Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Age of Earth and Universe

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

Before his demise, A. Scalia's name come up in connection with, of all things, Warp Drive! Interestingly, Scalia's narrow view of the universe was not unlike that of Sarah Palin. Scalia managed to get a lifetime gig on the U.S. Supreme Court. It allowed him to thrown in with a fringe group called young earthers because they believe that the Universe and the Earth were created con-currently about 6,000 years ago. That is something that A. Scalia had that in common with Sarah Palin who presumably still believes that human beings walked with Dinosaurs.

There is no evidence but religious dogma for this young universe theory. The opposite is true of the scientific evidence that proves conclusively that the universe is much, much older. Most recently scientists discovered an "object" whose distance from Earth can be measured. That distance is about 13.7 billion light years from Earth. Put another way --it has taken light (the light we see) some 13.7 billion years to reach earth. That, of course, disproves Palin and other "young earthers" who clam that the universe and every thing of any significant in it is no older than a mere 6,000 years.

Not a chance! 

Not just Palin but fundamentalists of all types tell us that the age of the universe is derived by adding up the "begats" in the Old Testament. Scalia joined S. Palin by subscribing to it. Both Palin and Scalia were wrong! Embarassingly so! Recently --the most distant object in the universe was discovered and verified by real scientists in the real world. A poor decision from the bench would not secure Scalia's ventures into astronomical science.  

The age of the universe is determined by the distance in light years to the object under observation, a recently discovered object. Its distance from Earth is stated in light years; that is the case with almost every object beyond our moon. The distance to this recently discovered object makes it the most distant object yet discovered. That distance is 13.7 Billion Light Years. Ergo: it has taken light from this object some 13.7 billion light years to reach Earth! That we see this object is PROOF that the universe is at least 13.7 billion light years old as it has taken light itself some 13.7 BILLION years to reach the Earth where we have, in fact, observed it as it might have appeared some 13.7 billion years ago!