I am not trying to be argumentative, this is an earnest question, as this question got me in huge trouble when I was growing up attending a southern baptist Christian middle school. This question (and people's reactions to it) is actually one of the things that lead my away from the church as a teenager (which I later came back to).
If the speed of light is constant and we can see distant objects (stars, galaxies, etc) that are millions or billions of light years away how can we account for a young age of the universe?
- My father, at that time, was convinced that the speed of light has been slowing down since the creation of the universe. Although, I have never seen any credible evidence of this, and it would seem that measurements taken at CERN (and elsewhere) would be seriously affected if the speed of light was not a constant.
- My 8th grade science teacher said it was because objects used to be closer than they are now, and have moved away from each other over time. However, if the universe was only 10k years old, and two objects started next to each other and traveled away from each other at nearly the speed of light, the most distant objects in the universe would still only appear to be a little less then 10k light years away.
- God creating the universe with photons in flight, making the distant universe (and therefore past events) only appear to be taking places (or even existing), is certainly deceptive and I cannot accept it.
- Do YEC consider the age of the Universe and the age of the Earth two separate questions?
My question isn't 'how old is the universe?', or 'did the big bang happen?', or 'creation vs evolution'. It is simply this: how do Christians, who are YEC, reconcile this?
Some have asked, why I cannot accept that God created photons in midflight giving the appearance of age?
- In the video series @SeanDowney posted below, the presenter speaking against this argument shows a star that is 150k light years away that we observed blowing up. So, if God created photons in midflight then for 8k years God has been showing us a star that never existed and showed us an event (the start being destroyed) that never took place.
- This is a specious argument in general, because I can make the same argument that God created the universe 5 minutes ago and all the evidence to the contrary (physical evidence, our memories of the past, etc.) were all put in place to give the appearance of age.
In both these cases, God making the universe appear to be billions of years old, instead of 5 minutes old, or the universe appearing to be billions of years old instead of 10k years, involves deception on the part of God that I cannot accept God (or my conception of him) would perpetrate.