October 1, 2015
By Dr. Hugh Ross
In a previous article, I described how a key feature of the biblically predicted big bang creation model is its deduction that the firstborn stars will initially be comprised of just three elements: 76 percent hydrogen, 24 percent helium, and a trace amount of lithium. The failure of astronomers to detect such metal-free stars is often cited, especially by young-earth creationists, as proof that the big bang creation model has been invalidated.
As I explained in my previous article, in the context of the big bang creation model, pristine firstborn stars must be at least 13.4 billion light-years away. Currently, no operating telescope possesses the power to image individual stars at this vast distance. I then described the discovery of three very old stars that are so extremely lacking in metals that astronomers established that they must be firstborn stars. Over the course of their 13-billion-year-plus history, these formerly metal-free stars have had their atmospheres very lightly polluted by the interstellar medium, which aligns with big bang creation model predictions.
Now, a different team of astronomers has revealed further observational evidence for firstborn stars that shows them exhibiting characteristics consistent with the big bang creation model. In a recent issue of the Astrophysical Journal, a team of nine European astronomers reported on their spectroscopic measurements on a faint, very distant Lyman-alpha emitter.1 Lyman-alpha emitters are very young, typically low-mass galaxies that are aggressively forming massive stars. The high formation rate of massive stars results in the emission of a strong Lyman-alpha spectral line (1215.67 angstroms) that, because of the great distances of Lyman-alpha emitters, is redshifted into the visible part of the spectrum.
The team targeted the Lyman-alpha emitter known as Cosmos Redshift 7 (CR7). Its redshift of 6.604 places it 12.96 billion light-years away. Using spectral instruments on the Keck telescopes and the Very Large Telescope, the team determined that CR7 possessed two distinct stellar populations. The spectra on the two populations were consistent with one being made of Pop III stars (firstborn stars) and the other of Pop II stars (second-generation stars). Using the Hubble Space Telescope, the team demonstrated that the two populations in CR7 were spatially separated from one another. The team concluded that the spatial separation in the two populations was “consistent with theoretical predictions of a Pop III wave, with Pop III star formation migrating away from the original sites of star formation.”2
This second, independent confirmation of the existence of firstborn stars—manifesting the characteristics predicted in the big bang creation model—should satisfy big bang critics who have insisted that astronomers’ failure to detect such stars falsifies all big bang models. The truth is that big bang creation models have passed every achievable test that has been thrown at them. These recent discoveries of Pop III stars count as one more trial that big bang models have overcome. That the Bible predicted the essential features of big bang cosmology thousands of years before any astronomer even hinted that the universe might possess such features firmly establishes the predictive power of the Bible and consequently its divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority.
For more information on the Bible’s description of the big bang creation model, please read chapter 13 of my book A Matter of Days.