The above photograph is from the James Webb Telescope and is featured on "Space.com", as well as the latest issue of the scientific journal "Nature". The little blobs of light in the pictures may not look impressive. However, as astronomers have examined the light coming from these distant galaxies, they have made some discoveries that match better with the Biblical doctrine of creation than standard secular models of the formation of the universe. In the "Nature" journal article, the spectra of light from the above galaxies indicates that each little blob of light contains hundreds of millions to tens of billions of stars.
In the most recent issue of the scientific journal "Nature", astronomers chronicle the latest findings of several distance galaxies that, according to the standard astronomical timeline, occured within 600 million years of the Big Bang. Now I won't go into the issues I have with the Big Bang or the standard timeline that postulates our universe being 13.7 billion years old. (I affirm what is called a "Young Earth" or "Young Universe" Model, which means that I understand Genesis 1 to teach that all the physical creation was made by God in a standard week of six twenty-four hour days. Per the standard secular cosmological timeline, the galaxies in question are alleged to be in a part of the universe where the universe was less than 5% of its current age.)
What I will point out instead is how troubling some find this evidence to be, since the James Webb Telescope has found alleged "mature galaxies" in our universe's history which ought not to had formed until much, much later.
To put this into perspective, the findings of the James Webb Telescope is like finding fully grown trees in a distant part of a given forest where we assumed we would only find saplings. It would seem reasonable to assume that fully grown trees nearer to us would had produced second and third generation of trees that would be younger, smaller, and less mature. In our illustration, if one would instead find that every tree in our forest was at the same maturity rate, the reasonable conclusion to draw would be that all the trees were planted at the same time. Essentially, whenever one reads the article in the "Nature" periodical, the technical evidence and stellar diagrams show the presence of mature galaxies where scientists expected to find more basic, smaller, ill-formed galaxies. For those interested in the article, please click here https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-05786-2?ftag=YHF4eb9d17
What the Bible tells us about the stars.
The opening chapter of Genesis provides the most well-known account of creation in the Bible. In all, some sixty different passages speak on the subject of creation in both the Old and New Testaments. A fundamental teaching of Genesis 1 is that God created the physical universe in the same week. This short window of time alotted to God's creation of the Heavens and Earth has been opposed since the late eighteenth century. Most astronomers since that time have adopted a millions and billions of years approach to their assumption that everything in the universe evolved along a uniform rate, from simple to complex. This underlying worldview, known as "uniformitarianism", suggests that "the present is key to the past", hence, the physical rates we observe in the universe today have been the same throughout its history.
What follows from such an underlying assumption is that we ought to find a gradual evolution of galactic formation from the simple to the complex. Discoveries made by the James Webb Telescope have begun to seriously challenge this standard interpretation. How? By providing evidence that the earliest known galaxies are as far along in their structure and star-count as our Milky Way. While standard secular models of galactic origins and development struggle to process these findings, such evidence poses no issue with the creation model found in Genesis 1:16.
Genesis 1:16 reveals something very intriguing: "God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also." The latter clause, "He made the stars also", indicates in the underlying Hebrew grammar that God's creation of the Sun ("the greater light") and the moon ("the lesser light") occured simultaneously with the stars. This is a startling statement. It means that every star in the universe was created at the same time as our sun and moon.
As one combs the Bible, it becomes very apparent that the physical universe is a very large place in regards to the number of stars. A brief listing of key Scripture passages about the stars reveals how God's creation of them points to His glory, as well as the grandeur of the creation.
1. Job 22:12 “Is not God in the height of heaven? Look also at the distant stars, how high they are!"
2. Psalm 8:3-4 "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?"
3. Psalm 147:4 "He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them."
4. Isaiah 40:26 "Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing."
5. Jeremiah 31:35 "Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name:"
6. 1 Corinthians 15:41 "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory."
In Genesis 15:5 and Jeremiah 33:22, God indicates that no one can accurately count the number of stars in our universe. By the sixteenth century, astronomers such as Tacho Brae had calculated the number of stars to be in the thousands. It was not until 1922 that the famed Cosmologist Edwin Hubble proved that there were other galaxies beside our own. In 2016, Astronomers estimated our Milky Way Galaxy to contain between 100 to 400 billion stars, with an estimated two-trillion galaxies occupying our visible universe.
As scientists would study the deeper reaches of our universe, it became apparent that we could only see a small fraction of what is truly there. Some estimates have suggested that we can only see roughly 1% of the total universe and its attendant galaxies. Whenever the James Webb Telescope was launched into space over a year ago, no one expected it to radically alter how we understand the universe in such a short span of time.
As with all other branches of science, there is nothing which ultimately conflicts with the Biblical account of creation. Certain presuppositions and worldviews govern how the evidence is interpreted. It is fascinating to find a secular journal such as "Nature" drawing scientific conclusions which are useful in confirming what the Bible has said for millennia - namely that every star in the universe was made at the same time. To God be the glory in showing us once again how great and mighty He is, and how small we truly are!