Three books worth taking the time to read

Over the past two months I have read a few excellent books, which I recommend to you. Of the three, my top choice read is Jerry 10-2-601_8Bergman’s book “Hitler and  the Nazi Darwinian Worldview” (Joshua Press)

How the Nazi eugenic crusade for a superior race caused the greatest Holocaust in world history.

This book takes a fresh look at Germany’s most influential Nazi leaders, examining their backgrounds, education and convictions. It provides compelling evidence that the rising influence of Darwinism, eugenics and race theory in early twentieth-century society set the foundation for the Nazi pursuit of engineering a German “master race”—and exterminating European Jews, Gypsies, Blacks, most Slavs and the Christian religion in the ensuing madness of the Holocaust of World War II.

The effect of social Darwinism, eugenics and anti-Semitism, and their relative acceptance in the scientific and medical communities of Germany and many other countries worldwide, opened the door to mass murder, medical experimentation and military conquest. This title examines the roots of Nazi ideology and unmasks the Darwinian “survival of the fittest” theory behind it.

A review is found here

For a long time there has been speculation about Adolf Hitler’s alleged Jewish ancestry. On page 53 Bergman writes in regards to this:

Genetic research indicates the possibility that Hitler had Jewish background, which makes his inferiority concerns somewhat ironic. … Geneticists identified groups of genes called haplogroups that define populations. Hitler’s dominant haplogroup, E1b1b, is relatively rare in Western Europe, but between 50 to 80 per cent of North Africans share Hitler’s dominant group, which is especially prevalent among in (sic) the Berber tribes of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Somalia. Hitler’s second most dominant haplogroup is the most common in Ashkenazi Jews.  “The findings are fascinating if you look at them in terms of the Nazi worldview, which ascribed such an extreme priority to notions of blood and race. This pure type of ‘superman’ and the [Nazi] breeding programs to perfect ‘purity’ were sheer fabrications.” (The author cites Haaretz Service, “DNA test reveal Hitler’s Jewish and African roots,” Jewish World (August 4, 2010): 1.) (emphasis added)

Continue reading

Giant molecular clouds

A look at uniformitarian assumptions in star formation

41P1BB52W1L._SX372_BO1,204,203,200_In almost any standard university astrophysics text you will find a chapter on star formation. Stars are alleged to have formed, and still do form, from giant clouds of molecular hydrogen gas. That is the standard party line. Thus it follows from standard big bang thinking that they were not created by the Creator on the fourth day of Creation week as outlined in Genesis 1, but naturally condensed out of gas (and dust) under the force of gravity only.

Nowadays you can read about dark matter as the seeds of the formation of galaxies and hence stars.1  But dark matter is still just a hypothetical substance. So how does star formation stack up without invoking such stuff? What physics can explain the alleged collapse of giant molecular clouds (GMC) to form stars? What were/are the typical explanations for star formation when dark matter was/is not assumed? And what unprovable uniformitarian assumptions are required?

To discover the answer to these questions I went to (and hence I quote extensively from) a standard 1996 first year university astrophysics text “An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics” (1st Edition) by Carroll & Ostlie,hereafter referred to as Carroll & Ostlie. I also looked at what the authors might have added in terms of overcoming some of the problems for star formation, a decade later, in their 2nd Edition, and found no substantive improvements.3,4

Carroll & Ostlie write:

“In some sense the evolution of a star is cyclic. It is born out of gas and dust that exists between the stars, known as the interstellar medium (ISM).”5 (emphasis in original)

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A student’s understanding of the ASC model

A graduate student at my university, contacted me recently about the biblical creationist starlight-travel-time problem.  He said that he had attended a lecture on the recent detection of gravitational waves, where the professor had mentioned that the source of the binary black hole collision event occurred some 1.3 billion years ago. The issue has made him contemplate how that time scale fits with the biblical time scale of an approximately 6000 year old universe.

CMB horizon

Figure 1: Horizon problem: Light from the alleged big bang fireball has not had sufficient time to equalise in temperature over all directions in space yet it is measured to be a uniform 2.73 K degrees in every direction. Credit: Wikipedia.

In response first I pointed out that the standard big bang model also has a light-travel-time problem called the horizon problem. It may be over a different time scale but it is still the same type of problem.

I explained that there were different biblical creationist models, in 5 different categories. I also suggested he view this lecture, which I gave last year on the problem, with lecture notes found here. I have looked at various solutions, and proposed a few myself, which I mention in the lecture, but now I personally prefer the solution outlined here, with details found in the linked articles there.

I asked him, in relation to how he understands the ASC model, if he could write a paragraph, in his own words, describing how it explains the starlight-travel-time problem. This is what he wrote. Continue reading

Have Population III stars finally been discovered?

What are Population III stars? In short, the alleged story is as follows:

The super-hot big bang fireball produced only hydrogen (~75%), helium (~25%) and tiny traces of lithium. So the first stars to form (given the name Population III stars) could only form from these gases. Astronomers label all elements heavier than helium as ‘metals.’  Thus they call these type of stars extremely metal-poor. But each successive generation of stars, being formed from the products of supernova explosions of the generation of stars before them, which produced all the heavier elements, became more and more metal rich. The nuclear fusion within stars during their life produced the heavier elements, the ‘metals,’ like carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen, which were released into space when the stars exploded. During the actual explosion it is theorized that the very heaviest elements were produced also. Population III stars allegedly were the first stars formed just shortly after the big bang.

Until now (as claimed) these original stars have never be observed, hence they were nothing more than hypothetical. But their existence is a big bang prediction.

Population I, II and III stars

Astronomers classify stars into three types: Population I, II and III. Population II are those generation of stars, which allegedly formed from the Population III stars and have only a low metal content. Population I stars were allegedly the last to form, hence are the youngest and hottest stars and those with high metal content. Population I and II stars were historically first identified in our Galaxy. Population I stars are found predominantly in the spiral disk of the Galaxy and Population II stars are found above and below the disk. They have other distinguishing features also but their metal content is the major distinguishing feature.

01brightestgalaxy.adapt.1190.1

Figure 1: A newly found galaxy called CR7 (seen here in an artist’s illustration) is the brightest yet known (considering its claimed distance) and may contain some of the oldest stars in the universe. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Those early-generation stars also first formed into small galaxies that later by merging with other galaxies grew larger, or so the story goes.1  Growth in galaxy size and in ‘metal’ content is called ‘galaxy evolution.’

The first generation of small galaxies was likely well in place 400 million years after the Big Bang. Following this initial phase of galaxy formation, galaxies then went through an extended phase of merging and coalescence with other galaxies, whereby they built up from masses of several thousand solar masses to billions of solar masses. This buildup process extended until the universe was roughly two billion years old. Then, due to some feedback process — now predominantly speculated to be AGN feedback — it is thought that this buildup process halted and gas accretion and star formation in the most massive galaxies halted and galaxies underwent a much different form of evolution. This later evolution continues to the present day.

This is the big bang evolution story, but it vitally needs those Population III stars or there is no story. Now it is claimed that Population III have been found in a very distant galaxy. Continue reading

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

A question on the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention

IDL TIFF file

Hubble Ultra-Deep Field Credit: NASA

I received the following question on the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC) a timing convention. The ASC is a timing convention used in biblical creationist models of Jason Lisle and myself. It relies on the language of appearance, that the Author of the events in Creation week used such language in describing when events occurred. God said He made the stars on Day 4, so if any observer was on the earth then (which there wasn’t, of course) he would have seen the stars appear in the night sky of that day. Read the Related Reading below for a full explanation. The writer’s comments are in blue indented text and my response in grey text.

I have been ruminating and now I am ventilating. :^)

Intellectuals who study the heavens are the modern priests of the religion of Science. They speak to the world through esoteric formulas, computers, telescopes, satellites, space probes, deep solar system images, and advanced degrees that few humans can attain to but which are the credentials of entrance into a very elite religion. These modern priests step out of their ivory towers with scientific pronouncements based upon data that 99% of the population has no means of refuting, or even discussing. They are on the cutting edge of discovery and unbiased reality and matter-of-fact truth. Words from an ancient book, the youngest writings of which are nearly 2000 years old, coming from a time when transportation at its best was by foot or animal or wind, are impartially assessed as archaic, factually shallow, imaginatively intriguing, but, in veracity, vacuous. Miracles of authenticity in 2016 come from science, but the miracles of God are only found on the pages written in the progressively improbable antiquated past. Continue reading