Didja Know

Scientific American Founding

From http://creation.com/15-ways-to-refute-materialistic-bigotry

Scientific American’s foundation

Scientific American is a semi-popular journal which publishes attractively illustrated and fairly detailed, but not overly technical, articles, mostly on science. It is not a peer-reviewed journal like Nature or Journal of Creation, but many of its articles are very useful. Scientific American was founded by the artist and inventor Rufus Porter (1792–1884), who thought that science glorified the creator God. In the very first issue, his editorial stated:

‘We shall advocate the pure Christian religion, without favouring any particular sect …’

And he wrote an article ‘Rational Religion’, where he wrote:

‘First, then, let us, as rational creatures, be ever ready to acknowledge God as our Creator and daily Preserver; and that we are each of us individually dependant on his special care and good will towards us, in supporting the wonderful action of nature which constitutes our existence; and in preserving us from the casualties, to which our complicated and delicate structure is liable. Let us also, knowing our entire dependence on Divine Benevolence, as rational creatures, do ourselves the honor to express personally and frequently, our thanks to him for his goodness; and to present our petitions to Him for the favours which we constantly require. This course is rational, even without the aid of revelation: but being specially invited to this course, by the divine word, and assured of the readiness of our Creator to answer our prayers and recognize our thanks, it is truly surprising that any rational being, who has ever read the inspired writings should willingly forego this privilege, or should be ashamed to be seen engaged in this rational employment, or to have it known that he practices it.’

Since Porter, Scientific American has had only six editors in chief, and the most recent two have diametrically opposed their founder’s original vision. Now, as will be explained further in this article, Scientific American works to push an atheistic world view in the guise of ‘science’, and a number of corollaries such as a radical pro-abortion, human cloning and population control agenda. The previous editor, Jonathan Piel, refused to hire Forrest Mims III when Mims admitted he was a creationist, and when Piel asked Mims whether he was pro-life, Mims replied, ‘Of course—aren’t you glad your mother was?’ Piel admitted that Mims’ work was ‘fabulous’, ‘great’ and ‘first rate’, and ‘should be published somewhere’. Scientific American subsequently published an article about his revolutionary atmospheric haze detector (see Revolutionary Atmospheric Invention by Victim of Anti-creationist Discrimination).

Didja Know, Philosophy

Lilliputian science

Lilliputian science

Darwinian evolution is being pushed to its limits by discoveries in biochemistry. Biochemistry is the study of the very basis of life: the molecules that make up cells and tissues, which catalyze the chemical reactions of digestion, photosynthesis, immunity, and more.  Biochemistry includes all of the sciences that investigate life at the molecular level, even if the science is accomplished in a department with another name, such as molecular biology, genetics, or embryology.

The astonishing progress made by biochemistry since the mid-1950s is a tribute to science’s power to understand the world.  It has brought many practical benefits in medicine and agriculture (and several potential horrors).  Our knowledge may exact a price on our society because it seems to be advancing faster than our moral and legal system can handle.

When sciences such as physics finally discovered their basic foundations, old ways of understanding the world had to be reexamined, extensively revised, or restricted to a limited part of nature.  Can this also happen to the theory of evolution by natural selection?

Darwin’s idea is very simple. He observed that there is variation in all species: some members are bigger, some smaller, some faster, some come have different colors, and so on. He reasoned that since limited food supplies could not support all organisms that are born, the ones whose chance variation gave them an advantage in the struggle for life would tend to survive and reproduce.  The others would eventually be outcompeted for the necessities and fade away or die off.  If the particular variation that occurred were to be passed on in the next reproduction cycle, then the characteristics of the species might change over time; over great periods, great changes supposedly could occur.

For about 150 years now, most scientists have thought that virtually all of life, or at least all of its most interesting features, resulted from natural selection working on random variation. Very little thought to how these interesting new features fit into the existing or changing environment better that the original ones did- but that was for later thinkers.  Darwin’s idea has been used to explain finch beaks and horse hoofs, moth coloration and insect slaves, and the distribution of life around the globe and through the ages.  There is nothing— no organ or idea, no sense or thought— that has not been the subject of evolutionary introspection.

Almost a century and a half after Darwin proposed his theory; evolutionary biology has had much success in accounting for patterns of life we see around us.  For many, this triumph seems complete- the theory covers everything.  However, the real work of life does not happen at the level of the whole animal or organ; it is difficult to see the most important parts of living things because they are too small.  Life is lived in the details.  The molecules actually handle life’s details.

Shortly after 1950 science advanced to the point where it could determine the shapes and properties of a few of the molecules that make up living organisms.  Slowly, painstakingly, the structures of more and more biological molecules were discovered, and the way they work was inferred from countless experiments.  The cumulative results showed with piercing clarity that life (what makes up you and me) is based on machines— machines made of molecules!


In short, highly sophisticated molecular machines control every cellular process. Thus the details of life are finely calibrated, and the machinery of life enormously complex.

Can all of life be fit into Darwin’s theory of evolution?  Because the popular media likes to publish exciting stories, and because some scientists enjoy speculating about how far their discoveries might go, it has been difficult for the public to separate fact from conjecture.  If you get your science knowledge from Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, or Stephen Hawking, I feel for you.  You are being taken on a fanciful ride to nowhere.

To find the real evidence you have to dig into the journals and books published by the scientific community itself.  The scientific literature reports experiments firsthand and the reports are generally free of the flights of fancy that make their way into the spinoffs that follow.  If you search the scientific literature on evolution, and if you focus your search on the question of how molecular machines— the basis of life— developed, you will find complete silence. The complexity of life’s foundation has paralyzed science’s attempt to account for it; molecular machines raise an as-yet-impenetrable barrier to Darwinism’s universal reach.

Evolution is a controversial topic, so it is necessary to address a few basic questions.  Many people think that questioning Darwinian evolution must be equivalent to espousing creationism.  As commonly understood, creationism involves belief in an earth formed only about ten thousand years ago, an interpretation of the Bible that is still very popular.  I greatly respect the work of all the scientists (both secular and Biblical) who study the development and behavior of organisms within an evolutionary framework, and I think that evolutionary biologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the world-although dated.  Darwin’s mechanism— natural selection working on variation— might explain many things, however, it can in no way explain molecular life. I also do not think it surprising that the new science of the very small will change the way we view the less small.

When things are going smoothly in our lives most of us tend to think that the society we live in is “natural,” and that our ideas about the world are self-evidently true.  It is hard to imagine how other people in other times and places lived as they did or why they believed the things they did.  During periods of upheaval, however, when apparently ones well established beliefs (your verities) are questioned, it can seem as if nothing in the world makes sense.  During those times, history can remind us that the search for reliable knowledge is a long, difficult process that has not yet reached an end.  In order to develop a perspective from which we can view the idea of Darwinian evolution, I will very briefly outline the history of biology.

A Rube Goldberg contraption is a whimsical term for a device that does something, but whose inner workings are mysterious— sometimes because the workings cannot be seen, and sometimes because they just are not comprehensible.  Computers are a good example of a contraption.  We have no idea of how they work whether we are processing words or plotting graphs or playing games.  We are in contented ignorance of what is going on underneath the outer case.  Even if we were to remove the cover, there is no simple, observable connection between the parts of the computer and the things that it does.

In ancient times all of biology was a contraption, because no one understood on even the broadest level how living things worked. The ancients who gaped at a plant or animal and wondered just how the thing worked were in the presence of unfathomable technology.  They were truly in the dark.

The earliest biological investigations began in the only way they could— with the naked eye.  A number of books from about 400 B.C. (attributed to Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”) describe the symptoms of some common diseases and attribute sickness to diet and other physical causes, rather than to the work of the gods, which was a big improvement for theology.  Although the books were a beginning, these pioneers were still lost when it came to the composition of living things.  They believed that all matter contained four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.  Living bodies were made of four “humors”— blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm— and all disease supposedly arose from an excess of one of the humors.

The greatest biologist of the Greeks was also their greatest philosopher, Aristotle. Born when Hippocrates was still alive, Aristotle realized (unlike almost everyone before him) that knowledge of nature requires systematic observation.  Through careful examination, he recognized an astounding amount of he recognized an astounding amount of within the living world, a crucial first step. Aristotle grouped animals into two general categories— those with blood, and those without— that correspond closely to the modern classifications of vertebrate and invertebrate. Even though his observations were unaided by instruments, much of Aristotle’s reasoning remains sound despite the knowledge gained in the thousands of years since he died.

Galen, a second-century A.D. physician in Rome. Galen’s work shows that careful observation of the outside and (with dissection) the inside of plants and animals, although necessary, is not sufficient to comprehend biology.  Although he knew that the heart pumped blood, he could not tell just from looking that the blood circulated and returned to the heart. Galen mistakenly thought that blood was pumped out to “irrigate” the tissues, and that new blood was made continuously to resupply the heart.  His idea was taught for nearly fifteen hundred years.

It was not until the seventeenth century that an Englishman, William Harvey, introduced the theory that blood flows continuously in one direction, making a complete circuit and returning to the heart. Harvey calculated that if the heart pumps out just two ounces of blood per beat, at 72 beats per minute, in one hour it would have pumped 540 pounds of blood— triple the weight of a man!  Since making that much blood in so short a time is clearly impossible, the blood had to be reused. Harvey’s logical reasoning (aided by the still-new Arabic numerals, which made calculating easy) in support of an unobservable activity was unprecedented; it set the stage for modern biological thought.

In the Middle Ages the pace of scientific investigation quickened. The example set by Aristotle had been followed by increasing numbers of naturalists. Many plants were described by the early botanists Brunfels, Bock, Fuchs, and Valerius Cordus. Scientific illustration developed as Rondelet drew animal life in detail.  The encyclopedists, such as Conrad Gesner, published large volumes summarizing all of biological knowledge.  Linnaeus greatly extended Aristotle’s work of classification, inventing the categories of class, order, genus, and species.  Studies of comparative biology showed many similarities between diverse branches of life, and the idea of common descent began to be discussed even though there was no particular reason for it.

Biology advanced rapidly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as scientists combined Aristotle’s and Harvey’s examples of attentive observation and clever reasoning. Yet even the strictest attention and cleverest reasoning will take you only so far if important parts of a system aren’t visible. Although the human eye can resolve objects as small as one-tenth of a millimeter, a lot of the action in life occurs on a micro level, a Lilliputian scale. So biology reached a plateau: One black box, the gross structure of organisms, was opened only to reveal the black box of the finer levels of life. In order to proceed further biology, needed a series of technological breakthroughs. The first was the microscope.

That was the death knell for all things Darwin.  Neal DeGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, and the rest of their ilk, are out of the running.  Everything you say is moot, there is no proof but that which we can see at the microscopic level. Moreover, that does not randomly develop in 6.5 million species of plants and animals at or near the same time.

Till next time   LEM

Didja Know, Intelligent Design

Grand Canyon Research

Grand Canyon: legal battleground?

The Blue Angel Trail along the Grand Canyon

Two days ago Dr. Andrew A. Snelling, of Answers in Genesis USA, sued the U.S. Interior Department. He accuses them, and more particularly the National Park Service, of abridging his Constitutional rights. Specifically, he sought to study key features of the Grand Canyon. And the Park Service will not let him. The case arises from a plain case of scientific obscurantism. But this time the evolutionists, not any creationists, are obscuring the facts.

The complaint

Snelling’s lawyers, Michael Kitchen of Margrave Celmins PC and Gary McCaleb of Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the complaint. ADF released this statement the same day (9 May 2017). Sarah Kramer of ADF also left this blog entry describing the case. One day later, Bob Unruh of WorldNetDaily left this account. In it he asked whether the “grand illusion” concerning the Grand Canyon would soon lose its credence.

Only by reading the complaint can one grasp the legal and moral issues at stake. In it, Dr. Snelling’s lawyers give the details.

In November of 2013, Dr. Snelling applied for permission to study folding sedimentary structures, from the Paleozoic group of strata. He sought to collect up to sixty half-pound samples from four places in the Grand Canyon. Dr. Snelling had already reserved several Colorado River rafting trips between April and July 2014 to collect the samples.

Everything went fine, until Ronda Newton, the Research Permitting Coordinator, asked for two peer reviews of his research proposal. Dr. Snelling had applied for and gotten permits for earlier research in the Grand Canyon. She asked for these in February of 2014. No one had ever asked for peer reviews of his proposals before. Still, he found three scientists willing to review his proposal.

So then Ms. Newton sent the application materials to two evolutionists. That act started all the trouble.

Two ringers and an empty suit

Karl Karlstrom, PhD, is a professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. In January of 2014 he had published, in the journal Nature, his own article on the Grand Canyon. In it he said the Grand Canyon formed five to six million years ago, when several older structures linked up. Thus he himself broke with convention, which says the Grand Canyon formed 70 million years ago.

One would suppose Dr. Karlstrom would gladly take an interest in a proposal that the Grand Canyon was younger still. Not so. The science did not seem to pose a problem. But Dr. Snelling’s religious views did. So also did the views of the three earlier peer reviewers. Then Dr. Karlstrom suggested to let Dr. Snelling take his samples somewhere else—without saying where else.

Dr. Huntoon gives the game away

Ms. Newman could and should have asked Dr. Karlstrom to clarify the “somewhere else.” She did not. Instead she sent the application to another professor, Peter Huntoon, PhD, of the University of Wyoming. Dr. Huntoon at least had studied those same Paleozoic folds that Dr. Snelling wanted to sample.

Whereas Dr. Karlstrom had made an effort to sound reasonable, Dr. Huntoon did not. He couldn’t get past the creation advocacy angle. He wrote:

[It] is not a question of fairness to all points of view, but rather adherence to your narrowly defined institution mandate predicated in part on the fact that ours is a secular society as per our constitution.

In other words, the National Park Service should never approve any research that questions the secular model of Earth origins. That statement alone shows that science, and especially origins science, are not value-free. Anyone who still thinks so, should ask Dr. Huntoon. Then he specifically suggested the Park Service should deny permits to people representing interests he deemed inappropriate. If his earlier statement did not make his bias abundantly clear, this did.

Any truly objective official should have thrown out Dr. Huntoon’s report on its face. No scientist ever speaks of another as “representing inappropriate interests.” Unless said scientist is an origins scientist, or a dedicated global-warming alarmist. Then he or she does it all the time. Dr. Huntoon set the prize example. And Ms. Newton? She accepted that report, because it told her what she wanted to hear. For good measure, Dr. Huntoon told Ms. Newton more of the same in an e-mail. “Reviewing is fine,” said he, “just not processing the dead-end creationist material.”

The empty suit

Ms. Newton then sought an opinion from Dr. Ron Blakely of North Arizona University. And he said only that “it is difficult to review such an outlandish proposal.” What was so outlandish? What did he find outlandish? Dr. Blakely never said.

The Park Service denies the permit

On 4 March 2014, the Park Service denied the permit. Martha Hahn, Chief of the Science and Resource Management Research Office, wrote the denial. She said only,

it has been determined that equivalent examples of soft-sediment folds can be found outside of Grand Canyon National Park.

Where outside the Grand Canyon? Dr. Snelling asked Mss. Newman and Hahn again and again where to find those “equivalent examples.” And they did not even bother to return his telephone calls. Nor could they, in all honesty, have told him anything different from what he had already found out. To wit: he couldn’t find any “equivalent examples” anywhere except in the Grand Canyon.

Ms. Hahn wanted to make sure Dr. Snelling would not take his samples anyway. So she warned him the Park Service would never let him do research in any National Park if he did. Not only that, but Ms. Newton suggested that Ms. Hahn alert two other persons to watch out for Dr. Snelling or other “folks like this” on the Colorado River.

Dr. Snelling re-files

So Dr. Snelling missed his opportunity. But, trying to be reasonable, he re-filed on 8 February 2016. This time he proposed to collect only forty samples. He also answered every concern Dr. Karlstrom and others had raised. (Remember: at least Dr. Karlstrom did address the science to some extent.)

Again the Park Service delayed the application. This time they demanded more details on the site locations. Dr. Snelling did specify his sampling locations with margins of 100 feet. Other researchers should specify sampling sites with such precision.

Dr. Snelling waited to hear back from the Park Service. And waited. And waited.

Curiously, he did get a permit, but not to take the samples. Instead he must make a dry run to take pictures and get on-site GPS coordinates for every sample site. The Park Service sent the permit on 25 April 2016, but dated it 15 July 2016. The Park Service has never before demanded that any researcher do that kind of dry-run recon. Even the research guidelines for the Grand Canyon do not demand anything remotely like this. Naturally, Dr. Snelling refused. And on 5 July 2016, Ms. Newman (see above) sent an e-mail refusing any sampling permit.

Refusal to answer

Finally, on 22 December 2016, Dr. Snelling called his lawyers. They wrote straight to Christine Lehnertz, the Superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park. In their letter they set forth the legal issues the delay raised. Alliance Defending Freedom have done this before, in three other cases that involve the Grand Canyon.

Believe it or not, Ms. Lehnertz did not answer the letter or even say whether she got it. Dr. Snelling’s lawyers sent another letter on 31 January 2017, with the same lack of result. On 31 March 2017, Representative Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) wrote to Ms. Lehnertz, asking her to grant the permit. She ignored the congressman also.

The issues go beyond the Grand Canyon

Most of these acts took place during the Obama administration. All that has happened during the Trump administration, is refusal to answer letters. Still, the complaint cites Donald Trump’s specific Executive Order on religious freedom.

Dr. Snelling alleges five causes of action:

  1. Abridgment of his freedom of speech, by denying a permit for scientific investigation on obviously specious grounds. The actual grounds amount to viewpoint discrimination. To prove this, Dr. Snelling has the correspondence of Drs. Karlstrom, Blakely, and especially Huntoon.
  2. Interference with the free exercise of his religion, by the same act and on the same grounds.
  3. Denying him due process of law.
  4. Denying him the equal protection of the law.
  5. Breaking the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Scientific process issues

The scientific issues should concern any intellectually honest scientist. Evolutionists always call what they are doing “science,” and what creation advocates do, “pseudoscience.” They point to “statements of faith” like that from Answers in Genesis, while denying they subscribe to any similar statements. Yet three scientists have criticized Dr. Snelling on the grounds of his religious faith. Of the three, only Dr. Karlstrom raised any scientific concerns anyone might call legitimate. (Dr. Snelling answers those concerns.) The other two have disgraced themselves, their discipline, and the entire community of scientists.

Dr. Huntoon has given the worst offense. How dare he deem any avenue of scientific inquiry “inappropriate”? What does he fear? Could he fear that Dr. Snelling might develop evidence challenging the moral foundations of “our…secular society”?

But Dr. Huntoon actually gives a typical offense against religious and academic freedom. He illustrates the intellectual corruption of origins science today. His type of “investigator” doesn’t want to investigate, but to shut down any investigation of the fundamental question of origins. That question is: did the universe, this earth, and life come to exist over billions of years, or mere thousands? Maybe this explains why no one ever accepted the Walter T. Brown Written Debate Challenge.

Worse even than Dr. Huntoon’s attitude, is that of Mss. Newman, Hahn, and Lehnertz. In no other context, and under no other circumstances, would anyone in their positions accept the kind of petty, puerile, and spiteful objections Dr. Huntoon raised. They would mention him, if at all, only to condemn him. Instead Ms. Newman sought him out for the exact kind of opinion he gave. Her colleagues went along with this. That such persons remain in government employ, should concern anyone who cares about freedom of religion or scientific inquiry.

Didja Know

One gram of DNA

Just think about it for a moment: One gram of DNA can store 700 terabytes of data. That’s 14,000 50-gigabyte Blu-ray discs… in a droplet of DNA that would fit on the tip of your pinky. To store the same kind of data on hard drives — the densest storage medium in use today — you’d need 233 3TB drives, weighing a total of 151 kilos.  Today, we wouldn’t dream of blanketing every square meter of Earth with cameras, and recording every moment for all eternity/human posterity — we simply don’t have the storage capacity. There is a reason that backed up data is usually only kept for a few weeks or months — it just isn’t feasible to have warehouses full of hard drives, which could fail at any time. If the entirety of human knowledge — every book, uttered word, and funny cat video — can be stored in a few hundred kilos of DNA, though… well, it might just be possible to record everything (hello, police state!) https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/134672-harvard-cracks-dna-storage-crams-700-terabytes-of-data-into-a-single-gram

o read the data stored in DNA, you simply sequence it — just as if you were sequencing the human genome — and convert each of the TGAC bases back into binary. To aid with sequencing, each strand of DNA has a 19-bit address block at the start (the red bits in the image below) — so a whole vat of DNA can be sequenced out of order, and then sorted into usable data using the addresses.


Scientists have been eyeing up DNA as a potential storage medium for a long time, for three very good reasons: It’s incredibly dense (you can store one bit per base, and a base is only a few atoms large); it’s volumetric (beaker) rather than planar (hard disk); and it’s incredibly stable — where other bleeding-edge storage mediums need to be kept in sub-zero vacuums, DNA can survive for hundreds of thousands of years in a box in your garage.

A crack team of nanoengineers and biologists have created a non-volatile memory device out of salmon DNA and silver nanoparticles.

The memory is write-once-read-many (WORM), just like an optical disc. Basically, the researchers created a thin polymer film containing salmon DNA and silver nanoparticles. The DNA molecules are arranged in a regular pattern. By shining UV light on the biopolymer, the silver nanoparticles cluster around the DNA. This process seems to be permanent and irreversible, and according to the researchers the data is stored indefinitely.

To read the data, the biopolymer is sandwiched between two electrodes and the DNA-silver bits are read by passing a voltage through them. The “read” voltage is just 2.6V, which is comparable to existing DRAM and flash memory.


The concept of using DNA as the basis for a computer device might seem odd, but it’s actually a sphere of nanoengineering that has been steadily developing since IBM published a paper detailing its use of DNA “scaffolds” to lay out a computer chip, instead of lithography. DNA readily bonds with metal ions, and it seems to be relatively easy to accurately place DNA molecules on a substrate.

With regards to the salmon-based WORM memory, the researchers say that this technique could eventually be used to create optical storage devices. Because electricity is used to read the data instead of a laser, though, we are probably looking at optical chips with built in circuitry, rather than discs. The fact that data is written using UV light means that there could be a plasmonic application for the biopolymer, too.


Didja Know

Didja Know 12-6-2016

(My comments like this)

Many physicists spend their days trying to prove Albert Einstein’s theories correct. One pair of theoretical physicists is hoping to test whether the father of modern physics just may have been wrong about the speed of light.

In his theory of special relativity, Einstein left a lot of wiggle room for the bending of space and time.  But his calculations, and most subsequent breakthroughs in modern physics, rely on the notion that the speed of light has always been a constant 186,000 miles per second.


But, what if it wasn’t always that way?  In a paper published in the November issue of the journal Physical Review D, physicists from the Imperial College London and Canada’s Perimeter Institute argue that the speed of light could have been much faster in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang.  The theory, which could change the very foundation of modern physics, is expected to be tested empirically for the first time. (could change, get it, could, not sure but if I’m right it could)

“The idea that the speed of light could be variable was radical when first proposed, but with a numerical prediction, it becomes something physicists can actually test,” lead author João Magueijo, a theoretical physicist at Imperial College London, said in a statement.  “If true, it would mean that the laws of nature were not always the same as they are today.”  (just a numerical prediction you see, not proof, but if my equations match on both sides of the “=” sign, them I am predicting that it is true- not proving it, just predicting)

The theory of variable speed of light (VSL) was proposed by Dr. Magueijo two decades ago as an alternative to the more popular “inflation theory” – both offer possible solutions to the same fundamental problem.

Most cosmological theories state that the early universe was inconsistent in density – lumpy, if you will – as it expanded after the Big Bang.  The modern universe, by comparison, is thought to be relatively homogeneous.  For that to be possible, light particles would have to spread out to the edge of the universe and “even out” the energy lumps.  But if the speed of light was always constant, it would never have been able to catch up with the expanding universe.  (the universe is thought to be homogeneous, we don’t know for sure and have created theories with lots of imaginative ‘fudge factors’ built into them that proves what we are happy about)

Inflation theory, which suggests that the universe expanded rapidly before slowing down, provides one potential answer to the dilemma.  The early universe could have evened out just before expanding, physicists say, if special conditions were present at the time.  (that’s those special conditions aka ‘fudge factors’ to make both sides of the equation to match)


In 2003, Lori Valigra reported for The Christian Science Monitor:

But inflation, proposed by MIT physicist Alan Guth in the late 1970s, was never widely adopted by the British theoretical physics community.  And Magueijo claims that as an answer to various “cosmological problems … inflation had won by default.”  This propelled him to think about another solution.  (not widely adopted by the British.  Do you think the Brits ever agree with anyone?)

VSL offers a different inconstant: the speed of light.  According to Magueijo and colleagues, the speed of light could have been much faster in the early moments of cosmological time.  Fast enough, they say, to reach the distant reaches of the universe before slowing to the current rate. (what would have caused it to go faster, what are the possible consequences of something going faster that the speed of light [as we know it now], and what would have caused it to slow down and when would that have happened.  Gee no answers yet?)


Now, researchers hope to prove that theory by studying the cosmic microwave background (CMB).  Physicists have long used this radiative “afterglow” to glean new insights about the early universe.  And since cosmic structures leave imprints on the CMB as they fluctuate in density, scientists may someday be able to produce a “spectral index” of the universe. (still learning what the “afterglow” means and trying to understand it, and a long way from it. After 20 years and $3 billion dollars the James Webb space telescope is soon to be launched and the make the Hubble its second cousin)

If VSL theory is correct – if the speed of light really was faster after the Big Bang – the spectral index should come in at exactly 0.96478.  That’s not too far off from current estimates, Magueijo says. (so if his theory is correct, then the numeric index should be just about the same as it is now estimated at 0.96497.  Not too terribly different, but what do I know?)

“The theory, which we first proposed in the late-1990s, has now reached a maturity point – it has produced a testable prediction,” Magueijo said. “If observations in the near future do find this number to be accurate, it could lead to a modification of Einstein’s theory of gravity.”

Physicists have proposed a new experiment  (https://arxiv.org/pdf/1603.03312v2.pdf) to test their theory that Einstein was wrong about the speed of light being a constant, the foundation on which much of modern physics is based. (So how do you propose the test this- you write the following paper which you can read in pdf form)

The critical geometry of a thermal big bang

Niayesh Afshordi, Joao Magueijo

(Submitted on 9 Mar 2016 (v1), last revised 8 Nov 2016 (this version, v2))

We explore the space of scalar-tensor theories containing two non-conformalmetrics, and find a discontinuity pointing to a “critical” cosmological solution. Due to the different maximal speeds of propagation for matter and gravity,the cosmological fluctuations start off inside the horizon even without inflation, and will more naturally have a thermal origin (since there is never vacuum domination). The critical model makes an unambiguous, non-tuned prediction for the spectral index of the scalar fluctuations: nS=0.96478(64). Considering also that no gravitational waves are produced, we have unveiled the most predictive model on offer. The model has a simple geometrical interpretation as a probe 3-brane embedded in an EAdSE3 geometry.

(That was the abstract, below is the details and you can click on the link above to read it yourself)

Subjects: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Physics – Theory (hep-th)
Journal reference: Phys. Rev. D 94, 101301 (2016)
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.94.101301
Cite as: arXiv:1603.03312 [gr-qc]
  (or arXiv:1603.03312v2 [gr-qc] for this version)


(I will be the first to admit I am not an expert in calculus or physics.  However, I do have more than a working understanding of the two subject matters.  I had the delightful experience of working with Dr. John Strand, PhD in astrophysics on a global positioning system for an oil well company.  He worked on the Apollo missions- in fact he was the one who developed the theory of sling-shoting the capsule around the moon to get enough speed to return to earth and saving fuel to provide more oxygen for the astronauts.  Without his theory, they would have just gone into never-never land [whoops space].  Check out John’s book.  “Pathways to the Planets: Memoirs of an Astrophysicist by John R. Strand.  It is only available as an e-book.  It is a remarkable read.

It took me about 8 hours to work the entire math, about 3 to look up the values of the common variables.  Using the ‘common constants’ I ended up with Magueijo’s value.  Using his vales for the variables, I got his value also.  This is somewhat disconcerting; I should have gotten a different value use the ‘common constants’.

On top of this, the entire article is his theory, it has no indication of an actual provable test to be performed.  It can’t be done.  He can use the values that the James Webb telescope will provide, once it has been launched, calibrated, tested and allowed to gather information. A number of years from now.

It seems to be a problem with scientists these days; announcing things before they have proof of it.  To me it is putting a dent in scientific research, as why should I investigate something, if when I have the facts, somebody else has already taken credit for it, albeit a little too soon and guessing instead of proving.  LEM)