Impact of gravitational wave detection: A Response to Setterfield’s Response

The following is written as a rebuttal to an article titled “In Response to Hartnett’s Article”1, dated February, 2016, written by Mr Barry Setterfield. (This rebuttal is also available on creation.com.) The author states that he received the following email, along with a number of others with the same questions about the Hartnett article:2

I have a question regarding a CMI article by a Dr. John Hartnett entitled “What impact does the detection of gravitational waves have on biblical creation?”  Dr. Hartnett makes the claim that the recent discovery of gravity waves uses a modern value for the speed of light to calculate the masses of the two black holes which collided to produce those waves, so he concludes (a bit too quickly in my opinion) that “the cdk idea is [to be] thoroughly rejected”. I wanted your take on this issue. Here’s the relevant portion of the article:

“Interestingly, the calculation used to determine the masses of the merging black holes in the analysis of this week’s discovery employed the standard canonical speed of light, c. That is, it used the same constant value that we measure today. Does that tell us something? I think it does.

Inspiral of black holes and associated waveform. Ref. 3.

Inspiral of black holes and associated waveform. Ref. 3. Click image for enlarged view.

Some biblical creationists favour a much higher value for the speed of light in the past, from a time soon after creation of the universe, after which it decreased or decayed down to its current value (the concept is known as cdk, from c-decay). They use this supposed much higher value of c in the past as a solution of the biblical creationist light-travel time problem. But now this new discovery shows that, at a time in the past representative of a distance in the cosmos of 1.3 billion light-years, the value of the speed of [sic] (c) was identical to today’s current value. Regardless of which creationist cosmology you like, the gravity waves observed in September 2015 must have left their source very soon after Creation week. Thus the cdk idea is thoroughly rejected.”

To which Setterfield responds. So I respond to his response (indented black text) with my comments (blue text) interspersed below his. Continue reading

What impact does the detection of gravitational waves have on biblical creation?

The discovery of gravitational waves

Figure 1: The gravitational-wave event GW150914 observed by the LIGO Hanford (H1, left column panels) and Livingston (L1, right column panels) detectors. Times are shown relative to 14 September 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC. For visualization, all time series are filtered with a 35–350 Hz bandpass filter to suppress large fluctuations outside the detectors’ most sensitive frequency band, and band-reject filters to remove the strong instrumental spectral lines. Top row, left: H1 strain. Top row, right: L1 strain. GW150914 arrived first at L1 and 6.9 ms later at H1; for a visual comparison, the H1 data are also shown, shifted in time by this amount and inverted (to account for the detectors’ relative orientations). Second row: Gravitational-wave strain projected onto each detector in the 35–350 Hz band. Solid lines show a numerical relativity waveform for a system with parameters consistent with those recovered from GW150914 confirmed to 99.9% by an independent calculation (details in original). Shaded areas show 90% credible regions for two independent waveform reconstructions. One (dark gray) models the signal using binary black hole template waveforms. The other (light gray) does not use an astrophysical model, but instead calculates the strain signal as a linear combination of sine-Gaussian wavelets. These reconstructions have a 94% overlap. Third row: Residuals after subtracting the filtered numerical relativity waveform from the filtered detector time series. Bottom row: A time-frequency representation of the strain data, showing the signal frequency increasing over time. (Caption edited from the original, Ref. 6)

Figure 1: The gravitational-wave event GW150914 observed by the LIGO Hanford (H1, left column panels) and Livingston (L1, right column panels) detectors. Times are shown relative to 14 September 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC. For visualization, all time series are filtered with a 35–350 Hz bandpass filter to suppress large fluctuations outside the detectors’ most sensitive frequency band, and band-reject filters to remove the strong instrumental spectral lines. Top row, left: H1 strain. Top row, right: L1 strain. GW150914 arrived first at L1 and 6.9 ms later at H1; for a visual comparison, the H1 data are also shown, shifted in time by this amount and inverted (to account for the detectors’ relative orientations). Second row: Gravitational-wave strain projected onto each detector in the 35–350 Hz band. Solid lines show a numerical relativity waveform for a system with parameters consistent with those recovered from GW150914 confirmed to 99.9% by an independent calculation (details in original). Shaded areas show 90% credible regions for two independent waveform reconstructions. One (dark gray) models the signal using binary black hole template waveforms. The other (light gray) does not use an astrophysical model, but instead calculates the strain signal as a linear combination of sine-Gaussian wavelets. These reconstructions have a 94% overlap. Third row: Residuals after subtracting the filtered numerical relativity waveform from the filtered detector time series. Bottom row: A time-frequency representation of the strain data, showing the signal frequency increasing over time. (Caption edited from the original, Ref. 6.)

On 14 September 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two gravitational wave detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)—one at Hanford, Washington and the other at Livingston, Louisiana—simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The signal exhibited the classic waveform predicted by Einstein’s general relativity theory for a binary black hole merger, sweeping up in frequency from 35 to 250 Hz, and exhibited a peak gravitational-wave strain of 1.0 × 1021 at the detectors.1

The two detectors recorded the same signal, which matched the predicted waveform for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal was observed with a matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203,000 years, equivalent to a statistical significance greater than 5.1σ (where 1σ represents 1 standard deviation).2 In other words, the detection is highly likely to be real.

The source lies at a luminosity distance of about 1.3 billion light-years corresponding to a redshift z ≈ 0.09.3 The two initial black hole masses were 36 M and 29 M,4,5 and the final black hole mass is 62 M, with the equivalent of 3 M radiated as gravitational waves. The observations demonstrate for the first time the existence of a binary stellar-mass black hole system but, more importantly, the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger. Continue reading

Hairy dark matter is still dark matter, which is still a fudge

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought.” So says a recent report1 on a new theoretical study soon to be published in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau2 from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His theory proposes the existence of long filaments of dark matter, which have a form similar to “hairs.” See Fig. 1 reproduced from the published report. If you thought dark matter couldn’t get any stranger you would be wrong. But what is driving these type of theoretical investigations?

earthmightha

Figure 1: Artist illustration showing Earth surrounded by hypothesized theoretical filaments of dark matter called “hairs.” Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Pie Dark Matter Dark Energy

Figure 2: Pie chart showing the alleged dark matter and dark energy percentages in the Universe

Dark matter is the alleged invisible, mysterious matter that comprises 24% of the total mass/energy content of the Universe. The matter that we are all familiar with, they say, comprises only about 5% of the mass/energy content of the Universe. The remaining 71% is the alleged dark energy, a strange anti-gravity-type energy that is allegedly driving the accelerating expansion of the Universe. See Fig. 2. Continue reading

The lecture: Development of an “old” universe in science

This lecture deals the historical philosophical development of the notion that the universe is very old. It outlines how worldviews have changed and developed that are intended to replace the biblical worldview with an atheistic humanist worldview. That has meant assuming long ages for the earth and the universe. It is shown how in reality it is a pagan worldview that has grown to dominate ‘so-called science’ today. It is not actually science but scientism. Evidence/observations do not speak for themselves, they must be interpreted and nowadays it is all within the big bang/evolution/”old” universe worldview.

Lecture was given August 1st 2015. See Age and Reason Seminar Adelaide for details.

See also other lectures given at the same seminar:

Continue reading

Laughing professor

What’s so funny? Watch this and see!

What do cosmologists really know about the universe? Some say everything but they don’t know what dark energy and dark matter are, yet they are supposed to comprise 96% of the mass/energy content of the universe. Very strange!

This tells me that cosmology has gone astray, and departed from the straight and narrow.

How can cosmology be included in a video about evolution? Easy, … just google the word ‘evolution’ and you’ll discover ‘cosmic evolution,’ ‘stellar evolution’ and ‘planetary evolution’ besides ‘chemical evolution.’ Without a universe with just the right atomic and chemical properties life could not exist. But first you need to explain the existence of the universe, and without a Creator that is just impossible. Biological evolution needs a universe for life to exist, and thus the question is relevant.

This video is taken from the DVD Evolution’s Achilles Heels. For more information get a copy of the DVD, or download from creation.com

Related Reading and Viewing

Piercing the ‘Darkness’

—The bankruptcy of big-bang thinking and its ‘dark’ fudge factors

JGH1Six important questions are asked in regards to the alleged big bang origin of the Universe? These questions highlight the bankruptcy of big bang thinking, about the origin of the universe that needs numerous fudge factors.

Embracing the ‘darkness’ has led man to develop unprovable fudge factors to plug the holes in his failed theory. I deal with each of these:

  1. Where did the Universe come from?
  2. How did nothing explode?
  3. How did stars and galaxies form?
  4. Why does CMB ‘light’ cast no shadows?
  5. Why the ‘Axis of Evil’?
  6. What about expansion of space?

…. 14 more problems are listed but not discussed in any detail.

Six major fudge factors are highlighted as a result but there are many more. The big bang needs these unverifiable fudge factors; so why hasn’t it been discarded? The answer is simple. The alternative, for the atheist–a Creator God–is unbearable, and for the compromised theist or deist, who accepts a big bang origin for the universe, the Creator as described by a straightforward reading of the Bible, is unbearable.

An illustrated talk presented at the Creation Ministries International 2016 Creation SuperCamp at The Tops Conference Centre, NSW, 7:30 pm Monday January 4, 2016.

Video of powerpoint presentation

Continue reading

Is the LHC opening a door to Hell? I am not conCERNed!

The CERN1 Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the biggest particle accelerator on the planet. It is implemented in a 17 mile storage ring located on the French/Swiss border and was restarted in June 2015. It is common to hear that one of the goals is to create, in the particles that are smashed together, conditions similar to those in the alleged big bang.

Since the LHC was brought back online, I have had several people contact me asking my opinion of the astounding claims of some preachers and Bible commentators in regards to this facility “opening a portal to Hell” or even destroying the Universe. As result I recently watched the YouTube video “C E R N the Opening of the Abyss?2 The following is my assessment.

lhc_tunnel_smaller

LHC beamline tunnel at CERN

The preacher, Charles Lawson, is a church pastor and he speaks very strongly about his concern that Lucifer will be unleashed on the planet through a portal created by the LHC. For the record, I do not share his concern. But like any commentary on world events and on their connection to Bible prophesy there will always be undeniable truths. I do find that I agree with some things he says, but largely I find the claims without foundation and more based on emotional hype than solid scientific facts. Continue reading