In my last blog post I mentioned that there might be a brief meteor storm early in the morning of Saturday, May 24. It was a cool, clear night here, so I awoke at 2:00 AM and went out on the deck with a sleeping bag and pillow. I fell back asleep a few times, but I did watch over much of the next two hours: I didn’t see many meteors. There was one bright one but it was going the wrong direction to be part of the shower. The sky at my house isn’t totally dark, and I did have some obscuring trees, but if there were a meteor storm, I would have seen it. I can’t say that I saw any meteors from this newly recognized Camelopardalid shower. I’ve read reports that some people in very good sites saw a rate of five to ten per hour, which is close to the background of sporadic meteors. At least there is a new, but weak, annual meteor shower. But the storm definitely didn’t happen.
On March 17 there was an announcement of the alleged first discovery of evidence of cosmic inflation. Inflation is a rescuing device essential for the big bang model, but there has been no evidence for it since its proposal more than 30 years ago. There had been rumors of this announcement for a few days prior to March 17, so here at Answers in Genesis we were able to craft a brief preliminary response that went up on our website the same day.
That response triggered some negative responses. For instance, the Huffington Post reported on our article almost immediately. Even more caustic was the mocking response from the Friendly Atheist. He particularly ridiculed my suggestion that “other mechanisms could mimic the signal being claimed today. So, even if the data are confirmed, there may be some other physical mechanism at play rather than cosmic inflation.”
But now other scientists—who aren’t creationists—are expressing similar doubts about the March 17 announcement:
- Scientific American, “Backlash to Big Bang Discovery Gathers Steam”
- Résonaances, “Is BICEP Wrong?”
- Science, “Blockbuster Big Bang Result May Fizzle, Rumor Suggests”
They suggest that other processes, such as contamination from dust in our galaxy or other galaxies, could produce the effect claimed in the March 17 announcement. There are questions of whether the BICEP2 team properly handled these factors. This is more or less the sort of thing that I suggested but earned the scorn of the Friendly Atheist; however, I doubt that he will disparage these people or apologize to me.
Jeff Zweerink, a physicist and an associate of Hugh Ross has written a response to my preliminary announcement, too—or at least he thought that he was. You see, the article that he discussed wasn’t my article that we published on the website on March 17. Rather, the article that Zweerink responded to appeared in the online Answers Research Journal two days later, on March 19.
Apparently, Zweerink assumed that since this article appeared two days after the announcement that it was responding to it. This article is about the cosmic microwave background, but I didn’t mention the supposed March 17 announcement. This is because the Answers Research Journal is a peer-reviewed journal, and so that article had been in preparation for months. However, fellow recent creation physicist John Hartnett recently has responded to Zweerink’s article. I may respond more fully later on myself.
I’m going to the meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) next week in Boston. This is the first AAS meeting since the March 17 announcement, so I’m expecting much discussion about this at the meeting.
Grand Canyon Raft Trip: Geology by Day, Astronomy by Night
By now I’m sure that you’ve noticed the revamped Answers in Genesis website. It brings more visibility to my blog and the blogs of others, so I may have to blog more often, though I promise not to blog just for the sake of blogging. Not only are the blogs more accessible on the website, but so are the Grand Canyon raft trips. There still are six seats available on my June 29–July 5 “geology by day, astronomy by night” raft trip. I always look forward to this trip. I can promise you a great view of Saturn and its rings, as well as other things. I hope to see you there.
The Creation Research Society to Meet at the Creation Museum
Finally, the Creation Research Society (CRS) will hold its 2014 meeting here at the Creation Museum. Over two days we will have two plenary talks, the Henry M. Morris Memorial Lecture, and the Steve Miller Memorial Star Party, as well as three parallel sessions of presentations of creation research projects in progress. In the parallel sessions, members of CRS give a 30-minute presentation, each followed by 15 minutes of discussion. We’ve extended the early registration discount until the end of May. This is our fourth CRS meeting, and it’s shaping up to be our best ever. I hope to see you then.