Our critics this week have commented on the recent article on the History of Astronomy in which we examined the biblical texts that touch on astronomy.  The first critic, Rubin, has clearly been influenced by the near-eastern mythology view – the idea that the Bible is a mythology similar to the surrounding pagan myths of the day.  Of course, there is no evidence to support this view and abundant evidence (both internal and external) against it.

The Pentateuch and books of history are written in the historical narrative style, and generally by eye-witnesses to the events in question.  This is indicative of recorded history.  It is therefore properly interpreted as history, not as mythology.  Furthermore, archeology has confirmed many of the events recorded in the Bible’s history.  The wisdom literature and prophets are written primarily in a poetic style, but are still conveying truth from God, and are not mythical in any sense.  Rubin asserted his opinion repeatedly, but was unable to provide any supporting evidence.

The other critic, Peter, was also uninformed on the issue, and was far less coherent.  His emotionally-loaded diatribe consisted mostly of insults, but with no supporting evidence.  Little children argue this way.  Normally, it is a waste of time to dialog with someone like Peter who refuses to be rational and will not even stay on topic.  But sometimes it is instructive because it reveals the lack of critical thinking skills typical of the most vocal evolutionists.   Enjoy.

Rubin: The claim based on translation tricks that the ancient Hebrews believed in a spherical earth is easily falsifiable by looking at other documents from the time period. I’ve attached a picture for reference.

Additionally, we see this cosmology reflected elsewhere, like in the flood myth where the ark’s levels correspond to the cosmological levels.

Dr. Lisle: You seem to have missed the entire point of the article. The Bible does not teach the mythical view you ascribe to the Hebrews. On the contrary, the Bible is correct when it addresses astronomy. It teaches a spherical Earth suspended in an expanding universe in which material is conserved. How do you think the ancient Hebrews were able to know these things, the expansion of the universe for example?

Rubin: No, Jason. You are reading your modern cosmological understanding into the Bible instead of studying how the ancient Hebrews who wrote the Bible actually understood the universe.

Frankly, your article reads like how Nostradamus fans like to interpret his verses after the fact to confirm their bias that he could magically predict the future.

Dr. Lisle: [Notice that Rubin provided no evidence to back up his claims. It is merely a question-begging epithet: using emotionally-loaded language, insults, and so forth to persuade without any rational reasons.]

Rubin: If someone on my research team was this sloppy, he or she would be having a pointed meeting with Human Resources and myself pretty quickly.  Is this why you’re on the rubber chicken circuit instead of doing science?

Dr. Lisle: This is the fallacy of the question-begging epithet.  This is often a last-ditch effort to persuade by emotional means rather than logical argumentation.  If you come up with a rational objection to what I have written, please let me know.  But I am not interested in emotional rhetoric.

I notice you didn’t answer my question in your diatribe. How did the ancient Hebrews know about the expansion of the universe as indicated in Scripture? Why are you trying to force pagan mythologies into the Biblical text instead of letting the biblical author speak for himself? That is not intellectually honest.

Rubin: I’ll answer it again: They didn’t. You’re reading your modern cosmological understanding into cherry picked verses. Very sloppy research.

Dr. Lisle: So when the Bible says that God stretches out the heavens, you think it does not mean that God stretches out the heavens?  It sounds like you are reading into the Scriptures if you think they mean the opposite of what they say.  If stretching out the heavens does not mean stretching out the heavens, then what do you think it means?  Should I start interpreting your words the way you interpret the Bible – by taking them to mean something completely different?

Rubin: It’s also very interesting that you consider the Talmud to be pagan. Is this because you know nothing about the Talmud or because you don’t know the meaning of the word pagan?

Dr. Lisle: Bifurcation fallacy.  I never said the Talmud is pagan.  However, the view you have posted about a solid dome and a flat Earth is definitely pagan, and is contrary to the Scriptures.  The Talmud is historically interesting, but is not Scripture and is not infallible.  Were you aware of this?

Rubin: Have you been binge-watching that Ancient Aliens show? From what little of the show I’ve seen, your research methods are disturbingly similar to those of that guy on the show with the funny hair.

Dr. Lisle: Question-begging epithet fallacy.  If you have a rational argument, please make it.

Rubin: Again, Jason, for someone who is supposed to be a smart guy, you do real sloppy work.

Dr. Lisle: This is an ad hominem fallacy.  Sometimes people resort to this when they know they cannot defend their position on logical grounds.

Rubin: Oh, Jason. The thing is, it’s not an ad hominem if it’s true.

Dr. Lisle: Wrong.  An ad hominem is any argument directed against the person rather than the [other] argument – that’s what the term means: “to the man.”  For example, I might point out that you apparently have a relatively low I.Q., and that may very well be true.  But that would not make your argument false.   Second, your ad hominem isn’t even true.  You haven’t provided any supporting evidence anyway despite my asking you to do so.  None.

Rubin: And I have been pointing out clear examples of your research being sloppy.

Dr. Lisle: Where?!  Certainly not on this thread.  You seem to be very confused, and have not documented a single error in the article in question.  All I have seen from you are unsupported assertions.

Rubin: Don’t you know shooting the messenger is poor manners?

Dr. Lisle: I was just thinking that about you.  If you have a problem with what God has said in His Word, take it up with Him and stop trolling me.

Rubin:  Instead, you should take the opportunity to better yourself and stop ignoring your academic training,…

Dr. Lisle: Question-begging epithet fallacy.  I would encourage you to get some academic training.  Learn something about astronomy, and about the history of the Bible.  I can recommend some resources if you would like to learn about these things.

Rubin: …even if ignoring it is your cash cow nowadays.

Dr. Lisle: This is a circumstantial ad hominem fallacy, and this particular one always makes me chuckle.  I could earn far more money teaching the standard secular myths at a secular university.  Anyone who knows anything about creation science knows that it does not pay well.  And again, these sorts of ad hominem fallacies are what people resort to when they cannot provide any sort of rational argument.

Rubin: I get that you don’t like a scientist pointing out your flawed approach, but that doesn’t magically make my argument irrational.

Dr. Lisle: What flaw?  So far you have not documented a single error.  You have asserted that I have read into the text, but you have not provided any actual evidence.  And so your comment amounts to a question-begging epithet fallacy.  For example, I have asked you how I am supposedly reading into the text by taking “stretches out the heavens” to mean “stretches out the heavens” and you seem to be unable to answer that.

This is the problem Rubin.  You have no trouble making assertions.  But you seem to be completely unable to support them with rational reasons.  Rational people have good reasons for their beliefs.  I shall ask you again to document an actual error in my article and support your claim with logical reasons.

Rubin: I do find it amusing that you are the one ignoring the scientific method, yet trying to claim the mantle of rationality here.

Dr. Lisle: How am I supposedly “ignoring the scientific method?”  Do you know what the scientific method is?  I ask because the article is not really about that.  It is about the statements that the Bible makes about astronomy being right.  Subsequently, the roundness of the Earth, the fact that it hangs on nothing, the stretching of the heavens, the conservation laws, etc. were all discovered by the scientific method, thereby confirming what the Bible teaches.  I didn’t go into details about how these things were discovered because that was not germane to the article.  But I do teach college astronomy classes where we cover these things if you would like to learn the details.

Rubin: A rational researcher would have based their conclusions on the complete corpus of ancient Hebrew writings about the cosmos.

Dr. Lisle: Totally wrong.  That’s that exact opposite of the rational approach, because the question under evaluation is what the Bible says about astronomy.  (That was what the article was about).  Therefore, if we are going to be rational in answering that question, we must examine the biblical data, and avoid the temptation to read into the text based on non-biblical data.  Ironically, you had accused me of reading into the text – the very thing you are now recommending.

Rubin: The irrational approach is to cherry-pick isolated verses and misunderstand metaphors to support a pre-defined conclusion.

Dr. Lisle: That is what you are doing.  You have already arbitrarily decided that the Bible is not the Word of God, and therefore it cannot be right about astronomy but must reflect the pagan notions of the surrounding cultures.  And that is why you erroneously think that we should consult extra-biblical data to find out what the Bible means.  But this is the opposite of proper exegesis.  Rational exegesis evaluates the text based on what it says, not what other texts say.  This should be obvious.

Rubin: The irrational approach is to reject an important body of work like the Talmud because it contradicts the pre-defined conclusion.

Dr. Lisle: Wrong.  That’s the fallacy of irrelevant thesis.  If I want to find out what Einstein believed about space and time, I don’t read Newton, Tesla, Kepler, or Bohr.  Why?  Because they are not Einstein.  If I want to learn what Einstein believed, I read what Einstein wrote.  Likewise, if I want to learn what the Bible says about astronomy, I read what the Bible says about astronomy.  It is irrational and anti-exegetical to read into the Bible based on the Talmud or any other text.  These other works are historically interesting; but they are irrelevant to biblical exegesis.

Rubin: The irrational approach is your “Ancient Aliens” approach.

Dr. Lisle: So, in fact, you are the one taking a non-exegetical approach to the text as revealed by your own comments.  I have never seen the show you reference, but if you watch that sort of thing, it may explain why you reason the way you do.  I would suggest you take some classes on science, the Bible, and logic,… and watch less television.  😉  Just a thought.


Peter:  I have never read such disingenuous nonsense in all my life.

Dr. Lisle: You don’t believe the Earth is round and floats in space?  You don’t believe in the conservation of mass/energy?

Peter: The USA truly is becoming a third world ######## country.

Dr. Lisle:  The USA is the most powerful and financially prosperous nation in the world (highest GDP) and is considered the leader of the free world.  Granted, if people in this nation continue to reject God’s Word, then that will eventually change.  Also, be advised that profanity/vulgarity is not permitted on this page and will result in banning.

Peter: your poor children

Dr. Lisle: Hypothetically, if children are just chemical accidents of evolution, then why would you be concerned about them?

Peter: Evolution is an incontrovertible fact.

Dr. Lisle: Rational people back up their claims with reasons.  Whereas, your beliefs seem to be arbitrary and unsupported.  As such, I need only state the opposite to refute them.  For example: Biblical creation is an incontrovertible fact.

Peter: The earth and universe is not 6000 years old.

Dr. Lisle: The earth and universe are about 6000 years old.

Peter: Anyone who teaches children differently is a liar.

Dr. Lisle: Anyone who denies God’s Word is a liar (Romans 3:4).

Peter: Jason Lisle and Ken Ham are both liars. They lie to children on a mass scale.

Dr. Lisle: Ken Ham and I tell the truth to everyone.  We care deeply about children because they are made in the image of God.  The fact that you appeal to children shows that you know in your heart-of-hearts that they are made in God’s image and are not merely an accident of nature.

Peter: Your country has become a joke.

Dr. Lisle: The U.S.A is the most powerful and prosperous nation on Earth.

Peter: I’ll take the word of 99% of scientists who know the world is not 6000 years old.

Dr. Lisle: This is the fallacy of appeal to the majority/authority.  Such comments reveal an anti-scientific philosophy.  Think about it: if scientists themselves only accepted what the majority of other scientists believed, then all scientific progress would come to a halt.  All new scientific discoveries have gone against what the majority of scientists believed at the time (otherwise, they would not have been discoveries).

Peter: I still await Jason Lisle’s explanation of the distant starlight problem. Again.

Dr. Lisle: <sigh>  Again, I provided that back in 2010.  Did you not read it?  Did you not understand it?

Peter: And it is demonstrably obvious that the bible contains no moral standards…

Dr. Lisle: It is demonstrably provable that the Bible does indeed contain moral standards because many of them are explicitly stated: e.g. Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”

Peter:  …or you’d all be able to agree on what those moral standards were.

Dr. Lisle: Non-sequitur.  When hieroglyphics were first (re)discovered, people couldn’t translate them and therefore did not agree on what they meant.  Does it follow that they meant nothing?  Furthermore, many people don’t want to accept what the Bible teaches and are therefore motivated to misread it.

More importantly, objective moral standards are only rationally justifiable within the biblical worldview.  In an evolutionary universe, what one chemical accident does to another is morally irrelevant.  There is no “right” and “wrong” in a chance universe.

Peter: Astronomy proves conclusively, that the earth was formed AFTER the sun.

Dr. Lisle: Really?  Then please provide the proof.  I am aware that the common secular belief is that they formed at the same time; but I have yet to see a scientific proof of it.

Peter: The earth is over 4 billion years old and the universe over 13 billion years old.

Dr. Lisle: Do you have any evidence for your beliefs?  You didn’t provide any.  Remember, rational people have reasons for their beliefs.

Peter: Stars don’t “fall to earth”…

Dr. Lisle: You have never seen a meteor shower?

Peter: …, eclipses aren’t “signs”.

Dr. Lisle: Who says they are?

Peter: Claiming that a “circle” is a sphere is disingenuous nonsense.

Dr. Lisle: Straw-man fallacy and semantic anachronism fallacy.  First, the claim is a straw man because no one here is claiming that a circle is a sphere.  Rather, only a spherical world will produce a circular terminator as described in Job 26:10.  Second, this is a semantic anachronism fallacy – the error in reasoning that a word in one language (such as ancient Hebrew) must have the exact same semantic range as a word in a different language (such as modern English). Such is rarely the case.

Peter: Perhaps you might want to read what your bible says about stars falling to earth and eclipses being signs.

Dr. Lisle: Apparently, you are not aware of meteor showers.  Where are “eclipses” mentioned in the Bible?  Remember, there are other ways (atmospheric) for the sun and moon to appear dark.

Peter: Or perhaps you would care to explain how light from galaxies 13 billion light years away has traveled to the earth in 6000 years?

Dr. Lisle: Easy.  https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/starlight/anisotropic-synchrony-convention-distant-starlight-problem/

Peter: Or perhaps you can find me one astronomer working in a public university anywhere on the planet who agrees with this childish and ridiculous take on astronomy.

Dr. Lisle: As far as I know, all astronomers working in public universities believe in the facts stated in the article: a round Earth, that the Earth floats in space, countless stars, expansion of the universe, etc.  The “childish and ridiculous” remark is a question-begging epithet fallacy.

Peter: Good grief man, the entire world is laughing at the stupidity…

Dr. Lisle: That’s a question-begging epithet.  People resort to this sometimes when they cannot make a rational argument.

Peter: …and superstitious beliefs that have turned your country into such a backwards country.

Dr. Lisle: If our country is so backwards, why do we have the highest GDP in the world?  How many times has your nation sent people to the moon?  Furthermore, my beliefs are rooted in recorded history.   Ironically, it appears that yours are the superstitious beliefs.  A superstition is “a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.”  Darwinian evolution fits this nicely because it is based on ignorance of history and falsely attributes design to chance.

Peter: “the Bible teaches that God “hangs the Earth on nothing” (Job 26:7).”
The earth doesn’t “hang” in ANY sense of he [sic] word. It orbits the sun, which orbits the center of the galaxy.

Dr. Lisle: So, if the Earth doesn’t hang on anything, to say it hangs on nothing seems very fitting.  Anyone seeing the Earth from space could describe it fittingly as hanging on nothing.  [Peter seems to be unaware that Job is part of the wisdom literature of Scripture, and uses poetic imagery to convey truth.]

Peter: “It is demonstrably provable that the Bible does indeed contain moral standards because many of them are explicitly stated: e.g. Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.””
Lying again? So soon?

Dr. Lisle: You deny that Exodus 20:13 says this? Look it up, then you really should apologize.

Peter: Exodus 20:13  “Thou shalt not kill.”

Dr. Lisle: First, that’s basically synonymous.  Second, the HEBREW word is ‘ratsach’ which means “MURDER” e.g. an unlawful killing. The NASB, NIV, ESV, NKJV, and others render the passage correctly and more precisely than the KJV.

Peter: Am waiting for your apology Jason, for using an obscure version of the bible where the words have been changed.

Dr. Lisle: First, “obscure.”  I had to chuckle.  Almost all modern translations translate the passage as I did above.  These include NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, which are some of the most popular versions today – hardly “obscure.” Second, nothing has been “changed.”  Perhaps I need to explain to you that the Bible was not written in English, nor the old-English of the KJV.  It was written primarily in Hebrew and Greek.  English Bibles are therefore translations of the original.  The NASB, NKJ, etc. did not change the Hebrew text as you fallaciously concluded; rather they translated it into English, albeit somewhat more precisely than the KJV at this spot.

Peter: So you are saying the King James version is wrong?

Dr. Lisle: I am saying you are wrong for calling me a liar when I correctly quoted Exodus 20:13 in an accurate modern English translation.  The KJV translation is less precise than other versions because the Hebrew word denotes an unlawful killing, i.e. murder, and not simply killing in a general sense.  Therefore, it would be unethical to accuse someone of lying for quoting a more precise translation.  So really it was you who were lying and you really do owe me an apology.  But that would require you to be ethical.  (So I won’t hold my breath.)

Peter:  Any holy book that tells you how to treat your slaves is no moral guide.

Dr. Lisle: Just the opposite.  In most ancient cultures, slave-owners could do whatever they wanted with slaves.  But the Bible teaches that all people bear God’s image and therefore have certain rights.  The Bible forbids mistreatment of slaves.  Any slave who was mistreated was immediately freed and his debt was cancelled.  Apart from the biblical worldview, objective morality would be meaningless.

Peter: So you are saying that the most accurate bible is the “most popular”?

Dr. Lisle: <sigh> Another straw-man fallacy.  Where did I ever even remotely say anything like that?  No.  The “most popular” was to show the absurdity of your claim that I was using an “obscure” translation.  How can the most popular, most commonly used translations be “obscure?”

Peter: Good grief so much for your imaginary god…

Dr. Lisle: A question-begging epithet fallacy.  Are you ever going to make a rational argument?  I am not interested in your rhetorical assertions.

Peter: …and his innerrant [sic] word.

Dr. Lisle: The Bible was written primarily in Hebrew and Greek, and it is the original autographs that we hold to be inerrant.

Peter: Jason I have been following you and Ken Ham for many many years. Not once have I ever seen you or Ken show an understanding of the scientific method.

Dr. Lisle: It’s the method I used to discover giant cell boundaries as explained in my doctoral dissertation.  Is it possible that you do not understand the scientific method?  Do you know why the scientific method works?  It is based on the biblical worldview; we expect to find patterns in nature because God has promised to uphold the universe in a way that has consistent cycles (e.g. Genesis 8:22) and has designed our minds to have the capacity for learning and rational thought.  But if the evolutionary view were true, why expect one accident to be able to understand another?

Peter: You are an absolute disgrace to your profession and a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

Dr. Lisle: If I am just a chemical accident, then why would that be a problem?

Peter: Lying to children is just about the most despicable act any person can do.

Dr. Lisle: Yes.  So please stop.  Children are not merely chemical accidents.  They are made in the image of the most Holy God.  As such, they have intrinsic value.  And God has commanded us to be truthful, and will hold us accountable for what we say and do.  So, we have a very good reason to be truthful.  But in your worldview, what objective reason do you have to be truthful when speaking to chemical accidents?

Peter: Shame on you.

Dr. Lisle: Shame is the result of breaking God’s law.  Can you demonstrate that I have done this in my article?

Dr. Lisle: [Referring to Peter’s earlier claims] What you have just posted is called a straw man fallacy. Ethical people do not engage in this.

Peter: Ethical?  Good grief you wouldn’t know the meaning of the word.

Dr. Lisle: Something is ethical if it is something God approves.  Something is unethical if God disapproves of it.  But apart from God, there could be no objective ethical judgments because different people approve of different things.  So how can you account for the possibility of objective ethical standards?

Peter: No wonder your country loves Trump and guns.  Lack of critical thinking and an education system that fails its students on every level.

Dr. Lisle: With respect Peter, have you ever taken a class on logic?  I ask because I have not seen any evidence that you have critical thinking skills.  You appear to have mindlessly accepted the secular story with no reasoning at all.  You haven’t made a single rational argument in your entire diatribe.  All we have seen from you are emotional assertions.

Peter: You and Georgia and Ken should be charged with child abuse. What you have done to a generation of children is unforgivable.

Dr. Lisle: Your statement actually demonstrates that you know my worldview is true.  In an evolutionary universe, children are merely chemical accidents.  It would be ridiculous to charge someone with abusing a chemical accident.  No one would be alarmed if I told a lie to an oil stain – it’s just a chemical accident.

Dr. Lisle:  Hypothetically, if I were lying to chemical accidents, why would that be wrong? In fact, how could anything be wrong if the biblical worldview were not true?

Dr. Lisle: And how would the scientific method be rationally justified apart from biblical creation?

Peter:  Yes Jason I’ve heard your pathetic spiel before about atheists having no moral standard many times.

Dr. Lisle: Then you must have a really great answer.  What is it?

Peter: It truly is pathetic.  Have you NO shame at all?

Dr. Lisle: That’s a dodge, not an answer.  I am not surprised that you have no answer to objective morality on the secular way of thinking. No one does.  Morality is a biblical concept and makes no sense apart from the Christian worldview.

Peter: If I have to explain to you why lying to children is wrong…………………..  good grief

Dr. Lisle: You will have to explain how your worldview can make sense of morality if you are to be considered rational.  Rational people have reasons for their beliefs.  I have a good reason to believe that lying to children is objectively wrong.  Children are made in God’s image and have value to God.  And God will hold us accountable for how we treat children (and adults too).  So I have a great reason to not lie to children.  But what reason do you have?  How can anything be objectively wrong in your worldview?  I predict that you will not be able to provide a rational response to that question.

[Peter’s response here is the same as a child trying to bluff his way out of the fact that he doesn’t know the answer to the question.  The teacher may ask the student “What is 6 times 7?”  The student responds, “Well, if you don’t know the answer, I certainly am not going to tell you!  Good grief, if I have to explain to you what 6 times 7 is, then you must not be a very good teacher!”  It is unlikely the teacher would fall for such a bluff.  And neither do I.]

These were not directed to me, but to others on my Facebook page.  I chose to respond:

Peter: I hate to break it to you, but the bible was written by ignorant goat herders who didn’t know the first thing about astronomy.

Dr. Lisle: Really?  You mean they didn’t know that the Earth is round (Job 26:10), that it hangs upon nothing (Job 26:7), that the universe is being stretched-out (Isaiah 40:22), and so on?  Then why did they write all these things?  Do you suppose they had some kind of divine insight into these issues?

Peter: heck they didn;t [sic] even know where the sun went at night, …

Dr. Lisle: Actually, they did.  They knew it was on the other side of the Earth (see Psalm 19:6).  You haven’t actually bothered to read the Bible, have you Peter?

Peter: …and they thought the moon was a light source.

Dr. Lisle: No, they thought it was a light (not a light source) from the Hebrew word ma’or meaning something that is bright – which the moon is.  It shines by reflected light rather than emitted light.  But it shines brightly nonetheless.

Peter: did you actually study any of this at a high school level?

Dr. Lisle: I can’t speak for the person Peter is addressing.  But as I was earning my Ph.D. in astrophysics, I did learn a thing or two about how light works.

Peter: maybe you could ask a young child to explain it to you.

Dr. Lisle: Question-begging epithet with no rational merit.

Peter:  Given his qualifications in astrophysics, Lisle has become an authority on the “starlight problem” in creationist circles.  However, his explanation for how distant starlight is compatible with a 6 day creation only a few thousand years ago is very, very weak. It essentially consists of immediately throwing out the conventional science just because it conflicts with scripture and then proposing that “creation was supernatural, therefore cannot be understood scientifically”.[8]

Dr. Lisle: This is a straw-man fallacy.  Peter has taken a quote out of context to make it sound like I think distant starlight cannot be understood scientifically.  But, while aspects of creation go beyond natural law, I do not believe starlight is one of them.  My explanation for distant starlight does NOT consist of “immediately throwing out the conventional sciences” as Peter dishonestly claimed, but is in fact based on conventional science.  It involves the physics discovered by Albert Einstein.  Note that Peter included an unreferenced footnote indicator, which shows that he plagiarized this by merely copying and pasting this false claim from someone else who is equally uninformed.

Peter: Most of Lisle’s points just begin with the claim that the Bible must be true, cannot change and so can explain everything[9] and he’s no stranger to wall-bangingly circular logic.[10] It shouldn’t need to be stated that this is the opposite of what a good scientist should do.

Lisle: Again, we note the unreferenced footnote markers showing that Peter has mindlessly cut-and-pasted this from someone else.  Of course, this is yet another straw-man fallacy because I do not “just begin with the claim that the Bible must be true, cannot change and so can explain everything.”  Rather, I have demonstrated that the Bible must be true by the impossibility of the contrary, as shown in my book The Ultimate Proof of Creation.  Ironically, it is Peter who has arbitrarily assumed his own position without any apparent reasons whatsoever, and then goes about criticizing those of us who disagree on the basis that we don’t agree with him.

Peter: You don;t [sic] actually understand the speed of light problem do you? Or anything about astronomy.

Dr. Lisle: I can’t speak for the person Peter is addressing, but I will say that during my graduate studies in astrophysics, I did learn a thing or two about astronomy, and the speed of light.  My latest book The Physics of Einstein is all about this topic.  My point here is that people like Peter who have a very poor understanding of astrophysics probably should not try to correct those who do understand it.

Peter: Astronomers can SEE other solar systems developing. The planets NEVER form before the sun.

Dr. Lisle: There are several problems here.  First, astronomers do not see solar systems developing.  We do see evidence of orbiting disks of material around some stars.  But we do not see any development.  That is, there is absolutely no scientific, observational evidence that these disks are somehow forming planets over the course of time.  Second, Peter apparently does not even understand the secular view.  Secular astronomers believe that planets form essentially simultaneously with their star, not later.

Peter: As for you learning something today, I doubt you could ever learn anything, as you have no critical thinking skills.  I sure hope you don’t have children.

Dr. Lisle: These kinds of question-begging epithets are the way children argue.  Adults are supposed to provide rational reasons for their beliefs.