The Origin Of The Seven Year
And The Expanding Universe
The existence of a physically real seven-year biological cycle in avian song and human basal heart-rate records was revealed by studies made by the author in the years 1959-68. This is illustrated in figure 1 which shows the interval in days between the dates of starting and finishing seasonal song. (Feb to June) of the common Chaffinch for each of the years 1946 - 1968. The seven year cycle is clearly seen. The two points that lie below the general trend correspond to bad weather at the time the first song was anticipated. Such a cycle has also been recognised in folk-lore and primitive medicine from the earliest times, but no natural phenomena or environmental factors are known to repeat in a sustained cycle of seven years duration. There is, however, the possibility that this period has arisen as the result of a 'beat' interaction between two natural rhythms of slightly different periods. In particular, we consider the possibility that living organisms have inherited a 'memory' of the orbital period of the Earth at the time that evolution from unicell types began; this most probably occurred during the pre-Cambrian geological era some 700-900 million years ago. In all probability, it was the annual seasonal period that evoked a response from the primitive 'brain cells' of the evolving organisms, just as the annual seasonal period affects all living organisms today. If so, this period could beat with the current orbital period (our year) to produce the observed seven-year cycle. With these assumptions we can calculate the Earth's orbital period (P) in the distant past from the equation:
1 / 7 = 1 / P - 1 / 1
where the unit of time is taken to be the current length of the year. This gives P = 0.875 years or about 10.5 months. We can calculate the corresponding mean distance (A) of the Earth from the Sun by using Kepler's third low, which takes the form A = P2/3, when A is measured in astronomical units (au) and P is in years. We obtain A = 0.9147 au. If we take the time interval (T) over which evolution and the expansion have occurred as 800 million years, then the expansion coefficient (E) is given approximately by:
E = (1 - A) / T = 1.07 x 10-10 per year
This represents an extremely slow expansion rate of no more than 16 metres per year in a total distance of 1.5 x 1011 metres.
If we assume that the changes in the Earth's orbital period and mean distance have occurred as result of the general expansion of the Universe, then E represents an estimate of the Hubble constant and we may compare it with the estimates obtained by measuring the speed of recession of distant galaxies.
H is currently thought to have a value within the range:
50 - 100 km s-1 Mpc-1.
Taking the average value and using: 1 Mpc = 206 x 109 au to transform from Mpc to au units. we find the equivalent Hubble expansion rate to be:
H = 4.9 x 10-10 km s-1 au-l
Then using: 4.74 km s-1 = 1 au per year to express H in the same units as E, we obtain:
H = 1.03 x 10-10 per year
This result - a very close correspondence between the two expansion rates - suggests that an increase in the mean distance of the Earth from the Sun has occurred over the past 8 x 108 years at the same rate as the cosmological Hubble expansion. If this is so, it is in conflict with the current view that that it is only the space between the galaxies which is expanding and not the galaxies themselves. The implication, based on the computations above outlined, is that not only the space between the galaxies, but also all the space within each individual galaxy is expanding at a rate determined by the Hubble constant.
Donald R. Barber. (Director Emeritus)
Fig 1. Duration of seasonal song in the common chaffinch.
|Website comments to
NLO bookings to
|NLO enquiries to
Copyright Norman Lockyer Observatory © February 2002
Except when stated "for
and on behalf of The Norman Lockyer Observatory", the facts, views and opinions
expressed in these pages are those of the contributors. The Editor includes them in good
faith and there is no intention to infringe any copyrights. Copyright remains the property
of each contributor.