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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CE411:

The speed of light was faster in the past, so objects millions of light-years away are much younger than millions of years.


Norman, Trevor G. and Barry Setterfield, 1987. The Atomic Constants, Light, and Time. Flinders University of South Australia, School of Mathematical Sciences, Technical Report.


  1. The possibility that the speed of light has not been constant has received much attention from physicists, but they have found no evidence for any change. Many different measurements of the speed of light have been made in the last 180 or so years. The older measurements were not as accurate as the latest ones. Setterfield chose 120 data points from 193 measurements available (see Dolphin n.d. for the data), and the line of best fit for these points shows the speed of light decreasing. If you use the entire data set, though, the line of best fit shows the speed increasing. However, a constant speed of light is well within the experimental error of the data.

  2. If Setterfield's formulation of the changes in physical parameters were true, then there should have been 417 days per year around 1 C.E., and the earth would have melted during the creation week as a result of the extremely rapid radioactive decay (Morton et al. 1983).

  3. As an aside, some creationists assert that fundamental laws have not changed (Morris 1974, 18).


  1. Dolphin, Lambert, n.d. Table 1: Master Set of 193 Values of c. See also
  2. Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
  3. Morton, G. R., H. S. Slusher, R. C. Bartman and T. G. Barnes, 1983. Comments on the velocity of light. Creation Research Society Quarterly 20: 63-65.

Further Reading:

Aardsma, Gerald E., 1988a, "Has the speed of light decayed?," Impact #179, Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, CA.

Aardsma, Gerald E., 1988b, "Has the speed of light decayed recently?," Creation Research Society Quarterly 25(1): 36f.
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created 2001-2-18