Light Matters: Missiles Flying Without Being Launched

(system) #1
Let’s hope our Creator is shooting straight with us.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #2


Thank you for the essay. Interesting and enlightening.

On the other hand Creationists have tried this type of argument before. Some have said that the earth just appears to be Quite old, appears to have a very ancient history, but God created it that way to test people to see if they believe science or the Bible.

A serious problem with that view and ASC is that it claims that God will lie, that is create an appearance which is false, which we know from the Bible and through logic is not true.

On the other hand non-believers, like Dawkins, say that Nature is a liar, that evolution creates the appearance of being designed, when it is not. If we cannot believe our senses, augmented by the tools of science, we have no science.

In a real sense it boils down to: Can we depend on what we experience and what has been proven to be true, or do we depend on some human ideology, whether it is religious or non-religious?

I hope that we can agree on the former.

(Casper Hesp) #3

Again, I’ll be available here for any questions or further thoughts you may have about this post or young-universe cosmological models in general.

(Casper Hesp) #4

Hi Roger!

I’m just wondering, how is it possible to depend on just one of those two? On the one hand, our worldview colors our experience and determines what we accept as “proof”. On the other hand, new experiences and insights can change the way we interpret the world. There’s always an interaction going on. It seems like pitching “experience and evidence” versus “ideology” leads to a false dichotomy.

I also think that the appearance of design can’t really be compared with the appearance of age. For one, perceiving design is much more elusive and worldview-dependent. You can’t actually calculate “design”, but you can calculate the age of this relativistic jet.


Casper, your point is well made. What people who have not read and understand Lisle’s paradigm may miss is that he truly believes in a young universe - everywhere. So to him the relativistic jets in this example were created mature and only around 6000 years ago. I completely agree that this would be on a par with light created in transit - both would be deceptive on God’s part, and God is not deceptive (though he does trap deceivers in their own craft sometimes). The only possible way around this that I can think of is for Lisle to finally admit that that his paradigm is phenomenological in design. He could then begin to introduce long ages and more fully explain such phenomena as these. This approach would render his paradigm obsolete* however, and besides, Lisle is far too invested in a young Earth and universe to ever abandon those precepts. I know high-level creationists are reading these articles and monitoring the remarks. I would love to hear a response from one of them regarding Casper’s arguments on relativistic jets. Any takers?
*For instance, think about it - if Lisle’s model is only phenomenological why would we need an infinite speed of light at all? God could have created Earth 6000 years ago in an old universe, turned on a local light, replaced that light with a fully created Sun 3 days later, and based on appearance, the Creation language of the Bible becomes completely accurate. (Now if one insists that the phrase in Genesis “…and the stars also” unequivocally pertains to Day 4, then some ad hoc remodeling may have to come into play.)

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #6

I think you miss my point. YEC clearly are not interested in finding out what the evidence indicates. They are interested in trying to interpret the evidence so it suits their Ideology, even though this sacrifices God’s integrity. R_spier makes a good point that Lisle is basically in justifying YEC than explaining how the universe works.

The same with Dawkins, He admits that the universe appears to be designed, but denies on the basis of theory not based on evidence and indeed denied by this evidence that it is true. This makes it an ideology, not science or philosophy.

When people based their facts on ideology, then one needs to address the basis of the ideology as well as the false facts. Measurement is a “red herring” meant to confuse the issue. .

(Casper Hesp) #7

Hi @r_speir, thanks for joining us again here! Here are some of my thoughts on what you said.

Actually, this post on relativistic jets is already about exploring the adequacy of the ASC model as a descriptive tool. Examples such as relativistic jets show that the ASC model doesn’t hold up even if we interpret it as being merely phenomenological in design. Even as a purely phenomenological model, the ASC model needs to postulate that the “blurps” of these jets were created midflight.

One attempt to solve the issue has been “white hole cosmology” (e.g., the model of Russell Humpreys), in which time runs much slower on Earth compared to the the rest of the Universe. However, that model is in a way just as geocentric and ad hoc as the ASC model. Also, that model predicts an extremely strong universal blueshift which we don’t observe. On the contrary, we’re observing a slight universal redshift because of the expansion of the Universe.


I don’t understand how Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC) can explain what Ole Romer, already in the 17th century, had observed: that the times between eclipses of Io behind Jupiter varied with time, being shorter as the Earth approached Jupiter, and longer as it moved away from that planet. With that simple observation he concluded that light had a finite speed and calculated (or someone after him) pretty accurately what that speed was. And this light (that comes from Io) is coming towards the Earth. How then can this be explained by the ASC theory?

(Casper Hesp) #9

Hi @miguel,
A question regarding the same observation was asked by @PhotonBucket in a previous post:
My reply was as follows:

Does that clarify the matter for you? If not, feel free to ask more questions.


Dear Casper

Thank you very much for your reply. I am sorry but I am no physicist (I am a Biology and Geology secondary teacher - and also not an English mother tongue speaker) and maybe I just don’t have enough back-ground to understand these strange ideas.

If I understand well, in the ASC frame, when a light beam is traveling towards the Earth, time is nullified because, along its voyage, the beam passes one by one through points in the universe where, if there would be clocks to indicate the time, these would always indicate the same time at the moment the beam passes by them. So, even if the Earth´s orbit makes really a difference in the arrival time of Io´s light, for the beam itself there would not have passed any time at all. But that is where I don’t understand how this can nullify the difference that is measured by an observer on Earth… Is it not true that at the speed of light time stops? If that is so, you don’t need the ASC to tell that for the light beam itself, the millions of km that separate Io from Earth are done in no time. But that is not the point. The point that I don’t understand is that on Earth, Ole Romer measured a real delay in the light coming to Earth. In my poor understanding this would mean that, for an observer on Earth, light takes some time to recover the bigger distance when Jupiter is further away from Earth. This means that, if the Earth and Jupiter would (in our crazy imagination) orbit the sun millions of light year from it, and someone would be able to live to measure it, the difference of time in the eclipses of Io would be in the order of millions of years. So, no matter what time the clocks along the way showed, for us the delay would be a real delay. It seems that the ASC theory would be somewhat good to explain how you can turn the billions of years of the evolutionist (from the Earth´s perspective) into the little time frame of a literal reading of Genesis (from the ASC perspective). A bit like Gerald Schroeder´s idea of transforming the 15 billion years of evolutionists in the 6000 years of Genesis by introducing the effect of the stretching of space-time, based on Einstein´s general relativity. But I don’t understand how it can nullify the delay that is really measured on Earth?!
And how would it even be possible to measure the speed of light with the delay of Io´s light, if this delay would not correspond to a true delay of the light beam?


Sorry, but I still have questions in my mind. The first one is the following:

  • According to the ASC explanation, would this be a phenomena limited to Earth? Or is this the way light would behave in any part of the Universe when it travels towards the observer?
    The other questions I will leave for another time.
    Thank you!

(Casper Hesp) #12

Hi @miguel, excuse me for my delayed answer. I finally got back to it. Let me give it another try.

The measured time differences between successive eclipses of Io by Jupiter result from a difference in travel distance for the rays of light in question. As I said in my previous reply to @PhotonBucket , the ASC involves a distance-dependent synchronization, which corrects exactly for the travel time. Let’s say for the sake of the argument that Ole Roemer would have been using the ASC for his determination of the speed of light. In that hypothetical case, he would have found that for both the smallest and largest distance between Jupiter and Earth the travel time would be zero and therefore the time delay would be zero. This would give him an infinite speed of light. I agree this result is counterintuitive because the clocks in the ASC are set in a counterintuitive way.

Ole Roemer lived in the time in which classic Newtonian physics was commonly accepted. Newton’s framework involves the assumption of absolute time and absolute space (i.e., time and space is measured exactly the same by all observers). In Newton’s framework, all clocks of all observers in the universe indicate the same time. This is the same as Einstein’s synchrony convention at small velocities. In contrast, in the ASC, clocks of every observer indicate different times depending on their distance to the observer. This also answers your last question:

The ASC by itself is simply a particular description that can be applied by any observer anywhere in the universe. It affects measurements of the speed of light towards and away from every observer. However, the light can’t be said to “behave” in that way. As we established in the second post of this series, light always moves at the same speed in every direction and therefore the ASC can at best only be a phenomenological description.

Also, remember that the ASC itself doesn’t result in a “young universe”. That’s why Jason Lisle constructed the “ASC model”. This model only works for an observer on Earth, it’s geocentric. That’s what we explored in the third post of this series.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please do ask them :slight_smile: .



Well-stated. That about says it all! A huge point of confusion with Lisle’s model is that many people (most people?) read it and associate an ASC view with youth. Rubbish. If the universe has been around for billions of years according to a light velocity of c, then an infinite light speed in an anisotropic view has also been around that long! Have we forgotten the Conventionality Thesis which states that both extreme conventional views (ASC and ESC) must be correct? If an ESC view says the universe must be 13.6 billion years old, then an ASC view must accommodate. So you ask, “Then how does Lisle make that ‘accommodation’?” Simple. He says all the billions of years prior to Creation Week were not real. He says no physical manifestations were occurring, so no time was passing! Don’t believe me? Read his paper!


Dear Casper,

Thank you for your answer.
I understand that this is counterintuitive, but (and I am sorry for that) even so I still can’t grasp why the delay measured taking into account only the clocks on earth (that measure the amount of time that passes on this planet) can be simply nullified because one has calculated the speed of light in different instances – with different distances between Jupiter and the earth - and according to the ASC model found the speed of light in these different instances to be infinite, so the delay must be zero (but taking only in account the clocks on Earth, it was not zero – and time really passed here). Should we then, according to the ASC model, consider this delay (taking into account only the time that is measured on Earth) to be unreal? It only looks like a delay but it’s not? So, in my imaginary example of last mail (if the Earth and Jupiter would orbit millions of light years away from the sun), the measured delay on Earth´s clocks of millions of years would be deleted into zero just because according to the ASC model the individual measurements of the time the light takes to travel is zero.
Now the other questions:

  • Since the Earth is round, why would the light behave this way from all directions?
  • And since it is also orbiting the sun, how would this happen in the different positions the Earth has in a year? And also the solar system is moving within the galaxy. So how is it that the Earth would remain at the center of this phenomenon? It would mean that the phenomena would be linked to the planet and not to a specific place in the Universe… Why would this phenomenon be linked to the Earth?
  • Does the ASC explanation foresee light behaving in the same way if seen from the moon´s surface?
  • Or if an outer space object falls on Earth, does it change the way light would be perceived by an imaginary inhabitant of this object? Does the way light behaves towards the outer space object change as it enters the Earth atmosphere? Or, on what point would that happen? In the upper atmosphere? When hitting the ground?
  • How did the astronauts in the moon perceived light?
  • Would the ASC model not mean that if one would be in the moon, one would not see the light of the stars that are more than the distance that light travels in 6000 years?
    Thank you.


I am sorry for repeating the same mistake in my questions (referring to the behavior of light )… I understand that we are not talking about a behavior of the light beam but about the different settings of the clocks on its path… So, please understand that way whenever in my questions above I talk about the "behavior of the light beam…

(Casper Hesp) #16

Hi @miguel, thank you for taking the time to explain your question further. It helped me to understand you better. Sorry for the delay in my answer. I hope you’ll still be reading my reply, nonetheless.

Something useful you can keep in mind here is that the ASC is construed in such a way that it does not result in measurable differences compared to the standard convention. Therefore the ASC should be able to make sense of Ole Roemer’s time measurements as they are. As you know, Roemer measured the amount of time that passed between successive eclipses of Io, one of the moons of Jupiter. He found that this time period became a bit shorter when the Earth was moving towards Jupiter and a bit longer when the Earth was moving away from Jupiter.

Let’s say that the “real” time period between eclipses is ~40 hours (i.e., this is what an observer at Jupiter measures). Now, any observer with a stopwatch on earth will measure small variations around 40 hours (a bit smaller when the Earth is moving towards Jupiter, larger when it is moving away). For that particular result, it doesn’t matter whether someone is using the ASC or the standard synchronization. However, they will differ in terms of their interpretation of these variations:

Standard interpretation:
Due the relative movement of the Earth wrt Jupiter, the distance becomes smaller or larger. Because light has a constant, finite speed, this respectively decreases or increases the travel time of light. Those changes result in the measured time differences.

ASC interpretation:
Due to the relative movement of the Earth wrt Jupiter, the distance becomes smaller or larger. Since the ASC is location-dependent, the settings of one’s clocks have to be changed slightly. Those changes result in the measured time differences, even though the light travel time is exactly zero in all cases.

So to sum up, in both cases one measures a variation around ~40 hours. In the standard view this variation is interpreted in physical terms (i.e., resulting from a finite speed of light). In the ASC it is interpreted as resulting from clock settings which differ due to changes in location of Jupiter wrt Earth.

As an aside, placing Jupiter on a distance of millions of light years from Earth perse would not change the measured time differences because the time differences result from the change in distance. If you want to increase the measured time differences you should increase the relative speed of our Earth wrt Jupiter.

I hope that helped to clear things up. Now, let’s take a look at your other questions:

Technically, the ASC is using different clock settings on different locations on Earth. The maximum difference is about 40 ms, the time it takes for light to travel two times the Earth’s radius. However, the size of the Earth is negligible to that of the observable universe. Jason Lisle found such differences acceptable because his time scale of interest is ~24 hours. That’s due to his focus on the interpretation of Genesis in literal solar days.

The variation of the Earth’s orbit would cause differences of about 1000 seconds over the course of a year. When taking into account the speed of the Sun wrt to the Milky Way our clocks would have to be shifted about 1 minute per day. But I think Lisle is content with assuming the Earth as the “center” of Creation, so no shifts are necessary if the Earth is the reference point for the rest of the universe.

Yes, the ASC is applicable for any observer in the universe. However, the specific way the ASC model is set up brings problems here. The simultaneity of events depends on someone’s location in the universe. Lisle postulated that Creation occurred almost simultaneously (within a day) for an observer on Earth. But, for example, an observer located on the closest star to the Sun (Alpha Centauri) has a completely different definition of simultaneity. During the first 5 years of his or her creation, that observer would not see our solar system. In that frame, the solar system is not created yet. Again, this shows that Lisle’s model is geocentric.

The ASC can be applied by any observer, independent of his or her speed and location.

I’m not sure what you mean to say here. Could you explain your reasoning behind this question more explicitly?

Thank you for your interest in the topic and your patience in awaiting my reply.



Hi Casper,

I am sorry to bring back this topic again, but I was thinking on the issue of the ASC model and another question rose to my mind. Maybe its a stupid question, born out of my ignorance, but even so I would like to write it (and I am sorry to revive this topic again): The ASC model explains that a ray of light - lets say from Andromeda, just as an example - reaches the Earth instantly because on its way time is always retarding, in such a manner that the time the light ray reaches Earth (on Earths Watch) is exactly the same time as the one Andromedas Watch marked as it departed from one of its stars. Now, if I am not wrong, Andromeda is about 2 Million light-years from Earth. Does this not mean that, even if, based on the ASC model, for someone on Earth the above mentioned light-ray was instantly here, that for an imaginary inhabitant of Andromeda that same light-ray took 2 Million years to reach the Earth (because there the Watch - their absolute time - was always the same)? The light-ray needs no time to reach Earth as long as we travel with it. But as soon as we stop, and leave the ray to do the trip alone, time starts immediately to tick. And if the ASC model can be applied in any place in the Universe, then the light of the Milky-way has also instantly reached Andromeda, but in this case in our Earths watch - our own absolut time - that took 2 Million years because we stay with our watch, we dont follow the light and so we dont go through all the different “watches” that nullify the running of time. Is my reasoning wrong?

(Casper Hesp) #18

Hi @miguel,
You’re always welcome to revive a thread if you have more questions :slight_smile: . The one you’ve asked is certainly not stupid.

Your reasoning is going in the right direction, but it’s even a bit weirder than that. In the ASC, the clocks compensate in such a way that the speed of light is infinite in directions towards an observer and (to keep the two-way speed constant) two times slower in directions away from an observer. So for the hypothetical observer on Andromeda, that ray of light took 5 million years (!!) to arrive at earth. For the earth-based observer, that same ray of light appears to arrive instantly. Conversely, a ray of light traveling from the earth to Andromeda would arrive instantly for an Andromeda-based observer, but take 5 million years for an earth-based observer.

Taking this logic even further in Lisle’s ASC model, this leads to some pretty absurd conclusions. Lisle proposes that all of the universe was created “instantaneously” for an earth-based observer in the ASC. So, after being created, an Andromeda-based observer would observe complete nothingness on the location of the earth for 5 million years. I talk a bit more about this in my Light Matters post “Is God the 3D-Printer of Our Cosmos?” Let me know if you have any follow-up questions!


(George Brooks) #19


Don’t you see Dawkins as making a rhetorical flourish here, rather than a statement that should be taken literally?

How can an Atheist really believe that nature lies, when lying is an Intentioned activity, and nature has no intentions?

(Casper Hesp) #20

I’m here with an update. At the time that I wrote this blog post for BioLogos last year, I did not know that I would end up focusing exactly on this topic for my MSc thesis in astrophysics. A few days ago, I submitted my first academic article for peer-review on how black holes form relativistic jets. Submitted article can be found here: . These days we are able to actually simulate from first principles how these relativistic jets are formed by black holes as they gather magnetized material, adding extra credence to the picture described in this blog post. Here’s a movie I made of the simulations in 3D:

Just to be clear, this is the first time ever that anyone has managed to simulate these jets in such detail in 3D. Better than the toy animation I made for the original blog post, I suppose :slight_smile: . For details, see the subscript on YouTube or the article itself. We will be following up on this work with multiple publications.