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The Speed Of Light


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#1 Guest_Alcatraz_*

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 05:08 AM

Before I start I would like to point out that I am in no way a scientist. I struggled through my Physics and Maths Highers at Secondary School, but when I discovered that there were people who still held Creationst views, I had a thought.

For those more in the know correct me if I'm wrong. :blink:

Light travels at best speed in a vacum at 299,792,458 m/s.

A Light-Year is a measure of distance based on how far light would have travelled in a Julian year at that speed.

From that arithmetic, it has been calculated that the centre of the Milky Way is 26k LY from Earth, ie. travelling at 299,792,458 m/s it would take 26,000 years from the light at the centre of the Galaxy to reach Earth.

Surely this must create a paradox for the Creationist point of view. As the speed of light is measuarble and imperical, how then can one hold the view that the Universe is only a tad over 6,000 years old?

#2 CTD

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 05:15 AM

The speed of light in a perfect vacuum cannot be measured without first obtaining a perfect vacuum. Light has been measured traveling at many different speeds, some of them far in excess of the "textbook" rate.

It is a good thing to admit when something is unknown. One hopes the practice is more common in Scotland than in other places that could be named.

#3 falcone

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:22 AM

As far as I can make out, the basic creationist answer is that light years are invalid as they assume that light travels constant speed (more or less. I'm not a scientist either).

The Milky Way is about 588,000,000,000,000,000 miles across. Creationists will not necessarily disagree with this distance, but they will disagree when we say it takes light about 100,000 years to get from one side to the other. Everything was created between 6000 and 10000 years ago so any measurements that require more time must be flawed.

#4 Adam Nagy

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:31 AM

As far as I can make out, the basic creationist answer is that light years are invalid as they assume that light travels constant speed (more or less. I'm not a scientist either).

The Milky Way is about 588,000,000,000,000,000 miles across. Creationists will not necessarily disagree with this distance, but they will disagree when we say it takes light about 100,000 years to get from one side to the other. Everything was created between 6000 and 10000 years ago so any measurements that require more time must be flawed.

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Hi Falcone,

Yes, I would actually agree with this, with some additional information. It's true that there is a reasonable perception that light travel and distances are a problem for the YEC position. I think intellectual honesty is needed here and I do this with a hope that my integrity will convince an opponent of mine to reciprocate some candor regarding those things that defy their own beliefs.

I don't lose my faith in the accuracy of scripture based on our perception of light travel and distance because of the other factors that solidify my foundational belief.

In addition, the dirty little secret in this is that stepping to the evolution paradigm does not (that's right does not) solve the light speed and distance issue. The Big Bang theory also has a fudge factor for violating observed attributes of light. So it's not like one has it worked out and the other doesn't.

The evidence shows us that we misunderstand light, which by itself, is quite reasonable, considering it's mysterious nature and how much extrapolation is needed on our parts to conceptualize what it is in the first place. There are many things we don't understand about light. Also electricity is extremely mysterious. We are able to utilize both and understand some thing about them based on observation and repeatable experiments but both these highly used natural tools remain extremely mysterious even to the greatest minds. This tells my that anyone is wise to not create an entire doctrine on certain perceptions we have of things we know so little about.

#5 Ron

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:46 PM

Before I start I would like to point out that I am in no way a scientist. I struggled through my Physics and Maths Highers at Secondary School, but when I discovered that there were people who still held Creationst views, I had a thought.

For those more in the know correct me if I'm wrong.  :)

Light travels at best speed in a vacum at 299,792,458 m/s.

A Light-Year is a measure of distance based on how far light would have travelled in a Julian year at that speed.

From that arithmetic, it has been calculated that the centre of the Milky Way is 26k LY from Earth, ie. travelling at 299,792,458 m/s it would take 26,000 years from the light at the centre of the Galaxy to reach Earth.

Surely this must create a paradox for the Creationist point of view. As the speed of light is measuarble and imperical, how then can one hold the view that the Universe is only a tad over 6,000 years old?

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You mean other than the fact that the speed of light has been proven to be slowing down? This means that it was going much faster in the past. Depending on how fast, the distances may not have been anywhere near as far (I know, sounds like a contradiction) as your common evolutionist would pray for.

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:41 PM

You mean other than the fact that the speed of light has been proven to be slowing down? This means that it was going much faster in the past. Depending on how fast, the distances may not have been anywhere near as far (I know, sounds like a contradiction) as your common evolutionist would pray for.

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The speed of light has been shown to be slowing down based on????????

Even if you go by the changing measurements, c has changed by what 3k per second over the past 300 years. So the creationist model has it changing by a maximum of 100k/s since creation. That still isn't going to come close to dealing with the huge distances between celestial bodies. I don't believe in a deceptive God, so I don't think he would have created the universe with light already in motion.

#7 Preachbill

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:18 AM

The speed of light has been shown to be slowing down based on????????

Even if you go by the changing measurements, c has changed by what 3k per second over the past 300 years.  So the creationist model has it changing by a maximum of 100k/s since creation.  That still isn't going to come close to dealing with the huge distances between celestial bodies.  I don't believe in a deceptive God, so I don't think he would have created the universe with light already in motion.

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I look at it this way, The Deep field Hubble study, the Hubble lens was left focused on a small space in heaven for 10 days, and they found over 3000 mature galaxy's. These galaxy's are about 16 Billion light years away. Also Adam saw the stars which were created 2 days prior of his creation. The distance of light does not show the age of the universe, it tells us how far light travels from point A to point B.

#8 Adam Nagy

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:30 AM

Bill,

You're right that the issue of mature galaxies, billions of light years away, is a huge problem for assuming that we're looking at something that happened billions of years ago... well it's only a problem if it isn't ignored as all the data against old earth/evolution almost always is... ;)


This issue is covered very well by Jason Lisle:

http://www.evolution...?showtopic=2111

This 3 part set deals directly with the starlight issue:

http://www.answersin...stant-starlight

#9 Guest_Alcatraz_*

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 07:34 AM

Bill,

You're right that the issue of mature galaxies, billions of light years away, is a huge problem for assuming that we're looking at something that happened billions of years ago...

http://www.answersin...stant-starlight

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But we must be, as light travels at a particular speed, and a light-year is the calculation of the distance light has travelled at that speed in a year, ergo if something is 56k LY away from Earth, it means that is how long it has taken the light of that body to reach Earth (56,000 years).

The arithmetic and science is sound.

#10 Adam Nagy

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 07:38 AM

But we must be, as light travels at a particular speed, and a light-year is the calculation of the distance light has travelled at that speed in a year, ergo if something is 56k LY away from Earth, it means that is how long it has taken the light of that body to reach Earth (56,000 years).

The arithmetic and science is sound.

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John,

If you're here to learn, I would recommend the sources I linked. They're interesting and not too lofty in their technical scope. The general contention you bring up isn't locked up and solved like you think it is...

Enjoy.

#11 Ron

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 03:58 PM

The speed of light has been shown to be slowing down based on????????

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All measurement data sense the measurements have been recorded.

Even if you go by the changing measurements, c has changed by what 3k per second over the past 300 years. 

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That (I believe) is an incorrect assessment. But even if it were correct, what would the change be over a million years? A bit of a sticky wicket isn’t it mate. Anyway, like I said, your assumption is that it wouldn't make much of a difference? Hmmmmm.

Here’s a few links:

http://evolution-fac.....0of Light.htm

http://archives.cnn....peed/index.html

http://www.abc.net.a...ies/s643027.htm

So the creationist model has it changing by a maximum of 100k/s since creation.  That still isn't going to come close to dealing with the huge distances between celestial bodies.  I don't believe in a deceptive God, so I don't think he would have created the universe with light already in motion.

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I don’t believe in a deceptive God either. Man is just too inept or self absorbed (at times) to accept the truth.

The speed of light has been measured 163 times by 16 different methods over the past 300 years. However, Australian physicist Barry Setterfield and mathematician Trevor Norman, reexamining the known experimental measurements to date, have suggested a highly controversial discovery:

The speed of light appears to have been slowing down!

Canadian mathematician, Alan Montgomery, has reported a computer analysis supporting the Setterfield and Norman results. His model indicates that the decay of velocity of light closely follows a cosecant-squared curve, and has been asymptotic since 1958. If he is correct, the speed of light was 10-30% faster in the time of Christ; twice as fast in the days of Solomon; four times as fast in the days of Abraham, and perhaps more than 10 million times faster prior to 3000 B.C. :)

#12 Ron

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 04:03 PM

But we must be, as light travels at a particular speed, and a light-year is the calculation of the distance light has travelled at that speed in a year, ergo if something is 56k LY away from Earth, it means that is how long it has taken the light of that body to reach Earth (56,000 years).

The arithmetic and science is sound.

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Unless the the speed of light has slowed down significantly over the last few thousand years (or millions if you believe in that). Then your science and arithmetic loses all of its sound (and merit).

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 03:55 PM

All measurement data sense the measurements have been recorded.
That (I believe) is an incorrect assessment. But even if it were correct, what would the change be over a million years? A bit of a sticky wicket isn’t it mate. Anyway, like I said, your assumption is that it wouldn't make much of a difference? Hmmmmm.

Here’s a few links:

http://evolution-fac.....0of Light.htm

http://archives.cnn....peed/index.html

http://www.abc.net.a...ies/s643027.htm
I don’t believe in a deceptive God either. Man is just too inept or self absorbed (at times) to accept the truth.

The speed of light has been measured 163 times by 16 different methods over the past 300 years. However, Australian physicist Barry Setterfield and mathematician Trevor Norman, reexamining the known experimental measurements to date, have suggested a highly controversial discovery:

The speed of light appears to have been slowing down!

Canadian mathematician, Alan Montgomery, has reported a computer analysis supporting the Setterfield and Norman results. His model indicates that the decay of velocity of light closely follows a cosecant-squared curve, and has been asymptotic since 1958. If he is correct, the speed of light was 10-30% faster in the time of Christ; twice as fast in the days of Solomon; four times as fast in the days of Abraham, and perhaps more than 10 million times faster prior to 3000 B.C.  ;)

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Well far be it for me to argue with Paul Davies or any other PhD physicist for that matter, but every physicist I've ever talked to has told me the only changes have been in the precision and accuracy of our measurements.

The very first measurement of the speed of light put c at something like 20% slower than it current measurements. Leon Foucault put c at about 1k/s slower than it is now. Does that mean light is increasing speed???? It's awfully convenient that c has reached the asymptote at the same time technology began allowing better measurements. Why is the curve only half complete????

Any links on why c could be decreasing?? It would be a fascinating read IMO.

I look at it this way, The Deep field Hubble study, the Hubble lens was left focused on a small space in heaven for 10 days, and they found over 3000 mature galaxy's. These galaxy's are about 16 Billion light years away. Also Adam saw the stars which were created 2 days prior of his creation. The distance of light does not show the age of the universe, it tells us how far light travels from point A to point B.


I'm familiar with this. It wasn't that the galaxies were mature. They were unlike any other galaxies seen. Even in older galaxies, you still find star formation, instead of being totally devoid of it. Expected young galaxies were also found at the edge of the universe.


Keck Observatory

#14 Adam Nagy

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 04:47 PM

Even in older galaxies, you still find star formation, instead of being totally devoid of it.

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No you don't. Nobody, except God Himself, has ever seen a star form.

#15 digitalartist

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:10 AM

The speed of light in a perfect vacuum cannot be measured without first obtaining a perfect vacuum. Light has been measured traveling at many different speeds, some of them far in excess of the "textbook" rate.

It is a good thing to admit when something is unknown. One hopes the practice is more common in Scotland than in other places that could be named.

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Some years ago they fired a laser at a mirror left on the moon by one of the missions and timed it out and back. After taking into consideration the atmospheric effects they found the speed of light to be quite close to the calculated speed.

#16 jason78

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:46 AM

Unless the the speed of light has slowed down significantly over the last few thousand years (or millions if you believe in that). Then your science and arithmetic loses all of its sound (and merit).

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The problem with that assumption is that other constants and physical processes depend on the speed of light being a constant. None of the effects that would have have been observed.

#17 jason78

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:47 AM

No you don't. Nobody, except God Himself, has ever seen a star form.

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Except in Molecular Clouds.

#18 digitalartist

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:50 AM

The speed of light has been measured 163 times by 16 different methods over the past 300 years. However, Australian physicist Barry Setterfield and mathematician Trevor Norman, reexamining the known experimental measurements to date, have suggested a highly controversial discovery:

The speed of light appears to have been slowing down!

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However the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) rejected Setterfield's findings (Acts and Facts, June 1988, G. Aardsma)

#19 Ron

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:36 PM

The problem with that assumption is that other constants and physical processes depend on the speed of light being a constant.  None of the effects that would have have been observed.

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The problem with that assumption is that you are blindly assuming that the speed of light hasn't slowed down, and therefor is constant.

#20 Adam Nagy

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:16 PM

Except in Molecular Clouds.

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Nice try Jason but no cigar. They see a cloud of gas and dust and assume that it is forming stars.




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