Is the Universe really expanding — the evidence revisited

3d expansion question markThe Hubble law, determined from the distances and redshifts of galaxies, for the past 80 years, has been used as strong evidence for an expanding universe. In 2011 I reviewed various lines of evidence for and against this claim. It included the lack of evidence for the necessary existence of time dilation in quasar and gamma-ray burst luminosity variations, angular size tests for galaxies as a function of redshift, the Tolman surface brightness test which is sensitive to expansion of the Universe, evidence that the CMB radiation is not from the background, which it should be if from the big bang fireball as alleged, intergalactic absorption lines due to hydrogen clouds and Lyman-α systems, and what they do tell us. Here I present that information again in light of my current understanding.

This review concluded that the observations could be used to describe either a static universe (where the Hubble law results from some as-yet-unknown mechanism) or an expanding universe described by the standard Λ cold-dark-matter model. In the latter case, the imposition of size evolution of galaxies is necessary to get agreement with observations. Yet the simple non-expanding (i.e. static) Euclidean universe fits most data with the least number of assumptions. I made a straw table comparison with the various lines of evidence to see how they stack up. It was found not to be definitive and hence the result equivocal. From this review it became quite apparent that there are still many unanswered questions in cosmology and it would be a mistake to base one’s theology on any particular cosmology. Far better to base you cosmology and theology on the clear narrative historical prescription in the Genesis account and elsewhere in the Scriptures. (This was first published in two parts in the Journal of Creation 25(3):109-120, 2011.)


Ever since the late 1920s, when Edwin Hubble discovered a simple proportionality1 between the redshifts of the light coming from nearby galaxies and their distances, we have been told that the Universe is expanding. This relationship—dubbed the Hubble Law—has since been strengthened and extended to very great distances in the cosmos. Nowadays it is considered to be the established dogma of the expanding big bang universe. This means that the space that contains the galaxies is expanding and that the galaxies are essentially stationary in that space, but being dragged apart as the universe expands.

Hubble initially interpreted his redshifts as a Doppler effect, due to the motion of the galaxies as they rushed away from our location in the Universe. He called it a ‘Doppler effect’ as though the galaxies were moving ‘through space’—the space itself is not expanding but the galaxies are moving through space, and that is how some people, especially astronomers, initially perceived it. This is different to what has now become accepted, but observations alone cannot distinguish between the two concepts. Later in his life Hubble varied from his initial interpretation and said that the Hubble Law was due to some hitherto undiscovered mechanism, but not due to expansion of space—now called cosmological expansion.

The big bang expanding universe model essentially offers a coherent paradigm or explanatory framework which can, in principle, provide answers to a wide range of key cosmological questions; examples are the origin of extragalactic redshifts, the dynamical state of the Universe (i.e. not apparently collapsing under gravity), Olbers’ paradox (why is the night sky dark?), the origin of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, the origin of galaxies, and the origin of the elements. The fact that its answers to some questions are currently unsatisfactory or unconvincing does not change the basic point that such a model will always be preferred to a more limited model such as a static Euclidean universe, which does not attempt to address such questions. In this sense the big bang model is necessarily preferable regardless of one’s theological position. Continue reading

Dark matter search comes up empty

An online news reportfrom, titled “Scientists looking for invisible dark matter can’t find any,” reported the following:

Scientists have come up empty-handed in their latest effort to find elusive dark matter, the plentiful stuff that helps galaxies like ours form.

For three years, scientists have been looking for dark matter—which though invisible, makes up more than four-fifths of the universe’s matter—nearly a mile underground in a former gold mine in Lead, South Dakota. But on Thursday they announced at a conference in England that they didn’t find what they were searching for, despite sensitive equipment that exceeded technological goals in a project that cost $10 million to build.


Lead co-investigator Richard Gaitskell explains the experiment.

The experiment, called the Large Underground Xenon experiment or LUX, was found to be 4 times its original design sensitivity. It involves a detector that consists of about a third of a ton of supercooled xenon in a tank festooned with light sensors, each capable of detecting a single photon. As the so-called WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) pass through the tank, they should, on very rare occasions, bump into the nucleus of a xenon atom. Those bumps cause the nucleus to recoil, creating a tiny flash of light and an ion charge, both of which are expected to be picked up by LUX sensors.

The experiment is located in a hole a mile (1.6 km) underground in an old gold mine to exclude all sorts of background sources that might give false signals. The alleged dark matter particles are hardly affected by the intervening matter and pass mostly undisturbed through the planet, or so the theory alleges. But alas nothing has been detected. In fact for at least 40 years now no such local lab experiment has found anything.

Scientists are already starting to revamp the South Dakota mine site for a $50 million larger, higher-tech version of LUX, called LZ, that will be 70 times more sensitive and should start operations in 2020, said Brown University’s Richard Gaitskell, another scientific spokesman for LUX.1

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Unicorns are not mythological creatures

New fossil evidence shows that an animal, which could be described as a unicorn, once lived on earth. Quite apart from any folklore about magical horses this means the use of the word ‘unicorn’ in early English translations of the Bible is valid.

Like giants, dragons and cockatrices, as it now turns out unicorns also are not mythological creatures. I believe the notion developed that these are mythological stems from the assumption, born from disbelief, that the Bible is not an accurate record of either history nor of science.

I have already examined the claim that giants, dragons and cockatrices are mythological. Here I examine the claim that unicorns are mythological. And it may surprise you to find that they are not the product of an overactive imagination as people have believed. But we must first separate out the facts from the fiction, which may have developed from folklore, where they are alleged to have had wings and magical powers.


Figure 1: The unicorn isn’t just a myth, but it didn’t look like this either. Credit: GETTY (modified).

The word ‘unicorn(s)’ is mentioned in the King James English Bible many times. See Numbers 23:22 and 24:8 states “He [literally Hebrew El, meaning God] has as it were the strength of an unicorn” (KJVER). It was an extremely strong animal. Deuteronomy 33:17 mentions “the horns of unicorns”, which may indicate a two-horned animal. In Psalms 92:10 we read “But my horn shall You [God] exalt like the horn of an unicorn:” (KJVER). Here it had a single horn. And in Isaiah 34:7 the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; …” (KJV).  Also it is mentioned in Job 39:9,10 and Psalms 22:21, 29:6.

The Hebrew word רְאֵם (r’em) is translated ‘unicorn’ in the earliest English translations. In other (old) language translations: Greek ‘μονοκερωτος’ (LXX, Septuagint, 200-300 BC), Latin ‘monocerotis’ (Jerome’s Biblia Sacra Vulgata Latina, or Latin Vulgate, 405 AD), German ‘Einhorns’ (Luther, 1545), Italian ‘liocorno’ (IDB, Giovanni Diodati Bibbia, 1649). Each of these may be translated ‘unicorn’.

The Hebrew word r’em is given the meaning ‘wild bull’ in the Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary. And in recent Bible translations it generally translated as ‘ox’ (BBE) ‘wild ox’ (ERV, ASV, NKJV, ISV) or ‘strong bull’ (NET) and in footnotes a synonym is sometimes given as a ‘wild bull’. Continue reading

Dragons are not mythological creatures

Dragons are mentioned in the Bible many times, especially in the oldest English translations. Like giants, unicorns, satyrs and cockatrices these are not mythological creatures. I believe, the notion that they are mythological stems from two sources. One is the assumption, born from disbelief, that the Bible is not an accurate record of either history nor of science. The second is related to the first, that evolution is a fact, and therefore the only possible candidate for real dragons, dinosaurs, must be ruled out because “as everyone knows the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago and therefore could not have lived in recent times with mankind.” I have already examined the claim that giants are mythological. Here I will examine the claim that dragons are mythological. (Others will be examined in future articles).

Dragons today

dragon and knight

Figure 1: Dragon-slaying knight wins heart of damsel.

Nowadays atheist skeptics use the mythology of the dragon-slayer in their attempts to discredit belief in the Bible. For example,1

“We tend to think of tales of dragons as mere fairy stories, but they were once integral to the Christian faith, and featured heavily in factual accounts of the lives of saints, including the prime authority on them, The Golden Legend.

“In medieval times people gave credence to the dozens of saints who owed their position to the slaying of dragons. These huge damsel-eating, fire-breathing, scaly, flying creatures seem a little improbable now, even to the most devout Christians. But these stories were not originally presented as figurative. They were presented as factual, and were to be interpreted literally.”

I am convinced the Roman Catholic Church, as it rose to political power during the 4th and 5th centuries, developed bogus methods to delude the populace into their counterfeit religion.  So it is no wonder that such practices continued for the following thousand of years or more. That is an indictment not on the veracity of the Bible but on the deceptiveness of the corrupt heart of man. Continue reading

Giants are not mythological creatures

I have been told that the Bible mentions several mythological creatures. These include giants, unicorns, satyrs, cockatrices and dragons. But are they mythological? Or is the assumption that they are only due to a prejudice born from a disbelief that the Bible is an accurate record of not only history but also of science? Let’s examine one of the claims that giants are a myth. (Others will be examined in future articles).

Giants today


Figure 1: Children’s story of Jack and the beanstalk with the giant descending the beanstalk.

When people hear the word giant they are immediately drawn to the likes of “Jack and the beanstalk” (see Fig. 1) and other such fairy stories. But real life giants do exist today.


Figure 2: Angus MacAskill was born in 1825 on the Isle of Berneray in the Sound of Harris, Scotland. His height was 7 foot 10 inches (238.8 cm).

There are records of true giants in modern times. In 1981 the Guinness Book of World Records recognized Angus MacAskill as the largest true giant to have ever lived, the strongest man who ever lived and the man with the largest chest measurements of any non-obese man.

In adulthood, MacAskill stood 239 cm (7 ft 10 in) tall and weighed an astonishing 263 kg (580 lbs). His shoulders measured 112 cm (44 in) wide, the palm of his hand was nearly 30 cm (1 ft) wide and his shoes measured 48 cm (19 in) in length.1

MacAskill was able to lift a 1.27 tonne (2800 lb) ship’s anchor to chest height. Was known to carry barrels weighing over 136 kg (300 lbs) under each arm, was able to singlehandedly set a 12-metre (40-foot) mast into a schooner deck and was also known to lift a full-grown horse over a 1.2-metre (4-foot) fence.1 Continue reading

The sun has gone blank!


Figure 1: The more usual picture of the sun with flares, and other turbulent activity. Lower right is a mid-level solar flare imaged on Nov. 12, 2012.

As predicted, by John L. Casey and several others, including my analysis,1 we are entering a period of massively reduced sunspot activity. This may have significant ramifications for weather on this planet. Reduce sunspots means reduced solar activity and hence reduced solar flares and other associated solar activity. A new article, headlined with “The sun has gone blank twice this month. This is what it means”, reports2 that we are now seeing the sun some days with no sunspots and none of the grainy turbulence features as shown in Fig. 1.

The news report2

According to scientists, this unsettling phenomenon is a sign we are heading for a mini ice age.

Meteorologist and renowned sun-watcher Paul Dorian raised the alarm in his latest report, which has sparked a mild panic about an impending Game of Thrones-style winter not seen since the 17th century.

For the second time this month, the sun has gone completely blank,” Mr Dorian says.

The blank sun is a sign that the next solar minimum is approaching and there will be an increasing number of spotless days over the next few years.

At first, the blankness will stretch for just a few days at a time, then it’ll continue for weeks at a time, and finally it should last for months at a time when the sunspot cycle reaches its nadir. The next solar minimum phase is expected to take place around 2019 or 2020.”

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