Hubble Problems

Here I am, only connecting again.

Almost every day I get a spam message from a certain person who thinks he can determine the Hubble constant from first principles using  biblical references. The preceding link takes you to an ebook. I was thinking of buying it, but at 99c* I considered it prohibitively expensive.

*I am informed that it has now gone up to £1.30.

My correspondent also alleges that in writing this blog I am doing the Devil’s work. That may be the case, of course, but I can’t help thinking that there must be more effective ways for him to get his work done. Either that or he’s remarkably unambitious.

Anyway, to satisfy my correspondent here is one for the problems folder:

Using  the information provided in Isaiah Chapter 40 verse 22, show that the value of the Hubble constant is precisely 70.98047 km s-1 Mpc-1.

You may quote the relevant biblical verse without proof. In the King James version it reads:

40.22. It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.

By the way, please note that the inverse of the Hubble constant has dimensions of time, not distance.

Answers into my spam folder please (via the comments box).


While I am on the subject of Hubble, I will mention the news that the Hubble Space Telescope is having a few technical problems as a result of a failure of one of its gyros. In fact a few days ago it went into `safe mode’ to help engineers diagnose and fix the problem, during which time no observations are being taken. I’m told by people who know about such things that the spacecraft can actually operate on only one gyro if necessary, using information from other systems for attitude control, so this problem is not going to be terminal, but it will slow down the pointing quite a bit thus make it less efficient. With a bit of luck HST will be back in operation soon.






28 Responses to “Hubble Problems”

  1. I have great news to cheer you up but I need more time…

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    “Went into safe mode” meaning the Hubble went into a spin which caused a shutdown?

  3. Anton Garrett Says:

  4. Anton Garrett Says:

    I recall that this particular calculation of the Hubble constant has come up before here. David Hine gives his formula for the Hubble constant here:

    but he does not state how he derives it from the Bible or anything else. Perhaps Peter could ask him for the scripture verses and an outline of the steps involved in his derivation?

    I’m tempted to quote chapter 38 of the Book of Job back to the author, but I want to see the steps first. If this work is ever submitted to the Open Journal of Astrophysics then I’m happy to be a referee.

    I’d add that the Big Bang theory, which David Hine denies, is in full accord with the opening sentence of the Bible stating that there was a beginning, and is in disagreement with some pagan mystical systems which hold that the universe always existed.

    • telescoper Says:

      I quote part of a recent missive in response:

      To test any scientific theory, it MUST not be contrary to the Torah. If it is contrary, that theory is FAKE. The ‘Big Bang’ is contrary to the Torah, both in its time scales and its order of events. The stars were Created on Day 4 (each day being of 24 hours each). The earth was Created first. The ‘big Bang’ says otherwise, so it MUST be fake. That’s why Hubble’s Constant is vastly misunderstood. Hubble is the rate Jesus ‘Stretches The Heavens’ at 70.98047 (modern units). A proof ‘big bang’ is fake is the reciprocal of 70.98047 is 13.778 BLY’s, and this does not increase with passing time, so cannot be the age of the universe. It’s the Hubble Horizon Distance ONLY, and so is as ‘fixed’ as Pi and the speed of light (C).

      • Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. (And I’m not sure about the universe.)

        —Albert Einstein

      • The rate Jesus stretches the Heavens. This is what should be on that IAU ballot instead of Hubble-Lemaître.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        To David Hine (who may or may not be “anon” above): I agree that , although the Bible is not a science textbook, and science must be consistent with it (apart from miracles, where I give precedence to scripture). Might the description be of the light becoming *visible* on the Earth? And why do you insist that YOM in Genesis 1 means 24 hours when it has the same ambiguity as ‘day’ in English, eg “the day of steam power”, and can *only* mean ‘era’ in eg Job 15:23 & 18:20?
        Also, regardless of whether or not the Big Bang is true, how do you reach the formula in the URL quoted above,
        the Hubble ‘fixing’ equation is :- 2 X by a meg parsec X by light speed (C). This is then divided by Pi to the power of 21

      • telescoper Says:

        According to 1 Kings 7:23 in the King James Bible:

        And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

        This fixes the value of pi to be precisely three, so surely to be consistent the correct formula should involve 3^21 instead of π^21? Substituting that value in the magic formula gives a value of 26.9487 in modern units.

        Some one should tell Tom Shanks!

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Experimental error!

      • “Some one should tell Tom Shanks!”


      • telescoper Says:



      • telescoper Says:

        There are five more identical copies of this comment in my trash folder…

      • The advantage of going to Hell is that I can argue for eternity with Tom Shanks about the value of the Hubble constant! 🙂

        I expect to find Peter in the local jazz club there. After all, it was Martin Luther he said that the Devil has all the best tunes.

      • telescoper Says:

        I thought `HeII’ refererred to doubly ionized Helium…

      • “I thought `HeII’ refererred to doubly ionized Helium…”

        That would be singly-ionized helium. 😐 Such a mistake can cost you your soul. 😉

      • telescoper Says:

        Would this manifest itself spectrally?

      • The devil is in the details.

      • Speaking of Tom Shanks—or, rather, like Tom Shanks:

        It might be easy to understand with the subtitles, even if you don’t speak German.

    • telescoper Says:

      I’m reliably informed that `21 is the number that represents the number of ‘aspects’ that make up the ‘aether’, and is also the number of ‘Mansions’ in The Lord’s House’.

      I hope this clarifies the situation.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Nothing like this is clear in the Old or New Testament, but I wonder if this number is derived from (for I do not think it is explicitly mentioned in) the design for the Temple in Jerusalem, which is specified in the Old Testament. There is also mention that the Temple is an analogue of a heavenly version where God dwells; but to get from those two statements to a number that is relevant to science is an extraordinary leap of biblical exposition.

        I admit that I’ve been having weird thoughts recently, but about the nonlocality discovered in Bell tests as successfully predicted by quantum theory… thoughts relating to higher compactified dimensions which *act like* a wormhole (but aren’t one) – dimensions which gained their present relation to ‘our’ three dimensions (and also gained their compactification into some Calabi-Yau manifold) in the cosmological inflation of the early universe. But I don’t know enough physics or mathematics to know if this suggestion might fly. The aim is to somehow get round the constraint that the distance between two particles in a Bell test is, in full dimensionality, not less than the distance in our 3-space.

      • telescoper Says:

        The idea that non-locality might be related to higher dimensions is not all that weird, in my opinion.

        My weird thought on this is that there might be extra dimensions in which c is different and/or more than one time-like dimension.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        I’d wondered about another timelike dimension. Vector time anyone? It hadn’t occurred to me that c might be different in other dimensions – interesting!

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        A brief introduction to ‘two-timing’:

      • telescoper Says:

        I went to a seminar about 2+2 models when I was at Queen Mary. It was interesting enough to inspire some of us to do some calculations for fun. Unfortunately I don’t think I kept my notes..

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        One can write down, by analogy, *some* of the mathematics of spacetime having more than one timelike dimension. But any analysis that generates testable prediction is going to have to come to grips with the meaning of multiple time dimensions, and I suspect that that has not been done.

  5. “Almost every day I get a spam message”

    Technically, it is not spam. Unwanted? Yes. Junk? Yes. But not spam.

    The most useful definition of spam is email which is a) unsolicited and b) bulk. “Normal” email is neither. Newsletters, the daily arXiv mailings, etc are bulk but solicited. An email asking you to referee a paper or inviting you to give a talk is unsolicited but not bulk.

    Note that this definition makes no reference to content.

  6. 40.22 can surely be cryptically used to come to 42, can’t it?

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