Here’s an example of an unexpected discovery challenging current astrophysical theory. Astronomers discovered a young, dead galaxy shaped like a disk that spins extremely fast, is compact, massive, and stopped making stars over 10 billion years ago. To provide perspective, this galaxy spins at twice the speed as our Milky Way, is half the size, but three times as massive. Nothing like it has ever been discovered. But more significantly, the discovery failed established predictions, goes against prevailing scientific theory, and challenges the scientific understanding of galaxy evolution.
When astronomers aimed the Hubble Telescope in its direction, they expected to find stars forming randomly in a ball-shape as a result of merging galaxies, but instead they found stars born in an elliptical, pancake-shaped disk with no evidence of new stars being born. It’s young and dead.
This is surprising because elliptical galaxies are thought to be comprised of older stars, yet the stars in this galaxy couldn’t be much more than three billion years old.
The leader of the study, Sune toft, said it best: “This new insight may force us to rethink the whole cosmological context of how galaxies burn out early on and evolve into local elliptical-shaped galaxies. Perhaps we have been blind to the fact that early “dead” galaxies could in fact be disks, simply because we haven’t been able to resolve them.”
My point isn’t to bash or belittle science, but to provide another example of how easy it is for secular science to be mistaken, and how little we really know about the universe and its history. For all the good science does, many scientists are constantly surprised and shocked about new discoveries that overturn the dominant theories of the day. I say this because I know many people who place science on a pedestal, believing whatever modern science says, and condemning anyone who questions it- as if the experts are so intelligent that they couldn’t possibly be wrong about anything. Yet we run across articles such as this on a regular basis, indicating that scientific beliefs have been overturned. This should give us caution and lead us to question, or at least be skeptical of certain claims, specifically ones claiming certainty about the distant past.
As a creationist, I don’t accept the evolutionary beliefs that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, so a discovery like this doesn’t surprise me. I believe God created the heavens and earth less than 10,000 years ago, so it’s not surprising that God created stars and galaxies with such variety and beauty.
Therefore, it’s perfectly reasonable to question evolutionary beliefs about the age of the universe and galaxy formation. Discoveries like this are perfectly compatible with a young universe, but are out of place in an ancient universe, and must be forced into a paradigm or worldview.