Update on the ASC model and the one-way speed of light

In 2001 Jason Lisle (under the pen name Robert Newton) introduced the idea of Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC) into the discussion amongst biblical creationists to solve the starlight travel time problem. For full understanding of those issues read here, here and/or watch this.  With that came the notion of the one-way speed of light. Many people, creationists included, have since expressed disbelief, concern, and other emotions over the concept, but what is important to say at this point is that it is based on real physics. The point is that the one-way speed of light cannot be measured and as a result it really has no physical meaning in the universe. And this might sound crazy, but as a result, we are free to choose its value. In the ASC model, proposed by Lisle, and supported by myself, the incoming speed of light is chosen as infinite and the outgoing speed as ½ c (where c ≡ 299 792 458 m/s is the canonical speed of light that we are nowadays familiar with).

I note that at the 2018 International Conference on Creationism (ICC) two papers were presented that largely boil down to the same model that Lisle originally presented. Those papers are

  1. T.G. Tenev, J. Baumgardner, M.F. Horstemeyer, A solution for the distant starlight problem using Creation Time Coordinates. (PDF available here)
  2. P.W. Dennis, Consistent young earth relativistic cosmology  (PDF available here)

This is all quite significant because, since 2001, I have largely supported the ideas that Dr Lisle has presented. Others within the creationist community have ridiculed them. Personally I now take the position that a biblical creationist model based on the ASC or at least the concept of defining an initial creation scenario which involves the ASC or a variant of that, such as Tenev et al have suggested in their paper, is the best solution to the creationist starlight travel time problem. In such a case, there is no problem.

Many months ago I received a paper wherein the authors attempted to show that the one-way speed of light could be measured by an experiment sending a light signal around a ring bouncing it off a few mirrors.  (See the figure to the right) But any such experimenter who thinks it does that assumes the conclusion (begs the question) by not properly understanding the physics and the underlying assumptions of such an experiment.  There are components (relative to the Source measured at the Timer) of outbound and inbound light vectors that must be considered. So no such experiment is ever only one way, it is always two-way, and as such it can never measure the one-way speed of light. (Besides the ASC is a convention, it is not something that can be refuted. We use a convention to define the basis under which we make a measurement, not the reverse.)

The authors of the same paper(s) also must have sent it to Dr Lisle for a review. He sent me his response to their paper(s) and I publish it below with his permission. Continue reading

Confirmed: Physical association between parent galaxies and quasar families

In a paper,just published, that looked for an association between putative parent galaxies and pairs of quasars, the authors found many such quasar families, suggesting that the association is real, and not just coincidental. They used the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data release 7 and the 2MASS (Two Micron All Sky Survey) Redshift Survey (2MRS) Ks ≤ 11.75 mag data release to test for the physical association of candidate companion quasars with putative parent galaxies by virtue of Karlsson periodicity in quasar redshifts.

Karlsson proposed that quasars have an intrinsic non-cosmological redshift component which comes in discrete values (z= 0.060, 0.302, 0.598, 0.963, 1.410, …). However, to properly detect any physical association the candidate quasar redshift must be transformed into the rest frame of its putative parent galaxy’s redshift. (This assumes either the parent galaxy redshift is cosmological or if not that it is Hubble law related but not due to expansion of the universe.) Then the transformed redshift of the candidate companion quasar is associated with the closest Karlsson redshift, zK, so that the remaining redshift velocity component—the putative velocity of ejection away from the parent object—can be obtained.  In this manner it is possible to detect a physical association, even in the case where parent galaxies have high redshift values. If this process is neglected no association may be found. Such was done in several papers, applied to large galaxy/quasar surveys, claiming to debunk the Arp hypothesis.

Figure 1: Detected families in a 4 square degree area centered at 09h00m00s+11d00m00s. The open circles are galaxies, the filled diamonds are quasars, with lines connecting each galaxy to its detected quasar family members. The object colours indicate stepped redshift increase from black to red over the redshift range 0.0 ≤ z ≤ 5.5. The central unshaded area shows the galaxies under examination and the entire area shows the candidate companion quasars.

In this new paper, the authors used the method described above, and the detected correlation was demonstrated to be much higher than just a random association. Many such associations were found. As an example in one instance, within one 4 degree area on the sky, 7 quasar families were found to be statistically correlated with parent galaxies.  See Fig. 1 (right). The probability of this occurring by random chance was calculated as follows.

For a binomial distribution … the probability of 7 hits for one 4 square degree area is … = 1.089 × 10-9. Under these conditions, the detection of 7 families with this particular constraint set is extraordinary. [emphasis added]

Generally, the results of this paper are a confirmation of the quasar family detection algorithm described in Fulton and Arp (Astrophys. J. 754:134, 2012), which was used to analyze the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS) and the 2dF Quasar Redshift Survey (2QZ) data sets. This means that using the SDSS and 2MRS data sets the correlation found in Fulton and Arp (2012) is further strengthened.

This means that to a very high probability, much higher than a random association, certain quasars are physically associated with lower redshift galaxies. The quasars are found in pairs or higher multiples of 2. The results further imply that these quasar redshifts indicate a real ejection velocity component and a large intrinsic non-velocity or non-cosmological redshift component. Continue reading

Has light from the first stars after the big bang been detected?

“Astronomers detect light from the Universe’s first stars” is the headline of a Nature news article, which appeared February 28, 2018.1  It relates to observations made by a team of astronomers led by Judd Bowman of Arizona State University in Tempe. The team published their results in Nature the same week.2 According to Bowman,

“This is the first time we’ve seen any signal from this early in the Universe, aside from the afterglow of the Big Bang.”

They used a small radio-telescope situated in the Western Australian desert, far away from human settlement to minimise interference from radio signals generated by human technology. (See Fig. 1.) The antenna was tuned to a waveband of about 78 MHz, which is at the low end of FM radio, so isolation from human generated radio signals was essential.

Figure 1: The small radio telescope in Western Australia used to detect evidence of light allegedly from the Universe’s first stars. Credit: CSIRO

To understand what the astronomers interpret from this research I quote an editorial summary from Nature:3

“As the first stars heated hydrogen in the early Universe, the 21-cm hyperfine line—an astronomical standard that represents the spin-flip transition in the ground state of atomic hydrogen—was altered, causing the hydrogen gas to absorb photons from the microwave background. This should produce an observable absorption signal at frequencies of less than 200 megahertz (MHz). Judd Bowman and colleagues report the observation of an absorption profile centred at a frequency of 78 MHz that is about 19 MHz wide and 0.5 kelvin deep. The profile is generally in line with expectations, although it is deeper than predicted. An accompanying paper by Rennan Barkana suggests that baryons were interacting with cold dark-matter particles in the early Universe, cooling the gas more than had been expected.”

Let’s look at this in two stages. What was observed and what is the interpretation of the recorded data. Continue reading

Cosmology’s fatal weakness—underdetermination

Can we definitively know the global structure of spacetime? This is a good question. It is one that is actively discussed in the area of the philosophy of modern physics.1,2

However it is a question that highlights the fundamental weakness of cosmology and hence of cosmogony. (Cosmology is the study of the structure of the cosmos whereas cosmogony is the study of the origin of the universe.)  That weakness is the inherent inability to accurately construct any global cosmological model, i.e. a model that accurately represents the structure of the universe at all times and locations. The reason for this is underdetermination.3

“There seems to be a robust sense in which the global structure of every cosmological model is underdetermined.”1

In the philosophy of science, underdetermination means that the available evidence is insufficient to be able to determine which belief one should hold about that evidence. That means that no matter what cosmological model one might conceive of, in an attempt to describe the structure of the universe, every model will be underdetermined. Or said another way, no matter what amount of observational data one might ever (even in principle) gather, the cosmological evidence does not force one particular model upon us. And this underdetermination has been rigorously proven.1 Continue reading

Stephen Hawking and imaginary time

The imaginary time axis is drawn orthogonal to the real time axis. Credit: Wikimedia commons

Update 14/03/2018 Professor Stephen Hawking died today. See his obituary here. From all I have read he remained an ardent atheist his whole life. And he never really understood the worldview issue in cosmology and the origin of the universe. This proves that even very smart people can get it wrong. Nevertheless he gave us much to ponder, debate and learn. 


What is imaginary time? I don’t mean the time you spend day-dreaming but the concept in physics, promoted by theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. It is used in some quantum mechanics and special relativity theory. Imaginary time is where the usual time dimension undergoes a Wick rotation (a phase rotation)1 so that its coordinates are multiplied by the imaginary number the square root of -1, represented by the symbol i. In such a situation time theoretically behaves like a spatial dimension.

Stephen Hawking Credit: Wikipedia

Hawking wrote:2

“One might think this means that imaginary numbers are just a mathematical game having nothing to do with the real world. From the viewpoint of positivist philosophy, however, one cannot determine what is real. All one can do is find which mathematical models describe the universe we live in. It turns out that a mathematical model involving imaginary time predicts not only effects we have already observed but also effects we have not been able to measure yet nevertheless believe in for other reasons. So what is real and what is imaginary? Is the distinction just in our minds?” (emphasis added)

Positivism is the philosophy that we cannot determine what is real, but we can only propose hypotheses and test those against what we observe. Hawking is an atheist—an anti-theist—and has spent some time attempting to show that the Creator is unneeded in the universe.

Hawking claims that imaginary time is as real as real time, only that it is travelling in a different direction.3 He claims that ‘before’ the big bang time was imaginary and thus there was no time. Imaginary time may have “always existed” he said, but because we have no idea of what the laws of physics were ‘before’ the big bang, and there is no way to measure what happened ‘before’ the big bang, hence there is no point including time back then in a discussion of our universe. Continue reading

No CMB shadows: an argument against the big bang that can no longer be sustained

I have previously made the argument that the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, ‘light’ allegedly from the big bang fireball, casts no shadows in the foreground of galaxy clusters.1 If the big bang were true, the light from the fireball should cast a shadow in the foreground of all galaxy clusters. This is because the source of the CMB radiation, in standard big bang cosmology, is what is known as the “last scattering surface“.

The last scattering surface is the stage of the big bang fireball that describes the situation when big bang photons cooled to about 1100 K. At that stage of the story those photons separated from the plasma that had previously kept them bound. Then expansion of the universe is alleged to have further cooled those photons to about 3 K, which brings them into the microwave band. Thus if these CMB photons cast no shadows in front of all galaxy clusters it spells bad news for the big bang hypothesis.

Fig 1: Schematic of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect that results in an increase in higher energy (or blue shifted) photons of the CMB when seen through the hot gas present in cluster of galaxies. Credit: astro.uchicago.edu/sza/primer.html

The CMB radiation shadowing effect, or more precisely the cooling effect, by galaxy clusters is understood in terms of the Sunyaev–Zel’dovich Effect (SZE). This is where microwave photons are isotropically scattered by electrons in the hot inter-cluster medium (ICM) (see Fig. 1) via an inverse Compton process leaving a net decrement (or cooling) in the foreground towards the observer in the solar system. Of those CMB photons coming from behind the galaxy cluster less emerge with the same trajectory due to the scattering. Even though the scattered photons pick up energy from the ICM the number of more energetic CMB photons is reduced. After modelling what this new CMB photon energy (hence temperature) should be, a decrement can, in principle, be detected.

Starting around 2003 some published investigations, using this SZE, looked for the expected shadowing/cooling effect in galaxy clusters. No significant cooling effect was found, by multiple studies, including the WMAP satellite data.2 This was considered to be very anomalous, significantly different from what was expected if the CMB radiation was from the big bang fireball. The anomaly was even confirmed by the early Planck satellite survey data in 2011.3

Continue reading

Synchronised dance of dwarf galaxies stumps big bang boffins

Dwarf galaxies around our galaxy the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy and now Centaurus A galaxy provide further evidence that the big bang belief is ‘baloney’. These dwarf galaxies have now been shown to orbit their parent galaxies in a synchronized manner, whereas according to the big bang idea, that should just not be the case.

The galaxy Centaurus A is viewed by the European Southern Observatory in 2012. Scientists studying the galaxy and several dwarf galaxies surrounding it are stumped by their behavior. (AFP photo / ESO)

The standard big bang cosmology has the formation of galaxies resulting from the collapse of a chaotic cloud of matter. As a result, it is expected from a secular worldview, that when large galaxies formed, such as our Milky Way galaxy and the galaxy Centaurus A, that small satellite dwarf galaxies would form around them but that their orbits would be essentially random, reflecting the chaotic nature of their origin.

In an online article on this recent discovery we read (all bold emphases in citations from this article are my additions):1

The model predicts that during formation, dwarf galaxies should both appear and move randomly around their host galaxies.

“There should be pure chaos and not order,” said Müller. “To find everywhere we look this extreme order where we expect disorder — this is strange.”

The big bang has long needed the hypothetical, never-observed stuff known as ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ to make it work. This latest discovery just compounds the difficulties, even with these ‘fudge factors’ already in place. But if they don’t assume dark matter they would not get a galaxy to form. And when they do assume its presence in the galaxy the modelling indicates that several large satellite galaxies should form with chaotic orbits.

Note the admission in what follows about ‘tooth fairies’ in regard to dark matter and dark energy. Also, the comment about the standard big bang cosmology collapsing “like a house of cards” if there continues to be no evidence of these:1

“At this point, there is a mountain of such contradictory details that we’ve mostly swept under the proverbial rug,” McGaugh said. “Dark matter and dark energy have been around so long that people forget that we backed into them. They’re tooth fairies that we invoked early on to make things work out.” And if no one finds evidence of dark matter, he said, then “the paradigm collapses like a house of cards.”

This is what I have been warning about for some time.  The article goes on:

So perhaps Müller and his team have found yet another statistical outlier, or perhaps isolated galaxies work differently from large groups of galaxies. Or maybe they have found yet another problem with the generally accepted theory of cosmology.