"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.
For the latest news see here:
13/10/12 The latest
news on Jason Lisle's ASC....
August 31, 2012
at 1:41 pm
responded to a critique of your AIG article at
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.
2012 at 11:07 am
forward to that series of entries.
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
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.
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.
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.]
I’m looking forward to that series of
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!
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.
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….]
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
Thanks for that info Nick; very
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
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.
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
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
Looks to me as if the formatting here
is eventually going to restrict us to one word per line.
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]
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
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…]
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,
[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!]
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.
So Kenny, am I to understand that
that is the answer which convinces you?
Yes Kenny really just can’t see the wood
from the trees! Lisle’s model has completely fazed him!]
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
Thanks for the reply, Kenny
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!
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]
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
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!]
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]
[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……]
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
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!]
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.
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
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!
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”!
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
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.
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!]
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.
Yes, I saw Preston’s comments. You
are claiming to be a Christian by faith in Jesus, so he has no reason to doubt
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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
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:
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
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.
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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
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
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]
….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
[My Comment: That comment is now nearly a year old!
Watch this space!]
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.
Labels: Anti Science, Conspiracy theory, Epistemology, Fundamentalism, God did it vs. Naturalism did it, Physics, Theism, Theology