Paradigm Shifts Are Slow as Gravitational Waves

Detection of Gravitational waves are among the most stunning findings of recent years. Clearly not as amazing as ancient DNA :smile:, but amazing nonetheless.

LIGO’s detection of gravitational waves came almost exactly a century after Einstein had formulated his general theory of relativity and an ensuing paper mathematically describing the possibility of gravitational waves. Or at least that’s the story as it was presented to the public (including by yours truly). And in some ways, it’s even true.

But the reality of how relativity progressed to the point where people accepted that gravitational waves are likely to exist and could possibly be detected is considerably more complicated than the simple narrative described above. In this week’s Nature Astronomy, a group of science historians lays out the full details of how we got from the dawn of relativity to the building of LIGO. And, in the process, the historians show that ideas about scientific revolutions bringing about a sudden, radical shift may sometimes miss the point.

I wonder what the lessons are for us.

This 40-year process doesn’t line up well with the revolutions that Kuhn had described. There was no crisis and no period of frantic research as people scrambled to produce a new theory that could resolve apparent contradictions in the failed one. But the historians argue there’s one thing here that Kuhn got right: people who thoroughly inhabit a relativistic world have a fundamentally different view of the Universe and would have trouble communicating their perspective to someone in the Newtonian world.

The detection of the neutron star inspiral GW170817 in 2017, detected through both gravitational waves and gamma rays, provides the so far by far best limit on the difference between the speed of light and that of gravity. Photons were detected 1.7 seconds after peak gravitational wave emission; assuming a delay of zero to ten seconds, the difference between the speeds of gravitational and electromagnetic waves, vGW − vEM, is constrained to between −3×10−15 and +7×10−16 times the speed of light.

One YEC casualty of the confirmation that the speed of gravitational wave and light waves were both finite and equal to c, was Dr. Jason Lisle’s Asymmetrical Speed of Light explanation of distance starlight.

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Didn’t you hear that gravitational waves travel asymmetrically too? :stuck_out_tongue:

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To no one’s surprise, they don’t. Dr. Jason Lisle made a big deal that the speed of light measurements were always two way measurements and that GR allowed c to equal c/2 in one direction and infinite in the other direction. He called his solution to the distant starlight problem Asymmetrical Speed of Light with the center of the expanding universe right here on Earth. GW170817 was a one way race between a gravitational wave and a gamma ray across a large distance to Earth. It was a tie. Speed of GWs and LWs finite and equal to c.


“Unless gravitational waves are the same as light waves, and propagate to earth instantly.” Aren’t you fairly certain that argument will be made?

40 years for a paradigm shift for physics is not instant btw. It reminds me of the misnomer of calling it a Cambrian “Explosion”. It takes 40 million years, which is anything but explosive.

I have not seen anything from a YEC scientist on gravitational waves. Even Hugh Ross hasn’t talked about them but I am sure he is combing through Ezekiel 23:20 to come up with a connection. :grinning: Dr. Lisle doesn’t respond to questions on his ASL model to solve the distant starlight and GW problem. Danny Fauldner at AIG is too busy looking at the moon from a telescope on top of Elmira’s cafe in Ark Encounter. :grinning:

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Could it not be that paradigm shifts are mainly noted after the event, and by historians rather than scientists? The ideas change one small piece at a time, but you read the old textbook and it seems like a book on phrenology or alchemy.

By some means, a “whig history” of the old science emerges, in which some discarded views become viewed as “the bad old days before science”, and views that can be made to accommodate to the new reality are recast as prescient.

A small example of the latter is the subtle reintroduction of mutation into the Modern Synthesis when it was originally conceived specifically to counter mutationism with the sufficiency of changes in existing allele frequency (still promoted by a professional BioLogos poster well known to us, only a year or two ago).

An example of the former is the orthogenesis that more or less ousted Darwinism for 50 years before the Modern Synthesis, but is now seen as barely scientific at all, when it is raerely brought to mind.


2 posts were split to a new topic: ABC on ASC and ESC

It seems the physicist’s replies are in and @Patrick’s claim is refuted.

The error here is the ‘finite and equal to c’ claim. That gravitational waves and light travel at the same speed is a stunning revelation, but unless there is a synchronised clock at the source it doesn’t tell us anything about the one-way speed.

And this one also:

That’s partly correct although he calls his model the ASC (Anisotropic Synchrony Convention) and it makes no claims about an expanding universe (although Lisle does agree). It is a convention and as such can’t be falsified when compared with the ESC.

Special thanks to the @physicists for their contribution.

The only claims that are refuted are Jason Lisle’s ASC. He now has to assert BOTH the speed of gravitational waves AND light wave are the same and finite. Jason Lisle’s ASC needs infinite speed of light in the direction away from earth, And an infinite speed of gravitional waves away from Earth.

The synchronized clock at the source WAS the two neutron stars circling each other.

I’m sorry Patrick, but both this:

And this:

Are wrong.

If you want to refute ASC then you need to demonstrate ε = 1/2. Your earlier claim that this was proven also proved to be wrong.