Research Update

It has been a while since I’ve written a new post, I know. But I have tried to keep up with comments as much as possible. And many of these exchanges are well worth reading! A number of the posted comments are from evolutionists or other critics who attempt to refute my articles. I often respond to these, pointing out logical fallacies and factual errors in their message. A number of other creationists have chimed in as well – and I very much appreciate the help. I think Christians will be encouraged, and secularists will be challenged, in reading these exchanges. These comments really do show the utter bankruptcy of evolution and naturalism, and are excellent real-world training for Christians who want to better defend the faith. So have a look.

I have been very busy with research projects and with writing, and an update is long overdue. On the research side of things, I have been analyzing data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. There have been claims that such data show that our galaxy is in a preferred position in the universe – contrary to the expectations of big bang cosmology. If confirmed, this would be devastating to the secular model, but would be compatible with creation and might even lead to new creation cosmologies. ). I have been collaborating with Dr. Jake Hebert and others as well.

In order to confirm or refute this hypothesis, we must deal with “selection effects.” These are biases in data analysis resulting from the way the data were collected. For example, imagine that you wanted to know if our galaxy has more blue stars than red stars. If you went outside on a clear night and counted every bright star you could see, you would count a lot more blue stars than red stars. Assuming that the ratio is representative of the galaxy, you might conclude the blue stars far outnumber red ones. And you would be wrong.

The reason is that most red stars are very small and faint. Red stars actually far outnumber blue stars in our galaxy. But since they are hard to see, you won’t count as many. The analysis will be biased toward the bright stars, which tend to be blue. In order to get an accurate assessment of the ratio of blue stars to red stars, you must somehow deal with this selection effect. And there are several different ways to do this. The SDSS is similarly biased toward bright galaxies, particularly at extreme distance. This is known as the Malmquist bias, and is a very significant selection effect in astronomy. Note that the selection is not caused by intelligence. On the contrary, it takes intelligence to deal with the effect.

We have already succeeded in compensating for the Malmquist bias using several traditional methods, and I have invented a new method as well that appears to be more accurate than existing methods. The research is complicated because we must include general relativistic effects due to the expansion of the universe, the non-uniform sensitivity of the SDSS filters and CCD, the K-correction which compensates for galactic redshifts, and so on. In any case, the project has been very enjoyable and we hope to have final results in the next few months.

On the writing side, I have just finished a new book that deals with hermeneutics – how to interpret the Bible – from a presuppositional perspective. The book focuses mainly on correctly understanding Genesis, and proves by sound argument that the natural reading of Genesis is necessarily the correct interpretation. It is similar to “The Ultimate Proof of Creation”, except the new book offers a devastating refutation of compromised interpretations of Genesis (old earth, day age, gap theory, etc.), whereas the “Ultimate Proof” dealt mainly with refuting evolution. The book is currently being peer-reviewed. If all goes well, it will be available in spring 2015.

191 Responses to Research Update

  1. Dear Dr. Lisle –

    I love your stuff. Saw your presentation on the Mandelbrot Set on YouTube. It was posted by a YouTube account holder who calls him/herself “Doulos Iesou Christou” and the problem is that comments are not disabled, so every anti-Christian miscreant pseudo-“scientist” can post all the derogatory comments they choose. I’d like to suggest that you either advise “Doulos” to disable comments, or you tell him/her to take down the videos and then post them yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkwCl0ymTfg is one video in particular.

    Best,

    Steve

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Thanks Steve. Reading through some of those comments, it actually shows how emotionally-driven and intellectual bankrupt the secular view is. None of them deal with the actual argument by providing an alternative worldview that can account for universal, invariant, abstract laws of mathematics, nor why the physical universe adheres to such laws. They can’t do this, so they just mock Christianity instead. But this serves to confirm the Christian worldview, as it is the very situation described in Romans 1:18-25.

  2. Havok says:

    Popped out from this earlier comment due to column width.

    Jason, the issues with the excess heat which would result from rapid radioactive decay is something that the authors of the RATE papers admit themselves. They do not provide a reasonable explanation for how this heat might have dissipated (unless you think that postulating rapid and perfectly timed increases and decreases in the expansion rate of the universe at the exact level required to make things appear to have taken billions of years with a constant decay rate and without causing any observable changes, such as fluctuations in red-shift from distant galaxies, etc, as reasonable rather than being totally ad-hoc).

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      I’ll ask again. Do you know quantitatively (1) how much heat would be produced, (2) how quickly it can be dissipated to space, (3) what the resulting temperature of Earth’s crust would be? Have you done these calculations, or are you merely repeating a claim with no rational support at all? If the latter, then your objection has no merit. If the former, please produce your calculations.

      I am well familiar with the RATE team’s conclusion that a lot of heat would be produced, and that a detailed model explaining how it can be dumped to space needs to be developed. But that is not the same as your claim that it cannot be done. I’m waiting for you to back up your claim with evidence. In fact, I’m waiting for you to back up any of your claims with evidence.

  3. Stefan Frello says:

    On Morality: Skyknight (don’t you have a name!) and Lisle both seem to forget evolution.
    Darwin has an admirable short and precise description on how morality might have come around: See http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=F937.1&viewtype=text&pageseq=1 Chapter 5. The central paragraph is on page 162: ”When two tribes … conquer the other”
    It’s not that difficult to understand. All mammals (and many other animals) care for their young. When it is a lion mother, caring for the cobs, it is called instinct, and considered part of the lion’s natural behavior. When it a human mother caring for her child it is called love and considered to be of high moral value. Basically, it is all the same.
    Why then does it not pay to cheat? In a small group where everybody knows everybody cheaters will be revealed, recognized and excluded – and leave no offspring.
    Lisle would probably call the results ‘behavior’. But how do you in practice know the difference between knowing good form wrong because God put it into your heart (morality) or evolution (and culture) did (behavior)?
    Lisle perhaps will refer to the Bible as source of morality, but then you have to defense killing people who engage themselves in male homosexual behavior. Are you willing to do that?

  4. Bobby Moran says:

    So Dr. Lisle you moderated the question I posted to your blog about 2 weeks ago concerning how the Vredefort Crater Basin makes Creationism factually impossible.

    Why?

  5. Christoph Lindinger says:

    Dear Dr. Lisle,

    Thanks for your very interesting insights, wonderful. I just found a very good correlation in scripture regarding fractals. Ecclesiastes 3:15 says “What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before because God makes the same things happen over and over again.” May he who has eyes see, right?! It’s just saddening how many people out there are indoctrinated by godlessness (i was one of them, but thanks to Jesus, my eyes and ears and my heart are open now). May God bless you with the wisdom to get out the good news of our saviour Jesus Christ to all the lost sheep out there who are trapped in the illusion what they call rational science…

  6. I just watched your video on fractals – I love them as well. I wanted to make available to you a line-fractal program I wrote in C# you are welcome to use and distribute as you like.
    ftp://thebattmanhome.com@ftp.thebattmanhome.com/wwwroot/Sandy/linefrac.exe
    You need to run it as administrator because it doesn’t have a code cert.

  7. Jonathan Taylor says:

    I know this is an old post, but am hoping you might see it. First, thanks for all your work. It has been influential in my growth. Secondly, I like your theory on the asynchronous speed of light, but have thought of some other possibilities. My studies have been in math, with a side track into physical oceanography for a bit, so I know enough to know how much I dont know. But regarding the speed of light: might it be possible that because the universe is expanding, the Planck length is also expanding, and the way light travels might be based on that length? (Started thinking about it after reading about the single electron theory). Alternatively, if at the start of the universe, Planck’s length started expanding uniformly across the unviverse, then start with what I will call the Planck volume, a cube of Planck lengths. If a simplified model was a cube of these cubes and they all expand uniformly, and also the center is a fixed point in space, then the edge cubes would be moving much faster than the more centered cubes. If the speed of light is then not dependent of planck lengths, then at the start of the universe, things would appear to move much more fast than they do today. Just some thoughts I would love to discuss with you or hear your thoughts on. I might be completely off base, but regardless, thanks for your work.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Some physicists have indeed conjectured that some of the fundamental constants of nature are not truly constant, but have changed over time. We don’t really know how all the fundamental constants are connected to each other, such that changing one has an effect on another. But we do know some. The Planck length is related to Planck’s constant, the gravitational constant, and the speed of light. So if the Planck length changes, then one or more of these other quantities would change as well. Some changes would make it impossible for matter to exist. So we would have to explore how other constants would change in order for matter to exist at every step in the process.

  8. Michael Milo Marchich says:

    Dear Dr. Lisle,
    Regarding galactic “wind-up:” Why do we insist that galaxies must exhibit winding into an eventual featureless disc after they sustain multiple rotations, and, yet, we don’t stipulate the same for the appearance for hurricanes after multiple rotations? The shapes from radar images of hurricanes just look too mathematically similar to optical images of spiral galaxies for me not to wonder if there’s not some kind of astrophysical mechanism that works on galaxies in a way analogous to a meteorological mechanism that works on hurricanes.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Although there is some visual similarity between the two, the physics is different (although both experience differential rotation). (1) The cloud patterns in the outer regions of a hurricane do have bits of spiral-like structure, but they do not really form spiral arms like the kind seen in grand design spiral galaxies. Namely, a galaxy like M51 has two distinct spiral arms that can be traced continually from the perimeter to the core, but I have never seen a hurricane like this. (2) The tracer particles giving rise to the spiral arms in galaxies are stars, which are fairly permanent; but the tracer particles in hurricanes are clouds; which constantly dissipate and reform, as seen in time-lapse video. The fleeting nature of clouds therefore prevents the formation of any long-term highly-wrapped structures. This is the most significant reason for the difference. (3) We should remember that all hurricanes on earth (like all galaxies) are “young”; so even if clouds were permanent structures, the outer portions (where the spiral-type nature is most visible) may rotate only once or twice in the lifetime of the hurricane. They have not had enough time to wrap up. The inner regions rotate faster, but then again the inner regions usually resemble a uniform disk. A very interesting question.

  9. Rob Hunter says:

    First thank you for using the many out lets you use to share your insights with the world. It has helped to correct my thinking and has changed how I teach my children. I have a question that is way out of left field but I am going to ask any way. I watched, and loved, your YouTube presentation on the Mandelbrot Set. Not long after I saw a news article on the super massive black hole in the center of the Galaxy. Not a new idea I know it has been around for a while. From the little I understand the black hole can not be seen but rather is inferred based on observations of the affect to the matter around it. Would it be possible that rather than a black hole at the center of the galaxy that there is a smaller spiral structure similar to a galaxy with in the center much like the spiral patterns revealed within the Mandelbrot Set? Would that produce a similar affect on the surrounding matter?

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Rob. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the presentation on fractals. Fractal patterns are found in the physical universe; but unlike mathematical fractals, physical fractals do not repeat infinitely. As far as we know, with spiral galaxies, there is just the main spiral. It’s non-fractal. Astronomer have been able to track the motion of stars near the galactic core. The motions of these stars indicate that they are orbiting a black hole. They are definitely orbiting something that is invisible, and based on its mass, it has to be a black hole.

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