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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CE351:

Astronomers from 2,000 years ago recorded that Sirius was a red star; today it is a white dwarf star. Conventional astronomy, which states that 100,000 years are required for a star to "evolve" from a red giant to a white dwarf, must be wrong.


Hovind, Kent, 2003. Introduction to Dr. Hovind's "Creation Seminar".


  1. The ancient astronomers who described Sirius as red were looking at it when it was low on the horizon, so its reddening was due to the earth's atmosphere. The "red Sirius" refers to observations made at the heliacal risings and settings of the star in Greek and Roman society (Ceragioli 1996; Whittet 1999).

  2. Not all ancient astronomers recorded that Sirius was red. Many ancient sources confirm that it was white or bluish white 2,000 years ago (van Gent 1984, 1989).

  3. The bright star visible without a telescope, Sirius A, is not a white dwarf. Sirius A has a white dwarf companion star, Sirius B, which has nothing to do with what ancient astronomers saw. Hovind did not check the facts behind his claims.

  4. Even if Sirius had changed color, it would not support creationism or a young earth in any way. It would simply mean that one observation was unexplained.


  1. Ceragioli, R. C., 1996. Solving the puzzle of "red" Sirius. Journal for the History of Astronomy 27: 93-128.
  2. van Gent, R. H., 1984. Red Sirius. Nature 312: 302.
  3. van Gent, R. H., 1989. The colour of Sirius. The Observatory 109: 23-24.
  4. Whittet, D. C. B, 1999. A physical interpretation of the 'red Sirius' anomaly. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 310(2): 355-359.

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created 2003-5-18, modified 2005-3-21