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Re: The empirical fact of antiquity (repost #2)

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  • Todd S. Greene
    ... Hi, Michael. Got it. That is a secondary reference and not a link that was in the post I made. You should note that before what was stated in that
    Message 1 of 18 , Jun 6, 2003
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      --- In Maury_and_Baty, Michael <dokimadzo@c...> wrote (post #1342):
      > Hello Todd,
      >> I just re-checked the several online references I provided to
      >> you and every single one works fine.
      > Most of them did, but this one didn't: New Distance Determination
      > to the LMC

      Hi, Michael.

      Got it. That is a secondary reference and not a link that was in the
      post I made. You should note that before what was stated in that
      reference went offline, I copied the whole thing and added it to my
      web page. What that article stated is copied at the bottom of my web
      page, so you can still see what the astronomer wrote in that article.

      > I can't remember them all. If I find the others I will let you
      > know.

      Please do. I've had to follow some of those links through two
      different website changes, but as far I know every link in my post is

      > I said:
      > "1. That light always travels in a straight line from any stellar
      > object to earth. This has to do with your base and radius in your
      > formula."
      > Your reply:
      >> False statement, Michael. This is not an assumption. It is what
      >> is observed. Since it is what is observed to be the case it is
      >> not something that is assumed. That's a big whoops for you!
      >> Indeed, one of the links I gave you is an example of where some
      >> of the light from the supernova did NOT travel in a straight
      >> line but had its path deflected by intervening sheets of dust in
      >> the Large Magellanic Cloud.
      > Answer: You say it is a false statement then to prove this you
      > said you provided links where some light did not travel in a
      > straight line. Care to explain? Does light always, you say is
      > observed, travel in straight lines; or, is it also as you said
      > that "some of the light from the supernova did NOT travel in a
      > straight line? Whoops!

      My point was simply that though light does travel pretty much in a
      straight line, it can travel in other than a straight line due to
      various reasons and when it does this is observed. My point to you
      was that astronomers observe BOTH. They observed the light that
      traveled from SN1987A to Earth, they observed the light that traveled
      from SN1987A to the primary gas ring (and also to the secondary gas
      rings) and then was deflected from this ring to the Earth, and they
      also happened to observed some of the light that traveled at certain
      angles away from the straight line to Earth but was then deflected
      toward earth by intervening dust sheets that lie in the Large
      Magellanic Cloud galaxy.

      > Fact one: Light does not ALWAYS travel in straight lines. To this
      > you even admitted by saying "some of the light" ... "did NOT
      > travel in a straight line." Ever shown a light through a prism?
      > Ever looked in a mirror? Can light rays "bend?" Or, is it
      > observed that light can bend, refract, be reflected?

      The problem with your discussion is that you seem to possess the
      mistaken notion that this somehow constitutes some kind of critical
      problem for the observations of SN1987A. Contrary to your incorrect
      notion, the fact that the path of light can change is *critical* to
      the observations. If the path of the light didn't change, then we
      would never have had the wonderful observations of SN1987A that
      allowed for such relatively precise determinations of its distance in
      the first place.

      > Fact two: You, and no one else, "observed the entire journey" the
      > light from SN1987A from there to earth. Can we now see this? No.
      > I will have much more to say on this in the future with regard to
      > the assumptions on c and the linear travel of light.

      What are you talking about? The light traveled from SN1987A to the
      earth, and it happens to have done so from different angles *because
      of* the deflections (such as from the primary gas ring, and the dust

      You are correct that astronomers cannot observe small-scale types of
      things. For example, if there just so happened to be an isolated
      planet (not orbiting a star) in the Large Magellanic Cloud in the
      path between SN1987A and Earth (all 168,000 light-years of it!),
      astronomers couldn't detect such a thing since the resolution isn't
      anywhere near that degree of precision. Of course, such a thing
      wouldn't alter what we have observed regarding the distance of the

      >>> 2. That you have actually measured the speed of light and have
      >>> a factual measurement of how fast light goes. You don't."
      > Your reply: "False statement, Michael."
      > I agree, especially the way I stated it. Sorry to confuse the
      > issue. I truly must slow down.
      > The point should have been worded thus: "That you have actually
      > measured the speed of light for SN1987A and have its factual
      > measurement of how fast its light traveled to earth. You don't
      > have such measurements."
      > Since I did render such a false statement I will not expound upon
      > this until you have had time to review it.

      We do have measurements relevant to the speed of the light from
      SN1987A. These have to do with the measured rate of decay of the
      radioactive elements produced by the supernova explosion (the so-
      called "light curve") and with measurements of spectral lines used to
      calculate the fine structure. What I will acknowledge is that with
      respect to the fine structure constant I don't know that that kind of
      measurement has been performed with SN1987A in particular. What I do
      know is that one team of astronomers has been conducting a survey of
      spectral line analyses for various distances in the universe and
      they've found that the speed of light has been the same (or very,
      very close to the same, within a tiny fraction of one percent) for
      several billion years. At 168,000 years, the event of SN1987A is, I'm
      sure you will acknowledge, well within the range of several billion

      > I said: "You do not know the height of SN1987A or the rings.
      > These are mathematical hypotheses."
      > Your reply: "False statement, Michael. We do know the distance
      > from SN1987A to the primary gas ring. It is not assumed, because
      > it is a matter of observation."
      > No, what has been observed is how long it took light, using your
      > formulas and what you call constants, to travel from SN1987A to
      > the cloud some 168K years ago. I agree that this is very
      > compelling that it did not take that long and we actually
      > observed this.

      Thank you for acknowledging that it is a matter of observation and
      thus not an assumption.

      > It gives a
      > reasonable basis upon which to construct the distance between the
      > cloud and the supernova, but the way astronomers go about this
      > today cannot be construed as "facts."

      *You* claim that it can't be construed as factual, because *you*
      claim that certain things are merely being assumed. The problem with
      your argument is that what you say is not assumed but is a matter of

      > Here is your assumptions: That c is constant (I know I am in the
      > minority for thinking that c is not constant -- more to come on
      > this).

      This isn't assumed. It is observed to be the case.

      > That light travels
      > through all the regions of space without deflection and does so
      > as it does within a vacuum.

      It isn't assumed. In fact, as I have pointed out, some of the light
      *was* deflected in the case of SN1987A, which is what made it such a
      fortuitous and useful observation.

      By the way, V838 Monocerotis is a similar example of this kind of
      thing, except in its case the star actually has shells of gas around
      it instead of rings. I cited this example for you earlier:

      V838 Monocerotis

      (Of course, the difference between V838 Monocerotis and SN1987A is
      that V838 Monocerotis is about 20,000 light-years away here in the
      Milky Way galaxy where as SN1987A is about 168,000 light-years away
      in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy.)

      > It is the
      > assumption that the speed of light travels as in a vacuum through
      > interstellar space because it is assumed that the density of
      > matter between stars is relatively low. Observation cannot
      > establish this as fact. You don't know if there is matter that
      > you cannot see that has an effect on the speed of light just like
      > glass has an effect on the speed of light.

      Do you even know what you are talking about?

      Take a look at these specific examples of observations of gas and

      Hubble Captures a Perfect Storm of Turbulent Gases

      Close-up of M27, the Dumbbell Nebula

      Hubble Photographs 'Double Bubble' in Neighboring Galaxy

      An Old Star Gives Up the Ghost

      Space Movie Reveals Shocking Secrets of the Crab Pulsar

      Hubble Astronomers Feast on an Interstellar Hamburger

      Colorful Fireworks Finale Caps a Star's Life

      Beauty in the Eye of Hubble

      Gaseous Streamers Flutter in Stellar Breeze

      A Bow Shock Near a Young Star

      Thackeray's Globules in IC 2944

      Hubble Sends Season's Greetings from the Cosmos to Earth (NGC 2080)

      Hubble's Panoramic Portrait of a Vast Star-Forming Region

      SN1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud

      Light is affected by gas and dust that it has to travel through, and
      astronomers OBSERVE these effects. You are pretending that this kind
      of thing is merely *assumed* to not be there. In actuality it's just
      the opposite: Astronomers observe light that has traveled through gas
      and dust and they observe the affect of this in the light itself.
      These effects are also observed with light that travels from distant
      galaxies, as the light has traveled through intergalactic gas and

      Moreover, see my comments below concerning the implication of what
      you are referring to. You don't seem to realize that you are arguing
      yourself in the wrong direction, in the opposite direction from
      supporting young earth creationism.

      > I commented on your model and math ever so briefly. Your reply
      > was that you do not think I know what I am talking about. Maybe I
      > don't.
      > In challenging the height or radius of your equation you replied:
      >> False statement, Michael. I'm not assuming the values. The
      >> values are a matter of observation. When something is observed
      >> to be the case it is wrong to say it is assumed. This is why
      >> people like you get into such trouble with your rhetoric,
      >> because your rhetoric is simply false.
      > Fact one: Your formula ignores that c might be slowing down over
      > time.

      It ignores it because it is observed to not have constant (over so
      close to constant to be below the threshold of measurement; YECs must
      have the speek of light over 1,000,000 [1 million] times faster than
      it is now, but this idea is falsified by what we observe).

      > Fact two: Light travels through glass slower than through air.
      > Fact three: Since light travels slower in glass than in air,
      > this proves, by observation, that matter can affect the speed of
      > light
      > Fact four: You use the figure for the speed of light as it
      > travels in a vacuum and ignore any and all matter between the
      > "Large Magellanic Cloud" and Sn1987A.
      > I may have more to say about this later. Not just rhetoric.

      First of all, as I pointed out some examples above of, astronomers do
      observe gas and dust that is there when it is there.

      Second, we do happen to know the effect of this matter on the speed
      of light (this has to do with "refraction index" studies, if you want
      to look it up), and what we know is that the effect on the speed of
      light is quite trivial. In fact, it is because we know the effect is
      so insignificant that we can ignore it for purposes of the formula.

      Third, the effect that it has is to *slow down* the speed of light,
      which would merely mean that the light would take LONGER than 168,000
      years to reach the earth. In the standard young earth
      creationist "model" the light would have to reach earth in less than
      ten thousand years. YECs need light to have traveled MUCH faster
      (more than a million times faster), not slower, and yet here you are
      making a point about the light having been slowed down (and just a
      very a little bit), not speeded up. So you're actually arguing in the
      wrong direction, Michael!

      > So, yes, your radius has many assumptions built into it, and,
      > therefore, it makes the radius itself an assumption -- not fact.

      Well, I'm still waiting for you to correctly identify some
      assumptions. What you have done so far is to use the standard false
      YEC rhetoric of wrongly referring to what has been observed about the
      real world to be nothing more than assumption. Again, no matter how
      many times you call a tail a leg, it just doesn't make it so.

      > I will, however, agree that the calculations and the radius is
      > ballpark, but not actual.

      Golly, Michael, I know it's ballpark. Right on my page about this


      I provide the range of error (based on the inherent imprecision of
      the empirical measurements) for you: about 3.5%. In typical
      discussion I merely mention just the ballpark number of 168,000, but
      the value range is actually about . Anyone who is familiar with
      scientific measurement and recording is familiar with this kind of

      > I said: "Then you get a result and say it is fact. See? If your
      > formula is based upon mathematical hypotheses, and not real
      > numbers, then how can the result be deemed absolute?"
      > You replied: "The numbers are real, because they are what is
      > observed."
      > No, what was observed was not a measurement of distance, but how
      > long the SN1987A energy (light) took to get from SN1987A to the
      > cloud. Then you plug in numbers ignoring that light could have
      > been affected by matter between points "a" and "b" which could
      > have altered its speed.

      This is not is ignored. It is what is observed.

      > You also ignore
      > the very sound scientific data suggesting that c is not constant
      > and may be slowing down. This would make the radius much smaller
      > and the distance much closer, and the date much younger. See?
      > I am assuming that you know of the data suggesting that c is not
      > constant. There are forums, articles, papers, etc. That is why I
      > am not providing the links.

      Michael, I'm sorry, but you simply don't know what you're talking
      about. Since you obviously think you do, you need to explain what you
      think you're talking about, and then I will show you that you don't.

      > You said: "You think they were just made up, and you are wrong."
      > No, I don't think they were made up. I think you are leaving too
      > many variables out that skew your calculations. To say that
      > things are not assumed or ignored is ridiculous to say. If
      > variables are left out and ignored then your data has the great
      > potential for being wrong. Further, if data is ignored and
      > assumptions remain in the calculations, then its results pushed
      > off as "fact"; then, yes, people like me are not going to blindly
      > accept them.

      It isn't ridiculous to say that things are not assumed and not
      ignored when that happens to be the case. Your claims have been

      Of course, this is all a moot point, since you have already agreed
      that the 168,000 light-years to SN1987A is at least a correct
      ballpark figure.

      > Or, do you deny the facts that I brought out? Does light
      > traveling through glass move at a different speed than through
      > air? Does this not show that matter can have an effect on the
      > speed of light? Does your calculations use the speed of light as
      > it is in a vacuum? Does this not ignore the presence of matter
      > between stellar objects? There is another fact it ignores which
      > we will talk about later.

      I already discussed your mistaken perception of these above.

      > Then, to my stating that SN1987A was an explosion and this was an
      > assumption, you replied:
      >> You really don't know what you're talking about, do you? That's
      >> what happens when a star explodes.
      > The fact is that you do not know that this is really what
      > happened, i.e., that this star exploded. All that is actually
      > observed is that the star is now giving off more energy and is
      > producing more light. Are you saying that the ONLY way, and the
      > ONLY process, by which a star can produce more energy is by an
      > explosion? That is the only reason? I would agree that this is
      > the most probable with what we know, but we have not touched the
      > hem of the garment when it comes to understanding the inner
      > workings of our own star, let alone others we view through a
      > perceptually limited manner.
      > Did the star "explode?" That is the probable reason. This is only
      > brought out to show that your mind is closed to discovery. You
      > don't know for a fact that this star exploded even though it is
      > most probable that it did. If there is a smoking gun of evidence
      > that the star actually did explode then I am sure you will bring
      > this to bare.
      > I will give you some examples. I am on a mountain looking over a
      > valley and I see bright flash of light. Do I automatically assume
      > that something just blew up? I then see that it illuminated soem
      > surrounding objects. Do I assume something exploded now?
      > If you have never seen a match before and one strikes one in
      > front of you. The match burns very big and bright at first and
      > then settles down. Did that match just explode? It was bright,
      > produced a lot of energy, but the match did not explode.

      You keep showing me that you really don't understand what you're
      talking about. I realize that you're coming new to this, but you
      should act like you're coming new to this instead of pretending (just
      like any old young earth creationist) that you've got it all figured
      out and that since you've got it all figured out you know that these
      astronomers are all just a bunch of clueless posturing idiots. You've
      got to stop making arguments that are based on this false premise
      about astronomical science.

      First of all, with regard to our specific discussion of WHEN the star
      exploded, we can actually - if you really want to - just for the sake
      of discussion pretend that the star did NOT explode. Okay, now given
      that, it doesn't change the fact that the SN1987A even (whatever it
      was if not a stellar explosion) took place approximately 168,000
      years ago.

      Second, apparently you are not even aware of the fact that the blast
      wave from the star was observed to impact the primary gas ring
      several years laster (as predicted, by the way). Please pay close
      attention, Michal. If you had look at the SN1987A reference that I
      provided you with you would have known this already. I have repeated
      the online references I gave you, at the end of this post, since you
      obviously need to take another look.

      Here are just a couple here:

      Onset of Titanic Collision Lights Up Supernova Ring

      Supernova Blast Begins Taking Shape

      >> If you could actually identify one of these assumptions, rather
      >> than incorrectly referring to observations as assumptions, then
      >> you might have something more than empty rhetoric.
      > Hopefully I have identified them enough for you.

      Still waiting.

      Todd S. Greene


      SN1987A and the Antiquity of the Universe

      The SN1987A Circumstellar Ring and the Distance to the
      Large Magellanic Cloud
      by Dr. Richard McCray

      by Dr. Richard McCray

      Hubble Space Telescope Site, Re: SN1987A

      Hubble Finds Mysterious Ring Structure around Supernova 1987a

      Supernova Blast Begins Taking Shape

      Hubble Chemically Analyzes the Ring around Supernova 1987A

      Hubble Reveals Invisible High-Speed Collision around Supernova 1987A

      Shock Wave Sheds New Light on Fading Supernova

      SN1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud

      Onset of Titanic Collision Lights Up Supernova Ring

      Here's a link to a time-lapse multiple-image "video" of the SN1987A
      blast wave impacting the primary gas ring:
      (Note the line-break in the link here, which you'll need to piece
      back together.)

      The Tarantula Nebula and supernova 1987a in the LMC

      Supernova 1987A and Sanduleak -69°202
      (Sanduleak -69°202 was the name of the catalogued star before it blew

      Around supernova 1987A, before and just after the event

      The light echo of supernova 1987A
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