astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

Inflation epoch hopes dashed again!

In March 2014 a team of astrophysicists announced to the world, through a public press release, that they had made the biggest discovery of the 21st century. Using the BICEP2, a telescope located at the South Pole they claimed that they had discovered evidence of the early inflation epoch of the big-bang universe. In several articles I mentioned that not only I but also other physicists doubted that this would bear out. Some suggested it was dust emission from within our galaxy that caused the particular B-mode polarization of the photons in the CMB, which was their claimed signature of the putative epoch of inflation.

Map showing the tiny variations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) observed by Europe's Planck satellite.  Credit: ESA/Planck Collaboration
Map showing the tiny variations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) observed by Europe’s Planck satellite.
Credit: ESA/Planck Collaboration

Then it was revealed that the authors of the claimed biggest astrophysics discovery of the century admit they may have been wrong. On  June 20th, 2014, the BICEP2 Collaboration published a paper published in Physical Review Letters,1 making their claim. It was 25 pages long but with a half-page disclaimer saying they might be wrong and they would have to wait the outcome of the data analysis of the Planck satellite team looking at the same region of the sky and the same frequencies.

Well, that has now been published, and it’s not good news for the BICEP2 team.

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Is there definitive evidence for an expanding universe?

Evolution out of the ‘Dark Ages’

Expansion of the universe is fundamental to the big bang cosmology. No expansion means no big bang. By projecting cosmological expansion backwards in time, they assert, one will, hypothetically, come to a time where all points are the same. Since these points are all there is, then it logically follows that there is no space or time ‘before’ this moment. It is the singularity, and we cannot use language couched in concepts of time when no time (or space) exists.

Yet there are Christians who use this presumed fact as evidence in support of the Genesis 1 account and even for the existence of God Himself. They argue that only God could have started the big bang. Though it is true the universe does need a first cause it is an enormous leap into the unknown to suppose that the big bang story is that which is described in the Genesis 1 narrative. The sequence of events is nothing like it. See The big bang is not a Reason to Believe!

Redshifted The spectral lines for this element still show the same distinctive pattern, but all have been shifted towards the red end of the spectrum.

At the end of the 1920s, Edwin Hubble made a significant discovery. He found a proportionality between the amount by which the spectral lines in the light coming from relatively nearby galaxies are redshifted(z) and their distances (r) from Earth. That relationship is now called the Hubble law c z = H0 r, where c is the speed of light and H0 is Hubble’s famous constant of proportionality.

The Hubble law has since been extended to very great redshifts (therefore by inference, distances) in the cosmos, via the redshift-distance relationship. At small redshifts, and by interpretation at small distances, this becomes precisely the Hubble law.

Redshifts have been interpreted as a velocity of recession, i.e. that galaxies are moving through space. And that the recession implies expansion of the universe. But Hubble, up to the time of his death, was not so convinced of this interpretation.  He was open to the possibility that there could be another mechanism to explain redshifts.

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When I consider thy heavens

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.  … 3. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;  Psalms 8:1,3

These verses really struck me as significant as I read them this morning. Let’s look at these two verses carefully.

O YHWH (יְהוֹוָה Yhovah) our Lord (אָדוֹן ‘adown meaning ‘sovereign’)  who (meaning God Himself) hast set thy (your, singular) glory above the heavens. Psalms 8:1

God has set his own glory above that of the created heavens. And those heavens are a wonder to behold. Just look at some of the beautiful pictures of the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day. Here I illustrate this (Fig. 1) with their July 30, 2014 picture of the Andromeda galaxy.

Figure 1: M31: The Andromeda Galaxy.  Image Credit & Copyright: Jacob Bers (Bersonic)

Our own galaxy would look very similar to this one. With modern large telescopes we see a universe full of maybe 100 billion galaxies, many of which look like this one. But God’s glory is way above all of this.

When I consider thy (your, singular) heavens, the work of thy fingers ( אֶצבַּע ‘etsba` meaning ‘something to seize with’ but God does not have nor need real fingers, so it is figurative), the moon and the stars (and the latter must include the sun, which was not known by Earth astronomers to be a star until millenia later), which thou (you, singular) hast ordained (כּוּן kuwn meaning to ‘be erect’, stand perpendicular hence causatively to ‘set up’, literally to ‘establish’ or figuratively to ‘appoint’); Psalms 8:3

astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

Inflation—all in the ‘Dark’

The Higgs boson messes with cosmic inflation

“It took $10 billion, the world’s largest particle accelerator and decades of research, but now scientists are convinced: The universe doesn’t exist.” [emphasis added]

Or so says a web news article1 titled “It’s okay. Nothing really matters. We don’t actually exist, anyway. Or so the Higgs Boson particle suggests.” Well, what’s this all about?

Higgs interaction
Figure 1: CERN ATLAS detector output used to detect the Higgs boson, the so-called ‘God’ particle.
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Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels, the Book

This has been a long time in the making! This powerful book exposes the fatal flaws of evolutionary thinking. Like no other work that I am aware of, it is authored by nine Ph.D. scientists, including myself, to produce a coordinated, coherent, powerful argument. All of the authors received their doctorates from similar secular universities as their evolutionary counterparts. Each is a specialist in a field relevant to the subject written about: Natural selection, origin of life, geology, genetics, radiometric dating, the fossil record, cosmology, and ethics.

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The singularity—a ‘Dark’ beginning

Did the universe form spontaneously from nothing?

“The universe burst into something from absolutely nothing – zero, nada. And as it got bigger, it became filled with even more stuff that came from absolutely nowhere. How is that possible? Ask Alan Guth. His theory of inflation helps explain everything.”—front cover of the April 2002 issue of Discover magazine

First years
Figure 1: The first several hundred million years after the big bang is when the universe was in its Dark Ages. No ionized hydrogen meant that no sources of light were available during that period. Larger image available from

“Spontaneous creation of the universe from nothing”is the title of a 2014 paper authored by He, Gao and Cai, published in the American Physical Society journal Physical Review D, one of America’s most prestigious journals dealing with physical theory. It purports to outline a so-called mathematical proof that the universe did indeed burst into something from nothing.

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My cosmology from my book “Starlight, Time and the New Physics”

astronomy Creation/evolution Physics

Missing matter mostly missing in lensing galaxy

Figure 1: An irregular ring of radiation can be seen around the distant galaxy in the center of this 2.2-micron CCD photograph, made with the 10-meter Keck telescope on Hawaii. Just below the lensing galaxy a neighboring galaxy can be seen, which also contributes to the lensing effects. Sometimes these are called an Einstein ring. Credit: ESA and the W. M. Keck Observatory

Gravitational lensing is a prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. It describes the situation where a foreground galaxy (or cluster of galaxies) acts like a light lens and focuses the light of a more distant background galaxy and hence magnifies it like a normal lens would do.  According to the theory the lens distorts the galaxy image often looking like a cross or a ring around the closer “lensing” galaxy.

Several earth-based radio and optical telescopes and the Herschel Space Observatory were used to image an object. Shown here, in Fig. 1, is where a gravitational lens is claimed to image a very distant galaxy that is apparently still in early formation.

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Interviewed on Bible Smack Radio

I was interviewed on Bible Smack Radio on Friday night USA time, 6 June 2014, or Saturday around midday Central Australian time, 7 June 2014.Bible Smack Radio

Click here for Bible Smack Radio “Creationist astronomy: the final frontier.”  You can hear my interview starting from about the 50 minute mark through to the end.

Contrary to the introduction on the website my work on ultra-precise clocks, is not with nuclear (or even atomic) clocks, but classical clocks made from a single crystal of sapphire cooled to near 6 K. They are in fact the most stable clocks on earth, currently.

Recommended reading

  4. Exploding the big bang! An interview with creationist physicist/cosmologist John Hartnett
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Pleiades and Orion: bound, unbound, or … ?

The beautiful Pleiades cluster and dominant Orion constellation are two of the most well-recognized groupings of stars in the night sky.  They are mentioned in Job 38:31, where God poses a series of rhetorical questions to Job about the majesty of His creation, in contrast to Job’s abilities.  Some creationists have suggested that astrophysical information was recorded in this passage, verifying the Bible’s claim to truth.  However, pictures by both orbiting and land-based space observatories contradict the interpretation that the (astrophysically) bound and unbound conditions of these star groupings are foretold in Scripture.  Read in context, there is no valid reason for extrapolating this passage to imply anything other than a declaration of God’s power in His majestic creation. (Slightly edited from an article first published in Journal of Creation 18(2):44-48, 2004; the original available here.) 


Pleiades and Orion are easily recognized groupings of stars seen in the night sky.  Pleiades is well-known as the Seven Sisters, and Orion as the Great Hunter.  The constellation of Orion contains a large cloud of gas and dust, which is centred around the Orion Nebula located at the middle star of the Hunter’s Sword.  There has been much confusion over the years about a Bible verse describing these two constellations.