The Cargo Cult Scientists Will Love This

Some actual scientists, not the cargo cult creationist “scientists,” (I’ll get to them in a minute or two) have proposed a testable theory (the article mentions it possibly can be tested  with more incoming data) that the speed of light may have been variable in our early universe. They believe, contrary to inflation*, that light in the early universe traveled significantly faster, and slowed to its current state as the universe thickened. By that I expect they mean the accumulation of dust, stars, supernova debri, all of that stuff that makes up the galaxies, nebulas, and other interstellar matter such as asteroids and comets. The mass of matter we can see and measure today.

It does make a fair bit of sense that most anything can travel faster through a less dense area than a more dense area. Anyone with a pail of water and some dirt can do a mud experiment with a stirring stick and quickly see that condensing matter slows things down. But we are talking about a long since held theory here. The big bang, inflation, and rapid expansion time line has been tested many times and the data keeps leaning towards this rationale being correct.

What this new idea is asserting, is during the period of inflation where matter had not started to condense yet, light was able to travel to the edges of the universe at a higher than light speed acceleration. I quote: “The varying speed of light theory suggests that the speed of light was much higher in the early universe, allowing the distant edges to be connected as the universe expanded. The speed of light would have then dropped in a predictable way as the density of the universe changed. This variability led the team to the prediction published today.”

Which is all fine and dandy, if new data can show this theory is correct then we will have some new insights to our universe and the physics underlying it all. It would be a big deal to throw Einsteins Theory of Relativity (lightspeed is constant) under the bus, but that remains to be seen.

Now how does all this tie in to the title of this post? I’m glad you were wondering 🙂 One of our creation “scientists” a Mr. Jason Lisle of the ICR (which should tell you all you need to know), his pet theory which mangles all known physics and cosmology in a deliberate fashion, is an attempt to call into question one of the biggest problems with creationist views. Which is time/age of the universe, and I’ll use Andomeda galaxy as an example. Andromeda is 2.5 million light years (MLY) distant, give or take a couple of years. Which means that light from Andromeda that we see today left the galaxy 2.5 MLY ago. We see it as it was 2.5 MLY in the past. This is a problem for YEC’s who sincerely believe, despite tons of data indicating otherwise, that the earth/universe is a mere 6000 years old.

So for creationists, time itself is a huge threat to their personal beliefs that must be called into question in order for them to be able to properly apply a good dose of cognitive dissonance to their personal reality, so they can maintain their beliefs with some degree of satisfactory stupidity. Enter Jason Lisle.

Lisle’s theory is that light travels at an infinite speed, until it reaches an observer, then it immediately drops to half light speed. This notion coupled with a huge dose of CD and wishful thinking magically disposes of their time problem. Except it doesn’t. It just makes them look more foolish.

But never let that get in the way of a good lie! You can bet even if this new theory gets shot down, or if it actually turns out to be right, or anything in between, creationists and their heralded creation “scientists” will jump at any opportunity to claim they are right and have been all along. Even when they aren’t even living in the same universe as the rest of us. Which at long last is the point I was trying to make  🙂

This is the article:

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_24-11-2016-10-12-58

And this is a pretty good history and discussion of creationist “science.” Including Jason Lisle’s insipid dumbassery:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2014/09/happy-jason-lis.html

 

*Inflation. Inflation is the current cosmological theory that maintains directly after the big bang an enormous expansion of the universe happened very quickly, then it slowed down to what we see today. It is thought that inflation occured at faster than light speeds, meaning light wasn’t able to keep up with the edges of the expanding universe. This new theory as I understand it suggests that light was able to keep up with the expansion rate of inflation, meaning that light went right along for the ride. So I’m thinking even if this new idea gains traction it won’t alter the understanding of our universe all that much, only that Einsteins ToR, will have an asterisk added to it. Where light under certain special conditions can travel faster than normal. None of this however will make creation science a valid occupation.

Just for kicks:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult_science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “The Cargo Cult Scientists Will Love This

  1. I admit up front I am not a scientist. However I do like the idea of light speed being constant. I wonder if the massive amount of energy released at the time would have added to the speed of light somehow. Like my son said to me as I read him the post, like adding rocket fuel to the light speed. However I don’t see the need for light to have kept up. I don’t see the fact that the universe is expanding and in the earliest time it may not have had time for the initial light to go from one spot to the edges as a problem as I understand it was super incredibly hot. Light is radiated frequency as is heat ? So if everything was super hot wouldn’t that either make light frequencies not available or would it make them faster? I await further information. Great thought experiment. I am worried what the creationist would do with the information and how they would mangle it. I like information but I have to admit I don’t like shoehorning information into a preconceived idea and make it fit. Hugs

    • I’m no scientist either, far from it. Best I can do is try to understand the concepts and when I can, relate them in a way that even I can understand it lol.

      And…best I can understand it, inflation was proposed to solve the horizon problem. The horizon problem is that objects/galaxies and the space they inhabit from 10’s of millions of LY away, are so far away light and information have not had time to interact or even out in temperature and smoothness related to matter. Inflation is the notion of rapid expansion in the first few seconds of the universes existence. At first the universe was small and in this brief time temperature and matter density evened out, then boom! Inflation kicked in and everything spread out in an even fashion. The Cosmic Microwave Background data indicates this evenness.

      This new idea suggests that everything spread out equally from the get go. And light violated its own speed limit. At least that’s how I see it.

      I too don’t have an issue with light not yet catching up with the expansion of the universe. From where I’m sitting either way is still over my head 🙂

      I’m not worried about how creationists will mangle this. I’m just postulating that they will and they will A.S.A.P.

      • For me the idea of “dark matter” and “Dark Energy” are really hard to understand. They say it is there, they can’t say what it is , but they claim it is operating on everything. Wow. maybe this dark energy or dark matter affects how we see the “big bang”. It could be. Need more information to understand it. For me I am having trouble wrapping my mind around a changing speed of light. Hugs

      • Well it is some leagues over my head. I have trouble mixing and creating a good chilli. This all is interesting and I love science, but I like it when they can tell me with some degree of certainty why and what and where things happened. I don’t mind stretching my brain cells but I don’t ever want to devolve into the …I don’t know so it is magic …thing. Great post love it, keep me thinking please. Hugs

      • When it comes to cosmology there are more unknowns than knowns I fear. But our knowledge grows with every little thing we learn. The CMB was huge, in showing that the smoothness of the universe was fairly universal, helping support inflation.

        …and I’d much rather say I don’t know, or the jury is still out, than rely on magic!

      • Love it. Hugs

  2. They want to claim the appearance of age is not in conflict with a universe no more than 6 to 10 thousand years old.
    Their theory has no way of proving and a huge agenda to maintain it, despite evidence to the contrary.
    Creation science isn’t science. It’s christian apologetics.

    • Right, it just appears old because it’s a trick! From God!

      Apologetics and make believe scientists, some with greenscreen labs, playing make believe to assure the rubes all is well and nothing they hear or see on the internet or the science channel is a threat to their beliefs.

  3. This one will go up on the shelf right next to The Theory of Intelligent Falling.

    • Well Intelligent Falling is a parody of creation science. It is an example of how they think science works but can’t get past their own stupid to construct a reasonable scientific assumption.

      So Jason Lisle and his infinte light to half speed light because “thats’ how it needs to work to suit our agenda” is exactly IF.

      It has been a while since I even thought about IF, thanks for bringing that up 🙂

  4. In order for creationist math to work, the speed of light would have to increase by a factor of millions, which is just insane. I highly doubt that any experiment would show such dramatic results.

    One point of confusion to me: I am also not a scientist. But wouldn’t an early universe be *more* dense, hence everything would be slower? Early universe = everything is closer together = increased density = “slower” light. If everything is expanding, shouldn’t things be getting more spread out and less dense, hence we would see faster light *now* rather than in the past?

    The only thing I can think of is that “thick space” is literally referring to spacetime itself. Perhaps an earlier universe with more energy and less mass would have resulted in “smoother” space. Whereas more matter in an older universe creates more more ripples in space. It would be like two cars traveling the same distance as a crow flies, except one car is driving over hills and the other is driving on a flat surface:–the hill route would result is a greater distance driven, and even if the two vehies traveled the same speed one would arrive at the end “faster.”

    Of course, one car isn’t really traveling faster, the different in speed is apparent, not absolute.

    Again, I am NOT a scientist.

    • It is my understanding that at the time of the big bang mostly hydrogen and helium were present. It took a long time for significant clumps of these gases to coalesce and then gravity started doing its thing.
      (a lot happened in the meantime with particle physics and temperature fluctuations) Gravity caused these gases to begin forming stars. The stars created most notably the heavier metals as well as more complex (compared to hydrogen and helium) elements through fusion.

      So at first there was a lot of hydrogen and helium. It took time for the rest of matter to form with the help of the stars. Stars are the gods of creation.

      Early universe energy levels were extraordinaly high, but density low. And as it turned out we do see a smooth universe (overall), but with clumps. The clumps being where galaxies and stars come to life. I don’t know why but that made me think of a chocolate chip cookie. The cookie dough represents the smoothness, the chips the clumps. I do like my cookies so that may have something to do with it…

      I should note also IANAS either, just an old redneck trying his best to understand our reality a little better 🙂

      I think your car analogy would work in a denser environment, in a way. I believe with refraction (light bouncing around through thicker space) you can slow the time it takes light to reach its/or the car if you will, destination, but not slow the speed of the light itself. Given enough distance to make it measurable.

      • I can see the point abut heavier elements not forming right away, but wouldn’t the mass of the universe be the same, conservation of matter and energy and all? And isn’t density a function of mass and volume?

        Unless of course they’re talking about the thickness of the fabric of space itself. Then I guess it doesn’t matter.

        You know, I should just read the original article :p

      • Somewhere in my mind between this kind of stuff and where lies the mundane, there is a sliver of memory in there somewhere about the matter/anti matter episode where they mostly wiped each other out, and what was left afterwards was a situation where the scales were tipped in favor of matter and that matter is actually able to just pop in and out of existence. I’d have to do some reading, but that’s what the internet is for!

        The conservation of energy I think is still applicable (can’t be destroyed but can be changed). Matter on the other hand is I think still forming. or something like that 🙂

        No need to retract a darn thing man. I love speculating on this kind of stuff, that is when life lets me. No such thing as a bad question or misguided speculation if you manage to learn something along the way!

      • Lawrence Krauss has a book on this subject, “A Universe from Nothing.” It’s good reading!

      • I’ll see if my library has or can get a copy 🙂 if not Amazon to the rescue. I’m due for a good book.

  5. It almost sounds like I have it backward–that they’re saying the fluctuations in the speed of light caused the density, not the other way around. In which case I retract my earlier questions haha.

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