- (Photo: Reuters/Kevork Djansezian)
A recent episode of science program "Cosmos" featured criticism of Young Earth Creationism by its host, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
In the "A Sky Full of Ghosts" episode, Tyson made arguments against the belief that the Earth and the universe are only several thousand years old. Tyson pointed to the Crab Nebula, an outer space entity found 6,500 light years away from earth, as proof that Young Earth Creationism was wrong.
"If the universe were only 6,500 years old, how could we see the light from anything more distant than the Crab Nebula?" asked Tyson.
"There wouldn't have been enough time for the light to get to Earth from anywhere farther away than 6,500 light years in any direction. That's just enough time for light to travel a tiny portion of our Milky Way galaxy."
According to space.com, the estimated age of the universe accepted by mainstream science is 13.8 billion years old.
Since its television debut last month, "Cosmos" has garnered controversy for its occasional entry into culture war issues like the origins debate and the history of science in western civilization.
A reboot of the famous Carl Sagan series, "Cosmos'" opening episode stirred the ire of some by showcasing a cartooned retelling of the persecution of sixteenth century scientist and monk Giordano Bruno.
Portrayed as a victim of anti-science churchmen, critics argued that the "Cosmos" rendering of Bruno's life ignored key elements of the story, including his theological differences with the church.
Matt Philbin, managing editor of the Culture and Media Institute of the conservative group the Media Research Center, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that he believed the segment took an unfair jab at Catholics.
"An honest telling of either story would open the door to a discussion of what else the church had done over the years to preserve and foster scientific inquiry. That would never lend itself to a simple story of cartoon(ish) clerics stamping on knowledge and burning books," said Philbin.
"I understand the reverence a lot of people have for Carl Sagan's original, but space ships and cartoons are the stuff of Saturday morning TV, and with the host's obvious condescension toward Christians, the whole thing was dumbed down to the point of being unwatchable."
Regarding the latest episode, Answers in Genesis, a creationist organization that argues for a young earth model, took exception to Tyson's arguments.
In a rebuttal, Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell of Answers in Genesis wrote Tuesday that Young Earth Creationists "offer biblically consistent models to explain how we see faraway objects in space without attempting to tamper with the laws of physics."
"One such model is the anisotropic synchrony convention which is based on the fact – as Einstein recognized – that it is impossible to objectively measure the one-way speed of light," wrote Mitchell.
"We instead must measure the round-trip speed of light and simply agree that the one-way speed must be half of the total."