View Full Version : Speed of light not a constant?

2003-May-23, 02:10 PM
I just found this website a little bit ago and the author is arguing that the speed of light hasn't been constant.
Here's the website:

I think the guy is a bit...wierd, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really take apart his argument. The frustrating thing is his wife uses her husband's data to prove a young earth on http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php (under the creation/evolution section).


This is the same person who I threw the meteor data at.

In any event I'm frustrated and feeling as though the effort isn't worth the trouble.

Incidentally is the speed of light covered in astronomy or physics?

2003-May-23, 03:12 PM
Setterfield is a notorious Australian Young-Earth creationist. He's not "a bit weird" - rather, he's completely lost the plot. You should take anything he says with a container-ship-load of salt, and then perhaps, if you wish, post it over at the "Against The Mainstream" board. ;)

Having said that, however, some recent work by a new name in theoretical physics has shown that there may have been a decrease in the speed of light during an earlier epoch of the universe. An article about this physicist's work was linked by a creationist (even though it has nothing to do with creationism and does not support a young universe) in a now defunct thread over at the A.M.S. board - rather than link to it I've just quoted my own post below. I had some problems with an apparent contradiction in the linked article which I still can't resolve (anyone?) but it's still very interesting stuff - have a read.

Viva Joao?

Irrespective of (banned creationist who will not be named)'s motivations for posting the above article, I think it is absolutely fascinating. You should read the whole thing, (banned creationist who will not be named) - really. I have to admit, though, Magueijo's theory somehow leaves me feeling uncomfortable. I like paradigm-shattering new theories, but this one is really hard to come to terms with.

There does seem to be an inconsistency, though. The beginning of the article said that VSL theory allowed for a decrease in the speed of light which later "froze" at its current velocity. But later after discussing Webb's spectral shift discovery, the article talks about the Earth-bound experiment to detect a possible change in the fine structure constant (and I suppose, therefore also a change in c). Have I understood this correctly? I am I missing something?