Re: So. Baptist Spin on BOE Vote

From: george murphy (
Date: Wed Jun 06 2001 - 10:54:22 EDT

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    Bill Payne wrote:

    > On Tue, 05 Jun 2001 16:02:57 -0400 george murphy <>
    > writes:
    > > Comment: Halton Arp is hardly a good example of someone being
    > persecuted
    > > simply because of his unorthodox ideas.
    > That's definitely not the impression I got from reading his books.
    > "Since the people who make these kinds of observations have now been
    > excluded from regular observations on the [Palomar 200-inch]
    > telescope.....It is clear there is a vested political interest in
    > suppressing these kinds of observing projects." (_Quasars, Redshifts
    > and Controversies_, 1987, p 162

            Have you never heard the old saying "No man is a judge in his own
    case"? It's a lot easier to say "I'm being persecuted" than "Maybe I'm
    wrong." As I pointed out, the big bang cosmology was not established
    orthodoxy at the time Arp started making his claims, and those claims were
    given serious attention.. Moreover, there were a lot of astronomers &
    astrophysicists then who thought that quasar redshifts were not
    cosmological: I used to present such theories as viable alternatives to a
    cosmological explanation for quasars when I taught astronomy in the early
    70s. Now there is a good deal of evidence that many quasars are indeed at
    cosmological distances. Even if some of Arp's anomalous redshifts were real,
    we would need to look for explanations within the total context which
    includes all the evidence in support of the big bang.
            Don't believe everything you read!

    > > Question: Is the van Flandern mentioned below the one who thought
    > that he
    > > had evidence for a time variation of the gravitational "constant" back
    > in the
    > > 70s? If so, this was hardly an example of "pseudoscience" but OTOH
    > would do
    > > nothing to support young earth views: Variations in G over 10^4 years
    > would
    > > have been (again I'm going from memory) on the order of 10^-6, too
    > small to
    > > have a significant geophysical effect.
    > I'm sure that must be the same Tom Van Flandern, who on his website has
    > some interesting stuff about the speed of gravity propogating faster than
    > light. He says if gravity didn't propogate almost instantly then the
    > planetary orbits would be unstable and move away from the sun. His
    > website is:
    > I don't remember anything about a variation in the gravational constant,
    > but he does spout some very interesting ideas. I think his website links
    > to some info by/about Arp.

            Thanks for the reference. I'll look at it & comment.
        According to general relativity, which is in agreement with all relevant
    observations to this point, gravitational waves propagate locally with the
    speed of light. But since we haven't detected gravitational waves yet (but
    only their effect in damping the orbits of the Hulse-Taylor pulsar) we of
    course have't been able to measure their speed.
            In Note 8 of _The Mathematical Theory of Relativity_ (2d ed.)
    Eddington calculated the damping effects due to on a spinning rod due to the
    finite propagation of gravitation according to general relativity. This
    takes place because, due to the finite time it takes gravitational effects to
    get from one end of the rod to the other, there will be a retarding couple
    which slows down the rotation. Eddington showed that the loss of energy
    calculated in this way agrees with that which is calculated from emission of
    gravitational waves. He comments:
            "Laplace anticipated that if gravitation were propagated with the
    speed of light this disturbing couple would be large enough to be appreciable
    in astronomical systems and deduced from its absence that gravitation must
    have a much greater speed. We know now that the first order effect which
    Laplace anticipated is compensated; but the loss of energy (1) is actually
    the residual Laplace effect of the third order of small quantities, as
    determined by modern theory."
            It'll be interesting to see if Van Flandern has just gone back to



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

    > Bill

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