This has puzzled me lately, so I wondered if some of you experts could chip in and illuminate these topics? When considering prisms and light refraction in general I was thinking about the reasons why rainbows did not occur before the world wide flood event. I assume , at least, that God would not use the rainbow as a sign of His covenant to never destroy the earth by a watery flood again if they had been in place before the flood. I see three options: #1, there was no rain as we know it before the flood and no massive waterfalls and the mist that watered the ground early in Genesis was not capable of producing a rainbow effect (since I'm not a scientist I will use this simple term). #2, there was a firmament or canopy, if you will, that blocked some of the UV rays or maybe diffused the light some unique way, preventing the rainbow effect. #3, perhaps God simply invented or created the rainbow effect right after the flood. Of course, I assume that refracted light was part of the creation of the rainbow but maybe this is not true. What do you all think? Do you see more options?

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Hi Steven, good to hear from you.

My money is on option #3.  For any prismatic effect to happen we need a single light source, or a light source where the photons are travelling in one direction.  The prism then splits up the various component light frequencies to form the rainbow effect.  I am aware that the canopy theory is not in favour currently, but I continue to consider that there is mileage in it, and this may be a good point in support of the theory.  AS I understand it the land was watered by mists, specifically Eden, and the most likely time for this would be over-night.  Because we had a universally warm climate the air would have been naturally humid and the cooling during the night would cause these mists.  If this is the case then to some extent that would negate rainbow effects.

Thanks for weighing in, Dr. Blake. #3 is the most straightforward reading of Genesis and requires nothing more than miraculous work :) which is easy for our Creator. Like you, I think the canopy theory may make a comeback but it is not the most popular idea among creationists. Good point about the mist.

I suggest a fourth option. In my reading of the Bible, God uses signs and symbols already known to His people - Doves, etc - and reincorporates them as special signs between Him and His people. So rainbows probably existed before the flood - light refraction being a principle set in place long before the flood - part of His laws of creation. Follow your original line of thinking -without light refraction as we see today, sunsets and sunrises wouldn't happen as beautifully as today -n fact Daylight would be more like a flashlight in the dark then what we have today. Furthermore, at night only a single star would be visible directly above your head and as you walked it would change, like a pinhole. Now God could have blocked the ability of water to refract only in the case of rainbows, but that's a lot of meddling we don't see elsewhere in scriptures when it comes to signs and symbols.

All possibilities Steven, however my money would still be in the canopy hypothesis when the light would be such that we have on an over-cast day.  The water vapour would actually be refracting the light but dispersing it in all directions, which would negate a second prismatic refraction.  In the same way colours are muted when it cloudy, compared to direct sunshine, because our eyes receive only a proportion of the photons reflected off of the various surfaces. 

I cannot say I understand your single star idea, true the sky directly above would be the thinnest point of the cloud to see through but I feel one would see more than one star and even then the light from the stars would be refracted and diffuse. There is also a distinct possibility that the starlight would be greater in those days.  There is a good possibility that the stars would have been closer together then and the light less degraded.

First, I like your diffused light idea. I once heard it described as a prismatic (rainbowed) sky which then after the flood was a reminder to the people of the day of the pre-flood world. I like that idea.

Going back to what I said about ordinary rainbows being used as a sign after the flood, I took it as meaning that the property of light refraction was created by God only after the flood and followed that line of thinking out. I may have over simplified it (if so, my apologies), but what I was going for was no refracted light (which causes rainbows); basically a flashlight-like light, but since stars were so far away it would be like a pinhole. That's of course if the refraction of light didn't exist.

Even if the stars were less than 4 light years away - and that's a lost of gravity that would affect the earth - they still wouldn't be that much bigger (alpha Centauri is that distance from us today), unless their luminosity changed, which means they'd burn hotter, making them bigger, more massive (gravity again). not sure what you mean by light being degraded - "c decay" was abandoned by AIG and ICR a decade ago.

However Philo, light does degrade over distance/time, if it did not then distant stars would seem as bright as those nearby.  Personally I do not set too much store by AIG (although I am indirectly involved) they have published some very foolish papers over the years.  I prefer to rely on applied physics, one reason why I rarely use leaflets etc. from certain creationist organisations, thet always seem to include something that discredits them.  However we do know, as I already mentioned, that 'c' cannot be relied upon as a constant over the ages.  It is late here so I cannot expand on this but will do when I get a chance tomorrow.

Blessings

I'm enjoying this discussion, although I can't add much. The point about the rainbow and prisms existing before the flood but not as a token or symbol is possible but I don't think people had ever seen the rainbow "in the cloud", high in the sky, until after the flood and the Noaic covenant. God said (Genesis 9) " I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. " Maybe some clues lie in the tenses in the Hebrew.

looking forward to it Dr Blake :)  Steven that might be the right direction :)

Light is a Funny Animal

As promised, more about light, pardon me if I seem to be teaching granny to suck eggs.  At this current time light (photons) travel at c 186,000 mps ('c') or c 300,000 KPS, now at the moment that is a constant, but only in a vacuum and through the current density of spacial fabric.  We know from recent experiments and from our own experience that this constant varies when it travels through different mediums, water, phosphorus (luminous watches), etc.  Under laboratory conditions light has actually been stopped for a few seconds, before being released again.  

Another property of light is that it cannot be affected by the speed of the emitter (the source).  If we have a light source on a spaceship that is travelling at half the speed of light, if the light source is aimed forward then the speed of the photons emitted will still be 'c', and conversely the speed of photons emitted backwards will also be 'c'.  The speed of the emitter cannot be added or subtracted from the speed of light.

Therefore: in the case of a fast expanding universe, where light sources, in this case stars, are travelling apart at great speed, their light will continue to travel at 'c' in all directions.  In effect leaving a light-trail between every point within line of sight.  Bear this in mind.

We have all been taught that Einstein's famous equation E=MC2 is in effect the universal speed limit, because as any object approaches 'c' the energy needed becomes infinite at 'c'.  The key word here is 'speed'.  Secular science mostly agrees the before the Big Bang (which I will call the 'Event Horizon of Creation' (EHC) there existed nothing, not matter, space, nor time.  The Bible also hints that this is true as it infers that God's natural existence is out side of time 

For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the.” [Psalm 90:4] and other verses.

If this is so then when God created matter, there was no reason why the universe could not have expanded almost instantaneously into that true void, there was no space (distance) nor time.  Speed is expressed in distance/time; Miles per hour (MPH) or kilometers per second (KPS), take away the parameters of speed and there can be no limit and E=MC2 does not apply.

Now we have a situation where the universe can expand at speeds far in excess of 'c' by maybe factors of thousands, and the quickly forming bodies within the universe, coalescing into galaxies and stars and starting their fusion reactions whilst still travelling apart at speeds faster than 'c', but slowing.  Nevertheless if this were to be the case stars would leave trails of photons travelling at some much slower speed.  In essence if stars were to be travelling (expansion) at speeds in excess of 'c' in the far past, and we based our calculations on 'c' to calculate age, then our results would be far greater than the actual age.  Our part of the universe is now very static as we must be somewhere close to the centre of the universe, but there is no reason the at the edge of the universe things continue to expand at 'C+) speeds.

I am not purporting that the universe is 6ky old, but I am certainly not suggesting that a age of 14+ billion years can be attributed to the universe either, and I stick to my hypothesis concerning the first day and the biblical definition of that day. 

Teaching granny to suck eggs? Wow, that was downright colloquial, partner. Is that an English/British expression too? Or have you watched too many American films? Seriously, thanks for that info and your opinions; I know you are a busy man.

Dr Blake thanks for your response. No worries about "teaching "granny" lol. I'm a computer science major, but have always been fascinated by physics, but I consider myself a layman in general in this topic.

Let me summarize your idea to ensure I understand correctly. Basically, your hypothesizing that at some point in the past, space itself expanded dramatically, sort of like the same way warp drive works in star trek. If my understanding is correct, then my follow up questions are twofold. First, how does this idea account for the Cosmic Microwave Background we observe? Finally, what predictions can be made; how does this account for what we observe today better than the big bang-inflation model?

No problem Steven, you are welcome.  As you may now realise, I am not a conventional creationist or someone who just accepts the current line of thought without testing it.  

And yes, Steven, Teaching granny to suck eggs? is a British saying, I actually remember my granny saying it, and boy, could she suck eggs. LOL

God bless you

Steven Posey said:

Teaching granny to suck eggs? Wow, that was downright colloquial, partner. Is that an English/British expression too? Or have you watched too many American films? Seriously, thanks for that info and your opinions; I know you are a busy man.

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