As a graduate student of astrophysics, I can tell you that the stability of planetary rings is a classic example of a YEC argument that does not pan out. Structures within an “old” universe can be recently formed or replenished over time. The opposite is not true: structures within a “young” universe cannot be showing evidence of great age and long event histories. I want to illustrate some common lines of reasoning in YEC arguments with a somewhat silly analogy. If you get to the bottom of this analogy, I hope it will help you recognize some of the problems with the Genesis movie.
Imagine a small factory that produces sausages for the local supermarkets. Every package has a little stamp that shows how long the product will remain fresh before opening. However, at some moment, reports start coming in that the expiry date does not match up with the rate at which the sausages get spoiled. Some people find out that their sausages are already nearly spoiled right from the start. A special committee is called in to investigate the problem. All the sausages in the shops and in the factory are taken to their laboratory and subjected to all kinds of tests. After an extensive examination, the committee reports that at least part of the sausages is much older than they are supposed to be according to their packages. Unfortunately, they have to conclude that the producer in question has made significant mistakes with the expiry dates and has been selling nearly-spoiled sausages as if they were still fresh. The sausage company in question wants to uphold its reputation and seeks to refute the conclusion. The board of the company hires its own team of researchers which comes up with four kinds of replies to the committee’s report, which they present to the judge in court:
Ignoring the spoiled sausages, the researchers present the part of the sausages that were shown to be fresh enough and thus correctly packaged. The committee replies that this argument is beside the point when the whole collection of sausages is under discussion. (Compare with focusing on “relatively young”, 10-million year-old planetary rings, while ignoring many much older objects like stars, galaxies, et cetera).
This one derives from a rejection of the most recent theory and observations. Burying one’s head in the sand can help, at times. The company’s researchers found out that, in an earlier stage of the committee’s examination, the findings and interpretation were still quite ambiguous. Standing before the judge, the corporate lawyers keep referring back to those initial particulars, as if they were somehow more valid than the more recent research of the committee. The committee explains to the judge that further research has already been shown to be conclusive on this matter. (Compare with the galactic spiral arms, a “problem” which has been solved already.)
Another approach is to apply “uniformitarianism” based on demonstrably invalid assumptions. In doing their own research, the company’s researchers established that the sausages actually shrink in diameter with about one-twentieth of an inch per week after production. If some of their products were as old as the committee claimed they were, they would have already disappeared into nothingness! Ergo, the sausages must still be fresh enough. The committee simply points out to the judge that the assumption of constant shrinking becomes invalid after a certain amount of time. (Compare with, e.g., YEC arguments from the decay of the Earth’s magnetic field or salt content of the sea. In both cases, we known that assuming uniformity is faulty.)
Argument from instability
In a final attempt to win the case, the researchers point at one particular detail of the committee’s report. The laboratory findings showed a certain bacterial population to be present in the sausages of which there is no conclusive evidence that it can remain stable for long periods of time. Ergo, the “origin” of the sausages must be recent. The committee is puzzled by this one. This finding does not provide positive evidence for the freshness of the product. For example, the origin of the bacteria could be more recent than that of the sausages. (Compare with stability of planetary rings, galactic spiral arms, et cetera.)
Now, I will have to watch the movie myself first in order to establish exactly how often these four “strategies” are employed in the movie Genesis: Paradise Lost. But I am confident I can point you to many examples once I have done so. The argument from instability of planetary rings is a classic example.