Spiral Galaxy Arms

If the visible universe is billions of years old, how do scientists explain the arms on spiral galaxies?

If as science tells us, the matter that is orbiting close to the center of these galaxies is orbiting faster than the matter on the outer edges, shouldnt these spiral arms change? Why do the spirals persist?

Density waves. It’s a question with a well understood solution that can be demonstrated by computer simulations. Such as this one:

Putting the shoe on the other foot, how do YECs explain galaxy collisions? These two galaxies (“The Mice”) are 250 million light years away and colliding with each other at a few hundred miles a second. A back of the envelope calculation shows that they must have been colliding like that for over a hundred million years.


The universe is many billions of years old regardless by radiometric dating and regardless of model. So you’re looking down the wrong end of the telescope.

What end did ‘Moses’ and Jesus look down I wonder?


The velocity curve for galaxies is a weird one: stuff very near the center (within a few hundred light-years) is orbiting very quickly, and the speed decreases for the first ~1000 light years or so according to an inverse-square, the way it normally does. Then the velocities start increasing, until you get to ~5,000 ly out, and then the velocity is close to flat across the rest of the disk. Those velocities are one of the primary pieces of evidence for dark matter, alongside other gravity-related measurements, like velocities of galaxies within clusters, and relativistic bending of light by galaxy clusters.

And the spiral arms do change, they do not contain the same stars across long periods of time, but are density waves. They are comparable to road work that narrows a highway, which moves at a rate of (e.g.) 50m/day. There is a clump of vehicles that slowly moves, even though the individual vehicles are moving much faster.

An addition piece of evidence is that the galaxies with the neatest spirals are ones with comparatively large satellite galaxies.


Even your prophetess Ellen White believed the universe was old. She only believed the earth was young.

Nothing like the “logical” argument known as “what about X?” I don’t even understand the initial point. Is the writer arguing the universe is not billions of years old? Or is he asking a question only related to why the arms do not degenerate in general?

Doesn’t light in the universe often travel billions of years to reach us?


Yes. It seems rather odd to bring up spiral arms in galaxies when we shouldn’t even be able to see those galaxies if the universe is only 6,000 years old.


It’s a common young earth argument. They take some phenomenon or other, construct a naive and unrealistic model of how it works, then when the naive and unrealistic model doesn’t fit into the accepted age of the earth or the universe, even if it is only out by a factor of two, insist that it’s proof that the earth must be six thousand years old, end of story. Any attempt to come up with a more realistic model is then summarily dismissed as a “rescuing device.”

The technical term for that kind of reasoning is “clutching at straws.”


Im trying to gauge whether or not theistic evolution considers the idea that if even spiral galaxies are receding away from us, then the entire universe is expanding. If so, and if God is eternal, where was God before the big bang?

You are assuming that there was a “there” before the Big Bang, which I will note appears to have been severely undercut finally but this has nothing to do with the age of the universe but more so with how it started and how many universes began, if I understand correctly.

Except for the multiverse possibility, there was no “where” for Goddess to have been outside of our own universe. Much of your anxiety is due to the watcher aspect of Goddess. Not only do gods have powers; they watch. It’s their watching ability that is most important to most Christians in terms of maintaining an inner dialog. We assume Goddess saw that car cut us off and how polite we stayed in spite.

All of Christianity is worse than a supercomputer in this aspect; someone is monitoring every bowel movement, every act of defamation, aggression, sensuality, overeating and everything and it’s all being recorded to be rewound on judgment day. It’s like the Sting song, “I’ll be watching you…”

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That’s something we’ve been able to directly measure for 90 years.

Outside of space and time, just like he is now.


Well “theistic evolution” doesn’t say anything about spiral galaxies or the expansion of the universe, because evolution is about biology, not astronomy.

Spiral galaxies are receding away from us. This can be measured, and it can also be measured that the rate at which they are moving away from us is, on the scale of the universe as a whole, proportional to how far away they are from us. The rates are consistent with the universe expanding at a rate that would have originated from a single point 13.8 billion years ago.

This means that time must have had a beginning. This is consistent with the Judeo-Christian view that has always believed this to be the case irrespective of how old the earth is, or who or what did or did not evolve from what. For what it’s worth, the Big Bang theory was first proposed by a Catholic priest, Georges Lemaitre. By contrast, many atheists in the first half of the twentieth century favoured a model called the Steady State theory, in which the universe had always existed.


So many people have anxiety and fear over the concept “what if Goddess had never existed”? It is a very scary sort of racing feeling that can arise when the human mind tries to ideate regarding the idea of the universe never existing. It terrified me and it is exactly the same question as yours just re-framed.

Similar to Descartes, here’s how I resolved it and I no longer can even ideate about this due to what I view as a logical closure.

You, Adam are here. I am here. We exist. Therefore at least one universe exists so the notion that there might have been nothing is the null set since there is in fact an extant universe. If there is a Goddess, She probably originated with the beginning of the universe and not before. Does that leave you without a creator? Eh, not necessarily.

Or maybe ~13, if the higher value for the Hubble-Lemaitre Constant is correct.

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I don’t have any anxiety…that is actually an atheist problem because after this life they have no future hope…its kaput for them.

Anyway back to the topic…the problem is, if the universe is expanding then it must have a beginning. If something has a beginning, then it must have an end. If it has no end, it cannot have a beginning …the balance of nature idea seems to me to support the idea

What if baby universes form from extant universes, that tends to negate the idea of beginning to begin with.

I disagree that atheists lack hope for an afterlife. That has zero to do with the term atheism but is merely your spin on it. I am more of an agnostic but I don’t shy away from being called an atheist and I have great hope for an afterlife and I think it is likely. You are assuming Goddess is necessary to an afterlife when the issue of Goddess vel non is separate.

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TE doesn’t consider that. It knows it. Nature is eternal and God is greater. There have been infinite BBs from eternity. In God.

I think there is an important dividing line between what we can establish as fact and what we take on faith. The evolutionary history of life is one of those facts, as is the expansion of the universe, the geologic history of the Earth, planet formation, and so on. However, no one has a firm grasp on how universes form, how many universes there are, what it means to say “before the Big Bang”, or really anything before the initial expansion of our universe. That epoch of time lacks facts, and any claim about that time period is going to involve either speculation or faith.

My understanding of the general theistic approach to science is accept facts and allow them to inform theology. As Galileo once said, “It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.”


How so?
(this stupid forum engine needs a reply of at least 11 characters…so I’ve filled in a bit)

Well, because they branch off theoretically like soap bubbles with an initial collapsing wormhole. This is similar to the idea that black holes might be linked to either other areas of the universe or other universes. But the entire idea of one versus more than one is not entirely fleshed out. Humans think about everything and in general, humans succeed in pretty much all that they can conceptualize. Now what this implies if there are multiple universes is uncertain because infinity is not capable of being understood without the aide of mathematical limits as per calculus.

Are you a new human or just an offshoot of two other people’s genetic material? Certainly, you are a new human. But what about germs or yeasts or viruses? I believe the largest organisms on earth are yeast formations.

No one has the answers to your questions yet even in terms of science so no we cannot determine where Goddess “resided” before She created the universe. It’s okay. We have all been there but I expect you will soon arrive to the conclusion that these questions are largely devoid of significance because you are linking two ideas that are not necessarily logically connected, i.e., the establishment of a universe with the establishment of a “divinity” powerful enough to affect humans.

Many of the “logic” questions in the Bible melt away once one conceptualizes a Goddess who did not create the universe but who still exists within it; Marvel and DC both have characters similar to this; some simply watch but others do indeed manipulate the universe for their purposes and engage in world building.

The evangelical interpretations of Revelation make more sense if Satan actually has a decent chance of winnning; if She does not have a decent chance of defeating Michael and his celestial army, then what’s the point? Is She just stupid or something?

And remember, the Bible seems to indicate that Yahweh was one of a whole host of divinities. How do you get from Yahweh being a chief god to existing before the universe or even concurrently with the universe. You need to remember that (apparently) you worship Yahweh, a Canaanite tribal god reputed to have a fierce anger with, with an equally powerful consort. So where do you even get the idea that the Divinity was anywhere before creation of the universe and even then, why do you think that it was Yahweh and not El who created the universe, not to mention Asherah?

You will see why so many intellectuals with fundamentalist upbringings fall back on the idea of the Mystery precisely because the questions you are bringing up are not capable of being answered one. Two, there’s little in the Bible that indicates that Goddess created the universe, as opposed to the local heavens, and three, there’s no creator Goddess mentioned, only a possible creator god known as El or Elohim.

The O.T. makes clear that there were lesser and greater divinities believed in by the Hebrews and Canaanites. Why don’t you believe in these entities which are mentioned all throughout the O.T.? When did they all cease to exist?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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