This article is from
Journal of Creation 14(3):39–45, December 2000

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Doppler toppler?

A review of: Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science by Halton Arp
Apeiron, Montreal, Canada, 1999

reviewed by Michael Oard

What if the redshift of starlight is unrelated to the Doppler effect, i.e. the principle that relative motion changes the observed frequency of the light emitted from a light source? Many of the deductions of mainstream cosmology would fold catastrophically. This is because one of the main assumptions in cosmology is that the Doppler effect is responsible for the observed redshift in starlight. This assumption is the basis for the idea that the universe is expanding, and thus is a linchpin in the ‘big bang’ theory.

It seems reasonable to assume that the Doppler effect is the reason why the colour of starlight is shifted towards the red end of the spectrum i.e. the wavelength increased. After all, the principle is well established in physics. However, Halton Arp has observed contradictions to the concept for over 30 years.

Arp was a staff astronomer at the Mt Wilson and Palomar Observatories in California for 29 years. He is currently employed at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, West Germany. He is a recognized expert observer of quasars and galaxies. Although Arp is not a creationist, some of his observations indicate that different interpretations of cosmological data are possible and that there is room for creationist interpretations in astronomy.

Arp has accumulated numerous observational data, which he has catalogued in this new, second book—an update of his previous work.1 He states the significance of his evidence:

‘But if the cause of these redshifts is misunderstood, then distances can be wrong by factors of 10 to 100, and luminosities and masses will be wrong by factors up to 10,000. We would have a totally erroneous picture of extragalactic space, and be faced with one of the most embarrassing boondoggles in our intellectual history’ (p. 1).

Although Seeing Red is rather difficult reading, and requires a knowledge of astronomy and cosmology, someone without this background could still understand the gist of the book. Arp holds the reader’s interest by mixing the data with his personal experiences within the astronomy establishment, which are quite revealing. His style is rather folksy and personal, which also makes for easier reading. The glossary is of some help, but it could have been expanded at least two fold. The book is well illustrated to support his contention that the redshifts are not due to the expansion of the universe. Some of the diagrams could be better explained, but in general they illustrate his points well. I was rather frustrated with the lack of a bibliography, although he has short references for important papers within the text.

The observational evidence

What exactly is Arp’s observational evidence that he believes would overturn most of cosmology? Arp authored a volume on peculiar galaxies2 in the 1960s. From this project, he noticed contradictions to the redshift/distance relationship, called by some astronomers the Hubble ‘law’.

This ‘law’ was interpreted from the characteristics of light observed from distant objects in space such as absorption lines (caused by the absorption of a particular frequency of light by matter that the light passes through) and emission lines (given off by the excited gases responsible for the light). These lines occur at certain wavelengths determined by the chemical composition of the emitting object and the absorbing gas. However, it was observed that the light from practically all objects in space had spectral lines shifted to the red end of the spectrum. The reason for the shift, it is assumed, is because the object is moving so rapidly away from the observer that the light has been modified according to the Doppler effect. Edwin Hubble calculated the distance to some galaxies and found that the higher the red shift, the more distant the galaxy.3 He proposed that the relationship was linear, and his proportionality number, H, became know as the Hubble constant. His results were extrapolated to all the universe and his relationship became know as the Hubble ‘law’. However, it has been found that H is not a constant, and astronomers have been arguing over its value ever since the time of Hubble.4

Arp has spent much time observing quasars (quasi-stellar objects or QSOs), which are mysterious point sources of light with very large redshifts indicating velocities near the speed of light. They give off both radio and X-ray emissions. Quasars have a variable luminosity, the period of which is related to the size of the object. Since the period is usually of the order of days or weeks, it is believed that the quasar must be relatively small.5 Yet, based on the Hubble relationship, quasars are believed to lie at immense distances from the Earth.6 Consequently the quasar must be incredibly bright, with a luminosity about forty times that of the most luminous normal galaxies, which are composed of billions of stars! Astronomers are amazed that such a small object can radiate so much energy.

Interestingly, in the epilogue, Arp reports the discovery of a new quasar with a luminosity period of less than an hour, which means the object must be tiny. It therefore radiates an incomprehensible amount of energy (p. 279). More recently, astrophysicists explained the intraday variability in luminosity as a scintillation in the interstellar medium rather than rapid quasar rotation.7

Arp has observed that many of these quasars, supposedly from the far reaches of the universe, are connected to galaxies with very low redshifts, and thus are relatively close. These connections consist of filaments of gas, detected by visible light, radio and X-ray emissions. The radio and X-ray connections are observed by special telescopes that ‘see’ only in that frequency. Arp has observed that objects of low redshift and high redshift, which usually stand out as point sources of radio or X-rays, are often linked by thin radio or X-ray emitting connections. He has even observed two quasars that have quite different redshifts connected to each other by gamma ray emitting material (p. 132).

In other cases, however, Arp observes no such connections between objects of different redshifts, but a close association, such as a quasar that is close to a galaxy. Astronomers naturally would assume that the two objects just appear close in the sky—the high redshift object at a much greater distance behind the low redshift object. However, Arp uses probability theory to argue that such chance associations are most unlikely and that the objects are close together or associated. Arp defends his use of statistics for some of these associations in his previous book.8

Another impressive observation is that many of these close associations occur along lines, sometimes on either side of a special galaxy, such as a Seyfert galaxy. This class of galaxy has a bright nucleus showing broad emission lines in its spectrum. The broadness of the emission lines is assumed to be a sign of great turbulence in the invisible gas surrounding the galaxy. Seyfert galaxies are rare and are considered active galactic nuclei (AGN). AGNs are the nuclei of galaxies that have a continuous spectrum that is believed to be synchrotron, not thermal, radiation emitted from the object over a wide range of wavelengths with signs of unusual, energetic activity, such as radio jets. Sometimes, the jets of material that streak out from the main low-redshifted galaxy are pointed at the higher red-shifted objects.

These observed relationships are enough to topple the standard meaning of quasar redshifts. But mainstream astronomers are unwilling to abandon the standard meaning. It is interesting to know that even Edwin Hubble, who first related redshifts to distance by the Doppler effect, ‘ ... always held open the possibility that the redshift did not mean velocity of recession but might be caused by something else’ (p. 4).

Is it possible that quasars, being mysterious anyway, are the only objects violating the Doppler effect or the Hubble relationship? ‘No’, says Arp. He has observed high redshift companion galaxies connected to low redshift spiral galaxies. Smaller galaxies in galaxy clusters are systematically redshifted with respect to the larger galaxies (ch. 3). Furthermore, he finds a systematic redshift in supergiant (supposedly young) stars in the two galaxies nearest to us—the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud (ch. 4). This effect is similar to the unexplained ‘K effect’ noticed long ago, in which the brightest stars, called O and B stars, were red-shifted only slightly. So Arp claims that these non-Doppler red-shifts, which he calls intrinsic redshifts, are a universal phenomena applying to quasars, galaxies, and stars.

The connection between the low and high redshift objects is not the only difficulty that the standard model finds difficult to explain. The redshifts themselves come in preferred values or quanta (ch. 8). Arp explains the significance of this finding and astronomers’ reaction to it:

‘The fact that measured values of redshift do not vary continuously but come in steps—certain preferred values—is so unexpected that conventional astronomy has never been able to accept it, in spite of the overwhelming observational evidence. ... For supposed recession velocities of quasars, to measure equal steps in all directions in the sky means we are at the centre of a series of explosions. This is an anti-Copernican embarrassment. So a simple glance at the evidence discussed in this Chapter shows that extragalactic redshifts, in general, cannot be velocities. Hence the whole foundation of extragalactic astronomy and Big Bang theory is swept away’ (p. 195).

Arp’s explanation

How does Arp explain all these observations? He believes Seyfert and other galaxies periodically throw out matter along their minor axes at near the speed of light. These are the quasars, which then age and gradually lose velocity, decreasing their redshift as they move away from the parent galaxy. The quasars eventually evolve into galaxies of even lower redshift. Therefore, the redshift is really a measure of age and not distance (p. 62). Arp shows many pictures of galaxies and quasars in lines where each object exhibits decreasing redshift with distance from the parent object. This would solve the paradox of quasars (their extremely high energy output for such small objects) because, according to his theory, these objects are not far away from the earth and hence their energy production is not sensational. The redshift quanta are explained within Arp’s theory as the episodic creation of matter. He further believes that the spiral arms of spiral galaxies are ejected matter in the major axes, and some of the ‘knots’ observed in the arms are new companion galaxies forming.

How can galaxies throw out so much matter at near the speed of light? Wouldn’t the mechanism require tremendous power from the parent galaxy? Arp supposedly solves this problem by hypothesizing that quasars are ‘newly-created matter’ that starts at low mass, and hence can more easily be accelerated towards the speed of light. That is how they can be shot out of the galaxy at high speed. They then slow down as the mass of the elementary particles within the object increases with time. Where does the mass come from? Unlike the impression of many, it is not ‘creation out of nothing,’ but creation out of the diffuse mass-energy of the universe, whatever that is. To justify his idea, he says it is no different than the ‘big bang’, which posits creation of the whole universe ‘out of nothing’ but in an instant. His mechanism is a continuous creation out of the energy of the universe—a continuous ‘mini bang’ as he calls it. It also eliminates much of the need for the hypothetical but never detected ‘dark matter’ (p. 232). Of course, in this hypothesis there is no such thing as empty space, it is pervaded by a diffuse energy. All this is a working hypothesis, according to Arp, which is the scientific approach for a new explanation.

Mainstream explanations and dodges

Of course Arp has had many colourful exchanges with mainstream astronomers over his many ideas, his intrinsic redshift observations, and his ‘grand unified theory’, especially in the peer review process, in attempting to publish his observations (more on this later). These astronomers, if they entertain his ideas at all, write off the close associations of different redshift objects as the effect of a distant object that just happens to be seen close to a nearby object by chance. This is why Arp has applied probability theory and calculated the odds for such an association between widely distant objects, which is apparently ignored by mainstream astronomers. The probabilities are quite low for such chance associations. It is more difficult for his opponents to apply the above dodge when there is a physical connection between the objects as seen in visible light, X-rays, or radio waves.

Chapter 7 in Arp’s book deals with the most-applied dodge of all: associations are due to gravitational lensing of the light from a distance object. According to this theory, the gravity of an object, such as a low redshift spiral galaxy, is so large that it bends the light from a distant galaxy or quasar. Thus, the high redshift object is seen in the sky adjacent to the low redshift object. Arp has questioned the easy acceptance of gravitational lensing. He has shown that it is often a feeble explanation where, for example, a supposedly lensed image has the wrong shape. In the famous Einstein Cross, a high redshift quasar supposedly produces four images around a galaxy in the form of a cross. Surprisingly, Arp discovered a luminous connection between one of the quasars and the nucleus of the galaxy, which is clear evidence against the gravitational lensing idea.

Often, mainstream astronomers dodge Arp’s observational evidence by unscientific ploys. In some situations they claim the observation is just an isolated case and that an ‘explanation’ is required for publication. In others they will complain that Arp’s examples were selective and don’t represent a complete sample. For stars, they would say that the excess redshift was due to the acceleration of mass blown away from the star. Arp has expended great effort to check into the validity of these counter claims, and has an answer for every one.

Significance for the ‘big bang’ theory

All through his book, Arp demonstrates that many observations are contrary to the ruling ‘big bang’ theory. He believes the ‘big bang’ is ‘wildly incorrect’. A physical connection between objects of highly different redshifts implies that the universe is not expanding on the scale required by the big bang that supposedly occurred about 15 billion, plus or minus 5 billion, years ago.

What about the 2.7 K background radiation touted as a great prediction and proof of the big bang? Arp states that there is more to the story; history has been rewritten. In a review of the history of the big bang, it turns out that George Gamow actually predicted in 1961 that the blackbody temperature left over from the big bang would be 50 K (p. 237). Furthermore, it was the ‘static, tired light’ theorists, like Max Born, who predicted space would radiate at 2.8 K. Arthur Eddington in 1926 calculated the photon temperature around galaxies to be about 3 K.

Arp is also sceptical of the significance of the new COBE results showing that the universe displays a very slight anisotropy in the background radiation, which then is supposed to account for the rather clumpy distribution of matter in superclusters, strings, etc. Arp believes that in spite of these very slight irregularities, one part in a hundred thousand, the background radiation is still too smooth to account for the clumpiness of the universe. Arp believes it is very difficult to reconcile the ‘big bang’ with the cosmic background radiation for the following reason:

‘The reason for this is that in an expanding universe radiation from different distances would have different temperatures and the very precise black body curve of temperature 2.74 K which is observed would be strongly smeared out. Because of this it is necessary to restrict the radiation to a very thin shell at the most distant edge of the universe. This shell is supposed to represent the region in which radiation suddenly “decoupled” from matter at some arbitrary point near the beginning. ... For why this shell is so extremely thin, I have never heard a reason’ (p. 237).

In other words, to account for the 2.7 K blackbody radiation, they presume that the radiation occurred at an instant in time that turns out to be 300,000 years after the ‘big bang’.9 Since the ‘big bang’ theory is loaded with adjustable parameters (p. 234), it is not difficult to find ad hoc explanations that ‘verify’ the theory, as Arp points out. Arp explains the background radiation as simply the temperature of the extragalactic medium in a non-expanding universe.

Another problem Arp sees with the ‘big bang’ theory is a ‘soap opera of conflicting claims about the value of the Hubble constant’ (p. 234). Many ‘corrections’ are normally made to the data (p. 153). He thinks using the Virgo cluster for calculating the Hubble ‘constant’ is a scandal. And because of their many assumptions in calculating the Hubble ‘constant’, Arp points out that mainstream astronomers are now confronted with the embarrassing situation in which the Hubble constant actually increases with distance (p. 232)!

Arp demonstrates that, like any ruling paradigm, contradictions are papered over and covered up. This is why the establishment seems to expend great effort in censoring Arp. All this information from an observational astronomer with 45 years of experience should caution those Christians who seem to think the ‘big bang’ theory is proven science (although it occurred in the unobservable and hence unscientific past) and that the Bible must be made to fit. Take for example Hugh Ross, who in a book that was hailed as making peace between young-earth creationists and old-earth crea-tionists10 tells about his conversion to Christianity in which it took him two hours just to read the first 35 verses of Genesis. At the age of 17 he claims he could see parallels between what the evolutionists taught and the details of those early verses, including the possibility that the word for day, yom, could mean more than a 24 hour day. He apparently has not changed since that time—so much so that he accuses young-earth creationists of disbelieving in physical reality. What a way to make peace!

Tremendous censorship

Arp has a huge file on censorship of not only his ideas but also the ideas of others. The censorship of unpopular ideas begins in the peer review process, of which Arp has a number of stinging comments. He states:

‘Refereeing, or “peer review” as it is rather pompously called, is now unworkable. It has increasingly shown that it lets in the bad papers and excludes the good ones, exactly the opposite of what it is supposed to do. Just in abstract principle, science is suppose to be a competition of ideas and indeed, as we have seen, it is very competitive. Is it reasonable then to send your ideas and data to an anonymous competitor who can with impunity often steal, suppress or ridicule them? ... As a result more and more important observational results are simply not being published in the journals in which one would habitually look for such results. The referees themselves, with the aid of compliant editors, have turned what was originally a helpful system into a chaotic and mostly unprincipled form of censorship’ (pp. 270, 271).

Thus, the censorship preserves the status quo. With this mindset even ‘observations’ are tainted by assumptions and theory laden. This is not only a problem in astronomy, but ‘ ... contrary to its projected image, endemic throughout most of current science’ (p. 12). In fact, Arp says that the majority of professionals are intolerant of even opinions that are contrary to majority thinking and, if new data do not fit into the prevailing paradigm, they are condemned (p. ii). Creationists should be especially cautious of ‘data’ from the uniformitarian literature. ‘Old earth creationists’ and theistic evolutionists should not be so gullible as to believe so much from the main-stream scientific paradigm about the unobservable prehistoric past.

Arp has taken great pains and weathered many battles to have his observations and theories published. However, Arp has discovered that publishing his observations has resulted in a list of topics and objects to be avoided at all cost by main-stream astronomers, instead of prodding those who disagree to turn their telescopes to the objects of disagreement. That is why he is now appealing to educated layman by writing this second book.

What about ‘individual thinking’ that is touted as a scientific ideal? Why aren’t there more mavericks, like Arp, if there are so many glaring observations against the ruling paradigm? Besides the ‘peer review’ system and the competition for grants, research positions, status, etc, there are subtle methods to rein in these potential mavericks. It did not take Arp long to learn that scientific meetings are also functions that intensely pressure mavericks into conformity (p. 135):

‘The meetings are traditionally the places where power relations are straightened out. It is painful for me to attend them because there is almost total conformity to obsolete assumptions’ (pp. 37, 38).

Even the educational process trains a scientist in what to think and not to think independently or creatively:

‘ ... I gloomily came to the ironic conclusion that if you take a highly intelligent person and give them the best possible, elite education, then you will most likely wind up with an academic who is completely impervious to reality. ... When looking at this picture no amount of advanced academic education can substitute for good judgement; in fact it would undoubtedly be an impediment’ (pp. 131, 163, emphasis his).

A final tactic used by the establishment is to deny tenure or fire the maverick. Arp tells of how this almost happened to him at the beginning of his career, and how he much later took ‘early retirement’ instead of recanting his anti-establishment ideas. Arp knows of many other cases within the astronomical establishment in which researchers with strong credentials in observational research were terminated for unpopular observational deductions.

Comments on how science works

Throughout the book, Arp takes aim at the way science is suppose to work and how modern science fails to act scientifically. A very common problem is that assumptions have tremendous power in not only guiding research but also in becoming ‘facts’:

‘Most astronomers say, “This violates proven physics [i.e. their assumptions] and therefore must be invalid.” ... The establishment always confuses data with theories’ (pp. 14, 21, brackets his).

And as far as the building of astronomical models, Arp says these have become almost synonymous with truth—even their mathematical gyrations are presumed to be obeyed by cosmology:

‘The greatest mistake in my opinion, and the one we continually make, is to let the theory guide the model. After a ridiculously long time it has finally dawned on me that establishment scientists actually proceed on the belief that theories tell you what is true and what is not true’ (p. 239).

It is often the assumptions in a model that are the problem and not the application of proven scientific principles (which causes some to believe the results of models too literally):

‘The practical problem can be appreciated by glancing at any professional journal. One finds an enormous proliferation of articles dealing with minor aspects of models in which the science may be correct but the assumptions are often wrong’ (p. 258).

Moreover, theory rather than observation(s) often guides research:

‘Regardless of how scientists think they do it, they start with a theory—actually worse—a simplistic and counter-indicated assumption that extragalactic redshifts only mean velocity. Then they only accept observations which can be interpreted in terms of this assumption’ (p. 167).

I found it interesting that Arp has picked up on the tendency of scientists in the ‘historical sciences’ to actually ‘vote on the truth.’ How many times have you heard such statements as ‘Scientists now agree that ... ’? Arp in his rather entertaining style describes the subtle self-deception:

‘One of the most self-evident principles which I heard voiced along the way is that in science “You can’t vote on the truth”. No matter how many people believe something, if the observations prove it is wrong, it is wrong. But as is often the case with humans it turns out that a lot of scientists actually believe exactly the opposite. ... When it turns out that a large number of renegade specialists and amateurs believe contrary to the most prestigious experts, the latter say, well science is not democratic, it is what the people who know the most say—that is what counts’ (pp. 273, 274, emphasis his).

Arp’s comments on other fields of science and culture

Arp cannot help but extend his experiences within the astronomical establishment to other fields of science and culture which he has observed in his long career (ch. 10). He has many interesting observations and conclusions.

He has concluded that big science, well funded in Western culture, has become like the medieval church that most scientists despise (p. 259). All authority on natural law has passed to science, and science bestows its power onto successors of its own choosing. The National Academy of Sciences is mentioned as one of the more egregious purveyors of this scientism. (Jonathan Sarfati has recently demonstrated this too.11) Furthermore, the press fawns all over scientists, believing almost their every word, as the medieval people did with the church of that era. Arp concludes that: ‘Investigative journalism so far as science is concerned is clearly dead in the water’ (p. 260).

Arp even has some amazingly positive statements on creationism, about which he seems to know little, and of which he is also critical. It is instructive to quote the whole section:

‘One of the crusades of academic science is against religious creationism. Periodically there arises a messianic need to save the general public from the ignorant beliefs that humans were created in their present form some short time ago, say 8,000 years or so. Activists try to convey the facts of evolution over millions of years as testified by the fossil records and Darwin’s theory. They pit the scientific evidence of evolution against the primitive superstition of creationism!

They should blush with shame. Their establishment science is the most blatant possible form of creationism. The claim is that not just humans, but the whole universe was created instantaneously out of nothing. So there is small debate about time scales, but the principle is carried much, much further in the Big Bang. The religious creationists are not slow; I have read in one scientific journal that scientists should not try to debate them because they are clever at confusing the audience’ (p. 270, emphasis his).

Arp can clearly sympathise with the extreme censorship we receive, and the transparent excuses from evolutionist for not debating creationists. It is too bad that he has not checked into the fossil record and Darwin’s theory as he has on the redshifts. He may come out of this interesting exercise with a whole lot more respect for creationism, and scepticism towards the ‘scientific evidence’ for evolution.

Are Arp’s intrinsic redshifts and theory correct?

A nagging question that occurs while reading the book is: ‘Is Arp correct in his observations of intrinsic redshifts and his explanation?’ Or is he just an inflexible iconoclast that enjoys shaking up and challenging the establishment? No doubt Arp has many intriguing observations, but I would have liked to have seen more complete data, statistical or otherwise, on his associations. The question in my mind is: ‘What percentage of quasars are closely associated with low redshift galaxies?’ Or is Arp presenting only the positive cases, which are interesting in themselves? He states that there are 38 cases of high redshift companion galaxies associated with low redshift galaxies. There must be many thousands of galaxy clusters. Only 38 cases does not seem like enough evidence, when there could be thousands of cases that do not apply. According to his theory of ejection of matter from galaxies, I would think there should be many more associations of different redshift galaxies. Or is it possible that Arp has not been able to gather more data due to lack of telescope time? Another question is: ‘What percentage of Seyfert galaxies are associated with high redshift quasars, and how many of these various objects—Seyfert galaxies, other galaxies and quasars—line up?’

Another disconcerting problem that arouses suspicion is that Arp accepts almost all the other results within cosmology, including those not directly related to the big bang or the redshift/distance relationship. However, he acknowledges that if he is correct, most of cosmology would have to be rewritten. For instance, he accepts, apparently without much thought, the old age of the universe, and the age of the various classes of objects within it, such as globular clusters. All through his book, he can tell us which objects in space are young and which are old. It seems to me that if he is correct on the redshift, much of cosmology and extra-galactic astronomy would have to be redone—so that the age relationships would also need to be reworked.

He shows proper scepticism for such fashionable trends as merging galaxies, black holes, accretion disks, dark matter, the density wave theory for the formation of spiral arms, and other such exotic ideas. However, he believes wholeheartedly in the Oort cloud of comets and the hypothesis of an occasional visiting star that arouses them so that some end up as comets in the solar system. This seems much more speculative than his thesis, since the Oort cloud has never been observed and seems mainly a band-aid to cover up the youth of the solar system as deduced by short period comets. Why is he not more sceptical of the Oort cloud?

There are several objections against his observations and theory that he has not adequately addressed. I was not quite satisfied with his analysis of gravitational lenses, which conventional astronomers use to excuse Arp’s associations. As far as his lines of objects that he believes were expelled from a parent galaxy, he states that with time lines should become more random, which has not happened yet because the objects are young (p. 156). (Of course this could be used as an excuse for why there are not many more lines of objects in space.) Another big problem with his theory is that physics laboratories show that photons transform into both matter and antimatter, and they do not form low-mass electrons that gain mass with time (p. 234).

Regardless, Arp has compelling observational evidence that something is wrong with the redshift/velocity relationship. Astronomers need to systematically address and attempt to refute his evidence and not practice avoidance tactics and censorship. You never know, they may discover new astronomical relationships. If Arp or other courageous mavericks could investigate the many other questionable areas in astronomy, it may totally revolutionise this field.

There are problems with the theory Arp uses to explain his observations. Are there any other explanations for the observations besides the intrinsic redshift and Doppler/velocity explanations? A number of ideas have been entertained over the years. Arp mentions only one—the tired light hypothesis, which states that as light travels through space, it interacts with gas and dust and is shifted towards the red end of the spectrum. Arp points out several good reasons why this hypothesis probably could not explain the intrinsic redshifts (p. 97, 98). He argues that we do not see a systematic trend toward more redshift for light that comes from the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is loaded with gas and dust, and less redshift for light reaching the earth from outside the plane. Furthermore, the light from associated quasars and galaxies (assuming Arp is correct) pass through the same path length of space but their redshifts are highly variable. The tired-light hypothesis, which Arp says is a reasonable proposal in itself, should still be investigated. There appears to be room for further ideas.

Implication for creationists

I believe creationists should view Arp’s observational data with cautious optimism. He may have discovered the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in cosmology. The remainder of the iceberg he apparently is unwilling to challenge. With creationist scepticism, we may be able to investigate the remainder of the iceberg and form a new creationist model of the universe or build on Humphreys’ model12 or both.

Regardless of whether Arp is correct or not that redshifts are unrelated to distance, the book shows the tremendous prejudice and censorship exhibited by those who hold to the ruling paradigm. The book also shows the great cover-up of potentially contrary observations. One lesson Arp’s book should reinforce is that we should be very careful in accepting uniformitarian and evolutionary ‘data’ and deductions.

I wonder what sort of view of the universe would result if we had all the observations available to us. Arp believes that much remains to be discovered: ‘We are certainly not at the end of science. Most probably we are just at the beginning!’ We certainly agree with that sentiment.


  1. Arp, H., Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies, Interstellar Media, Berkeley, California, 1987. Return to text.
  2. Peculiar, or irregular galaxies show no trace of circular symmetry but have a chaotic appearance. As many as 25 % of all galaxies fall into this class. Return to text.
  3. Zeilik, M., Astronomy: The Evolving Universe, 8th Ed., John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp. 138–140, 1997. Return to text.
  4. Oard, M.J., Astronomical problems, CEN Tech. J. 9(1):5–6, 1995. Return to text.
  5. It is assumed that the size of the emitting object must be about the same as the distance light can travel during the shortest variation in its brightness. Return to text.
  6. Zeilik, Ref. 3, pp. 468–477. Return to text.
  7. Normile, D., Twinkle, twinkle, little quasar, Science 287(5456):1196, 2000. Return to text.
  8. Arp, Ref. 1, pp. 17–29. Return to text.
  9. Glanz, J., Which way to the Big Bang? Science 284:1448–1451, 1999. Return to text.
  10. Ross, H., Creation and Time—A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy, Navpress, Colorado Springs, Colorado, pp. 143–147, 1994. Return to text.
  11. Sarfati, J., Refuting Evolution—A Response to the National Academy of Sciences’ Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 1999. Return to text.
  12. Humphreys, D.R., Starlight and Time—Solving the Puzzle of Distant Starlight in a Young Universe, Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 1994. Return to text.