Here are quotes from two of your articles that I’d like to ask a question about:
- “My first model (2003)1 employed no gravitational potential well, but a supernatural causation only. During Creation week, God miraculously slowed Earth and the solar system clocks in comparison to cosmic clocks. The model doesn’t need an expanding universe, but it is rather ad hoc. That is, it invokes a miracle.” quoted from STARLIGHT AND TIME: IS IT A BRICK WALL FOR BIBLICAL CREATION?
- “This means placing the earth at the centre of a truly vast spherical universe, where the most distant galaxies were first created tens of billions of years before the first day of creation of Genesis 1 (figure 1),2 and subsequently created closer and closer towards Earth at the constant speed of light c such that the light from all the galaxies arrived at the earth on the fourth day, for the first time.” quoted from THE ANISOTROPIC SYNCHRONY CONVENTION MODEL AS A SOLUTION TO THE CREATIONIST STARLIGHT-TRAVEL-TIME PROBLEM — PART I.
In the first case, God miraculously slowing local vs cosmic clocks is deemed ad hoc; however, in the second case God is required to do trillions of smaller miracles (creating all the stars in a certain order, over billions of years). How is the second any less ad hoc than the first?
(Update 24 September 2015: Footnote 4 added for clarification)
Thanks for the question. I do largely agree with your inference that either both are ad hoc or neither are. It is somewhat subjective. But there is a difference, and the difference is in how the clocks, in the two proposed cosmologies, are synchronised.
1. In the first mentioned cosmology there are two zones, one local to the earth, where, during Day 4 of Creation week, all clocks run at a slower rate to all cosmic clocks and are synchronised, and a second zone incorporating most of the Universe where all clocks run at the same rate as clocks today, and hence are universally synchronised to current day Earth clocks.3 Such synchronisation only the Creator could manufacture at Creation. That requirement provides the necessary time dilation to explain a vast universe in a 6000 year timescale but not cause any unusual observations in the cosmos, because there is essentially no difference between clock rates (cosmic vs local) now when the light we see now arrives from the distant cosmos. But during Creation Week that was not the case. At the end of Day 4 God made all Earth clocks run at the same rate as they do today. That aspect of the creation process was by supernatural.
2. In the second mentioned cosmology, the synchronisation of clocks is only via the transmission of a light signal to Earth. That is when the light from the galaxies was first to reach Earth. So for all galaxies and stars to be created on Day 4 of Creation Week they must have been created in past time4 under the assumption of the Einstein Synchrony Convention (ESC; where light travels at constant speed, c) but simultaneously under the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC; where light travels towards the earth at infinite speed). There is no assumed difference in clock rates but only a timing convention by which the events are time-stamped. No unusual observations are caused nor expected in the cosmos. But no apparent processes in the cosmos can have ages indicated to be greater than a little more than 6000 years either.
I have been told by others in the creationist community that the latter (2.) is an ad hoc solution to the problem. I personally don’t believe so. And I have said myself that the former’s (1.) assumption of the way God had to create the Universe is ad hoc. So maybe it is just a matter of choice. But because this was Creation Week where physical laws may have been suspended until the creation complete, the former (1.) requires more of that than the latter (2.).
God is not in time so He has no preferred choice of a timing convention. That is entirely a man-made construct. But the latter (2.) fits nicely into a 6000 year creation of the Universe. The Bible was written for man, God’s message to us, so it make sense to me that He would use the language of mankind, which has always been to time events when we observe them, not by when we calculate the light left the source. That has only been the case in the past 100 years since we have measured the value of the two-way speed of light, c.
References and notes
- J.G. Hartnett, A new cosmology: solution to the starlight travel time problem, Journal of Creation 17(2):98–102, 2003.
- Here I have used the usual language that we use today in science. That means if there were some sort of universal clocks, all synchronized together, then they would measure the first creation of the first galaxies billions of years before the first day of Creation, so there is all that time available for the light to travel at constant speed c.
- Such a synchronisation is assumed as part of the creation. It is not something that could be verified.
- To be perfectly clear, this means that under the ESC timing convention the beginning of the Universe was billions of years before the creation of planet Earth. God created the Universe is a special way such that, chronologically, He created the most distant sources (galaxies) first and systematically created all others progressively closer and closer to where He would eventually create the Earth, so that all the light from these sources arrived for the first time on Day 4 of Creation Week, after travelling at constant speed c for millions and billions of years. Under the ASC timing convention (since there is no travel time for light) the light from all sources arrvies at Earth instantly on Day 4. Hence I use the expression “in past time” under ESC but that is the same as being “exactly on” Day 4 under ASC, as required by the scriptures
- Anisotropic Synchrony Convention
- Asynchronous Simultaneity Convention
- Einstein Simultaneity Convention
- einstein synchrony convention
- Genesis creation narrative
- John Hartnett
- light travel time problem
- one-way speed of light
- Physical cosmology
- Speed of light
- starlight and time
- Time dilation
- timing convention
- two-way speed of light