Re: Evidence for "Big Bang Theory"

Carl J Lydick (carl@SOL1.GPS.CALTECH.EDU)
25 Apr 1995 09:22:57 GMT

In article <3nhe91$>, David Bos <> writes:
=carl@SOL1.GPS.CALTECH.EDU (Carl J Lydick) wrote:
=>In article <3neubb$>, David Bos
=<> writes:
=>=I have read something similar: about photons loosing energy on the way.
=>=I suppose that would depend on photons having mass or not.How is the current
=>=insight on that?
=>The "tired light" hypothesis, so beloved of creationists, hasn't been in use
=>by anybody except them since the 1950s or thereabouts.
=well, the popularity of this hypothosis amongst creationists is in itself
=not a reason to discard it. i am not a creationist btw.

No, that's not a reason to discard it. But creationists are the only group who
havee ignored the valid reasons for discarding it. Among the reasons for
discarding it: We've yet to see any violation of conservation of energy. The
tired light hypothesis requires either such a violation or that the light
reddens by having a photon produce, somehow, two lower-energy particles (one the
red-shifted photon, the other a particle accounting for the difference in
energy between the original photon and the red-shifted photon). Now, for some
red-shifted light, the difference between the energy of the original photon
(based on spectral analysis) and of the observed photon is small enough that
the only known particle which could account for the difference in energy is
another photon. And we don't see photons at the energy that would be
required (this is why the tired light hypothesis was ruled out in the 1950s or
thereabout: That's when radiotelescopy became able to look for the photons
predicted by the tired light hypothesis). Thus the tired light hypothesis
appears to require one of two things:

1) That conservation of energy be routinely violated everywhere in the
observable universe except in the vicinity of Earth; or
2) That heretofore unknown particles are routinely generated everywhere in the
observable universe except in the vicinity of Earth.

Now, observations of spectra of stars, quasars, etc. indicate that many of the
laws of physics are the same throughout the observable universe as they are in
the vicinity of Earth. The tired light hypothesis requires that some, and only
some, physical laws differ. Moreover, it requires that one set of physical
laws hold throughout the entire observable universe except around Earth, but
that around Earth they're different. Now, of course, a creationist would have
absolutely no problem with that. After all, to them the Earth is a special
part of creation. Why shouldn't it, and only it, have a different set of
physical laws?

=But what about photons? Do they have mass or not?

All observations indicate that they have zero rest mass.

Disclaimer: Hey, I understand VAXen and VMS. That's what I get paid for. My
understanding of astronomy is purely at the amateur level (or below). So
unless what I'm saying is directly related to VAX/VMS, don't hold me or my
organization responsible for it. If it IS related to VAX/VMS, you can try to
hold me responsible for it, but my organization had nothing to do with it.