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Here is the Speed-of-Light department!

In February 2011, the then-current editors of (Mark Elliott, Paul V.M. Flesher, J. Edward Wright) rejected the following unsolicited article describing a new interpretation of the 4th-day creation of stars relative to the 6th-day creation of humans in Genesis 1.

According to their Philosophy statement, they do not accept "esoteric and improbable positions nor apologetic and dogmatic agendas".  Ironically, their website's official Purpose is to appeal to people interested in "the most current news and interpretations on the Bible", a book that contains esoteric and improbable positions, with apologetic and dogmatic content.

You can post comments at Yahoo's Biblicalist thread of the same title as this article.

Science writings by G.M. Grena:

Knowest Thou the Ordinances of Heaven?

According to the Special Theory of Relativity, the light from the most distant stars created on the 4th day of Genesis 1 could have been seen by the first humans on the 6th day.

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     Many Bible scholars reject interpreting the six days of Genesis 1 as ordinary (i.e., the time it takes Earth to complete each axial revolution) due to the great distances of stars, and the time it takes for light to travel from them to our telescopes.^1  Verses 15 and 17 inform us unambiguously that their purpose was to shine on our planet, serving calendrical functions described in the overview verse 14.


^1) Charles David Isbell alluded to this in a recent Bible & Interpretation article, "Creation, Science, and Genesis?" by mentioning "physical evidence that now speaks in terms of millions or even billions of years." Aside from the logical fallacy of Reification (evidence cannot speak), there is no actual evidence of millions or billions of years. Light-years are distances, and the process used in radiometric dating merely counts isotopes. People derive time periods from these measurements based on a series of assumptions, some that can be demonstrated, some that cannot.

     Subsequent verses reveal the creation of humans two days later who would need to see those signs, and subsequent chapters provide a timeline of human lifespans leading from Adam to Abram.  In 15:5 God compares the number of Abram's promised descendants to the vast number of stars, and also to the vast number of sand grains in 22:17.

     So in this historical narrative, could God have created the stars only several thousand years ago, and could their light have traveled (in some cases) billions of light-years for Abram to see?

     A common answer posits God working an unrevealed miracle such as creating the light beams in transit, or accelerating the light between the fourth day and the sixth day of Genesis 1.  However, Jason Lisle (Ph.D., Astrophysics, University of Colorado at Boulder) recently published a new theory^2 utilizing a seldom-discussed scientific phenomenon: the one-way speed of light is undefined.


^2) Lisle, Jason P. 2010.  Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight Problem.  Answers Research Journal 3:191-207.  See also his non-technical version:  Lisle, Jason.  January-March 2011.  Distant Starlight—The Anisotropic Synchrony Convention.  Answers Magazine 6:68-71.

     By convention, you can define it to be as fast as you want, and Einstein himself would not be able to argue against you!  The key to understanding this model is that you can ignore the time it takes light to reflect back to its point of origin.  After quoting Einstein's technical example, Lisle rephrased it quite eloquently as, "the one-way speed of light is not actually a property of nature, but a choice of man."^3


^3) Lisle 2010 p. 201.

The Speed(s) of Light


     The well-known constant value for the speed of light is actually its two-way or round-trip speed.^4  So if you could magically travel to a star one-billion light-years from Earth, turn on a very high-power laser aimed at a mirror on Earth while simultaneously clicking your stopwatch, then wait for the reflection of the light to return from Earth, you would indeed be waiting for two-billion years.  However, according to the Special Theory of Relativity, a friend of yours holding the mirror on Earth could see the light from your laser almost immediately after you turn it on.


^4) Nobody has yet been able to accelerate light beyond this "constant" speed, but in recent years, scientists have been able to slow it down in a controlled environment to a point where it actually stops! See "Researchers now able to stop, restart light" by William J. Cromie in the 24 January 2001 issue of The Harvard University Gazette.

     If you feel the sudden urge to inform me that it would actually take one-billion years to reach Earth (two-billion divided by two, assuming the same, constant speed evenly divided along the journey), you would be demonstrating that you do not understand Special Relativity!  Unfortunately for evolutionists who would enjoy proving creationists are wrong, there are two types of problems presented by the aforementioned experiment.

     First, it is impossible for us to travel to such a great distance, but even if we could, we would also need an equally magical way to communicate with our friend on Earth using a medium extremely faster than light.  The only thing that could be possibly faster than light is the theoretical expansion of the universe^5 itself, so you would also have to overcome that not-so-minor difficulty.


^5) Evolutionists currently believe the universe is about 14 billion years old, but greater than 90 billion light-years between the most distant objects known; the estimate has increased considerably over the past century.

     Second, any method we seek to use in a local experiment here on Earth, requires light (or its equivalent in terms of electricity or electromagnetic waves), so the only thing we can do is measure the aforementioned two-way/round-trip speed.^6


^6) For a recent rebuttal of someone who claimed to have measured the one-way speed, see "One-way speed of light?" by J. Finkelstein (American Journal of Physics vol. 78, issue 8, August 2010, p. 877).

     Personally, I imagine light traveling almost-infinitely fast in one direction until it hits an obstruction, gets figuratively "knocked unconscious" for a while, has to "regain its balance", turnaround, and reflect back to its source, which it manages to do again just as fast (i.e., the same one-way speed). But that's just my imagination struggling to grasp Relativity. As Einstein said and Lisle explained, the one-way speed is simply a convention, like choosing a ruler marked in inches or centimeters.^7


^7) In this analogy, it is the same physical property of distance, described by two completely different conventions.  The one-way speed of light is the same space-time property described by any speed we choose, though obviously it cannot be slower than the average round-trip speed.

Old Observations


     So when archeologists find ancient records of astronomical observations, written as though the event occurred virtually simultaneously on the occasion it was witnessed, the writer was unwittingly making use of Lisle's model (dubbed the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention).  This is not much different from people thousands of years ago who utilized gravity before Sir Isaac Newton described it formally.

     For example, in June 2004 astronomers at the Chandra and XMM-Newton observatories saw what is currently the oldest recorded supernova (named RCW 86).^8  They calculated that the star exploded right around the time Chinese astronomers noted a star forming, then fading away 8 months later (AD 185).  Just because they estimate its distance from Earth at about 8,200 light-years, it does not mean that it actually exploded circa 8015 BC since that would predate the Genesis timeline.


^8) See Chandra's "RCW 86:  New Evidence Links Stellar Remains to Oldest Recorded Supernova" as well as the European Space Agency's slightly longer version.

Secular Miracles


     Now creationists do not need to believe in an undocumented miracle transpiring on the fourth day of creation; however, evolutionists who believe in the purposeless, random Big Bang model still rely on unexplained "miracles" to rescue their theory. Here are three quick examples:

     1) Comet Generation. Because of their disintegrating content, they cannot last millions of years, hence, mainstream scientists believe in a hypothetical cloud^9 that sends them to our solar system.


^9) They could have named it The Flying Spaghetti Monster Cloud, but instead decided upon Oort Cloud (for brevity I suppose). See NASA's web page, "Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud", & note the words "proposed", "considered", "probably", "presumed", "suggested".

     2) Horizon Problem.  We observe a relatively uniform temperature (and some other physical properties) throughout our visible region of space; however a randomly expanding Big Bang would generate significant differences; hence mainstream scientists believe in a fine-tuned inflation event,^10 leading to other theoretical problems^11 (e.g., instead of getting away from the need for a Creator, the Inflation theory makes the universe seem even more teleological).


^10) See NASA's "What is the Inflation Theory?" page.

^11) In "Inside inflation: after the big bang" (New Scientist, 03 March 2007, pp. 33-7) Peter Coles deflates it by pointing out it requires you to believe "the force of gravity could be persuaded to change from pull to push" due to a hypothetical scalar field named an "inflaton".

     3) Galaxy Rotation.  Their stars appear to revolve around the galaxy's center too fast.  One solution requires an arbitrary, hence irrational, exception to the Law of Gravity;^12 the other relies on unobservable mass.^13

     If the universe was created only several-thousand instead of billions of years ago, these observed phenomena make sense.  It suddenly becomes slightly more difficult for rational people to reject the Bible's historical narrative of God's actions, in favor of a growing list of hypothetical entities, and theories that violate known scientific ordinances governing the universe.


^12) See "Galaxy Rotation Curves without Nonbaryonic Dark Matter" by J. R. Brownstein and J. W. Moffat (2006 The Astrophysical Journal 636, pp. 721-41).

^13) See "On the Proof of Dark Matter, the Law of Gravity and the Mass of Neutrinos" by Garry W. Angus, Huan Yuan Shan, Hong Sheng Zhao, and Benoit Famaey (2007 ApJ 654, pp. L13-6).

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This page was created on February 18, 2011, & last updated on February 18, 2011; visits