The following is an excerpt from “UNRAVELING UNIVERSE”, a Time Magazine cover story from March 6, 1995 by Michael Lemonick and Madeleine Nash. SOURCE –http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,982619,00.html
My comments are in italics…
Tod Lauer is starting to feel more than a little fed up with his fellow astronomers. Not long ago, Lauer and his close friend and collaborator Marc Postman, of the Space Telescope Science Institute, in Baltimore, Maryland, announced the results of a telescopic study they had been working on for more than a year. The young scientists reached the astonishing conclusion that rather than expanding outward in a stately fashion like the rest of the universe, a collection of many thousands of galaxies, including our own and spanning a billion light-years or so, may be speeding en masse toward a point somewhere in the direction of the constellation Virgo.
So… what was once taken as absolute scientific fact has once
again… been disproved in light of new information.
Yet rather than try to assimilate this new finding, most of their colleagues are proclaiming that it must be a mistake. No one can explain what Lauer and Postman might have done wrong, despite strenuous efforts to do so. The analysis is incorrect, they say, simply because it doesn’t fit in with any existing theory of how the cosmos works. “Listen,” fumes Lauer, who is stationed at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories in Tucson, Arizona, “we knew this was a shocking result. That’s why we spent over a year trying to debunk it ourselves before we went public. If anyone can present a good argument why it’s wrong, we’ll listen.”
So… anything that goes against our pre-existing understandings
of the universe is of course wrong… instead of questioning our
Allan Sandage is angry at his astronomical brethren too, but his beef is just the opposite of Lauer’s. The Carnegie Observatories astronomer has spent much of his nearly 40-year career trying to measure the age of the universe; it’s a task he inherited from his mentor Edwin Hubble, the legendary scientist who discovered that the universe is expanding and that galaxies exist beyond the Milky Way. For decades, Sandage’s results have suggested that the cosmos is 15 billion to 20 billion years old or thereabouts. That fits beautifully with cosmological theories-but almost nobody believes him anymore. Instead they’re listening to a young whippersnapper named Wendy Freedman, who happens to work just down the hall from Sandage at the Carnegie’s center in Pasadena, California. Freedman and a group of colleagues have lately used the Hubble Space Telescope to peg the age at somewhere between 8 billion and 12 billion years.
So… within just a generations time the universe has lost almost
10 billion years of life… interesting. What’s next?
Tension between theory and observation is part of the normal course of science. It keeps both sides honest, and, at those rare times in history when the two lock horns irreconcilably, it can lead to nothing less than a full-fledged scientific revolution. But what’s happening these days in cosmology-the study of the universe-verges on the bizarre. Astronomers have come up with one theory-busting discovery after another, hinting that a scientific revolution may be close at hand. At stake are answers to some of the most fundamental questions facing humanity: What is the origin of the universe? What is it made of? And what is its ultimate destiny?
In conclusion, scientific observations change within even each
generation. Why do we put so much emphasis on the fact that
science has PROVEN an old age of the earth verses what the
Bible teaches – when science itself appears quite unreliable?
The most reliable piece of evidence then now appears to be the
Bible, which has remained the same for over 5000 years! That’s
what I choose to stake my faith on.