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Is there evidence (or not) that c has changed over time?

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Hi my name is Chris and I’m a noob!

 

Well I’m a noob here but I’m a Forum Moderator (CJ) on the Forum at Richard Dawkins Net. We often get fundy nut jobs visiting our site and we have a particularly irritating version currently bugging the other members. So I have come here to ask for some help.

 

The question I would like answered is where on the web should I direct this person to that would show him that c has not changed since the big bang?

 

This person is fairly obviously trying the old “light has changed speed since the universe formed” argument to expound a theory that God did it! It’s quite a common tactic of these people to ask ridiculous questions and then when they can’t be answered claim all of science is rubbish.

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 

Regards

Chris

 

The burden of proof lies with the one making a claim. If he claims c has changed then challenge him for proof.

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The burden of proof lies with the one making a claim. If he claims c has changed then challenge him for proof.

 

Apparently, they did, then he turned it around on them stating, "Since scientists claim that c is constant, where's their proof for it being constant since the big bang."

 

 

I agree with your point completely though, and would likely have tried to enforce it more myself.

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Apparently, they did, then he turned it around on them stating, "Since scientists claim that c is constant, where's their proof for it being constant since the big bang."

 

 

That is shifting the burden of proof though.

 

Regardless, one could very easily argue out this though if one knows enough about physics...

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That is shifting the burden of proof though.

 

Regardless, one could very easily argue out this though if one knows enough about physics...

Doesn't the consistency of c fall out of a lot of theories(as in predictions)? Wouldn't variance in c cause Relativity(one of the most accurately tested theories) to fall apart?

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Doesn't the consistency of c fall out of a lot of theories(as in predictions)? Wouldn't variance in c cause Relativity(one of the most accurately tested theories) to fall apart?

 

Exactly, that's what I was getting at.

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Not too surprising to me. Scientists are always attempting to confirm results using other methods, or (better yet) find new physics in better investigations.
Apparently, it is surprising to several people on this thread, including the OP.

 

This really is not the place to start discussions whether evolutionists or creationists are right! You can post anything as long as it is inside the physics frames!
My apologies. The OP explained that his concern was that his forum "often get fundy nut jobs visiting our site and we have a particularly irritating version currently bugging the other members. So I have come here to ask for some help." Is this not the "How-to-get-rid-of-fundy-nutjobs" Department?

 

It's not about feeling inferior, is about learning new things.
If that were true, there would be no need to use disparaging labels when describing people who disagree with you (e.g., "fundy nutjob). I've listened to Dawkins on YouTube; he is definitely belittling anyone who believes in God or Creationism.

 

 

Even you can experience time different from anyone on earth if you travel fast enough!:D

 

True, but beside the point.

 

The links you provided are either speculation at best, or don't support your position at all. For example, if the speed of light does actually change it doesn't imply a young earth; this is known as the slippery slope fallacy.
The links I provided were merely to show that serious science news reports and serious science has been devoted to the subject, instead of brushed off as "a bunch of tommy rot." I specifically stated that everyone, including all the creationists I know, do not argue for that theory these days.

 

I'm not yet sure if this newb is a troll or just a noob.
How can you spend a page making disparaging remarks about other people ("fundy nutjob," "bunch of tommy rot, "little creotard friend," etc.) and then act surprised that someone who reads this forum might take offense at it? And then you have the nerve to think I might be a troll! Try looking in a mirror someday, Sherlock!

 

Doesn't the consistency of c fall out of a lot of theories(as in predictions)? Wouldn't variance in c cause Relativity(one of the most accurately tested theories) to fall apart?
IIRC, it would cause changes to radioactivity that are not supported by observation.

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So I have come here to ask for some help." Is this not the "How-to-get-rid-of-fundy-nutjobs" Department?

If you've come here to get help at anything (as long as it is science), then you're in the right place (welcome;) ), this is what we do here!

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How can you spend a page making disparaging remarks about other people ("fundy nutjob," "bunch of tommy rot, "little creotard friend," etc.) and then act surprised that someone who reads this forum might take offense at it? And then you have the nerve to think I might be a troll! Try looking in a mirror someday, Sherlock!

 

Perhaps you should re-read the thread. I did no such thing. In fact, I somewhat defended you. My comment about you being a noob, contrary to what it appears you think, is based not solely upon this thread but by many of your posts I have read.

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Doesn't the consistency of c fall out of a lot of theories(as in predictions)? Wouldn't variance in c cause Relativity(one of the most accurately tested theories) to fall apart?

 

Relativity as well as electrodynamics, since constant c shows up there, too. Tha fact that your radio works while you move in your car is evidence that c is currently unchanging.

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The links I provided were merely to show that serious science news reports and serious science has been devoted to the subject, instead of brushed off as "a bunch of tommy rot." I specifically stated that everyone, including all the creationists I know, do not argue for that theory these days.

 

Oh, ok then. Sorry for the misunderstanding, I had sworn I read otherwise. But, just in case, remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence...

 

 

====================================

 

You know what, I'll go over there to richarddawkins.net and debunk their claims right now....

 

Hey, our old friend Farsight is also there too!

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My apologies. The OP explained that his concern was that his forum "often get fundy nut jobs visiting our site and we have a particularly irritating version currently bugging the other members. So I have come here to ask for some help." Is this not the "How-to-get-rid-of-fundy-nutjobs" Department?

...

If that were true, there would be no need to use disparaging labels when describing people who disagree with you (e.g., "fundy nutjob). I've listened to Dawkins on YouTube; he is definitely belittling anyone who believes in God or Creationism.

 

The OP made it clear that the context was dealing with someone on another forum. We get rid of "fundy nutjobs" by not having relevant sections to discuss "fundy" issues, or any other issues dealing with religion. People (nutjob or not) can discuss those things elsewhere. How Dawkins expresses himself isn't relevant to discussions here, either.

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And I'd advise you to read this one too:

 

Has speed of light changed?

 

This one is ironic since it has the speed of light be slower in the past. Creationists require the speed to be much faster.

 

You might also add this article: 2. J Magueijo, Plan B for the cosmos. Scientific American 284: 58-59, Jan. 2001.

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This one is ironic since it has the speed of light be slower in the past. Creationists require the speed to be much faster.

Well, according to this creationists say that the fundamental laws have not changed! So if the speed of light is 300000 km/s then I see no reason why creationists would require much faster. Of course, unless they prove it to be so!

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The "has the speed of light remained constant since the beginning of time" question/issue appears to have begun when an article was published in the journal Nature (the August 8, 2002 edition).

 

Unfortunately, the question/issue for creationists began long before that. The Talkorigins site walks you thru the history. Basically, less than adequate measuring techniques for the speed of light in the period 1600 - 1800 gave several values that were way too high but improvements in measuring gave decreasing values toward the true value in the later measurements. YECers like Setterfield did a plot of c vs year in which it was measured and got -- gasp -- an asymptotic curve with the high end for speed of c in the past. So they extrapolated the part of the left hand side of curve (past to 1600) to get c several thousands of times faster than known as they drew the curve almost straight up before 1600.

 

This lets creationists avoid the obvious problem of having stars/galaxies that are millions of light years away and fitting them into a 10,000 year old (or less) universe. It's not valid because they are assuming (something they abhor in other contexts) that the measurements in 1600, using very crude instrumentation, were completely accurate. That's an unsupportable assumption.

 

Evolutionists like to jump with both feet on Creationists, and there is certainly a lot of hostility between the two camps. This is not entirely a good thing. Men of science should be impartial, objective and open to differences of ideas and opinions.

 

Stan, there are several issues here:

 

1. Evolution and physics are separate theories. You lump them together.

2. In the period 1600 - 1831 young earth creationism was the accepted scientific theory. Those impartial "men of science" showed it to be wrong. The data that showed creationism to be wrong is still there. What we have today are a small minority of people who refuse to accept that the scientific theory is just plain wrong. This isn't about differences of ideas and opinions: it's about personalities (creationists) that simply cannot admit they are wrong.

 

The idea that c, the velocity of light, may have changed over time is not "tommyrot," any more than any other idea that has to be tested and confirmed or denied.

 

As used by creationists like Humphreys -- to make a universe less than 10,000 years old -- yes, it is "tommyrot". There is too many independent lines of evidence that the universe is old. The idea that c has changed so much that the universe is really young is an invalid ad hoc hypothesis trying to save young earth creationism from falsification. It's just very, very bad science.

 

In a few years, the general concensus, even among young Earthers, is that the velocity of light has not changed significantly over the age of the Universe.

 

Then why are they still "young Earthers"? Without a change in c to compress those light years, there is no way the universe can be young.

 

Creation scientists have moved on to other ideas. D. Russell Humphreys offers an hypothesis in his book, "Starlight and Time: Solving the Puzzle of Distant Starlight in a Young Universe," in which he proposes that relativistic expansion of the Universe has resulted in objects distant from Earth experiencing time at a different rate than Earth does.

 

Doesn't work. Since the velocity of light in a vacuum is constant, then how the distant objects experience relative time doesn't matter. It still takes millions of years (theirs and ours) for light from them to get to us (and vice versa). Therefore the universe can't be young. Again, why are they still young earthers?

 

Also, the expansion hasn't been "relativistic" for most of the life of the universe. It has taken time for the expansion to reach its current velocities. But even in our non-relativistic small corner of the universe, M31 in Andromeda is still several million light years distant. Which makes the universe way too old for young earth creationism.

 

Well, according to this creationists say that the fundamental laws have not changed!

 

This is TalkOrigins' refutation of Setterfield -- a creationist. According to Setterfield, the speed of light has been decreasing! I'm afraid you misread the article. This particular young earth creationist -- Setterfield -- claims that the laws have changed. It is Talkorigins saying that the claim is invalid and giving the reasons for why they say that:

 

1. Setterfield used selective data by omitting some of the measurements.

2. Setterfield didn't include the error bars, but just the mean of the particular sets of measurements. Since the older measurements have very large error bars, the true speed of light (as we know it now) lies within the error bars.

 

So if the speed of light is 300000 km/s then I see no reason why creationists would require much faster.

 

The "requirement" is to save their theory of a young universe. As it stands, the speed of light is such that it takes millions of years for light to reach us from distant galaxies. It even takes tens of thousands of years for light to reach us from stars in our own galaxy! This means the light started out long before the 10,000 years that young earth creationism says the universe has existed! Therefore, the speed of c -- and the time the universe has existed that it gives -- refutes/falsifies the theory of a young earth/universe.

 

To save the theory requires some form of ad hoc hypothesis that would shorten up that time. A greater speed of light in the past is one such ad hoc hypothesis.

 

Let me give you another example from science: the orbit of Uranus falsified Newtonian mechanics because it did not fit the known gravitational pull from the sun and other planets. In order to save Newton's theories, a new, undiscovered planet was "required" to exist beyond the orbit of Uranus. Of course, there is such a planet -- Neptune. Now do you see why I used the word "required" when I said that faster c in the past was "required" for young earth creationism?

 

If that were true, there would be no need to use disparaging labels when describing people who disagree with you (e.g., "fundy nutjob). I've listened to Dawkins on YouTube; he is definitely belittling anyone who believes in God or Creationism.

 

Stan, these are 2 separate issues: creationism and belief in God. Yes, Dawkins is wrong to confuse the 2 and try to use refutation of creationism as refutation of the existence of God. Dawkins steps out of science there and does what creationists do: misrepresent science to back a particular faith. In Dawkins' case the faith is atheism.

 

As I noted above, belittling creationists is not the same as belittling belief in God. To believe that you must accept that only creationists can believe God exists. That leaves out most Christians, since most Christian denominations and individuals accept the major theories of science, including evolution.

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Well, according to this creationists say that the fundamental laws have not changed! So if the speed of light is 300000 km/s then I see no reason why creationists would require much faster. Of course, unless they prove it to be so!

 

The subject matter at hand is the physics involved with whether c (or alpha, or any other physical constant) has changed.

 

Discussions of what creationists claim or should claim, and other creationist arguments not quoted here, are off-topic.

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The subject matter at hand is the physics involved with whether c (or alpha, or any other physical constant) has changed.

 

Discussions of what creationists claim or should claim, and other creationist arguments not quoted here, are off-topic.

 

Then, this entire thread is off-topic, because that is exactly what the OP was complained was his problem; addressing a creationist claim (the OP says fundy nutjob, but that isn't actually what they are called).

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Actually, the OP asked if c had been constant, or potentially could have changed, since the big bang, and how this might be shown. The rest was given for context of why the question was even being asked.

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1. Evolution and physics are separate theories. You lump them together.
I believe you mis-read me. I never lumped evolution under physics.

 

2. In the period 1600 - 1831 young earth creationism was the accepted scientific theory. Those impartial "men of science" showed it to be wrong.
If I address your statement, will I be accused of being off-topic? Probably. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to point out that, regardless of how widely accepted creationism was prior to Charles Darwin's publication of "Origin of Species," there were those who argued for evolution, including Charles' own grandfather. Erasmus Darwin published "Zoonomia, or, The Laws of Organic Life" in 1796. Science has had creationists and evolutionists, young Earthers and old, mixed together for more than 200 years. Today, evolutionists and old Earthers have a virtual monopoly on federal science funding, to the tune of billions of dollars a year to run their research, publish their views and teach their theories exclusively in our school systems. It doesn't make them right, but it does indoctrinate large numbers of people to think one way.

 

The data that showed creationism to be wrong is still there. What we have today are a small minority of people who refuse to accept that the scientific theory is just plain wrong. This isn't about differences of ideas and opinions: it's about personalities (creationists) that simply cannot admit they are wrong.
You might have been able to claim that 200 years ago, but not now. Over such an expanse of time, it is obvious that creation scientists of today are not merely stubborn hold-outs; several of them were evolutionists who decided that creationism is a better explanation.

 

As used by creationists like Humphreys -- to make a universe less than 10,000 years old -- yes, it is "tommyrot".
Humphreys isn't trying to argue for a Universe less than 10k years. I don't know or remember what his position was on the hypothesis that c is slowing over time, but he was advocating a young Earth in an old Universe as far back as I can remember.

 

There is too many independent lines of evidence that the universe is old.
Of course, that is a subjective decision, one that creation science would counter by stating that there is more evidence for a young Earth than for an old one.

 

The idea that c has changed so much that the universe is really young is an invalid ad hoc hypothesis trying to save young earth creationism from falsification. It's just very, very bad science.
It still needed to be falsified through experimentation, not just brushed off because one doesn't like it.

 

Then why are they still "young Earthers"? Without a change in c to compress those light years, there is no way the universe can be young.
Young Earth is not the same thing as Young Universe.

 

Doesn't work. Since the velocity of light in a vacuum is constant
Depends on the "vacuum."

 

then how the distant objects experience relative time doesn't matter. It still takes millions of years (theirs and ours) for light from them to get to us (and vice versa).
Obviously, if distant object experience time at a much greater rate than we do, your statement that it "takes millions of years (theirs and ours) for light from them to get to us" is not necessarily true. Your statement that the reverse is true is untestable if we are unable to get an observer at these distant objects to confirm it.

 

Therefore the universe can't be young. Again, why are they still young earthers?
Young Earth is not the same as Young Universe.

 

Also, the expansion hasn't been "relativistic" for most of the life of the universe.
How you know?

 

It has taken time for the expansion to reach its current velocities.
A new, popular idea is that the expansion rate is increasing. I don't take that as the final word or complete history, though.

 

But even in our non-relativistic small corner of the universe, M31 in Andromeda is still several million light years distant. Which makes the universe way too old for young earth creationism.
If you were to board a spaceship and travel at 99% c, you might experience only about 26 years before you reached the Andromeda Galaxy, even though several millions of years had passed on Earth. Humphreys proposes that the expansion of space, itself, results in relativistic effects for Earth that allow millions of years to pass for Andromeda Galaxy while only several thousand years pass for Earth. Whether you accept or reject his theory, you should at least understand and accurately state his theory to make a fair judgement of it. BTW, Humphreys is much better at math and physics than I am, considering that he retired as an astrophysicist from Sandia National Labs.

 

The "requirement" is to save their theory of a young universe.
Young Earth, not necessarily Young Universe.

 

Actually, the OP asked if c had been constant, or potentially could have changed, since the big bang, and how this might be shown.
No, the OP asked "where on the web should I direct this person to that would show him that c has not changed since the big bang?" The OP assumed from the start that c has not changed, and only wanted an easy way to argue his position.

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Stan - Precisely what do you hope to achieve with this series of posts?

 

You do not support any of your claims with evidence, and you simply spin semantic webs, all of which have bollocks to do with finding sources on the web regarding how c has been constant since the big bang, or, proving/disproving it via other means (hence, off topic).

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Stan - Precisely what do you hope to achieve with this series of posts?
The OP wanted to know how to deal with the guy on his forum. I'm providing context, so he might have some idea of what he is talking about.

 

You do not support any of your claims with evidence
Inasmuch as my claims are historical claims, and I cite references to back up those historical claims, you are incorrect.

 

and you simply spin semantic webs, all of which have bollocks to do with finding sources on the web regarding how c has been constant since the big bang, or, proving/disproving it via other means (hence, off topic).
The OP did not want to know about c; he wanted to know how to get rid of the guy on Dawkins Forum.

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The OP did not want to know about c; he wanted to know how to get rid of the guy on Dawkins Forum.
The question I would like answered is where on the web should I direct this person to that would show him that c has not changed since the big bang?

Ahem.

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I think we should lock this thread now. The OP got what he wanted, and there really is no reason that this argument should continue with someone who very clearly will not sway in his beliefs.

 

BTW, all current geological (never mind physics for a moment), fossil records, age of meteorites, historical records, etc, disprove the idea of a young earth (or any kind of literal interpretation of the bible) in any case.

 

=============================

 

But, I sometimes have to wonder, why is it that some people insist on a literal errant bible even though the bible makes no literal sense to begin with, nor is it necessary?

 

For instance, what is wrong with simply accepting this explanation here:

 

Today most scientists (whether or not they are personally religious) realize that religious and supernatural ideas are inappropriate in science. Such supernatural hypothesis are irrelevant' date=' and do not in any way advance the progress of science. So methodological naturalism is not motivated by hostility toward religion, but is motivated simply by the practical "economy of assumptions", and the requirement that scientific concepts must be clearly linked to facts that can be observed and verified in nature.

[/quote']

 

And, for those of you who are believers:

 

More moderate mainstream religions have not jumped on this bandwagon. Most are comfortable with the theory of evolution. (Or any other physical theory...) One can retain a belief in a creator/designer/god and still accept evolution. After all' date=' their god is seen as perfect and all-powerful, and certainly capable of designing a universe that is self-sustaining, never requiring maintenance or tinkering.[/b'] Such a view does not require a god to occasionally invent new species, as intelligent design hypothesis assumes. It allows the universe to run along merrily entirely by natural processes. It's those natural processes that science studies and describes.

..................................

 

Such a self-sustaining universe does not provide evidence for a designer, as we have seen, for its evolution can be understood by natural processes alone.

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I think we should lock this thread now. The OP got what he wanted, and there really is no reason that this argument should continue with someone who very clearly will not sway in his beliefs.

Okay.

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