Saturday, July 20, 2013

Arbitrariness in Mature Creation Theory

Six feet above contradiction: YEC  Guru Jason Lisle

In my recent post on Jason Lisle’s “solution” to the YEC star light problem I quoted a large portion of one of his discussion threads to which I added some additional comments of my own. During the course of this exercise I discovered a fascinating exchange between one of Lisle’s followers and Lisle himself. I reproduce this exchange below (See Lisle’s blog post ironically titled “Arbitrariness and Inconsistency” and dated August 2012)

Jason Lisle’s ASC Model is a pastiche which uses the old YEC idea that signals in space are created in transit and yet at the same time refrains from using this contrivance when signals are directed toward Earth. Because Lisle is therefore very much left with the snail’s pace of signal propagation at angles oblique to Earth directed radials he has to use liberal and arbitrary dollops of “mature creation” theory when it comes to “explaining” (If that’s the right word!) interacting star masses; that is, he postulates these star masses to be created “as is”. This requires him to posit signal creation in transit in his model. I can only guess that Lisle is comfortable with this because it is galactic matter that “sees” these bogus signals and rather than the conscious human eye.

In the exchange below Lisle quotes one of his followers “Preston” by using a blue type face and then responds in black text. In order to assist interpretation I have enlarged the quotations from Preston by including some of the context from which the quotations were taken. As before my own additions are shown in bold and in square brackets.

Dr. Lisle says:
Hi Preston,
> …but when I try to think of why a hypothetical aged universe and the actual young universe would look different, I don’t quite have a grasp of it.

A supernaturally created universe less than 6000 years old can look like virtually anything that God wishes. However, a 13.7 billion year old universe cannot have young objects in it unless those objects can form spontaneously. Blue stars, for example, should not exist if the universe were billions of years old since they can’t last long, and apparently cannot form. But they exist.

[My Comment: Anything God wishes?  Mature creation theory stands on the cusp of irrefutability, its only restraint being, presumably, the requirement for God’s creative integrity; but even this has little constraint on the possibilities, if YEC John Byl is to be believedAs we have seen from the Beyond Our Ken series Lisle has some tricky choices – which “mature creation” features is he going to accept as not compromising creative integrity and which one’s is he going to reject as a compromising creative integrity?
Lisle’s recourse to the blue stars distribution is very weak evidence for YEC; it makes use of a naively uniformitarian view of nature and yet even this fails to return a figure of 6000 years. Like so much so called YEC evidence, whilst it may present theoretical challenges for established time scales, it hardly classifies as positive evidence for YEC.]
> There apparently is nothing they can’t explain with the most absurd, nonphysical, and never before seen physics.

Yes, there is always a rescuing device.
[My comment: Lisle is proposing a 6000 year cosmology; very few, if any, cosmological processes return a mere 6000 years.  That leaves him having to utilise liberal dollops of mature creation theory to “explain” what he sees in the heavens. Yes, there is always a rescuing device and Lisle has reserved for himself the easiest and laziest opt out of all: “God created it just like that!”. Mature creature theory compromises the scientific content of a theory.]
> I’m curious why a wound up galaxy or an open spiral would be a sign of age? May not God may [sic] have created either form?

Yes. God can create either. But an open spiral cannot last more than 1 billion years, because differential rotation of the galaxies would wrap the arms into a homogenous disk with only trace of spiral structure. But we don’t find that type of galaxy. All the spiral galaxies we find must be less than 100 million years old based on their spiral structure.
[My Comment:  So yes, there is a theoretical issue with the mechanism behind the galactic spirals.  But, says Preston, what relevance is this to Lisle’s cosmology when Lisle can claim that God could simply create galaxies “as is”, just like that! This guy Preston is asking some very useful questions (See this post for morethat are starting show up Lisle’s anti-science for what is: Lisle is not engaged in science of any integrity and a novice like Preston is faced with the question I have already mentioned above: Which “mature creation” features can be accepted as not compromising creative integrity and which ones have to be rejected as a compromising creative integrity?
Given the sort of questions he’s asking I have wondered if Preston is an undercover troll playing a very clever game. Although my guess is that he is genuine, frankly I'm not absolutely sure!]
> Also, I wonder why God would have created planets with or without magnetic fields?

Those kinds of questions are virtually impossible to answer with any confidence. God does what He does. Only in some cases does He tell us why. The Earth’s magnetic field helps protect life from cosmic radiation. But why God created magnetic fields on other planets is known only to Him.
[My Comment:  Once again Preston exposes Lisle’s non-science because as Lisle says Preston's questions are impossible to answer in the context of mature creation theory. Basically Lisle can have no theory for planetary magnetic fields because his mature creation theory of  “God just did it like that” generates no testable results.]
> And regarding blue stars, once again I don’t know of a reason why God wouldn’t have created any stage or size star he chose.

He can and He did. God created a range of different types of stars. But only the blue ones are a good argument for a young universe because they shouldn’t exist in a 13 billion year old universe. Red dwarf stars are compatible either with a young universe or an old universe.
[My comment: Blue stars might be a theoretical challenge for established cosmic time scales but they certainly aren’t good positive argument for a “young universe” if by “young” you mean a mere 6000 years. Notice once again how Preston is subtly subverting Lisle’s claim to doing authentic science: Preston’s subtext is: “God can do anything he wants , (presumably within the constraint of creative integrity?) so how can we do cosmological science in that context?” In response Lisle is only able to engage in the distraction of his negative anti-science by pointing to theoretical issues in established science]
> But its [sic] not clear to me how that would prove or disprove ASC?

If the spiral structure of spiral galaxies became increasingly wound with distance then that would argue against the ASC model and in favor of a time dilation model. The reason is that ASC expects evidence of youth at all distances, whereas time dilation models (depending on the parameters) might expect evidence of increased age with distance.
[My comment: Let’s be clear: Lisle’s “God did it just like!” cosmology doesn't logically oblige, predict or expect that galaxies would have all the same “wind”.  After all, as Preston has said God could create galaxies in any state of wind.  Given that Lisle is quite happy with mature creationism then galactic wind as a function of distance is not informative: Increasing galactic wind with distance could conceivably be just another artefact of mature creation.]
> …but in the beginning of creation might the Lord have created trees that would appear “young” and “old”? Large and small? I would not expect tree rings, and some have said that such rings would give a “false” appearance. But on the other hand, if the Lord chose for trees to have rings due to growth cycles, perhaps it’s a beautiful enough trait to be worth creating from the beginning. So either way, would a closed or open galaxy, or blue or red stars be a sign of age? 

Nothing literally appears young or old, because age is not an observable property. But I take your point. Yes, I would expect large and small trees at creation. But if (hypothetically) trees could not reproduce, and we found lots of small and large trees all over the planet, would that not be compelling evidence that the earth had been created very recently? If the earth were old, and trees (hypothetically) could not reproduce, then we’d expect to find no small trees anywhere. Likewise, blue stars should not exist in an old universe.
[My comment:   Very little is actually “observable”; by far and away the greater part of our world is inferred from direct experience (and that inference only works because our world is providentially rational). For example, the shape and characteristics of atoms are an inference; we don’t observe them in a literal sense. Even people are an inference; it’s just that our brainware is so good at interpreting the signals from other people that those people seem to be right “there” in front of us; and yet this inference is the product of a huge (unconscious) intellectual effort.  Likewise age/maturity/youth are inferences. But in Lisle’s world of “as is” creation the rational integrity of the cosmos is threatened and it is this that is leading to Preston’s problems; namely, the difficulty in identifying just what can and what can’t  be accepted as creation with integrity. If God created trees “as is” in the first instance why should He necessarily want a create a spread of trees with different maturities? He might want them all “young” or all “old” or perhaps as Lisle suggests a mix of both. In the final analysis mature creation compromises knowability.  The only thing Lisle can come up with of any substance is the theoretical challenge  posed by blue stars etc. to old universe theory, a theory which clearly has content enough for Lisle to know what would challenge it.  In contrast Preston’s difficulties in identifying what to expect from Lisle’s cosmology is exposing the lack of content in Lislalian cosmology.
On the subject of tree rings see this post ]
 > What if ASC AND a model like Dr. Humphries were both in effect? And with the results of the RATE project factored in, where there was a period of accelerated radioactive decay at sometime in the past, it seems like almost anything could be expected in the heavens.

Although the two models are not incompatible, the truth of one makes the other unnecessary, at least in terms of solving the starlight issue. But yes, it is possible in principle that the basics of both are true.
[My Comment: Russ Humphreys’ model at least has content. Keeping (roughly) within the rules of physics his model generates results, although contrary to observation. In comparison Lisle’s theory generates next to nothing]
> Is a star ready to go super nova any more good or bad than a planet of frozen methane or one with a core of iron? Doesn’t seem like it to me. I don’t know that physics or chemistry of a particular type carry a moral value, as opposed to biology. Creatures actions either in obedience or disobedience to God do carry a judgement [sic] value, but radioactivity or asteroids or “colliding” galaxies don’t seem at all the same. But then I know almost nothing of astrophysics or even astronomy, so there may be theological implications that I’ unaware of.

Your profession is on the leading edge of the battle to uphold the bible. What an exciting time to be an astrophysicist! [My comment: That's right Preston, keep the guru sweet with a compliment!]

Yes, I agree.
[My Comment: The above comment by Preston is certainly interesting. I think he’s trying to express this: He has thrown up his hands in realisation that mature creation theory leads to all but content-less theorising. He also senses the problem of creative integrity that mature creation theory brings with it.  What he seems to be trying say, then, is this “Well OK, it's sentient beings to which the rules of integrity apply, but it doesn't matter if insentient objects like colliding galaxies appear to be lying about their history!”]
Hope this helps.

[My comments: ...oh yes Dr. Lisle it most certainly does! But you might find that you've left Preston rather confused; but not to worry tomorrow's another day and he can come back for more (confusion)! And thank you Mr Preston; thank you very, very much indeed - Keep up the good work!]

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thinking Outside the Boxing Ring

The Parting of Ways

This post on Uncommon Descent, along with its links, is interesting; It’s by a contributor called scordova who appears to have YEC sympathies although he says he is a doubting YEC.  Like other UD posters it is probably wrong to put scordova in the unself-critical “heretic burning” fundamentalist category. Scordova seems to be more in the self-critical Paul Nelson mold, and able to work with those who have come to different conclusions. Following one of scordova’s links  on the interpretation of the geologic column we find expressed some of the reasons for his skepticism of the established geological time scales. However, these reasons have more the character of inconsistencies and difficulties in establishment science rather than offering positive support for the fundamentalist’s 6000 year old Earth. As is so often the case with those who attack establishment age-figures, it is done on the basis of simple (and probably simplistic) uniformitarian extrapolations that seldom return ages of around 6000 years but rather durations of hundreds of thousands or even millions of years!  The popular fundamentalist folk logic has a default as follows: Establishment age figures are inconsistent therefore 6000 years!

What I sense to be the backdrop against which scordova proceeds is the North American polarization that acrimoniously  divorces the public and private domains. This general polarization makes itself felt in a variety of more specific ways which particularly include a polarization between the publicly funded academic establishment and the privately funded communities in which we find a broad church of technocrats, industrialists, political right-wingers, independent academics and religious fundamentalists. This in turn manifests itself in specific issue polarization such as the evolution vs. God dichotomy. Another issue dichotomy is anthropogenic climate change vs. non-anthropogenic climate change – the latter point of view tending to be favored by the laissez faire techno-industrialists who help fund independent academies and academics.

I am myself of the opinion that people like scordova and (Paul Nelson) are worth giving a hearing; it helps if one is able to keep two conflicting but tentative conclusions in one’s head at the same time.  However, the rejection of the culture represented by UD posters by mainstream academics makes these posters not only tetchy, but also, in some cases, passionately anti-establishment  – read, for example, some of UD's contributors like Cornelius Hunter and Denise OLeary – they're really mad with the evolution touting establishment! And when they are not mad with it  they, like scordova, are at the very least deeply distrustful of it.

Polarization means that opposing sides tend to assume that “If you are not working with us you are working against us”. In particular the private anti-establishment persuasion are fertile ground for paranoia and conspiracy theory: This makes a dispassionate impartiality difficult if not impossible to implement. In this connection I myself have my limits: although I feel comfortable with YECs like Paul Nelson and scordova I draw the line with the exclusivity of the heretic hunting, fire and brimstone fundamentalists; their paranoia and elite religionism makes trusting relationships all but impossible. 

Addendum 14/07/13
This link,  on PZ Myers' blog may be data relevant to the above: It's about a correspondent who sets "technology" over and against "science": The latter is seen as skeptical and intellectual, whereas the former practical and useful (and, may I add in many cases privately funded!)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

YEC's Recurring Bad Dream: The Star Light Problem

There have been one of two recent moves on my article about Jason Lilse's fundamentalist "solution" to the Young Earth star light problem. In the comments section I've been talking to the rational Wiki contributor Sam Trenholme . He has some interesting ideas on the subject.  See the following link:

 Addendum 14/07/2013

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 my 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 useful comment was also deleted about a week after its first appearance.

Note: I've since annotated the thread below with a few further comments of my own 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 several times 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 of 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!]