Saturday, September 20, 2014

Waiting for Lisle’s next move: and it's not just me.

Lee Van Cleef waits for the demented Indio to make an appearance. Lisle may not be demented but his rigid presuppositionalist religious culture and cosmology are demented.

I have just got news of this blog post on “Panda’s Thumb”. It’s a strongly and entertainingly worded critique of Jason Lisle’s ASC model cosmogony. The author of the post, “Diogenes”, not only goes into detail but also gives a potted history of the sorry story of YEC attempts to solve their most difficult problem; namely, the sheer size of the cosmos in relation to the snail’s pace of cosmic signaling. Diogenes also focuses on some of the bizarre features of Lisle’s ASC cosmogony and moreover on the gravitational implication of his “ASC model”!

Let me say a few words about Diogenes treatment of the gravitational question. He says this about the coordinate transformation needed to get Lisle idea to work.

[It] is no longer a mere “coordinate transformation” as Lisle claims, but instead a non-linear transformation of space-time. And a non-linear transformation of space-time means space-time is curved. That means gravity.

Given that that statement comes from a big hitting blog like Panda’s thumb I think I ought to give it careful consideration as ought Lisle himself. We really do need Lisle to come out of his fundamentalist bunker and give us his view of things. Perhaps the famous Panda’s Thumb might serve to flush Lisle out. On the gravitational question Lisle has so far said little more substantive than this:

Missing gravitational field: 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.

In response to that let me say this for the time being: I’m aware that one can do some downright perverse things using with coordinate systems. For example, there’s nothing to stop one mapping the points of a nice easy flat space onto the hide of a living elephant that’s been dressed up in crinkled graph paper. But of course even an eccentric “elephant” coordinate transformation doesn’t change the invariant interval  which represents the true physical distance between points, a quantity which will betray whether or not the space is really flat, elephants apart. The invariance of a the interval exists because the cosmos has natural standards of its own which cannot be gainsaid by weird coordinate systems. So, it is one thing to use an awkward coordinate convention but quite another to claim that a physical standard like the motion of particles somehow exactly mimics and connives with an arbitrary coordinate convention thus keeping that convention "hidden" without showing strain. I will say no more than that for now. Come on Lisle let’s be having you; why don’t you just come out of your comfortable YEC backslapping community and tell us that it’s all down to a coordinate convention?

Talking about perversity, we find plenty of that when it comes to the wider aspects of Lisle’s cosmology where perversity is the name of the game. Lisle, like other Poe’s law fundamentalists, does what he does best; that is, bend reality (and not just space-time)  to fit round a dogmatic and unalterable presuppositionalism. Diogenes does a good job of exposing this perversity. That perversity is made very clear in Diogenes article where he paints a vivid but repugnant picture of the implications of Lisle ASC model: It entails half-made non functioning cosmic objects squirting the cosmic equivalent of blood like sliced human bodies; either that or the presence of unmade slices must be signaled by enormous numbers of bogus “created-in-transit” particles: Diogenes talks about Lisle’s “Deceiver-God creating phony photons and phony particles in relativistic jets like records of make-believe histories that never happened.” But according to fundamentalist John Byl deception is exactly the game God is playing with the scientific community (See here:

It is no surprise that people like Diogenes find Christianity (and fundamentalist Islam which makes similar claims about creationism) utterly repugnant. In fact I have enough trouble with them myself: it was the anti-science doctrines of people like Lisle that at one time could have cost me my faith.

I like reading the Bible but I don’t do it with an anti-learning preset presuppositionalist mind set. Complex adaptive systems like minds are capable of updating themselves - if they are allowed to.

End Notes:

1. Additional relevant links
2. Diogenes says that he owes the “mirror argument” which exposes the bizarre half made asymmetry of Lisle’s model to Quantum Non-linearity. However, unfortunately I can’t claim to have invented it (I wish I could!). I got this very nifty idea from Christian Sam Trenholm. It was Sam who got Lisle to admit to the ugly half functioning lopsided asymmetry of his model See

3. How is it I, as a Christian, find myself very much on the side of atheists here? Firstly, the fundamentalists, fail to do  justice to the contextual nature of language; add to this their concepts of granitic presuppositionalism, mature creation and the bogus distinction between historical and observational science and we have a toxic anti-science and anti-intellectual ethos that I abhor: John Byl whom I name above is a case in point. Secondly I find the conspiracy theorism, holy bad mouthing, holy character assassination, holy maligning, holy remnant paranoia, and holy scandalizing that exists even between fundamentalist sects, in fact especially between fundamentalist sects, very irksome. See:  and


Julien Gravier said...

Well, I am 4 years late in this, but as a French I just discovered the extent of US-led creationism.

First let me say I don't think you're "on the side of atheist", I think we're simply both on the side of the scientific truth. In France creationism isn't such a big deal because most people have absolutely no problem seeing truth in both science and religion. And I fail to see why they should have to make a choice between the two.

Unfortunately, the more I discover about creationists, the more scared I get. So I tried to get what their arguments were and see how science fail to communicate on these topics, and maybe engage in communication about these arguments with a French audience.

In this context, "Dr." Lisle's argument on light was the only one I couldn't come up with a clear reply against because as a pharmaceutical chemist, I lack the knowledge to counter it. Based on what I've found elsewhere, most people aren't really sure how to counter this claim either.
Your blog was actually much more helpful in this regard, and I "think" I have a layman's term explanation about how his argument fail, but I would like to discuss it with you (if that is possible) to be sure I'm getting the big idea right.

Regards !

Julien Gravier said...

OK, I'm late, quite late to the discussion here but I'm only recently interested in creationist claims and their debunk and Lisle's one is the most difficult to comprehend (probably because for once they have an actual expert talking about his actual field).

The way I understand it, he present a mere mathematical change in coordinate (the way you could mathematically describe the universe in frame that would rotate with the Earth) as having a real physical meaning (in the rotating frame, that would mean that some distant stars are rotating faster than c and a centripetal force is bounding them to Earth).

Another way to put it would be imagining a set up where a laser is directed toward an observer, with 2 slits and a screen in between so that one can see the interference pattern. If Lisle's claim is a mere change of coordinates, you can still see the pattern because time and space are also changed. If Lisle's claim is that c is actually infinite, then the pattern should disappear as the wavelength becomes infinite (or h becomes null to compensate, but that'd be even worse in terms of the law of physics ?) and light loses it's wave-like properties.

Do I get the right idea or am I completely missing the point ?

Timothy V Reeves said...

Hi Julien,

Sorry about my delayed response - I turned on "moderation" some time ago and then forgot completely to look at my moderation queue.

I live in the UK and far as the presence of Christian fundamentalist "science" is concerned the situation is a lot better here than the US but probably not as good as France; having a common language with the US no doubt has something to do with its stronger presence in the UK.

Yes, the situation with Christian fundamentalists can be scary, particularly for a Christian like myself; they probably think of me as traitor and apostate to the cause and as you may know traitors can be treated a lot worse than enemies! If we were back in the middle ages I'd be for the burning!

Let me note in passing that some Christian fundamentalists are also promoting flat earth theory and other strange theories, which necessarily requires conspiracy theorism to be part of the theoretical narrative they promote. The whole situation looks like a collective sociological pathology. As you have also found the more one uncovers the worse it appears to be. At first I naively thought it was just a case of tackling the misunderstandings of fundamentalist "science" but it seems to also be bound up with American politics and the weakness many right-wingers have for succumbing to a kind of paranoid conspiracy theorism.

The problems also extend to medical science; we've very recently had a relative die of cancer. This relative was a fundamentalist and was influenced by another fundamentalist promoting the view that the medical establishment was suppressing news about natural anti-cancer drugs. The upshot was that our relative refused to accept hospital treatment and instead "treated" the condition with a worthless remedy.

As you said, very scary!

Timothy V Reeves said...

As for Lisle: If as he is claiming that he is simply using a (pathological) coordinate transformation there is no experiment at all which can falsify what is just an idiosyncratic convention. For example I could use a very distorted coordinate grid to specify the position of objects and as long as the coordinates returned were unique there is nothing to stop me being so perverse.

However, if I made the claim that this pathological system were somehow real and fundamental that would be a different matter. Clearly a strangely distorted coordinate system doesn't reflect the nature of real space and the natural rationale standards of measurement that God's creation provides - like for example the constancy of physical standards which allowed the French Academy of Sciences to define the metre as a useful universal standard for everyone because physical uniformity allows people to replicate the conditions needed to define the metre. This doesn't seem to have occurred to Lisle and neither has the realisation that a real 3D asymmetry in the speed of light will likely lead to a gravitational field.

Reading your comments above I think you are on the road to understanding all this, but Jason Lisle isn't! But then again Lisle probably does understand it, but he is in a rather difficult public situation as a leader of a set of paranoid fundamentalists who completely distrust the scientific establishment.