Created: September 9, 2015

The Creation Narrative of Science and the Bible

Dr. David C. Bossard

Dr. David C. Bossard
Biographical Information

Formation of Stars and Forging of the Elements.

By 20 minutes after the Big Bang, essentially all of the matter in the universe was forged by nuclear fusion, into hydrogen and Helium (with small amounts of beryllium and boron). After 20 minutes the universe was too cool to support further fusion. See Steven Weinberg,First Three Minutes for details.

When neutral atoms formed with the creation of darkness, the matter began to clump and heat up as gravity pulled it together. After about a billion years, the clumps heated up to millions of degrees and ignited into nuclear fusion. The hydrogen and helium fuzed to form heavier elements, beginning with the elements carbon, nitrogen and oxygen that are essential for life. The processes of element formation in the stars were first fully described in 1956 in a famous paper called
B2FH14 after its authors' names. This paper described how each element is formed in star-burning (forming elements up to iron, nickel and copper) as well as in the cataclysmic supernova deaths of stars which caused a tremendous flux of radiation that forged all of the heavier elements through uranium, and filled the surrounding space with its debris.

Over time, this debris of supernovas again coalesced under the force of gravity and formed second and higher generation stars, including the sun and the solar system, which formed about 4.65 billion years ago.12

This description in
B2FH of how the elements form in star interiors and in supernovas is a remarkable feat, because, of course, it is impossible to directly disect a star to see how it is constructed. But the conclusions of this paper have been confirmed repeatedly in high-energy experiments over the 60+ years since the first publicationIV.03, and there would be few genuine scientists that question its main conclusions (although there is a constant effort to test the validity of the claimed results).



[*fn]^n14 B2FH = Geoffrey Burbidge, Margaret Burbidge, William Fowler and Fred Hoyle, Synthesis of the Elements in Stars, Reviews of Modern Physics 29 (1957) p547-650. See the Wikipedia article. See also a brief preceding article by the Burbidges, Cosmical Alchemy (1956).

[*fn]IV.03 For a Forty year update see: G. Wallerstein, Synthesis of the elements in stars: forty years of progress (1997).  This is a prime exemple of what evolutionary theory should do, and which biological evolution lacks. The B2FH paper, op. cit., explains how the evolution occurs with testable assertions.

[*fn]^n12 It was absolutely necessary for the Earth to have been formed from the debris of a supernova because that is how elements up to Uranium were formed and ejected from their mother-stars. The earth could not have remained warm enough for life if it were not for the warming produced by uranium decay deep in the earth's interior. This fact of Earth's long-extended warmth was a source of great puzzlement by physicists in the days before the discovery of radioactivity. Lord Kelvin (William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (26 June 1824—17 December 1907) estimated the age of the earth in 1862 to be 20-400 Ma based on the loss of heat from an initial molten state—unaware, of course, of uranium's radioactive heating. See James Dana, Manual of Geology (1896), p. 1026. [EDITOR QUESTION: To what extent does the earth's surface temperature depend on heating from the Sun, as compared with uranium heating in the earth's interior?]

[*fn]^n11 See Introduction to Astronomy(pdf).

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