It was only a matter of time I suppose, that another scientific explanation of the cosmos would emerge which accepts the theory that the speed of light has not been constant over time. Barry Setterfield’s work over the past 30 years has largely been rejected by the scientific community, due to it’s ties to the Biblical account of creation and the stigma attached to young earth/young cosmos theories. However, a new theory has emerged which too acknowledges what Setterfield has been saying all along. The speed of light is not constant. In fact, it used to be much, much faster.
Now, the first thing to note here is that Creationists welcome the idea of the possibility of a beginning, or a prior nothingness. Atheists, however, struggle to explain how nothing can ever produce something. It’s philosophically a hurdle that cannot be overcome. The conundrum leads inevitably to a demand by atheists, or scientists who aim to explain reality without a creator, that something has always been. Creationists, on the other hand, see no reason not to believe in the possibility of nothingness prior to a Creator creating the first something.
This is no doubt the reason behind the scientific community’s early rejection of the derogatorily named “Big Bang” theory. As Setterfield points out,
When the concept of an expanding universe entered the secular scientific arena, it was ridiculed. It was condescendingly nicknamed the “Big Bang”, even though the idea did not include any kind of explosion. It was rejected as being too close to the “silly ideas” of the Bible. Since the Bible was ‘clearly’ mythology, there was no way the truth of the cosmos could be allowed to come anywhere near what the Bible said happened.
Science has longed for an explanation of the cosmos that does not require a beginning ever since. Of, course for decades now we’ve all been lead to believe that the Big Bang occurred and that over billions of years the cosmos evolved and now, here we are. But all the dating that has been done in modern physics and geology are based on a measuring stick that is being revealed to be about as useful as a ruler made out of a rubber band.
The atomic clock, as it turns out isn’t a constant. It does not match the passage of time when compared to the earth’s orbit around the sun. Measuring time by examining the earth’s orbit around the sun is called Dynamical Time. In fact, Setterfield explains that at the beginning of the cosmos, the atomic clock clicked off millions of years in what amounted to a single year measured in DYNAMICAL TIME. The speed of light at Creation was much faster. Since the speed of light is tied to all atomic processes in the cosmos, when one attempts to assign a length of time that has passed using the current slower speeds of atomic processes, the result will be a much larger time-frame than what Dynamical time would reveal.
I can’t possibly explain Setterfield’s findings in a way that would do them any justice. If you are interested in learning more I suggest you visit http://www.setterfield.org
Let me refocus here and get back to the point of this article. Just like Georges Lemaître was ridiculed upon his proposal of the Big Bang theory, Setterfield has also been rejected by the scientific community as a result of his assertion that the speed of light is not constant over time.
This concept now seems to be coming into fashion with a new theory of the cosmos from Wun-Yi Shu at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. Atheists will now rejoice in Shu’s theory, for rather than leading to the conclusion that the cosmos is young, as Setterfield’s work does, he accepts the data that shows the speed of light has not been constant over time and does away with that pesky idea of a “beginning” put forth by Creationists and the Big Bang by asserting that the cosmos, you guessed it, has no beginning and no end. You can read more about Shu’s proposal here.
Shu is still proposing that the universe is expanding, which Setterfield has shown not to be the case, via some pretty compelling evidence. It would certainly be interesting to hear these two theories, based on a fluctuating speed of light, debated by these two men.
So, is the scientific community now ready to face the evidence of a fluctuating speed of light? Atheists have less a reason to deny it now so I presume we’ll see this theory gain more traction. Perhaps the discussion will now revolve more around the facts and less around engrained dogma’s within the scientific community.
- Gerd Leuchs and Luis Sánchez-Soto, from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Light in Erlangen, Germany
- Marcel Urban of the Université du Paris-Sud
- Joao Magueijo
- Victor S Troitskii
- JW Moffat
- John D Barrow
- John Webb
- Paul Davies of Sydney’s Macquarie University
- Tamara Davis of the University of New South Wales
- Charles Lineweaver of the University of New South Wales
- History of the Light-Speed Debate
- PHYSICAL CONSTANTS AND EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE
- THE DECREASE IN THE SPEED OF LIGHT – AN UPDATE ON DEVELOPMENTS
- Is the Velocity of Light Constant in Time?
- Was Einstein Wrong?