I know that the E in YEC stands for Earth. However, being a YEC means taking the first few verses of Genesis literally and that means believing that the universe predate the Earth by only a couple of days. To accept an old universe but a young earth is to deny the very beginning of YECism.
The mechanics behind stars is well tested and scientists now know will great confidence how stars burn and die and the processes that go on within them. In short, stars start off burning Hydrogen, which forms Helium. This process continues, with a new, slightly heavier element being formed as a result of the burning of another. Eventually the Iron is reached, at which point the process stops and the star gets an Iron core, surrounded by layers of the preceding elements. When the iron core gets to a critical point, the star dies in a spectacular explosion and it is from this explosion that further, heavier elements are created. These include precious metals like Gold and Silver as well as radioactive elements like Uranium.
How does this prove an Old Universe?
This proves an old universe at its basic level because as humans, our very existence and culture relies on there having been at least one star that has gone kaboom and in earth shattering manner. The calcium in your bones and the gold in the wedding band on my left hand exist because a star once exploded.
Because stars are so well studied and understood and we know their lifetimes are measured in the millions of years, there is simply no chance whatsoever that the universe could only be a few days older than the earth. For a YEC to literally believe in a universe that young, they must believe that either all the elements that are attributed to a star exploding were miraculously created on spec, or in the first days of creation stars were created and exploded in order to create those elements. The lifespan of those stars would have been massively compressed and the burning hugely accelerated. Neither of which can be proven.
This is the continuing problem for the YEC, unprovable ideas which fly in the face of scientific discovery. Why did the YEV God create everything in an instant, but make it look like it was all so old? Its as though he is the greatest deceiver that ever lived.
I should have paid more attention in school
I find this revelation about stars utterly fascinating and pondering on the fact that I am made of star stuff is mind blowing in its awesomeness. Yet, I also have to embarrassingly remember that I learnt about the Nuclear Fusion (or is it Fission?) within stars in science at school. How come when I sunk into YECism I never pondered this for longer? It might have saved me a whole load of trouble.
- How to Make an Element (pbs.org)
- How to argue with a Creationist (confessionsofayec.wordpress.com)
- Supernova explosion gives a glimpse of how ingredients for life are created (guardian.co.uk)
- What’s the problem with Young Earth Creationists? (mum6kids.wordpress.com)
- Is Creationism Anti-Science? (sandwalk.blogspot.com)
- How heavy elements formed in early history of Milky Way (news.bioscholar.com)
- Astronomers Spot the Universe’s First Gas (news.sciencemag.org)