and the old. We judge that the "inconsistencies" pointed out by
Faulkner do not meet either of these criteria. In some instances the
observations are completely consistent with our current understanding of
these physical systems in the context of an old universe; in others,
while universally accepted interpretations don't exist today and our
knowledge is often still incomplete, such explanations are likely to be
forthcoming as observations and theory progress.  It is our professional
judgment that the weight of the evidence overwhelmingly supports a
universe that is billions of years old.



Gabriela Canalizo, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Department of Physics
and Astronomy, University of California, Riverside)
Gerald Cleaver, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Department of Physics,
Baylor University)
Kyle Cudworth, Ph.D.  (Director, Yerkes Observatory, Professor, The
University of Chicago)
Pamela L. Gay, Ph.D. (Executive Director Astrosphere New Media
Association, Edwardsville,  
Illinois)
Deborah Haarsma, Ph.D. (Chair and Associate Professor, Physics &
Astronomy Department, Calvin College)
Bruce Hrivnak, Ph.D. (Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy,
Valparaiso University)
Stephen Kane, Ph.D. (NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech)
William Keel, Ph.D. (Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Alabama)
Patricia Reiff, Ph.D. (Director, Rice Space Institute, Rice University)
Aaron Romanowsky, Ph.D. (Associate Specialist, University of California
Observatories)
Matthew S. Tiscareno, Ph.D. (Research Associate, Department of
Astronomy, Cornell University)
Rogier Windhorst, Ph.D. (Regents' and Foundation Professor, School of
Earth & Space Exploration, Arizona State University)
Donald York, Ph.D. (Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics,
University of Chicago)


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I think they are trying to garner support for the universe being much older than young earth creationists (YEC's) believe it is. While there are good arguments for both views, I wonder if they are not defending the validity of their Ph.D.'s based on an evolutionary paradigm with this post. That is the only acceptable view supported today in scientific circles and even though there are many graduate level scholars who are Bible believers as well as scientists, if you hold to a YEC paradigm, you become persona non grata instantly with regard to most institutions of higher learning today.
This post is a report written by the Christian astronomers whose names are listed at the end. (They were agreed upon jointly by Drs. Ross and Faulkner to do so.) The occasion was a presentation by Drs. Ross and Faulkner on the evidence each offers for their view of the age of the earth and universe. The astronomers' judgment was that Dr. Ross presented solid evidence for his view while Dr. Faulkner talked about some inconsistencies in the data rather than presenting a case. The second paragraph describes the way scientists evaluate the evidence for competing explanations - it's the cumulative case made for a particular conclusion, not that all the data has to be totally in agreement first. Conflicting data can mean that we just don't understand everything yet, which further research will clarify.
I liked the: "Science seeks to make progress in understanding the physical
world through inductive reasoning, rather than the watertight proofs
found in mathematics", comment. Math only works with valid data and the context, of a particular paradigm. Begin your equation with a false premise, and you will do nothing more, than extrapolate the folly.
Good point.

Richard K said:
I liked the: "Science seeks to make progress in understanding the physical
world through inductive reasoning, rather than the watertight proofs
found in mathematics", comment. Math only works with valid data and the context, of a particular paradigm. Begin your equation with a false premise, and you will do nothing more, than extrapolate the folly.
I think this is a significant statement because people who thoroughly know the subject are saying:

It is our professional judgment that the weight of the evidence overwhelmingly supports a
universe that is billions of years old.
So basically what they are saying is that Dr. Ross won a "debate". Wow....I'm sure AIG and ICR among others could come up with a list of guys with PhDs who would say otherwise.
It doesn't matter who says it, the question is: is it true? Do we ignore evidence just because we don't like its implications?
You see, I have found the sensible evidence to be that , it HAS to be a younger universe than what we are lead to believe. There are so many things that HAVE to change over time, and we have recorded those changes. Like the earth eroding down to sea level in 14 million years, the sun being so large at the time of the dinosaurs as to engulf the earth, earth lowing down in rotation, losing our moon as it drifts further and further away, oil under pressure without a single leak into the land over millions of years, EMF in such rapid decay, the oceans getting saltier, the planets heat being all gone by now.

Nothing can remain constant for such a long time. Whatever wound this universe up didn't make it a perpetual motion machine and we have a lot of evidence that, that is true. To repudiate my thoughts many excuses and supposed justifications are used rather than scientific evidences. Only "theory". Like the Oort cloud, and magnetic reversals recharging the earth's battery. JMO. :)

Arlene Peterson said:
It doesn't matter who says it, the question is: is it true? Do we ignore evidence just because we don't like its implications?
I don't think scientists believe nothing has ever changed in the world...

In any case, it seems to me that arguments for a young earth and universe are usually only persuasive to those who already are Christians and have a pre-committment to a young earth to start with. And many arguments seem to be of the type mentioned in the original post - pointing out minor inconsistencies or being unwarranted extrapolations of the data.
What scientific evidence makes the universe look old? What can we observe that makes us think, "Hmmmm, I think the solar system, and its sun has been in this way for at least 2 billion years".

Was it the watching other stars around the universe, dying in a nova, that makes us believe, our sun must be a billion years old? Perhaps it was the visualization, of how large our sun would have been, a billion years ago, and how the orbits of our planets, syncronized, so beautifully, over the changes of the "dynamic sol".

Actually, I believed the billions of years, until I was given real science to think about, then I realized how ridiculus, the whole concept was. So no,,, it isn't the idea of young earth, being the weaker argument, and people who concieve of the notion, being pre-committed.

Historically, it has always been about, eliminating the Truth of God's Word, and nothing to do with science.

Arlene Peterson said:
I don't think scientists believe nothing has ever changed in the world...

In any case, it seems to me that arguments for a young earth and universe are usually only persuasive to those who already are Christians and have a pre-committment to a young earth to start with. And many arguments seem to be of the type mentioned in the original post - pointing out minor inconsistencies or being unwarranted extrapolations of the data.
A couple of questions: what is "real science" and who determined that it was?

How do you know the young earth interpretation of Genesis is the only possible correct one?

If it's not about the science, then why keep arguing with scientific arguments?
But what do you say Arlene?

Arlene Peterson said:
I think this is a significant statement because people who thoroughly know the subject are saying:

It is our professional judgment that the weight of the evidence overwhelmingly supports a
universe that is billions of years old.

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