Re: Speed of light slowing

Adam Crowl (
Sat, 23 Jan 1999 14:38:38 PST

Hi Group,

Andrew wrote, askinhg about the changing speed of light...

>Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 13:37:41 -0600
>From: Robin Mandell <>
>Subject: Speed of light slowing
>Hi list.
>Anybody know anything about this idea?
>Any implications for origins or even universe's age here?
Nothing that would help the YECs. The real implication is for inflation,
since a changing light speed would make it redundant, as it would allow
the early Universe to homogenise its physical characteristics
a new theory... which overturns one of the central pillars of
>>modern scientific belief - that the speed at which light travels has
>>been the same.

That's total bunkum. The facts of relativity don't change if lightspeed
changes - light can still be the absolute standard for reference, just a
lot quicker.

>> The idea, proposed by two experts from Britain and America, could
>>rewrite the textbooks and challenge Einstein's theory of relativity if
>>space observations reveal evidence to support it.

BS... relativity is probably one of the linchpins of the theory...
sheesh some reporters say garbage for sensation. The Big Bang is
entirely a consequence of General Relativity so you can't have one if it
negates the other.

>> Dr Joao Magueijo, a Royal Society research fellow at Imperial
>>London, and Dr Andreas Albrecht, of the University of California at
>>say the speed of light immediately after the universe was born may
>>been far faster than its present-day value of 186,000 miles a second.
>>say it has been slowing down ever since.

How low can it go I wonder?

The article also mentions John Barrow, who's been something of a critic
of inflation, throwing in his two cents every time a new
non-inflationary theory crops up, I've noticed. His book "The Origin of
the Universe" is an eye-opener on what we can know about the origin... a
lot less than you might think.

As for the next article...

>>The Herald (Glasgow), January 21, 1999, Pg. 20
>>HEADLINE: Yes, life's a bitch
>>BYLINE: Chris Boyce
>> the symbiotic planet: a new look at evolution
>> Lynn Margulis Weidenfeld & Nicolson, L12.99
>> Among many New Age followers there is a belief in what they refer
to as
>>the "scientific paradigm". This is a rigid conceptual structure
>>maintained by a vast army of blinkered scientists all of whom regard
>>challenge to their hallowed temple as heresy. It is a serious
>>misinterpretation of the reality of science.

No kidding. New Agers are seriously at odds with reality. Usually.

>> One such player is Lynn Margulis, and the paradigm she aims to
>>is nothing less than the theory of evolution itself.
>> This is not to say that Creationist thinkers will find either
>>or ammunition in these pages. Margulis does not deny the concept of
>>selection any more than Einstein denied Newton's concept of gravity.
>>she proposes is that the random appearance of characteristics is not
>>only source of diversity in organisms.
Says it all really. Lynn is an evolutionist through and through, but as
the article explains she wants people to pay more attention to symbiosis
as a creative principle, and rightly so. Endosymbiosis is the most
prevalent of all symbiotic unions - eukaryotes aren't the single
organisms they seem to be, but are long standing unions of mitochondria,
plastids, peroxisomes and undulipodia, within a highly derived archean
phagocytic cell. A great co-operative.
>> Margulis goes further. She believes that symbiosis plays a
>>part in the evolution of all life beyond the complexity of protists,
>>single-celled creatures on the borderline between plants and animals.

One of the most important is some ancestral algae uniting with fungii to
become modern vascular plants, which is one theory of plant origins.
Another would be the symbiosis between almost all animals and their
intestinal flora - herbivory would be almost impossible otherwise.
Creationists often claim symbiosis is disproof of evolution because
evolution is supposed to "selfish", but the evidence for endosymbiosis,
in all its forms, is a very strong argument for common descent. We share
mitochondria and undulipodia with all macroscopic life, and these seem
to be the products of some ancestral union ...

>> Interestingly, Margulis is also one of the creators of a notion
>>cherished by the New Agers, Gaia - the name suggested by William
>>for the planet -wide life system which they regard as a type of super
>>organism-cum-earth goddess. Margulis's concept of Gaia is really an
>>extension of her SET thinking. She sees it as one great system
comprised of
>>countless smaller systems - a biological metaphor for the Internet,
>>on a vastly larger scale.
>> Many scientists find it an unsound idea. In particular the
>>neo-Darwinists, led by Richard Dawkins. For them the idea of a life
>>that has developed without natural selection is just a little bit too
>>unorthodox to swallow.

Thing is it didn't really arise without natural selection, which was
still operating on Gaia's components throughout Earth's life-history,
something the neoDs tend to forget. Gaia can arise in an evolving
eco-system, as numerous simulations have shown.

>> Although she regards it as a complex system, she does not see Gaia
>>being alive. Indeed she regards the New Age concerns that humanity is
>>abusing Gaia and will suffer "her" wrath as being deeply misconceived.
>>idea that humanity poses a special threat to this "tough bitch" which
>>thrived on global catastrophes across the aeons is one Margulis finds
True. We're just another mass-extinction as far as Gaia is concerned,
but our indiscriminate extinguishing of species will take a long time to
recover from. Perhaps that's where the Christian response should be.


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