"Is the Universe Static or Expanding?"


From: Raymond W. Howard

I see you fail to mention anything about the ultimate makeup of the universe below Planck's length. Do you assert that the universe is made up of Calibi-Yau 10 dimensional superstrings, which are either energy loops or quantum black holes? Or do you feel that there is another theory that best describes the ultimate nature of what we perceive as matter?

I think the concept of a superstring as an "energy knot" makes a lot of sense. opinions? what about p-branes and their influence on the inverse square law of gravitation?


p.s. just a personal note, I think that the universe is too finely tuned to not have had a creator and I reject the anthropic principle. I just have a hard time making that leap from a creator to an anthromorphized creator.

RESPONSE:  Ray has asked about the make-up of the universe below the Planck Length level. This is discussed in Exploring the Vacuum and Reviewing the Zero Point Energy. There is also more in Zero Point Energy and the Redshift.

Barry Setterfield


From Andrew Repp

Dear brother in Christ,

I read with interest your article entitled, "Is the Universe Static or Expanding?" I have not read Sumner and thus am unable to evaluate his blueshift claims. However, I submit the following comments, based on my current understanding:

1) The abstract of the article states, "The current mainstream thinking in science is that it [the universe] is still expanding. This is based primarily on the way that redshift data is currently interpreted." Does this sentence not overstate the matter? I submit that the continuing expansion of the universe cannot be deduced from the current redshift interpretation. Technically, the only implication of the redshift data (as currently interpreted) is that the universe has expanded some time in the past--regardless of whether or not the expansion continues. Equation 6 of your paper makes this clear: all that matters is the ratio of R_1 to R_2. The redshifts do not tell us whether the expansion took place over billions of years or over a fraction of a second; as far as we can tell from the redshifts, it might have occurred and then ceased sometime in the past or it might continue today. It is uniformitarian assumptions (not the raw! redshift data--or even their expansion interpretation) that lead evolutionists to conclude that since the universe expanded in the past, it must be doing so today.

It follows then that even the expansion alluded to in Scripture--if it took place after the emission of the light--would leave its imprint on the redshifts. Therefore, any redshift associated with c-decay would be in addition to the redshift caused by the past cosmic expansion. Does your theory distinguish the two?

2) I submit that you misinterpret Cooperstock, Faraoni, and Vollick when they write, "the correction is extremely small and unobservable for galaxy clusters . . ." and go on to say, "the magnitude of the effect is essentially negligible for local systems, even at the scale of galactic clusters." Your reponse to Dr. Chaffin interprets these statements to mean, "the expansion effect is 'essentially negligible' even between clusters of galaxies." Unfortunately, Cooperstock, Faraoni, and Vollick were talking about expansion effects *within* clusters of galaxies, not *between* clusters of galaxies. To see that this is so, one has only to consider the bottom of page 6 in their article (the paragraph before their Equation 3.4). They state that they are calculating the acceleration of "galaxies at the edge of the core of the cluster" with respect to the "center of the core." The statement, "It is still nevertheless essentially ignorable" is also made in this context. Thus, it is clear that they are speaking of expansion effects *within* clusters, not *between* clusters. Their computation here is analogous to their computation for the solar system, where they computed accelerations *within* the solar system, not *between* solar systems. It is the largest scale calculation they perform, and hence the largest they can be referring to. Cooperstock, Faraoni, and Vollick do not dispute the reality of the cosmic expansion; in their introduction, they state, "This is not what is being contemplated for our universe since we observe a systematic redshift of distant galaxies and hence we are able to deduce that there is an expansion in progress, at least on the cosmological scale." In their conclusion, they write as follows: "The cosmic expansion plays an increasingly important role for systems whose sizes and lifetimes become increasingly comparable to the Hubble radius and to Hubble times respectively." Clearly their position is that the effects of expansion are negligible on a small scale (from atoms up to distances within galaxy clusters) but significant on a cosmological scale. It follows that a large part of your response to Dr. Chaffin is based on a misinterpretation of Cooperstock, Faraoni, and Vollick .

3) Finally, regarding the following statement by Cooperstock, Faraoni, and Vollick: "In this case, the approximation used in this paper becomes invalid"--they are recognizing the limitations of their approximation. I fail to see how such limitations affect the validity of their conclusions, since the approximation is valid at all the scales they consider, up to and including the distances within galactic clusters. At larger scales, the approximation is invalid, and thus their conclusions (that the effects of expansion are negligible) do not hold at these larger scales. They do not deal with larger scales. In short, their calculations deal only with motion within galactic clusters and smaller scales; they do not address the space between clusters at all.

Please do not imagine (from these comments) that I think the c-decay model to be necessarily invalid. I merely point out, in response to your invitation, what I perceive to be some flaws in your thinking. May the Lord reveal more and more scientific truth through the dedicated efforts of creationists such as yourself.

In Christ,
Andrew Repp

RESPONSE:  Mr. Repp has asked three questions, one about the redshift and two relating to my use of the Cooperstock, Faraoni and Vollick paper in response to Dr. Chaffin. First, let us take the two latter questions together. Mr. Repp has pointed out that there may have been some misunderstanding on my part by confusing the results obtained within clusters of galaxies with those between such clusters. As I look over the earlier response, I agree that I may have done that. However, the bottom line is that even at the level of clusters of galaxies, Cooperstock et al. show that the gravitational acceleration swamps the acceleration due to cosmological expansion by a factor of 107 within the clusters. Their conclusion is that there is no cosmological expansion within clusters of galaxies, as the effect of cosmological expansion within these clusters is "still nevertheless essentially ignorable." In other words cosmological expansion is essentially unobservable and simply becomes a theoretical proposition without any backing from data.

What is interesting, however, is that if the same equation is applied to determine the effects of cosmological expansion between clusters, Cooperstock et al. point out that the equation is "invalid". And yet Dr. Chaffin specifically used this same equation "for one galaxy cluster interacting with another"; the very thing that Cooperstock et al. declared was invalid. It was on the basis of Dr. Chaffin's misuse of this equation that he rejected my article as "erroneous". It should also be noted that the conclusions reached in the article were not uniquely dependent upon these results, since several other analyses led to the same conclusion: These included the paper by Sumner which showed from both theory and observation that cosmological expansion cannot be occurring; while the existence of the quantised redshift independently argues against it also.

This leads to the redshift question raised by Mr. Repp. He is correct in suggesting that there may have been some overstatement or oversimplification of the situation regarding the redshift and cosmological expansion in the Abstract of the article. It is true, as he states, that it is uniformitarian assumptions that lead cosmologists to conclude that the universe is still expanding. Whether or not this interpretation is correct, it is the interpretation which is presented as being correct in journals, texts, and to the press. Therefore it is this interpretation which must be dealt with. What must be considered in this context, however, is the fact that the whole universe except our Local Group of galaxies shows redshifts. Therefore, if it is accepted that the redshift implies expansion, such expansion has continued over the lifetime of the whole cosmos outside our Local Group.

The redshift/distance relationship is also important here. Local Group objects are, by definition, close to us. Because of this, we know we are seeing events which are recent astronomically. On this basis, are we to conclude that the expansion took place in the past and is not taking place now? If redshift implies expansion, and if our Local Group shows recent events, the expansion must have occurred right up to recent astronomical times and stopped. This brings in the effects seen at the frontiers of the cosmos which have received recent attention. These data have led to the conclusion by some that the expansion of the cosmos has accelerated after an initial period of slowing. What in fact is actually being observed, however, is the breakdown of the redshift/distance relationship at large distances (or high redshifts). It appears that starting at a redshift of approximately 1.5 and upwards, objects are closer to us than the standard redshift/distance curve suggests. In other words, the redshift/distance function starts climbing more steeply than predicted by the accepted curve around a redshift of about 1.5.

In this context, it should also be noted that at about this same redshift measurement, starburst activity begins to dramatically increase, and, as we look further back from that point, an intense period of Population I star formation is apparently occurring.

We have another effect occurring at this point which needs to be mentioned. At a redshift of about 1.5, we see an increase in quasar activity which reaches a peak at redshift of about 2, and then plateaus. From that point on, the quasar activity appears to stay constant. Obviously, a major change occurs for redshifts, star formation and quasar activity between redshifts of about 1.5 to 2. The Vc (variable light speed) model, which I am currently working with, anticipates this major change at redshifts around 1.5 as a result of the study of radiometric data. This enigmatical change in the slope of the redshift curve at this particular point is becoming accepted in mainstream astronomy. They attribute this to a change in the rate of expansion of the cosmos. However, when the redshift curve is aligned with the lightspeed data, and the dates synchronized, it becomes apparent that this change occurred at the end of Creation Week. During that week the redshift /distance curve, and hence the behaviour of lightspeed/time, displays a more dramatic drop than in the time after that initial period. The commonly accepted Lorentzian curve astronomers work with starts after that period. A redshift of about 1.5 marks the change-over point. We need further observational evidence to determine the exact form of the curve during the initial period, but a linear approximation gives theoretical results that accord with observation.

This means that, yes, the Vc model does distinguish between redshifts that result from Creation Week behaviour and those obtained after. However, in contrast to Mr. Repp's suggestion, the two effects are not additive since we can look back in time to when these events were occurring and see the change in behaviour as a clearly delineated area. For objects closer than a redshift of about 1.5 the light we receive has left well after Creation Week and so the redshift is unaffected by the processes operating then. For objects of redshifts higher than about 2, the light we receive was emitted during the formation of the cosmos. Thus while the Vc model does distinguish between redshifts from the formation processes of the cosmos and those of later events, it does not do so in quite the way that Mr. Repp anticipated.

Barry Setterfield

Originated: September 13, 2002, updated January 31, 2012

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