According to the Big Bang theory, galaxies in the early universe were not well defined. For the first several billion years of stellar evolution, most galaxies were in their infant stages and they looked irregular and unorganized. The last thing astronomers would expect to see in the young universe would be a well-organized spiral galaxy.
Yet, that is exactly what they found.
According to images obtained using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers from the University of Toronto and UCLA have reported finding the spiral galaxy in a section of the universe that would place it within several billion years of the Big Bang or about 10.7 billion years ago from our current time frame. Alice E. Shapley from UCLA said:
The vast majority of old galaxies look like train wrecks. Our first thought was, why is this one so different, and so beautiful?
Once the team discovered the galaxy, which they named BX442, they used the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii to study it further to verify their initial findings. What they discovered was that it wasn’t just a spiral galaxy, but rather it is what they classify as a ‘grand design spiral galaxy.’ Most spiral galaxies have subtler features and the arms of the spiral are not necessarily well-defined. A grand design spiral galaxy has very clearly well-formed and distinct arms that significantly stretch out around the galaxy center. Of all the spiral galaxies, only about 10% of them are classified as a grand design spiral galaxy.
Being a grand design spiral galaxy makes the discovery even more shocking and unusual. David R. Law, from the University of Toronto who did his graduate work at UCLA and now headed the team of researchers commented about the find saying:
The fact that this galaxy exists is astounding. Current wisdom holds that such grand design spiral galaxies didn’t exist at such an early time in the history of the universe.
In general, spiral galaxies are a problem for evolution and the Big Bang. Extremely distant ones such as BX442, are a problem because according to the evolutionary paradigm, they should not have had time to form spiral arms. Closer spiral galaxies also pose a problem because they are supposedly much older and the spiral arms should no longer exist. As a spiral galaxy rotates, it will wind itself up tighter and tighter until it is no longer disk shaped and no longer has the spiral arms.
However, spiral galaxies are not a problem for the biblical creation model. Genesis 1:16-19 tells us that God made the stars on Day 4 of Creation. In verse 14 we are told that the sun, moon and stars were made for signs of seasons, days and years. This means that God made the stars pretty much as we see them today. The constellations mentioned in Scripture are still the same as they were then (Job 9:9; 38:31; Amos 5:8). We are also told that God stretched out His hand and spread out the heavens, which will explain the expansion of the universe as observed.
Throughout all of creation we witness the fact that God is the God of variety. He built vast amounts of variety in DNA so that plants and animals would be able to better adapt to different environments. He obviously loves variety when you look at all of the different appearances within the human race. As the God of variety, He would have created many different types of stars, solar systems, galaxies and other heavenly objects.
But God is also the God of simplicity. He uses many of the same basic designs throughout His creation and the spiral is one of them. Look at the center of a sunflower or pick up a pine cone and look carefully at the spiral design. Have you ever had the privilege of watching a fiddle-neck fern grow? The end of each frond is coiled in a perfect spiral that gradually unwinds. If you take time to look through nature, you will see many examples of God’s spiral design, especially in plants. When you look to the heavens, you will also witness His use of spirals in the many galaxies He created.
The only real problem the astronomers have with BX442, is their foundational belief in evolution and the Big Bang. Had they started with the Bible, they would see this grand design spiral galaxy as a beautiful heavenly testament to our Creator God.
Maugh II, Thomas H. Hubble spots spiral galaxy that shouldn’t exist, Los Angeles Times, July 18 2012.
Genesis teaches that God created the entire universe supernaturally, only thousands of years ago. Yet, most people are convinced that the universe started in a big bang billions of years in the past. In this illustrated lecture, astronomer Dr. Jason Lisle shows viewers that when the evidence of nature is understood properly, it lines up perfectly with the clear teachings of Scripture. The heavens declare the glory of God!
Run Time: 36 minutes