One Christopher M. Sharp adressed this one in 2005.* First of all, I quite agree with him about the quote from St Augustine:
"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]”
Now, if the falsification of Geocentrism were a true fact and truly known, and therefore parallax could be reckoned with, there would be a real problem for Young Earth Creationism as stated. Mr. Sharp enumerates the positions of these, but before I gointo that, let us see his definition of them:
Young earth creationists are a subset of evangelical Christians who believe that the earth is about 6000 years old based on a particular interpretation of Genesis. A part of that belief is that the universe is also that age, and this document discusses the light travel time from distant astronomical objects.
Actually, which Mr. Sharp fails to mention, some Roman Catholics, well knowing the above text by St Augustine, are also Young Earth Creationists and sometimes Geocentrics on top of that.
Now, let us get to the problem:
Light travels at the velocity of 300,000 kilometers per second or 186,000 miles per second. Although this is very fast by everyday standards, it is glacially slow when considering the vast distances in the universe. The Achilles Heal of young earth creationism is a satisfactory explanation of why we can see light from distant stars, galaxies and quasars if the universe is only about 6000 years old. Denying the great age of the earth and the universe in spite of the overwhelming evidence, is exactly the same as both the Catholic and early Protestant churches denying heliocentricism.
Well, some of us say, with Sungenis, that Galileo was Wrong, the Church was Right. And in this case I agree that it is exactly the same, as will presently be shown. But first a red herring:
In both cases a misapplication of the dogma Sola Scriptura ...
Sola Scriptura is not a dogma, it is a Protestant heresy. Tota Scriptura would be a very much better way to state the Catholic dogma, and it has not been recalled, and Christopher might not have shown that St Robert Bellarmine with Pope Innocent XI in 1616 or later Pope Urban VIII misused it.
Here is an article in which I dealt with this:
MSN Group Antimodernism in memoriam : Sola Scriptura or Tota Scriptura
Now to the arguments, Christopher giving in good Thomistic fashion the arguments of his opponents before refuting them one by one. For me the first YEC argument and his answer to that suffice, but there are ten of them:
1. Astronomers are completely wrong about the distances, and all apparently distant objects are within a bubble of 6000 light years or less centered on the solar system.
1. Distances in the universe are truly enormous. Our Milky Way is about 100,000 light years in diameter, and we lie about 27,000 light years from the center. The nearest large external galaxy is M31 in Andromeda about 2.5 million light years away, yet it is right on our doorstep, as we can see galaxies and quasars (exceptionally luminous nuclei of galaxies) out to billions of light years away.
Quite a claim, right? Does he support it, and how? I emphasise his two methods.
Currently we can only use direct trigonometric parallax out to a few thousand light years, but the technology is constantly improving. Although various indirect methods have to be used for larger distances, when several independent methods broadly agree, we can sure that we have approximately the correct distance. However, the determined distances to even the nearest galaxies are so enormous compared to the “biblical” 6000 light years, that even big errors of a factor of two, or even ten, do not alter the argument. Most creationists in fact agree that the distances are real, so this argument does not usually crop up.
Now, what if parallax is not at all parallax and trigonometry is simply misapplied on it?
What if the "several indirect methods" are all based on a misapplication of trigonometry when it comes to the stars seen as "closest"?
Here I give the principles of Trigonometry and my reasons for why it does not confirm any stellar distance (i e outside the bodies of the so called Solar System) if Geocentrism is true. The last two images are diagrams that I have bettered unto the diagrams on top of that blog:
deretour : Trigonometry, principles, astronomic applications
That is also the reason why parallax does not by itself prove Heliocentrism.
Nor is it necessarily proven by any physical argument. As I have previously dealt with.
*Christopher M. Sharp : The Distant Starlight Problem
Update St Thomas Apostle's Day (21-XII-2012):
From footnote 7 on http://creation.com/images/pdfs/cabook/chapter5.pdf
Many billions of stars exist, many just like our own sun, according to the analysis of the light coming from them. Such numbers of stars have to be distributed through a huge volume of space, otherwise we would all be fried.
Answer: producing same kind of light as the sun (spectral analysis) does not mean having same size and heat as sun, except on certain assumptions about why the sun produces the kind of spectrum it does. Therefore a smaller universe would not automatically involve us being fried./HGL
From text after footnote 7:
Astronomers use many different methods to measure the distances, and no informed creationist astronomer would claim that errors would be so vast that billions of light years could be reduced to several thousand, for example. Even our own Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years across!
Answer: That is impressing me exactly as much or little as the "many different methods" to determine earth as being very very old. Parallax is only of trigonometric use by involving one known distance (earth position a to earth position b) and two known angles (in position a lines towards star and position b, in position b towards star and position a). But if we have no known distance (between star position a and star position b) and only one known angle (earth towards positions a and b of the star) we have no trigonometric proof for a great distance at all. And old earth cannot be verified from distant starlight problem if there is no distant starlight problem, just as 40.000 year old skeletons cannot be proven from C14 if C14 was lower in atmosphere when those people or sabre toothed tigers were alive./HGL