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8,000 Year Old Universe

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Posted by david/">david on July 16, 1999 18:20:51 UTC

It is assumed that the speed of light is constant in the General Theory of Relativity. In fact, that it has been constant since it was created in the Big Bang singularity that is predicted by General Relativity. This presents a problem to those of us who prefer to think of the universe as more like 8,000 years old than 8 or more billion years old.

But suppose it was not always a constant. Suppose instead that the speed of light has been decreasing exponentially since creation so that in the last thousand years it has decreased by an order of magnitude. At that rate the change in the last 100 years, the time span over which we have actually measured the speed of light, its value would have only dropped by about 10%, hardly noticeable. Yet the size of the universe we see today would be comparable to accepted numbers.

The universe's size is measured in time, assuming a constant speed of light. The accepted size that we can see is therefore about 10 billion years. (Most people say light-years as if to make you think that the velocity of light is measured in "lights"). If we use the same units, but integrate over the exponential dependence of the speed of light, so that today its speed is one, but 8,000 years ago its speed was 10**8 times today's speed, the distance to the farthest stars that we could see would be 10**11 light-years or 100 billion light-years.

In fact, in just one year at the beginning of time we could see a distance of 100 million light-years, more than enough to see most of the lights in the heavens. You see the universe was created in its present size, only the speed of light was not created constant. This is not so different from the theory of inflation that many scientists believe in. In that theory the size of the universe increased exponentially near the beginning of time. In the theory expounded here, the universe was created in its present size, but the speed of light has been deflating exponentially.

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