Are Astronomers Confused about the Cosmic Creation Event?

by Hugh Ross

A little more than a month ago the internet and popular press were abuzz about a paper published by a team of astronomers led by Nobel laureate, Adam Riess. Riess and his team reported measurements that indicated that the universe might be a little more than a billion years younger than the date determined from analyzing a map of the cosmic background radiation—the radiation left over from the cosmic creation event.1 As one web article commented, the new measurements are “upending one of the few things scientists felt certain about”2 and consequently “the birth of the universe is shrouded in guesses and hypotheses.”3 Another web article stated that astronomers “lost track of time”4 and quoted Riess in saying that “we’re not passing this test [the age of the universe]—we’re failing the test!”5

Such publicity prompted the Institute for Creation Research to post an article in which young-earth creationist physicist Jake Hebert asserted that the apparent contradiction between the two measures of the age of the universe was more evidence that “problems with the Big Bang are legion” and that “secular astronomers have wasted, and continue to waste, who-knows-how-many millions (perhaps billions?) of taxpayer dollars attempting to prop up a failing cosmology.”6

Is the big bang creation model really in as much trouble as these article authors imply? Are astronomers confused or feeling that their certainty about big bang cosmology will be upended? Is there a contradiction between the two measurements of the cosmic expansion rate?

Why the Answer Is No…

Are Astronomers Confused about the Cosmic Creation Event?