When studying chemistry, students are confronted with the periodic table. The periodic table is a list of all the chemical elements that exist in the known universe. It is organized by proton number and grouped by type of element. However, because the periodic table is so commonly used, often students miss the obvious problem of “where did the elements come from?” This is a question that demands an answer from any theory of origins. In this article, we will examine the prevailing evolutionary theory and attempt to determine if it satisfactorily explains the existence of elements.
The standard explanation given by most scientists for the formation of elements ties back to the Big Bang Theory. The Big Bang Theory states that after the explosion that created the universe out of nothing, three elements were created. Those three elements were hydrogen, helium, and lithium. These are the three elements with the lowest atomic numbers. From these three elements, according to the theory, the rest of the elements evolved. They did so by several means. The first method was something called atomic fusion. This process essentially is two elements being smashed together at high speed. This combines their nucleus, increasing their atomic number accordingly. For example, were lithium,(atomic number three) and hydrogen( atomic number one) smashed together, their theoretical product would be Beryllium, with an atomic number of four. Since this process requires intense heat, it can only take place in stars. However, atomic fusion only works so far. Like every other process’s, atomic fusion takes up energy. So long as the process produces more energy than it uses, it will continue to be performed. The problem for atomic fusion is that when the process reaches Iron, which has an atomic number of merely twenty-six, it ceases to be energy positive. Any attempt to use atomic fusion beyond iron is impossible because it uses more energy than it produces. Thus in order to produce the remaining elements, a new process is needed. This is where the theory gets muddled.
Some evolutionists propose that when stars explode in novas or supernovas that the shock of the explosion provides the energy for the formation of the heavier elements such as gold, silver, nickel and so on. Others reject this idea and claim a process called neutron capture. The idea behind this is fairly simple. Essentially, as elements pass through space, they pull in neutrons, which are added to the nucleus. Some of these neutrons then decay into protons, creating a new atomic numbered element.
These theories are all very good on an academic drawing board but whether they actually work is what counts. The fact that the only place it is hot enough to fuse elements together and make new ones is found inside stars means that the process is unobservable, at least for now. Nothing man has made can withstand the thousands of degrees of Kelvin that stars emit. Until such time as such a device is invented, atomic fusion must remain merely theoretical. Without proof of this atomic fusion, the idea that the elements formed in the stars weakens. Even supposing that atomic fusion does happen, there is still a problem. Stars are thought to be composed of hydrogen, helium and numerous other elements. Since stars are supposed to be the origin point of all elements with the exception of helium, lithium, and hydrogen, how did any element other than those three end up in stars? No other element was supposed to be able to form without forming inside a star. This is a huge issue. The theory needs elements to make the stars, while simultaneously needing the stars to produce the elements. This is the proverbial “chicken and egg” problem in a nutshell. One had to precede the other, but both are necessary to make the other.
The formation of heavier elements is no better than the formation of the first elements. The supernova model of formation for new elements is rickety at best. When a star explodes in a nova or supernova, it naturally ejects debris. Since by evolutionists own admission, stars are largely made up of hydrogen and helium, both of which have low atomic numbers, multiple fusions must take place during the ejection to form heavy elements like uranium. The problem here is that the temperature generated by the exploding supernova is not enough to even fuse iron, let alone a much heavier element like uranium. This issue led some scientists into the neutron capture model. However, there are serious issues with this as well. Neutrons are not routinely found outside the nucleus of an element. Where did the quadrillions of neutrons needed to create the heavy elements we observe today come from? Further, even should neutron capture be possible, being able to neutron capture all the way up to 118 from Irons 26 is nearly as improbable as a monkey sitting at a typewriter and typing Genesis 1:1 by pounding randomly. Even if the impossible could happen, and neutron capture could produce all the heavy elements we see, the question of why we find them spread throughout the universe still remains. Evolutionists have no answer for the formation of any element heavier than iron and their answers up to iron are debatable at best.
Creationists have no problem with the formation of elements or with star formation. The Bible tells us exactly when God made the stars, almost as an afterthought. “And God made the two great lights: the greater light to be the ruler of the day, and the smaller light to be the ruler of the night: and he made the stars.” Genesis 1:16 tells us He made the stars on the fourth day. The elements themselves were likely made when God formed the world. Creationists do not need a complicated system of supposition and twisted evidence to account for the existence of gold or uranium. As is the case in many of life’s other problems, the answers have been given to us. As Dr. Ken Ham famously said to Bill Nye the “Science Guy” during their 2013 debate: “You see Bill, there is this book…” and held up a Bible. Perhaps is evolutionists would flip the first page open, they would figure out exactly where the stars and elements came from.
Update: I have also now produced a video dealing with this topic, which contains similar information. You can view it on my YouTube channel here.