We will here investigate common objections to the conventionality thesis – the principle that the one-way speed of light cannot be measured but is instead stipulated.
We previously introduced this distant starlight issue and then examined potential solutions and their difficulties. We now move toward a solution to the issue. This solution is surprisingly straightforward, but will require some discussion of the nature of space and time as we now understand them. To that end, we will here investigate the concept of simultaneity and how this concept has developed over time.
In this article we will continue to explore additional proposed solutions to distant starlight. Creation astronomers and physicists do not currently have a consensus position on the solution to this perceived problem. Some creationists are bothered by this fact, but it is the nature of science that we don’t know everything and therefore we make hypotheses to be tested. Furthermore, science advances only when multiple models are presented and then systematically eliminated on the basis of observations until only the most probable model remains. In this spirit, I will here present some of the positions held by creation scientists, along with the strengths and weaknesses of such proposals.
Given the biblical timescale, that God created the universe roughly 6000 years ago, how are we able to see stars and galaxies that are billions of light-years away? If light takes one year to traverse a distance of one light year (about 5.88 trillion miles), shouldn’t light from a galaxy that is ten billion light years away take ten billion years to reach us? And we can see such galaxies, implying that the light has arrived. Does this imply that the universe is at least 10 billion years old?
Some of the smallest members of our solar system have been known since antiquity. Comets were very mysterious objects to the ancient world. They had an unusual “hairy” appearance. Unlike planets, comets seemed to follow no predictable path. They appeared at an unpredictable time, brightened and moved in unpredictable ways, and faded into oblivion. Many cultures considered comets to be omens.
On January 1, 1801, the Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered a new ‘planet’ in between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. What a great way to bring in the new year! Named Ceres, this new world was far smaller than the other seven planets (Neptune had not yet been discovered). Even the most powerful telescopes of the time could not discern any sizeable disk; the object resembled a star. Piazzi initially thought that Ceres might be a comet. The central nucleus of a comet indeed looks point-like in a telescope. But Ceres was not surrounded by a coma – a cloud that typically surrounds the nucleus of a comet. Nor did it have a tail. Further observations revealed a fairly circular orbit, typical of a planet but unlike any comet.