Jason Lisle’s new book “The Physics of Einstein”

Today I have nearly finished reading Jason Lisle’s new book “The Physics of Einstein”. I highly recommend it to you if you ever wondered about any of the major questions it deals with:

  1. Does light from distant galaxies really take billions of years to reach Earth? 
  2. Is time-travel possible? 
  3. Are black holes real? 
  4. What are some of the weird effects of travelling at near the speed of light? 
  5. And how do we really know?  

The physics discovered by Albert Einstein allows us to answer all of these questions.  In this easy-to-read book, we learn how Einstein was able to deduce what happens when an object approaches the speed of light.  The results are as amazing as they are strange.  Designed for readers with no background in physics, this book explores one of the strangest and most fascinating branches of science.

Soon I will write a review of the book but before that I would strongly recommend you buy it and read it. It can be ordered from Jason’s website’s shop.

It is written for the layman and the sections that involve any mathematics are sectioned in boxes and can be skipped without losing the flow of the points being made.

The book explains in extensive detail, that a non-specialist can understand, the simplest solution to the biblical creationist starlight travel time problem.

By making the reasonable assumption, based on textual evidence, that the language used in the Bible for the timing of events, especially the creation of the stars, implicitly involves the scientifically valid Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC) the starlight travel-time problem disappears.

If the question of how do we see distant stars in an enormously large universe, billions of light-years in extension, has been a big problem for you, this book is a must read. Even if you only read the last 4 chapters of the book that deal with this question you would be greatly enlightened. If you are pressed for time, start with chapter 17 “The Curious Case of the One-Way Speed of Light”. But really you should read the whole book. The preceding chapters clearly explain the physics discovered by Einstein, which build the case for the arguments presented and the refutations of the criticisms against his main thesis.

New cosmologies converge on the ASC model

— a review of two cosmology papers presented at the International Conference on Creationism in 2018  (to be published in Journal of Creation)

Introduction

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.1 The ASC is a convention on clock synchronisation, or put another way, the conventionality of the simultaneity of distant events in spacetime.

This topic is relevant to the discussion of the creation of the stars in the universe on Day 4 of Creation week 6 thousand years ago. The ASC posits that an event occurs when an Earth observer sees, or could have seen, the event happen. And Lisle proposed that the ASC is the language used in the Bible. As such it leads to the initial simultaneous2 creation of all stars in the universe on Day 4, where, in principle, the event is timestamped3 as occurring when the starlight from all stars arrived on Earth for the first time. This means there is no light travel-time problem because the events were seen to occur (on Earth) simultaneously (or at least, within the period of one Earth day, that is, on Day 4). Therefore, there is no light travel-time problem.

In 2010 Lisle strengthened his original arguments with a discussion of the past light cone and Special Relativity.4 In that paper he introduced the ASC model, a model that uses the ASC. And his ASC model makes testable predictions.5

Lisle also carried further the notion of the one-way speed of light. Since the one-way speed of light cannot be measured it really has no physical meaning in the universe.6 Thus there is a free choice. And by Lisle’s choice of the ASC it follows that the incoming speed of light is infinite, and thus the outgoing speed must be ½ c (where c ≡ 299 792 458 m/s is the canonical isotropic—i.e. two-way—speed of light that we are very familiar with).7

Many people, biblical creationists included, have expressed disbelief, concern, and other emotions over the concept of the one-way speed of light being any different from the usually assumed isotropic speed c. Nevertheless it is important to note that concepts around the one-way speed of light are based on real physics.

The choice of a timing convention in no way affects any underlying physics. The physics is always the same no matter what convention one may choose.8 Einstein chose a value of the clock synchronisation parameter, known as the Reichenbach synchronization parameter (ε), in his equations for Special Relativity that defines the one-way speed of light as being equal to the two-way speed.9 Any value for the parameter ε between 0 and 1 may be chosen. Nature itself does not choose, nor impose any requirement on its value within this domain. The parameter represents our free choice of a timing convention. Hence we are free to choose any value of the Reichenbach synchronisation parameter ε, provided it is between 0 and 1. Einstein chose ε = ½ (ESC) and Lisle chose ε = 1 (ASC). Choosing a value for this parameter is in no way dissimilar to a choice of a different coordinate system. And regardless of which coordinate system one may choose the underlying physics is unaffected. What is different is only how we represent the physics in the different coordinate system. The equations of motion may be more complex in one coordinate system than in another but in all cases the physics is unaffected.10

Thus no amount of appealing to Maxwell’s equations (derived pre-Einstein)11 or any other well-known physics can refute the notion of free choice for the one-way speed of light, or more precisely, the conventionality thesis of distant simultaneity. Continue reading

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

Aberration of starlight and the one-way speed of light

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“Simple stellar aberration diagram” by BlankAxolotl – inkscape. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia

The aberration of starlight (also called stellar aberration) is an astronomical phenomenon which produces an apparent motion of stars about their locations dependent on the velocity of the observer. Aberration causes objects to appear to be angled or tilted towards the direction of motion of the observer compared to when the observer is stationary. The change in angle is very small, and specified by the ratio of v/c where c is the canonical speed of light and v the velocity of the observer. With annual stellar aberration, the apparent change in the position of a star varies as observed by an Earth observer periodically over a year as the Earth’s velocity changes as it revolves around the Sun, with a maximum angle of about 20 arc-seconds in right ascension or declination. It traces a small ellipse on the sky over that time.

The fact of stellar aberration, which has been explained by a constant speed of light c, has been used by some to “refute” the idea of an infinite one-way speed of light in Lisle’s ASC model. The claim is that aberration would not occur at all if the one-way incoming speed of light was infinite, thus v/c = 0, here.  Dr Jason Lisle responds to this claim.


Continue reading

Synopsis: A biblical creationist cosmogony

The starlight-travel-time problem has been a difficult issue for biblical creationists for a long time. Big Bang cosmologists also have their own starlight-travel-time problem but creationists have proposed various solutions to this problem in the past decade or more. Recently I proposed an expansion on a solution, first proposed by Jason Lisle, in an article entitled “A biblical creationist cosmogony.” It is somewhat technical so I thought I’d write a very short layman summary here.

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Hubble Deep Field: Extremely distant galaxies on the edge of the visible universe. Credit: NASA/Hubble

When God said He created everything in order that He did according to the Genesis 1 account then all those events occurred as the Bible describes on those consecutive 24-hour days about 6000 years ago. Lisle proposal is that those events were timed when the light first arrived, or when a hypothetical Earth-bound observer might have first observed them happening. And the main issue is the creation of the stars and galaxies, some of which lay tens of billions of light-years distant. So if we only consider the language of appearance, the light from those galaxies, and all stars, first arrived sometime during Day 4 of Creation week. Therefore travelling at constant speed of light (c), which means light travels 1 light-year per year, then it would have taken billions of years to get to Earth. Therefore such a view of the universe requires that all galaxies were created at a time long before God created the Earth on Day 1 of creation week. But this is just language of appearance. A constant speed of light (c) assumes a certain convention of synchronizing clocks. We could equally have chosen another convention that simply times all events when they are observed. So when the light of the ‘newly’ created stars and galaxies arrives at the Earth on Day 4, it is truly the first light from the creation of those galaxies. In my view, the only question to answer with this model is: Is it compatible with Scripture? Continue reading

The Anisotropic Synchrony Convention model as a solution to the creationist starlight-travel-time problem — Part II

Part II of two parts: This paper reviews Lisle’s cosmological model, which uses the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC). That model claims the ASC is that of the language used in the Bible, and has special relevance to the creation account. Events are time stamped by the moment they are first observed on Earth. Lisle contends that the stars really were made on the fourth day of Creation Week, and that their light reached Earth instantaneously due to the way clocks are synchronized. (First published in Journal of Creation 25(3): 56-62, 2011.)

This continues where Part I left off. Read Part I first.

Process in observed structures

How much time does it takes for structures in the cosmos to form based on assumptions of their current measured expansion rates, like in supernova remnants, for example? And how much is necessary to be assumed as created mature by God? Continue reading

The Anisotropic Synchrony Convention model as a solution to the creationist starlight-travel-time problem — Part I

This paper reviews (in two parts) Lisle’s cosmological model, which uses the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC). That model claims the ASC is that of the language used in the Bible, and has special relevance to the creation account. Events are time stamped by the moment they are first observed on Earth. Lisle contends that the stars really were made on the fourth day of Creation Week, and that their light reached Earth instantaneously due to the way clocks are synchronized. (First published in Journal of Creation 25(3): 56-62, 2011)

Jason Lisle has expanded on his solution to the creationist starlight-travel-time problem in “Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight Problem”.1 The concept in his paper is essentially the same as he has previously published,2 except he explains the concept using light cones. The following is a short summary of his model, followed by a more in-depth review. Continue reading