RSR: Stretch Cosmology

God stretched out the heavens* 2020 Update: Having just come across his article at, we thought we'd quote NSF astronomy fellow Dave Rothstein:

"[E]xpanding" isn't really the best word to describe what is happening to the universe... A more accurate word for what the universe is doing might be "stretching".

Similarly, last year NASA wrote that, "The space between galaxies is stretching..." (See more about this at

* 2020 Experiment Proposal: Might it be theoretically possible to triangulate the distance from two distant galaxy clusters to an even further galaxy?

* 2019 Experiment Proposal: Einstein, Lisle, and Hartnett notwithstanding, might it be possible to estimate the one-way speed of light.

* 2017 Update: Stretch Cosmology was proposed in the Del Tackett-narrated fathom-event film Is Genesis History? (Tackett makes a cameo appearance of sorts in Enyart's Focus II documentary.)

* 2013 Update: See this by AiG astronomer Danny Faulkner, A Proposal for a New Solution to the Light Travel Time Problem, in the peer-reviewed Answers Research Journal! Dr. Faulkner published the idea that God's Day Three creation of the plants, and that He may have supernaturally pulled the plants out of the ground, may be an analogy for how He stretched out the heavens on Day Four, causing the stars to undergo hyper-stellar-nucleosynthesis and actually, though supernaturally, pulling the light from the farthest stars across the universe to the Earth (and perhaps beyond).

In addition to Danny's argument, there is also this scriptural passage that may reinforce that concept of how God may have created plants, by rapidly and supernaturally pulling them up from the ground. The English word sprout is translated from the Hebrew tad-se, used in Genesis 1 not for the creation of animals but only for plants, and meaning to sprout or to shoot [out]...

Gen. 1:11: "And God said, 'Let the earth sprout vegetation...'"

That Hebrew word is used in Scripture only here in Genesis 1:11. The word daw-shaw',  considered related, appears in Joel 2:22, the "pastures are springing up..."

* Stretching the Cosmos: Real Science Radio co-hosts Fred Williams and Bob Enyart discuss more great news stories from the Winter 2012 edition of Creation magazine. And the guys reply to a listener who asks why would a star die and collapse if the universe is only thousands of years old. 2013 Update: After a change of name, the guys now refer to this to this proposal, to solve the starlight and time dilemma, as Stretch Cosmology.

* Is God Outside of Time? Google that question and we think you'll find that of hundreds of thousands of related web pages, that RSR's answer and article is ranked by Google as #1 at The well-known claim that time slows down as an object approaches the speed of light also entails that at the speed of light time stops. However, if that were true, then a photon traveling through a vacuum could not have its own innate frequency (i.e., color). But it does.

* Anti-evolutionary Eels, Next-generation Band-Aids, Egyptian Blue, Dawkins Color Vision Challenge, Threes, and Black Holes in a Young Universe: The species of eel discovered in the South Pacific shows stasis, the primary expectation of the creationist (and of renowned evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould), rather than evolutionary change, the expectation of the atheist and of theistic evolutionists.

* New Band-Aids Designed Without Glue By Copying the Gecko Toe: It's about time human engineers got around to reverse engineering the adhesiveness of the gecko's feet in order to manufacture a better Band-Aid. The Band-Aid was invented in 1920, making it eleven years older than the Big Bang which was invented in 1931. See the series of enlargements in the gecko feet image to get an idea of how God used form rather than glue to enable geckos to walk on walls.

* Post-Show Note: Real Science Radio is looking for a sketch artist! Help us create the RSR Dawkins Color Vision Challenge! Similar to our PZ Myers Trochlea Challenge (for which PZ honestly answered, "I don't know"), Bob and Fred are constructing a similar challenge but this time for Richard Dawkins, and regarding a different aspect of the alleged evolution of vision. The guys are hoping to get an artist to volunteer to sketch their challenge, and also, they're eager to get comments and constructive criticism emailed to them on the challenge itself. Done;

* Egyptian Blue and the Three Primary Colors: The ancient Egyptian chemists were brilliant materials engineers, and their effort to create a true blue pigment was stunning in its sophistication. Interestingly, there are three primary colors in pigments just as there are three primary colors in light waves.

Bob Debates a Geophysicist & a Mathematician* Threes Everywhere: The number three reflected in the Trinity and throughout Scripture turns the Christian's attention toward the creation to see space existing in three dimensions, height, width, and length, as does time in past, present and future. The electromagnetic force operates in positive, negative, and neutral, and in light waves, red, green, and blue blend into the hues of the rainbow whereas and in pigment the three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. We human beings on this third planet from the Sun experience matter primarily in three states, solid, liquid, and gas. The strongest shape for building is the triangle. Writers often give three examples and artists group in threes as in interior design, sculpting, and even movie directors, as they have the word trilogy (1, 2, 3) but no word for any other number of films. Photographers use the rule of thirds, genetic scientists discovered that the language of DNA uses only three-letter words, and the scientific journal Icarus has published a 2013 paper identifying a decimal system in the amino acids of DNA, which code thereby contains, at least once, all the three-digit values, 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 777, 888, and 999. And so we humans are body, soul, and spirit (1 Thes. 5:23), made in the image of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. See also

* Stretch Cosmology Proposed Solution: Bob Enyart has temporarily removed the written description of this topic because in 2020 he is considering submitting it to one of the creation journals. This program's audio, however, remains available (via the above links). Check back here in 2020 for an update.

* RSR's Vision Challenge:

A brain doesn't "see" an image but a symbolic code of that image

Today’s Resource: We invite you to browse the Science Department of our online store!

* On the One-Way Speed of Light Claim from Einstein and Creationist PhDs Jason Lisle & John Hartnett: The speed of light is only known from round-trip measurements. Thousands of laser beam flashes aimed at the Moon demonstrate one example of this kind of measurement. These lasers strike the Apollo 15 retro-reflector base plate and then bounce back as researchers measure the time of the round trip, about 2.51 seconds. (These experiments, btw, also indicate that the moon is recessing from the Earth at more than one inch per year.) Regarding light's roundtrip, Einstein argued that there is no valid reason to claim that light travels at the same speed on both legs of a round trip, so that the speed that light travels from Point A to Point B (or from the Earth to the Moon) could be different from the speed on its return journey from B back to A. The argument maintains that it would be just as valid to stipulate that light traveled instantaneously in one direction, and then at half of what we consider to be the speed of light on its return journey. Einstein argued that assuming anything about the one-way speed of light is unjustifiable, but that, only in order to simplify the relevant mathematics, it is justifiable to stipulate that the one-way speed of light is the same as the round trip speed.

* Starlight & Time and the Conventionality Thesis/Anisotropic Synchrony Convention: Creationist astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle, as supported by RSR friend and cosmologist Dr. John Hartnett, has used this to address the starlight and time challenge by claiming that light instantly arrives at Earth after being emitted from even the most distant galaxies. If so, of course that great distance would thereby be irrelevant to light's travel time to Earth. Photons are elementary, quantum particles. And quantum mechanics is wild enough that many who study the field would not be shocked if light behaved in the extraordinary way that Drs. Einstein, Lisle, and Hartnett propose is possible. While various philosophers of physics have proposed theoretical ways to test the one-way speed of light, physicists have responded by claiming to identify faulty assumptions in those proposals. This means that the 300,000 kilometers per second claimed universal speed limit has never actually been experimentally verified and is only an industry-wide assumption to simplify the math. Thus, as believed by the early scientists, and fully compatible with Einstein's theory of special relativity and by all measurements made to date, the one-way speed of light from even the furthest galaxies to the Earth could be infinite. If so, human beings would be seeing astronomical events unfold as they happen in a "real-time" universe and Adam would have seen the light from the stars created only two days before He was, without any other supernatural or natural explanation needed. This argument includes the claim, as boldly stated by Dr. Hartnett, that "there can be no experiment that can refute the conventionality thesis", such that no one can even theoretically devise a way to measure the one-way speed of light. What follows are three proposed methods, one having been already accomplished.

Screenshot of one-way transmission of light through a milky water bottle at 100 billion frames per second at CIT, 2019
100 billion FPS

* Did this 2019 Laboratory Video Measure the One-Way Speed of Light? Through water, light travels 25% slower than through a vacuum, at 225,000 kilometers per second rather than 300,000. See this 2019 video made at the California Institute of Technology. At 4:33 a laser beam is shot through a bottle of water with a bit of milk in it. (The milk increases amount of photon scatter produced by refraction and makes it easier to video.) Amazingly Caltech's cameras, the fastest in the world, one with a maximum rate of 10 trillion frames per second, are able to capture light in progress in its one-way transit. In this clip, they are using a slower frame rate camera at 100 billion frames per second to capture the laser beam's one-way journey through the bottle!

Thirteen years before the light-in-the-bottle recording, in Max Jammer's Concepts of Simultaneity: From antiquity to Einstein and beyond, he concluded that the conventionality thesis remains an open question.

Screenshot of one-way transmission of light through water vapor filmed at 10 trillion frames per second by CIT, 2019
Chaotic Cavity

Thus according to this Berlin-born Israeli physicist who became a close colleague to Einstein, as of 2006, no experiment had falsified a potentially infinite one-way speed of light. But Jammer, who passed away in 2010, never saw this 2019 Caltech bottle video.

The astounding technical achievement of the CIT researchers has been popularized by YouTube's The Slo Mo Guys. (We've previously utilized two of their videos in our answer to creationist Michael Oard to explain why there is a linear crack, called the mid-oceanic ridge, that circles the Earth like the seam on a baseball.) The March 17, 2019 Slo Mo Guys' video is called Filming the Speed of Light at 10 Trillion FPS. Each frame equals 10 picoseconds (ten thousandths of a second) and it takes about 2,000 pico seconds for the light to travel through the length of the bottle.

A pulse of light traveling one way, from left to right, through a vile of milky water...
10 trillion FPS

At 5:40 into the same video at the same 100 billion frames per second, the CIT technician recorded light bouncing around inside of a water-vapor filled mirrored device they call a chaotic cavity. (See image, left.) Videotaping light bouncing around within this chamber shows that light travelling through water vapor, at what must be very close to the speed of light in a vacuum, and yet there is no discernable difference in its speed in either direction, and it certainly never appears to have moved at infinite speed by disappearing and instantly popping up across the chamber. 

Then at 10:50 in using Caltech's fastest camera a researcher records at ten trillion frames per second a pulse of light traveling about ten millimeters through a milky vile. (See image, right.) Just click play to see that segment of the video: 

* Another Fast Camera Proposal for a One-Way Measurement: As another challenge to the Conventionality Thesis, RSR's Bob Enyart asks whether 10-trillion FPS cameras (and Caltech's planned faster versions) might be used in a round-trip configuration to measure the one-way speed of light. Here's the concept...

Proposed experiment setup for estimating the one-way speed of light

The experiment is performed first with the bottle filled with water with a bit of milk in it. (The milk sufficiently increases the refractivity of the medium so that the laser's progress can be captured on video.) The experiment is then repeated with the bottle filled with water vapor. The speed of light in a vacuum is 50% faster than in glass, a third faster than in water, but only neglibly faster than in air (three hundreths of 1%). Of course the introduction of milk in the water and the water vapor will reduce the speed of light through these mediums, but that reduction should be quantifiable and sufficiently minimal as to not prevent the one-way measurement of the speed of light. Space itself is not a "perfect vacuum" with even interstellar space containing about an atom per cubic centimeter. Earth's atmosphere extends beyond the Moon (a transient condition that could not long persist). And here on Earth we cannot produce perfect vacuums (although CERN's claims about their ultra high vacuum are extraordinary). The laser pulse in a vacuum would not be detectable by the cameras since there would be no matter to refract/scatter its photons such that some could be detected by the cameras. If photons normally interacted with one another, a second beam of light could be emitted from a camera and bounce off the target beam to be measured, with the camera then recording the returning light signal. In such a configuration, the use of the second beam's round trip would be negligible to the overall experiment's design. However, visible light photons rarely collide. There are known ways to cause them to collide and high energy photon-photon collisions do occur. Regardless of these particulars though, if this proposal gets to the attention of the scientists at CIT or CERN, perhaps they could arrange for this experiement to be conducted in an optimal configuration.

The experiment above, first proposed on Sept. 3, 2019, avoids the kind of systematic error that evolutionists make when they "sneak" intelligence into their "natural selection" computer simulations. For example, we would discredit the results if we snuck the round-trip speed of light into the synchronization of the cameras themselves and used that very synchronization in the experiment. To avoid this, the experiment design does not rely on the cameras being synchronized. (And in any configuration, other than perhaps in a photon-to-photon collision mode, the results do not depend upon roundtrip optics to and from any individual camera.) Instead, we position the three cameras close enough to the laser beam so that any roundtrip optics in any configuration is insignificant compared to the lengthier transit of the laser through the bottle. As a beam transits the bottle, it will produce photographable scatter from the refraction off of the various materials filling the bottle. If the beam's transit to the bottom of the bottle is instantaneous, and it's return trip is at half of today's assumed speed of light, then the cameras' registering of the scatter will show a different number of frames between the outgoing and returning beam as they would if the outgoing and returning beams travel at the same speed on both legs of their round trip. The differences are quantified below. However, if the beam's transit to the bottom of the bottle is not instantaneous (and of course the cameras' frame rates are fast enough to capture this), it seems that the leading edge of the beam (or pulse) would come into view of each camera from the right boundary of its field of vision and, frame-by-frame, pass to left boundary (with perhaps ten frames showing its progress across a single camera's field of view). If this happens, a single camera could accomplish the goal of the experiment, as it alone could demonstrate that the light did not travel instantaneously on its outgoing journey. In this case, we could calculate light's one-way speed based on the width of the single camera's field of vision, the cameras frame rate, and the number of frames it takes to record the beam's journey across that field.

The three-camera configuration enables a different kind of measurement. The two additional cameras (above, numbered 2 and 3) along with a reflector at the bottom of the bottle might enable separate video recordings of both the outgroing and the return trips of the same beam. (If the single camera configuration provided any one-way speed measurement, this could also corroborate that result.) Regardless of whether the beam's one-way speeds are identical, camera #3 will be the first camera to record the beam's return trip. That last camera would then record fewer frames between the beam leaving its field of view and when it again reentered its field of view on its return trip. If sufficient frame rates enable this experiment to work, then the first camera, #1, will register the most frames separating it's initial recording and it's final recording of the laser's scatter. For example, consider if the camera operated at quadrillions of frames per second. Next, consider what could be learned if each camera captured on ten frames the refraction produced by the passing laser. Only to simplify this explanation of the experiment, assume that the cameras were positioned next to each other such that the beams entire journey would be captured on one or another camera. So when Camera 1 first registers the beam, we count 10 frames until the beam disappears. If the one-way speed of light is the same as its roundtrip speed, the camera will then have 40 empty frames until it begins to register the beam on it's return trip, and the data from that camera will end with its frames 51 to 60 showing the end of the laser's journey. In this circumstance, Camera #2 will not show 40 empty frames between its first and last registering of the scatter, but only 20 empty frames. Camera #3 will show no empty frames and the reflector, in this simplified explanation, would be positioned at the edge of that camera's field of view.

If the one-way speed of light is not the same as its roundtrip speed, and its speed on its initial leg is instantaneous, it is presumed that all three cameras would still register the scatter produced, although they would all be registering that refraction at the same time. (This would be an indirect way to synchronize the cameras, after the fact in the analysis of the data they record. A difference this would make as compared to the above discussion is that the light scatter registered by each camera's field of view would not show it moving from right to left, but that scatter would appear instantaneously horizontally across the camera's display and disappear instantaneously, and not from right to left.) Also in this case of an instantaneous outgoing one-way trip, the number of frames results from Camera #3 will be identical to what it would be if the one-way speed of light were the same as its roundtrip speed. Camera 3 will show ten frames of the outgoing leg immediately followed by ten frames of the return leg (although, there very well may be a difference in how the instantaneous leg registers the refraction as compared to the non-instantaneous leg, as just described). So Camera #3 in this experiment would not be able to distinguish, based on numbers of frames, between varying one-way and roundtrip speeds of light. Consider though Camera #2. Camera #2 would have only ten empty frames between its registering the beam on its outgoing and return trips. That is because Camera #2 would register the laser instantaneously with Camera #1, and would only have to "wait" the equivalent of the ten frames it takes for the light reflected to cross Camera #3's field of view. So the data from Camera #2 will end with its frames 21 to 30 showing the end of the laser's journey from its perspective. Consider then Camera #1. In this circumstance, Camera 1 will show 20 empty frames between its first and last registering of the scatter.

So compare the differences in the empty frames between registering the light's outgoing and return trips. If the outgoing trip is instantaneous, Camera #2 will have 10 empty frames and Camera #3 will have 20 empty frames. If the one-way speed of light is the same as its roundtrip speed, Camera #1 will have 40 empty frames and camera #2 will have 20 empty frames. The ratios in this configuration are the same. But by using differing configurations and by determing the actual number of frames it takes for the laser to traverse a single camera's field of view, the results could become definitive.

While a seemingly wild idea, quantum physicists can believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast. So, many would not be shocked if light behaved in the extraordinary way that Dr. Jason Lisle and Dr. John Hartnett propose. Regardless though, RSR makes the following prediction (which is merely what most physicists would expect). If the beam leaves a record of its travels on each of the camers, then considering the time that would pass between the beam leaving and then reentering each camera's field of view. RSR predicts that we could calculate the increasing number of camera frames (time) that pass, as we move from the last, to the middle, to the first camera, between the leading edge of the beam leaving the field of the camera's view (as it heads toward the bottom of the bottle) and reappearing on its return trip. And of course, if the camera frame rates are not fast enough to distinguish between the outgoing and return trips of the beam, then just get a faster camera or a much taller bottle.

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* An RSR Friend Proposed the Following to Measure the One-Way Speed of Light: Regarding testing the Lisle/Hartnett conventionality thesis (aka ASC), Dr. Lisle has written about these kinds of proposals and argues that such efforts fail due to the time dilation that is believed to occur during clock transport...

  • synchronize two very accurate clocks on earth
  • send one to the moon
  • wait some time (the length of time it would take to perform the experiment to follow below)
  • after this wait, go back to the moon and retrieve the clock
  • compare the time shown on clock from the moon to the time shown on the clock which stayed on earth
  • repeat half a dozen times, recording the results
  • average the results, noting standard deviation / variance
  • understand whether the clocks get out of sync during the short time they are separated
  • fix the clocks if they get out of sync
  • repeat the above until the clocks stay synchronized
  • the perform the experiment below
  • synchronize the clocks again
  • send one to the moon
  • use the one on the moon to trigger a laser pulse from the moon to the earth at a know pre-specified time
  • measure the time the pulse is received on the earth with the other clock (which remained on the earth)
  • return the moon clock to the earth to ensure the two remained reasonably in sync
  • find the difference between the time the laser pulse was measured by the clock on the earth and the known pre-planned time for the pulse to be sent from the moon
  • from the above calculated difference and the known distance to the moon, calculate the speed of the light while traveling one-way to the earth from the moon
  • if the calculated speed is 1/2 c, ASC is confirmed
  • if the calculated speed is infinity, ASC is confirmed
  • if the calculated speed is c, ASC is not confirmed
  • regardless of the value of the speed of light found, this is (and the experiment has measured) the one-way speed of light. 

* Proposed Triangulation Experiment: For measuring the distance to the stars, astronomers can use triangulation only to determine the distance to those nearest Earth, that is, stars up to 1,000 light years away. That's just within our own galaxy and even just within our neck-of-the-woods, for the Milky Way has a 100,000-mile diameter. Other methods are used to estimate further distances. One concern of course with non-triangulation measurements is that they involve cosmological assumptions which can make them circular. On Dec. 30, 2019 RSR proposed yet another theoretical method (very likely impossible in practice). If the same remote galaxy could be gravitationally lensed by two adjacent galaxy clusters, might that enable roughly triangulating the distance from those clusters to that galaxy?