Ari Brynjolfsson’s Plasma Redshift

This essay will outline some of the work of Ari Byrinjolfsson. He says some things I don’t agree with regarding eternal universes, but if Brynjolfsson is right then it has some negative impact on ID and creationism and the UPB, etc. So, let me be clear, Brynjolfsson’s paper is generally bad for ID, creation, and the Big Bang. That said, his papers most definitely got my attention, and there is much that I like about his work. Wikipedia has this entry on Ari Brynjolffson:

He lived in Krossanes, Eyjafjörður[3] and graduated from Menntaskólinn á Akureyri in 1948,[4] then studied nuclear physics at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, from 1948 to 1954, gaining his PhD,[5] with a thesis which dealt with a device he had constructed for accurately measuring magnetism in rocks.[3] Following this he became a special research fellow of the University of Iceland from 1954 to 1955, then an Alexander von Humboldt fellow of the University of Göttingen, Germany, from 1955 to 1957.[5] While at Göttingen he contributed important work in magnetic moments, using a self-devised instrument with which he and others provided the strongest evidence to that date for magnetic field reversals.[6]

He became Head of Radiation Facilities for the Danish government at Risø (1957–1965) and then Head of US Army Radiation Facilities, Natick, Massachusetts[2][7] (1965–1980). He also served as the Director of IFFIT (International Facility for Food Irradiation Technology) of the Joint FAO/IAEA, United Nations (1988–1992).[8] He gained his DSc in 1973 with a thesis entitled Some Aspects of the Interactions of Fast Charged Particles with Matter which led to his work on plasma redshift.[9]

There are an infinite number of solutions to Einstein’s field equations of General Relativity, and expanding space is only one of them. A valid mathematical solution to an equation of physics does not necessarily mean it is a physically real solution. For example we can put in negative mass into Newton’s second law and come up with strange solutions and supposedly negative mass into Einstein’s field equations and create wormholes.

So even supposing Einstein’s field equations (with or without the “Lambda” term) are valid, it does not mean the expanding space solution that defines the Big Bang is necessarily a valid solution. What has driven belief in the expanding space solution (the FLRW metric), is the redshift of fainter objects. There is some correlation (but not absolute) with redshift and faintness (and thus presumed distance). Opponents of the Big Bang have argued a mechanism other than expanding space is the cause of the red shift. Brynjolfsson was one of them.

But let us assume for the sake of argument that the Big Bang cosmology is correct, is it possible that plasmas under certain conditions can induce a redshift? Independent of the question of the Big Bang, it seems Brynjolfsson’s thesis may have some merit, and more importantly, unlike expanding space, dark matter, and dark energy, it may be directly testable.

Ari Brynjolffson argues that sparse plasmas can induce redshifts.
His theory is laid out in Arxiv:
Redshift of photons penetrating a hot plasma.

In Compton scattering, an incident photon with wavelength 500 nm transfers energy of about 1.6*10^-30 h*nu to the plasma per electron. The corresponding energy transferred to the plasma in the plasma redshift is about 200,000 times larger, or 3.3 * 10^-25 h*nu per electron

Brynjolfsson argues that as light traverses a sparse plasma and encounters more electrons, rather than being scattered, the light will become redshifted. He argues that quantum mechanics is needed to account for the effect of large numbers of electrons shaving off energy from the photons. As can be seen, the energy shaved off is very very tiny per electron and any detectable effect must involve large numbers of interactions with many electrons as the light traverses many kilometers of sparse plasma. As the energy is shaved off little by little, the light becomes more red shifted.

It seems to me, in principle it should be a testable theory. On page 28, Figure 4 he shows how his redshift theory agrees with observations of the slight redshift in sunlight made by Adams and LA Higgs, and even argues that the sunlight red shift is insufficiently accounted for by the gravitational redshift of General Relativity.

If his theory is true, it would seem to explain the this phenomenon pointed out by Arp:

Redshifts of high-luminosity stars – The K effect, the Trumpler effect and mass-loss corrections

The first spectroscopic measurements of large numbers of B stars showed that, unlike cooler stars, they appeared to be expanding away from the solar neighborhood. This positive redshift was expressed as a “K term” and is referred to in the literature as the K effect. No satisfactory explanation was ever advanced as to why the entire system of luminous young stars should be receding from the position of the Earth. When I was taking undergraduate course in galactic dynamics from Bart Bok in 1949 it was considered a mysterious and challenging puzzle…

Worse, it seems some quasars that are deeply redshifted are actually close. I have a summary of a paper published in 1980 by a now emeritus professor of astronomy, Varshni

Laser Stars

the quasar PHL 1033, LB 8956 and LB 8991 lie within a few hundred parsecs from the sun

😯

The measurements of distances were by a respected astronomer by the name of Luyten which was later quoted by Varshni, and as far as I can tell no observation has overturned Luyten’s initial observation several decades ago regarding LB 8956. Even some amateur astronomy clubs are suggesting observation of LB 8956. Is the Hipparcos data on this? Will the future Gaia probing look at LB 8956?

LB 8956 has a redshift of 1.8 according to Table 2 in the original paper by Varshni. Using Ned Wrights calculator, and plugging in Z = 1.8, I got a distance of observation on the order of 10 GIGA Light years!!!

Ned Wright’s CosmoCalc

So why the heck can we even see a quasar at that distance? We could say it’s because it’s a buzillion times as luminous as a galaxy (and there is no known mechanism to create such power) or the object is hundreds of light years away not 10 billion of light years away. This would also be consistent with the parallax measurement. The plasma redshift would make more sense of this than arguing the quasar is necessarily very far away and much more luminous than entire galaxies.

As I pointed out at UD, my car headlights have more apparent brightness when I’m close to them than a galaxy because I’m near to the headlights, not because the car headlights are more luminous than galaxies. Maybe that is the case with some quasars.

One of the best evidences in favor of the Big Bang, imho, is the apparent time dilation of the distant supernova evolution. But the sword of time dilation cuts both ways. I pointed out at UD this fact:

http://news.discovery.com/spac…..uasars.htm

Mike Hawkins from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh searched for, and did not find evidence for, so-called time dilation in distant quasars. Time dilation is a counter-intuitive, yet actual, feature of Einstein’s special relativity in which time slows down for an object that is in motion relative to another.

Since the universe is expanding — and the distant quasars are racing away from us — a clock placed in one of these distant galaxies should be running more slowly than a clock we have on Earth. Therefore, the effects of time dilation for distant objects can be measured if we can observe the ticking clock in the distant galaxy.

Hawkins took advantage of the fact that quasars blink. This blinking, or variability, can be viewed as the “ticking clock.” He used data from quasar monitoring programs stored on photographic plates to measure the timescale of of the blinking. Looking at the timescales for two groups of quasars, one distant and the other even farther away, there was no measurable difference. That meant no time dilation: meaning that for both groups of quasars, the clocks were the same.

This could mean several things. It could be a sign that the universe is not expanding. Or, it could indicate that quasars are not really what we think they are. However, for either of these scenarios to be true, you’d have to explain away or disprove mountains of evidence in favor of these models.

So if redshift would imply time dilation for supernovas, why not time dilation for quasars? To quote Shakespeare, something is rotten in the state of Denmark’s cosmology…

Brynjolfsson offers an alternate explanation for this supposed dilation in supernova. In addition to this, Brynjofsson offers an amendment to GR involving photons and an alternate Pound-Rebka and Shapiro delay experiments, and an alternate explanation for the apparent phenomenon of Dark Energy (he mentions Riess and Perlmutter by name in his paper).

There maybe many things in Brynnolfsson’s paper to criticize (such as the notion of sparse plasmas being in thermal equilibrium), but my main focus is the claim a sparse plasma can in principle induce a loss of energy into light and thus cause a redshift in all frequencies such that an object will look like it is moving away from us. I thought he made a good point. The paper was a difficult read, and I can’t say I understood even 10% of it, but it seemed to have enough substance that I want to consider it more…

I do not know if there is anyway to test at least some aspects of his plasma theory with condensed matter equipment. Is there a way to have a light or radio waves just circulate in a mirrored but mostly empty chamber and thus simulate travel through millions of miles of sparse plasma? That would seem cheaper than sending up space probes that will fire lasers or masers through the corona to see if there is a redshift.

PS

When Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess visited our campus in Laurel/Columbia Maryland, USA at the Applied Physics lab he gave a presentation and lecture on his work on the discovery of Dark Energy. He got a huge laugh out of the audience when he pointed how his measurements disagreed with certain theories:

As noted above, the measured cosmological constant [by Riess and Perlmutter] is smaller than this by a factor of 10^−120. This discrepancy has been called “the worst theoretical prediction in the history of physics!”.[15]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_constant

Riess mingled with us mere mortals at the reception after his talk, and when asked about some of the theoretical problems with dark energy, he said, “I’m an experimentalist, I leave that to the theoreticians…” And everyone laughed…

Perhaps Brynjolfsson has found an explanation for the apparent phenomenon of Dark Energy which he explains on page 42.

44 Replies to “Ari Brynjolfsson’s Plasma Redshift”

  1. Alan Fox Alan Fox
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    @ Sal

    Wouldn’t you be better off checking out what the several astronomy/cosmology forums say about Brynjolfsson’s ideas. A quick glance didn’t indicate much enthusiasm for “plasma redshift”.

  2. Neil Rickert
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    I’m still undecided about the big bang. However, I am quite skeptical of the plasma redshift idea.

    Opponents of the Big Bang have argued a mechanism other than expanding space is the cause of the red shift.

    While an alternative mechanism might be interesting, I’m not sure that is needed. The red shift is observed. It exists, whether or not there is a mechanism. Expansion is the proposed mechanism, but I am waiting better evidence. Expansion should mean increasing distances. So I would like to see attempts to measure distances to distant objects, with sufficient precision to be able to directly measure any expansion. It might take thousands of years to carry out such measurements — perhaps triangulation, with the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy as the base line. But why not start now. If such measurements could be done, they would settle whether the redshift is due to expansion, or redshift is just the way that the universe is.

  3. olegt olegt
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    Brynjolfsson has no published papers in astrophysics and his arXiv:astro-ph/0401420 preprint has been ignored by mainstream astrophysicists. The preprint has been cited 11 times, of which 8 are self-citations and 2 are citations by a philosopher/historian of science.

    Why is this particular theory interesting, Sal? What justifies the investment of time into studying it?

  4. Lizzie
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    Some posts didn’t conform IMO to the rules and have been moved to Guano. Feel free to repost within the TSZ rule set!

  5. stcordova
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    Why is this particular theory interesting, Sal? What justifies the investment of time into studying it?

    Perhaps I have a liking for fringe theories, and I wanted to pass the info to some of my creationist friends. Even though Brynjolfsson’s paper is decidedly anti creationist, I like his paper so far. I have studied some plasma physics, but not at this level of detail, and it seemed compelling…

    Nevertheless, thank you Dr. OlegT for responding to my post and for all the many corrections over the years of my misunderstandings of physics….

    The paper has been ignored by the mainstream, and I was trying to see where it was substantially weak in terms of the basics.

    The fundamental question is if a photon interacts with electrons, will it lose energy. It seems the answer is yes, and if so, it should become redshifted. If it interacts with a sparse plasma of many electrons it would seem redshifting is inevitable given the right conditions.

    The one part of the paper that I had never heard of before on page 7:

    The incident photo consists of a broad spectrum of frequencies…The low frequency components of the photon may act on several electrons coherently…are ripped off from the photon and absorbed into the plasma…The forces within the photon recreate the removed low-frequency components…

    It seems this process will slowly shave off energy from the photon causing its fundamental frequency to shift. What is news to me is the photon is presumed to have low-frequency components and that if they are ripped off, somehow they are restored. Brynjolfsson uses the term “soft photons”. Is this true? This seems a little strange and disconcerting. I looked up “soft photons” and they are supposedly hard to detect….

    Other than that claim, the first few pages seemed to be pretty much mainstream to me, but then again, I’m not a physicist like you.

    Thank you again for responding.

  6. OMagain
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    stcordova: Perhaps I have a liking for fringe theories

    http://www.timecube.com/

  7. Alan Fox Alan Fox
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    @ Sal

    Typo in the title.(missing R)

  8. Alan Fox Alan Fox
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    OMagain,

    @ OM

    I couldn’t tell whether that was a brilliant spoof or in earnest.

  9. stcordova
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    Thanks Alan, fixed the typo.

  10. stcordova
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    As far as I can tell the whole theory boils down to equation A12 on page 67 for the electron’s equation of motion which Brynjolfsson uses to calculate the dielectric constant which yields his plasma redshift term. That’s the crucial assumption from which everything else follows.

    From page 67:

    The validity of Eqs. (A11) and (A12), specifically the radiation damping term, the third term of (A12), has often been questioned in the literature. The problems raised can be traced to the fact that we do not have a reliable model of the electron structure [119 – 125].

    As shown by Dirac [124] already in 1938, it is reasonable to assume that this form of the equation is valid, as it leads to correct quantum mechanical results.

    I intend to visit other venues to field inquiries as Alan suggested. I thought the topic might be of interest to some at TSZ because it is most definitely an idea from an advocate of an eternal universe, and eternal universes are generally (not always) considered an anti-ID view point. Plus I thought some of the discussion of quasars and redshifts and k-effect might be interesting to some here as well.

    So I posted the essay here first at TSZ. I plan to circulate the discussion elsewhere….

    Thanks all for reading and commenting.

  11. Alan Fox Alan Fox
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    One of the suggestions I heard somewhere for an alternative to the Big Bang is some kind of “near miss”. (Unfortunately, googling “near miss universe” doesn’t find what I’m looking for 🙂 ). It seems this is pretty much ruled out according to this paper.

    Maybe Neil will expand on his scepticism of a singularity.

  12. Neil Rickert
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    Alan Fox: Maybe Neil will expand on his scepticism of a singularity.

    It is mainly skepticism as to whether we have enough evidence to conclude that the universe is expanding.

    My skepticism is primarily based on my view of how we can acquire knowledge about the cosmos — roughly, the kind of issue being discussed in the Facts as human artifacts thread.

  13. SophistiCat
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    The context for this, um, work is Plasma cosmology, which wasn’t an altogether crackpot idea to begin with but has since been discredited in the mainstream cosmology. Within this already marginal field, Ari Byrinjolfsson appears to be almost a non-entity, somewhere on the level of an internet crank.

    I think it is silliness on the verge of crackpottery to plunge into marginalia before you have even a rudimentary understanding of the mainstream. “Learn what’s inside the box before thinking outside the box.”

  14. JonF
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    Dealing with Creationism in Astronomy has a lot of material on plasma cosmology but nothing on Byrinjolfsson.

  15. Alan Fox Alan Fox
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    SophistiCat: Ari Byrinjolfsson appears to be almost a non-entity

    Speaking as a nonentity myself, I resemble that remark. He seems to have had a rich and fulfilling family life and a distinguished career in food irradiation.

  16. stcordova
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    Neil wrote:

    “If such measurements could be done, they would settle whether the redshift is due to expansion, or redshift is just the way that the universe is.”

    Exactly. And as I pointed out, LB 8956 is indicated via triangulation to be positioned only a few hundred light years out, even though its redshift is saying the light we are seeing travelled 10 Billion light years. The lack of time dilation in quasars is also indicative of the lack of relative motion even though the red shift numbers indicate velocities that are a good proportion of light speed!

    With improved space probes like Gaia we could look out further on quasars. I would not be surprised to see more of them found to be close to us using the more advanced triangulation measurements of Gaia.

    Thus, imho, all cosmological models are a bit premature. We have too small a sample size of data to be making so many grand pronouncements. Speculation is fine, but I think all this is premature to be saying its settled science. I have an agnostic friend who loves science, and he, like many scientist hold a lot of skepticism about Dark Matter and Dark Energy the Inflation field, etc. since they are entities that aren’t directly measurable in the lab but only deduced via inference.

    In school there were whispers among the physics students and even professors about skepticism over the Big Bang. I’ve laid out some of the issues with the K-effect and problems with quasars. Independent of whether Brynjolfsson is correct, the problems listed above remain, not to mention Riess himself pointed his Dark Energy measurements do not agree with certain theories by an order of 10^-120 !

    When Riess was invited to give his lecture, it was before he was awarded his Nobel Prize, and it was just part of the routine venue at the Applied Physics Lab. It was providential that when he visited, it was just a few months after he received the award, and since Riess is remotely affiliated through the parent institution of the Applied Physics Lab (APL) the APL staff faculty and students (my self included) revered Riess as a hero.

    He has quite a sense of humor. He shared some of his e-mails with colleagues at the lecture. In one of the e-mails exchanges he had, he quipped something to the effect, “Einstein’s made his blunder with the cosmological constant so why don’t we” noting at the time how heretical the idea of Dark Energy was.

    So in this essay I presented a non-ID (in fact an anti-ID) critique of the Big Bang, and also a mechanism for the red shift which I think sounds the most credible.

    Looking at Brynjolfsson’s paper last night, I finally found where the critical assumption was, namely the form of the dielectric constant. In most of my elementary studies of plasma physics, we used the simplest dielectric constant for our calculations, namely that of vacuum space, nothing anywhere near as complex as what Brynjolfsson used.

    Reading is paper is actually a good exercise in math and basic physics.

    I actually have a good relationship with one of Bridgman’s (author of dealing with creationism in astronomy) colleagues, Jerry Jellison. See:
    Admitting significant errors where I was acknowledged in a paper co-authored by Bridgman.

    “The decision to write this report was occasioned by Salvador Cordova’s expressed willingness to post it on his creationist web site. Mr. Cordova carried through on his promise and, in so doing, exposed Setterfield’s theory to what may be its most intense scientific criticism. Although we do not endorse the content of many of Cordova’s posts on the youngcosmos.com discussion forum and blog, we do acknowledge his willingness to side with us against Setterfield when he saw the correctness of our arguments. In addition, we acknowledge the role the youngcosmos.com discussions had in our developing understanding of the weaknesses of the c-decay theory.”

    I have occasionally sided with non-IDist and non-creationists on certain topics such as decaying speed of light cosmologies and the use of the 2nd law of thermodynamics and evolution. This essay points out where I will argue the redshift is probably not a good argument against an eternal (or much longer age) universe. In that sense plasma redshift is nominally an anti-ID anti-YEC idea. I do however think the plasma redshift has a good chance of being right, and if right, it will mean more difficulties for YEC (even though YEC is a position I hold dear).

  17. stcordova
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    Revisiting this question:

    Why is this particular theory interesting, Sal? What justifies the investment of time into studying it?

    Figure 4, page 28 of the paper that shows a measurements of redshift made by LA Higgs and Adams in 1959 and 1960 that disagree with Gravitational redshift but agree with Brynjolfsson’s theory. That caught my attention, and independent of Brynjolfsson’s theory the measurements by Higgs and Adams are problematic in an of themselves. This would require a minor amendment to GR for photon behavior if Brynjolfsson is correct.

    I can’t in good conscience dismiss Higgs and Adams measurements. It looks like they were on to something…

  18. OMagain
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    stcordova: Speculation is fine, but I think all this is premature to be saying its settled science.

    The universe is not 6000 years old. That’s settled science.

    In school there were whispers among the physics students and even professors about skepticism over the Big Bang.

    That’s called science. When those whispers turn into claims that are supported by evidence, then that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You’ve got an explanation that fits the observed data better? Bring it on.

    Our understanding of “The Big Bang” will no doubt change in the years to come but it’ll never support YEC.

    That’s setteled.

  19. OMagain
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    stcordova: It looks like they were on to something…

    So do something about it other then posting on blogs!

  20. olegt olegt
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    I had a quick look at the preprint. It’s silly, as far as I can tell.

    Brynjolfsson computes the attenuation of light moving through a medium using classical electrodynamics. He interprets the loss of energy as a red shift.

    That is wrong. The loss of intensity computed in classical electrodynamics corresponds to a reduction in the number of photons in a quantum theory. It does not change the color of the remaining photons.

    His second error is the notion that photons only lose energy to plasma. This would be the case if the temperature of plasma is low compared to that of the light. He stresses, however, that his plasma is hot. This is contradictory.

    I see no point in wasting time on this.

  21. stcordova
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    Thank you Dr. Olegt. Those were excellent remarks.

  22. OMagain
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    stcordova:
    Thank you Dr. Olegt.Those were excellent remarks.

    Does that mean you’ve changed your opinion?

  23. Richardthughes Richardthughes
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    As Sal goes about his quest, I wonder what his methodology is?

    Sal, are you looking at evidence to find the truth, or looking at evidence to support YECism? Is there any evidence that would convince you to abandon YECism?

  24. petrushka
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    That seems to be the defining feature of crank science. Make bad assumptions, do the arithmetic correctly. Profit.

  25. Alan Fox Alan Fox
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    says:

    Richardthughes:
    As Sal goes about his quest, I wonder what his methodology is?

    Sal, are you looking at evidence to find the truth, or looking at evidence to support YECism? Is there any evidence that would convince you to abandon YECism

    @ Sal

    I’m a little curious too, about the cognitive problems you must have to cope with by having a rigid dogma, whose derivation seems to depend on reinterpretation of ancient writings that, to me seem obviously poetical, metaphorical, rich in story-telling but hardly a reliable scientific source upon which to make counter-factual pronouncements.

    I’ll throw in my favourite Dalai Lama quote:

    If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.

    ― Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

  26. rhampton
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    Reminds me of Luther’s view of Genesis — the nature of stars and the firmament in regards to biblical literalism:

    In his Lectures on Genesis, for example, [Martin] Luther wrote the following regarding the sun and stars:

    Indeed, it is more likely that the bodies of the stars, like that of the sun, are round, and that they are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night, each according to its endowment and its creation.

    This too was not an uncommon view during the early sixteenth century. Luther added the observation that there were waters above this firmament where the sun and stars are fastened. Regarding the waters above the firmament, Luther wrote:

    We Christians must be different from the philosophers [i.e. scientists] in the way we think about the causes of these things. And if some are beyond our comprehension (like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens), we must believe them and admit our lack of knowledge rather than either wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding.

    Here, Luther suggests that it is wicked to deny that there are literal waters above the firmament to which the sun and stars are fastened. Why did he believe this was an undeniable fact? Because he believed Scripture taught it clearly in Genesis 1. The problem arose when it was discovered over time that the sun and stars are not fastened to a firmament and that there are no waters being held back by this firmament. If Scripture did actually teach the existence of such things, that would leave two options: either the new discoveries were misinterpretations of general revelation or else Scripture was wrong. Since Luther believed Scripture clearly taught the existence of waters above the firmament, he believed the scientists were proposing an idea that would require him to say that the Scriptures are in error. Luther apparently believed that was the only choice, and if that was the only choice, it was one he had to reject. It did not seem to occur to him that the Scripture might not actually teach that view. It did not occur to him that the conflict could be a conflict between a correct interpretation of God’s creation and his fallible interpretation of Scripture.
    from Luther, Calvin, and Copernicus — A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture

    Sal, do you think Martin Luther was wrong? If so, why?

  27. stcordova
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    says:

    Does that mean you’ve changed your opinion?

    Regarding the problems of the Big Bang, no.

    Regarding the correctness of some of Brynjolfsson’s work, yes. Why? Dr. T is correct to express correct to point out classical electrodynamics reduces energy of a light beam via reducing the number of photons not by reducing the energy of the photons. In a Compton scattering for example, the wavelength change from lambda to lambda prime is computed in the following manner:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compton_scattering

    Brynjolffson in equation seven for the 4th term of the right hand side says his classical derivation from Maxwell’s equation and his dielectric constant
    will give the correct values for Compton scattering which I don’t understand since changes in the Compton wavelength involve an angle. He references a paper by Heitler the uses the same term, so I’m confused, but the bottom line is that does look problematic.

    Regarding the transfer of energy from the photon to the plasma, a black body radiation is like a photon gas and thus has temperature, it would be a violation of the 2nd law for a plasma at higher temperature to be able to absorb energy from a photon gas a lower temperature. So that does look problematic as well.

    That said, I don’t mind trying to review basic concepts and understanding of physics. The graph on page 28, figure 4 of the paper is derived from Higgs and Adams, and that is an issue independent of Brynjolfsson’s work.

    Dr. T was kind enough to spend time reviewing Brynjolfsson’s pre-print and responding. I’ll ping other venues regarding Higgs and Adam’s work elsewhere as well as getting out my physics textbooks and studying more. I don’t want to trouble Dr. T further on the matter, he was generous enough of him to respond.

    ============================================
    Alan,

    As far as what would change my mind about creation? Solve the OOL problem and I’d have no reason to keep believing in a creator.

    As far as youth of the Earth, I believe that because it is hard to disbelieve the historical account that Jesus rose from the dead, and that was a miracle. I can believe in miracles because I think the emergence of life is a miracle.

    But really, what does anyone have to lose if their cosmology and views of the age of the Earth are wrong. Lots of engineers and doctors and even a physicist like John Hartnett is a YEC. Hartnett gathered almost 6 million in science grants and teaches many PhD students in physics. John Sanford also had a very successful career in applied genetics.

    So it doesn’t seem the origins issue necessarily implies someone will skip a beat in applied science.

    As I pointed, out Dr. Jellison did change some of my YEC viewpoints as I pointed out here:

    Admitting Significant Errors.

    I’m willing to change my mind, but honestly, evolutionary biologists and OOL researchers have only strengthened my views of ID. So I can change my mind if the arguments are persuasive. Nick Matzke hasn’t been very persuasive, Dr. Jellison (a plasma physicist) was.

    FWIW, I used to believe in Darwinian evolution and the standard interpretation of long ages as I learned in freshman high school. I came to believe in special creation of life for the reasons outlined at UD with respect to OOL and the problem with Darwinian evolution.

    I think the planets and moon systems in the solar system make more sense in terms of special creation than evolution. I came to this conclusion, ironically after, reading Solar System Evolution by Stuart Ross Taylor a member of the National Academy of Science. His work, like that of OOL researchers, had the opposite effect on me than what he intended.

    As far as the problem of distant starlight, that is a serious problem for YEC, but we know so little of how physics works on the large scale as exemplified by the continuing controversy over the nature of Dark Energy. I studied introductory General Relativity, and it does conflict with YEC, but if YEC is true, a solution will be forthcoming. But what do YECs have to lose if they are wrong. Hartnett has made good money researching General Relativity and providing sapphire clocks for the European space agency, so he can disbelieve it but simultaneously do good enough work in GR to make a living at it. He’s proposed amendments to GR….

    Would that everyone were as successful in science and medicine as YECs like John Hartnett, John Sanford, and Ben Carson then science and technology would progress, so I don’t see how one can empirically argue YEC will necessarily destroy science. Even if YECs are wrong, I can’t see the harm from an operational standpoint. And for what it’s worth even today there are known conflicts among well established theories (i.e. GR has some issues with quantum mechanics), but as long as the theories work in their domain, it’s usually never an issue. That’s probably why YEC ideas haven’t caused problems for Hartnett, Sanford, and Carson.

  28. thorton
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    says:

    stcordova

    But really, what does anyone have to lose if their cosmology and views of the age of the Earth are wrong.

    If they actively argue for a 6000 year old Earth they’ll lose the respect of virtually everyone in the scientific community, and rightfully so.

  29. rhampton
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    says:

    Sal, does that mean you also believe that stars are fastened to the firmament above which is water is literally true, as did Martin Luther?

  30. thorton
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    says:

    stcordova

    Would that everyone were as successful in science and medicine as YECs like John Hartnett, John Sanford, and Ben Carson then science and technology would progress,

    No has ever in the history of human civilization has advanced scientific knowledge or understanding by using the YEC paradigm. No one. EVAR.

    so I don’t see how one can empirically argue YEC will necessarily destroy science.

    Allowing YEC teaching in science classrooms would be terribly harmful to science because it would teach kids (our future scientists) that it’s OK if their religious beliefs trump their scientific objectivity.

    Even if YECs are wrong, I can’t see the harm from an operational standpoint.

    Science has no problems with whatever religious beliefs you care to hold as long as they don’t interfere with proper scientific methodology.

    That’s probably why YEC ideas haven’t caused problems for Hartnett, Sanford, and Carson.

    YEC ideas caused no problems for Sanford in his earlier work because his earlier work didn’t concern his religion. Ever since he went off the deep end with his YEC based Genetic Entropy his scientific reputation has gone right down the crapper.

  31. thorton
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m curious Mr. Cordova. You made quite the fuss at UD a few weeks back defending Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt against the solid scientific evidence of its errors as demonstrated by Dr. Nick Matzke. Yet right or wrong Meyer’s claims in DD directly contradict your YEC ideas.

    How do you reconcile Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubts claims and all the Cambrian data agreed upon by both parties with your YEC beliefs?

  32. stcordova
    Ignored
    says:

    Thornton, I never defended Meyer’s book Darwin’s doubt at UD. I haven’t (gasp) even read it!

    rhampton,

    “Sal, does that mean you also believe that stars are fastened to the firmament above which is water is literally true, as did Martin Luther?”

    No.

    Distant starlight is a serious deal-breaker for YEC, so is long term and intermediate term radiometric dating, but short term C14 dating is helping the YEC case.

    My view is that the intensity of the debate surrounds the religious and cultural issues, not scientific. For example, as big a deal as the value of the cosmological constant is, everyone at Riess’s lecture didn’t consider its interpretation relative to the quantum vacuum as some sort of sacred idea. When Riess pointed out it disagreed with prediction (as I quoted wiki above), no one was throwing a fit over the issue like the fire fights between UD and TSZ. In fact, everyone was having a good laugh at the discrepancy (that is still unresolved today).

  33. thorton
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova:
    Thornton, I never defended Meyer’s book Darwin’s doubt at UD.I haven’t (gasp) even read it!

    LOL! So you never wrote about Darwin’s Doubt at UD. You never posted this:

    Destruction of phyla precedes origin of species

    July 23, 2013 Posted by scordova

    There were 75-100 phyla, but over time some disappeared. This graph depicts the Cambrian explosion where most phyla appeared and how over time some phyla disappeared. This is graphically the pattern that is central to Darwin’s doubt. It destroys the notion of Darwinian gradualism:

    You never responded to Dr. Matzke’s critiques of the book, including making the scurrilous claim that he never read it?

    Either you have a terrible memory or there’s someone at UD posting under your name. Of course there’s a third possibility but board decorum forbids me from suggesting it.

    I’ll ask again: How do you reconcile Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt claims and all the Cambrian data agreed upon by both parties with your YEC beliefs?

  34. thorton
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova:

    Distant starlight is a serious deal-breaker for YEC, so is long term and intermediate term radiometric dating, but short term C14 dating is helping the YEC case.

    How do you figure when we have at least a dozen lines of independent correlating evidence used to produce C14 calibration curves back to well over 50,000 years before present?

    Radiocarbon Calibration

    You might hand wave away each one separately but you can’t explain why they all agree so closely. No YEC can though heaven knows I’ve asked enough.

  35. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova: Solve the OOL problem and I’d have no reason to keep believing in a creator.

    My imaginary deity beats your imaginary deity.

    My imaginary deity can create a universe and allow life to arise without further interference. Yours has to create a universe then poke at it further until life arises. It is not as competent nor as skilled as mine.

    Your imaginary deity is weak compared to the one I have imagined!

    Your’s wastes time sticking flagellum to bacteria for pity’s sake! How menial.

  36. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    Out of interest Sal, if it’s only the OOL that’s stopping you “believing” in “Darwinism” (lots of scare quotes today) then presumably you buy into the rest of Darwinism, you know, from few to many forms naturally and all that?

    If not, then when OOL is “solved” you’ll just say “yeah, but macro-evolution – prove that happens and I’ll believe”.

    Or is it really the case, as you seem to be saying, that you are a “Darwinist” only up till OOL?

    Please clarify as what you wrote at UD:

    It destroys the notion of Darwinian gradualism:

    Seems to contradict that. If we solve the OOL problem and you have no reason to keep believing in a creator except of course for the “fact” that Dawwinian gradualism is totally false, right?

    Your position is inconsistent.

  37. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    thorton: No YEC can though heaven knows I’ve asked enough.

    YEC seems to be more about what is ignored then what is spoken. The stuff you have to ignore to make YEC seem remotely plausible is far more then the available evidence for it.

  38. hotshoe
    Ignored
    says:

    OMagain: YEC seems to be more about what is ignored then what is spoken. The stuff you have to ignore to make YEC seem remotely plausible is far more then the available evidence for it.

    Including the fact that humans were brewing beer at least a millennium before YEC’s god supposedly created the universe

    Why any person would choose to believe in a sect which makes his god into a petty trickster, I’ll never understand.

  39. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova: Thornton, I never defended Meyer’s book Darwin’s doubt at UD. I haven’t (gasp) even read it!

    @ Thorton

    That appears to be correct, on my reading of the thread you link to. A discussion of the Cambrian period and Darwin’s Doubt took place here in at least a couple of threads but if either you or Sal want to open a new thread why not? I think it is off-topic for this thread.

  40. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    thorton: You never responded to Dr. Matzke’s critiques of the book, including making the scurrilous claim that he never read it?

    Do you have a link? Although this would be better in Sandbox or a new thread.

  41. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova: Solve the OOL problem and I’d have no reason to keep believing in a creator.

    Just like to pick up on this, Sal. A bad fault of mine is skimming text, thinking I’m reading but missing stuff and I noticed it just now on re-reading.

    This doesn’t make any sense to me. Why should solving the OOL problem (I shouldn’t worry too much, I think we are far from solutions, currently, though I remain ever hopeful that something comes of SETI and other space exploration projects). Surely, all it would do is make some passages in the Bible more clearly poetic licence but it wouldn’t refute the idea of a creator, just the one developed from some interpretations of biblical texts. Bet you the Dalai Lama won’t be phased if it happens in his lifetime.

  42. stcordova
    Ignored
    says:

    LOL! So you never wrote about Darwin’s Doubt at UD. You never posted this:

    I posted the essay you linked to. I wrote about the book — it sales ranking, its presence and some of the essays that others have written about the book (like Berlinski).

    I related an essay about “disparity” to Meyer’s book, but I wouldn’t claim that as defense of Meyer’s book since the issue I raised was precipitated by a discussion that ReMine and I had days earlier about “disparity precedes diversity”. I posted the essay in response to a conversation with Walter ReMine not because I read Meyer’s book. I was just trying to relate my essay to current developments like Meyer’s book since it apparently shares similar ideas.

    I’ve not defended Meyer’s book like I have defended other ideas because I haven’t read Meyer’s book. Defending the book means I have something of my own to say rather than just passing on news of what others have said. And also defending it means I’ve read it, which I haven’t. It’s not my field of understanding and I find the topic insufferably boring….

    I passed on what others have said, that’s different than defending the book.

    Of course, if you want to render the most uncharitable interpretation of what I said in order to insinuate I’ve said something untrue, that’s up to you, but civil discourse would suggest you ask me what I meant by “defend”.

    But that’s way off topic.

  43. rhampton
    Ignored
    says:

    Sal,

    To believe in YEC means you must reject scientific conclusions that conflict with a literal interpretation of the Bible. So it seems to me that you agree with Martin Luther, at least in principle, when he wrote:

    We Christians must be different from the philosophers [i.e. scientists] in the way we think about the causes of these things. And if some are beyond our comprehension (like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens), we must believe them and admit our lack of knowledge rather than either wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding.

    On what grounds then do you deny there is water above the firmament?

  44. thorton
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova

    I passed on what others have said, that’s different than defending the book.

    LOL! You only “passed on” the Creationist hand waving excuses and outright lies. You also went out of your way to insult those like Dr. Matzke who posted solid rebutting evidence against Meyer’s claims without ever addressing that evidence. I’m sure you can see how those actions would lead someone to conclude you were defending Meyer’s garbage.

    But that’s way off topic.

    You’re the one who brought up your YEC beliefs in this thread, not me. I note that you refuse to discuss the implications of Meyer’s claims on those YEC beliefs. You also seem reluctant to discuss the C14 claims you made. I just find it interesting that over at UD you are an exceptionally vocal YEC posting every idiotic YEC PRATT you can find. Then over here where you can’t delete or censor posts like you regularly do at UD you turn into Caspar Milquetoast.

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