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PANORAMA

The first generation of stars

In the late sixties, as a graduate student at Case, I had the pleasure of taking a seminar and a course from the British astronomer, V. C. Reddish. Reddish revolutionized my view of the role of mathematics in science. Theretofore I thought that all mathematical advancements in science were to be rigorous. That meant that it was slow moving. But Reddish demonstrated how to use approximations as an outline from which to derive the rigor should the conclusions warrant it. That meant not only faster mathematical derivations but also meant that a lot of the work could be done in one's head over the course of months. In the course of his presentation, Reddish presented a theory of star formation (evolutionary, of course,) which solved many of the problems with the current theory. Although published, the theory was totally ignored.

This willful ignorance by the established astronomy marked the start of my disillusionment with pure scientific research. I learned that science is first and foremost a political endeavor and truth and accuracy fall by the wayside. But now, some new developments may force the evolutionists into accepting Reddish's theory.

Alain Omont of the Institute of Astrophysics in Paris has found that the quasar BR 1202-0725, with a redshift of 4.69, has an unexpectedly high amount of dust and carbon monoxide surrounding it. According to the evolutionary speculation, the quasar's light left a billion years after the big bang. The problem is that the big bang cannot produce carbon and oxygen in sufficient quantities to account for the observed quantities of CO and dust. So the astronomers conclude that in the first billion years there were already huge galaxies and that a generation of stars have lived and died. This is impossible in current theory but it is precisely what Reddish's theory predicts.

Of course, from a creationist perspective, there was no previous generation of stars and the cosmos was created with the appearance of age.

Lightning and tornadoes

We quote from the abstract:1 “Laboratory experiments showed that under certain conditions of vorticity the electrical heating produced by a high-voltage discharge at atmospheric pressure can cause the formation of a miniature tornado-like vortex. Once it forms, this vortex stabilizes the electrical discharge along its axis and changes its character from that of a spark to a high-pressure variety of a glow discharge. Electrical and dynamic parameters were measured. By relating observations and measurements made in these experiments to previous work and to analogous situations in nature, it is concluded that the heating produced by electrical discharges in a large storm may play a significant role in forming and maintaining natural tornadoes.”

The Bible tells us that lighting is necessary to produce rain (Job 38:25-26). The above research broadens that and suggests that lightning may also play a role in the formation of tornadoes. Significantly, people who have looked up into the middle of a tornado report that the interior is hollow and that there are many electrical discharge sparks throughout it. Although the above investigators suggest that the heat generated by the lightning may influence tornado formation, the broader evidence suggests that the electrical field in a column of air or along a lightning stroke or potential lightning bolt's path may itself be responsible for the formation of a tornado. More research is needed.

Was Hitler a geocentrist?

A couple of times in the last 20 years (the length of time I've been a geocentrist), I've come upon the claim that Hitler was a geocentrist. Now the object of this claim is to suggest that if you are a geocentrist you must also be a Nazi. This is preposterous, but it is not atypical of today's pseudo-intellectual climate. Besides, Idi Amin and Mao were heliocentrists: does this make all heliocentrists pedophillic sodomites like Idi, or communists like Mao? Of course not.

Now comes a new twist to the story. Last April I received a fax which included a quote by Hitler on the nature of the Copernican revolution. The source for these comments is Picker's Tischgespräche, or, in English, Hitler's “Table Talks.” The date of this conversation is June 2, 1942 and the topic is “War: the Mother [literally “birth hour” —Ed.] of Inventions”:

With what difficulty did the dissolution of the Ptolemaic world image yield to that of Copernicus! Thus collapsed a world view which had been the foundation of ecclesiastical thinking. To accept Copernicus then required the highest courage of each individual, as it forced them into the greatest combat position. Understandably! For the more single-minded a man or organization thinks, the harder it is to admit to error; to shake off the intellectual foundation in the light of new knowledge.

So, as a rule, the fate of the inventor is always the same. Even the director who made the epoch observation that one could travel by steam on rails was ridiculed by the other directors, and so by all experts. The tragedy of the inventor's fate is that the inventor must intrude into an order deemed by people to be unchangeable. Furthermore, it happens that the invention at first unleashes a disorder. Thus war is the most favorable time to introduce new inventions, since its very nature is to quickly bring new things into the ebb and flow. The airplane, for example, developed more in three and a half years of war than it did in thirty years of peace. One needs only recall that in 1906 there was issued a regulation which proclaimed that an airplane only had value if it flew 40 kilometers per hour.

I purposely expanded the above quote an additional paragraph to show more of the context in which the reference to Ptolemy and Copernicus occurred. Here Hitler states that the geocentric Ptolemaic model was an error which the Roman church found difficult to dismiss in favor of the heliocentric Copernican one. As those two who claimed that Hitler was a geocentrist did not or were not able to produce a supporting statement, and as this direct quote supports the contrary notion, we conclude for what it's worth that Hitler was not a geocentrist.

Quantized redshifts and geocentricity

For more than 20 years, William Tifft has claimed that galaxy redshifts seem to cluster around multiples of 37.5 km/sec. Now two British Astronomers, Bill Napier of Oxford and Bruce Guthrie of the Royal Observatory at Edinburgh have published the best evidence yet in support of Tifft's claim. Tifft's work originally involved the huge Coma cluster of galaxies and originally clustered around a period of 72 km/sec. During the 1980s Tifft and W. John Cocke examined the radio wavelength emitted by neutral hydrogen gas in cluster galaxies and found that the actual preferred frequency was close to half his original value, namely, 36 km/sec.

Napier and Guthrie examined the radial velocities of galaxies in the local supercluster. The supercluster is a band of galaxy clusters which spans the sky. It starts with the Virgo cluster and then goes north past the Coma cluster (which is not a member of the local supercluster) including the clusters in Canes Venatici and the Big Dipper on towards Lynxus. To the south from Virgo it extends beyond Centaurus. In the late 1970s I found evidence which suggested that this supercluster was rotating as a unit. Napier and Guthrie collected radio observations from 8 different radio observatories in order to circumvent instrumental errors. They looked at 97 spiral galaxies with observations each from all 8 observatories. After translating the speeds to galactocentric reference, they performed a mathematical procedure called a power spectrum analysis and found a fundamental frequency of 37.5 km/sec (see figure). The effect is so strong that there is one chance in 10,000 that it is a chance occurrence.

The referees of Astronomy and Astrophysics, which is the journal to which Napier and Guthrie submitted their paper, asked them to repeat their analysis with a set of 117 other members of the supercluster. The same effect showed up with a probability of 1 in 2,000 that it was an accident. (Between the two experiments this means that the odds are 1 in 20,000,000 that they would both happen by accidental coincidence.)

Why was the effect not found before? Generally, galaxy velocities are measured with an error of 10 to 30 km/sec, which is not accurate enough to reveal the effect. Efforts are now underway to optically examine these galaxies with high-precision. The effect should show up much more clearly.

So what are the geocentric implications? There are none directly, although the effect is also observed, centered on the earth, in neighboring galaxies. Because these frequencies are found inside galaxy clusters, and because we do not have any direct estimates for the speed of these galaxies across the sky (tangential to the line of sight), we cannot ascertain if this effect is geocentric. Still, the fact that Tifft found the effect in galaxies in our own group of clusters (a mini-cluster) is a geocentric result.

There is only one theory which could be made to explain this effect and that is the “oscillating scalar fields” theory. According to the theory, such fields which arise from linking the fundamental forces of nature (akin to the firmament analysis) could provide a form of antigravity on large scales. Indeed, in my original 1987 paper on the firmament, I observed that one of the consequences of the firmament's existence is that Newtonian gravity would break down at large distances, an effect which could account for the “missing mass” found in galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Thus there would be no such thing as the mysterious “dark matter" which has been proposed to explain the missing mass.

The elusive gravitational constant

At last year's American Physical Society meeting, three groups of physicists from around the world presented new measurements of G, the gravitational constant. Using a torsion balance apparatus, the three groups found that their results differed by 0.6% from the commonly accepted value, an amount 60 times larger than the errors allowed by the experimental apparatus. This problem is not new, but the cause is unknown. The experimenters did rule out variable G and position on earth.
Bacterial life on Mars?

Last August, NASA and Stanford University declared that they had found possible bacterial fossils in a rock from Mars. The rock, designated ALH84001, was found in 1984 on the land surface of Antarctica (Allen Hills). Since Antarctica is covered with ice, it is presumed that any rocks found on the surface of the ice are extraterrestrial, mostly meteorites. The probability that terrestrial eruptions such as Krakatoa could toss rocks that far is rejected out of hand.

The results were published in the August 16, 1996 issue of Science. The accompanying electron microscope photos show globules (see photo at right) and rods (see cover photo) which superficially resemble fossils of bacteria on earth. NASA announced the story to the press more than a week before the issue was sent out. At the time, Congress and the Clinton administration were considering NASA's 1997 budget with a meat cleaver in hand. The next day both Congress and Clinton were calling for more planetary exploration.

How does NASA know that this rock is from Mars? It doesn't. The Viking landers did analyze sample soil from the surface of Mars, mostly looking for organic molecules, and the “Mars meteorites” react similarly if subjected to the same chemical tests. I don't know if these tests have been done on terrestrial volcanic rocks and if so, what the results are. Nevertheless, the rocks “martian origin” was “recognized” in 1993 and we present here is what is and what is not known about the alleged fossil life on Mars.

The carbonate formations are found on the surfaces of cracks inside the rock. The rock itself weighs 3 pounds (1.9 kg.) and is roughly an 8 inch (20 cm.) cube. The sizes of the objects range from 1/100th to 1/1000th the diameter of a human hair. They resemble fossil bacteria found on earth but are 100 times smaller than their terrestrial counter parts. Indeed, they are so small that there is some question as to whether or not they are big enough to hold genetic material at all. Furthermore, they lack any sign of the cavities needed by cells to circulate the fluids necessary to sustain life.

Now in all fairness, NASA and Stanford are very careful not to claim that these are fossil bacteria, but the implication is made very strongly. Yet the researchers did not do the chemical analysis which would demonstrate whether or not the globules and rods are themselves organic. They did find polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the sample, and the claim seems to be based on that plus the presence of iron pyrite (fool's gold) in the form of magnetite. This is not the first time that both of these compounds have been found in such a rock. In 1989 a paper in Nature described organic molecules in a similar “Mars rock.”

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are produced by cells when they decay. This may seem conclusive, but PAHs are also common in other meteorites not thought to originate from other planets. Both PAHs and amino acids were discovered in the Murchison-Murray meteorite about 30 years ago, but although at the time some thought these originated from contamination by terrestrial material during handling, now both compounds in the meteorite are thought to be of nonbiological origin. Indeed, PAHs can also form by inorganic precipitation, so the presence of PAHs in the rock neither proves nor disproves the biogenic nature of the objects found in ALH84001.

The fact that the PAHs are found only inside the rock is taken as evidence that the PAHs originated on Mars. Yet Antarctica is not as sterile as people believe it to be. The rock's color is black, which would absorb sunlight and heat to melting any snow falling on it. The water would penetrate into the surface of the rock and leach out any PAHs on the surface, giving a PAH distribution as observed. Furthermore, ultraviolet light also destroys PAHs and of that there is plenty in Antarctica. Magnetite is an important marker for biological mineralization, but the researchers did not show that magnetite is present, as it is in terrestrial samples, in the walls of the candidate structures. Furthermore, the magnetite in the rock is found in teardrop shaped crystals, which is extremely rare on earth. Those bacteria on earth which produce teardrop-shaped magnetite are extremely large and use them as a compass to find their way. Not only are the martian objects much, much smaller than those of earth, but Mars's magnetic field is a five-hundredth the strength of earth's so that the magnetite would be useless for orientation.

Alternative explanations for the origins of the alleged fossils and chemicals also exist. Just a month before the NASA announcement, Ralph Harvey and Harry McSween published a paper in which they proposed that ALH84001 had been formed in a hot fluid, hotter than 450 Celsius, which was rich in carbon dioxide, and which splashed on the rock as the latter was flung out of its crater. Ian Franchi of the Open University in Britain, which has a superb meteorite research center, notes that carbonate spheres grow on rocks left lying around after being brought in out of the Antarctic cold. He admits that he can't explain why some of the spheres are cracked.

Finally, the fossil candidates are claimed to be 3.6 billion years old. Rubidium-Strontium dating of the rock itself yields an “age” of 1.39 billion years. If the objects are fossils which formed on the rock, then they should be younger than the rock.

So what do we make of the discovery of “microfossils” on Mars? The evidence is ridiculously scant. The only reasonable explanation for the announcement is that NASA tricked Clinton and Congress into continued funding of planetary exploration. It was purely a sham designed to justify the budget. Such is not new and it is not restricted to NASA. One can always tell when a particular budget item is being considered. When the cancer research budget item is under consideration, the press reports on a ”major breakthrough” which is always “just around the corner.” The same for GRIDS (gay-related immune deficiency syndrome, now erroneously called “AIDS”). The phenomenon is just another example of the United States government's current philosophy of managing by crisis.


NOTES AND REFERENCES

1 Ryan, R. T. and B. Vonnegut, 1970. “Miniature whirlwinds produced in the laboratory by high-voltage electrical discharges.” Science, 168:1349-1351.


Translated from WS2000 on 14 February 2005 by ws2html.