History

The First Picture Show

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The oldest stuff you'll see today: 

The Sydney Morning Herald explains:

It is, scientists said yesterday, the glow from the first things to form in the universe, more than 13 billion years ago. Snapped by NASA's Spitzer space telescope, the bizarre objects must have existed within a few hundred million years of the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago….

"Whatever these objects are," said Alexander Kashlinsky, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre, "they are intrinsically incredibly bright and very different from anything in existence today." The image was made by Spitzer shooting pictures of five areas of the sky. All light from stars and galaxies in the foreground was then removed, leaving only the ancient infrared glow.

"Imagine trying to see fireworks at night from across a crowded city," Dr Kashlinsky said. "If you could turn off the city lights, you might get a glimpse at the fireworks. We have shut down the lights of the universe to see the outlines of its first fireworks."

Or maybe there's just some smudges on the lens. Either way, it's quite an image.

NEXT: I'd Like to Give the World a Coca

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  1. Jesse Walker,

    Cool link. Thanks.

  2. From Nasa …

    “Astronomers believe the objects are either the first stars — humongous stars more than 1,000 times the mass of our sun — or voracious black holes that are consuming gas and spilling out tons of energy. If the objects are stars, then the observed clusters might be the first mini-galaxies containing a mass of less than about one million suns. The Milky Way galaxy holds the equivalent of approximately 100 billion suns and was probably created when mini-galaxies like these merged.”

  3. If you squint you can see Jesus

  4. I wonder how many people went hungry so that this billion+ dollar picture could be taken? Enough already. Let’s take care of things here on Earth before wasting more money on Star Trek fantasies.

  5. Ancient and modern art combined – wow! NASA should offer lithographs.

  6. Looks like i picked the wrong day to stop taking acid.

  7. Well, we don’t want astrophysicists to starve, do we? 😉

  8. I remember seeing something like that one New Years’ Eve. I was eating Aztec trail mix and drinking Absolut Citron. What a mess.

  9. Correction: Those objects cannot be more than 6,000 years old. The Bible says so!

  10. The thing that really blows my mind about these pictures, besides the fact that we’re seeing anything 13.5 billion light years away, is that this light is so far away, and has been travelling towards us for so long, that it started out in the UV or visible spectrum and was shifted to infrared by the actual expansion of spacetime. That means the wavelength grew about 1000 times it’s original length, just from the expanding universe.

  11. Says Dan T : I wonder how many people went hungry so that this billion+ dollar picture could be taken? Enough already. Let’s take care of things here on Earth before wasting more money on Star Trek fantasies.

    This is the crux of the matter for any government. On what do you spend the resources of a country? Myself, I’d rather see money spent on exploring the universe we inhabit than say the endless list of public work projects named after Sen Byrd.

    There always have been and will always be troubles in the world, you are free to help with them on your own at any time, but I guess it’s easier to complain about what somebody else is proactively doing for the furtherment of mankinds knowledge.

  12. Does anyone reading this know how they determine that this is actually the background radiation rather than a processing artifact left over from taking out the foreground objects?

  13. Are you sure that’s not just the famous marbled page of Tristram Shandy?

  14. Yes, Dan T, we all know how many people starved to death (and are still starving) because dabblers like Newton, Faraday, Darwin, Curie Einstein, Mendel, Maxwell, Franklin and the rest of those men and women of science didn’t devote their lives to helping the poor instead.

  15. Enough already. Let’s take care of things here on Earth before wasting more money on Star Trek fantasies.

    I imagine cavemen had similar conversations:

    Ogg: Look! Me knock two rocks together, get pretty sparks.

    Nogg: Stop wasting time with silly rocks. Help Nogg hunt!

  16. Dan T,
    You’ve got it exactly backwards. How many cool pictures have we not seen because of the endless parade of destitute people. Let’s get on with realizing our Star Trek fantasies, and stop wasting money on unsolvable problems that only get worse the more we try to help.

  17. “Does anyone reading this know how they determine that this is actually the background radiation rather than a processing artifact left over from taking out the foreground objects?”

    No. But it’s not like they are adding anything. It’s just a pretty picture they made for public consumption. It’s not even the right color.

    Oh, and re: “we have better crap to spend our money on”. This is the absurdity of government spending Dan. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have all that money the feds took out of your paycheck to fund ridiculous crap like this? You could buy a homeless guy a meal, or some poor kid tuition at a better school. You’re right, we do have better stuff to spend our money on. And who better to decide what that is than the guy who earned it?

  18. Upon blind faith they place reliance,
    What we need more of is science!

  19. This is the crux of the matter for any government. On what do you spend the resources of a country?

    That is not the crux of the matter for any government that pretends to be legitimate. The legitimate functions of government are limited to handling actual public goods issues — those issues that require coordination that can be supplied only through government force.

    Neither feeding the hungry nor pretty pictures of space are public goods. An argument can be made that a minimal safety net so riots in the streets don’t bring society down might be a public good. Welfare for astrophysicists? No.

  20. I thought it was a picture of headcheese at first. 😉

  21. That said, I will enjoy the pretty pictures just as I will drive on “free” roads.

    You participate in society with the government you have, not the government you want.

  22. It’s just a pretty picture they made for public consumption.

    That’s true of all those popular NASA photos, including those beautiful nebula posters that appear on science classroom walls across the country. The images are in many ways contrived, and they’re intended more to fire the imagination than to show what something “really” “looks like.”

    That said, the science behind the image is pretty interesting, and there’s no contradiction in believing the government shouldn’t be funding it and nonetheless appreciating the fruits of the funding.

  23. I’d like to have a shirt with that pattern.

  24. Gerry Tripwell,
    I’ve read the Bible and I’ve looked through several concordances and I can’t find the passage that says the universe is 6000 years old.

    Could you please quote for me the chapter and verse to which you refer?

  25. What doesn’t make sense to me is this: Matter cannot travel as fast as light, but all matter in the universe started out in the same place.
    How was the earth, the solar system and our galaxy able to race ahead of this light in order to receive it now? In other words, since we were once in the same place as that image, shouldn’t the light have raced ahead of us in the expansion of the universe?

  26. Uh… pardon me for not gasping at the pretty colours, but if it’s an “ancient infrared glow”, the all the colours you’re seeing are applied artificially.

    That and it’s a waste of tax dollars along with just about everything else that NASA does.

    The only useful thing to come out of the space program was GPS… which, meets my bar of a “public good”, just like lighthouses.

  27. NoStar: “What doesn’t make sense to me is this: Matter cannot travel as fast as light, but all matter in the universe started out in the same place. How was the earth, the solar system and our galaxy able to race ahead of this light in order to receive it now? “

    The matter didn’t move through space faster than the speed of light, the space expanded faster than light.

    Link.

  28. NoStar–

    The “6000 yr old” thing is an extrapolation based on the detailed lineage provided in the Bible from Adam down the line. Even allowing for 900 yr life spans, one is still forced to say that either the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, or that Moses lived some billions of years ago. Evangelicals and biblical literalists go with the slightly less ridiculous option.

    As far as your second question, the answer is the expansion of spacetime– the universe, especially in the early fractions of a second after the Big Bang, expanded much faster than the speed of light. These objects in the picture were “nearby” us enough after the big bang that it only took 13.5 billion years for them to overcome the expansion of the universe and reach our telescopes this year.

  29. Incidentally, this is where the idea of “redshifting” comes from for far away objects– the expansion of the universe draws out the wavelengths of light. These objects are so far away they’re actually INFRAred shifted.

  30. Ed, I HAD a shirt with that pattern.

  31. The only useful thing to come out of the space program was GPS… which, meets my bar of a “public good”, just like lighthouses.

    Neither lighthouses nor GPS are public goods.

    The first lighthouses were private and collected tolls from their users. And GPS signals can be encrypted so they are usable only by receivers that have subscribed to the decryption mechanism.

  32. My God, it’s full of stars.

  33. Uh… pardon me for not gasping at the pretty colours, but if it’s an “ancient infrared glow”, the all the colours you’re seeing are applied artificially.

    …but represent real patterns of emissions and, less directly, real patterns of objects doing the emitting.

    So it’s artificial but not arbitrary.

    That and it’s a waste of tax dollars along with just about everything else that NASA does.

    “Just about”?

  34. The Bible makes out the universe to be only 6,000 years old? Quick, someone better inform the Vatican Observatory of this amazing new discovery:

    http://clavius.as.arizona.edu/vo/R1024/Headq.html

  35. NoStar,

    I’m pretty skeptical of any theory that proposes something from nothing, whether it’s the Guy with the Cane & the Sheep (and the big G on his pocket) doing the deed in six days (with overtime) or the primeval explosion that sent our universe skittering across what was formerly a void.

    Besides, that photo was taken several years ago and is really a stained glass window in a little chapel in San Jose del Cabo Mexico.

    Jesse, very cool picture, thanks for putting it up.

  36. “I’d like to have a shirt with that pattern.”

    Try eating spaghetti with lots of sauce using your fingers.

  37. Wine Commonsewer,

    Just a nitpick, but cosmologists aren’t actually tied into a “something from nothing” theory of the universe. There’s alot of good evidence for what happened going all the way back to the “first” few milliseconds of the observable universe. But what happened before that, or what if anything existed prior to the Big Bang, is a question that science doesn’t presume to answer definitively at this point.

  38. BC,

    My wife’s cosmologist doesn’t know jack about the universe.

    Thanks for the note, I’ll freely admit that I just don’t know the answer. I’m okay with that.

    I also don’t have the scientific background that a lot of people who hang here have. If I did, maybe I’d be less skeptical.

    It’s all interesting though and I did follow your link to the inflation article at Wikipedia. Of course, I’m actually supposed to be working, but it is getting close to Christmas.

  39. if you squint real hard it says Chesley Bonestall down in the corner. 🙂

    Kevin

  40. Mikep says: “That is not the crux of the matter for any government that pretends to be legitimate. The legitimate functions of government are limited to handling actual public goods issues — those issues that require coordination that can be supplied only through government force.”

    I’m of the mind that you are conflating a governments legitamacy (was it duly elected, i.e. given it’s power by the people); and once elected , the legitamate functions that they are allowed / responsible for (do they adhere to the contents of a constitution for example).

    I could say that scanning the heavens backwards billions of years would be an issue ” that requires coordination that can be supplied only through government force.” Does that make it a public good? You wouldn’t say yes, but this is what I was alluding to earlier. Everything in life submits to ‘opportunity cost’. Resources (not just capital , but citizens also) used in one place can’t be used elsewhere. That is part of what governments, for better or worse, do.

  41. Gerry Tripwell,
    I prefer physicist Gerald Schroeder’s take on the age of the universe.

    http://www.geraldschroeder.com/age.html

    Condensed version: Since the measurement of time is dependant upon velocity of the clock, looking back at creation will yield a longer measurement than a measurement taken at the creation. The Bible describes the creation from God’s point of view and the POV of a new universe that is expanding faster than the speed of light.

    15 billion years or 6000, it all depends on where you are when you make your measurements.

  42. I’m of the mind that you are conflating a governments legitamacy (was it duly elected, i.e. given it’s power by the people); and once elected , the legitamate functions that they are allowed / responsible for (do they adhere to the contents of a constitution for example).

    I am not “conflating” anything. Rather, it appears that I have a definition of ‘legitimate’ that differs from both of yours, being based on the primacy of individuals.

    In particular, I never elected the government I live under, nor did I sign the Constitution it pretends to abide by. Furthermore, your definition of a “legitimate” government completely admits on both counts Germany from 1933-1945, and is therefore rather uninteresting as a normative descriptor.

  43. That our government at times ‘pretends’ to adhere to the constitution, I have no argument , in fact, I agree with you.
    Germany from 1933-1945 was perhaps a legitamate government(I wasn’t there checking the propriaty of the election officials, perhaps Jimmy Carter was!),however, a ‘legitamate’ government is not immune from the bad decisions of it’s leaders.

    Is there a country in this world where you agree with the constitution and would elect leaders?

  44. Is there a country in this world where you agree with the constitution and would elect leaders?

    I know of no constitution that limits its government solely to legitimate functions of government. And whether I elect leaders has several million times more to do with who others vote for than who I vote for. I vote in every election, yet no one I’ve ever voted for has won.

  45. “I prefer physicist Gerald Schroeder’s take on the age of the universe.”

    Wow, what a web page–there is nothing more desperate than a God bullshitter trying to “scientize” the ineffably non-scientific.

    It was more entertaining when you guys just burned freethinkers at the stake instead of (nominally) trying to play on their terms.

  46. Says MikeP : “I know of no constitution that limits its government solely to legitimate functions of government.”

    But who gets to determine what the ‘legitamate functions’ of government are? A group of people who commit ideas to paper in the form of a constitution have no right to do so? But you as one individual does? A constitution limits what a government may/ may not do (America’s constitution usually the latter, correctly in my opinion, so perhaps we agree that government should have very limited powers).

    I would be interested in what you consider legitamate functions of government, and how you apply that reasoning to say national defense, firefighting , policing , ambulance service, welfare payments, college loans etc… I’m not being snark here , really am intersted.

  47. Perhaps it’s not worth the trouble, but this page pretty well debunks Schroder’s psuedo-science:

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/vic_stenger/schrev.html

    The basic gist is that Schroeder claims to be astonished that cosmology & paleontology match so well to Biblical creation stories, when in fact he’s tortured both the scientific data (and flat out misrepresented it in some cases) and the biblical interpretations in order to achieve that consistency. It’s an interesting idea, but in the end, the most charitable interpretation of Genesis is that’s it’s purely metaphorical.

  48. henry,
    Is it really beyond you to comprehend the relativity of time when measured from different view points?

  49. I’m a pretty hardcore minarchist, but until the insurance companies get together to found a Rogue Asteroid Deflection Initiative, I thing NASA and/or the space-oriented elements of our military have at least one legitimate task on their plate.

    Kevin

  50. NoStar,

    It is most certainly not beyond me to understand clowns torturing scientific concepts, like “the relativity of time” (sic), to fit whatever bullcrap they fell the need to believe already.

    As I said, I truly preferred when you guys were just murderous dogmatic fuckers, as opposed to pedddlers of this whiney, almost pleading, pseudoscience. It is the really the end stage of belief. Chasing the tail of science is a loser’s game for you Christers–it is just going to take you further and further down the road as the technology enabled by such science becomes more and more desirable. The biological sciences will lead the way. You don’t need to be Ray Kurweil to see that not too far down the line there will be those who accept “playing God”, and benefit from it, and those who will try to stem it (aka history’s losers).

    The only hope for your faith is to reject science and its resulting technologies–go back to faith qua faith, not grounded in bogus empiricism. While Christianity has proven remarkable malleable, the strain from what is soon coming will inevitably prove to be too much. (Let me guess–that is why Jesus must be coming back, pronto, huh?)

  51. It was so much simpler when I was atheist and the Steady State Universe was still being defended. Back then we would laugh at the Bible believers and their quaint notion of a creation.

    Damn you Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson.

  52. NoStar–

    The problem isn’t that Schroder uses relativity, it’s that he chooses some completely arbitrary restraints in order for it to match up to creation stories– and even then it’s a mediocre fit at best.

    For example, the difference in perceived time of the “Creator” and perceived time here on Earth varies greatly depending on exactly the time you posit to be the Creator’s vantage point (you can’t have God’s viewpoint be t=0, otherwise, He experiences “days” as infinitely long). Schroeder picks an abritrary vantage point in time for God that makes things match up to the Judeo-Christian creation story– but doesn’t give any explanation for why this should be God’s vantage point, other than that it makes it fit with a 3000 yr old story written by people who weren’t even aware that the earth was round.

    Also, in trying to suss out each of the 6 days, he runs into ridiculous problems like the sun, moon and stars being created at a date more recent than science posits the formation of the earth.

    The problem with Schroeder is that he blunders through the science (convincingly enough for a casual reader) and the religion as well, in his quixotic attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole. Genesis just doesn’t work as empirical fact.

  53. The steady state universe was undone by scientists, not Christians. That is what science does–it does not promise eternal truth, only the neverending pursuit thereof. Only God bullshitters promise eternal truths (competing ones, of course)

    You disenchantment with this idea tells us only about you, not science or religion.

  54. I would be interested in what you consider legitamate functions of government

    My worldview on political theory is shaped by my passage around political positions and through the various chambers of libertarianism. The justification of political organization I find best is the economic consequentialist argument. It sits nicely beside the moral, natural rights justification and is strongly supported by historical and empirical observation. Most importantly, its scientific reasoning and consequentialist findings provide the best consensus of people’s disparate notions of ethics and morality. It is therefore the foundation that both has the most support and is most likely to be convincing.

    Given the economic consequentialist worldview, voluntary association is clearly the best mechanism for human interaction. However, there are a few rare circumstances and domains where the markets of voluntary association can and do fail: These are the public goods issues.

    And it is from these public goods issues that legitimate government functions derive. An organization external to the market that wields the ability to kill people without threatening or being threatened by the social order is able to develop a solution to these public goods problems that the market cannot. Yet these public goods problems mark the entirety of a government’s legitimate functions. Anything government does outside of solving public goods issues by definition impinges upon the voluntary association of individuals without providing a public gain greater than the loss of the private transaction.

    Whether the current cost and future risk of having that organization around is worth the benefit it provides by solving public goods issues is an open question.

  55. bchurch,
    Good explanation. Well done.

  56. “The steady state universe was undone by scientists, not Christians. That is what science does–it does not promise eternal truth, only the neverending pursuit thereof.”

    henry,
    Given that admission, is it prudent that the “non eternal” truths like the Steady State Theory be used to discredit the Bible?

    Today science and the Bible agree that a point of creation did occur. Eventually the “non eternal” scientific truth d’jour that is used to descredit the Bible will be discarded and what replaces it may or may not support Bible belief, but the Bible will remain because its truths are eternal.

  57. and how you apply that reasoning to say national defense, firefighting , policing , ambulance service, welfare payments, college loans etc…

    As to the laundry list… National defense makes the best case for being a public good. Police, firefighting, and ambulances have public goods aspects, but are probably better provided privately. Welfare may be part of a minimal social safety net based around an argument that riots in the street are a public bad that costs little to prevent. College loans, on the other hand, are a private good with the borrower clearly receiving virtually all the benefit.

  58. “Genesis just doesn’t work as empirical fact.”

    There are two conditions under which Genesis can be construed as empirical fact:

    1) God made the Universe in such a way that it APPEARS to be 13.7+/- years old. God, presumably, does this to test our faith in him, not to deceive us.

    2) Satan [or an anti-God of your choice] faked the evidence to deceive us. This, in essence, is the Manichean Heresy, specifically deemed to be heretical and false in (I think) the Council of Nicea.

  59. “the Bible will remain because its truths are eternal”

    Thank you–just say that. As your preface to that comment indicates, it really doesn’t matter what the science points to, you are going to believe what you want to believe anyway. Fine, do it–just don’t embarrass yourself, and waste our time, with all the psuedoscience to get there–JUST DO IT ALREADY, like in the days of yore. It’s called arationality–embrace it already and cut the bullshit.

  60. God, presumably, does this to test our faith in him, not to deceive us.

    What’s the difference?

  61. OOPS.

    Condtion 1 hould read:

    …13.7+/- billion years old…

    Eh, what’s a factor of 10^9 among friends?

  62. Son of a!

    None, from my viewpoint. But that’s the way I’ve heard true beleivers reconcile it.

    As I understand it, the argument goes something like “The Revealed Word of God is Absolute. The world is imperfect and not to be relied upon. Accept the Word of God and all will be well.” {Admittedly, I’ve left out about 400 pages of the usual filler, but that’s what the argument boils down to.)

  63. henry,
    The Catholic church finally gave an apology to Galileo. How many centuries will it be for the Science Textbook Thumpers to proffer an apology to those who were scoffed at for believing the universe has a beginning?

    “it really doesn’t matter what the science points to, you are going to believe what you want to believe anyway.”

    It would also appear the converse is true:
    It really doesn’t matter what science points to, you are not going to believe in the Bible.

  64. henry,
    The Catholic church finally gave an apology to Galileo. How many centuries will it be for the Science Textbook Thumpers to proffer an apology to those who were scoffed at for believing the universe has a beginning?

    “it really doesn’t matter what the science points to, you are going to believe what you want to believe anyway.”

    It would also appear the converse is true:
    It really doesn’t matter what science points to, you are not going to believe in the Bible.

  65. Sorry, Aresen. I didn’t mean to come off as accusatory.

    Well, maybe a little bit. I sometimes enjoy a good religious debate with a reasonable opponent. 🙂

  66. “It really doesn’t matter what science points to, you are not going to believe in the Bible.”

    A relapse, evidently–just when you were doing so well, it seemed.

    Science doesn’t “point” at “the Bible”–it never has and, seemingly cannot, because there is no “the Bible”. There are a bunch of stories open to innumerbale interpretations. This is demonstrably not just an opinion because–SUPRPRISE!–there just happen to be innumerbale interpreatations out there. As someone posted long ago, the book of Genesis is not subject to emperical validation. It was not meant to be. Why you feel the need to force this loser issue is a mystery. Just believe what works you (“Jesus is going to whisk me up to the sky, where I will see mommy and daddy and grandma and grandpa forever!”) and be done with it. Why the need for “scientific” validation? I sure as fuck don’t need–or want– any validation from “the Bible”. I just say “fuck it” and move on–why can’t you? Some nagging remnant form a time when you used to rationality-based?

  67. Son of a!

    Just as long as you don’t insult Zeus and Eros.

  68. NoStar–

    As I understand it, the question of whether the universe had a “beginning” is not something on which scientists agree to this day. We can trace the observable universe back to a fraciton of a second after the Big Bang, but we still don’t really understand what the Big Bang was, whether or not there was anything before it, or whether looking for something “before” even makes any sense.

    One hypothesis I’ve heard promoted by cosmologists (not sure how accepted it is) is that entire universes are cyclically created from extremely rare quantum fluctuations in a vaccuum, and after perhaps trillions of years, matter and energy diffuses in these universes (dying a “cold death”), before another rare hiccup starts the process all over again.

    More on point, I think what henry objects to (rightly, IMO) is when thiests co-opt science, eager to have natural law support their own religious beliefs. Faith is orthogonal to science and reason. Attempts like Schroeder’s, and the more familiar idea of intelligent design, only end up bastardizing both the science and the religion that they seek to blend.

    The sum of scientific data we have today supports a naturalist explanation of the universe, not a theistic one. If you want scientific data to prove your God one day in the future, then get working on a falsifiable experiment, and good luck to you. If you accept God on faith rather than science, then cut out all the physical, biological, or cosmological pretense, and just admit that you take God as a given.

  69. By “you” in that last paragraph, I don’t really mean you in particular, NoStar. Should have probably used “one”.

  70. bchurch,

    Your tone is considerably more patience than mine, which is in your favor, no doubt. It is just that after decades of hearing the same claptrap, reconfigured when previous manifestations become unworkable, my already thin powers of patience have been rendered unworkable. It is true that science gets “recogfigured”–but never to some end which MUST be obtianed, unlike the toil of the religionists. We can have an “open” universe or a “closed” one–ultimately the science doesn’t care (prejudices of some individual scientists notwithstanding). But Christianity (for example) HAS TO end up with Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and anything that appears to the contrary MUST be disregarded or discredited–which is essentially the agenda of evangelical crowd today. Science is undoubtedly corrosive of religious belief, at least fundamenatlist religious–hence the unceasing efforts of these types to “co-opt” science.

    Strangely, one of the most ardent politcal critics of this trend has been John Derbyshire over at NRO (don’t faint). He had a remarkable piece recently which included this bit:

    “I can report that the Creationists are absolutely correct to hate and fear modern biology. Learning this stuff works against your faith. To take a single point at random: The idea that we are made in God’s image implies we are a finished product. We are not, though. It is now indisputable that natural selection
    has been going on not just through human prehistory, but through recorded history too, and is still going on today, and will go on into the future, presumably to speciation, either natural or artificial. So which
    human being was made in God’s image: the one of 100,000 years ago? 10,000 years ago? 1,000 years ago? The one of today? The species that will descend from us? All of those future post-human species, or just some of them? And so on. The genomes are all different. They are not the same creature. And if they are all made in God’s image somehow, then presumably so are all the other species, and there’s nothing
    special about us at all”

    So, Bible-thumpers: flee from our science, and we will sure as hell stay clear of your Bible.

  71. bchurch,
    no offense taken.

    henry,
    You are right. Science doesn’t point at the Bible. That is the job of non-believers who use science to discredit the Word of God.

  72. Bogus science and the missapplication of real science has been a cottage industry long before “scientific” Marxism and will continue long after the Earth enters a new ice age and the Human Caused Global Warming scare mongers find a new cause c?l?bre.

    Hell, it’s fun for the whole family no matter what your creed.

  73. Bogus science and the missapplication of real science has been a cottage industry long before “scientific” Marxism and will continue long after the Earth enters a new ice age and the Human Caused Global Warming scare mongers find a new cause c?l?bre.

    Two strawmen in one shot, nice.

  74. For those interested, here the real science to debunk NoStar’s bullshit:

    From: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE412.html

    1. Gravitational time dilation, if it existed on such a large scale, should be easily observable. On the contrary, we observe (from the periods of Cepheid variable stars, from orbital rates of binary stars, from supernova extinction rates, from light frequencies, etc.) that such time dilation is minor. There is some time dilation corresponding with Hubble’s law (i.e., further objects have greater red shifts), but this is due to the well-understood expansion of the universe, and it is not nearly extreme enough to fit more than ten billion years into less than 10,000.

    2. Humphreys tried to use clocks in the earth’s frame of reference. But the cosmos is much older than the earth. Judging from the heavy elements in the sun and the rest of the solar system, our sun is a second-generation star at least. Billions of years must have passed for the first stars to have formed, shone, and become novas, for the gasses from those novas to have gathered into new star systems, and for the earth to form and cool in one such system. The billions of years before the earth are not accounted for in Humphreys’s model.

    3. Humphreys’s theory assumes that the earth is in a huge gravity well. The evidence contradicts this assumption. If the earth were in such a gravity well, light from distant galaxies should be blue-shifted. Instead, it is red-shifted.

    4. See Conner and Page (1998) and Conner and Ross (1999) for several other technical objections.

    5. There is a great deal of other independent evidence that the earth is very old.

    6. If there were any substance to Humphreys’s proposal, at least some competent cosmologists would build on it and share in the Nobel Prize. Instead, they dismiss it as worthless.

  75. Akira

    “3. Humphreys’s theory assumes that the earth is in a huge gravity well. The evidence contradicts this assumption.”

    Now you’ve done it! You’ve succeeded in insulting beleivers in the Norse Gods. This is obviously a reference to Mimir’s Well, or the Well of Wisdom, from which Odin drank.

    You’ll get hammered for sure.

  76. Now you’ve done it! You’ve succeeded in insulting beleivers in the Norse Gods.

    Loki rules!

  77. Akira,

    Cephied type stars may not be as reliable as once thought. I can’t find a recent article that I read about this, but this article casts doubt on how distant Polaris is. The assumptions we have made, may be wrong. Polaris is not behaving like predicted.

    http://skytonight.com/news/3309131.html?showAll=y&c=y

  78. Nostar…

    Cephied type stars may not be as reliable as once thought. I can’t find a recent article that I read about this, but this article casts doubt on how distant Polaris is. The assumptions we have made, may be wrong. Polaris is not behaving like predicted.

    Proving what? New data on one star may have been obtained, how do you come to the conclusion that “Cephied type stars may not be as reliable as once thought?” There are dozens of variable stars. Now we have to throw out the entire field of astrophysics and cosmology?

    You’re fishing. You found an impressive sounding word like “cephied” did a Google search for it and found an instance where new data was discovered on one rather well known star was collected and you’re using it claim that all known science is bunk and your religion is somehow true.

    Sorry, thanks for playing, tell our little Bible beater what he’s won Don!

  79. I can’t remember which H&R poster brought this one up, but I credit him for the following thought that came up on a thread on evolution a few months back:

    According to the Creationists:

    Biology and genetics are WRONG.

    Astronomy and cosmology are WRONG.

    Physics and chemistry are WRONG.

    Geology and paleontology are WRONG.

    History and archeology are WRONG.

    But some uneducated, superstitious, goat-fucking, Canaanite shepherds who lived 4000 years ago… Yeah, they got it right!

  80. Interesting how the atheists in the thread appear to be the bigoted and asshole-ish of the lot, and the “little bible beater” has been the most respectful and civil in tone.

  81. Bigoted? No. We atheists are just fed up with having to deal with people day-in-day-out who feel the need to re-write reality because their imaginary friend says so.

    Respectful? Civil?

    Assuming that he isn’t just some fucking troll, NoStar implied that the scientist that disprove the bullshit he’s slinging are “marxists.” Forgive me if I’m wrong, but red baiting is hardly civil. In general I find his “tone” to be smarmy and condescending, like Eddie Haskel telling Mrs. Clever how nice her sweater is. He’s a smug little know-nothing bore who regurgitates pseudoscience that’s long been debunked.

    I don’t suffer stupid people and will call a moron a moron when one rears it’s ugly head. Our society is too full of fools not to. I’m sorry if that offends some people, but we’ve coddled the willfully ignorant and magical thinkers in the name of political correctness for far too long.

    Actually… no, I’m not sorry at all.

  82. OK. I’ll own up to trolling, but Tripwell started it.

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