From the Greek meaning 'heavy with wine'
A blog devoted to science and reason
Written after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2 Peter 3:8 & Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity

On March 26, Steve Hess posted to The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (Official) FaceBook page. I have copied the text verbatim.
I guess me merging einstines equations with the bible isn't science enough for you, what do you honestly know about quantum mechanics and cosmology?  And we are the ignorant ones
Followed by Mr. Hess's derivation of something again copied verbatim.
here is something interesting if you take peter 3:8 which mention's a difference in time and plug it into einestines special theory of relitivity you get this. here i will show you
EDIT: I miscopied one number -  7.5060981.
To save you the trouble of running to a Bible, here is the verse Mr. Hess is referring to.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (NIV)
Mr. Hess is impressed that the Bible seems to predict the speed of light.  However, he lacks understanding of what the time dilation formula is about.

What this equation deals with is the relative motion of two laboratories (okay - inertial reference frames for the physicists).  If lab A is moving by lab B at a constant velocity then when the observer in lab B looks at a clock in lab A, he measures clock A to be running slow.  That is, if clock B ticks off 60 sec, then clock A will tick off a time less than 60 sec.
So if the lord is in lab B watching us whiz by at 99.9999999996% of the speed of light then he would measure 1000 years go by while we age just one day or if we are watching him hurtle through space with that speed, we would measure 1000 years while he(?) experiences just one day.

Lest one worry about the word theory which has a different meaning to scientists than to the nonspecialist, this is a well documented effect.  One well known experiment* was performed by David H. Fritsch and James H Smith. Smith, by the way, was the professor who taught me special relativity at the University of Illinois. They measured that muons, a component of cosmic rays, survive 8.8 times longer as they pass through the Earth's atmosphere than they do at rest in a physics lab.  The factor 8.8 corresponds to the time dilation factor these muons have by moving at a speed  99.5% of the speed of light.

*David H. Fritsch and James H. Smith, "Measurement of the Relativistic Time Dilation Using μ-Mesons," Am. J. of Phys., 31, 342-355 (1963).

Here's the original image posted by Mr. Hess.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi Dr. Priest!

    I was reading "Special Relativity" by A.P. French (link below for those interested) over the Winter Break, and the Fritsch & Smith experiment is covered in detail in Chapter 4. It a very solid (math required!) introduction to S.R. at a level that isn't too difficult for those with a genuine interest in it, how it developed, and what it's used for.

    Also, I'm not sure if you noticed this, but the units for years and days don't exactly cancel. This made me laugh because they don't just disappear; it's not like their radians!



    1. Jaime,
      Bring Fritsch by some time. I'd like to take a peek.

  3. NICE BLOG!!! I'm happy to find numerous useful info here in the post. I would really like to come back again right here for likewise good articles or blog posts. Thanks for sharing...
    Animation colleges in Pune

  4. Why didnt you multiply 0.999999999992 by speed of light squared as you need to multiply it as 0.999999999992x299792458x299792458 m/s