Okay, sorry, it wasn’t the Hubble, it was the Spitzer telescope. And it wasn’t “new”, it’s actually a form of apologetics as old as the practice.
Via Christian News Wire:
Since Biblical times, people have put their trust in the Genesis account of creation. In recent years however, some have challenged the account and say there is no scientific evidence to support Genesis. It appears now that discoveries made by NASA’s scientist are confirming that the Genesis account is scientifically accurate. The idea of no scientific evidence to support it is now being turned upside-down by the very findings made in 2004 by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer Telescopes of proto-planetary disc that surround infant stars.
According to NASA scientist, data from these two telescopes is revealing that planets like the Earth are formed in the exact same fashion as described at Genesis 1:2, 3. According to NASA, planets form inside a proto-planetary disc of dust and debris, starting out in a formless and chaotic state in total darkness, as describe in Genesis verse 2. “Now the earth proved to be formless and waste, and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep.”
Now Blog Ubermensch Ed Brayton already got to this one but this story bears a bit closer analysis. Specifically, regarding just how many things you can get patently wrong and still be considered a credible story by Christian News Wire.
First, and most obviously, the animation that NASA made depicting the formation of a star and planet within a protoplanetary disc is actually based on new observations from the Spitzer telescope. All the observations that we’ve made to this point using Hubble are indeed important with regard to our knowledge of stellar formation, and even foundational, but nowhere in the animation is Hubble mentioned. That was added entirely by CNW presumably due to Hubble’s higher name recognition value.
Secondly, NASA has more than one scientist. Now, despite my English degree (one credit shy of completion), I’m not the best person in the world (much less this blog network) to criticize blatant grammatical errors, given there are probably four or five in what precious little I’ve written so far in this post. I make common errors like substituting “providence” for “provenance”, spelling errors that change the entire meaning of a sentence, and run-ons and comma splices that would make Bulwer-Lytton contestants flinch. All that aside, it’s fairly obvious that nobody passed this through any sort of grammar check or, hell, even editorial process. I strongly suspect, because of this fact alone, that Christian News Wire employs writers the way Yahoo famously has in the past — paid by the word, designed to pull eyes, and functioning solely to sell ad impressions to a niche audience — those who want their news as filtered through as many pages of the Bible as possible. Err, translucent Bible pages, I guess. Or something. Anyway.
And third, and most importantly, these goobers evidently have precious little understanding of the sequence of events in either account in Genesis. According to Christian Answers, and well… the Bible in Genesis 1, or the other account in Genesis 2, everything was created in a much different order than is claimed. Notwithstanding “let there be light” coming first, the sun was created on day four. After the Earth and “heavens” on day one. And the creation of vegetation (and “dry land”) on day three. This conflicts directly with the claim that first God created the sun (e.g. “light”), then the inner planets.
Is there anything at all correct about this post? Well, there’s a second sentence in the first paragraph that approaches true: “In recent years however, some have challenged the account and say there is no scientific evidence to support Genesis.”. I say “approaches” because in actuality, people have been disputing the account of Genesis for hundreds of years. It’s only recently that we’ve gained ground in convincing the public that reality doesn’t work the way Christians wish it did. We’ve gained so much ground on that front, in fact, that Christians are forced to misinterpreting their own texts to comport with reality.
I can’t help but smile about that sort of thing.