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Author Topic:   Starlight
ScotiaTheOne
Junior Member (Idle past 4457 days)
Posts: 1
Joined: 05-16-2009


Message 1 of 84 (508857)
05-16-2009 7:45 PM


Hey guys

This is my first post so forgive me if this quesiton has been answered, and if so a link to the thread would be appreciated.

My question is the distant starlight one - I've asked several christians about their take on it and have never received a satisfactory answer. Could you guys help me out? What's the christian view?

For those of you who dont know, its along the lines of:

going on a roughly 10000 yr old earth as estimateable by going through the old testament, how can christians explain light reaching earth from stars millions or billions of light years away? surely the stars (thus the universe) must be at least as old as the light they emit?

any help appreciated
thanks
scott


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Admin
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Message 2 of 84 (508918)
05-17-2009 8:17 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5552
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 3 of 84 (508925)
05-17-2009 9:11 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ScotiaTheOne
05-16-2009 7:45 PM


Hi, Scott, and welcome aboard!

I'm guessing that the "Christian view" here is the same as my view, and of that of science: that light has been travelling about 13.7 billion years to illuminate sensors on the most sensitive telescopes we have. What I think you're asking is "what is the young-earth creationist view" on this. That's a very sizable minority in the US, but not common among educated people of any religion elsewhere.

I've seen two main claims for "the distant starlight problem" in my time following the EvC debates. One is that the light from, say, the galaxy Messier 106, measured by trigonometry to be 25,000,000 light years away from us, was "created in transit" when the Old Testament God created everything a few thousand years ago to give "the appearance of a mature creation." Those that claim this say that Adam, Eve, and the trees of Eden were all created mature, so why not light? The big snag here is that we now see events like supernovae that happened long before Creation....

The other approach is to claim that light speed has slowed down since "Creation Week." A guy named Setterfield spilled lots of ink on proposals for this. Light needs to have moved millions of times faster for this to work, and physics can get to be a problem: Einstien's E=mc2 would indicate that subatomic events like nuclear decay would release a quadrillion times more energy if c, the speed of light, were a million times faster. We don't see this in old stars.


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8965
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 4 of 84 (508926)
05-17-2009 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coragyps
05-17-2009 9:11 AM


Trig?
measured by trigonometry to be 25,000,000 light years away from us,

Impossible!


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20337
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 5 of 84 (508929)
05-17-2009 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by NosyNed
05-17-2009 9:16 AM


Re: Trig?
NosyNed writes:

Impossible!

I thought so, too, but while seeking evidence of how daft the claim of a trigonometric measurement was I found this at the Munich Atronomical Archive (http://www.maa.clell.de/Messier/E/m106.html):

The dense disk around this object works as a maser (Microwave Amplifier by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, i.e. a microwave laser). Thus nuclear maser ring allows a geometric distance measurement, independent of other distance indicators such as Cepheid variables, given by James Herrnstein in his PhD thesis (Herrnstein 1997, and NRAO Press Release). He obtained a distance value of 7.3 +/- 0.4 Mpc (23.8 +/- 1.3 Mly), stated to fit with available Cepheid data.

Pretty neat!

--Percy


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5552
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 6 of 84 (508934)
05-17-2009 9:56 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by NosyNed
05-17-2009 9:16 AM


Re: Trig?
Well, not just trig, I guess, more geometrical: red shift on one side of the disk, blue shift on the other, and actual lateral motion by radiotelescope observation. Herrnstein at al., Nature, 400, 539-541 (1999). The same has been done for the Triangulum Galaxy, Messier 33, with a result of 2.4 million LY. That one is free online: Brunthaler, et al., Science, 307, 1440-1443 (2005).

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cavediver
Member (Idle past 2671 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 7 of 84 (508935)
05-17-2009 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by NosyNed
05-17-2009 9:16 AM


Re: Trig?
Impossible!

The trick is that even if we don't have a large baseline at this end (yet), we may well have a huge baseline at the other end. Stars are essentially point-source objects on the sky. Nearby galaxies are anything but. Turn up the brightnes on M31 (Andromeda), and you'll see that it is four times the width of the Moon! With an object that big, there's potentially lots of fun physics to done, such as with the maser of M106.


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8965
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 8 of 84 (508941)
05-17-2009 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Percy
05-17-2009 9:38 AM


Re: Trig?
Well, neat indeed.

What is that quote? If a great scientist says something is possible then he is probably right but if he says something is impossible he is probably wrong. :)

I guess it doesn't work in reverse right? :(

Thanks for the education Percy and CaveDiver.

Supplemental:
Using the earth's orbit as a base we know it's length. How do we know the length of something when we know the angle subtended but not it's distance?


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ohnhai
Member (Idle past 4190 days)
Posts: 649
From: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 11-17-2004


Message 9 of 84 (508950)
05-17-2009 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coragyps
05-17-2009 9:11 AM


I I remember correctly Settefield collated all historical estimations for C regardless of their age experimental methodology or accuracy of error bands. He then, almost without exception, took the upper limits of the error bands and some very old and wildly wrong guesstimates and produced a curve that suggested an exponential fall off from roughly 7 days after creation (where C remains suspiciously constant) to a steady flat state round about the time C started being measured by atomic clocks. How convenient it is that C reached a steady state round about the time we developed the tech to accurately measure it.

Basically it was the typical creationist's game of taking spurious data and bending it till it gives the desired result.

The ironic thing is that the data that the attomic clock testing is giving us actually produces data that seems to show an increase in C, though this slight increase does seem to lie within the margin of error, and thus must be written off as experimental error. (don't remember where I read that , but I found it interesting.)


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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1132 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 10 of 84 (508951)
05-17-2009 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by ohnhai
05-17-2009 1:34 PM


You can explore his research in all its wonderful glory at his website

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slevesque
Member (Idle past 3668 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 11 of 84 (509019)
05-18-2009 4:46 AM


This could turn out to be interesting, I never really explored the c-decay theory

Albrecht, A. and Magueijo, J., Time varying speed of light as a solution to cosmological puzzles, Physical Review D (Particles, Fields, Gravitation, and Cosmology) 59(4):043516-1–043516-13, 1999

Clayton, M. and Moffat, J., Dynamical mechanism for varying light velocity as a solution to cosmological problems, Physics Letters B460(3–4):263–270, 1999

Adams, S., The Speed of Light, New Scientist
173(2326): Inside Science, p. 4, 19 January
2002.

Are these peer-reviewed journals ? They all propose a faster speed of light in the past.


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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1132 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 12 of 84 (509020)
05-18-2009 5:09 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by slevesque
05-18-2009 4:46 AM


New Scientist is a popularist rag. The others are, indeed, peer reviewed.

quote:
Clayton, M. and Moffat, J., Dynamical mechanism for varying light velocity as a solution to cosmological problems, Physics Letters B460(3–4):263–270, 1999

I've looked through this paper, and realised I lack the background in physics to properly understand it, however, if my reading is correct they are proposing only that the speed of light can be violated under extreme conditions such as those that existed immediately post the big bang. They do not propose a faster speed of light in the past; but rather that the speed of light is different under certain circumstance. This does not solve the starlight problem for Creationists.

quote:
Albrecht, A. and Magueijo, J., Time varying speed of light as a solution to cosmological puzzles, Physical Review D (Particles, Fields, Gravitation, and Cosmology) 59(4):043516-1–043516-13, 1999

Appears to be available here (.pdf). Again if you read the paper you'll find that it refers only to the speed of light in the very early universe, before the formation of stars. This is not a solution ot the starlight problem for Creationists.

Also, as a final note, both of the these papers (and a few others) on the possible variation of the speed of light are highly speculative: there is no empirical evidence in support of their position.


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slevesque
Member (Idle past 3668 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 13 of 84 (509025)
05-18-2009 5:33 AM


Yeah well of course none of these papers would be relevant to a creationist theory lol.

But I found it interesting that these papers were to solve the horizon problem in big bang cosmology, which is essentially a problem caused by the finite speed of light, but for the big bang. This is not the most popular solution to this problem since the inflation phase proposed by Alan Guth is, but it seems now that even the inflation solution is having a horizon problem, thus why these articles about possibly having the speed of light much, much higher in the beginning of the big bang came out recently (both in 1999)


Replies to this message:
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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3938
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 14 of 84 (509028)
05-18-2009 5:50 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by slevesque
05-18-2009 5:33 AM


How about laying off using the lols?
Yeah well of course none of these papers would be relevant to a creationist theory lol.

My "bolding".

I've noticed that you use "lol" a lot. To me, my instincts tell me you are not, at least in fair part, taking the discussion seriously, and/or you think you're some sort of comedian.

Or something like that.

I strongly suggest you strive to minimise the "lols", and the little statements the "lols" accompany. To me at least, they foster the image that you're some sort of goofball.

NO REPLIES TO THIS MESSAGE.

Adminnemooseus

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Damn, despite using spellchecking and preview, a typo/misspelling.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20337
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 15 of 84 (509039)
05-18-2009 8:24 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by slevesque
05-18-2009 5:33 AM


Hi Slevesque,

I'm a moderator, too, and we moderators tend to be a grumpy lot. I agree with Adminnemooseus that your lols often seem misplaced, but on the flip side I do think I sense a sincere desire to follow the evidence where it leads, an important quality rarely seen in creationists.

--Percy


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