Stars and galaxies apparently billions of years old
How old are the stars, how old is the universe?
There are distant galaxies in the universe that are millions or billions of light years away and yet we are just seeing the light from them now.
So many people with that knowledge would say that obviously the universe is billions of years old.
Perhaps there is a different way of viewing this, but firstly let’s look at Hubble’s Law:
Hubble’s Law: galaxies moving apart
Hubble’s law, also known as the Hubble–Lemaître law, is the observation in physical cosmology that galaxies are moving away from the Earth at speeds proportional to their distance.Wikipedia [ii]
In other words, the farther they are the faster they are moving away from Earth.
The velocity of the galaxies has been determined by their redshift, a shift of the light they emit toward the red end of the spectrum.
Hubble’s law is considered the first observational basis for the expansion of the universe, and today it serves as one of the pieces of evidence most often cited in support of the Big Bang model.
The motion of astronomical objects due solely to this expansion is known as the Hubble flow.”
Hubble’s law can be depicted in a “Hubble diagram” which can be seen below.
Velocity (assumed approximately proportional to the redshift) of a galaxy is plotted with respect to its distance from the observer.
A straight line of positive slope on this diagram is the visual depiction of Hubble’s law:
The parameters that appear in Hubble’s law, velocities and distances, are not directly measured.Wikipedia [ii]
In reality we determine, say, a supernova brightness, which provides information about its distance, and the redshift z = ∆λ/λ of its spectrum of radiation.
Hubble correlated brightness and parameter z.
Combining his measurements of galaxy distances with Vesto Slipher and Milton Humason’s measurements of the redshifts associated with the galaxies, Hubble discovered a rough proportionality between redshift of an object and its distance. Though there was considerable scatter (now known to be caused by peculiar velocities—the ‘Hubble flow’ is used to refer to the region of space far enough out that the recession velocity is larger than local peculiar velocities), Hubble was able to plot a trend line from the 46 galaxies he studied and obtain a value for the Hubble constant of 500 km/s/Mpc (much higher than the currently accepted value due to errors in his distance calibrations).
We know that the universe is expanding, so logically we could roughly work out when they were all together in one place.
But I want to throw in an additional thought, which could seem trivial, but bear with me:
How old was Adam?
The Bible tells us that God created Adam in this way:
the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”Genesis 2:7
Adam’s apparent age was (say) 20 years old only one second after he had been created, if we take the Biblical account to be factually correct.
From just the dust of the ground, he suddenly became a living man comprised of bones, muscles, skin, etc.
His body which should have taken 20 years to grow and mature was immediately there.
How old were the plants and trees?
The plants also were created instantly and therefore if a bough of a tree had been sawn in two, the rings of growth would have shown a history.
But the tree that looked (say) 15 years old would only have been just a few seconds old.
How old are the stars, galaxies and universe?
In the same way that Adam was created instantly, one theory could be that the stars were also instantly created and they have got an apparent age built-in which is much greater than their actual age.
That could mean that the universe when it was created had a history, a central point from which the stars and galaxies were being flung from and they are all now still moving outwards.
That makes it rather tricky to work out the age of the universe!
What if the stars and galaxies had been created with an apparent age of billions of years old?
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”Hebrews 11:3