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The popular media frequently claim that stars are actually seen evolving and that pictures of these stellar nurseries prove it. Impressive pictures of the Eagle Nebula are usually shown. Many people accept the claim without asking themselves, “Do the pictures contain anything that shows stars are evolving?” Of course not. If stars were evolving, other physical measurements could confirm it. Where are those measurements? Silence.
This willingness to accept what others tell us reminds one of the tale in which citizens told their naked emperor he was nicely dressed. Rather than believing or reporting what their eyes clearly told them, people preferred to accept what others said—or at least not object. Better not disagree or even ask questions; it could be embarrassing.
Why do some astronomers say stars are evolving? Until recently, the atmosphere prevented astronomers from seeing infrared radiations from space. Then in the late 1960s, satellites outside the atmosphere made infrared sky surveys that showed some surprisingly warm clouds of dust and gas in our galaxy. Several things could cause this heating. Perhaps a dim star (a brown dwarf) is behind the cloud, maybe something nearby exploded, or a star is dying as it is being pulled into a massive black hole. Those who struggled to understand how stars evolved had a different interpretation: “Gravity is collapsing the cloud, raising its temperature. In thousands of years, it will become a star.” Still other interpretations are possible.
NASA’s claim in 1995 that these pictures showed hundreds to thousands of stars forming was based on the speculative “EGG-star formation theory.” It has recently been tested independently with two infrared detectors that can see inside the dusty pillars. Few stars were there, and 85% of the pillars had too little dust and gas to support star formation. “The new findings also highlight how much astronomers still have to learn about star formation.” [Ron Cowen, “Rethinking an Astronomical Icon: The Eagle’s EGG, Not So Fertile,” Science News, Vol. 161, 16 March 2002, pp. 171–172.]
What prevents stellar evolution? Just as the Sun’s gravity does not pull planets into the Sun, gravity does not pull gas and dust into a tight ball that then ignites as a star. Each cloud of dust and gas in space has a specific amount of kinetic and potential energy, angular momentum, and magnetic energy that must be removed for even a slight collapse. Evidence of that removal is missing. Furthermore, any collapse would only increase the cloud’s temperature and pressure, which, in turn, would expand the cloud. If someone tells you that the emperor is well dressed, ask questions, and insist on seeing real evidence.
Theories for the Evolution of the Solar System and Universe Are Unscientific and Hopelessly Inadequate.
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