cDK Question from Prof. Dennis Bonnette


Two questions were originally posed to Malcolm Bowden in the U.K.

Dear Professor Bowden,

I am presently writing a book entitled, Origin of the Human Species. In one of the later chapters, I am dealing with dating problems, comparing the apparent biblical time frame to that of the standard theory of evolution. I have been aware of Norman and Setterfield's work for some time now and have included a section on c decay and its implications. I just came across your article supporting c decay on the web.

Personally, I am sympathetic to c decay as a solution to my own predilections supporting Adam and Eve! But good science must stand on its own feet. I had included a line citing M.E.J. Gheury de Bray's 1934 findings: I cite particularly his reference to two bits of data: c in 1926 was 299,796 k/s plus or minus 4 k/s and in 1933 was 299,774 k/s plus or minus 1 or 2 k/s. I have deleted the above line because I discovered the present established speed of light to be 299,792.458 k/s.

How can de Bray get a reading in 1933 some 18 k/s below today's reading? Can you help me with this?

Dennis Bonnette, Ph.D.
Philosophy Department
Niagara University, NY 14109

Dear Professor Bowden,

I just came across the following website which I bring to your attention: (URL was garbled) What I found disturbing was a claimed refutation of c decay very near the bottom of this extensive document. It was based on the effect of elevated light speeds in distant celestial objects with respect to our observation here on Earth. The author claims that we would see the objects in "slow motion" because of the c decay as the light rays approached Earth. He claims this is refuted by the consistency of motion of pulsars and other regular objects at great distances. (I hope I have described the issue well enough for you to know what I am talking about or for you to be able to find the text in question on the website.) How would you respond to this claim against c decay? I was most impressed in your own website by the "common sense" argument about the expected distribution of errors as science refines the constant value of a true constant. But I grasp just enough of the above mentioned author's argument to be concerned about it. Your comment would be much appreciated.

Dennis Bonnette

Response from Malcolm Bowden:

Dear Dr. Bonnette,

Thank you for your email with CDK queries. May I say that I am not a professor! I am a qualified Engineer - Civil and Structural. I regret that I am not a physicist and therefore can have great difficulty in answering technical questions such as you have posed. I have, however, forwarded your queries on to Lambert Dolphin and Barry Setterfield for their far better input. I have given your email address to them so they might reply direct. Lambert Dolphin has a huge website which has much on CDK on it. You will find it at or via my website. You may find your answer there anyway, but it might take some finding in this large site.

Regarding the de Bray quote, one of the difficulties is what the shape of the curve is. Barry often refers to the Bible verse of "the heavens being stretched out" and one curve is a close fit to a damped oscillation curve as it decreased. This means is may have overshot the present speed, rose above it and then decreased to the present level. Looking at the graph in my book "True Science Agrees with the Bible" which should be the same as the website one, I see that there are a cluster of readings that are lower than the present speed between 1930 and 1940 and all have very short error bars. None, however, are as much as 18 k/s lower. I am wondering what this reading might be. It is probably one on my graph that has been corrected in some way. This suggests to me that there was another "overshoot" at that time before it settled down to the present speed. I am forwarding this to Barry and Lambert to see if they have a better explanation than this.

Regarding the pulses from quasars, this is technical but I agree that there seems to be a problem here. If c is fast, then pulses sent out at 1 sec intervals would travel through space and their speed would gradually slow down. This means that they would arrive at the earth at very long intervals between them. I do not know if there is any easy answer to this so am appealing to the others experts again. On aspect is that on looking into the ways of measuring distance in astronomy, I am very surprised at how much assumptions play a part. It is far from being an exact science! The question is can we be sure that they at vast distances? If they are closer than we think, the light would reach us quite quickly and the problem would be solved because there would not have been vast time periods for the light to slow down.

Certainly, it is the fall in the general readings that is very convincing to me, but there are many ramifications. I may say, that whenever I have a technical query like these two, Barry has always answered it to my satisfaction - so I have great confidence in his reply to this also. Sorry that I cannot be of greater help but I am awaiting the replies of the greater experts!

Yours in anticipation,
Malcolm Bowden.

PS. I think you will be very interested in my latest book "True Science agrees with the Bible". Berean Call in USA hold ALL my four books. Tel: 541 382 6210. There is more information about them on my website. In "True" I have set out my own version of the dating periods since creation about 4178 BC.

Barry Setterfield replies:

Dear Dr. Bonnette,

Yes! There is a "low point" in the measured values of the speed of light, c, in the period 1928-1940. This comprised five different determinations of c by four different experimenters. By 1947 the "low point" was over. The standard establishment view on the problem was that there was a systematic error in the apparatus used. In view of the fact that 4 out of the five values were obtained by Kerr Cells, that explanation MAY have some validity as it involved light going through a polarizing liquid. However, the later versions of Kerr Cells were called Geodimeters, and when they were introduced the "low point" was no longer in evidence. But there is another possible explanation.

Malcolm Bowden is absolutely correct when he says that an oscillation is involved in the cDK curve. Take the illustration of a child on a swing. When the swing is pushed, it is responding to a forcing function which may have any period. When the pushes cease, the swing settles down and finally oscillates at its own natural frequency. The complete behavior of the swing is described mathematically by the two functions, namely the forcing function and the natural oscillation. The same thing is happening with the speed of light. Recent work undergoing peer review at the moment indicates that the general overall function is an exponential decay with a natural period of oscillation imposed upon it. The oscillation has in fact bottomed out in the recent past because evidence from associated constants suggests that c is on the increase again. The oscillation reached its peak around 700 AD.

As for the pulsar problem, most pulsars that have been found are in our own galaxy or within our Local Group of galaxies where the change in c is small. The resultant slow motion effect is therefore going to be minimal, particularly as there is such a wide range in pulsar spin rates. What you described as the potential problem was the expected CHANGE in pulsar spin rates due to dropping values of c in transit. When the calculations are done, the effect is certainly minuscule for Local Group objects.

If I can be of further assistance do not hesitate to let me know. (Barry Setterfield, May 15, 1999).

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