Re: >If True, consider the impact

Anders Sandberg (
06 Oct 1999 17:53:33 +0200

"Joseph 1" <> writes:

> > Speed Of Light May Not Be Constant, Physicist Suggests
> ...
> > nothing has, or can, travel faster. John Moffat of the physics department
> > disagrees - light once travelled much faster than it does today,
> > he believes.
> This canard has been around for years. It's an old Creationist doohickey to
> try to explain the "Young Earth Theory" (that the Earth is actually only
> 6000+ years old). I don't know if Moffat is a Creationist for sure, but I
> wouldn't be at all surprised if he was getting a stipend from the Institute
> of Creation Science.

Be careful here, the idea that physical "constants" can change over time has been studied on and off in cosmology for a long time with no connection to creationism. Eddington and Dirac have done some work in this field. However, all evidence so far are more consistent with constancy than change in these constants.

As for Moffat, he has publications in a variety of astronomical fields; I cannot vouch for their quality, but he is definitely not an ignorant creationist. One of his papers involves stochastic gravity and a self-organized critical cosmology with no singularities - doesn't sound like something the creationists would like (among other things, it is independent of initial conditions - you don't even need a fine tuning of the world to get it).

Also, you cannot change the speed of light itself, what has to change is a dimensionless parameter like the fine structure constant; it makes no real sense to say that c has increased with 1 km/s, since kilometers and seconds are based on c.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y