Do Supernovae Give Evidence of a Young Earth?

In light of my recent message on science and the Bible and how they relate, some friends pointed me to Answers in Genesis, a website that attempts to explain and defend the position that God created the earth in 6 literal 24 hour days no more than 10,000 years ago. I’ve long desired to see real science done where “the best conclusion to the data” is a young earth. There isn’t much “science” done to support that viewpoint, so I was happy to find this article It puts forth a really interesting argument that the number of supernovae remnants in the sky are best explained by a young universe. Is it convincing? Keep reading to find out.

Details of the Theory

According to theories widely accepted by astronomers, there is one supernova event every 25 years, and they remain visible in some fashion for 120,000 years.

Therefore, the number of visible supernovae should indicate the age of the universe. If the universe is older than 120,000 years, then we should still be able to see remnants of the supernova that happened around 118000 BC, and the one that happened 25 years later, and the one 25 years later and so on.

The equation works like this:

[time in years] / [supernova event rate] = visible supernovae remnants


[visible supernovae remnants] * [supernovae event rate] = elapsed time


When we look into the heavens, we see 205 supernova remnants, and if we plug 205 into the equation above, we get…

205 supernovae * 25 supernovae / year = 5125 years

Therefore, this calculation and these observations seem to indicate the universe is roughly 5000 years old.

This is the gist of the article referenced above. The calculations are mine, however. I encourage you to go there and read it for yourself if you are interested by this sort of thing.

Lingering Questions

I’d like to see more work done on this stuff because I have some lingering questions:

  1. The calculation is based on an assumption that the supernovae rate today is the same as it was in the past. If, for example, the supernova rate in the past were slower, more years would be required to reach 205.

  2. The calculations are based on theories and research done by secular scientists who do not accept the young earth conclusions. I’d like to know why young earth scientists feel it’s right to accept the portions of the theory that confirms claims of a young universe while rejecting the parts of the theory that do not.

  3. Finally, the calculations are only valid from the moment of the first supernova event onward. All the current calculations tell us is that the first supernova event likely occurred 5000 years ago. However, it doesn’t tell us anything about how much time passed before the first supernova event. If it took the universe 10 billion years for the first star to reach the point of supernova, these calculations wouldn’t be able to address that.


This kind of science is certainly provocative, but since young earth science is not in the mainstream, I’d like to see more of it. Perhaps Answers in Genesis will put out more articles like this one.

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