Saturday, October 02, 2010

Answers in Genesis Screws It up Again

Lisle has responded to the Missing gravitational field” question as follows

I’ve seen this criticism but I haven’t responded yet. It is very easy to refute. I plan on doing a series on this blog on the topic of ASC, in which I will refute this and other criticisms made by those who have not studied the topic..... 
I had already planned to deal with this in detail in a future blog entry. But the short answer is: no, ASC does not require a gravitational field. It is simply a coordinate transformation from the ESC. And coordinate transformations do not introduce any real forces.            
[Circa 2012 - Lisle's plan apparently never came to fruition. We continue to wait on his good pleasure]

That in turn is very easy to refute: Lisle well knows that you can do all sorts of arbitrarily bizarre things with coordinate transformations: e.g. the direction and gradations we assign to the time coordinate are just matters of convention and yet physically speaking the time coordinate has a natural direction and natural units. This is where Lisle’s mistake lies.

Latest news August 2012:
Latest News May 2014: 

"Answers in Genesis" have recently published their latest “solution” to a problem that Young Earth Creationists have worried for as far back as I can remember – the star light travel time conundrum; basically, how does light from stars billions of light years away reach Earth in less than 10,000 years? I suspect that this particular “solution” will not be the last word on the subject and give it a few more years another attempt will be made when the short comings of this latest attempt are all but forgotten. In this blog entry I indicated that I was eagerly awaiting the publishing of a paper by AiG writer Jason Lisle revealing this cutting edge science. Jason Lisle claimed on his AiG blog that the paper was being “peer” reviewed. It is likely that this meant it was being reviewed by other YECs. The YEC community forms such a marginalised and persecuted group that they don’t even bother to submit their work to the wider scientific community. The only way they can live with themselves is by accounting for their wholesale rejection as a product of a corrupt scientific community. Putting this with the fact that the wider scientific community are in the main pulling together on the overall cosmological picture we have a situation that is fertile ground for conspiracy theory. But I digress.

The start of the Lisle’s paper has a section on “mature creation” – there are in my view many problems with this philosophy, but I’ll save a critique of “mature creation” theory for a separate blog entry. However, there are two points in the paper with which I do agree. Like myself Lisle rejects the notion that God would create photons in mid flight within a radius of 6000 light years of Earth. He rejects this on the basis that this would require fictional events, such as super novae, being embedded in the light signals rather than being generated by real events; the alternative compromises the integrity of the created order. I also agree with Lisle’s view that the Bible writers would most likely have thought of events as taking place when they saw them happening, and thus as far as events in the heavens are concerned they would have timed them as seen. In defense of this view Lisle points out that the Biblical writers didn’t know the distance to the stars and therefore could not use any other convention for designating the time of an astronomical event than the time of its appearance. But it is quite possible that the Biblical writers may not even have conceived that sight had anything to do with a signal that passed from A to B, or perceived that there is an issue with the timing of observed events; it may be that in their perception seeing was a naturally instantaneous process indifferent to distance. So even when Lisle gets something right he may have got his reasoning wrong: It may be that the ancients thought about sight in a way that is incommensurable with our own concept of the transfer of a signal. Treating the book of Genesis as if it contains lists of prepackaged scientific facts is a very dubious exercise given that the ancients may have had very different conceptual structures to our own. But I digress (again)

Let me now look at the core content of Lisle’s paper. This paper appears to be a sophistication of an idea he mooted here; namely, that it is possible to simply define the timing of events as and when they are seen to occur. It then follows that all events on the inverted light cone extending into the past are coincident, by definition. There is nothing to stop one adopting such a definition; it is quite possible to define coincidence in this fashion. If one does then this means that an event occurring at any distance from Earth is defined as happening when it is seen. Lisle is at pains to point out in his paper that this “Anisotropic Synchrony Convention” (or ASC for short,) as he calls it, is a purely conventional step:

The anisotropic synchrony convention is just that—a convention. It is not a scientific model; it does not make testable predictions. It is a convention of measurement and cannot be falsified any more than the metric system can be falsified.

But given the conventional nature of this step Lisle also admits that it is possible to revert back to Einstein’s synchrony convention:

Einstein synchronization does have its place. In particular, Einstein synchronization is isotropic; the speed of light is stipulated to be the same in all directions. This greatly simplifies the equations of Special Relativity, thereby making Einstein synchronization the preferred convention to be used when doing physics computations.

Much as the metric system is easier to use in physics calculations than the English system, no one would suggest that students learning Special Relativity for the first time should use anything other than the Einstein synchrony convention. One consequence of the Einstein synchrony convention is that all observers agree on the timing of distant events if the observers have the same velocity—regardless of the position of the observers. Conversely, ASC would have all observers agree on the timing of events if the observers have the same location, regardless of velocity. Since Relativity is concerned with velocity reference frames, it is very useful to select a synchrony convention in which velocity alone (irrespective of location) sets the timing of distant events. The mathematical advantages of the Einstein synchrony convention are clear.

So far so good – I don’t see anything wrong here. I agree on the conventional nature of the choice of synchrony method. I agree that the choice is often based on convenience – in particular ASC is convenient for an Earth based frame. I also agree that ASC is more likely to be consistent with the arcadian mindset of the Biblical writers. The underlying mathematical reason for the arbitrariness of the synchrony convention is that we are free to choose the coordinate system we use. As I pointed out in this blog post, where I discussed Young Earth Creationist’s Gerardus Bouw geocentric views, it is possible to even define a coordinate system that makes the Earth stationary with everything in the universe revolving round it; and this is certainly a useful co-ordinate system for the man in the street. However, in the case of Bouw he goes on to suggest that this geostationary coordinate system is justified by his rewritten version of physics; so Bouw is actually saying that a geocentric cosmos is not just conventional but physical as well. Unlike Bouw it at first appears that Lisle is merely proposing a convention, namely a coordinate system that assigns a time coordinate to astronomical events as they are seen. But - and here is the inevitable “But” that you knew was coming eventually - Lisle’s paper carries a subtle error; he effectively builds in an observable physical condition into his “convention” and he is not aware that he is doing it. This is the offending passage:

The act of choosing a synchrony convention is synonymous with defining the one-way speed of light. If we select Einstein synchronization, then we have declared that the speed of light is the same in all directions. If we select ASC, then we have declared that light is essentially infinitely fast when moving directly toward the observer, and ½c when moving directly away. Under ASC, the speed of light as a function of direction relative to the observer (θ) is given by cθ = c/(1-cos(θ)), where θ = 0 indicates the direction directly toward the observer. (My emphasis)

There is nothing to stop one choosing a synchrony convention which assigns events a time coordinate defined by the arrival of their signal at the Earth’s surface. But to define an Anisotropic Synchrony Convention is one thing; to then imply that anisotropy in the one way speed of light is also a matter of convention is entirely another thing. Let me explain.

Lisle correctly points out the practical and theoretical difficulties in measuring the one way speed of light with any rigor because of issues relating to the synchronization of two clocks that are separated by the distance over which the speed of light is measured. It is much easier, therefore, to measure the two way speed of light; that is by using one clock and timing light over a there and back journey. But the issue here, of course, is that it is conceivable that the speed of light on the outward journey may be different from that of the return journey; how would we know? For this reason a physicist called Edwards rehashed special relatively by simply assuming that only the two way speed of light, which is in fact the average speed over a there and back journey, is a constant equal to c. In spite of the possibility that the speed of light in one direction may be different from its speed in another direction Edwards found that provided the two way speed averaged to the value c then all the results of special relativity still applied. In my last blog on this topic I referenced a paper by Chinese physicist Jian Qi Shen who has done some work on the Edwards space-time. In the last page of his paper Jian Qi Shen writes down the metric for the Edwards space time thus: (written for the special case of a null geodesic in this instance, hence = 0)

Where X is a parameter that is dependent on observer velocity and effectively measures the anisotropy in the speed of light as seen by that observer. The crucial point is that X is constant for the observer and does not vary from place to place. Let Jain Qi Shen continue the story:

In other words there is no gravitational field in the Edwards space time because the anisotropy in the speed of light is constant; in the Edwards space-time the anisotropy in the speed of light does not change its direction as one moves from place to place. Under these circumstance one can by convention choose the one way speed of light without having any observable effect on special relativity and other physical circumstances. But - and here is the big "but" – one cannot choose a one way speed of light that varies its direction from place to place without introducing a space curvature; that is, without introducing a gravitational field. And it is precisely an anisotropy in the speed of light that varies its direction from place to place that Lisle thinks he can achieve merely by definition:

The act of choosing a synchrony convention is synonymous with defining the one-way speed of light.

Given that Lisle requires the speed of light in the direction of Earth to be all but infinity, then this means the anisotropy in the speed of light is radially directed toward the Earth, thus implying that the anisotropy changes its direction from place to place. Therefore Lisle’s “convention” is not a mere coordinate system redefinition because he cannot take this step without his model being physically different, a difference that entails a gravitational field. In my last blog on this subject I assumed that Lisle would spot this and that he would be forced to postulate some kind of geocentric gravitational field. But it seems that neither Lisle nor his AiG reviewers have spotted it. For Lisle’s YEC cosmos to work it must be pervaded by some kind of geocentric gravitational field. But since he does not see that a gravitational field is required to give him a light speed anisotropy that changes direction he therefore sees no reason to postulate a source of this field. We cannot  detect an anisotropy in the speed of light if its direction and magnitude is constant, but as soon as we try to “define” an anisotropy that is spatially variable we find we cannot do so without introducing a gravitational field. Therefore the act of choosing a synchrony convention is not synonymous with defining the one-way speed of light. In short Lisle’s paper is fundamentally flawed. But this is not the only error in the paper, although it is probably enough to be going on with for now. If I get time I may look at the other problems in Lisle’s work.

In the YEC community the scientific quality of its papers is less crucial than the role they serve in the wider YEC culture. The average fundagelical supporter who doesn’t understand science can, if challenged on the issue of Star light travel time, simply point to papers such as Lisle’s with the misplaced confidence that the matter is in hand. From his perspective this paper comes out of the stable that runs the impressive Ken Ham Creation Museum, a museum where no expense has been spared and whose lavish (if tacky) exhibits must stun and awe the average Christian fundamentalist. When one is immersed in such a heady patriarchal culture it must feel that it just can’t be wrong. Any challenge to such an awe inspiring source must look as though its coming from somewhere near the gates of  hell and need not be engaged; after all, it’s in the hands of people like Jason Lisle and his AiG reviewers – what better authority and assurance can one ask for? Thus, whether right or wrong, Lisle's work serves to act as an important community myth.

11/08/2012 For the latest news see here:

13/10/12 The latest news on Jason Lisle's ASC....

The lasest news on ASC in relation to the above blog post comes in the comments section of this post on Jason’s blog. Here we read:
Isaac Roland says:
August 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm
Dr. Lisle,
Have you responded to a critique of your AIG article at ?
Dr. Lisle says:
September 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm
I’ve seen this criticism but I haven’t responded yet. It is very easy to refute. I plan on doing a series on this blog on the topic of ASC, in which I will refute this and other criticisms made by those who have not studied the topic.
Nick L. says:
September 12, 2012 at 11:07 am
I’m looking forward to that series of entries.
At that point I had to step in to encourage Jason to make a response and tell him I too am very much looking forward to that series of posts. Yes it certainly is “very easy to refuteif Jason is telling us that he is simply making a coordinate transformation on the Einstein space. But as we shall see there is far more to it than that! As I said in my reply on Jason’ blog: Your move Jason ....... so let’s wait and see what Jason has to say!
While I was there, however, I started to do some ground work by talking about the consequences of ASC when one simply uses it as a coordinate transformation; because even here there are issues to contend with. In fact Lisle’s correspondent “Preston” eventually said what I wanted him to say and he inferred a duration of 28 billion years.  In due time I hope to also look at the issues which arise even when one interprets Lisle’s ASC model in purely coordinate transformational terms. I’ll hand it Russ Humphreys’ model: It may not work but it is far more respectful of astrophysics than Jason Lisle’s evil abortion.
I’m not really on talking terms with YECs and this is why I was loathe to show up on Lisle’s blog; we are dealing here with religious fundamentalists, the West's equivalent of the Taliban, who are busily corrupting and subverting science and Lisle and his followers are typical culprits. It was no surprise when “Preston” (The anti-gay bigot I mention in the comments section of this post) told me:
Mr. Reeves, Your war is with God, and you’ve already lost. You should read your bible and believe it and repent before it’s too late. A lake of fire and eternal suffering await those who reject God till the end.
What charming people my work brings me into contact with! This response is just all too typical of human conceits.  Assuming that all but one's own religious culture are for the burning is the view of every sect between here and Salt Lake city!

Addendum  14 July 2013

Last September (2012) I added a few comments to a post on Jason Lisle’s blog entitled Arbitrariness and Inconsistency – the Opposites of Rationality (and Dated  3 August 2013).  This comment thread had got people talking about Lisle’s ASC model solution to the YEC star light problem and somebody had linked to this blog post on the subject. Lisle responded to this commenter which in turn rather forced my hand into responding myself.

It is clear from one of  Lisle’s comments, a comment I reproduce below, that he thinks of his ASC model as only employing a mere coordinate transformation. As you can read below he promised that he will in due course bring out some posts on the subject of gravity. However, for the purposes of the thread below I stayed true to the perception that Lisle’s ASC model entails just a case of changing the coordinate system.

Most of the comments I added to Lisle’s blog, along with a lot of the other useful material, has since been deleted by Lisle. Because I don’t want this material lost I reproduce it here. Although I also discuss the age of the Earth generally with one of Lisle’s YEC followers, my main focus was on Lisle’s ASC model solution to the YEC starlight problem. Challenging Lisle’s perception of his model in relation to gravity is the work for another day, so in this particular connection I focussed on the timing of the arrival of light from the vicinity of the Earth at galaxies billions of light years away. I know and Jason Lisle knows that in his asymmetrical cosmology this event occurs billions of years after the creation of those distant galaxies and billions of years after the creation of the Earth.  This thread brings out this fact about his model.

Rational Wiki contributor Sam Trenholme also commented on Lisle’s blog. Sam introduced a thought experiment involving a mirror, an experiment that very elegantly and clearly brings out the asymmetry/geocentricity of Lisle’s cosmology, but unfortunately this comment was also deleted about a week after its first appearance.

Note: I've since annotated the thread below with a few further comments and these can be seen in bold between square brackets. I've added them in order to help interpret what’s going on. Notice at no point does Lisle acknowledge my presence. This behaviour probably has some fundamentalist basis in righteous indignation; I've met this kind of behaviour before as I have moved amongst Christian sectarians.

Isaac Roland says:
Dr. Lisle,
Have you responded to a critique of your AIG article at
·         Dr. Lisle says:
I’ve seen this criticism but I haven’t responded yet. It is very easy to refute. I plan on doing a series on this blog on the topic of ASC, in which I will refute this and other criticisms made by those who have not studied the topic.
[My Comment: Jason Lisle actually put this so called “refutation” in one of his other comments, a comment that I have included below.]
o    Nick L. says:
I’m looking forward to that series of entries.
§  Timothy V Reeves says:
…and so am I! My blog admin alerted me to this link! Now Jason, I think I have an inkling of what you are going to say: In fact there is probably only about one or two things you can say, and it is that I’ve been preparing for! Now, if I was to follow your example then at this point I might engage in a bit of posturing myself and claim that “You haven’t studied this topic”! Your move Jason!
Sorry that no big scientific names have moved in and really taken your proposal seriously. I must apologise that I’m not an interlocutor with a societal high status myself but can only offer to test your proposal from the perspective of an enthusiastic amateur (although with the appropriate background) within the mainstream Christian tradition; so that means I am a creationist in the general sense.
It’s long ago now (well, not long ago if you are using Jason’s notification based co-ordinate transformation! Haha!), but I went through a period of Christian fundamentalism myself and read “The Genesis Flood” from cover to cover ultimately finding it unconvincing. However, on emerging from Christian fundamentalism I’ve kept tabs on YEC developments.
BTW: As far as I’m aware geocentrist Gerardus Bouw does define a stationary reference frame which he anchors in what I think he calls “the plenum”- although I have to admit that I haven’t studied his one-man rewrite of physics that closely (and don’t intend to.)

[My comment: Next, I start talking generally about YEC with this guy called Nick….]
§  Nick L. says:
I’m not gathering a lot of information from your post, Timothy, outside of the fact that you’re an Old-earth Creationist. I assume then that you have a number of rescuing devices ready to explain the many scientific evidences that contradict your view; thus, there is probably no point in venturing into a discussion of the lunar recession rate, the erosion rate of the continents, the shrinkage rate of the Sun, the existence of short period comets, or any of the other scientific evidences I find supportive of a young earth.
Since that’s the case, can you share how you support your Old-earth view Biblically? I find absolutely no evidence in the Genesis narrative supportive of Old-earth creationism. On the contrary, all I find are clear reasons to reject OEC in favor of YEC.
The most powerful reason for embracing YEC, in my opinion, is the problem of death before sin in an Old-earth view. How do you reconcile the Bible’s clear teaching against death before sin and the necessity of such events in an Old-earth view?
Incidentally, I can’t help mentioning that you’re entirely incorrect when you state that no ‘big-name’ scientists have embraced the Young-earth view. Organizations like the Institute for Creation Research and the Creation Research Society boast memberships by dozens of PhD scientists. The ranks of Creationism are getting progressively stronger, while the supporters of traditional evolution are becoming fewer and more fractured. Well-known figures like Richard Dawkins are now abandoning traditional evolutionary models of the origin of life in favor of even more radical ideas like panspermia. As Jason states in one of his blog entries, evolution is truly becoming an endangered species.
§  Timothy V Reeves says:
Thanks for the reply Nick.
Yes, there is little point in discussing those items because I don’t want to embark on an in depth analysis deep inside the entrails of this blog; I take that sort of thing back to my own blog. To this end, however, perhaps you are the very man to help me out on some questions.
Regarding lunar recession rate, Sun shrinkage, sedimentation etc, etc Some of these (such as Sun Shrinkage, if it exists) are all but useless in returning duration information because the (possibly chaotic) mechanisms that drive them are the subject of speculation. However, using a (very) crude model I used the moon recession rate to return an Earth duration limit of not greater than half a million years, a figure well in access of 6000 years. What I would like to know (because I have yet to come across it in my study of YEC culture) is this: Are there any YEC models out there that return durations that limit Earth age to not greater than 10,000 years? I’m interested in getting a listing of YEC models that return duration information in this “not greater than” format so that I can see how these are distributed on the time axis.

I actually regard the treatment of Biblical evidence by YEC as one of its weakest links because YEC is not using the right historical model to interpret scripture: Especially when ancient narratives reach back to pre-human times (such as we see in Genesis 1) we must factor in the vagaries and polemical purposes of the mythological/metaphorical imagination (though managed and inspired by The Sovereign Will)
But regarding early Genesis I have another question: How do YEC’s literal interpretations juxtapose Satan’s fall and Man’s fall in cosmic history? Which comes first? And who is the serpent?
I think you need to read again what I said regarding “big-name” scientists; I thought I was simply remarking on a fact that is not contentious: Viz: Jason’s specific proposal (to my knowledge) has not been given the kudos of serious critical attention by any (non-YEC) “big noises”; if it had it is unlikely that Rational Wiki would have had to resort to linking to my article! However, you seem to have read into the word “proposal” the whole YEC Weltanschauung and this has inadvertently connected with the YEC self-worth complex, triggering off in you the need for a marginalized subculture to find reasons to believe in itself. I’ve touched a nerve here! Boasts? You’ve got it in one!
I understand that you won’t be aware that I have no emotional commitment to currently accepted theories of the mechanism of evolutionary change (not to be confused with natural history) and even Big Bang. But one thing I say with confidence is this: Cosmic durations are a lot greater than 6000 years. i.e.YEC is false.
§  Nick L. says:
Thanks for the response.

First, yes, there are several models that limit the age of the earth to various numbers far closer to 6,000 years than the lunar recession rate. The first example that comes to mind is the work by Dr. Thomas G. Barnes. I will quote from A Scientific Analysis of Genesis by Edward F. Blick, PhD: “Physicist Dr. Thomas Barnes in a remarkable study has noted that the Earth’s magnetic field has been decaying exponentially since it was first measured in 1835. His analysis shows that its half-life is about fourteen hundred years. Based upon a half-life of fourteen hundred years, the Earth’s magnetic field would have been equal to that of a magnetic star just ten thousand years ago. Dr. Barnes indicates that the only reasonable source for the Earth’s magnetic field must be free circulating electrical currents in the Earth’s iron core. He concluded that the heat generated by these currents flowing against an electrical resistance would have been too large for life to have existed on Earth more than ten thousand years ago; hence, life has been on Earth less than ten thousand years” (84). A few more models that fulfill your requirements: the influx of radiocarbon into the Earth system limits the age of the Earth to somewhere between 5000 and 10,000 years. The development of the human population of the Earth comes out to roughly 4000 years, which, as I’m sure you’re aware, is entirely consistent with the YEC model of the Noachian Flood roughly 4000 years ago. The decay of short period comets limits the age to less than 10,000 yrs. The accumulation of peat in peat bogs limits the age to less than 8,000 years. And the formation of river deltas limits the age to less than 5,000 years, again consistent with a Noachian flood 4000 years ago.
While those should be enough to keep you busy researching for a little bit, the point really isn’t how close to 6,000 years we can limit Earth’s age to. The real point at hand is that there are a plethora of models out there that disprove the vast ages REQUIRED for evolution. Regardless of whether or not you accept or deny any particular model mentioned (or any of the others you’re familiar with), if even ONE of them escapes the criticism of evolutionists unscathed (as the majority of them have), evolutionary theory is undone.
I’m not sure where you find Scriptural support of the idea of incorporating “mythological/metaphysical” factors into our interpretation of Scripture. I think it’s fairly clear what the writer of Genesis was trying to convey, and that is that the heavens and the earth and all that is in them were created in six literal, 24 hour days. Again, I must ask what Scriptural proof you have that shows otherwise.
As for the fall of Satan, the Bible implies it took place after the creation of man and before the fall. God concluded that His entire creation was “very good” at the end of Genesis 1, and this judgment seems hard to understand if Satan and one-third of the angelic host was already in rebellion. There are also passages that refer to Satan in the Garden of Eden prior to his fall. Obviously, however, he fell before he took on the form of a serpent and beguiled Eve.
§  Timothy V Reeves says:
Thanks for that info Nick; very helpful.
I think Barnes’s ideas have come in for a lot of criticism: As per Sun shrinkage the models used are in a state of speculative flux: I’ve heard of models of the Earth’s interior that flip the poles with a period of about 1 million years. It’s all very reminiscent of the “moon dust” debacle. Likewise I’m not impressed with the population argument which neglects chaotic population fluctuations in small stressed hunting communities.
However, I haven’t looked into the influx of radiocarbon, comets, peat bogs and river delta’s so I’ll take those away with me. But as always one finds attempts by either side of the debate to make absolute statements is scuppered by many adjustable variables and a general open endedness of the phenomena concerned.
But in any case there seems to be a paradox in YEC: On the one hand one finds YECs using age calculations and the rational assumptions on which they are necessarily based positively and yet in other contexts YECs are negative about age calculations: Unless of course the YEC strategy is a negative one of simply subverting science by dwelling on inconsistency…. which may be what you are trying to get at in your second paragraph. BTW: Just in case you are thinking about it: I don’t accept the philosophy that attempts to make a clear demarcation between “historical science” and “operational science”; they in fact form a seamless whole.
Of course you won’t find “meta-information” about the mythological/metaphorical in the Bible any more than you will find information about the fundamentals of language and grammar, common sense physics and philosophy, the wider historical context of the Middle East, basic ideas about human beings etc etc – all of which are part of a huge open ended meta-database that we bring to the Bible’s black and white pixel information in order to appropriate meaning.
Thanks for the information on the fall of Satan and his angels. That essentially confirms what I was given to understand in my fundamentalist days. In fact it’s still my understanding. Trouble is it leaves us with a wild card: The history of Satan’s fall and its consequences.
Another question for you Nick. I did a quick search for Jason’s views on colliding galaxies. Jason’s ASC model, as we shall see, is very strictly limited in what it can do as it is a transformation consistent with Einstein. This means that average light speed is a “conserved” quantity of c. Consequently there’s a hemisphere of solid angle where light speed is either c or less. So how does he deal with colliding galaxies? I only found some second hand references where it was said that Jason claimed that colliding galaxies were created in collision. Are you able to point me at any quotes from Jason himself?
Looks to me as if the formatting here is eventually going to restrict us to one word per line.

§  Kenny says:
Dr. Lisle mentions them in the second to last paragraph (before the footnotes) in his article on ASC.
§  Timothy V Reeves says:
Thanks v. much Kenny. I must have read that and forgotten it! 

[My Comment: In the following comment Lisle is responding to a comment by someone called “Preston” – a comment not published here - who asks for help in understanding his ASC Model. This leads into the important discussion I'm looking for]

Dr. Lisle says:
Exactly right regarding the experiment, and ASC from earth’s point of view. The interesting thing is that from the stars’ point of view, the earth would be created after the stars. Whereas, from earth’s point of view, the stars are made later – on day 4. They have different positions, and therefore different definitions of “simultaneous.”
·         Timothy V Reeves says:
The interesting thing is that from the stars’ point of view, the earth would be created after the stars
…and now Jason can you please tell Preston this: From the point of view of a typical galaxy how long after its creation does the Earth appear be to created? Don’t worry about significant figures – a log value will do!

[My Comment: What I’m getting at above is this:  I know, and Lisle knows that his ASC model implies that stars very distant from the Earth will only see the Earth millions of years after their creation! “Preston” eventually twigs this fact and says so in a comment I have reproduced below, but in the meantime “Kenny” chimes in…]
o    Kenny says:
For galaxies that would first see earth, under ASC, it would appear to be created 8-16 minutes after the galaxy/stars.
Only the galaxies which see the sun aproximately between them and the earth will see the earth. The sun’s light has to travel to the earth and then bounce off of it. In this configuration, the light from the sun moves towards the earth (depending on the angle of the observing galaxy in relation to the light’s motion) at somewhere between c and 1/2c. At c, the light takes about 8 minutes to reach earth and at 1/2c the light will take 16 minutes. After the sun’s light bounces off of the earth, it travels towards observers, in those  galaxies, instantly.
[My Comment: Kenny has completely missed the point and gone off at a tangent. When Earth light does arrive at those distant galaxies the inhabitants in those galaxies can use ASC to claim that it arrived all but instantaneously. But what Kenny hasn’t seen is that when that light does eventually arrive at those galaxies they must have been hanging around for billions of years!]
§  Kenny says:
I just want to be clear that I’m coming at this from a hypothetical position, because the earth is too small to be seen from another galaxy.
With this in mind, there would be galaxies that would see the earth as soon as THEY were created. If from their point of view the earth was transiting the sun they would instantly see the earth as a black spot crossing in front of the sun. Since the sun’s light is traveling directly towards the observing galaxy, the sun’s light and the dark spot would appear instantly.
I believe Dr. Lisle’s last statement had in mind the idea of the light first reflecting off of the earth. Therefore, to the some stars, the earth appears to be created after them.
§  Timothy V Reeves says:
So Kenny, am I to understand that that is the answer which convinces you?
[My Comment: Yes Kenny really just can’t see the wood from the trees! Lisle’s model has completely fazed him!]
§  Kenny says:
No! I’m an old-earth creationist. I was just what telling you what Dr. Lisle’s ASC theory would say.
I also wanted to correct myself. Because the earth is a sphere, a more correct statement would be that most galaxies would see some evidence for the earth between insatntly and 16 minutes. There would be a large fraction that would not see earth until it revolved around the sun to a point that it reflected some of the sun’s light in their direction.

§  Timothy V Reeves says:
Thanks for the reply, Kenny
I think Jason will tell you (and at one level I agree with him) that he is simply using a (Biblical) coordinate transformation on a straight Einstein space-time. However, gravitational issues do emerge eventually (as we shall see in due time). But running with Jason’s maneuver as simply a coordinate transformation, questions still arise that threaten his ASC model. I’ll look at these at some date on my blog.
So you’re old Earth like me! I have lot of respect for William Dembski and friends (and also Hank Hannegraph) although I wouldn’t say I’m entirely at one with the way ID is being handled by his community. However, sad to say that as far strict and particular fundamentalists are concerned a state of war exists between us!
§  Preston says:
Mr. Reeves,
Your war is with God, and you’ve already lost. You should read your bible and believe it and repent before its too late. A lake of fire and eternal suffering await those who reject God till the end.

[My Comment…..Now there’s a man who knows he speaks for God! Preston is a classic fire and brimstone heretic burner! However, in spite that we find it is this guy “Preston”  who makes the kind of observation I'm looking for]

Preston says:
Hi Dr. Lisle,
Thanks for the feedback – its encouraging to think at least I’m on the right track.
When you say “from the stars’ point of view, the earth would be created after the stars”, is that because Observer B’s time reference frame always precedes Observer A’s time reference frame by 2*distance/c?
As an example let me choose a galaxy B 14 billion light years away. Galaxy B is created on earth day 4. The following day when God creates observer Adam, he immediately sees galaxy B. From galaxy B’s perspective, even though incoming light travels instantaneously, B will not see the earth for 28 billion years. [My comment: Excellent, well done Preston!] This is because B always instantly sees incoming light, and that incoming light always lags B by 2 * distance / c. Is that correct?
Oftentimes, different conventions are explaining the same thing. For instance a building may be designed using both metric units or English units, but the finished buildings will be identical. In this case though the synchronization is by convention, the things being described are very different. We see light from all the stars and galaxies from closest to furthest away at exactly the same age. If big bangers adopted ASC, they would still expect to see all the stars and galaxies at ages ranging from 0 to 14 billion years old. Because they think the universe is roughly 14 billion years old and they think that somewhere in the universe stars are currently forming. Is that correct?
Thanks very much!  [and thank you Mr. Preston!]
Best regards,


·         Preston says:
Correction – two days later God created observer Adam.
Also, just considered how ASM explains the light not being created in transit from either earth or the star’s perspective. The light over the full billions of light years distance really does contain information about actual events. [My emphasis]
o    Dr. Lisle says:
Yes – that’s it exactly.
[My Comment: Yes – that’s it exactly, Bravo Preston! Interestingly, as far as I can tell the above comment by Preston has been erased by Lisle.]

[My Comment:  See below: At last Kenny twigs……]
o    Kenny says:
Wait a minute Preston,
Dr. Lisle, did you just tell Preston that his statement was correct?
“As an example let me choose a galaxy B 14 billion light years away. Galaxy B is created on earth day 4. The following day when God creates observer Adam, he immediately sees galaxy B. From galaxy B’s perspective, even though incoming light travels instantaneously, B will not see the earth for 28 billion years. This is because B always instantly sees incoming light, and that incoming light always lags B by 2 * distance / c. Is that correct?”
This statement would only be correct if galaxy B were relying on its own light output to reveal the earth. This is because galaxy B’s light would travel away from it, in the direction of the earth, at 1/2c. Then it would reflect off of the earth back towards galaxy B instantly.
As I pointed out to Timothy, the sun’s light will reveal it, to galaxy B and most other galaxies, between instantly and 16 minutes.
[My Comment: If only Kenny would keep out of it! But it only goes to show that people can so easily fail to see the asymmetry in Lisle's model. Yes, galaxy B can use ASC to claim that light has arrived instantaneously from Earth, but observers in this galaxy won’t see this event until they have been hanging around for billions of years!]

§  Timothy V Reeves says:
Good! I see above that 28 billion years has popped out of the space-time wood work!
Yes; since Earth’s creation signals from Earth have only got about 3000 light years into space! That means right now a good part of the universe can only see about half a universe! BTW Kenny: Don’t mix coordinate systems: We’re currently defining “now” in terms of signal reception at the surface of the Earth, as per the Biblical example.

§  Kenny says:
Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but the discussion is about the signal reception at a distant galaxy, not earth. In ASC it does not matter where an observer is, light follows the same rules. If it is traveling towards a galaxy, the light is seen in an instant. I cannot think of a place where you would only see part of the universe.

Dr. Lisle told me earlier: “Under ASC, relative to any observer, inward directed light is instantaneous, and outward directed light is ½ c. This is always the case (in vacuum) and is true for any given observer, whether on the moon, on earth, whether at A or B.”
[My Comment: So I have a go at explaining it to Kenny…..]
·         Timothy V Reeves says:
Hi Kenny.
It goes like this.
If we use Earth as a reference planet for ASC we are using a coordinate system whereby we date events as and when their signals reach Earth. For example, if a signal from the planet Alderaan in a galaxy far, far away (14 billion light years according to Preston) made Earth fall last Wednesday at 6pm, then all events that occurred on the line of sight as the signal passed by are dated, by convention, as 6pm last Wednesday. This is a perfectly legitimate way of dating events. But using this otherwise valid coordinate convention we find that electromagnet signals leaving Earth do so at a velocity of c/2, implying that signals from us, as our brother in Christ Preston has informed us, won’t reach Alderaan for 28 billion years!
Now, it is possible for us to use instead planet Alderaan as the ASC reference planet to date cosmic events. That is, we assign cosmic dates as and when electromagnet signals from these events make planet fall on Alderaan. In which case we find the infinite asymmetry in light speed skewed toward Alderaan, although in contrast we then find that signalsfrom Alderaan take 28 billion years to reach Earth!
But in the above scenario we are using two different coordinate systems: One system uses Earth as the reference planet to date events and the other uses Alderaan as the reference planet to date events. It’s bad practice to use both systems at once as this leads to inconsistency and confusion. However, whichever coordinate system we choose to use we find that one or the other returns a duration of 28 billion years for outgoing signals to reach the planet that is not the reference planet…….Unless..… unless we postulate that one of the planets fails to get light from the other. As we seem to be receiving light from 14 billion light years away I assume Alderaan isn’t seeing light from us – which may explain why we get Star Wars and Alderaan doesn’t.
Did you read Mr. Preston’s comment about the lake of fire? Typical! And then he wonders why I talk about a state of war! That’s exactly the kind of behavior I have in mind when I use the expression “state of war”!

§  Kenny says:
Preston clearly said, “From galaxy B’s perspective, even though incoming light travels instantaneously, B will not see the earth for 28 billion years. This is because B always instantly sees incoming light, and that incoming light always lags B by 2 * distance / c. Is that correct?”
So, he wants to know what galaxy B will see, not what observers on earth will see. What you are describing is what we will see. From our perspective, light from earth has not reached galaxy B, but from galaxy B’s perspective, our light reached it long ago.
If Preston had asked, “from earth’s perspective, has galaxy B seen us yet,” then I would agree.
You are using earth as the reference point, but Preston did not do this.

§  Kenny says:
ASC works the same for everyone, everywhere. Light leaving galaxy B will be seen by galaxy B at 1/2c, but will be seen by us as infinite. Light leaving earth will be seen by us at 1/2c, but by galaxy B as infinite. If you look at my first couple of posts, Dr. Lisle states this, when I asked him about light reflecting off of the moon.

[My Comment: Below I throw in a comment for lake of fire fundie, Preston!]
·         Timothy V Reeves says:
Hello Mr Preston,

And I suppose William Dembski and Hank Hannegraph also get thrown into the Lake of fire? I treat your empty and conceited religious threats with utter contempt in the light of the precious Grace of God to all those who call on the name of the Lord (Acts 2:5) and have received the Spirit of adoption (Rom 8:15). Start reading your Bible in the Spirit.

o    Kenny says:
Yes, I saw Preston’s comments. You are claiming to be a Christian by faith in Jesus, so he has no reason to doubt that.
I take the creation days as literal long periods of time and that Genesis is describing real history. I for one have never been convinced by the appeal to ancient near eastern “parallels” or their ways of thinking. Their creation texts are not at all like Genesis one.
I would get into the exegesis of Creation days 1, 2 and 4, but I want to get this ASC thing settled in my mind.
§  Timothy V Reeves says:
Hi Kenny,
The core issue here has very little to do with what B (on Alderaan) or an observer on Earth actually see; rather it’s about the coordinate systems these observers employ to label points/events in the “space–time manifold” (to use the technical term). Therefore to my mind both yourself and Preston are getting the wrong end of the stick.
In fact it is quite possible for our Alderaan observer to use Earth as a reference planet and vice versa! A reference planet is not defined by the presence of an actual observer but by the use of that planet to time cosmic events; Viz: Using Jason’s ASC cosmic events are timed using the arrival time of signals from those events at the surface of the reference planet.
My point is that one can’t mix coordinate systems; yes one can use Alderaan or Earth as a reference planet – in that sense ASC will work from any point in the cosmos; as you have said above it works for all! But when timing events one must state which ASC-coordinate system one is using – either that centered on Alderaan or that centered on Earth. When one uses a particular ASC reference system one finds, as Preston has discovered, that points/events still pop out of the space-time manifold separated by durations of billions of years!
However, whether or not these points/events in the space-time manifold are regarded as a reality or are just theoretical is all down to how Jason handles them in his ASCmodel. (As opposed to ASC pure and simple). And that’s where I get interested because this is where we are going to find issues with Jason’s ideas along with that of gravity.
Re: My claim to being a Christian My claim to saving spirituality is nearly as worthless as Brother Preston’s vacuous and threatening fulminations. More to the point is what God claims about me: Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies…. Romans 8:33

§  Kenny says:
I completely agree. Again, my only point was that Preston switched his coordinate from Adam on earth to “galaxy B’s perspective.” And that he ignored the sun, which is a light source, so that galaxy B would actually see us instantaneously. From Adam’s perspective, 28 billion years is correct.
§  Timothy V Reeves says:
So, I think we’ve got that sussed!

[My Comment. Oh no he hasn't sussed it! Below we find Kenny still completely confused. My first comment below is a response to a comment by Kenny – not published - where I attempt once again to bring clarity]

·         Timothy V Reeves says:
Heck Kenny, you need to realise that ASC is a coordinate transformation so that it doesn’t predict anything. Moreover, when the light from us arrives at that distant galaxy it is 28 billion years into our future! The big question then, is how does Jason handle these space time coordinates with huge assigned duration values in his ASC model, a model that does make predictions although not always testable. Is Jason going to postulate that points exist in the space-time manifold that have these assigned time values? If he doesn’t allow them then it means that light from us is still creeping out to that distant galaxy, a galaxy which has yet to see us and will in fact never see us! In short Jason has to posit a quasi-geocentric cosmology in as much as it is asymmetrically skewed around planet Earth or thereabouts!

o    Atticus Sheffield says:
Oh dear.
[My comment: Too right!]
o    Kenny says:
Please read what we have been talking about. Dr. Lisle and the others have said that if A sees the clocks as synchronized, then B will say that 2 seconds have passed on his own clock, and will actually see his own clock 2 seconds ahead of A’s clock.
I was pointing out the same for earth and galaxy B. For earth to say that galaxy B’s light arrived instantly, then galaxy B would say no, it took 28 billion years to get there. I.E. the universe, from galaxy B’s perspective is 28 billion years old.
No one was talking about earth’s light reaching galaxy B. At least not this time around.
o    Kenny says:
Please read what we have been talking about. Dr. Lisle and the others have said that if A sees the clocks as synchronized, then B will say that 2 seconds have passed on his own clock, and will actually see his own clock 2 seconds ahead of A’s clock.
I was pointing out the same for earth and galaxy B. For earth to say that galaxy B’s light arrived instantly, then galaxy B would say no, it took 28 billion years to get there. I.E. the universe, from galaxy B’s perspective is 28 billion years old.
No one was talking about earth’s light reaching galaxy B. At least not this time around.
By the way, I see that you brought this same thing up on Sept. 22.

·         Timothy V Reeves says:
Hi Kenny,
I entirely concur with the logic that Jason has used to explain it to you above. But I note that you say this:
“B knows there is no light travel time from her clock to A. Therefore, she assumes that A is really synchronizing the clocks.”
This is not a case of “B knowing” rather it is a case of “B defining”; in this case defining a coordinate system where she is on the reference planet and this means that the light travel time from her clock to A is fixed by a defined speed of c/2.
What you’ve got to understand is that the one-way speed of light can be defined. Either you define the speed of light recession as c/2 or as infinite -you can’t define it as both c/2 AND infinite – that’s a contradiction in terms.
You are still mixing up coordinate systems, and that is why you are arriving at paradoxical conclusions. When you’ve got this sorted we can then move on to the question of whether 28 billion year temporal displacements exist in the space-time manifold of Jason’s ASC model

o    Timothy V Reeves says:
Rather appropriate that this blog post is about consistency, because inconsistency in use of coordinate systems seems to be at the heart of you problem Kenny!

[My comment: So that was the end of that!  Kenny appeared to not see that there is an issue over the existence of space-time coordinates with time labels running into billions of years – I suspect Lisle would claim that these coordinates have no observational relevance to us, as he’s only concerned with the first 6000 years of the Universe's existence. But what this issue does bring out is the high geocentricity of Lisle’s  ASC model.
Moreover, the question of gravity is still outstanding and elsewhere in this particular comment thread Lisle gives his “refutation” of this criticism of his ASC model.  I reproduce that “refutation” below: It starts by somebody challenging Lisle with a “missing gravitational field” and this is how Lisle replies to that challenge]

Dr. Lisle says:

….I had already planned to deal with this in detail in a future blog entry. But the short answer is: no, ASC does not require a gravitational field. It is simply a coordinate transformation from the ESC. And coordinate transformations do not introduce any real forces.  [My emphasis]

[My Comment: That comment is now nearly a year old! Watch this space!]

Addendum 29/08/13
See the following link for further consideration of Lisle's comment thread in relation to his contentless ASC model. In particular I raise the question of why he tolerates in-transit-signal-creation to "explain" interacting star masses but is loathe  to use this device to "explain" the origins of deep space signals arriving at earthly eyes. This is likely down to Lisle's deep commitment to his fundamentalist sub-culture and its literal (mis-) interpretation of the Biblical texts.


Anonymous said...

I think you have misunderstood the paper by Jian Qi Shen. You say that, "there is no gravitational field in the Edwards space time because the anisotropy in the speed of light is constant; in the Edwards space-time the anisotropy in the speed of light does not change its direction as one moves from place to place." But what it actually says is that the space-time is flat because "the Edwards parameter X is constant for a certain reference frame", which is not the same thing.

One only needs to replace the co-ordinate x with the radial vector r in the derivation of the metric tensor to get the same result for a spherically symmetric anisotropy, ie, that the space-time is flat. This means that you are wrong to say that, "For Lisle’s YEC cosmos to work it must be pervaded by some kind of geocentric gravitational field."

I landed on your blog through a link in an article on RationalWiki which claimed that Jian Qi Shen's paper showed that "the direction of anisotropy must be constant, or an extra gravitational field is generated." That is not what the paper says, and (as shown above) nor is it true.

Given this, I find it hard to take your last paragraph where you say that,"In the YEC community the scientific quality of its papers is less crucial than the role they serve in the wider YEC culture. The average fundagelical supporter who doesn’t understand science can, if challenged on the issue of Star light travel time, simply point to papers such as Lisle’s with the misplaced confidence that the matter is in hand." It would appear that a similar accusation could be levelled at your blogpost and contributions to RationalWiki.

Timothy V Reeves said...

The above point is in error and is clearly based on a cursory reading of my post: Quoting my post:

Where X is a parameter that is dependent on observer velocity and effectively measures the anisotropy in the speed of light as seen by that observer.

I will be dealing with the errors in this comment in due course, but please note that the author is unwilling to take the responsibility for his error and has failed to identify himself.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Here's a hint Jason: A cone is a flat space except at one point: Think!

Timothy V Reeves said...

I find it hard to take your righteous indignation given that you have clearly failed to engage my post properly and you are unwilling to take the responsibility for your error by remaining anonymous.

See also:

Anonymous said...

I can't find anything in Jian Qi Shen's paper about X being dependent on observer velocity (although the paper is about different inertial frames of reference). In the quotes you give, he seems to be saying that the Edwards spacetime is flat even though it looks like a curved metric. I don't know how you get from that to "one cannot choose a one way speed of light that varies its direction from place to place without introducing a space curvature"?

Do you mean that, since the metric would be of a different form at a different place (ie, spatial position), then it would change for a moving observer and hence entail a gravitational field?

What would be the form of the gravitational field in the case of an anisotropy centred on Earth? It's been a long time since I did any General Relativity. I'm not Jason Lisle!

Timothy V Reeves said...

Thanks for the reply. Not Jason? Well at least that’s established: My thinking was: If it wasn’t Jason then whoever it was would be motivated to correct my guess!

Well, Mr. Anonymous why not go to the man himself (i.e. Jason Lisle) and ask him his opinion on whether or not arbitrarily shaped and angled “light cones” introduces a gravitational field in the general case?

Here are a few pointers:

1. Jian Qi Shen says that X is frame dependent: An observer moving at constant velocity constitutes another frame.
2. Yes the Edwards space time is flat because the metrical tensor is not a function of position; therefore a simple conventional rescaling of the coordinates reestablishes the flat metrical tensor we are used to in ordinary special relativity. In this scenario ASC works.
3. But ASC fails to work with the asymmetric light cones that Jason is trying to introduce and whose skew varies from place to place: That is, Jason is telling us that the light cones in one direction are skewed toward us and in another completely different direction they are also skewed toward us – ergo, the skew changes from place to place; enter gravity.
4. Unfortunately Jian’s paper is only worked out for 2 dimensions; one spatial and one time. We find that the cat is really let out of the bag as soon as we move into 3 or 4 dimensions – it is then that your procedure of replacing r with x manifestly fails.
5. To simplify the problem you can forget all about moving observers; the gravitational fields become apparent between any two observers stationary with respect to one another but where one observer uses Jason’s skewed light cones and the other observer uses the standard vertical cones.

OK, I could spell out more formally but first you really need to get back to Jason to see what he thinks and whether he is still pursuing this theory. We really do need to lay this one to rest.

Next guess: Are you Nick L?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your contribution to the debate on the scientific validity of this theory. However, your arguments would be much more persuasive if you refrained from insulting those with whom you disagree.

Timothy V Reeves said...

That accusation is priceless!

Ken Ham, for example, reserves for himself the right to impugn the conscience of many Christian scientists and scholars with insults that bandy about terms like “compromise”, “attack on the Cross”, “which Jesus do you really believe in?” and generally question the integrity of these scholars, and yet I’m accused of being insulting! You can’t be serious!

But oh yes you are serious! I think that this is more a case of you feeling insulted because cultural factors have redefined for you the meaning of an insult. Thus, on the one hand you don’t see Ken Ham’s behavior as extremely insulting toward honorable Christian scientists and scholars and on the other you see no double standard in accusing me of being insulting. It is one thing to call a Christian a “nincompoop” but it is entirely another to accuse him of something tantamount to heresy. One rule for us… eh? If I'm being insulting then that makes two of us!

We need a moratorium here to give us a breather, so let’s get down to brass tacks: Is Jason still promoting this theory or has he seen the light? (the light - get it?) If he is no longer promoting the ASC model then there is little point in expending anymore effort refuting it. If he is trying to reinvent the theory then I’ll wait until he publishes again.

Timothy V Reeves said...

P.S. I am rather assuming that I'm dealing with a single person here; a rather hazardous assumption perhaps. It would be helpful if the person (or persons) concerned at least gave themselves a pseudonym so I could hook the narratives onto one or more personalities. Talk about insults; I find this practice the height of band manners and disrespect.

Timothy V Reeves said...

On the subject of “insults” just have look at the discussion thread of Jason’s blog entry headed “Honor – Balanced and Biblical View” and dated August 16 2012. Here we find Jason making an indiscriminate and undiscerning connection between the abandoned sexual behavior we find recounted in the story of Sodom (Read the story in Genesis 19) and homosexuals. One of Jason’s correspondents (called “Preston”) follows the lead and uses the term “Sodomites” indiscriminately to refer to gays and tells us that In many if not all states, sodomites are allowed to adopt children, exposing those children to the horrors of sodomite behavior, or the concomitant behavior of pedophilia and beastiality.

If you have any gay friends how would you feel about them being talked about (insulted?) in this way? Is it right to indiscriminately connect gays with Sodom, pedophilia and beastiality?? Should we then use the story in Judges 19 to implicate those who engage in heterosexual behaviour as rapists or “Gibeahites”?

Of course, these fundamentalists see no insult here because they think of themselves as having such a direct connection with God that they really do believe in the divine authority of their own opinions. Therefore they see no hypocrisy in assassinating the character of outsiders with the most extreme abuse and accusations of heinous sins; after all, in their view God’s Word is their word and their word is God’s Word.

In my long experience with fundamentalists this behavior is all too typical and has been repeated again and again by every sect and cult between here and Saltlake city.

Sam Trenholme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam Trenholme said...

Here’s a simple thought experiment. To make this as simple as possible, I am going to keep it one-dimensional.

Let us suppose we have a one dimensional universe infinitely long [1]. In this universe, I can not think of a reliable way of determining the light travels instantly going left but 93,000 meters a second (c/2) going right—relativity and going that.

However, let us instead suppose there is a point e [2] in this universe where light travels instantly towards this point but 93,000 meters a second going away from this point.

Let’s have a single photon [3] to the right of e going left. It will be traveling instantly since its traveling towards e.

Once this photon hits the point e, its velocity changes and it is now traveling at the speed of c/2.

This is the fundamental problem with Lisle’s model. Since it has a point in the universe for which light travels one speed going towards said point, and another speed going away from that point, light will have to change speed in this universe.

Once light changes its relative speed, it will create observable phenomenon which we have not observed.

Simply put, Lisle’s ideas give us the same problems Barry Setterfield’s ideas from over 30 years ago gave us, and should be discredited for the same reasons.

One last thought: One can be a Christian without being a Young-Earth Creationist (YEC) fundamentalist. Just as the Pharisee’s of Jesus’ time became obsessed with the minutiae of law which does not matter in God’s eyes, the YEC has become obsessed with bending the laws of physics in a way which, again, does not matter in God’s eyes.

- Sam

[1] Using Cantor’s set equivalences and Hilbert curves, this imaginary universe could be equivalent to a 2-dimensional or, indeed, n-dimensional universe, but let’s not go there.

[2] e as in “earth”; nothing to do with Euler’s constant.

[3] To keep things simple, even though in our universe a photon is both a wave and a particle, we will treat it as a simple particle in this imaginary universe.

Sam Trenholme said...

Here’s how Lisle tries to refute the problems with light changing speed his theory requires: “Yes, ASC works exactly the same on Earth as in space. So lasers aimed toward an observer are instantaneous, and those pointed away are ½ c, by ASC measurement.”

Woah. I do not believe this is the thought experiment Einstein had in mind. Sure, you can have an absolute planar vector where light travels one speed going in the direction of the vector, and another speed going opposite said vector, and no one would be able to prove this vector doesn’t exist. But, it breaks down if this vector is relative and not absolute. The classic “when does Io go behind Jupiter” problem can have the same answer if, when Jupiter is on our side of the sun, the light comes to us instantly, but, when Jupiter is on the other side of the sun, it comes to us at the speed of c/2. If the light from Jupiter comes to us instantly at both times, we would observe Io’s eclipse by Jupiter differently than we do in the real world.

I understand that there are some really bizarre and unintuitive things going on in quantum physics. Quantum particles are both particles and waves. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle does not make common sense and was very hard for many physicists to accept (“God does not play dice” and all that). Both theorems were not accepted by the physics community without extensive testing and experimentation confirming that’s how things are.

Yes, real science is sometimes really bizarre and unintuitive. So are false crank theories. What separates a crank theory, such as this notion from Lisle, from an accepted theory is whether it can be tested—whether it is falsifiable (Lisle tries very hard to make it something that’s not falsifiable).

Unfortunately for Lisle, even if the math from having a photon in two places at once (actually an infinite number of places since there are an infinite number of potential observation points for every photon) works out, his notion does not match the universe we observe. I mentioned Io’s orbit above. Here’s another flaw:

The farther away the galaxies we observe, the lower the number of heavy elements we see in those galaxies—which indicates the light has taken a long time to come here since those far-away galaxies are consistent with the galaxies we should have in a younger universe. Which means that the light from those far away galaxies isn’t magically arriving here instantly (or, perhaps, instead of pulling a Barry Setterfield, Lisle is trying to pull a slightly more sophisticated Omphalos)

It gets worse. No respected physicist would write and no respected journal would publish a paper with nonsense like “The clear biblical teaching therefore is that everything in the universe is a few thousand years old”, the way Lisle’s “paper” does. That’s just something that has no place in any scientific paper.

Let me close with a link

Sam Trenholme said...

OK, I have worked with someone who understands the relevant maths better than I did. Martin Arrowsmith claims we can have an “Anisotropic synchrony convention” where the relative velocity of light for every single observer in the universe is infinite going towards the observer, and c/2 going away from the observer (it doesn’t make any sense to me—it seems to me that it causes every photon to have an infinite number of different velocities and positions at the same time, but, then again, that’s something Quantum mechanics does).

This is the convention Lisle proposes, and it’s mathematically consistent with itself, albeit non-testable (the observed universe we’re in appears identical).

That in mind, I’ve changed the refutation to ASC on its Rational Wiki article to state that:

“In Lisle's view of the universe, instead of God recently creating distant objects and the light in transit, God instead performed the equivalent action of creating young distant objects that have the appearance of age via time dilation; said artificial dilation is observationally identical to artificial light in transit.”

So, in summary Lisle’s math appears to work (I can’t quite see it, but will take Martin’s word for it), but it’s strictly a philosophical exercise and doesn’t change the observed universe.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Thanks for the comments Sam. At one level all Jason Lisle can claim to be doing is to simply change his space-time coordinate system. A coordinate system is just a way of labelling the points of a so-called space-time manifold with numbers. For example, take a piece of paper and draw two coordinate axes on it. Call one axis “t” and the other “x”. Dropping lines from a point P on that paper to the axes will then return certain coordinate values of x and t. Now, you are perfectly at liberty to draw another set of axes on this paper and call them x’ and t’. In general these new axes may be at a very different angle and position to the first set. Accordingly, dropping lines from P to x’ and t’ will return very different values to x and t. Moreover, if we now draw a line on our piece of paper you will find that the coordinate systems x, t and x’,t’ will, typically, return very different values of slope for that line (That is dx/dt verses dx’/dt’).

Lisle is doing something like this with his ASC. Velocity is effectively a “slope” (v = dx/dt) and so his re-coordination yields very different velocities to the conventional co-ordinate system. I could, in fact, cook up something similar with everyday objects like cars: I could define a coordinate system centred on myself whereby a car moving toward me does so with an infinite speed and as it passes me decelerates to a realistic speed. It all depends on the coordinate systems used and coordinate systems are arbitrary. So there is nothing to stop Lisle from making use of what is, for many purposes, a rather mathematically pathological coordinate system. So far, so good – well actually “so bad” because ultimately when Lisle applies this concept to his ASC model (repeat model) it leads to a bizarre cosmos. He is not the first to indulge in this coordinate systems game; Fundamentalist astronomer, John Byle has also toyed with coordinate changes in order to undermine established science.

By not making clear the distinction between a coordinate a system asymmetry and a real asymmetry in the speed of light (hence gravity) Lisle has muddied the waters leading to confusion both amongst his followers and his opponents. Lisle has said (see my 13/10/12 addendum to this blog post) that he will deal with his coordinate transformation in relation to gravity in a series of blog articles and I’m waiting for him to do so. However, I have my doubts he will follow this through: His project in the obfuscation of his followers, himself and his opponents has in effect succeeded and at that level he need say no more.

It’s worth following the discussion I had with one of the interlocutors on Lisle’s blog post entitled Arbitrariness and Inconsistency – the Opposites of Rationality and dated 3 August 2012. It is clear that this correspondent has become utterly fazed by Lisle’s coordinate transformation maneuver; he just can’t suss it out! As I suggested Lisle has had some success in obscuring science.

Timothy V Reeves said...

My recommendation, Sam, is that you change your Rational Wiki entry to something like the following:

In Lisle's cosmology God created distant objects like galaxies, ex-nihilo, each with the appearance of maturity. The light from these distant mature galaxies travels through space to Earth making them visible to Earth’s inhabitants. However, using his ASC coordinate system Lisle effectively assigns by definition each point on the world line of the inter-galactic light moving radially toward Earth the same value of time. Therefore, using this coordinate system light moving toward Earth starts its journey from a distant galaxy at the same time as it alights on the Earth’s surface, thus implying an infinite speed of travel

Unlike Russ Humphreys’ model time dilation has got nothing to do with it.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Actually Sam, I’m less interested in the pathological anti-science of people like Lisle (which wastes no end of time as people debate it) than I am in the sectarian religious mind sets of people like him. As a Christian I naturally got interested in the Christian sects and cults because they fundamentally undermined the veracity of my beliefs. After all, I’m sure you, as an atheist, are likely to point to the disarray amongst Christian sects as evidence against the existence of God; actually I have similar difficulty! But in order to give the concept of God another chance I thought I would look closely into the sect/cult phenomenon to determine whether there are mitigating circumstances. The result was that I came understand that for fundamentalists like Lisle the world beyond their narrow culture is viewed as full of “depraved” atheists (you) and quasi-apostates (me). They consequently deeply distrust the morality of those not with them and very readily impute malign motives. This all seemed very sub-Christian behavior to me and appeared to have its source in a kind of paranoiac group-think. It is therefore very difficult to form mutually trusting relations with fundamentalists especially if you contradict them. When Lisle jumped ship and left AiG I had hoped that perhaps he was one of the more reasonable and moderate YECs like Paul Nelson, with whom one can discuss sensibly. But alas no; it turns out that Lisle is just about as an extreme “heretic burning” fundamentalist as Ken Ham. So summing up, my problem is less with YEC than it is with fundamentalist group-think, a precursor of the cults which ultimately helps undermine faith.

Sam Trenholme said...

First of all, I’m not sure how you got the notion that I’m an atheist. I’m not.

My objection with young earth creationism is that it’s fundamentally dishonest. Instead of looking at God’s universe with awe and wonder, the YEC looks at it and denies what they observe, preferring to make an ancient book more important than active observation.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Hi Sam. Great to hear that you are a Christian. I had no idea that Rational Wiki were so "broadchurch". Good on them! I'm really pleased to hear that! I rather anxiously assumed that Rational Wiki was an all atheist stamping ground. My mistake! I'm always complaining about paranoia and polarisation, but I'm constantly aware of the pressure to become the very thing I criticise!

On YEC dishonesty: When I first threw my lot in with Christians YEC was pushed my way accompanied by the usual insidious spiritual threats about compromise and "obeying the Word of God". Although underneath it I hated it, for a while I was under duress to defend YEC. This, of course, required a lot of bending of science to fit the case, as you well know. Given the spiritual pressures I wouldn't say at the time I was consciously lying in the usual sense, but rather succumbing to a kind institutionalised dishonesty that forced one to bend over backwards looking for convoluted reasons for rejecting a rational world.

I'm interested in the socio-spiritual dynamic that keeps YEC alive amongst Christian sectarians. I suppose I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that the wool was pulled over my eyes in the early days of my faith by investigating the whys and wherefores of it!

The other nagging thought is, as I've already said above, fundamentalists, YECs and cultists etc, in being so obviously humanly egotistical in their faith walk do raise genuine questions about the divine origins of Christianity. That is, they raise, God forbid, a question mark over the whole of Christianity.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Some small enhancements/corrections to my suggestion:

In Lisle's cosmology God created distant objects like galaxies, ex-nihilo, each with the appearance of maturity. The light from these distant mature galaxies travels through space to Earth making them visible to Earth’s inhabitants. However, using his ASC coordinate system Lisle effectively assigns, by definition, each point on the world lines of the inter-galactic light moving radially toward Earth the same value of time. Therefore, using this coordinate system light moving toward Earth starts its journey from a distant galaxy at the same time as it alights on the Earth’s surface, thus implying an infinite speed of travel

Sam Trenholme said...

As it turns out, Rational Wiki allows people of faith to contribute. They don't mind Christians (well, I'm sure some community members mind Christians, as can be seen on my talk page there, but nothing that will get me kicked out of the community as long as I respect their beliefs)

In terms of the ASC article, I right now plain simply do not understand special relativity and Lorentz transforms well enough to come up with a better refutation of Lisle’s notions. They’re obviously garbage, but a full refutation is beyond me right now.

Sam Trenholme said...

The other nagging thought is, as I've already said above, fundamentalists, YECs and cultists etc, in being so obviously humanly egotistical in their faith walk do raise genuine questions about the divine origins of Christianity. That is, they raise, God forbid, a question mark over the whole of Christianity.

Exactly. Or, more to the point, YECs make all Christians look like ignorant close-minded fools. YEC was a huge stumbling block in my own quest towards faith, because I thought I had to check in my brain at the door to become a Christian.

Sam Trenholme said...

Here is where I think the hole is Lisle’s model is:

Sure this crazy ASC notion could be the actual universe we live in and the special theory of relativity would hold.

However, Lisle also proposes that God, via a special miracle (which breaks the laws of physics), creates every single star in the sky in one instant of time. This special miracle violates special relativity, since it gives the universe an absolute clock.

Now that we have this absolute time that permeates the entire universe, we can suppose we’re an Andromedan in the Andromeda galaxy, 2.5 million light years from Earth, at the moment of creation (As I understand Lisle, I was just created with the artificial appearance of age—he doesn’t seem to object to artificial age, just artificial light in transit).

The first thing I do after being created so that the Earth will have lights in the sky is get out a telescope and look towards the Milky Way. What do I see there?

In a non-ASC universe with no miracle of creation 6,000 years ago (God’s not that small, nor is our universe), he would see the Milky Way and Earth as it existed 2.5 millions years ago.

But, in Lisle’s ASC + miracle of creation 6,000 years ago, for our Andromedan to see the same thing, God would have to lie and create artificial light in transit.

As I understand it, and I could be wrong, Lisle’s only solves the problem of artificial light in transit coming towards the Earth. He doesn’t solve the corresponding problem of light in transit going away from Earth.

(Well, he can eliminate light in transit going away from the Earth if he assumes everyone else sees a big black spot instead of the Milky Way and Earth until 100,000 years ago our time/2,400,000 years in the future their time in the Andromedan galaxy)

Sam Trenholme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam Trenholme said...

I can make it even simpler: Let us suppose there is a giant mirror 5,000 light years from earth. In our universe, if we look in this mirror, we’ll see the Earth from 10,000 years ago.

In Lisle’s bizarre ASC universe that was created 6,000 years ago, we’ll see nothing.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Cosmology: You’ve got some good points there Sam. Because Lisle has restricted himself to a two-way light speed of c this means that he is still lumbered with a majority solid angle where the speed of light is finite; in fact for half of the total solid angle the speed of light is between c/2 and c. This leads to the cosmic asymmetry you are talking about. Yes, either the Andromedan doesn’t see our galaxy at all or he sees it because artificial light was created in transit! How weird can you get?

As I understand it, and I could be wrong, Lisle’s only solves the problem of artificial light in transit coming towards the Earth. He doesn’t solve the corresponding problem of light in transit going away from Earth.

Too right! Also you are right to point out Lisle’s irregular use of the so-called “mature creation” theory. Lisle invokes “mature creation” theory in the case of Star conglomerates in interaction (which is what galaxies are basically all about), but not in the case of light in transit toward Earth! However, YEC astronomer John Byl is more consistent than Lisle and is unlikely to accept Lisle’s special pleading. Byle prefers the Full Monty when it comes to “mature creation” theory. Here’s a quote from Byl:

Similar considerations apply to an entire galaxy created as unit in mature form. It would be created complete with all its constituent parts: stars and gas, their gravitational fields, and light radiation. Both the light photons and gravitational effects would have been created ‘en route’, but apparently originating from stars. The same reasoning could be applied to clusters of galaxies and even larger systems that seem to be in gravitational interaction. In a young universe, with insufficient time for gravity to act, they would have to be created as a unit, complete with their internal gravitational interactions. If gravity moves at the speed of light, as assumed by general relativity, then creating large astronomical objects with gravitational fields in place seems equivalent to creating light photons 'en route'.

In short it seems that Lisle is comfortable with the idea of God creating galaxies that essentially lie about their maturity and yet he bulks at the thought of light moving toward Earth be created light in transit and effectively “lying” about the history of its origins! Very bizarre special pleading!

I like your mirror thought experiment. Neat!

Timothy V Reeves said...

Martin Arrowsmith claims we can have an “Anisotropic synchrony convention” where the relative velocity of light for every single observer in the universe is infinite going towards the observer, and c/2 going away from the observer (it doesn't make any sense to me—it seems to me that it causes every photon to have an infinite number of different velocities and positions at the same time, but, then again, that’s something Quantum mechanics does).

ASC doesn’t require the photons to simultaneously have different velocities. The velocities depend on the reference observer; that is which observer the ASC coordinate system is centred on. It’s like two different observers using different standard lengths, time units and reference frames to measure the same velocities – they both arrive at different numbers for the velocity of an object – that’s not to say the object is simultaneously travelling at two different speeds – it’s just that the two observers are using different standards to make their measurements. For some reason Lisle has failed to get this simple idea across.

Timothy V Reeves said...

YEC a huge stumbling block

You’re telling me. It was also a huge embarrassment whilst I tried to tow the YEC line. Although I’ve said above that the wool was pulled over my eyes to be honest I never really believed in my heart of hearts and my plea is mitigating circumstances: You will find that in all the sectarian subcultures where YEC is taught strongly, this teaching runs in parallel to a vehement censorious treatment of dissenters – for example witness Ken Ham using words like “compromise”, “unrighteousness”, “attack on the Cross”, “another Christ” when referring to Christians who don’t accept the divine authority of his opinions. This spiritual duress is the nub of the YEC argument; it is the only way that belief in the bizarre can be maintained. Against this threatening backdrop of intimidating religious pressures it is sufficient for YEC apologists to get away with substandard science and kooky cosmologies. Spiritual threat is very much bound up with YEC sectarian dynamic.

Sam Trenholme said...

Thanks for your reply. Exactly: Dr. Lisle thinks if we can explain away the light in transit, all of the other indications of age can be waved away by using the Omphalos hypothesis.

I must admit, his Anisotropic synchrony convention + magical creation 6,000 years ago was the most cleaver YEC answer to the starlight problem I have ever seen. However, like all attempts to answer the starlight problem, short of making God a liar who creates light in transit, it doesn’t work. Lisle’s notions still make God a liar and the theory is remarkably geocentric (I’m sure unintentionally).

I don’t think Lisle thought about what one would see in a huge mirror when he thought up this bizarre ASC universe, but I let him know.

Oh, one last thing: In that mirror, one will see distant stars before one sees the Earth. I have the math to back this up

Happy 4th of July!

Sam Trenholme said...

Update: Dr. Lisle has responded to me. He agrees with the gist of my analysis, and concedes that his ASC + Miracle creation 6,000 years ago universe will generate different observations, making it a testable scientific theory.

He got upset and tried to change the subject when I pointed out that “I will continue to accept the conventional very old universe until a scientific observation which should show sunlight from the sun being reflected by the equivalent of a mirror in space 3,500 light years or more away instead shows whatever passes as ‘formless and void’.”

Until he shows interest in proposing an experiment (his words: “Well, we are not going to be able to perform that experiment anytime soon. We'll have to settle for all the other evidence of youth”), he’s discussing philosophy and not science. I’m not interested in a philosophical debate. He’s come up with a testable theory, so it’s time to test it.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Hi Sam,

Thanks for the update. Your mirror experiment brings out very succinctly and elegantly a major feature of Lisle’s version of “mature” (=appearance of history) creation theory; namely its high asymmetry/geocentricty.

What a lot of people fall over with when trying to understand Lisle’s theory is that because they are not aware of this asymmetry they think that just as we can see the other side of the universe “now” (using Earth centred ASC) then conversely the other side of the universe can also see our galactic locality “now”. This erroneous view confounds them because it looks as if Lisle has worked a kind of magic whereby light somehow travels both ways at an infinite speed! That’s not true, of course, and the mirror thought experiment is one way of showing that in the depths of space of Lisle’s cosmology a very large solid angle is simply black! Lisle has effectively conceded this. Good.

There are in fact two ways of looking at this great geocentric asymmetry in Lisle’s ASC model. One way is to think of God creating a mature universe all once at t=0 with light speed skewed geocentrically in the way Lisle requires in order for us to see the whole of creation. The other way is to define a symmetrical light speed which pushes the deep space time values into distance history. Using this latter time coordinate we find that God started creating the outer reaches of our universe billions of years ago and worked his way towards the Earth in concentric creative circles until about 6000 years ago when He arrived at our locality and created the Earth! Weird! (Read Lisle’s original paper to see all this!)

Lisle will claim that these two ways of looking at his cosmology are equivalent because they only differ in the matter of using different coordinate definitions. This I would take issue with on more than one level. Suffice to note here, however, that Lisle can’t get away from goecentricity; he eschews the cosmological principle.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Going through some of the things Lisle has said in response to your post:

Dr. Lisle: The universe "looks" young. So there is no need to come up with something to make it "look" old. As a few examples, the hottest blue stars cannot last many millions of years, and have never been observed to form. Yet they are abundant in the universe

No, the universe doesn’t look young, it looks mature which by abductive inference suggests is a product of a history. But, of course, Lisle claims that “God made it just like that” during the creation week and this makes his views irrefutable; anything and everything could happen during that week to give an appearance of bogus history; as in fact Lisle is claiming with his interacting star masses.

Lisle is undermining the providential a-priori rational basis of the cosmos that makes it readable; if someone insists on believing in nonsense they have effectively thrown away the a-priori rational bootstrap on which any discussion must be based in order to proceed successfully.

Dr Lisle: Magnetic fields naturally decay with time, (e.g. planetary magnetic fields should not last millions of years) yet are virtually everywhere. Spiral galaxies would be wrapped beyond recognition if they were "old." Comets in our own solar system cannot last more than about 100,000 years; and we have indirect evidence that other stars also have comets. Etc. etc., and many others. The universe certainly "looks" young. No, the ASC model simply proposes one way in which the light from distant galaxies can arrive at Earth on day 4 of the creation week.

Magnetic “decay”, so-called, is likely to be an aspect of the chaotic fluctuations in planetary interiors and therefore we can’t be used to abductively infer “young planets”. See

Blue stars, Spiral galaxies, Comets: Even using Lisle’s simple uniformitarian projections (which are likely to be false anyway) we find that the figures returned are still way in access of 6000 years. So this is very weak evidence for a 6000 year old cosmos.

Timothy V Reeves said...


Dr. Lisle: I agree. But this is evidence for the ASC model, not against it. The ASC model predicts spiral galaxies at all distances, blue stars at all distances, comets, strong magnetic fields, and other evidences of youth. All of these are observed, and none would be the natural expectation of an old universe.

No, the ASC model doesn’t predict any of those things; rather it attempts to explain them abductively. But since none of these observations returns a figure of 6000 years I would not call that a good abductive explanation!

Dr. Lisle: It would depend on where you put the star, and how the mirror is oriented. If you have the starlight hitting the mirror at a 45 degree angle in order to reflect to Earth, then your number isn't right. It should be around 4200 years. Remember that the speed of the light beam depends on the angle relative to the earth which will change slightly as the beam travels to the mirror. Inhabitants on Earth would see the star immediately, but would not be able to see the reflection of the star until 4200 years later.

Within the context of Lisle’s queer assumptions this is OK.

Dr. Lisle: Be careful to avoid the reification fallacy. Science cannot "think" or "accept" anything. I think you meant to say that an old universe is accepted by most scientists. This would certainly be true. However, they do not accept an old universe for scientific or logical reasons.

This is typical of the fundamentalist’s “literalist fallacy”. Using natural language, which is loaded with connotation and metaphor, it is perfectly valid to say “accepted by conventional science”? As a general rule fundamentalists have an almost autistic approach to language; they have great difficulty in distinguishing the connotational, the metaphorical and the notational.

Dr. Lisle: We'll have to settle for all the other evidence of youth which confirms ASC but challenges secular notions.


Dr. Lisle: And of course we have the Word of the Creator regarding how and when He created.

What Lisle means by “the Word of the Creator” is, of course, none other than the divine authority of Lisle’s opinions. These opinions derive from the literalist readings of someone who fails to put the Bible in its historical context and is likely to have a poor grasp of the connotational role of natural language. In my experience of fundamentalists, they see God’s message as perspicuous and are likely to think those outside their sects who do not believe their opinions do so because they harbor malign ulterior motives; after all they must be disobeying the very Words of God! With this level of distrust it is difficult to relate to those in fundamentalists sects like Lisle.

Sam Trenholme said...

Where I think Dr. Lisle is in error is that he’s associating his ASC theory with a bunch of unrelated stuff. ASC has nothing to do with young blue stars or decaying magnetic fields or the distance of moon from the Earth or Saturn’s rings or even the amount of dust on the moon.

I have been very careful to avoid the Gish Gallop, but once I pointed out how this theory of his can be tested (he concedes I’m right), he resorted to that.

Like I said before, Dr. Lisle is quite smart. For example, when conceding that other stars are visible before Sol in that mirror, he correctly pointed out I was getting the wrong number for the time it took for light from that star to arrive to Earth, explained exactly the error I made.

This is the best explanation for the starlight / light in transit problem I have ever seen.

It still has a bunch of “Goddidit” in it, it results in a Geocentric universe (which goes against 500 years of cosmology), and it still resorts to Omphalos.

Sam Trenholme said...

One final thought: This ASC of Lisle’s reminds me of those Escher-style optical illusions where you see a triangle with three right angles.

Just like this impossible triangle, the illusion only works when view from a single very particular vantage point. The impossible triangle is, if you will, a lie, and once someone moves, the lie breaks down.

Likewise, Lisle’s proposed ASC universe which is very young but looks very old from one point of view (our Earth) is fundamentally a lie, and, I contend, just as much of a lie on God’s part as creating artificial light in transit.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Hi Sam,

Lisle’s ASC model is probably the best explanation in terms of the obfuscation it has caused! Many people are confounded by what Lisle means. In one sense what he has done is trivial; he has simply recoordinated and defined all points on the backward light cone as “now”. But as is so often the case with “simple” coordinate system changes it can do awful things to the mathematics of the motion of matter! Lisle has further confounded people by interpreting this change too literally and he has not been at pains to make clear that light does not simultaneously travel at infinite speed in two directions at once. Also, he has not been very explicit about what your mirror experiment shows; namely, a bizarre universe where in deep space huge solid angles are just black! Yes, Escher is about right: it’s completely confusing! At one angle it looks good and then you look again and you realize it simply doesn’t make sense!

His theory doesn’t “predict” in the proper sense of the term anything about blue stars or galactic spirals which in any case don’t return histories of a mere 6000 years. And as you’ve pointed out Lisle has to use large dollops of that brute ugly offspring of YEC, “mature creation” theory. Galaxies would have to be created as is, with communicating parts making use of signals created in transit; parts of a galaxy would “see” things that never transmitted. (See John Byl above). Presumably, Lisle bulks at this concept of signal creation in transit when the “seeing” is done by the human eye and so he came up with a mature creation that is rolled out geocentrically and concentrically in stages starting at the edge of the universe billions of years ago. Here’s another irony: If he is prepared to accept the creation of signals in transit, provided they are only “seen” by material objects, why then does he make resort to the problems of blue stars and galactic wind up? In Lisle’s theory the universe was largely created mature with most signals created in transit. This means whether or not blue stars and galactic spirals can be explained in an old universe context, Lisle can “make sense” of it either way: For if in the final analysis blue stars and galactic spirals don’t return ages of 6000 years it is no problem to him; he simply posits signal creation in transit to “explain” them. So much for the scientific requirement of refutability!

I suspect that many in the YEC community don’t like Lisle’s sleight of hand and messy cosmology; it’s only merit seems to be that it is a nasty Gordian knot that has taken time for people to untie. But even that’s not very clever; coordinate systems are renowned for either being helpful by simplifying the problem or awkwardly complicating a problem. Lisle, need I say, has achieved the latter. In fact I would have said this is not about cosmology but about Lisle and YEC leadership, making Lisle look “clever-clever” in front of his awe-inspired following. The marginalized YEC culture needs people to look up too as a morale booster. This is why I’m interested in Lisle’s theory – it’s intrinsic cosmological merit is abysmal, but in terms of what it has done for Lisle’s image in front of his followers…. that’s where it scores. It’s about the YEC social dynamic.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Russ Humphreys’ model has a much greater scientific integrity than does Lisle’s although of course it falls down on the distribution of matter in the cosmos and even worse from the YEC angle Humphreys is effectively allowing a billions of years old universe beyond the Earth; this means he then has to explain why galaxies aren’t wound up! It’s no surprise then that YECs are still casting about for satisfactory star-light travel time solutions. If you look at Ken Ham’s 8th July blog post entitled “Latest Creation Research” you will see that there is yet another star light travel time proposal in the pipeline. Also, in the latest “Answers research Journal” Danny Falkner has a paper that argues against YEC attempts to propose a small universe (of say merely a 1000 light years across). These attempts to propose a small universe are very much in the YEC mold of trying to debunk established science by attacking its well established rationality assumptions. It only goes to show the lengths some YECs are prepared to go in order to preserve their literalist reading of the Bible. Anyway let’s leave the last words to Falkner. He concludes his paper thus:

In my survey of astronomical distance determination methods I have shown that we can have confidence that the universe really is as large as astronomers claim. To explain the light travel time problem by appealing to a universe much reduced in size is not tenable. Therefore, the light travel time problem is real, and it requires a real solution. Fortunately, we have a number of (botched!) solutions already in the creation literature, but further proposals are welcome. (See:

Welcome? You bet!

Timothy V Reeves said...

Hey, Sam, have a look at this post of mine; the last in a series I did on so-called mature creation!

Timothy V Reeves said...

...and oh yes Jason Lisle, if you just happen to stumble across this page, may I be so bold as to suggest that you tell us all (on your blog, preferably) just how easy it is to refute this gravitational challenge to your ASC model. After all, isn't it just a matter of you telling everyone that you've only carried out a mere coordinate transformation on Einstein? Your refutation should be a one liner, shouldn't it? ...shouldn't it?

Daniel said...

Just read through this and found it very fascinating although I'm a total layman. However if I understand the gist correctly Lisle's paper doesn't really explain anything at all unless you've already decided that God exists and created the universe according to the YEC model. Only then does it make any kind of ("common") sense to adopt the ASC in the first place - in order for the model to conform to an a priori literal reading of the Bible. For the same reason you might as well insist that we revert to palms, spans and ells etc. (the biblical units of distance), as being biblical they must be divinely ordained and hence the only correct measuring systems?

Daniel said...

This is my take on the socio-spiritual dynamic that apparently so strangely keeps YEC alive and has qualified scientists like Lisle who know better abusing science to trick the masses - it's because they have one thing right, if indeed YEC is a load of bollocks and old cosmos/earth proceeding by evolution from a Big Bang is true then the whole literalist foundation of their religion and consequently their fundamentalist, exclusionary moral world view falls apart. Deep down they sense that there's something really disturbing and irreconcilable about a holy, righteous God that has sentient life evolve over billions of years through predation, suffering and death. If Genesis 1-3 is just a myth then the rest of the Bible is also called into question. Romans 5:12 can no longer be taken literally. Sin itself becomes a metaphor. Sinners might not burn in hell. In fact, everything is up for grabs, everything falls to pieces. The next thing you know - homosexuals are parading down the streets and getting married, women are having abortions, people aren't doing what preachers tell them to and society is falling to bits etc. That is why they will hang on to YEC no matter what the cost and no matter how much deception they have to deploy. The religious agenda takes precedence over the science and the religious ends always justify the means. Ultimately, YEC hangs around precisely because it's not science, but a religious movement seeking to mould the world according to its narrow-minded program.

Timothy V Reeves said...

Hi Daniel

Thanks for those challenging comments. I think you make some very pertinent comments re. the social dynamic of fundamentalism. I might actually showcase the issues you raise in a blog post. Is that OK with you?

wakawakwaka said...

@ Sam I dont think your comment was deleted by Lisle ive found it a few days ago

wakawakwaka said...

here i found it its still there

Timothy V Reeves said...

...It seems that you have to know the comment number before you can see it.

wakawakwaka said...

well what exactly did Lisle delete what you posted?

Timothy V Reeves said...

..or at least obscured from view it seems. To see material not now readily viewable see my addendum 14 July 2013 above and also

I'm puzzled as to what Lisle's blog display criterion is. But it's no big deal. I have preserved the content for my purposes.