VI. Can We Measure Space?
Our studies to this point have enormous implications derived from the conclusions on the previous pages. The first imperative conclusion is that drastically red shifted light is an artifact of Creation—thus, NOT a means of measurement.
Deep space light was intentionally red shifted (made weak) during the Creation process! And, yes, we do understand modern interpretation of the red shifting of light and the resulting "Hubble Parameter", at least enough to not be deceived. The Hubble Parameter is a way to interpret the data; not the only conclusion possible from the data. We have made the following graphics to attempt to simplify the “Hubble Parameter” into a cartoon for average people (like us!) to at least begin to understand. Note that as the black lines (Fraunhofer lines) indicating elements in the rainbow spectrum move bit-by-bit to the right (red end of the spectrum) the arrow for each one is assigned farther “up” the ramp in the Hubble Parameter chart, meaning each is “farther away” (because moving away faster.) This whole idea started with red shift readings on closer stars, for many of which we can figure more-accurate, right-triangle parallax as calibrators. BUT when we extrapolate from there, things get VERY "iffy".
The actual cause of HUGE ERRORS in distance calculation is the notion that the red shifted light from distant objects MUST have been caused by velocity increasing over time as the "Big Bang" masses drifted apart! The Scripture states clearly that GOD created the masses instantly, and that HE has forced their separation by His power from the beginning! This would mean that from Earth's perspective, many objects showed significant red shift nearly instantaneously! Since GOD likely separated things at near light speed from the first, their drastic red shift is interpreted by modern man as billions of light years away! RED SHIFTED LIGHT IS AN ARTIFACT OF CREATION. These illustrations show 4 very different objects (spectrography shown below each object), each of which is estimated at a greater distance UP the "Hubble Parameter" graph, based mainly upon the fact that the (black) Fraunhofer lines in each spectral graph are shifted farther to the RED end of the spectrum.
It is not difficult to discern the problem discussed above when one looks in the lower right corner of each Hubble Parameter graphic and sees "Distance" expressed in "Mpc" values. Simply put, "p" (parsec) is a "parallax second of arc": a very tiny, tiny, shift in perceived position
from Earth-perspective of an extremely distant object, when seen from points in our orbit around the sun that are 6 months apart. A parsec, is computed to be 3.258 LIGHT YEARS. "Mpc" is a MILLION PARSECS. So, the relationship between red shift and distance is interpreted in THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS (billions) of light years just in these four charts.BUT, what if the red shifted light from these objects has NOTHING to do with distance over time?
A real problem with the simple geometry method known as “parallax”, is that NO star in the heavens yields more than a few hundredths of a second of parallax arc. This is the difference in “jiggle” a star makes in precise readings taken 6 months apart as the earth travels in a giant circle around the sun. The "calibration of the Hubble Parameter" has cost the American public millions of dollars on telescopes, PhD's and equipment for studies. "Calibration" means finding a definitive, reliable correlation between amount of red shift and distance. The assumption that this could EVER be computed accurately rests largely on the assumption of a "Big Bang" to start the universe, and continuing predictable expansion causing increasing light-stretching (red shifting) in the universe ever since! Our Biblical studies to this point have REVEALED GOD's statements about how HE created the universe. Intense, horrific-energy-emitting areas were apparently weakened (Red Shifted) intentionally on Days 1 & 2 of Creation, and even though His expansion of space likely continues, the Red Shift, as an artifact of Creation, is therefore irrelevant to distance. Proverbs 25:3 emphatically states: "The heaven for height, ... is unsearchable." But we still TRY to measure the heavens. Parallax is, although mathematically sound, VERY challenging to use with any accuracy at any great distance in space. Even though the math involved is akin to a grade school math project that many have performed. Since we already know that the angles in a triangle will always add up to 180 degrees , we can use any right-angle triangle in this fashion, computing the "missing angle" by measuring one angle in addition to knowing the right angle (see cartoon illustration:)
Here's a protractor with a popsicle stick indicating a 45 degree reading like the one in the flagpole illustration.
The "easiest" (real geometry) way to measure great distances is confounded by the fact that it is so limited. Las Cumbres Observatory's website is pretty typical in admitting this: "Parallax angles of less than 0.01 arcsec are very difficult to measure from Earth because of the effects of the Earth's atmosphere. This limits Earth based telescopes to measuring the distances to stars about 1/0.01 or 100 parsecs away." Remember, that is less than 300 light years! Of course we reach out a bit farther with space telescopes... @ 3000 LYs; but then there are scenarios like the one illustrated here.
Astounding human technological achievements, such as ESA's recent Gaia Probe mission, are establishing far more parallax measurement milestones than ever thought possible. To date, Gaia has measured parallax distances to an unbelievable number of stars (in our own galaxy). Nearly 10% of 1.3 billion stars' parallax distance and proper motion data are to be published. Gaia's instruments are so sensitive that it can measure a parallax angle of a triangle with @ a 25mm (just under an inch) base and an apex angle 385,000 kilometers (just under 240,000 miles) away! Read more about this amazing space project here.
In spite of such impressive numbers, as far as mankind can tell, these numbers are less than 10% of the stars in our galaxy (LOCAL neighborhood) and an infinitesimally small sampling of the universe's mysteries. Biblically we are told while considering the universe, With GOD, "nothing is too hard" (Jeremiah 32:17) The Bible states that GOD "spoke" (Psalm 33:6-10) the Cosmos into existence, HE "confounds the counsel of the nations", and that He "stretched the Heavens out" (Section II. of this website) in a fashion that protects us, and gives us "a tent to live in" (Isaiah 40:22.) It is NOT unreasonable to think, then, that space immediately around us is LIKELY disproportionately stretched compared to the rest of the Cosmos. Therefore, local parallax numbers might just be a hugely exagerrated "rubber ruler" when used to attempt to measure the grand scale of things.
This "blue egg outline" and "yellow circle outline" is an entirely possible "rubber ruler" scenario given DARK space: I have a hypothetical array of satellite dishes, all attached to anatomic time clock, measuring with PRECISION a wave front from a distant object. I perceive the arc segment curvature implying for me the distance to the object, illustrated by the yellow arcs off the yellow circle. BUT unknown to me is the presence of a dark intensely gravitational object or other "force", which has warped the wave front, pulling it into an egg shape. I am measuring the bottom of the "egg", and so I completely miscalculate the center point of the wave front, (blue egg, centering from the blue perpendicular junction of lines) in spite of the precision of my instruments! I miscalculate the center (source) of the wavefront by millions of parsecs... But when the numbers are BIG enough, it seems mankind will believe anything!
....Another "rubber ruler" scenario: What if GOD stretched space disproportionately, MORE around Earth's neighborhood (to protect us by weakening dangerous energies)? See this possibility applied to the ESA's Gaia, above. Now we use what we can KNOW immediately around us, and extrapolate everything else from disproportionately INFLATED local measurements...
One other greatly abbreviated comment is fitting here. Many modern distance calculations are derived using the Inverse Square Law, that is, the scientific principle that light is exponentially weakened as it "spreads out" traveling through space. IF we could be in any way sure that sameness of light emissions spectrographically equates to identical stars in composition and size, this might be a foolproof method to compute distance. The illustration below shows how quickly the same light (streaming from a given point) spreads out as the radius of the growing sphere doubles, triples and quadruples, etc. . . Does gravitation from dark objects effect these readings? How would we ever know? What about readings altered by undetected gas or dust? This group of obvious weaknesses places potential doubts as to the advisability of trusting measurements derived from inverse square extrapolations of light from "standard candles", such as Cepheid variable stars. A far dimmer object giving off nearly identical light readings does NOT necessarily mean such stars are "identical twins!" One real issue is that this entire scenario is derived from induction. Inductive logic has very intrinsic weaknesses. To demonstrate the obvious, look at this observation and inductive conclusion: OBSERVATION- "Oh, look! There goes a fire engine! It is red." from which the INDUCTIVE conclusion is drawn: "All fire engines are red."
Another weakness of inverse square extrapolation for distance is the infantesimally minute light reaching us from MOST of the distant stars and heavenly bodies. To trust our readings, we have to exercise presumptive confidence that there is NO intervening gas in space effecting our reading. That there is NO intervening dust in space effecting our reading. That there are no massive dark gravitational sources along the path of the light reaching us that have weakened or distorted it. That our instruments are in flawless condition and our readings do not contain errors. All of this with EXTREMELY small energy readings makes it a likely source of exaggeration of slightly errant data. A very slight margin of error in MEGAPARSEC extrapolations yields potentially HUGE errors.
Think about this simplified graphic showing the principle of "Inverse Square Distance Measurement"
Most Evangelical Christians can easily see the myriad Bible-promises that GOD will NOT forsake Israel! Passages such as 1 Kings 6:13, Romans 11:15, 25-27, Jeremiah 3:14-18, and many others. The Bible says that GOD cannot lie (Titus 1:2) So let's put this knowledge up against Jeremiah 31:37: "Thus says the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD." Jeremiah 33:22 also reiterates the same thing! It is FOLLY to persist in thinking that mankind is making significant progress in understanding the Cosmos, OR will EVER measure it!