The Speed of Light Revisited
Speed of Light Revisited
A major area of research among creationist physicists concerns the speed of light. This has a real significance to the creation-evolution debate. Astronomers have frequently argued that, given the known speed of light and the apparent distance of most of the stars in the universe, the universe must be extremely old, just by virtue of the fact that we can see it. One major assumption of the argument is that the speed of light has always been a constant. If that one assumption is wrong, then much of modern physics and astrophysics will have to be rewritten. It seems amazing how much science is dependent upon this one assumption.
Over the last several years, Barry Setterfield, an Australian scientist, has been publishing papers in which he claims that the speed of light is decaying. Other very noted and competent creationists, wishing to be entirely scientific by not merely jumping on a new idea, have carefully analyzed Setterfield’s work and published objections. Discussion has crossed back and forth.
In the March 1989 issue of the Creation Research Society Quarterly, Setterfield answers the latest round of objections. Interestingly, the article makes note of an apparently independent work on the same subject by a Soviet scientist. V.S. Troitskii of the Radiophysical Research Institute published an article in 1987 in Astrophysics and Space Science (139:389-411). According to Setterfield, Troitskii’s conclusion was that the initial value of the speed of light was about 10 million times faster than it is now. I am sure this result, if true, would shake even Carl Sagan out of a few of those “billiyuns” of years.
We must sit back now and wait while the experts in this subject go back into their corners and contemplate what the latest round in this arena has produced. Let us caution you, our readers, to remain open to any outcome since this type of science in progress is likely to go on for quite a while. We consider it exciting. We just may be on the brink of a new era in modern science! (See Think and Believe, Sept./Oct. 1984)
By Dave and Mary Jo Nutting
This was published as an article in the July/August 1989 Think and Believe.
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