A Wayne Question: Are Our Scientists Wrong? –

By Wayne Halm –

Sally is out of town and the golf course is wet – so this post is about my other passion – Astronomy.

Over the years Scientists have said some things that just don’t make sense to me.  Are they wrong – or just bad communicators?

This post deals with one aspect of that question?


Scientists have told me that the spectrum of light coming from distant galaxies is shifted toward the red end.  This is called “red shift” and means that the more distant galaxies are moving away from us.

I recall reading an article containing an illustration of the light from a nearby galaxy compared to the light from a galaxy nine billion light years away – it definitely demonstrated the red shift.  The conclusion reached was that the more distant galaxy is moving away from us.

A light year is the distance light travels in one year (about six trillion miles) and it took nine billion years for the light from that distant galaxy to reach us.  Nine billion years is a long time – a time that seems to have been ignored.

My Question:

How does the above mean that the distant galaxy “is” moving away from us today, rather than it “was” moving away from us nine billion years ago?

Why Should You Care?

The “is / was” question is more than Wayne playing with words.  A great many taxpayer funded research dollars go into “IS based projects”.  I want some assurance the money is being spent wisely.

What Can You Do?

If you know the answer, please leave a comment explaining it to me.

If you don’t know the answer, please pass this link on to someone who may – and ask for their assistance.


(Golfers – I will be back on the course in a few days – Come play golf with me.)

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4 thoughts on “Are Our Scientists Wrong?

    • Aloha,
      Thank you for your comment. The post has yest to receive a comment from a “professional scientists”. Still, 23 people have looked at it – I’ve attended lectures with smaller audiences. I will keep trying to get an “official” answer for us.
      A Hui Hou,

  1. I remember doing a redshift experiment in an astrophysics class at uni… while fascinating to me it was never a strong point of mine but my feeling is that the time is relative: yes, it may have taken nine billion years for the light to reach us but the redshift phenomenon would exist regardless. So, while at any time we’re looking nine billion years “into the past” we’re still looking at exactly what happened, just nine billion years hence.

    I feel that probably made no sense but also, this redshift has been shown on a smaller scale so they’ve taken the same technique and used it for biiger things I guess.

    Sorry if I just clogged up your post with rambling!!!!

    • Aloha Amelia,
      Rambling??? You are being too modest – your grasp of the phenomenon and my question seems quite firm.
      I accept that the red shift indicates that the distant galaxy was moving away from us nine billion years ago. But nine billion years is well over half the “Big Bang Age” of the Universe. In the absence of further evidence, I find it reckless to just assume that is still happening. It is that ‘further evidence” I am looking for. I suspect our Scientists are very good with numbers – but not so with words.
      A Hui Hou,

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