Re: YEC and fossils

Bill Payne (
Tue, 14 Jul 1998 23:15:47 -0600

Steven Schimmrich wrote:

> I'm not familiar with Halton Arp. Who told him not to publish his findings?
> I'm a skeptic when it comes to conspiracy theories. Maybe he just couldn't
> get his data published in journals because it wasn't any good.


> The "guardians of the Big Bang"? Sounds like a rock group. Again I'm skeptical
> of your version of this story. Where did you read it?

I first heard of this from the wife of YEC Dr. Donald Chittick. I then
read a book written by Arp, _Quasars, Redshifts, and Controversies_,
followed by _Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos_ by Dennis Overbye, pp 83-84
(great historical review of the raging battles within astronomy),
followed by _Darwin's Leap of Faith_ by John Ankerberg and John Weldon,
pp 257-260.

"The prominent astronomer... Burbidge goes on to point out that despite
the consensus among astronomers as to their interpretation of the red
shifts, 'the evidence is there' that seriously questions it [the
interpretation that redshift is due to recessional velocity] 'and if we
are really searching for the truth, we ignore it [Arp's evidence] at our
intellectual peril.'" from Burbidge, "Redshifts and Distance," Nature,
v 286 (1980), p 307; in Bird, _The Origin of Species Revisited_,v I, p
448; in _Darwin's Leap of Faith_ by Ankerberg and Weldon, p 257.

"One of the first victims of Sandage's withdrawal was Arp, his old
observing partner. Arp had watched the quasar derby darkly, from the
sidelines. He had been frozen out of the traffic in secret radio
coordinates, even though his research specialty was unusual galaxies....

Arp gave himself over to combing the sky for evidence that redshifts
were not ironclad indicatiors of cosmological distance, mindful that he
was striking not just at quasars but at the foundation of cosmology...
Every funny galaxy he inspected turned out to have a quasar tucked under
an arm or at the end of a tendril of gas, or lines of them nearby. He
photographed luminous bridges of gas that appeared to link galaxies
whose redshifts projected them to be billions of light-years apart. The
most famous was an object called Markarian 205, a high-redshift quasar
that photographic analysis seemed to place in front of a rather nearby

Except for some moral encouragement from the Burbidges and Hoyle, Arp
got little support. When he persisted he began to have problems getting
telescope time. He was not invited,for example, to share his results at
subsequent meetings at the Texas Symposium. He felt martyred. His
biggest and most implacable foe was his old friend Sandage.

Sandage felt that Arp was trying to create mystery where there was no
need for it. In the meantime, the greater, deeper mystery, the creation
and expansion of the universe, was getting trashed. Arp, Sandage
thought, was trying to destroy cosmology. Arp complained that he
couldn't talk to certain people about cosmology any more. Some people
took it all too seriously.

There was never any conscious decision, but one day Sandage found that
he just wasn't speaking to Arp any more. "It was like breaking with a
brother," he said. Which was difficult, because they were both knights
of the 200-inch and Mount Wilson. They avoided each other in the
corridor their offices shared on Santa Barbara Street. From the walls
the gentlemen founders of cosmology looked down, stiff and formal.
Their doors stayed shut; they didn't look each other in the eye when
they did meet, passing like galaxies in the night." (_Lonely Hearts of
the Cosmos_, pp 83-84)

Kinda like OEC's and YEC's; very sad.