Faint whispers of the early universe detected, bolsters the cosmic inflation theory, aka ‘big bang’

“This has been like looking for a needle in a haystack, but instead we found a crowbar…”

South Pole station where the scientists made the discovery

The 10-meter South Pole Telescope and the BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) Telescope against the Milky Way. BICEP2 recently detected gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, a discovery that supports the cosmic inflation theory of how the universe began. (Photo: Keith Vanderlinde, National Science Foundation)

From the Stanford Report, March 17, 2014 (h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard) video follows

New evidence from space supports Stanford physicist’s theory of how universe began

The detection of gravitational waves by the BICEP2 experiment at the South Pole supports the cosmic inflation theory of how the universe came to be. The discovery, made in part by Assistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo, supports the theoretical work of Stanford’s Andrei Linde.

Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today’s best telescopes. All this, of course, has just been theory.

Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence supporting this theory, known as “cosmic inflation.” Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.” Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity.

“This is really exciting. We have made the first direct image of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time across the primordial sky, and verified a theory about the creation of the whole universe,” said Chao-Lin Kuo, an assistant professor of physics at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and a co-leader of the BICEP2 collaboration.

These groundbreaking results came from observations by the BICEP2 telescope of the cosmic microwave background – a faint glow left over from the Big Bang. Tiny fluctuations in this afterglow provide clues to conditions in the early universe. For example, small differences in temperature across the sky show where parts of the universe were denser, eventually condensing into galaxies and galactic clusters.

Because the cosmic microwave background is a form of light, it exhibits all the properties of light, including polarization. On Earth, sunlight is scattered by the atmosphere and becomes polarized, which is why polarized sunglasses help reduce glare. In space, the cosmic microwave background was scattered by atoms and electrons and became polarized too.

“Our team hunted for a special type of polarization called ‘B-modes,’ which represents a twisting or ‘curl’ pattern in the polarized orientations of the ancient light,” said BICEP2 co-leader Jamie Bock, a professor of physics at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Gravitational waves squeeze space as they travel, and this squeezing produces a distinct pattern in the cosmic microwave background. Gravitational waves have a “handedness,” much like light waves, and can have left- and right-handed polarizations.

“The swirly B-mode pattern is a unique signature of gravitational waves because of their handedness,” Kuo said.

The team examined spatial scales on the sky spanning about 1 to 5 degrees (two to 10 times the width of the full moon). To do this, they set up an experiment at the South Pole to take advantage of its cold, dry, stable air, which allows for crisp detection of faint cosmic light.

“The South Pole is the closest you can get to space and still be on the ground,” said BICEP2 co-principal investigator John Kovac, an associate professor of astronomy and physics at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who led the deployment and science operation of the project. “It’s one of the driest and clearest locations on Earth, perfect for observing the faint microwaves from the Big Bang.”

The researchers were surprised to detect a B-mode polarization signal considerably stronger than many cosmologists expected. The team analyzed their data for more than three years in an effort to rule out any errors. They also considered whether dust in our galaxy could produce the observed pattern, but the data suggest this is highly unlikely.

“This has been like looking for a needle in a haystack, but instead we found a crowbar,” said co-leader Clem Pryke, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Minnesota.

Physicist Alan Guth formally proposed inflationary theory in 1980, when he was a postdoctoral scholar at SLAC, as a modification of conventional Big Bang theory. Instead of the universe beginning as a rapidly expanding fireball, Guth theorized that the universe inflated extremely rapidly from a tiny piece of space and became exponentially larger in a fraction of a second. This idea immediately attracted lots of attention because it could provide a unique solution to many difficult problems of the standard Big Bang theory.

However, as Guth, who is now a professor of physics at MIT, immediately realized, certain predictions in his scenario contradicted observational data. In the early 1980s, Russian physicist Andrei Linde modified the model into a concept called “new inflation” and again to “eternal chaotic inflation,” both of which generated predictions that closely matched actual observations of the sky.

Linde, now a professor of physics at Stanford, could not hide his excitement about the news. “These results are a smoking gun for inflation, because alternative theories do not predict such a signal,” he said. “This is something I have been hoping to see for 30 years.”

BICEP2’s measurements of inflationary gravitational waves are an impressive combination of theoretical reasoning and cutting-edge technology. Stanford’s contribution to the discovery extends beyond Kuo, who designed the polarization detectors. Kent Irwin, a professor of physics at Stanford and SLAC, also conducted pioneering work on superconducting sensors and readout systems used in the experiment. The research also involved several researchers, including Kuo, affiliated with the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), which is supported by Stanford, SLAC and the Kavli Foundation.

BICEP2 is the second stage of a coordinated program, the BICEP and Keck Array experiments, which has a co-principal investigator structure. The four PIs are Jamie Bock (Caltech/JPL,) John Kovac (Harvard), Chao-Lin Kuo (Stanford/SLAC) and Clem Pryke (UMN). All have worked together on the present result, along with talented teams of students and scientists. Other major collaborating institutions for BICEP2 include the University of California, San Diego; University of British Columbia; National Institute of Standards and Technology; University of Toronto; Cardiff University; and Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique.

BICEP2 is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF also runs the South Pole Station where BICEP2 and the other telescopes used in this work are located. The Keck Foundation also contributed major funding for the construction of the team’s telescopes. NASA, JPL and the Moore Foundation generously supported the development of the ultra-sensitive detector arrays that made these measurements possible.

Technical details and journal papers can be found on the BICEP2 release website: http://bicepkeck.org

Video by Kurt HickmanAssistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo, right, delivers news of the discovery to Professor Andrei Linde.

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559 thoughts on “Faint whispers of the early universe detected, bolsters the cosmic inflation theory, aka ‘big bang’

  1. I read the article and found it fascinating. But while physicists are trying to prove the Big Bang Theory (or supply more evidence for it), I wonder where the big bang came from. Each time our knowledge is pushed forward (or backwards in this case), we go on to the next phase – where did the previous phase come from?

  2. How was this theory confirmed. Not with a model or an algorithm. With a telescope. Through observation of nature. Using a scientific instrument in a new way or building a new instrument. Every important discovery or confirmation of theory that I can think of was done this way.

  3. “In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today’s best telescopes”.

    I’m confused. Doesn’t this imply that there is a mechanism in the known physical universe for FTL travel?

    • @grumpyoldmanuk – Great question! I have not read all responses to see if anyone can answer that, but that would tend to break at least part of Einsteins theory.

  4. @philjourdan

    That’s always been my proof for the existence of God. Where did that “tiny piece of space” that “inflated” to become the known universe come from???

  5. Congratulations to these scientists. Form a theory, predict what physical conditions result from this theory, conduct real world experiments to confirm the predictions and even when your results agree with your theory conduct extensive review of your data to ensure no other source for your results exists.

    Good thing they got this exciting result when they did. What with Antarctica slated to become a moist tropical climate due to AGW, the conditions their telescoped needed won’t exist for much longer. [/sarc]

    • @les Johnson – thank you. However that does not really answer Grumpy’s (or my) question. Today we have “co-moving” objects (heading in the opposite direction) that when their speeds are combined, exceed the limit. However at the moment of the Big Bang, they are indicating that the objects were moving at FTL from the origin (which for the sake of argument, we assume to be stationary since there was nothing to reference motion to it beforehand).

  6. I love this part: “The team analyzed their data for more than three years in an effort to rule out any errors.” Can you imagine members of another too-familiar “discipline” doing that?

  7. To philjoudan – you ask what came before the Big Bang, the answer is: (by definition) the Big Unbanged Banger. I just wonder if things go in cycles, Big Bang, Big Crunch, Big Bang, Big Crunch…

  8. grumpyoldmanuk says:

    March 17, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I’m confused. Doesn’t this imply that there is a mechanism in the known physical universe for FTL travel?

    It probably means light travelled a lot faster then.

  9. “…detected gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background,”

    So, not cosmic dust then?

  10. If you ever denied the Big Bang theory, you were wrong. Plus, you were anti-science, bigoted, hateful, in-bred, and a knuckle-dragger. You were probably stingey, to boot. To suggest it be noted in the kiddies’ textbooks as a theory rather than fact made you equal to the Taliban.

    That was, of course, until we figured out the Big Bang theory was wrong.

  11. “This is something I have been hoping to see for 30 years.”

    Dr. Andrei Linde

    Well, Dr. Linde managed to hold back his tears, but I could not. SO HAPPY FOR YOU, DR. LINDE! Wonderful news. Truth sets us free — from error and doubt… .

    *****************************************************

    “In the beginning, … God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light. … And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse … And it was so.'” Genesis 1:1-8.

    **************************************************************

    Oh, this is, indeed, GREAT cause for celebration!

    So, (of course!) a song:
    The Creation — Franz Josef Haydn

    Rejoice!

    Oh, REJOICE!

  12. “In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today’s best telescopes”.

    I think the larger question is “how/why did this happen?”

    Beginning one trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the universe’s birth, the idea goes, space-time expanded incredibly rapidly, ballooning outward faster than the speed of light.

  13. Quick question:

    Do scientists and Government types (any of y’all out there) begin with a nifty acronym and then force the jargon into it or does all of your work/project/equipment/Bill/treaty title jargon always naturally fall out to become an appropriate/cool/hip sounding acronyms?

    Examples: START 1 and 2 Treaties, BICEP, BICEP2, WISE, SLAC, MACHO, GAAP, BATTeRS, FIRST, and MARVEL – just to name a few.

    I have always just … wondered about this. ‘:-)~

  14. Thank you, Dr. Svalgaard (and An-th-ony), for bringing this to our delighted attention.

    (somebody get that wonderful Dr. Kuo a new backpack… in tan or gray … (smile) — he has more important things to occupy his mind)

  15. Re: “I have always just … wondered … .” (Greg Roane at 11:14am)

    Evidence of design is evidence for a Designer.

    #(;))

  16. I used to be in love with the big bang theory. However, the cosmology researchers I’ve spoken with are not open to other ideas, nor to the idea that they don’t know enough to propound on the subject. The key line in this chain of logic is the belief that this effect is unique to gravitational waves and not distribution of matter or some other issue. How does one prove uniqueness in the absence of omniscience? Everybody tries to pull this trick of “uniqueness” when they are less than certain.

  17. Grumpy:

    My suspicion would be that since space/time was itself expanding, light traveling within that expanding universe would still be limited to 186,000 mi/sec. The speed of light would be relative to the contents of the universe, while the boundaries of the universe itself would be free to expand “faster”, though there would be no external frame of reference to measure that speed of expansion. It’s a mind-boggling concept.

  18. Phrases and acronyms
    Blend in a mixture
    Each changes the other
    For happier fit
    Some BICEPs go SLAC though
    There’s GAAPs in the fixture
    Some names are such bother
    They don’t give a SPIT

    The cosmic beginnings
    Have big implications
    But none of us know
    Just how all this occurred
    Before the first innings
    The game had equations
    Is all this “uncaused”
    Or has God sat and stirred?

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  19. grumpyoldmanuk says:

    March 17, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I’m confused. Doesn’t this imply that there is a mechanism in the known physical universe for FTL travel?

    No, it was space that expanded faster than light, and there’s no such restriction for that.

    • @Kelvin vaughan

      If the universe is still expanding are we and everything else expanding with it?

      I do not know about you, but I have been expanding horizontally since middle age. ;-)

  20. @ Assistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo – this is probably a good time to submit your application for tenure.

  21. I think every-time I hear the words “it is settled” it goes to prove how ignorant we really are.
    The remarkable thing with this finding that in this day and age i s the the fact they probed for three years and then said (although celebrating and deservingly so) adding!! “Let’s wait for the info coming from another project to either verify this or refute this” ( the story above is different than the one I followed on Fox news and BBC news that included that statement.

  22. Real Science, and stupendously important. Guthrie had an insight about early inflation. Linde made it workably consistent with known astronomical observation. Now this team performs a delicate experiment with a triple whammy result to 5 sigma.. Not only confirms inflation, confirms Einstein’s 1916 prediction of gravity waves. And, since early inflation is a quantum phenomenon about space time itself, shows that gravity is also a quantum phenomenon even though we have no clue yet how to make the mathematical connection. And, an Independent European Space Experiment (Planck) coming by yearend to either confirm or disprove.
    What an instructive compare/contrast to consensus climate science.
    Thanks for posting. A great day for science.

  23. The big bang theory, denied by Fred Hoyle until his death, was invented by Father Georges Henri LeMaitre, PhD, a Belgian priest and physicist. in 1923. Yeah. He was pretty much mocked and dismissed for 40 years as a “creationist” until 1963 when Penzias and Wilson detected it at the Bell Labs radio telescope. They got the Nobel Prize for that.

    http://space.about.com/cs/astronomerbios/a/lemaitrebio.htm

    LeMaitre’s mind was not confined to the assumptions of contemporary science of 1920s. He was very open minded so when he read the General Theory by Einstein, and noted that everything must be moving, he concluded a singularity, or primeval egg was responsible. Furthermore he proposed, what is known as Hubble’s Law a few years before Hubble.

    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble%27s_law

    Bigotry in science held back the theory for 40 years.

  24. @ Keith DeHavelle — Fun poem

    Since you did not see this on another thread (from March 12 at 2:49pm)

    Here ya go:
    (edited to fit better here)
    Was there ever a poster like Keith DeHavelle
    Who posted in rhyme (and who did it quite well)?
    Your wry phrases shine and I hope you can see
    that your poems add zest at Watts Up — with esprit.

    @*@*@*@*@*@*@*@*@*@*@*Janice Moore

  25. A thought experiment, if you will:

    If our observable universe is akin to the view from the center of a basketball (the basketball inside lining of the outer skin being the limits of the observable universe from our POV), what does the observable universe look like to a life form living on a planet around a star that is a part of the farthest galaxy that we can observe (on the inside skin of the basketball)?

    Is it only just a view looking back to the center of the basketball with nothing – NOTHING – in the opposite direction (looking outside the skin of the basketball)? Or does (s)he(it) see another basketball-equivalent of observable universe with our little planet in a non-descript solar system in an average spiral galaxy located within a small galaxy cluster located on the edge of the observable universe?

  26. I went back to see if I could verify the fact they would wait for another report supposedly to come from (NOT sure here) the Planck Satellite scientists about three months from now? To either confirm or deny this. That segment of the earlier report has dissipated and gone into cyberspace, I have looked through all the history on my computer cannot find it at all.

  27. If you assume that the universe is rationally intelligible, then you will be inspired to find the reasons, and the underlying rules for the mechanism of celestial mechanics. So far, it is rationally intelligible. The deeper you study cosmology, the more wonderful and clever the mathematics.

  28. “The researchers were surprised to detect a B-mode polarization signal considerably stronger than many cosmologists expected. The team analyzed their data for more than three years in an effort to rule out any errors. They also considered whether dust in our galaxy could produce the observed pattern, but the data suggest this is highly unlikely.”

    Can someone please explain to me how B-mode polarization means “gravity waves”, and how THAT means inflation? I’m looking for a simple explanation — which the article doesn’t provide.

    And… nothing else can explain this B-mode polarization??

    What’s the difference between Gravity Waves and Gravity?

  29. This falls into the category of scientists trying so hard to prove their pet theory that an unquantified social element becomes part of the process & outcome. What can’t we “prove” with enough time, funding, and motivation? The Big Bang theory is a giant edifice built on feet of clay. An example of the feet of clay: spatial expansion means that the background temperature (currently 2.73K) was higher in earlier epochs when the universe was smaller so the energy density higher. So measurements have been made of this earlier temperature and, taa-daa, those measurements show the expected higher temperature, e.g., http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.5456. But in fact the scientists participating in those measurements are at loggerheads with eachother about the validity of what they’ve done, and if in fact any higher temperature is measured at all, e.g., http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.5625 (same target). Competing papers are submitted, but usually only the “confirming” papers pass peer review and get published. This is called “publication bias” by astronomers — sound familiar? So tempting as it is to sing Hosanna, I pass.

  30. This is an excellent example of a report on an important confirmation of the Big Bang Theory (and its extensions, as noted in the article). What a rush to read a clear and factual report about genuine science. In 75 years or so, we will have something like this in climate science.

  31. Of course, looking for the whisper presupposes a Big Bang. But, what it it never happened, as supported but the a biogenic source of our oil and gas which indicates that the Earth’s core is from the core of an asymmetric supernova explosion. The Big Bang theory is fatally flawed such that quasars are not objects at great distance and the universe is a steady state. The whisper is not an indicator of anything but background noise in a large universe.

  32. Kelvin vaughan says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:31 am
    If the universe is still expanding are we and everything else expanding with it?
    Looking at my waistline one would think so, but, no, we are not expanding. Gravity is strong enough to keep assemblies of particles up to sizes of galaxies from expanding. And, it is not that the matter in the universe is flying away from each other through space. The galaxies are essentially motionless in space. It is space itself that is expanding.

  33. GeneB says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:02 pm
    Can someone please explain to me how B-mode polarization means “gravity waves”, and how THAT means inflation? I’m looking for a simple explanation — which the article doesn’t provide.

    And… nothing else can explain this B-mode polarization??

    What’s the difference between Gravity Waves and Gravity?

    Try reading up on it at Lubos’ web site. Although inherently very technical he does his usual brilliant job of explaining things.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2014/03/bicep2-primordial-gravitational-waves.html#more

  34. Greg Roane says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

    A thought experiment, if you will:
    ______________________________

    I, indeed, have contemplated this. I have 3 thoughts on this:
    1) The earth is at the center of the observable universe. Since that is where the IMAP satellite is located. Who is to say that what is observable is all that there was since distance = time. So kinda… Galileo was wrong sort of. The observer is at the center of the “Cosmos”.

    2) In blast mechanics, like a grenade, there is a front of debris that propagates from the blast site outward in an ever-increasing shell. So too is our universe expanding with a wave front of cosmic condensate. Like an inflating balloon. If that is the case, then we exist within the membrane of the balloon at some point in an inconceivably huge blast shell. What we observe then is a small local section of the skin of the blast shell’s history. We can’t even see across the emptiness of the balloon to the other side of the balloon. The center of the universe is the outside our observable universe at some very remote point. This implies that the universe is much bigger but does not necessarily suggest that it is older. This is my opinion.

    3) So in answer to your question, an observer at the boundary of our observable universe would see a cosmos very much like ours. He would be seeing a patch of balloon membrane expanding in his locality and it would be limited by microwave data ie 14.5 billion years, just as we are limited.

    Greg, I would love for somebody to consider this or tell why I am wrong. If you think that my rendition of your thought experiment is wrong, do me a favor, and correct me?

  35. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Kelvin vaughan says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:31 am
    If the universe is still expanding are we and everything else expanding with it?
    Looking at my waistline one would think so, but, no, we are not expanding. Gravity is strong enough to keep assemblies of particles up to sizes of galaxies from expanding. And, it is not that the matter in the universe is flying away from each other through space. The galaxies are essentially motionless in space. It is space itself that is expanding.

    If the rate of expansion is increasing, as measurements suggest, then possible explanations include quintessence or phantom energy and eventually the big rip will occur so that everything, down to and including sub atomic particles will be ripped apart into nothingness…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintessence_%28physics%29

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_energy

  36. @Kelvin vaughan says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

    “If the universe is still expanding are we and everything else expanding with it?”
    ===================================================
    Yes, and the trend line in my daily weigh-in, despite regular exercise, is beginning to resemble one infamous hockey stick. The rate at which I’m expanding is exponential and it’s alarming!

    P.S. Haven’t you noticed that the walk down to the corner store seems to take a little longer? Need any more proof of an expanding universe?

  37. “This has been like looking for a needle in a haystack, but instead we found a crowbar,” said co-leader Clem Pryke…

    So their hypothesis was falsified by reality, but nonetheless…? Or does finding a crowbar rather than a needle make it by metaphorical logic a double plus good result?

  38. The problem I have always had with the Theory of Cosmic Inflation is it is made up to fulfil a need without any supporting physics. Cosmologists require a way to freeze in Quantum irregularities to the macro universe to give the density / energy variation that gives the universe its structure we observe today.

    The issue I have with this theroy in my view is their is no reason for the early universe to so inflate except we wish it was so. That seems more religion than science.

  39. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm
    2) In blast mechanics, like a grenade, there is a front of debris that propagates from the blast site outward in an ever-increasing shell. So too is our universe expanding with a wave front of cosmic condensate.
    Except that there is no debris front. ALL of space is expanding, but the matter in the Universe is just sitting essentially motionless in the expanding space. There is no debris front moving through space.

  40. Interesting find. I like that they tried to first find other explanations for what they were seeing. You know that falsification thing. Too bad our climate scientists don’t practice that.

  41. A very short moment before the “Big” bang, the known universe consisted of an Infinitesimally
    small ball of string theory, with which Schrödinger’s cat may or may not have been playing.

  42. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I apparently am not getting a concept. “ALL of space is expanding, but the matter in the Universe is just sitting essentially motionless in the expanding space.” Is what you are saying that the matter itself isn’t moving but the space it sits in is pulling it along with it. Overly simplistic I realize. Otherwise Hubble’s Law doesn’t seem to make sense.

  43. lsvalgaard says:

    March 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Kelvin vaughan says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:31 am
    If the universe is still expanding are we and everything else expanding with it?
    Looking at my waistline one would think so, but, no, we are not expanding. Gravity is strong enough to keep assemblies of particles up to sizes of galaxies from expanding. And, it is not that the matter in the universe is flying away from each other through space. The galaxies are essentially motionless in space. It is space itself that is expanding.

    Doesn’t that mean the electromagnetic waves in space are not expanding too?

  44. hswiseman says:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

    How was this theory confirmed. Not with a model or an algorithm. With a telescope. Through observation of nature. Using a scientific instrument in a new way or building a new instrument. Every important discovery or confirmation of theory that I can think of was done this way.

    Indeed. And note that at the end of the short film posted in the article, Linde still, despite his excitement, retains some scepticism. That’s a real scientist.

  45. Paul:

    I am admittedly pig-ignorant (if not moreso) of large-scale cosmology, so I am not one to argue your explanations (although, your sum of conclusions on my thought experiment was “2”, not “3” – as “3” seemed more of an extrapolation of “2” than a separate conclusion of its own :) ).

    Your explanation of 14.5BYO as it relates to overall age seems a bit stretched though, given the example you posited: your example would “prove”, if true, that 14.5BYA the matter that is separated by the observable universe today (from our POV) would have been more “condensed” (galaxies and clusters and such) but not necessarily be the limiting age of the universe. Since all observable matter seems … clunky … today, it could have been in even larger chunks with less space between it long ago, thus the universe could be stupendously older (or younger) than we currently comprehend. (Remember, Faster than Light = time travel and Inflation occured at rates exceeding c early on – so they say.)

    If we can only see about 14.5BY into the “past”, who is to say that inside and behind the blast front in the center of the basketball/baloon (at, say, 16 or 50BLY away) there isn’t a grenade of unimaginable size exploding, thus providing the inflating power of the universe today (Dark Energy) – and we cannot, nor ever will be able to, directly see it.

    In the Navy, we used to call this type of theory “FM” aka “Frickin’ Magic.”

    At Church on Sunday’s, I call that grenade “God.”

    Greg

  46. At the BICEP2 FAQ is the answer, “What does “BICEP2″ stand for? Officially, “BICEP2″ is not an acronym. It’s simply a name. ”

    The apt dimensionally reduced analogy for me is the expansion of the skin of an inflating balloon.

  47. Lsvalgaard, Consider this, rather consider hubbles law.

    Hubbles law measures the relative rates of separation of stars and galaxies wrt each other by virtue of their red shift/blue shift. We also know that space is increasing at an increasing rate.

    But that does not exclude space which may have been created as matter passed though it as if by a front. ?

    I guess what I am saying is that space creation does not exclude a blast front model. The blast front being at least as thick, and possibly (probably) thicker than the observable universe. So I am saying that space creation as a mechanism expansion is valid within our observable universe since it is my contention that the whole universe is within the blast front itself. Do you follow?

    Imagine if our galaxy was a grain of steel in the shell of the grenade. Once detonated we would observe local grains o steel moving, Doppler-esque away from us, while space is being created. Image then that the steel, was actually explosive material that detonated itself.

    I don’t see how this notion is excluded by the space creation theory.

    This is the hurdle in front of me but I don’ t really see it as mutually exclusive.

  48. Greg, Exactly!!.. I have not trapped my assumptions in the rules of the speed-of-light since that is a measure of space-time here and now, and that is what the big bang was making so, maybe there were other rules for space making before the Higgs Field appeared? 10^-43 seconds into the bang.

    I don’t see why that which is observable is all that there is. It is just what happens to be the limits of what is observable…. today.

    P…. Cheers.

  49. grumpyoldmanuk says:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:40 am
    “I’m confused. Doesn’t this imply that there is a mechanism in the known physical universe for FTL travel”
    ==========================================================================
    Clearly the physics of our current universe came into existence at a particular point so I suppose one should not apply this understanding to something that came before. I have always wondered how many times this may have happened but the physics turned out to be not right for intelligent beings to appear who would then contemplate these questions.

  50. I thought it was settled science??!!

    It was settled science when the Vatican proclaimed heliocentrism heretical in 1616.
    It was settled science until Newton published his law of universal gravitation, in 1687.
    It was settled science until Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity was initially confirmed in 1919 by Eddington.
    It was settled science until Hubble demonstrated the universe is expanding faster the further one looked and published his Red-shift distance law in 1929.
    It was settled science until two teams in 1998 independently found the expansion is accelerating and evidence that a vacuum energy, dark energy, exists.
    It was settled science that the CMB was merely the Big Bang afterglow, until now we have hard data the Big Bang was vastly more extensive than a simple light speed space-time-energy expansion.

    And so as skeptics, we have seen anthropogenic CO2-caused catastrophic global warming foisted as settled science. That is until the physical climate system decided to show us it wasn’t. Unless of course our climate rests on turtles, and each turtle has a human name, i.e. Hansen, Trenberth, Mann, Gore…ad nauseum ad infinitum..

  51. chemman says:
    March 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm
    Is what you are saying that the matter itself isn’t moving but the space it sits in is pulling it along with it. Overly simplistic I realize. Otherwise Hubble’s Law doesn’t seem to make sense.
    Yes, that is how it works. Hubble’s law makes eminent sense as the light waves are stretched out by the expansion of space and thus look redder in proportion with the distance traveled. Note, that this is not a Doppler shift [as is often said].

    Kelvin vaughan says:
    March 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm
    Doesn’t that mean the electromagnetic waves in space are not expanding too?
    We are not expanding because gravity and electromagnetic forces keep us together. Waves in space become longer, because they are stretched by the expansion of space.

  52. Not believable, to wit, “Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence…”

    It was just a few years ago that the universe was 13 billion years old! HOG-WASH.

  53. @Chemman (1:03pm)
    Re: “… you are saying that the matter itself isn’t moving but the space it sits in is pulling it along with it… .”

    I don’t thing Dr. Svalgaard said anything about matter being “pulled along.”

    It is so easy to understand that I think you may have (due to having a great amount of knowledge at your fingertips) overcomplicated this basic concept.

    If you and a friend were sitting at a table in a small café in the middle of a convention hall and while you were talking and eating the portable dividing walls surrounding you were moved away and back so that you were soon sitting in a large banquet hall instead, would you have to then shout to be heard by your friend?
    #(:))

    ***********************************

    @Jay H. D. — So did Blaise Pascal. He was a pretty bright fellow.

  54. Further, we should soon expect the question; what is the universe expanding into? I particularly enjoy Lee Smolin’s attempts to illustrate this.

  55. Chem Man: “… you are saying that the matter itself isn’t moving but the space it sits in is pulling it along with it… .”
    Dr. Svalgaard: “Yes, that is how it works.”
    Janice Moore: Oh. (blush) I was wrong. I beg your pardon, Chem Man.

  56. Joel O’Bryan says:
    March 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm
    It was settled science until Newton published his law of universal gravitation, in 1687.
    It was settled science until Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity was initially confirmed in 1919 by Eddington.
    It was settled science until Hubble demonstrated the universe is expanding faster the further one looked and published his Red-shift distance law in 1929.
    It was settled science until two teams in 1998 independently found the expansion is accelerating and evidence that a vacuum energy, dark energy, exists.
    It was settled science that the CMB was merely the Big Bang afterglow, until now we have hard data the Big Bang was vastly more extensive than a simple light speed space-time-energy expansion.

    Note that these examples of settled science include each other and are just the result of better measurements of the universe, so to the accuracy with which we could know things all of these examples are consistent with everything that came along later, so the science has indeed been ‘settled’ to the accuracy of our observations all along.

  57. Janice Moore says:
    March 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm
    Chem Man: “… you are saying that the matter itself isn’t moving but the space it sits in is pulling it along with it… .”
    Perhaps the word ‘pulling’ is not the ‘right’ one as there are no forces involved. Maybe ‘going along with the ride’ would be better, but for the understanding of the issue being pedantic about it does not bring more enlightenment.

  58. Thank you for the clarification, Dr. Svalgaard.

    Lol, I wish I knew enough about this subject to even TRY to be pedantic. I just simplemindedly (not stupid, just ignorant) completely misunderstood the concept Chemman was asking you about. I thought Chemman mistakenly thought that you were saying that matter was not travelling along WITH the “bubble,” but instead was being pulled outward, toward the sides of the simultaneously expanding bubble.

    Glad you and he can understand each other!

  59. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm
    Where is the center of the Cosmos?
    already Newton was confronted with that question. His answer is still the best: “the cosmos in infinite and it does not make sense to speak about a center”. An analogy, perhaps, is to drop down a couple of dimensions and define ‘infinite’ as ‘having no limit’. The surface of a sphere has no limits measured along any path on/in the surface. Where is the center of the surface?

  60. @ Janice Moore, et.al.

    Man invented gods to explain the unexplainable, fire, sun, stars, death, lightening, etc. Science has now answered almost all those questions and gods were not needed. Religion is down to two last key questions that science has not definitvely answered yet (as I see it) as proof of the existence of gods. How did the universe begin and how did life begin. Important questions to be sure. You can claim this victory as yours if you wish, but religion has lost every battle with science and retreated to the shore line of reason. For the sake of humanity I hope that soon we can dispense with these bronze age myths.

    • @James Willis – actually science has only described the physics of how things attributed to God could be done. It has not described why they occurred. So the myths still exist.

      Science cannot answer all questions. But it can provide possible explanations for how things occur.

  61. The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed.

    Vibrating strings nor energy can just pop into existence. If we are expanding what are we expanding into?

  62. Frank K. says (March 17, 2014 at 10:46 am): ‘That’s always been my proof for the existence of God. Where did that “tiny piece of space” that “inflated” to become the known universe come from???’

    Strangely enough, the existence of God has always been my proof for the existence of Super-God. After all, where did God come from? :-)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/08/models-all-the-way-down/

  63. mkelly says:
    March 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm
    If we are expanding what are we expanding into?
    A late guest comes to a hotel with an infinite number of rooms, but all are taken for the night. The guest asks for room, and the clerk says “no problem, Sir’ and just asks all guests to vacate their room and move into the room with room number one higher. This leaves room #1 vacant, and the new guest can be accommodated. Then an infinite number of guest show up. ‘No problem’ says the clerk, and asks every resident guest to move to a room number twice that of his current room, leaving an infinite number of vacant rooms [all those with an odd room number].
    As there is no edge to the infinite [open] space there is always room to expand.

  64. God is always there. Eternity. We live in a temporary world…Sure, it was created with the universe by the eternal God who was and is and is always, All other explanations don’t work.

  65. LOL, Hotel California, where you can check out anytime you want but you can never leave.

  66. I have a few of big bang dust bunnies I would like explained. Please keep in mind I may not have understood the subject matter correctly when I originally read material relating to the big bang. But here goes anyway.

    I have always wondered what was before the big bang, and how did what exploded get to that point in the first place? When I have asked this question, I’ve got the response that there was no time before the big bang, and that time started at that point. My confusion stems from the logic that if there was a state 1, and the bang was state 2, how could the transition occur if there was no time?

    Second, where did all this stuff come from. The observable universe is very large, at least to us. How did all the energy fit into a such a tiny area as the definition of a point? What caused it to change state?

    If all the matter and energy in the universe came from this object, what were its properties before it exploded? Does the math predict any of this?

    It still feels like we know little enough that it still seems like magic. I notice that a number of comments invoke God which does not explain anything. It isn’t that there isn’t a God that did it, its just that the question we’re asking is what happened and how did it work and is there a way to understand it? Each time we get an answer, we find more questions to ask. The “who”, if any, will show up after we understand what it takes to create a big bang.

    It would be like if we had tested atomic bombs on an inhabited planet that didn’t know about us. They would see the pillar of fire, the mushroom cloud and wonder what the beep just happened. They could attribute it to God but they would have no evidence until they figured out nuclear physics and realize that explosions like that can’t happen without someone or something creating it. We haven’t got that far with the big bang just yet.

    In the meantime, if anyone has explanations for my questions, I’d love to read them.

  67. A late guest comes to a hotel with an infinite number of rooms, but all are taken for the night…

    If you changed your religion, you could be a cantor! ☺

    [That's a Hilbert joke. Nevermind...]

  68. Jeff Mitchell says: March 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm “I have a few of big bang dust bunnies I would like explained. I have always wondered what was before the big bang, and how did what exploded get to that point in the first place? In the meantime, if anyone has explanations for my questions, I’d love to read them.”

    Lee Smolin – #Theories_and_work #The_Trouble_with_Physics #Publications at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Smolin

  69. At 1:45 onwards in the video Prof Linde states, “Even if this is true…”, and then goes on to express his worry about having been tricked by nature and that he could still be wrong. Quite incredible and humbling to hear such a distinguished gentleman talk like that about his life’s work.

    That is the humility common to all truly great scientists who seek the truth and they are the ones who advance mankind’s knowledge and boundaries. Contrast that with the pig-headed arrogance of those who have the ear of our policy makers and who would gladly destroy real science and propel man back into the dark ages. Hopefully, the modern scourge of faux-science will soon be swept away along with the charlatans that practice it.

    I feel better now!

  70. lsvalgaard says:

    1. In an infinite universe any “big bang” would need to have been merely a local event.

    http://newscenter.lbl.gov/news-releases/2014/01/08/boss-one-percent/

    http://www.extremetech.com/…/174427-astrophysicists-create-the-first-accurate- map-of-the-universe-its-very-flat-and-probably-infinite‎

    2. Inflation requires a mechanism to do the inflating. As you have often said regarding theories lacking same. Have not seen anything really ringing that bell as yet. The problem with inflation is that it is too convenient for explaining observations which do not support the “big bang” theory.

    It may well be but the science is not settled here, either. It is good that the researchers still sound skeptical even within their desire to grab the gold ring.

  71. Last week, I happened to purchase Max Tegmark’s, Our Mathematical Universe (which was nice timing for this announcement). For those not well versed in cosmology, it may be as good a place as any to begin understanding cosmology. So far it has been an interesting and entertaining read. I got my copy via Kindle.
    Many of the questions posed here are discussed in this book. Cosmologists have built the Big Bang theory based principally on mathematical theory which appears to be getting confirmed by observations such as this latest announcement. If Tegmark is an example, cosmologists are getting more and more confident in their theory, but recognize they still have a long,long way to go. Each new discovery/observation seems to create more mysteries. Heck, I’m hoping to be around when the day comes that we can define dark matter and dark energy – more than 70% of the universe and of which we have dang little clue.
    I am closely paying attention to those here who dissent against the Big Bang theory. If you can point me to alternative explanations, I would be grateful.

  72. “In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today’s best telescopes”.

    Did it really. So from the inside of our galaxy, with its own super massive black hole, these guys claim to have measured something in inter galactic space (which they don’t understand anyway namely Gravity.)…which proves that in the first fleeting fraction of a second the entire universe expanded exponentially etc…’

    Sounds very much to me like the sound of one hand clapping.

  73. Jim G says:
    March 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm
    2. Inflation requires a mechanism to do the inflating.
    The detailed physics is not yet known, but we are not completely in the dark:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)

    “While the detailed particle physics mechanism responsible for inflation is not known, the basic picture makes a number of predictions that have been confirmed by observation.[5] The hypothetical particle or field thought to be responsible for inflation is called the inflaton”

    The problem with inflation is that it is too convenient
    A good explanation is never ‘too convenient’. It is like you are saying “Newton’s law are too convenient for explaining away the idea that angels are pushing the planets along in their orbits”.

  74. Jeff Mitchell

    Hey whoa! Before the big bang? LOL I’d like an answer to before, before there was a fore!

    Science, being the useful tool that it is, requires models, data, observations. “before the big bang” has none of these.

    I’d say you are in the realm of philosophy and logic and maybe ….causality.

    I do see a trend amongst those who claim to be scientists like Michio Kaku who have stepped wwwaaaayyy into the metaphysical on this one. The trend is… “we scientists better come up with an unprovable, untestable, unfalsifiable alternative to “creation” from nothing for if we don’t, we might have some splainin’ to do.”

    These guys have defacto become the new priests of the cosmos multiverse/brain-ism. Not unlike the Gaia Earth-God Green religion. Anything but that Hewbrew God! It is kind of amusing to witness the desperate explanations.

  75. aGrimm says: March 17, 2014 at 2:37 pm “If you can point me to alternative explanations, I would be grateful.” Lee Smolin mentioned and linked above offers an alternative.

  76. lsvalgaard says:

    Until there is a mechanism, it is too convenient. The angels were too convenient for the theories of that time. The numbers worked for Newton to overcome the angels theory but not well enough to overcome relativity when it came along with better predictions. In both latter cases there was a mechanism and good observations. Gravity as a “force” was just not as good as curvature of space/time.

    No comment about the infinite universe?

  77. Jim G says:
    March 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm
    Until there is a mechanism, it is too convenient.
    There is a mechanism. It may not a detailed mechanism, but you have to begin somewhere, in short: “decay of the false vacuum”.
    “Inflation was first discovered by Guth while investigating the problem of why no magnetic monopoles are seen today; he found that a positive-energy false vacuum would, according to general relativity, generate an exponential expansion of space”.

    No comment about the infinite universe?
    Are any needed?

  78. Frank K, the fact that you WONDER about where the Big Bang came from is your PROOF for god?

    If you are interested in the latest developments in the field, presented in a pop-science way that everybody can understand, read Lawrence Krauss’ A Universe from Nothing, or watch one of his numerous talks on the subject on Youtube. Because your proof really isn’t that compelling in plain day light…

  79. lsvalgaard says:

    No comment about the infinite universe?
    “Are any needed?”

    I am always interested in your thoughts on such an issue. There are actually two issues. Infinite in space only and infinite in time as well. And, yes, I do realize that no one knows, but your thoughts would be welcomed.

  80. lsvalgaard says (March 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm): ‘There is a mechanism. It may not a detailed mechanism, but you have to begin somewhere, in short: “decay of the false vacuum”.’

    This stuff makes my head hurt, but I looked up “false vacuum” on Wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_vacuum

    While I don’t pretend to understand the “mechanism” or its implications, I was reminded of Douglas Adams:

    “There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

    There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

    ― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

  81. This theory has little to with the big bang myth……the universe was known to be expanding in the 15th c., congrats 21rst c., on catching up but this idea by itself does not prove that order came from chaos or constellations from expanding gases……title of article is false and misleading.

  82. Jim G says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:06 pm
    I am always interested in your thoughts on such an issue. There are actually two issues. Infinite in space only and infinite in time as well.
    One cannot separate space and time. E.g. for a photon time does not exist. People who don’t like a ‘beginning of time [or of space or of 'space-time'] can think of a ‘bouncing universe’ [e.g. as proposed by Lee Smolin: http://www.leif.org/EOS/PT-Lee-Smolin-2014.pdf ]

  83. “However, as Guth, who is now a professor of physics at MIT, immediately realized, certain predictions in his scenario contradicted observational data. In the early 1980s, Russian physicist Andrei Linde modified the model into a concept called “new inflation” and again to “eternal chaotic inflation,” both of which generated predictions that closely matched actual observations of the sky.”

    Where were Popper and Feynman to tell them that the whole theory must be falsified.
    No fair making changes and improving theory. its either false or true.

    hehe

  84. Inflation seems to be nearing confirmed, but don’t mistake that for confirmation of the Big Bang. There are many ways to get gravity waves – big bang is just the simplest one we have thought of. For example, it could be that regions of the universe undergo inflation. If the inflated region we are in is large enough, we will never see outside of it and thus conclude inflation is everywhere.

    I am waiting for the mechanism behind inflation before I start counting my chickens – or gravitons in this case.

  85. People shouldn’t get too hung up on the “expanding into what” questions. No one has a simple answer for that. The lower dimensional analogies (ie. surface of a sphere) require a third, higher dimension to embed the surface, just as a Klein bottle requires a fourth to allow the edges of the Mobius strip to join.

    And Dr Svalgaard’s hotel room example is interesting, but I’m having a hard time thinking of an equivalent analogy that deals with uncountably infinite sets (probably a geometrical example akin to the surface is the best).

    There are also a number of simplifying assumptions that have to be made before you get to a reasonable definition of a (not “the”) underlying metric involved in solutions to Einstein’s equations: http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Exact_solutions_of_Einstein's_equations.

    There’s a decent, very simplified description and example here talking about metric expansion and measuring distances here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_expansion_of_space#Measuring_distances_in_expanding_space. Again, a very simplified picture.

  86. I think the common depictions of the Big Bang (a terrible phrase) have a lot to do with the confusion about what was going on. Black screen, giant explosion, stuff flying out in all directions – childishly simplistic and the product of animators and designers rather than physicists. First off, you could not have “seen” it from the outside, because there was no outside – the birth of the universe was also the creation of space and time, so not only was there no place outside from which to observe it, there was no time “before” the event. In fact it’s impossible to depict as it wasn’t ‘like’ anything and all analogies will be flawed.
    No need to invoke gods or supernatural forces either – in fact, by doing so you put an end to all further enquiries by putting it in a box labelled “god did it” and closing the lid. Worse, it just creates another layer of insoluble problems – what is god? Where did it come from? Why? And so on, ad infinitum. No. Much better to leave all that stuff in the Bronze Age, where it came from and move forward with observation and enquiry. To be sure, science doesn’t have all the answers, but then it doesn’t claim to. We’re really still at the start of the process, not the end, but consider how far we’ve come in just a few hundred years, armed with nothing more than our brains and some things made from glass and metal. The best is yet to come!

    • @Adrian Mann – I disagree about God putting a lid on discovery. Let each believe what they will. And yes, I fully acknowledge that my knowledge is limited, but each time scientists push back the barriers (in time) of understanding of the universe, it just raises more questions. That will never end, as it is a constant cycle. So I do not see a belief in a supreme being being a hindrance. Even scientists who do believe still search for understanding.

  87. This may be the most significant confirmation of theory since the 1919 expedition confirmed Einstein’s prediction.

  88. All that we can see is our universe and there is no evidence of anisotropy, and thus of your regions. The multiverse is Popper unfalsifiable.

  89. Robert of Texas says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm
    Inflation seems to be nearing confirmed, but don’t mistake that for confirmation of the Big Bang.
    Big Bang does not need inflation for confirmation. There are many other [and better] confirmations of the BB.

    James Smyth says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm
    And Dr Svalgaard’s hotel room example is interesting, but I’m having a hard time thinking of an equivalent analogy that deals with uncountably infinite sets
    For the simplest such sets [a line segment], there are infinitely ‘many’ points between any two points, no matter how close. With infinities there are always ‘room enough’.

  90. lsvalgaard says:

    I assume that the following is that to which you were referring or at least a description of it.

    http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Guth/Guth3.html

    And I also assume that the small patch that he indicates begins the inflation process is 10 to the -24th not 10 to the +24th cm. A very interesting paper that I had not seen. Are the “details” being still pursued?

    I will check out your most recent link reference. As far as space and time, Hořava believes that unzipping space-time may solve some of the problems, answer some of the unanswered questions in today’s physics. And João Magueijo seems to think a variable speed of light has some answers. I am sure you are aware of both but I mention them as they are both outside the box and have, as yet, not been burned at the stake.

    In any event, thank you for your responses.

  91. Jim G says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm
    I am sure you are aware of both but I mention them as they are both outside the box and have, as yet, not been burned at the stake.
    What is important is that cosmology today is a highly precise observational science. Our progress is driven by observations and hard data. To me it is amazing how even some of the bizarre predictions of some theories are increasingly being confirmed, while other theories are being ruled out. Hard data is driving the whole field.

  92. Janice Moore says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:12 am

    No version of the Big Bang Theory in any way corresponds to the various creation myths in the Bible. Your tendentious editing & mistranslation of the account of one of them cannot gloss over this inconvenient truth.

    “In the beginning, … God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light. … And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse … And it was so.’” Genesis 1:1-8.

    The Hebrew word you have falsely translated as “expanse” is “raqiyeh”, which is onomatopoeic & means something solid pounded out of metal, as a copper bowl (thus making a racket). The Alexandrian Jewish scholars in the centuries before Jesus who translated the Old Testament as then known into Greek (the Septuagint or Apostles’ Bible) rendered “raqiyeh” as “stereoma”, ie something beaten or hammered into a hard form, which Jerome later translated into Latin as “firmamentum”.

    Thus in Genesis & elsewhere in the Bible, earth is flat with the vault of heaven over it, like a domed stadium. The waters above the dome include the storehouses of rain, snow & other precipitation, which fall to earth through windows, the control levers of which God Himself operates. The waters below the flat earth, supported upon its immoveable pillars, can gush forth to fill the oceans, or overflow them onto the land, as in Noah’s flood, in which “the fountains of the great deep” are mentioned even before the “windows of heaven”.

    Note also please that the author of Genesis 1 fails to make the connection between the sun & light, since God creates light before the sun, nor realizes that the moon shines by reflected sunlight. He also imagines that plants appeared before the sun which makes photosynthesis possible. Of course in other biblical creation stories, like the Adam & Eve myth, the order differs.

    Genesis 1 (King James Version):

    “1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

    2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

    3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

    4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

    5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

    6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

    7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

    8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

    9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

    10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

    11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

    12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

    14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

    15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

    16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

    17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

    18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

    19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

    Whatever its scientific merits, the multiverse hypothesis appeals to atheists because it gets around the various Anthropic Principles which some cosmologists & other physicists find convincing.

  93. Robert of Texas says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    The cosmic background radiation confirms the Big Bang Theory. Speed of inflation is a detail. Important for understanding the process of expansion, but not needed to confirm the Big Bang. Think of Einstein’s improving on Newtonian gravitation theory.

    Doug Huffman says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    A multiverse is theoretically falsifiable. M Theory makes predictions for which some observers claim to have found evidence.

  94. SFAIK, the underlying universal essence that comprises cosmic matter and energy can’t be made to absolutely unexist by any known scientific process, theoretical or in practice, how then can it have come into existence in the first instance? But material forms are a different matter, all Cosmic material forms are finite, everything that has a beginning has an ending, but the underlying essence from which the forms are comprised is without beginning or end.

    Perhaps some people are conflating cosmic universal form with its underlying essence, Personally I find it as unimaginable that there was a beginning to absolute cosmic essence as it is for any and all cosmic forms to not have had a beginning.

  95. Ben D says:
    March 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    IMO that mass & energy should exist within it is a property of multidimensional space-time.

  96. lsvalgaard:
    James Smyth says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm
    And Dr Svalgaard’s hotel room example is interesting, but I’m having a hard time thinking of an equivalent analogy that deals with uncountably infinite sets
    For the simplest such sets [a line segment], there are infinitely ‘many’ points between any two points, no matter how close. With infinities there are always ‘room enough’.

    Right, at which point your particular analogy reaches it’s usefulness, being prefaced as it is on numbering (ie. counting) rooms. Which is why I deferred to more geometrical example to handle aleph one.

  97. “In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today’s best telescopes.”

    Amazing. Let’s see . . . So all the matter and energy is expanding outwards, all particles shooting away from each other at what — by definition — is a speed much greater than the relative escape velocity. Yet — somehow — a whole bunch of particles happened to stick right next to each other the whole time, defying this tremendous explosion of energy and ironically refusing to be subject to the higher-than-escape-velocity trajectories of normal physics, until they eventually . . . wait for it . . . slowed down in empty space, got attracted to each other (notwithstanding the prior velocity), and then coalesced into things like stars and planets and galaxies.

    Amazing.

  98. The universe suddenly existed out of a set of physical principles that no longer apply. Sometimes it takes less faith to believe in God.

  99. James Smyth says:
    March 17, 2014 at 4:45 pm
    Right, at which point your particular analogy reaches it’s usefulness, being prefaced as it is on numbering (ie. counting) rooms. Which is why I deferred to more geometrical example to handle aleph one.
    Analogies almost break down at some point, but then again, there are [quantum] theories that posit that space is quantized, so countable…

  100. Robert of Texas says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    In science, there is no final confirmation. To say that a theory is confirmed is to say that we have found something that was predicted from the theory. Always, there remains the possibility that our next prediction will prove false and the theory will require modification. Disconfirmation, falsification, is absolute and demands a change.

    All this was brought to public attention in 1748 when David Hume published his “Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.” Hume had shown, in arguments as powerful as any ever produced by philosopher or logician, that all inferences from experience are probable only.

    A far more modern version of the same thesis came from the late W.V. Quine who argued that the sum total of all possible evidence must “underdetermine,” his word, physical theory. Hence, there can be at least two physical theories that are logically incompatible yet imply all and only the same observation statements.

    All good scientists know these truths, though they might articulate them differently. The idea that science can be settled is an embarrassment to all good scientists.

  101. There is no getting around that we live in a temporary earth universe and universe where things grow and decay with time. There has to be an eternity where things always exist and a God able to create a temporary earth and universe. Otherwise one always goes back to Ok who created God, or what was there before the “big bang”. There is an eternity and a God who created the earth and universe, and “big bang” if you like that term, There is no need to go back beyond God and eternity as it is always there and always has been, time is eternal, not like time on earth, this is always there and has to be to make any sense of anything. You need to grasp what eternity is, always there and never ending and forget the temporary earth and universe time. Then it all makes sense.
    We are just in a temporary existence here in a temporary body to learn and prepare our souls to go back to where we came from eternity. Find God and you will find life and meaning to all existence. Without Him nothing makes any real sense at all. The bible tells the whole story in a way we human minds can grasp. The reality is way beyond our comprehension down here in this temporary home. Seek to learn and prepare for your eternal; home while in this temporary testing ground. God is eternal love, find this, and you don’t need to search for any “big bang”!

  102. milodonharlani says:

    IMO that mass & energy should exist within it is a property of multidimensional space-time.
    —————————
    Apparent multidimensional space-time is a description of reality as perceived by a consciousness functioning in space-time (as we mortal do), nevertheless the Cosmos is a unity. All perceived aspects of Cosmos are merely differentiations abstracted from the non-dual absolute nature.

  103. Pardon me for being stupid but to me “Yes, that is how it works. Hubble’s law makes eminent sense as the light waves are stretched out by the expansion of space and thus look redder in proportion with the distance traveled.” simply means that space is expanding into space or explain where space stops and a new and so far undefined new space starts that space can expand into.

  104. John Peter says:
    March 17, 2014 at 5:08 pm
    simply means that space is expanding into space
    No, there is no ‘into’. All of infinite space expands. This simply means that the distance between ANY two objects [no matter where] increases with time.

  105. Science has a need to explain everything. We all get that. But sometimes they just get ahead of themselves in explaining too much, too soon, with insufficient information. The Big Bang will never be proven, nor can it be. It’s a completely unsatisfying concept to me. It resolves nothing. I’d sooner accept creationism.

  106. @ grumpyoldmanuk says:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:40 am

    “In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today’s best telescopes”.

    I’m confused. Doesn’t this imply that there is a mechanism in the known physical universe for FTL travel?
    ________________________________________________

    No, it doesn’t say that, though it seems that way. What happened, according to the theory, is that the universe jumped in size from about the size of a marble to something large enough to contain our galaxy in the space of about 3.10^-36 seconds, at something like 1×10^-35 seconds into the existence of time (the numbers are off the top of my head; I can go back and get them, but the point is, very very soon after the universe came into existence, while matter was all plasma so dense that photons couldn’t pass through it, the whole shebang (h/t Stephen Hawking) expanded “exponentially”. A truly dizzying amount.

    It’s the expansion that you have to have a picture of, to understand that no one is saying that the speed of light can be exceeded, or that it was, or that some “law” is not a “law” or has exceptions. Think of the “fabric” of Time/Space as being the skin of a balloon—not the volume of the balloon which we fill with air, but only the skin. All of existence, all the dimensions we’re familiar with, 3D + time, or if you prefer by Superstring Theory, 10 (or 36), but all of perceivable reality, is the skin of the balloon—not the portion we fill with gas.

    Picture that with a pen, we mark two points on the balloon. When we inflate the balloon, they appear to move apart. From the perspective of the universe, they aren’t actually moving—Spacetime is simply stretching so that the distance between them grows. Light still propagates at the same speed (or perhaps does not…but that’s another theory and the difference is as yet imperceptible, so if it’s getting slower, we haven’t been able to prove that yet), but the fabric of Timespace can stretch such that two points in the universe can become farther apart faster than light may travel.

    However, as far as the Inflationary Theory works, or as far as I understood it, the conditions for that sort of inflation to take place existed only then, early on in the life of the universe. Could such conditions happen again? You’ve got me. I suppose that hypothetically, it could happen again, and space expand such that the distance between two locations stretches faster than light could travel between them—which doesn’t violate the cosmic speed limit—but probably not.

    Yet, who knows? I can’t recall right off what the theory states was the driving force for the inflation. I read of the theory when Alan Guth first proposed it, or shortly after. Professor Linde hadn’t refined the theory as yet when I first hear of it. Part of what sparked the idea behind the theory was the way the behavior of the four forces: Strong, Weak, Electrical, and Gravitational, appeared to have changed as the energy-density of the universe dropped. The Strong remained as a separate force to hold the nuclei of atoms and the sub-atomic components together, the Electro-weak force was the result of two, and gravitation remained an outsider. The other three forces appear fairly closely related in behavior and interaction with matter and light. Not so with Gravity, which is weaker than the weak force—-but operates over the greatest distances. The strong force which is the strongest, but operates over the smallest distances.

    As I recall it, it was theoretical observations about the interactions of the forces and changes in their behavior and the lack of symmetry that led Alan Guth to first propose the inflationary theory.

    But though it creates the paradoxical condition where places can become separated in distance faster than the speed of light can travel between them, the theory doesn’t violate the General Theory of Relativity, which is where we find that the Cosmic Speed Limit is the speed at which light propagates.

    Does that help or confuse?

    • @P@Dolan – “Does that help or confuse?” – Both! But I appreciate your explanation, along with Lief’s explanation. I see that Grumpy’s question and my follow up are based on too little knowledge.

      It is hard for a layman to wrap their head around a concept of something expanding, but not expanding into anything.

  107. From the T/Q/U maps, Dr. S., what is E- mode dominate? Wow horizontal and vertical patterns and and and diagonal patterns..

    Figure 24: Polarization maps and coverage maps used to calculate map depth (color scales in parentheses). The maps are Stokes Q and U in the three-year data set, with full coadds on the left and differenced chronological jackknife maps on the right. The Q maps show a horizontal and vertical pattern, while the U maps show a diagonal pattern, together revealing the dominant E-mode polarization of the CMB. The jackknife maps contain no signal but only noise. They are used to calculate the depth in our polarization maps. The lower left panel shows the integration time per 0.25°×0.25° pixel and the 70% contour used in the older definition of the map depth, while the lower right panel shows the variance-weight map used in the definition adopted here.

    And in the color version of these maps reminds me of granulation and other solar features.

  108. JTF talk about your right handed and left handed gravitational vortex structures whew.. what a scale..and polarized orientations too..curious..

    Dominate E-modes and B-modes with swirly handedness

    “”Our team hunted for a special type of polarization called ‘B-modes,’ which represents a twisting or ‘curl’ pattern in the polarized orientations of the ancient light,” said BICEP2 co-leader Jamie Bock, a professor of physics at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

    Gravitational waves squeeze space as they travel, and this squeezing produces a distinct pattern in the cosmic microwave background. Gravitational waves have a “handedness,” much like light waves, and can have left- and right-handed polarizations.

    “The swirly B-mode pattern is a unique signature of gravitational waves because of their handedness,” Kuo said.””

    ‘Smoking Gun’ Reveals How the Inflationary Big Bang Happened
    .
    By Alan Boyle
    “””BICEP2’s detectors were built to look for patterns of polarization in the cosmic microwave background radiation, the glow left over from the Big Bang. A characteristic pattern known as the B-mode, which is twisted like a pinwheel, would point to the imprint of gravitational waves from the cosmic blow-up.

    Image: Polarization BICEP2 Collaboration
    A map of temperature differences in the cosmic microwave background reveals characteristic pinwheel patterns in the polarization of light, which points to the imprint of primordial gravitational waves.'””

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/smoking-gun-reveals-how-inflationary-big-bang-happened-n54686

  109. Dear Mr. James Willis,

    Re: “Important questions to be sure.”

    Here’s question for you: Do you know where you are going when you die?

    Religion (mine, anyway) answers that question.

    Pretty important. Where your soul will spend eternity… .

    Hoping you seek until you find the Truth!

    Janice
    ******************************************************************

    Dear Mr. “Harlani,” (per you, this is not your real name),

    Re: your 4:16pm attempt to discredit the Bible in order to rationalize your not believing in an Intelligent Designer

    1. “No version of the Big Bang Theory in any way corresponds to the various creation myths in the Bible.”

    Comment: I was only referring to the “bang.” Not the Big Bang Theory as a whole.

    2. “…raqiyeh”, … something solid pounded out of metal, as a copper bowl … . … Thus in Genesis & elsewhere in the Bible, earth is flat with the vault of heaven over it, like a domed stadium.

    Comment:
    a. A vault made by God (as defined by Judeo-Christianity) can be very large. If that “metal” were of certain types, it could expand.

    b. Illogical conclusion here: “Thus,… earth is flat… .” This is conclusion is NOT warranted by the Bible’s text. Perhaps, you are merely unaware of that, but this tends to indicate your bias.

    3. Re: “… the storehouses of rain, … windows, … immoveable pillars, ‘the fountains of the great deep’ … .”

    Comment:
    a. You mistake poetic description for literal description.
    b. “Control levers” are your personal invention. God wills or God speaks — and it is so. There are no “control levers” mentioned in the Bible. Your deliberate mischaracterization using ridiculous imagery belies a deep-seated bias, here.

    4. Re: Light, Sun, and Moon

    Comment: The Sun is not necessary for there to be “light.” Failure to mention Moon-Sun reflectivity does not meant the author disagrees with or is unaware of that concept.

    5. Re: Plants before Sun

    Comment: You ignore a major premise upon which the author of Genesis is relying. Thus, you mistakenly conclude that what appears to you to be an impossibility was overlooked or unknown to the author. That premise is: God can do ANYTHING. Thus, God can make plants continue to exist even when there is no Sun. To be perfectly candid (and as you know) I believe those plants only had to exist for 24 hours without sunlight. God can do anything; including create a world in 6 days. I do not have the faith you have in the accuracy of the carbon or beryllium isotopes dating beyond about 6,000 years.

    You have your beliefs, dear Mr. Harlani. I have mine. You consider my beliefs to be “junk.” I consider you to be mistaken out of an emotional bias against any evidence the implications of which are that you might, in the end, have to bow the knee to God. I’ve been praying for you ever since we first “met.” And, no matter how you snarl and growl at me and, at times, mischaracterize me, I’ll continue to pray. So far, lol, it is pretty clear that the answer is: “Not yet.”

    Do you know why I will continue to pray earnestly for you (and a TON of others on WUWT)? I love you. How can I, after how you have spoken to me in the past? The answer is: Jesus. HE loves you and, through me (admittedly, a far-from-perfect instrument), expresses that love.

    With agape,

    Janice

    P.S. To respect our generous host’s wishes, I am going to avoid, if at all possible, talking about religion further, here. If you have religious questions or concerns, there are MANY intelligent, informed, loving, believers near where you live. Find one and ask her or him.

  110. You can call me a Big Bang denier. There is nothing convincing to me that the universe is finite.

  111. lsvalgaard says:

    No, there is no ‘into’. All of infinite space expands.
    ————————————-
    How does infinity get to expand if it is already absolute infinite?

  112. Ben D says:
    March 17, 2014 at 6:03 pm
    How does infinity get to expand if it is already absolute infinite?
    Infinity is a slippery subject. The simplest way to think about the expansion is this:
    The distance between ANY two objects [sufficiently far apart already so their mutual gravitational attraction is negligible] increases with time. That way there is no concept of edges, debris fronts, ‘into’, or other dubious things, so no confusion will arise.

  113. Well, that’s pretty damn cool. I think I’m more excited about the gravity wave images than the inflationary model predictions bearing out, been waiting for some way to observe gravity waves for a loooooong time now.

  114. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Infinity is a slippery subject. The simplest way to think about the expansion is this:
    The distance between ANY two objects [sufficiently far apart already so their mutual gravitational attraction is negligible] increases with time. That way there is no concept of edges, debris fronts, ‘into’, or other dubious things, so no confusion will arise.
    ——————————–
    Ok, but that would not mean infinite space is expanding, rather that there is a finite bubble of some sort within the finer infinite spacial underlying background that is expanding.

  115. Ben D says:
    March 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm
    ok, but that would not mean infinite space is expanding, rather that there is a finite bubble of some sort within the finer infinite spacial underlying background that is expanding.
    It is that ‘spacial underlying background’ that is expanding. The objects within that are essentially sitting still.

  116. May be I don´t understand something, but AFAIK the CMB that we see was created 100,000 years AFTER Big Bang. The earlier Universe was simply opaque.

    The “polarization waves” they detected could be anything, not necessarily gravity waves. I´d rather expect these are some plasma waves close to the moment as the Universe became transparent (it was plasma before).

    However, the Stanford mafia seems to gain power. May be they can overcome any skeptical point of view.

  117. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    It is that ‘spacial underlying background’ that is expanding. The objects within that are essentially sitting still.
    ———————
    Ok, then I am suggesting that there is an even more underlying background within which this spacial underlying background is expanding in which the objects within are essentially sitting still.

    Iow, my definition of infinity is an absolute,,,it can’t expand. However to avoid a never ending to and fro here, I will accept you have a different definition if infinity.

  118. Navy Bob says:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:59 am
    I love this part: “The team analyzed their data for more than three years in an effort to rule out any errors.” Can you imagine members of another too-familiar “discipline” doing that?

    ——————

    Nay.
    They needed 3 years not for “analysis”, but for observations.
    Their signal is masked by noise. To average the noise out, they needed a long observation time.
    They did not wait to show their results if that is what you meant.

  119. lsvalgaard says:

    March 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Carla says:
    March 17, 2014 at 5:21 pm
    From the T/Q/U maps, Dr. S., what is E- mode dominate?

    http://background.uchicago.edu/~whu/polar/webversion/node8.html

    _____________________________
    Thank you Dr. S., for that link, good explanation and ref. for this topic.
    So from the question..then he was saying that the E electric field dominates the B mag. field in the Cosmic Microwave Background CMB? For the area of the view? And gravity waves oh my.
    Good night

  120. Confusion reigns supreme in the world of theoretical physics and cosmology.
    The mathematics of imaginary numbers and the borrowing of imaginary particles
    from an Aether they say does not exist to confirm their standard settled science
    model. Leaves one some what nonplussed.

    Then recently the cosmologists discover that their model can not work, as most
    of the universe is missing. Thus they invent dark matter, this proved not enough
    so they invented dark energy. More imaginary friends to make their settled science work.

    Punishing people for having different ideas outside these settled sciences is endemic.

    Big bang BS, from their ideas we must be traveling outward from the bang at umpteen trillion times the speed of light into an empty vacuum or as Leif mentioned a false vacuum, another
    imaginary concept.

    The failure of science to to come to terms with gravity, and explain what it is and what causes it
    is major impediment to physics and cosmology, they all need to tear up their theories, go back to square one and start again.

    Quietly waiting for 50 years for science to break out of their 1920 consensus. Not hopeful at this time, as they seem happy with their imaginary friends.

  121. At the end of this inflationary period, the universe was only the size of …

    … a fist,
    a basketball,
    a room,
    a solar system,
    a galaxy.

    There are various sizes given. But is was still very small, very hot, very weird and it only lasted for 10^-32 seconds.

    It was still 300,000 years later before real atoms gave off real light.

    But in that unbelievably short time of 10-32 seconds, the main physical forces did not exist and only one something force existed. It is important because we want to have a grand unification theory and if we understand how to use that theory, we could blow up Russia and the rest of the Universe at the push of a button.

    Maybe someone was working on a physics experiment 13.7 billion years that went a little off-track.

  122. Addendum to my 5:55pm comment:

    3. Re: “… the storehouses of rain, … windows, … immoveable pillars, ‘the fountains of the great deep’ … .”

    Comment:
    a. You mistake poetic description for literal description.

    Add: The “vault” referred to above, as analogized to an earth-metal container, falls into the category “poetic description.” That is, the “vault” is not a literal metal container.

    • @ Janice Moore:

      G’day, Milady! (Go get ‘em!)

      7;->

      Heinlein said it best: “A Black Hole is where God divided by zero!”

      Happy Monday!
      p@

  123. lsvalgaard says:
    What is important is that cosmology today is a highly precise observational science. Our progress is driven by observations and hard data. . .

    However, consider the apparent anomaly in the article linked by Mark:

    Mark says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:00 am
    It’s funny how astronomers can be surprised at their findings, but still claim those findings support their theories. I thought theories were supposed to be predictive. I also like how their theories don’t bother to be internally consistent.

    Here’s an alternative theory, internally consistent, with a track record of successful prediction.
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2014/02/19/redshifts-and-microwaves-3/

    Without getting into ‘electric universe’ theories, note this observation:

    A quasar of high redshift is in front of a galaxy of lower redshift. Observations of many other such instances have been documented by the (now unfortunately late) astronomer Halton Arp, including objects of different redshifts connected to each other. These observations directly contradict the starting assumption of Big Bang theories, namely Hubble’s hypothesis that redshifts in stellar objects indicate distance and speed of recession away from us. If, instead, redshifts were an intrinsic property of many stellar objects, and the universe is not expanding, what then happens to those theories and the elaborate mathematical models built upon them?

    For a layman’s exposition: Halton Arp, Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science, http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Red-Redshifts-Cosmology-Academic/dp/0968368905

    /Mr Lynn

  124. Terry Pratchett explained this best. “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”

  125. Basically, if you want to talk about this, do it the Willis way. That is, you should first know what it said, and not criticize stuff you make up about it. It is clear what is said below because that is what it actually says, if you read exactly what it says, only what it says, and do not read in stuff it does not say. A little looking up the original words helps in some cases. Also, for most of history, it was read without any science to explain it, so for much of history it was not understood, and much BS has ensued (much of it still with us today, some even recently made). When you DO know the science, it makes perfect sense.

    Genesis 1 (King James Version):
    “1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    This says there was a beginning of space/time, we now call this “the big bang”, there are multiple proofs that it happened (as far as science can tell for now). The “problem” with this big bang is, it seems statistically impossible for it to have created a universe such as the one we inhabit. This has resulted in a number of theories of multiple universe, for which there is no evidence, some evidence against it, and no way to get evidence (some methods suggested are conveniently impossible). The evidence against it, as well as one of the improbabilities, is the way this universe started with extremely low entropy. The idea of it being from a collision of other universes (for which there is no evidence) actually creates bigger problems, as these other universes would also have to have the same or lower entropy, thus doubling or tripling the problem. There are also many other improbabilities, such that Douglas Adams would actually like this universe(dark matter, dark energy??) . The fact that this universe is observationally as it is rather than any of the vastly more likely versions suggests that something intelligent with infinite computing power dreamed up an infinite number of possible universes looking for one that would come out more or less OK, and chose one which, while extremely improbably, was physically possible IF an exact sequence of events were planned to happen and the initial conditions were set up so that they would, another problem requiring infinite computing power. With the state of the science we have now, it still appears that the universe is almost infinity unlikely to have come out as we see it. Note the provision “with the state of the science now”. The above article as yet does not change this, although it does mean we are approaching the day when we will have a detailed explanation of the big bang, which we do not as yet have.

    Note also, in other passages, it says “God stretched out the heavens”. The word used for stretched in some instances indicated a continuing stretching. The first stretching is described above, the inflationary model, the later, the continued stretching as described by poster “Isvalgaard” above. If it was stretched out, it must have started smaller, eventually the logical conclusion is that it started at one point, then there was a “bang”. Note one problem, “an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an outside force”, the question then arises, what made it go bang? And outside, that would be outside both space and time, right?

    Infinite computing power is not possible in this universe, or any other composed of matter, energy, and the like. Thus, if that is needed for a universe to have come out in this (as they called it when confirming the cosmic background radiation) “preposterous” way, then the universe must have been created by something immaterial, not made of matter, or energy, or anything else we can detect, what is called a “spirit”. The idea that this universe could have created itself, dreamed up itself, is therefor disproved by the physical laws we see in it. The word is “falsified”.

    Note, the original language this was written in indicates that the time interval between verse 1 and 2 could be any length of time, could be very long, and that the above heaven (stars, planets etc) and earth were already in existence before verse 2. Also, it does not say what condition they were in at that time, or say it was just like now.

    2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
    Clearly stated, the earth was NOT like it is now, having just some together. It was hot, and liquid water could not exist on the surface, hence it was surrounded by a thick cloud (water vapor, ash, gasses). It is specified here the point of view being spoken of, earth, at what we now call sea level, “the surface of the deep”. This is the only place specified, not outer space, under water, under the surface, up in the air, or anywhere else. Sea level is thus true of the below verses as well, true for ONLY that SPECIFIED place and no other.
    3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    The surface cooled enough for liquid water to exist on the surface, which meant the clouds got thinner, and there was light AT THE PLACE SPECIFIED ABOVE, at sea level, on earth, only. Physical proof, ancient crystals said to be from the earliest period of earths history that we have evidence of show that 100% of those crystals that formed on the early earths surface did so in the presence of liquid water. Sounds like a late heavy bombardment is too late.
    4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
    True at sea level on earth. Basically, you could see your hand in front of your face in day, and not at night, and that is all it really says.
    5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
    See above. Also, the first “day” was Echad Yom, a construction that could mean anywhere from 12 hours to infinity. It does not mean “day” as we know it.
    6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
    7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
    8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

    The ancient Hebrew writers could not understand that the waters above referred to clouds, and of course had no clue about water vapor. They thought there was liquid water up there somehow, and invented the idea that something solid, say, a clear crystal dome, held liquid water up there, and put that meaning into the “firmament” word. We know better today, this is merely saying that a stable hydrological cycle came about, water, evaporation, clouds, rain, all that. Nothing is stated here about whether the earth was flat or round, whatever later peoples though is separate from these verses, and is their opinion alone. Later passages that suggest flatness do so in the exact same manner that your paper says what time the sun will rise from the point of view of you, the observer, without going into earths rotation or all that other stuff that you can’t really see from where you are anyway.
    9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
    10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

    The crust of the earth (we are still talking about sea level on earth only here) cooled enough to wrinkle, hence dry land appearing.
    11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
    12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

    Note, it was “the earth” that brought forth the plants, hence, evolution. It is NOT stated that they were created out of nothing, or anything else, but came out of earth, a material, physical, physics based process. Once again, another thing which is currently believed to be statistically impossible (we cannot do it in the lab after decades of trying, indeed, we appear to have falsified many methods), yet which appears to have happened anyway. Like this universe, physically possible, yet statistically impossible unless it was planned that a series of extremely improbable events would happen at one single place and time on one tiny point on one small planet in a very big universe, once again suggesting infinite computing power, something impossible materially. Note that the later creation of man is stated to be different than this, a special case. Note also that the second chapter simply states one creation, man only, the garden being planted in the same way we make gardens today from existing plants, seeds, and the like. The garden also appears to be different than the earth around it, just as our gardens and farms are different than the wild, uncultivated earth around us.
    14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
    15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
    16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
    17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
    18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

    Them plants did their thing on the atmosphere, eventually converting it to the type of atmosphere we know today, nitrogen, oxygen, etc. That made it possible to see blue sky, sun, moon, stars, etc. These things were not created at that time, merely visible at the specified location, sea level, on earth.

    The rest followed, fish, then birds (as dinosaurs at the time they first appeared, described here as birds since no dinosaurs were ever seen by man, who this was written for), then land critters (after the dinosaurs, thus likely mammals etc). Finally, mankind was created, only stating in the first chapter that they were created, not exactly how, that is stated separately in the second chapter, which goes into detail about their special case creation and the special limited area garden they lived in.

    Oh, “the Flood”, this was very early, mankind lived in one small area (there weren’t very many of them yet), the ice age ended, the water rose up, they were now below sea level, about what you would expect happened. The animals on that ark were probably composed of local types suitable for later human beings, dog and cat and horse and cattle ancestors, that sort of thing. Probably around here http://www.livescience.com/10340-lost-civilization-existed-beneath-persian-gulf.html , the location of the Garden of Eden being now more or less found near the upper end of the Gulf of Oman, when they discovered the dry river beds that led into that area, the other two rivers mentioned as being at that garden already being known. That location would be above sea level in an ice age, below it when that ice age ended. Ice ages ending also end to produce great changes in the weather, hence the rain.

    All that other stuff you’ve no doubt heard about, creationism, seven days, thorns only after “the fall” (there were no thorns in the garden, because it was, after all, a garden), and the like, are made up by people so ignorant that they cannot read the above even in the English, what it clearly says (like the sea level place specified), to say nothing of the original language. Oh, and those genealogies that say it was only 4000 years, well, the word “father” can also mean grandfather, great grandfather, etc. They were merely mentioning the important, notable people from back then, not everybody.

    So if you want to criticize it, fire away, just criticize it for what it says, not what it does not say.

    And it said, thousands of years ago, that there was a beginning, and an expansion, so the whole big bang and inflation model could have been with us for those thousands of years if the earlier people had had the wit to read the above and only read exactly what it said.

  126. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to read thru all of these responses, so if i”m just echoing others, forgive me. Forgive me also for being a natural skeptic. My question is – what other explanation(s) could be given for what these researchers detected (observed)? They’ve assumed a “Big Bang” in the first place, so aren’t they biased towards this being evidence of that?

  127. milodonharlani says:
    March 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    …lots of stuff… and…
    Whatever its scientific merits, the multiverse hypothesis appeals to atheists because it gets around the various Anthropic Principles which some cosmologists & other physicists find convincing.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Leave it to the self-described atheist to inject voluminous samples of religious text in a hostile assault on a seemingly kind person, eg Janice Moore.

    I say atheist does not describe you at all. I would say anti-theist would be a better noun. An atheist would simply ignore scripture. You went on an over-the-top rant. ggrrrrr you did.

    Then… you postulate this multiverse BS as some sort of theoretically falsifiable hypothesis.

    Absurd.

    No information transits t=o; In the world of science.

    As such your atheist-loved and unsubstantiated belief in multiverse is a case of you torturing reality to fit your model so that you can thereby persist in the anti-theist tirade.

    Science, a beautiful method to look at the world, does not care whether the user is an atheist or a believer. Case in point, Georges Henri Lemaitre. PhD +. Axe grinders like you, and Fred Hoyle who DENIED the big bang theory up until his death in 2001.. 201!!! just because, in his puny mind, it implied a creator will miss obvious solutions to cosmological problems because you are too preoccupied in appearing NOT religious.

    Hoyle held back the big bang theory for 40 years because he had a closed mind.

  128. An idea:

    Lief says that one of the reasons we see increasing red shift from very distant (edge of univers type distances) stuff is that the expanding universe is stretching the light and thus lowering the frequency, which makes sense. Others, however, talk about red shift, as if the object making the might is moving away at ever increasing speed. Of course, with an expanding universe stretching that light, the object making the light would indeed be moving away from us, however, part of the red shift we may be seeing might be because the light itself is being stretched. Thus, the object that made the light may not be moving away from us as fast as it’s red shift would seem to indicate. Thus, the universes’ expansion may not be accelerating, and the need for dark energy goes away.

    Am I right here, is Lief saying the light itself is being stretched, and thus some of the red shift seen is NOT from the object making the light moving away?

    Either way, the universe itself is expanding, only the speed may change.

  129. Janice Moore,

    There are people who do not comprehend metaphor. It usually indicates a lesion in or tumor of or incomplete fusiform gyrus in the temporal lobe region of the brain. Were you to ask the question to them: “What does all that glisters in not gold means.” they would give you some technical explanation of reflectivity of many substances that are not gold. It would never occur to them that you were referring to the nasty nature of a outwardly affable person.

    These people make fantastic engineers, policemen, or biobots. There are many among us and they get to vote, pay taxes, comment on blogs.

    Poetry is a complete loss to these people. Science is all they can achieve.

    It is sort of the opposite of synethesia.

    There is no amount of explanation that can get around this obstacle to comprehension.
    Cast not your pearls before swine for they will trample them, then turn and rend you.

    Cheers.

    [The mods will pick up any pearls left on the floor by Janice after Janice's random casting of pearls before pigs. 8<) Mod]
    [The mods will NOT pick up after any pigs cast after the pearls have been cast. Mod]

  130. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 6:21 pm
    Ben D says:
    March 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm
    ok, but that would not mean infinite space is expanding, rather that there is a finite bubble of some sort within the finer infinite spacial underlying background that is expanding.
    It is that ‘spacial underlying background’ that is expanding. The objects within that are essentially sitting still.

    ==================================

    The way I see it, your “spatial underlying background” is actually time, and it is the passage of time that gives us the appearance that the Universe is expanding.

    Our view of everything we can observe in the cosmos is constrained by the speed of light, and while we (understandably) think of the speed of light as being extremely fast, on a cosmic scale it is actually painfully slow. Because of this, I believe the TRUE nature of the Universe, as opposed to our perception of it, remains a complete and utter mystery….

  131. Mr Lynn says:
    March 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm
    A quasar of high redshift is in front of a galaxy of lower redshift. Observations of many other such instances have been documented by the (now unfortunately late) astronomer Halton Arp, including objects of different redshifts connected to each other.
    Those were just coincidental alignments. We now have observed orders of magnitudes as many galaxies as Arp have and his claim has turned out to be spurious.

    Legatus says:
    March 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm
    stuff is that the expanding universe is stretching the light and thus lowering the frequency, which makes sense. Others, however, talk about red shift, as if the object making the might is moving away at ever increasing speed.
    The objects are not moving away from us. Space is simply stretched between objects.

  132. Mr Lynn says:
    March 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm
    A quasar of high redshift is in front of a galaxy of lower redshift. Observations of many other such instances have been documented by the (now unfortunately late) astronomer Halton Arp, including objects of different redshifts connected to each other.

    More on this: http://arxiv.org/abs/0807.2641v2

  133. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    “The objects are not moving away from us. Space is simply stretched between objects.”

    Andromeda galaxy is observable and moving toward [our] galaxy, older galaxies are moving away from each other. lets all jump to conclusions and proclaim to be correct! we’ll call it a ‘job well done’ and have a big official reward ceremony!

  134. Legatus says:
    March 17, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Thank you for the excellent and detailed commentary.

    but let me (politely) disagree with the first few verses though.
    These ancient itinerant shepherds – unable to count well and completely lacking the zero, powers-of-ten and logarithms – actually got all of the nucler physics and interstellar astronomy and paleo-geology and plate tectonics and amospheric chemistry and biology right.

    Well before we (modern so-called scientists) got any of those topics right.

    As you noted, “First, everything was created.”

    Depending on your translation, “in a great wind” or “with a great disturbance” or the like.

    Only then, AFTER this energy cooled, was “light” formed

    Then, a little later, that “light” cooled into “matter”.

    And, only after “matter” (the leptons and electrons and thus the solid matter we know now) was formed from the cooling light, could that light form shadows – which of course, separate the light from the dark as you noted.

    SO, we are left with separating the”waters above” from “waters below” ..

    Again, look carefully at the translations. For example, several versions use “dome” to describe this. Others, a “vault”. (In Roman and Medieval architectural, a vault was the dome (a rounded ceiling) arched structure creating a room within a building.) Or, as you look “up” at the hemisphere of the visible sky, a “dome” separating the waters (er, fluids, gasses, dust, plasma, and stars) above from the “waters” below (water, gasses, fluids, gasses, and vapors that we know and live within.) Again, these shepherds got their algebra and geology and astronomy right.

    As you noted, the earth’s water was gathered into one “sea” (around the single continent obviously) despite the visible and practical evidence that 5 or 6 “seas” were actually surrounded their actual physical homeland. Plate tectonics of course broke this single continent up into the seven we recognize in today’s world. Funny that “science” viciously fought this idea only 60 years ago.

    The “rest of the story” is well presented, though I have used different examples in the past.

    May I borrow your knowledge and examples as well?

  135. Sparks says:
    March 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm
    Andromeda galaxy is observable and moving toward or galaxy, older galaxies are moving away from each other. lets all jump to conclusions and proclaim to be correct!
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. At short distances [e.g. within groups of galaxies] galaxies move around in space at random due to gravity from neighboring ones. On large distances, those local movements average out and the uniform expansion of space becomes important.

  136. What they never seem to discuss is the opposite and equal reaction to the expansion that most likely fills the so called vacuum with quantum particles of gravity.

  137. The only problem with seeing the gravity waves in the past is that in doing so they’ve perturbed the future, because they looked at it.

  138. mod.. see search vilaynur ramachandran ted
    time stamp 20:00 to 24:00 especially.
    Seems your fusiform gyrus is fully functional.

  139. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm Legatus says:
    March 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm
    stuff is that the expanding universe is stretching the light and thus lowering the frequency, which makes sense. Others, however, talk about red shift, as if the object making the might is moving away at ever increasing speed.
    The objects are not moving away from us. Space is simply stretched between objects.

    I am aware of that, that is not what I am talking about.

    Thought experiment:
    Say that the object, a star, quasar, something, is creating light. It is a very long way away, further than we can measure by any means other than redshift. It is slinging around a large gravitational object, say a black hole. It is thus moving toward us. The speed it is moving toward us is exactly the same as the amount it is appearing to move away from us (even though it is not) due to the expansion of the universe, of space itself. Thus, if it were possible to stretch a really long string from here to there, it would stay taught, not stretching more or less, or going slack. The distance between us and it would remain the same (for a while, anyway).

    Now, it emits light toward us. During the very long time the light travels from it to us, the space it travels through expands, that is, the universe expands “out from under” the light. Does this make the light appear to be of lower frequency because it is “stretched”? If it does, might the object appear to be increasing it’s distance from us due to observed redshift, even though the object is maintaining a constant distance from us due to it’s actually moving toward us while the universe expands it away from us.?

    I also wonder if the age of light might be effecting things. That is, when that light was created , near the time of the birth of the universe, were the natural laws as we now know them exactly the same, or have they changed slowly over time as the universe expands? Might that effect redshift? I ask this be cause we infer that the object is either moving away from us, or is being stretched away from us, due to observed redshift, however, we cannot directly measure very distant (edge of universe) objects to verify that the redshift we observe is measuring increasing distance. All we can say for certain is, very distant object have increased redshift compared to closer ones.

  140. Legatus says:
    March 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm
    It is slinging around a large gravitational object, say a black hole. It is thus moving toward us. The speed it is moving toward us is exactly the same as the amount it is appearing to move away from us (even though it is not) due to the expansion of the universe, of space itself.
    First such an object will not move at the enormous speed of the expansion, so you cannot find such an object, and even if you could it wouldn’t matter because there are billions of other objects that do not fit your thought experiment..
    Second: an object moving in space is not the same as space stretching. The first give rise to a Doppler shift, the second to a frequency change due to the stretching. These two effects are completely different.
    Third, the ‘tired light’ hypothesis has been debunked many times, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tired_light
    Fourth, we can measure the distance of very far away objects using gravitational lensing, e.g. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9611229

  141. Are they space time gravity waves or are they Graviton gravity waves? What is gravity anyways?? I cant wait for LIGO to actually detect something instead of just setting upper bounds..

  142. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    At short distances [e.g. within groups of galaxies] galaxies move around in space at random due to gravity from neighboring ones.

    Don’t force an assumption on me. Lets diagnostically look at the flaws in your assumption! flaw number 1, galaxies are formed in their current state, i.e releasing energy! Number 2. galaxies are random. According to what law states that young galaxies are paired and older galaxies are not? considering the length of time the light from a galaxy reaches us, all of your assumptions are null and void.

    Belief?

  143. Janice Moore says (March 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm): “Here’s question for you: Do you know where you are going when you die? Religion (mine, anyway) answers that question.”

    Let me guess…Elysium? Valhalla? A new body? :-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_underworld#Elysium

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valhalla

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation

    “Pretty important. Where your soul will spend eternity… .”

    That reminds me of a question raised in the first Star Trek novel, Spock Must Die!, which I read back in 1970:

    Dr. McCoy: “Does the man who comes out of the other end of a journey by transporter have an immortal soul or not?”

    Spock: “I do not know. I can only suggest, Doctor, that if someone were to give me an answer to that question, I would not know how to test the answer. By operational standards, therefore, such a question is meaningless.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spock_Must_Die!

    A nice thing about “answers” like the Big Bang is that they can be tested. :-)

  144. You cant debunk tired light. Only the version of tired light discussed. Just like the Aether. The only thing ever disproved was the version of aether discussed… The Big Bang itself is an illogical construct. Creation from a seed or from nothing depending on which version you believe… It was invented by a priest…
    One of the greatest signs that the big bang is wrong is the high red shift quasar in front of a low redshift galaxy. As well as the many low red/high red shift object associations.
    As for the CMB, the model is in the calibration files which can reflect anything they want….

    I think there is much more proof for something like a steady state but nobody has given a great red shift model for SS..

    • @ Brant Ra, re your 12.19am 18 March, sorry to contradict you, but Einstein’s theory said that Michelson-Morley did NOT disprove the Aether. His theory stated that the reason they failed to detect drift is because their entire apparatus was in motion in respect to the light they were using, and because of relativistic effects canceling out the drift, they didn’t detect any.

      QED, Aether has not been proven to not exist. Honest. It was, in fact, this experiment, coupled with some questions already surfaced by other scientists as early as the 1870s which led him to his Theory of Relativity. In fact, I have heard from others that he was a “fraud”, in that the theory didn’t originate with him. I do believe—though I cannot surface a quote on memory and will not search for one now—that Einstein subscribed to the same philosophy as Isaac Newton, who wrote to Robert Hooke, “If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

      “Euclid” is credited with many theorems in Geometry. And while most scholars agree that Euclid was a single individual, few believe he came up with all those theorems on his own—especially given that many surfaced “independently” in places like India, thought it’s well documented that there was traffic between the two regions in antiquity. What many scholars believe was the individual know as Euclid’s great gift to posterity was not the theorems, but his organization of those into givens, axioms, and proofs, newer proofs usually built on earlier proofs, establishing a logical, self-supporting whole. This presentation of the theories is a single organization, and could be the magnum opus of a single individual. That all the separate theorems came from a single person? Very unlikely.

      Not to get too far afield, but sorry to dispute your point, but no, Aether wasn’t disproven by Michelson-Morely, and Einstein proved why their experiment was doomed to failure. While I don’t believe his theory actually proves Aether… To say it doesn’t exist? We have no direct proof of that.

  145. The question is simple:

    Either something was there, or something was not.

    If something was there already, then you have something before and we need to study that something before.

    The big bang would thus only be an arbitrary and moot point in time since one would have to look long before that point in time.

    The simple issue is either the universe existed in some form before the big bang, or it did not. A bang thus is not important if the claim is something before existed.

    The problem is science lost the concept and general science belief of a static universe by the 1920’s.

    By the way the idea of a static or always existing universe was a science consensus for 100’s of years and yet shown to be wrong.

    The logic is simple:
    If you walk into a room and observe a candle burning, then by logic we know that this candle could not have always been burning and since it has a limited fuel supply and thus has limited life span.

    And when we discovered fusion we thus realized that stars are like tanks of fuel being “burned” up. Thus they could not have been burning forever. And we all know basic physics has NEVER shown that rocks move uphill by themselves.

    There is no science in the universe that shows the universe can create fuel but only CONSUME such fuel.

    So it was thus high time to “dump” the concept of an enteral or a universe that always existed. The science community thus had to (grudgingly) adopt the view of a caused universe. The problem is there is no such thing as any event without a cause.

    And a cause by definition means intention. And worse the science community hated having to adopt this position since it also what the Christians taught (the universe is caused, and does not have to exist and did not always exist). In other words the universe was not enteral and did not always exist. The concept thus requires a creator that is separate from the universe. There not a need to ask who created the creator since that is assumed to be eternal and by definition means without a start.

    As noted, we used to think of the universe that way and if science could show the universe is always existed then no need for a creator. However that darn pesky thing science and physics proved that the universe is caused and not eternal.

    The basic pretext of the big bang is a universe from nothing.

    Many of recent have attempted to modify the big bang and claim there was something. But then it means the universe was already there! So we then back to the cause of this bang and for what reason it occurred, but that did not create the universe if one reasons something was already there! And worse, we now have to explain how rocks move up-hill on their own?

    Something cannot occur without a cause.

    There is no such thing as a caused universe without a cause!

    Yet the big bang is an admittance of a caused universe. If the theory says something was there already, then this is just a convenient kicking of the can and the basic question down the street. However entropy and those darn “tanks of fuel” running out of gas presents a problem since rocks don’t go up hill by themselves. Nor do atoms or electrons.

    So exactly what is the claim of things before the big bang then if the theory assumes something was already there?

    And if something was there then what was it doing and how long did it take to wake up and what occurred to cause this? If it was already there then how long did this previous universe exist before this “cause” took effect? In other words this view means the big bang is quite much a moot point or we back to that of a caused universe.

    • @ Paul Westhaver says:
      March 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      dbstealey,

      I have no quarrel with you at all and neither do I have a quarrel with Lief beyond his poor communication and uninvited acerbity. The fact that you feel it necessary to think for him and explain what he actually meant, is making my only point.

      If he was clear, and not in error by virtue of his poorly chosen words, he likely wouldn’t have to explain it a multitude of of times. I suspect the ole codger was exploiting boundary language to evoke intellectual shock and awe or maybe he thought he WAS being clear.
      _____________________________________________________________
      Mr Westhaver, you DO realize who you’re calling an ‘ole codger’? I humbly suggest that if you think he is in error, it would be the better part of wisdom to double check your own theories for inaccuracy first. Dr Lief doesn’t have to bandy about words to evoke shock or awe, and no doubt has bigger fish to fry than to bother with trying to impress folks who are essentially nobody to him.

      Just sayin’. When I find myself disagreeing with an expert in his own field of expertise, outside MY field of expertise, it’s usually right before i find out I’m wrong.

  146. Brant Ra says:
    March 17, 2014 at 9:19 pm
    You cant debunk tired light.
    Well, there are climate-change deniers, big- bang deniers, evolution deniers, moon-landing deniers, all sorts of ignorance-based deniers. You seem to have joined one or more of those. Be happy with your choice, don’t let me rock your boat.

  147. [svalrgaard] theory that spacetime is quantized, so countable…

    Someone mentioned the rabbit hole … Can you point me to to a serious explication of quantum theory implying countability of the “points” in space time. No need for these kinds of arguments (http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html), which have their place as thought experiments, but I’m talking about a rigorous treatment leading from quantum theory to countability. I really am curious.

  148. All it takes is 1 quasar in front of a low redshift galaxy to disprove red shift equals distance…

    albertkallal says:
    “And when we discovered fusion we thus realized that stars are like tanks of fuel being “burned” up. Thus they could not have been burning forever. And we all know basic physics has NEVER shown that rocks move uphill by themselves.”

    And that is the model that you use. A different power source like electricity or Aether( even though we believe right now its fusion) would not put the time clock on the universe…. You wouldnt even know how old it was… I think the sun is trillions of years old.
    There are problems with The HR diagram. metallicity, etc.. As the say The devil is in the details.
    Here they proclaiming we know stars lifetime when they dont even know how the corona is hotter than the photosphere of our own sun…
    They only way that is strictly solved is by using an electrical cathode model. It reproduces all observable phenomena… If you dont think so you haven’t studied the sun closely enough.
    The problem is that you need a new model of gravity… Oh wait, that isnt a problem since the current one is broken.

    The sun is a real time converter of energy not a storage unit that releases it over time…
    Of course it always comes back to the question of what the prime mover is…
    What causes to go from its highest state to the back ground state.
    I believe that fresh matter is created in quasars and the like, as a “stream of aether(energy)” that cools to matter – E = Mc^2. :-)

    Whether its charge separation or gravity or aether flow or singularity space gnomes or God, nobody has truly answered that question.

  149. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Janice Moore says:
    March 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm
    Chem Man: “… you are saying that the matter itself isn’t moving but the space it sits in is pulling it along with it… .”
    Perhaps the word ‘pulling’ is not the ‘right’ one as there are no forces involved. Maybe ‘going along with the ride’ would be better, but for the understanding of the issue being pedantic about it does not bring more enlightenment.

    Dr. Svalgaard, Janice, and Chem Man,
    Perhaps this is a ‘reference frame’ issue? Each ‘person’, from their reference frame, sees space expanding around and away from them, giving the ‘appearance’ that they are at rest at the center of the universe and all else is accelerating away.

  150. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm
    For the simplest such sets [a line segment], there are infinitely ‘many’ points between any two points, no matter how close. With infinities there are always ‘room enough’.

    ——————–

    This would be true if our space-time would be a continuum.
    We do not know whether this is the case.
    More probable, the space-time is granular with “pixels” at the Planck scale.

  151. James Smyth says:
    March 17, 2014 at 9:54 pm
    a rigorous treatment leading from quantum theory to countability. I really am curious.
    E.g. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1305.3363v1.pdf and references therein.
    “Recently a great interest has been devoted to the study of the generalized uncertainty principle (GUP) [1–14]. The main consequence of the GUP is the existence of a minimal length scale of the order of the Planck length, which can be deduced in string theory and other theories of quantum gravity [15–22].”
    Or this more accessible one: http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/BackTo286.html

  152. lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm
    Legatus says:
    March 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm
    It is slinging around a large gravitational object, say a black hole. It is thus moving toward us. The speed it is moving toward us is exactly the same as the amount it is appearing to move away from us (even though it is not) due to the expansion of the universe, of space itself.
    First such an object will not move at the enormous speed of the expansion, so you cannot find such an object, and even if you could it wouldn’t matter because there are billions of other objects that do not fit your thought experiment..
    Second: an object moving in space is not the same as space stretching. The first give rise to a Doppler shift, the second to a frequency change due to the stretching. These two effects are completely different.
    Third, the ‘tired light’ hypothesis has been debunked many times, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tired_light
    Fourth, we can measure the distance of very far away objects using gravitational lensing, e.g. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9611229

    Sooo, how fast is “the enormous speed of the expansion” anyway, it would have to be very fast. Has it been measured?

    I would only need one such object for this to work.
    What I am looking for is, how do I tell the difference between “a Doppler shift” and “a frequency change due to the stretching”? Can I tell, if I detect them, which one is which? If I can, the problem goes away, as does the need for this “experiment”, if I cannot, that is what it is for, to ask how one would tell, by spotting an object from which one could tell.

    I read about tired light, not really what I was suggesting, however…Let me get this straight. There is a period of inflation. It ends, and out pops energy, matter, etc, all operating under natural laws exactly the same as we now know, the same everywhere, and all this stuff being essentially unmoving in relation to all the other stuff, just popped out and stayed in place since then. Meanwhile, the space itself that it popped out into is stretching, moving stuff apart. This would explain two differnt observations that now say space is flat.
    What I was suggesting was that the very old light was created in a time when the natural laws were slightly different, however, the inflationary idea suggests that once the inflation stopped, the laws have been exactly the same everywhere since that point in time.

    So with gravatational lensing, we have been able to verify that very distant, say even edge of the universe(ish) distant, that have high redshifts, are really “moving” away as fast as the redshift suggests? Yes, I know they are not moving, lets say, the distance between us is increasing. That would allow us to calibrate amount of redshift to actual increase of distance or “speed”. I wonder, then, if the hypothesised amount of redshift of the object matched its lensing measured speed?

  153. fobdangerclose said:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm
    If you were moving away from Al Gores bs at the speed of light, would that help at all?
    ————
    You would have to pass through a warm hole.

  154. Brant Ra says:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:03 pm
    Massless energy has been on my mind for the last 15 years….
    Luckily, it will then not weigh heavily on you, although such a weighty concept could have massive implications, weighing you down to where you can’t get the energy needed to escape back up.

  155. Legatus says:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:28 pm
    I would only need one such object for this to work.
    I think you will never find one because space is expanding in far in excess of the speed of light for far away galaxies r, and if you think you have one, how do you ensure it is the object you are looking for and the data is not contaminated by some other effect or circumstance?

  156. Einstein predicted gravity waves but Einstein didn’t say a word about Big Bang, dark matter, or dark energy. Gravity waves can and do exist without any of these modern creationist fairy tales.
    I have never seen any proof of gravity waves confirming the Creation of everything out of nothing (which, in a nutshell, is the BB theory).

  157. Leif Svalgaard says:
    “Well, there are climate-change deniers, big-bang deniers, evolution deniers, moon-landing deniers, all sorts of ignorance-based deniers.”

    Everybody can see his true colors by now? In his half-mind climate change and big bang skeptics equal evolution and moon-landing deniers. Don’t gratify this 5th column veteran with your answers.

    REPLY: His “true colors” are simply placing data based truth before opinionated “truth”. Quite frankly I’ll take his method over your complaining any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Feel free to be as upset as you wish – Anthony

  158. Alexander Feht says:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm
    I have never seen any proof of gravity waves confirming the Creation of everything out of nothing
    That you ‘have never seen’ or don’t know or don’t understand something, does not mean that what you have not seen or don’t understand does not exist.

  159. BTW, “something from nothing” about the big bang.

    Simply put, if we try to detect anything from, say, 15 billion years ago, we cannot. We may say that there was something there then, or that there was nothing, but we have absolutly no data to work on. In fact, I havent really seen anthing that can be verified about what happend before that big bang, just unsubstantiated theories.

    We now have ideas about what happend a very very small amount of time right after that big bang, as seen by gravity waves, but do we have even the slightest actual data of what happened even one second before that?

    Trying to say what came before what we actually have data on really is ‘something from nothing”.

  160. Legatus says:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:56 pm
    Simply put, if we try to detect anything from, say, 15 billion years ago, we cannot.
    Simply put, because there wasn’t anything then. Even the notion of 15 billion years ago is dubious if time began 13.75 billion years ago.

  161. If this discovery is reproducible (which it is not yet, on par with the single dubious sighting of a glitch that produced the Higgs’ boson brouhaha), and will become a scientific fact, the only thing it confirms is the general relativity theory. It has nothing — absolutely nothing — to do with the big bang or any other creationist fantasies (or with the mathematical neurosis called “the string theory”).

    P.S. Re Dr. Svalgaard: whatever the man of his manners says doesn’t matter within any reasonable discussion of civilized people. World is full of bullies flaunting their diplomas and insulting everybody around. It is high time to stop listening to their conformist noises.

  162. Alexander Feht says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm
    the only thing it confirms is the general relativity theory
    In General Relativity, the Universe is unstable. It must either expand or contract. As it is observed to expand, it must have been smaller [and thus hotter] at any time in the past, and smaller [and hotter] yet at at point before that, and still smaller [and hotter] at a time before that, etc. The Big Bang is just the name we give to the early stages of that process. At some point in time the temperature must have been 8.6 billion Kelvin. At that temperature Deuterium ['heavy hydrogen'] begins to form from a proton and a neutron. From this, one can calculate the amount of Helium formed in the early life of the Universe. The result is 24% as is actually observed. See http://www.leif.org/research/Helium.pdf

  163. Dear Paul Westhaver,

    And how KIND of YOU!

    Thank you!

    #(:))

    Janice

    P.S. Sometimes, one responds to a pig for the sake of the other, more honest, humble, truth-seeking, animals on the farm. And, I can’t help hoping that all of those pigs are “still pervious, through a chink or two,” and will one day have a change of heart and that they may, then, stoop down to pick up one of the remaining pearls still lying at their feet, and be so enthralled with its Beauty that they can’t help but believe in Truth.

    **********************************************

    Dear P@trick (well, it’s your day!),

    Thank you, dear sir. I hope that it was a good day for you and for Merci, Jack Russell, Cassie, and Einstein. Wishing you an even better day tomorrow!

    You WUWT pal,

    Janice
    *****************************************************
    And, Mod. (smile) — Thank you, so much, dear 8>)
    #(:))

  164. “In General Relativity, the Universe is unstable.” We see a lot of this pseudo-argument, don’t we?

    Einstein disagreed; it can be flat. Modern observations don’t prove the existence of “inflation.”

    The so-called “inflation” of the Universe is a primitive interpretation of the space-time curvature as a curvature of space without any change in time, whereas it has been experimentally shown that time changes depending on the observer’s distance from the mass.

  165. And THANK YOU, DR. SVALGAARD, for running the gauntlet of this thread to bring so much LIGHT to us all. Every one of your posts above was helpful to me. Pay no attention to those drooling hyenas, O Lion. Perfect character actors for St. Patrick’s day: their eyes are green with…….. envy. Ha! They whine at your low growls above… they should hear you ROAR!

    They do not realize the extent to which you have velveted your sharp wit and mighty arguments.

    And, no doubt, you would say that it would not be fair to their small stature to do otherwise.

    Good show!

    Janice

  166. Alexander Feht says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:26 pm
    “In General Relativity, the Universe is unstable.” We see a lot of this pseudo-argument, don’t we? Einstein disagreed; it can be flat. Modern observations don’t prove the existence of “inflation.”
    A link [that should be at your level - or perhaps a bit above] has more on this: http://www.space.com/9593-einstein-biggest-blunder-turns.html
    A more elaborate [but still accessible] exposition is here: http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Sept04/Hubble/Hubble1.html
    As you study the materiel carefully, you might come upon this:
    “The kinds of universes that would be compatible with the relativity principle and the assumption of homogeneity have been determined by intricate mathematical reasoning. A body of necessary characteristics has been derived, one of which is of exceptional interest for our immediate problem, Such a universe, if it contains matter, will be unstable. At best it could be in unstable equilibrium, like a ball balanced on a point. The slightest disturbance would upset the balance – and internal disturbances evidently must occur. The universe would then revert to its natural state of either contraction or expansion. Theory does not indicate either the direction or the rate of the change to be expected. The universe might be expanding or contracting and at a rate that is rapid or imperceptible. At this point the cosmologist seizes upon the observed red-shifts, interprets them as velocity-shifts, and presents them as visible evidence that the actual universe is now expanding, and expanding rapidly. It is for these reasons that relativistic cosmology is described as the theory of homogeneous, expanding universes which obey the relativistic laws of gravitation.”

  167. Have you ever seen anything more nauseating then the previous comment by Janice Moore? Just how obsequious one can be?

    Besides, Dr. Svalgaard, in one sentence, equals climate change skeptics with moon-landing d-ers, using “d” word 4 times in a row, and his comment gets an automatic green light, while my comment containing only a quote from his insulting rant, ends up in the moderator’s “forever bin.” Nice policy!

    REPLY: Really? Forever Bin? It’s right there. Moderation hold based on the automated flagging filter and “forever bin” are two entirely different things. But, since you think that they are one and the same, I’m happy to oblige. – Anthony

  168. Just because it resonates with me (originally a Buddhist saying)…

    “There is THAT which was never created, nor was it born, nor did it evolve, if it were not so, there would be no refuge ever from being created, or being born, or evolving. THAT is the end of all suffering. THAT is G-D** ”

    ** Substitute whatever name suits….Nirvana, Allah, Brahman, the Great Way (Tao), God, Cosmos, etc….

  169. “The universe might be expanding or contracting and at a rate that is rapid or imperceptible. At this point the cosmologist seizes upon the observed red-shifts, interprets them as velocity-shifts”…

    Stop right there. Imperceptible? Really? And why “the cosmologist” wouldn’t seize on many observed contradictions to his simplistic velocity-shift interpretation?

    My late father, one of the leading topologists in Russia, and a specialist in the elementary particle physics, used to remark about the Big Bang theory: “We don’t know what we don’t know. But an aggressive consensus among the proponents of any particular theory is always suspect. In the case of the Big Bang theory they are not simply aggressive, they become outright hysterical when they face any kind of criticism. One wonders, why.”

  170. Alexander Feht says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:26 pm
    Modern observations don’t prove the existence of “inflation.”
    Modern inflation theory predicts structure in the CMB near multipole 85 [that means a structure that will fit 85 times around the sky]. The article we are discussing reports that just that predicted structure has now been observed. This is strong support for inflation. Forget the word ‘proof’. That has no place in science [except in mathematics]. One should use words like ‘supports’, ‘confirms’, ‘strengthens’. And the new observations strongly ‘supports’ the theory by observing what the theory predicted ahead of time. That is the way good science works.

  171. Alexander Feht says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:55 pm
    In the case of the Big Bang theory they are not simply aggressive, they become outright hysterical when they face any kind of criticism. One wonders, why.
    It seems to me that the hysteria is on your part. One wonders not about that.

  172. Excuse me? How a single observation in one point of the sky (which is what the BICEP2 telescope did) fits the theoretically predicted structure of the cosmic microwave background 85 times around the sky?

    Before we continue this rather fruitless discussion, let me ask two questions:
    1) The observed gravity waves were predicted by the Einstein’s general relativity theory in the absence of any reference to the Big Bang inflation, dark matter, or dark energy. Yes or no?
    2) Fred Hoyle, as well as many other distinguished astrophysicists, pointed to the simple fact that there are pairs of connected galaxies exhibiting different red shifts or even a red shift and a blue shift simultaneously. How is it consistent with the prevailing Doppler interpretation of the red shift?

    As long as the obligatory instability of the Universe can express itself “imperceptibly” — as you kindly admitted — it is not necessary to accept creationist Ptolemaic circles around the truth, painstakingly introduced at Vatican’s direction by Monseigneur Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître.

  173. Alexander Feht says:
    March 18, 2014 at 12:42 am
    Excuse me? How a single observation in one point of the sky (which is what the BICEP2 telescope did) fits the theoretically predicted structure of the cosmic microwave background 85 times around the sky?
    you should take the trouble to actually read the paper [what a concept] then you would see that it was not a single point observation, but covers an area 20 degrees x 100 degrees.

    1) The observed gravity waves were predicted by the Einstein’s general relativity theory in the absence of any reference to the Big Bang inflation, dark matter, or dark energy. Yes or no?
    Yes, but a red herring.
    2) Fred Hoyle, as well as many other distinguished astrophysicists, pointed to the simple fact that there are pairs of connected galaxies exhibiting different red shifts or even a red shift and a blue shift simultaneously. How is it consistent with the prevailing Doppler interpretation of the red shift?
    As pointed out here http://arxiv.org/abs/0807.2641v2 based on a sample of hundred thousand galaxies the associations are no more than can be explained by chance.

    As long as the obligatory instability of the Universe can express itself “imperceptibly” — as you kindly admitted
    The theory does not predict how fast the expansion should be, but our precise observations show that the expansion is present and clearly perceptible.

    — it is not necessary to accept creationist Ptolemaic circles around the truth, painstakingly introduced at Vatican’s direction by Monseigneur Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître.
    What has ‘creationism’ to do with anything? We are talking about observations. But you just gave away from what well your venom springs.

  174. Alexander Feht says:
    March 18, 2014 at 12:42 am
    How is it consistent with the prevailing Doppler interpretation of the red shift?
    And BTW, the red shift is not a Doppler shift as the galaxies are not moving through space [if they did, it would be a Doppler shift and the speed of light would be the limit], but it is rather space itself that is stretching [making the light waves longer and thus redder] for which the light-speed limit does not apply.

  175. @Alexander Feht: “…..painstakingly introduced at Vatican’s direction by Monseigneur Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître”.
    ???! Lemaître published his theory in 1927. It wasn’t until 24 years later that the Pope became a fan.
    Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre :
    “By 1951, Pope Pius XII declared that Lemaître’s theory provided a scientific validation for existence of God and Catholicism. However, Lemaître resented the Pope’s proclamation. When Lemaître and Daniel O’Connell, the Pope’s science advisor, tried to persuade the Pope not to mention Creationism publicly anymore, the Pope agreed. He convinced the Pope to stop making proclamations about cosmology. While a devoted Roman Catholic, he was against mixing science with religion.

  176. Adrian Mann says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm
    “…In fact it’s impossible to depict as it wasn’t ‘like’ anything and all analogies will be flawed.
    No need to invoke gods or supernatural forces either – in fact, by doing so you put an end to all further enquiries by putting it in a box labelled “god did it” and closing the lid.”

    I see what you mean by “flawed” analogies.

  177. If the universe is endless , more than 1 Big Bang is possible. What is the chance we run in incoming material from an other BB.
    If in our local BB universe we are still traveling away from the centre of the BB why The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are going to collide in the future?

  178. It is sad that our ‘teacher’ must admonish “Forget the word ‘proof’. That has no place in science …” here among the presumably scientifically literate. Falsifiability provides the demarcation between science and non-science.

  179. To Grumpyoldmanuk
    General Relativity allows space to expand at faster than light speed. This is what inflation says ie that space expanded at many multiples of light speed. However objects with space cannot exceed light speed

  180. Steven Mosher says:
    March 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm
    “However, as Guth, who is now a professor of physics at MIT, immediately realized, certain predictions in his scenario contradicted observational data. In the early 1980s, Russian physicist Andrei Linde modified the model into a concept called “new inflation” and again to “eternal chaotic inflation,” both of which generated predictions that closely matched actual observations of the sky.”

    Where were Popper and Feynman to tell them that the whole theory must be falsified.
    No fair making changes and improving theory. its either false or true.

    hehe
    ————————————
    We are more forgiving when they do not claim certainty. ;)

  181. Frank K. says:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:46 am
    @philjourdan

    That’s always been my proof for the existence of God. Where did that “tiny piece of space” that “inflated” to become the known universe come from???
    ——————————-
    Why should the existence of God hinge on a mystery? If one defines God then all that is needed is something that fits the definition. If God is the creator, and you are quite sure you didn’t create yourself, then God necessarily exists (and is not you, it’s no fun when your God. One could argue some random, spontaneous, pop into existence scenario. Which is fine, that’s God then.). For a more complex definition, God is the creator, omnipotent, and omniscient. We have the universe itself which fits that definition (one could say “everything” instead of “universe” if you want to take precaution against a multi-verse). The universe is the cause of existence (big bang being part of the universe for this thought experiment) and it contains all power (energy) and all knowledge (laws and arrangement of energy, and also our own knowledge). I always found it strange that people who wanted to argue for God what to argue for something entirely beyond the scope of our comprehension and perception. Arguing for God with science and logic seems like a much easier endeavor.

  182. @Alexander Feht:
    “painstakingly introduced at Vatican’s direction by Monseigneur Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître.”
    ???!
    Lemaître published his theory in 1927. It wasn’t until 24 years later that the Pope became a fan…
    Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre :
    “By 1951, Pope Pius XII declared that Lemaître’s theory provided a scientific validation for existence of God and Catholicism. However, Lemaître resented the Pope’s proclamation. When Lemaître and Daniel O’Connell, the Pope’s science advisor, tried to persuade the Pope not to mention Creationism publicly anymore, the Pope agreed. He convinced the Pope to stop making proclamations about cosmology. While a devoted Roman Catholic, he was against mixing science with religion.

  183. milodonharlani says (March 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm): “No version of the Big Bang Theory in any way corresponds to the various creation myths in the Bible.”

    Boo, hoo, hoo. Those evil theists. They will never acknowledge the right of us scientists to be rulers of everything, as Plato properly placed us, in his Republic.

    Job 26:7: “He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.”
    –A two-for: God continues to spread the sky, AND Job informs us that the earth is not resting on turtles all the way down, but is hung over nothing.

    For a poem to be so spot-on to the cosmology that was not recognized by “science” until nearly 3,000 years later should raise an eyebrow.

  184. I wonder how this jives w/D-brane theory? Some have been saying that the theory of a D-brane collision produces similar effects that inflation would. I’d ask Motl on his blog, but his webpage locks up my browser.

  185. There is science, and there is scientism. Science is a process for indicating the most likely theories about the nature of the physical world; Scientism is the belief that the physical world is all there is, and all knowledge must be organized to fit this initial principle.

    My physical body -the actual atoms, the actual cells – have been replaced many times over, yet I can pretty well recall being myself going decades back in time. Am I merely a physical-material bag of cytoplasm? I have a hard time buying this Scientism.

    I understand people not being religious, and or not believing in God. I used to be in that type of boat, generally. That is quite different from the anti-religious hostility felt and conveyed by some. To defend Scientism, itself quite shaky, cult-like attitudes are required. This includes vilifying non-believers. Also, it includes declaring how “science” has answered so many questions, and should be preached from all pulpits.

    Thank God that genuine scientists show more humility.

  186. A few illogical things have been said on this thread.

    Objects cannot be motion less. There is no zero speed in the universe. Motion less is in contradiction with relativity.

    Also, the expansion of the universe cannot stretch photons. Let’s prove that with a thought experiment.

    We have a cylinder with a perfect mirror at each end and both are parallel. If a photon is constantly bouncing from one mirror to the other in an expanding universe, does it experience a red-shift? No, because of conservation of energy. Take in note that the number of bounces per second can be modified by changing the length of the cylinder.

    In the same cylinder, we put a second photon in such a way that the two photons hit any mirror at a different time. Does the distance between the two photons change with time? No, there is no way to tell which photon is the first and which is the second. If you have two points on a circle and you measure the distances clock-wise. Increasing the distance from A to B would reduce the distance from B to A. Also, if the timing of the two photons was changing, it would suggest a different speed and at some point the two would hit at the same time. The idea that an expansion of the fabric of the universe would increase the distance between two photons makes no sense at all.

    So we know that the expansion of the universe cannot stretch photons in any kind of way. The red-shift associated with an expansion is probably a combination of the Doppler effect and a change in referential. An other possibility would be that the expansion only affects massive objects.

    I love the sound of crushing consensus of academics.

  187. Love all these moronic god-believers desperately trying to make sense of this discovery by finding the odd phrase in the bible to cling onto. I thought he did the whole thing in 7 days, not the 14,000,000,000 years that we now know the universe has existed. Bit of a difference, huh? And what the hell was he doing for the 13,998,000,000 million years before humans appeared? OK, we know there were dinosaurs from 13,750,000,000 years after the big bang, but that’s still a lot of sitting around doing nothing for billions of years, and anyway dinosaurs didn’t make it into the bible, as the people who made up the bible weren’t armed with any facts.
    Come on people. Study this amazing science about the universe’s origins, not some old book written by ignorant middle-eastern shepherds 2 thousand years ago!

  188. The amount of processing and adjustments of the original CMB data might be interesting to quantify and itemize sometime.

  189. John,

    “And the earth was without form, and void. And darkness moved upon the face of the deep.” If you use “fluid” instead of “deep” this is an accurate depiction of the coming heat death of the Universe. Those shepherds weren’t so far off, and it was a lot more than 2000 years ago that the Book of Genesis was written…

    • Michael

      Your quote from the Bible is about the start of the world not the end of the world. So even if it accurately depicts the heat death of the Universe (which it doesn’t because by the time of the heat death the earth won’t exist any more), since it is suppose to be depicting the begin of the Universe it is obviously way off base. Nice job shooting your own foot.

  190. John says:
    March 18, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Stop.
    Take a breathe.
    Calm down.

    What anyone else believes as a matter of THEIR faith makes NO difference to what you believe as a matter of YOUR faith.

    On the other hand, certain 7th century fundamentalist faiths and the modern, up-to-date, computer-assisted and deliberately ungodly current anti-theist “faith” of government and universal institutions of government-paid workers (er, professors) are an exception Those ungodly and god-hating “faiths” ARE trying to, and fully capable of, actually DO WANT to kill you and actually ARE killing you, your family, and many millionis of other innocents as a required process of THEIR “faith” in THEIR “books” … Such as the IPCC, UN, and the current climate science CAGW religions.

    THOSE are the people of “faith” in THEIR beliefs who ARE killing people.

    US poor skeptics are merely reading those “old books by itinerant shepherds” who couldn’t write, couldn’t read, and had problems counting past 70 x 7 … and marveling at how those guys got all of the nuclear physics and biology and plate tectonics and evolution right.

  191. Marc77 says:
    March 18, 2014 at 8:27 am
    If a photon is constantly bouncing from one mirror to the other in an expanding universe, does it experience a red-shift? No, because of conservation of energy.
    There is no violation of conservation of energy. The energy is the same, but in an expanding universe the constant energy is spread over an increasing volume, so the energy per unit of volume [and unit of time] becomes less.

  192. John says (March 18, 2014 at 8:38 am): “Love all these moronic god-believers desperately trying to make sense of this discovery by finding the odd phrase in the bible to cling onto. I thought he did the whole thing in 7 days, not the 14,000,000,000 years that we now know the universe has existed.”

    John – Why the animosity? Why the insults? Do we theists threaten your cherished Church of Scientism?

    What is your evidence that any of us are “desperately” trying to do anything? I really don’t feel rattled at all. I am comfortable commenting here amongst others with varied opinions. I can handle listening to the various views, including those of the Church of Dogmatic Scientism.

  193. Lief,

    I may not have gotten it Lief. Maybe you ought to say it one more time. So you say that galaxies etc are not moving, rather space is stretching and that Doppler red shift is not due to superposition of light speed on galaxy recession, but to the stretching of space, thereby the stretching of the waves within the space. Maybe you could say it just one more time and we will get it.

    you say either and i say either
    you say neither and i say neither
    either, either, neither, neither
    let’s call the whole thing off

    you say tomato, i say tomato
    you eat potato and i eat potato
    tomato, tomato, potato, potato
    let’s call the whole thing off

    6 of one, one half dozen…

    How come when I look in the mirror, my image is reversed left to right, but not up and down? How does it know?

  194. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 9:54 am
    I may not have gotten it Lief. Maybe you ought to say it one more time. So you say that galaxies etc are not moving, rather space is stretching and that Doppler red shift is not due to superposition of light speed on galaxy recession, but to the stretching of space, thereby the stretching of the waves within the space. Maybe you could say it just one more time and we will get it.
    Indeed, some people are slower than others, so repetition might work for them. But, some other people have their own reasons for not getting it, so for them repetition does not help. Which one to those two groups do you consider yourself to belong to?
    And the red-shift is not a Doppler shift.

  195. lsvalgaard: “All of infinite space expands. This simply means that the distance between ANY two objects [no matter where] increases with time.”

    Right.

    Except of course those pesky particles that just happened to defy this law and stick close together, slow down their relative velocity, and coalesce into large scale objects.

  196. Eric Anderson says:
    March 18, 2014 at 10:07 am
    Except of course those pesky particles that just happened to defy this law and stick close together, slow down their relative velocity, and coalesce into large scale objects.
    As I said several times the expansion only occurs for particles [that are not 'pesky'] that are far enough from each other that their mutual gravitational attraction is negligible. And that is FAR: several million light years.

  197. Wow.

    It is amazing how many people have a preconceived notion or theory and defend it with such emotion and vigor. Reminds me of the CAGW (to which I do not subscribe, BTW) debates this site does so well in debunking.

    Never once does it cross some people’s minds that their pet theory could be wrong (pick a topic – General Relativity, 7-day, Ydggrasil, Quantai, Creationist, Electric, Aesther, et al). Nor can they accept the possibility that someone else’s theory, that they dismiss outright, “because the other guy(gal) is pig-ignorant and there is no way in an-unnamed-and-rather-warm-location-that-is-much-less-desirable-than-here-since-I-refuse-to-believe-in-a-place-called-Hell” may actually be correct. The hubris demonstrated by of some individuals above (on all sides of the respective argument) is breathtaking.

    I would say that it is a safe bet ALL OF US who have commented on/read/or will read this post is truly pig-ignorant of Large-Scale Cosmology: any other belief appears as posturing from those who happens to believe that they are just slightly less pig-ignorant relative to another and need to “prove” it. I admit it, I can definitively state that I don’t have a flipping clue. I also know that there is zero chance that any of this will be answered definitively by anyone here in the foreseeable future. I mean, can you REALLY grasp how short a time 1×10^-36 seconds is or how far 16BLY is? Who could?

    The universe, for all intents and purposes, is infinite – relative to us, here, on Earth. Any model developed to explain it doesn’t even have a chance of being WRONG, much less RIGHT.

    Thanks Dr. Svalgaard for the post and topic. As well as to Anthony and the other Mods for keeping it all within shouting distance of civility. :)

    Greg [the Comologicly Pig-Ignorant]

  198. Lief, Nope. Not according to Doppler himself. But what do I know.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9Cber_das_farbige_Licht_der_Doppelsterne_und_einiger_anderer_Gestirne_des_Himmels

    “The title “Über das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne und einiger anderer Gestirne des Himmels – Versuch einer das Bradley’sche Aberrations-Theorem als integrirenden Theil in sich schliessenden allgemeineren Theorie” (On the coloured light of the binary stars and some other stars of the heavens – Attempt at a general theory including Bradley’s theorem as an integral part) specifies the purpose: describe the hypothesis of the Doppler effect, use it to explain the colours of binary stars, and establish a relation with Bradley’s stellar aberration”

    so….

    Whatever you say there Lief.

  199. When splitting hairs, ones actually doesn’t split the hair, rather the space between the two slivers of hair grows and the hairs don’t move.

    A knife splitting the hairs actually doesn’t move either. It reduces the space between the hairs so knives are thus made from pure gravitons.

  200. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 10:35 am
    Lief, Nope. Not according to Doppler himself. But what do I know.
    You said it well: “What do you know”.
    If the light source and the observer are moving through space relative to each other there will be a Doppler shift, but galaxies are not moving [much] and the red shift we observe for them is not a Doppler shift, but the result of space stretching and in the process lengthening the light-waves making them look redder.

  201. Wow, my mind is racing after reading this article and the comments. I’m comfortable with the Big Bang, as I’ve been conditioned to accept it for my whole life. But I’m curious about the non-cosmological red shifts. Explaining them away as chance or optical illusions seems a bit too convenient. Dr. Svalgaard, if you could for a moment accept the premise that there are non-cosmological red shifts in evidence, just for the sake of argument, then would this necessarily obviate the notion of gravity waves in the CMB? I mean, could not both be true? Could there not be an ongoing mechanism in the universe that creates new, but smaller localized expansions of space time? Is this too fanciful for your tastes?

  202. Paul Westhaver,

    Your link: “…use it to explain the colours of binary stars…” refers to stars. Maybe Doppler was not referring to galaxies?

  203. Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
    And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour
    That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned
    A sun that is the source of all our power

    The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
    Are moving at a million miles a day
    In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour
    Of the galaxy we call the ‘milky way’

    Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars
    It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side
    It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick
    But out by us, it’s just three thousand light years wide

    We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point
    We go ’round every two hundred million years
    And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
    In this amazing and expanding universe

    The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
    In all of the directions it can whizz
    As fast as it can go, the speed of light, you know
    Twelve million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is

    So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure
    How amazingly unlikely is your birth
    And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space
    ‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth

  204. http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/redshift.html

    “So to determine an object’s distance, we only need to know its velocity. Velocity is measurable thanks to the Doppler shift. By taking the spectrum of a distant object, such as a galaxy, astronomers can see a shift in the lines of its spectrum and from this shift determine its velocity. Putting this velocity into the Hubble equation, they determine the distance. Note that this method of determining distances is based on observation (the shift in the spectrum) and on a theory (Hubble’s Law). If the theory is not correct, the distances determined in this way are all nonsense. Most astronomers believe that Hubble’s Law does, however, hold true for a large range of distances in the universe.”

    We better inform NASA they have got it all wrong.

  205. Mickey Reno says:
    March 18, 2014 at 10:45 am
    if you could for a moment accept the premise that there are non-cosmological red shifts in evidence
    But there is no evidence for that. There are objects with different red-shifts found near each other, but that could happen just by chance. Analysis of more than 100,000 galaxies show that the observed number of close ones is no larger than what chance would predict.

    just for the sake of argument, then would this necessarily obviate the notion of gravity waves in the CMB? I mean, could not both be true?
    The red-shift issue has nothing to do with the CMB or gravity waves, so is a red herring as far as the article under discussion is concerned.

  206. lsvalgaard you have it wrong. You have a single photon bouncing back and forth in a cylinder that is not expanding. If this photon is red-shifting, where is the energy going. A redder photon has less energy. It is funny to see the stupid academics feeling so confident in their stupidity. The expansion of the universe cannot create a red-shift. It violates conservation of energy.

  207. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 10:54 am
    We better inform NASA they have got it all wrong.
    What you cite has been dumbed down [wrongly, unfortunately] to a level where NASA thinks you could understand it.

    Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 10:52 am
    The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
    In all of the directions it can whizz
    As fast as it can go, the speed of light, you know
    Twelve million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is

    Another case of dumbing down. The expansion is generally much faster than light-speed. This is allowed as the galaxies are not moving at all, so the ‘speed limit’ does not apply.
    You sure are a slow learner.

    • @Lsvalgaard – Just for clarification (and you can take it that I am not one of the fastest learners).

      #1 – The present galaxies are not really moving.
      #2 – Space is expanding. But only space?
      #3 – so beyond the galaxies, we have just a bunch of empty space?

      Thank you for your time in clarifying this for me.

  208. Marc77 says:
    March 18, 2014 at 11:06 am
    You have a single photon bouncing back and forth in a cylinder that is not expanding. If this photon is red-shifting
    It is not red-shifted.

  209. Marc77 says:
    March 18, 2014 at 11:07 am
    The red-shift is caused by a change in referential and/or a Doppler effect.
    If you are sitting still at the end of the cylinder the photon goes away from you half of the time and towards to the other half of the time, thus no net shift.

  210. lsvalgaard says:
    March 18, 2014 at 11:06 am
    The expansion is generally much faster than light-speed. This is allowed as the galaxies are not moving at all, so the ‘speed limit’ does not apply.

    Stop saying the galaxies are not moving. There is no zero speed in the universe.

  211. The photon is constantly in an expanding universe, but there is no net shift. So the expansion does not cause a shift.

  212. Marc77 says:
    March 18, 2014 at 11:16 am
    lStop saying the galaxies are not moving. There is no zero speed in the universe.
    Let me be pedantly precise: the galaxies are not moving RELATIVE to us.

    Marc77 says:
    March 18, 2014 at 11:19 am
    The photon is constantly in an expanding universe, but there is no net shift. So the expansion does not cause a shift.
    If your cylinder is a billion light-year long you will observe the red-shift due to the expansion [after a lapse of two billion years].

  213. The cylinder does not need to be long. The photon is constantly traveling in an expanding universe. And the photon cannot have lost energy when it comes back.

  214. Marc77 says:
    March 18, 2014 at 11:35 am
    The cylinder does not need to be long.
    If it is not several million light-years long the cylinder does not expand.

  215. Only the universe is in expansion, not the cylinder. You have a red-shift when the distance between the emitter and the receiver is expanding. If the universe is extending but the receiver and emitter are always at the same distance, you don’t have a red-shift. This is the exact definition of the Doppler effect.

  216. Marc77 says:
    March 18, 2014 at 11:44 am
    Only the universe is in expansion, not the cylinder. You have a red-shift when the distance between the emitter and the receiver is expanding.
    since the cylinder [presumably] is bolted to the Earth which does not expand, the cylinder will not expand and no red-shift will occur. To see the [non-Doppler] cosmological red-shift the cylinder has to be millions of light-years long, which no walls.

  217. If the photon bounces enough times from one mirror to the other, it will travel millions of light-years. And it will not have a red-shift. Also, it is not bolted to anything, it is just two mirror at a constant distance from one another. Just tie them to an iron rod.

  218. Marc77 says:
    March 18, 2014 at 11:54 am
    If the photon bounces enough times from one mirror to the other, it will travel millions of light-years.
    It will take it a million years to travel a million light-years…
    Just tie them to an iron rod.
    In that case, the cylinder will not expand as I have explained.
    To get expansion and a cosmological [non-Doppler] red-shift the mirrors should not be connected, by an iron rod or by their mutual gravity. If the mirrors were millions of light-years apart, you will get twice the cosmological red-shift for each round trip: one on the way to the far mirror and one on its way back. With the elapse of time, the red-shift will steadily increase for each round-trip.

  219. Hello. Just started regularly reading this site a few weeks ago; somewhat surprised I found a site so in line with my thoughts w/r/t CAGW.

    Anyway, to answer just one of John’s questions, i.e….

    >> And what the hell was he doing for the 13,998,000,000 million years before humans appeared? OK, we know there were dinosaurs from 13,750,000,000 years after the big bang, but that’s still a lot of sitting around doing nothing for billions of years, and anyway dinosaurs didn’t make it into the bible, as the people who made up the bible weren’t armed with any facts.<<

    God, to believers like myself, was not “sitting around”. Your assertion makes me chuckle a little bit. If God created space, matter and time in the Big Bang, that means, by definition, he must exist completely outside of those things (different dimensions) , since you cannot be part of something that you have created. Therefore, God is outside of time, or, if you will, “eternal”, or “cannot die”. Sounds like Someone I know personally. It’s impossible to make a real good analogy, John, but consider that all “times” are present to God at the same “time” – something we cannot wrap out minds around, but then again, he’s God, and we aren’t.

    God does not sit around and “wait” for anything. Because He sits completely outside of time he can know evereything we are going to do, but we STILL have a free will. Pretty cool, huh?
    And , yes Sacred Scripture nails this one, too…

    2 Peter 3:8

    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.

    Psalm 90:4
    For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

    Or my personal favorite
    Exodus 3:14

    God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

    John, may I humbly suggest that you expand your mind a little bit. The Creator of the Universe is not bounded by silly constraints like Time.

    Disclosure: Catholic, and now that the Holy Father is no longer Polish, yes, I am more Catholic than the Pope.

    Love the site, glad to find there are many others with my beliefs w/r/t CAGW. As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between the old population bomb movement, global cooling, global warning ,and now “climate change” – just the same thing over and over- with the sane social/political goals over and over again. Youse guys/gals are (much) smarter and informed than I so am I just going to sit back and learn from you all :-) Thanks for all your efforts.

  220. TheLastDemocrat says:
    March 18, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Your citation from Job could not possibly correspond less to physical reality.

    It would help if you had actually read the verse in Hebrew with benefit of the Ugaritic texts.

    “Northern skies” is a totally bogus mistranslation. The text says nothing about skies. The word rendered wrongly as “the north” in older translations actually refers to Zaphon, ie Mount Aqraa on the Turkish-Syrian border, which marked the northern border of the Levant in ancient times as now. It was the abode of the pagan god Baal. (Baal Zaphon figures prominently in the Old Testament, including, perhaps surprisingly, in Exodus.) “Nothing” or “the void” in the verse refers to the wasteland below the sacred mountain.

    I have no problem with theism. I have plenty of problem with creationists who imagine falsely that the Bible contains valid astronomy, physics, chemistry, meteorology or biology. To suppose it does violates both religion & science.

    Boo hoo, indeed.

  221. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    What makes you think I’m an atheist?

    How is biblical translation a rant & but gushing over an expurgated Genesis not a rant?

    The multiverse hypothesis will either be confirmed by the scientific method or not. If creation myths in the Bible were regarded as figurative poetry rather than literally true science, there would be no need for translation. But as young earth creationists choose to spread so many lies, it takes some space to correct them.

  222. I should add, one of the common themes that people with “near death” experiences talk about afterwards is a compete sense of timelessness; that the entire concept of time is in a sense foreign to them while they are “out of their bodies” fascinating stuff.

    REPLY: and none of this has anything to do with the topic at hand, so please refrain from further off-topic comments – Anthony

  223. Tom In Indy says:
    March 17, 2014 at 11:13 am
    “In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today’s best telescopes”.

    p@ Dolan says:
    March 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    No, it doesn’t say that, though it seems that way. What happened, according to the theory, is that the universe jumped in size from about the size of a marble to something large enough to contain our galaxy in the space of about 3.10^-36 seconds, at something like 1×10^-35 seconds into the existence of time (the numbers are off the top of my head; …

    Actually the inflationary period expanded the universe from a little bigger than the Plank length to about the size of a grape, over about 10e-27 seconds. After that it was back to business as usual.

    If one reads even superficially as I have done about cosmology you cannot fail to grasp that this discovery is a special moment indeed in science. A wedding of theory and experiment after a very long and tortuous on-off engagement.

    Superstring theory indicates that the universe has about 11 dimensions including time, and frames the big bang as less of an ab initio or ex nihilo event as just a break-out of three out of the 11 dimensions. Before the even the universe was happily confined to its 1e-32mm Plank length – the distance that quantum string theory shows is the minimum distance that physically exists.

    Now that the 3 spatial dimensions have leaked out, the remaining 7 (excluding time) are internal dimensions curled or involuted inwards, only encountered at scales near the Plank length. The maths of Calabi-Yau multi-dimensional manifolds tries to find out these superstring geometries. I hope that this confirmation of inflation will somehow help in the search for progress in working out the formidably complicated string geometries.

  224. No – it was 10e-36 (12×3) not 10 e-27 (9×3) seconds – duration of the inflationary period.

  225. milodonharlani… to answer your first question, read your last statement. You might want to consider an MRI.

  226. >>REPLY: and none of this has anything to do with the topic at hand, so please refrain from further off-topic comments – Anthony<<

    I apologize, and I won't comment any further. This place is way outta my league anyway. I'm glad that it mostly sticks to pure science. (Now in read-only mode).

  227. Hey Lief… easy with the adhoms… If your arguments were so convincing you wouldn’t have to resort to such sophomoric tactics.

    I can provide 100s of citations (not that #s matter) written by reputable practitioners of science that make the case opposite that you make. Because you resort to insults make me wonder if you really know what you are talking about on other matters. You are really sounding like there is something wrong.

    Next time I’m in town I’ll be sure to come by and offer you tea and a chance to explain yourself better.

  228. Janice Moore says:
    March 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    You cannot know what will happen to you after death. You can only believe. If you knew, then it would not be a matter of faith. If you were able to be certain, then your faith would be of no value.

    Genesis specifically says that the pre-sun light separates day from night. But in fact it is the earth’s turning toward & away from the sun which makes day & night.

    Everywhere in the Bible the earth is flat, even in the New Testament. There is no passage in which the earth is spherical. The earth is also immovable & the sun goes over it. In some parts, the earth is square or rectangular & others possibly circular, but always flat.

    As for the stretched out heavens, that passage refers to their being like a tent, but as I’ve showed, elsewhere in the Bible, the vault of heaven is shiny metal. It was the tent verse that caused Augustine so much trouble in his discussion of taking the Bible literally. Early Church Fathers’ insistence on the biblical flat earth was then (AD 400) creating problems for the propagation of the faith, as anti-scientific “intelligent design” does now.

    If you’d like to learn more about biblical & ancient Near Eastern cosmology, read the Book of Enoch, only parts of which made it into the Nicaean canon or the Masoretic OT text, but which was preserved in its entirety in Ethiopian Orthodoxy. It was also one of the most popular books among Jesus’ sect, the Essenes.

    That there is no valid science in the Bible, in which rabbits chew their cud instead of their feces & in which serpents & donkeys talk, is a matter of fact, not belief.

    Which is it? Is the Bible literal or figurative? In fact it’s both, although the literal parts are of course written with an agenda.

    I don’t need to look for creationists near me, since I’ve known them all my life. As do some real Christians.

  229. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm
    Hey Lief… easy with the adhoms… If your arguments were so convincing you wouldn’t have to resort to such sophomoric tactics.
    what ad-homs?
    The links you provided ARE dumbed down [bad bad NASA] and you believe them. I rest my case.

  230. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I’d recommend the same treatment for you.

    Apparently you’re unfamiliar with the Anthropic Principle, the opponents of which consider it theistic.

    That I’m open to scientific tests of the multiverse hypothesis hardly makes me an atheist.

  231. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm
    Next time I’m in town I’ll be sure to come by and offer you tea and a chance to explain yourself better.
    I have explained myself in about 90 comments on this thread. How many more will it take?

  232. Leif, thank you wore all your comments in this thread. You have repeated many times that it is a non-Doppler red shift that is occuring. This got me thinking. If it were a Doppler red shift and the farther galaxies were from us the faster they were moving away and hence more red shifted, wouldn’t this be evidence that the universe expansion is slowing down since the farther things are from us the farther back in time they are? More distant + father back in time + moving faster = slowing down.

    Now I want to understand how we know it is not a Doppler shift, I have reading to do!

  233. Since Lief has rested his case, we don’t have to abide by the odd notion that the galaxies are not moving.

    From the Olber’s Paradox at:

    “Since the 17th century, astronomers and other thinkers have proposed many possible ways to resolve this paradox, but the currently accepted resolution depends in part upon the Big Bang theory and in part upon the Hubble expansion. In a universe that exists for a finite amount of time, only the light of finitely many stars has had a chance to reach us yet, and the paradox is resolved. Additionally, in an expanding universe distant objects recede from us, which causes the light emanating from them to be redshifted and diminished in brightness.”

    Chase, S. I.; Baez, J. C. (2004). “Olbers’ Paradox”. The Original Usenet Physics FAQ. Retrieved 2013-10-17.

    Specifically, related to the so called stretching notion I give you Nicole Bell at FermiLab

    http://www.fnal.gov/pub/inquiring/questions/motion_universe.html

    Question:
    I am interested in the concept of absolute ‘still’ vs. all the speed references we have. I have been attempting to calculate the speed at which an individual is traveling through the universe when standing ‘still’. i.e., the rotation speed of the earth, the speed of the orbit of the earth around the sun, the solar system withing our galaxy, the galaxy…etc. The odd question that struck me was that given all the relativity applications and explainations, is there such a measurement or ‘thing’ as absolute STILL?

    Answer:
    In our universe, there is really one reference frame that I would call an “absolute rest frame” – it is the frame that cosmologists refer to as the “co-moving frame”.

    In this reference frame, an observer is a rest, apart from the expansion of the universe, that is, someone in this reference frame is not moving with respect to distant galaxies.

    Think of the universe like the surface of a balloon, with pennies stuck onto the surface. These pennies are the clusters of galaxies. As you blow the balloon up, the pennies get further and further apart – this is the expansion of the universe. (The pennies/galaxies don’t get bigger, because they are held together by gravity, or gravitationally bound.) The co-moving frame is the reference frame in which the coordinates expand along with the balloon. This is the closest you can get to having an absolute rest frame in an expanding universe.

    So, after you account for the motion of the earth around the sun, [the motion] of the solar system within the galaxy, the [motion of a] galaxy within a cluster of galaxies, etc, eventually all you are left with is the expansion of the universe…and that’s about as close as you could get to being absolutely still!

    Regards,
    Nicole Bell
    Astrophysicist

    To suggest that the motions don’t exist and only space expansion is all there is, is misinformation at best and sophistry at worst.

  234. Dr. S, your nice pictorial was the key to my little understanding. I stared at it for quite a while yesterday and early this morning got up and reviewed DIV, GRAD and CURL. While out on a 50 mile bike ride (+10 IQ) it all came together. Not that I would dare to try to explain it to another as you have, but that will come too with time and conversations. I think I do have a hint of it.

  235. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm
    Since Lief has rested his case, we don’t have to abide by the odd notion that the galaxies are not moving.
    You got this wrong. I rested my case about your complaint.

  236. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_expansion_of_space

    Metric expansion of space:
    from the observational evidence section:

    Scientists have tested carefully whether these assumptions are valid and borne out by observation. Observational cosmologists have discovered evidence – very strong in some cases – that supports these assumptions, and as a result, metric expansion of space is considered by cosmologists to be an observed feature on the basis that although we cannot see it directly, scientists have tested the properties of the universe and observation provides compelling confirmation.[18] Sources of this confidence and confirmation include:

    1) Hubble demonstrated that all galaxies and distant astronomical objects were moving away from us, as predicted by a universal expansion.[19] Using the redshift of their electromagnetic spectra to determine the distance and speed of remote objects in space, he showed that all objects are moving away from us, and that their speed is proportional to their distance, a feature of metric expansion. Further studies have since shown the expansion to be extremelyisotropic and homogeneous, that is, it does not seem to have a special point as a “center”, but appears universal and independent of any fixed central point.

    Hubble, Edwin, “A Relation between Distance and Radial Velocity among Extra-Galactic Nebulae” (1929) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp. 168-173

    Therefore relative and measurable velocities of remote objects is a “feature of expansion.”
    Lief want to dismiss this solely as the measuring stick changing length. Everyone else says both happen. So galaxies are moving. Space is expanding Distances are increasing.

  237. How to calculate the speed of a galaxy as described by Harvard for NASA’s Office of Space Science by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory © 2001 Smithsonian Institution

    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/seuforum/galSpeed/

    STEP 4 of the guide

    “This phenomenon is called the “Doppler effect.” It applies to all kinds of waves, such as light waves, sound waves, and water waves. Why don’t you observe this effect when you ride a bicycle down the street, for example? (Hint: For the effect to be noticeable, how fast should the source be moving, relative to the speed of the waves themselves?)”

    ” This phenomenon is called a “redshift. Based on your experiments with the Doppler effect, would you conclude that Galaxy 1 is moving away from Earth or towards Earth?”

    STEP 6 of the guide

    “It turns out that the amount of the observed redshift is proportional to the speed of the source (for speeds that are not close to the speed of light). For example, for a galaxy moving away from us at 10% of the speed of light, its light will be redshifted by 10%. So, for this example, the hydrogen line that was at 656 nanometers will be redshifted by about 65 nanometers.

    As noted above, the galaxies are moving according to Harvard and NASA.

  238. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm
    1) Hubble demonstrated [in 1936] that all galaxies and distant astronomical objects were moving away from us, as predicted by a universal expansion.

    Here are some questions/answers that might be educational:

    http://preposterousuniverse.com/writings/cosmologyprimer/faq.html

    “A profound feature of relativity is that two objects passing by each other cannot have a relative velocity greater than the speed of light. An even more profound feature, one which has received much less publicity, is that the concept of “relative velocity” does not even make sense unless the objects are very close to each other. In Einstein’s general theory of relativity (which describes gravity as the curvature of spacetime), there is no way to define the velocity between two widely-separated objects in any strictly correct sense. The “velocity” that cosmologists speak of between distant galaxies is really just a shorthand for the expansion of the universe; it’s not that the galaxies are moving, it’s that the space between them is expanding. If the distance isn’t too great, this expansion looks and feels just like a recession velocity, but when the distance becomes very large that resemblance breaks down. In particular, it’s perfectly plausible to have distant galaxies whose “recession velocity” is greater than the speed of light. (We couldn’t see such galaxies directly, since light from them would never reach us, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.) The resolution to this paradox is simply that we have taken a convenient analogy too far, and there isn’t a well-defined “speed” between us and distant objects.”

  239. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Reading farther in your Wiki link on the metric expansion of space would have shown you that in fact Dr. S.’s explanation was correct under current, increasingly well confirmed cosmological theory & observation.

  240. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm
    1) Hubble demonstrated [in 1936] that all galaxies and distant astronomical objects were moving away from us, as predicted by a universal expansion.
    Another popularized piece:

    http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/universe.html

    “However, the galaxies are not moving through space, they are moving in space, because space is also moving. In other words, the universe has no center; everything is moving away from everything else. If you imagine a grid of space with a galaxy every million light years or so, after enough time passes this grid will stretch out so that the galaxies are spread to every two million light years, and so on, possibly into infinity”

  241. Wow, so may thought provoking comments in one thread. Thanks all.

    To some, I hope your fingerprints grow back after typing so many comments ;-)

    Now, off to ponder the subject matter at hand. Cheers!

  242. Logan5 says: (March 17, 2014 at 11:25 am)
    “My suspicion would be that since space/time was itself expanding, light traveling within that expanding universe would still be limited to 186,000 mi/sec.”

    Space/time was itself expanding… Down to earth yet beyond comprehension.

    To me this sounded like the best definition of a 4th dimension.
    I will look at the stars tonight slightly different now.
    Thanks!

  243. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm
    1) Hubble demonstrated [in 1936] that all galaxies and distant astronomical objects were moving away from us, as predicted by a universal expansion.
    More here:

    https://www.e-education.psu.edu/astro801/content/l10_p4.html

    “The galaxies are not really moving through space away from each other. Instead, what is happening is the space between them is expanding (just like the rubber band expanded, separating the dots fixed to it from each other). As the universe expands, the galaxies get farther from each other, and the apparent velocity will appear to be larger for the more distant galaxies”

  244. Lief,

    The galaxies are not still.

    You said they were. They are not.

    I never said that there was no expansion though you seem to imply that I suggested that. I did not. You on the other hand said that galaxies don’t move. At 6:21pm you wrote:” It is that ‘spacial underlying background’ that is expanding. The objects within that are essentially sitting still.” You are wrong. They move. I have cited several source who have stated that.

    Your emphasis of one attribute of expansion does not negate the known motion of objects and galaxies. Furthermore, your not helping anyone by denying establish fact so that you can emphasize the more esoteric elastic reference frame. That isn’t clever. It is confusing and unnecessarily so.

    Nicole Bell said it better, and she said that both expansion AND motion happen.

  245. @lsvalgaard

    In particular, it’s perfectly plausible to have distant galaxies whose “recession velocity” is greater than the speed of light. (We couldn’t see such galaxies directly, since light from them would never reach us, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.)

    Is this what is meant by something being outside of our “light cone”?

  246. A very good book for a primer in both relativity (special and general) and quantum physics, then a dive into superstrings, all accessible to the non-specialist, is “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene.

    This explains how in terms of string theory the big bang becomes the big pop.

  247. Lief,

    Galaxies are not still and you said they were. You are wrong. They are in motion.
    Galactic motion does not exclude intergalactic expansion. Also expansion has the attribute of measurable recession speeds as quoted by NASA, Harvard, and FermiLAb.

    I don’t suggest that there is no expansion. You, however, said that galaxies are essentially still.

  248. lsvalgaard says:
    March 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm
    Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm
    1) Hubble demonstrated [in 1936] that all galaxies and distant astronomical objects were moving away from us, as predicted by a universal expansion.
    More here:

    http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/lectures/cosmo_101.html

    “In a real sense, Hubble’s law, the recession velocity of galaxies, is an illusion. The galaxies are not moving, the space between them is literally expanded”
    “When, in fact, the galaxies have not moved at all, the space between them has increased”
    “So the redshift we see for distant galaxies is really an effect of spacetime expanding, not real motion. This is good because some of the redshifts for the most distant galaxies have recessional velocities in excess to the speed of light. But this is not a contradiction for special relativity since the space is expanding, not true motion”.

    Since galaxies are members of clusters and are acted upon by gravity, they will have ‘small’ local movements within the cluster. E.g. The Andromeda nebula is current moving towards our Galaxy. Those movements are real and can be detected by their Doppler effects, but are red herrings as far as the general expansion of the universe is concerned.

  249. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm
    To suggest that the motions don’t exist and only space expansion is all there is, is misinformation at best and sophistry at worst.
    Time to wash your mouth out with soap.

  250. Lief,

    Hubble’s law may well be an illusion of sorts as well may be specifics of expansion. Space-Time will tell.

    What we know is that galaxies are moving in any event. You insist that they aren’t. So rather that saying that I am stupid, explain why at 6:21 pm above you said “The objects within that are essentially sitting still.”

    Galaxies are subject to reference frame expansion and motion, both of which are perceived as shifts to the red spectrum, like a doppler shift.

  251. Since Lief seems unwilling to modify his absurd statements I will state what he meant to say.

    Lief should have said:

    Galaxies move. They move very fast. However, based on doppler-like redshift measurements of very remote galaxies, the speeds calculated for this motion is too fast to accept. So how can this be explained? The current explanation for this is that though a galaxy is moving, so too is the space between the galaxy and the observer growing. The redshift is a combination of both lower actual galactic velocities and higher space expansion rates.

    Instead Lief said that galaxies are essentially still. They aren’t.

  252. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Instead Lief said that galaxies are essentially still. They aren’t.

    Leif did not say that, instead he said that while there is movement, at great distances its meaning is diminished by the universe expansion:

    “A profound feature of relativity is that two objects passing by each other cannot have a relative velocity greater than the speed of light. An even more profound feature, one which has received much less publicity, is that the concept of “relative velocity” does not even make sense unless the objects are very close to each other. In Einstein’s general theory of relativity (which describes gravity as the curvature of spacetime), there is no way to define the velocity between two widely-separated objects in any strictly correct sense. The “velocity” that cosmologists speak of between distant galaxies is really just a shorthand for the expansion of the universe; it’s not that the galaxies are moving, it’s that the space between them is expanding.

    Some of what we know about dark matter for instance comes from observing galaxies colliding with each-other. Collision of galaxies requires them to be moving relative to each-other at a SHORT scale relative to the galaxy size. It serves no purpose to argue that Leif is saying that galaxies dont move.

    Failure to understand what someone is saying is not the same thing as proving them wrong.

  253. @lsvalgaard
    In particular, it’s perfectly plausible to have distant galaxies whose “recession velocity” is greater than the speed of light. (We couldn’t see such galaxies directly, since light from them would never reach us, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.)

    Is this what is meant by something being outside of our “light cone”?

    lsvalgaard says:
    March 18, 2014 at 3:07 pm
    To save me some typing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_cone
    Google is your Friend.

    I know what a light cone is, but the wiki article on the same does not answer my question.

    Is a “distant galaxy whose “recession velocity” is greater than the speed of light” out of our light cone?

  254. phlogiston says:
    March 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Instead Lief said that galaxies are essentially still. They aren’t.

    Leif did not say that,
    _________________________________________________________

    Yes Lief did say that!. It is on this page at time stamp 6:21pm I quote: “It is that ‘spacial underlying background’ that is expanding. The objects within that are essentially sitting still.”

    Had Leif retracted that absurd assertion or not said it at all, then I would have said nothing.
    Pride comes before the fall.

  255. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Meditate on the word “essentially”. Enlightenment might come.

  256. Perhaps the main feature of the velocity constant, C, which some seem to be missing is that time, itself, is variable in relativistic theory and time dilation occurs as velocity increases and becomes very noticeable at relativistic speeds. Time, which the theory holds, is a part of the very fabric of space which is curved in the presence of mass, which when present also results in time dilation. Velocity, as well as the presence of mass, slow time down. These issues have been proven experimentally to significant precision levels.

  257. Phlogiston,

    If Lief desires to write in a confusing manner, repeatedly, explain to me why the readers must try and read his mind to make his statements correct. What he said was wrong.

    He said it over and over and over again like it was his new exciting idea. He said it wrong in such an ambiguous,obtuse and provocative manner AND he was prickly with people who kept asking what it all meant. It is a simple concept made complicated by inept English usage.

    Now he, and you for him, are pretending he never said, nor meant , that still means still. The burden is on him to write his thoughts out properly.

  258. Relativity is all about the observer. If I am sitting on my couch and my cat is sleeping on a chair nearby, to me the cat is not moving. However, to an observer next to the Sun the cat is moving but the Sun is not. To an observer outside the Solar System the cat and the Sun are moving but not the Galaxy. To an observer outside the Galaxy the cat, the Sun and the Galaxy are moving. Next is the matter of how much relative speed there is. If my cat gets up and walks away to me his speed is slow but real and interesting to me. For the observer next to the Sun the cat’s motion around the Sun is the important thing and the speed of his walk is irrelevant and uninteresting to the point that the cat could be considered still in his locale. So for us being inside the expanding universe, which we do not feel, we can see the local motion of the other galaxies which appears interesting to us. However, that speed when compared to the expanding universe is so slow it makes their movement irrelevant, uninteresting and almost still in their locale.

  259. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Here’s Dr. S.’s initial response:

    “lsvalgaard says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    “Paul Westhaver says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm
    2) In blast mechanics, like a grenade, there is a front of debris that propagates from the blast site outward in an ever-increasing shell. So too is our universe expanding with a wave front of cosmic condensate.”
    “Except that there is no debris front. ALL of space is expanding, but the matter in the Universe is just sitting essentially motionless in the expanding space. There is no debris front moving through space.”

    He later explained what he meant by “essentially”, & provided links for further explication. Your own Wiki link also clarifies that on the large scale of the universe, the galaxies lie still while space expands between or beyond them, whatever may be the case on the “small” scale of nearby galaxies relative to each other.

  260. milodonharlani

    My blast mechanics thought was again, a metaphor M-E-T-A-P-H-O-R to suggest a concept quite remote from the present thread. You don’t understand. I have no criticism of Lief’s criticism of the blast concept I wrote in general. It is one many people have.

    I stopped discussing it because I could not adequately describe the geometry with words in this forum. I need a diagram, and I don’t have one available at this time.

    You are confusing 2 subjects that share some terminology but are quite different.

  261. Seems relevant given the discussion of relative velocities: http://calgary.rasc.ca/howfast.htm

    Now, as we speak you are heading to the west at between 1000 km/h (for those near 50 N or S) to 1,600 km/h (near the equator) which of course drops off at the poles.

    If you can see the Sun you can turn and face south, point your left hand at the Sun and point your right hand 90 degrees from it, you’re traveling roughly that way at around 100,000 km/h.

    Lastly, if you can see Vega you’re traveling roughly towards it at around 447,000 km/hr.

  262. Paul Westhaver says:

    Lief, The galaxies are not still. You said they were. They are not.

    Paul,

    Funny, I think I understood what Lief was saying all along. He said “essentially”, he did not say “absolutely”.

    Of course galaxies can be moving relative to one another. From an observer’s point of view, one galaxy can be spiraling clockwise, another counter-clockwise. But that’s not what Lief is saying.

    I think he is saying that at great distances, two galaxies’ movement relative to one another is essentially unchanging. Rather, it is the expansion of the universe that makes it appear that they are moving away from one another. That is different from a Doppler shift, too.

    Correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong often enough before.

  263. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I’m not confusing two topics, although of course the blast front analogy wasn’t apt.

    I went back to Dr. S.’s first reply in search of his “essentially” rather than to resurrect your inapt (dare I say inept) analogy.

    In the current & increasingly well supported cosmological model (excuse my blasphemy) new spacetime is being generated between galaxies, which are in effect along for the ride on the expanding balloon, essentially motionless in terms of the big picture, although they may be making insignificant movements relative to each other on their local areas of the balloon.

    My own description of present understanding may well be faulty.

  264. dbstealey says:
    March 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Paul Westhaver says:

    Lief, The galaxies are not still. You said they were. They are not.

    Paul,

    Funny, I think I understood what Lief was saying all along. ….
    ….I think he is saying
    _________________________________________________________________

    dbstealey,

    I have no quarrel with you at all and neither do I have a quarrel with Lief beyond his poor communication and uninvited acerbity. The fact that you feel it necessary to think for him and explain what he actually meant, is making my only point.

    If he was clear, and not in error by virtue of his poorly chosen words, he likely wouldn’t have to explain it a multitude of of times. I suspect the ole codger was exploiting boundary language to evoke intellectual shock and awe or maybe he thought he WAS being clear.

    But then to suggest that I was willfully ignorant? Please! Where did that come from?

    Lief Svalgaard simply said something that is not true, I called him on it, and now he is sulking about it rather than simply saying “Ok I could have said it better.” and moving on.

    I was incapable of describing a new concept earlier, Lief criticized it, but the fault was mine because I could not find the words. So I let it go.

    I any event, galaxies are moving. AND space is growing. Doppler is an adequate principle to communicate the concept of red-shift. Their may be a new orthopraxy regarding cosmological behavior of which I am unaware, but I do apprehend an eagerness to emphasize certain language.

  265. milodonharlani,

    You do not understand what I was saying in 2) in my response to Greg Roane at
    March 17, 2014 at 11:56 am thought experiment. The fault is clearly mine since I did not adequately describe the scenario. Furthermore, I disclosed that they were my thoughts.

    Inapt, inept or not, they are my thoughts and Lief was kind enough to offer criticism which exposed the weakness of my expression. It is absolutely unrelated to the present model. I will work on a better description of the idea for some other time.

    A hint is that your (everyone’s) balloon model is a 2D elastic metaphor. In my model, I also consider the thickness of the balloon skin and even suggest it has a negative Poisson’s ratio. In that model, the localized general space expansion is consistent with the present model. However it implies also 1) the universe is incomprehensibly huge, 2) it has a center very very very far away. This is my model. Nobody has expressed it other than me to my knowledge. Again I doubt that I am clear so I intend to leave it at that until I can better describe it. This is not the same subject as the general idea of expansion.

  266. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Admirable that you criticize your own inadequate language, yet attack Dr. S. for IYO using inaccurate verbiage.

    The expanding balloon is admittedly an inadequate analogy, but sufficient to demonstrate Dr. S.’s point IMO. Adding the wrinkle that the skin of the balloon could be thick doesn’t negate the merely “local” apparent motion of galaxies relative to each other, while they remain essentially still on the scale of the expanding universe.

  267. milodonharlani says:
    March 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Not to mention the fact that the Bible contradicts itself even from page to page in the same book.

    For instance, the number of each “kind” God orders brought onto Noah’s Ark differs between Genesis 6 & 7. Besides which, the passage in Genesis 7 is anachronistic, since which animals are clean & unclean was only revealed in laws given to Moses after the exodus from Egypt, long after the alleged global flood, which of course itself is physically impossible. As is fitting all the “kinds” onto the ark, whatever “kinds” may mean, & caring for them all that time with so few humans.

    Nor to mention how the extant & extinct kinds all got to the ark from continents as they existed 4500 years ago, nor what carnivores ate before the Fall, so that the herbivores would survive the first day after the flood waters receded, wherever they went.

  268. Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I get all the attention I can handle in real life. Rarely do I get the chance to comment without welcome “distractions” by friends or family.

    You’re apparently willfully misunderstanding Dr. S.’s explanation, hence a troll. Thanks for clearing that up, if there were ever any doubt.

  269. phlogiston says:
    March 18, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    Is a “distant galaxy whose “recession velocity” is greater than the speed of light” out of our light cone?
    This is a bit tricky as ‘is’ implies the ‘present’, but what is the present for a galaxy 10 billion light-years away? Is it ‘now’ or is it when the light we see was emitted? As we see the galaxy as and where it was 10 billion years ago, it can by now easily be out of our light come.

    Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm
    He said it over and over and over again like it was his new exciting idea.
    No, I’m just regurgitating what modern science says on this. And many times, since you are hard at learning.

    Paul Westhaver says:
    March 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm
    I any event, galaxies are moving. AND space is growing.
    As I have said, galaxies are indeed moving within their own little local group. In fact, the first galaxy for which movement was detected was blue-shifted [the Andromeda Nebula], but that has nothing to do with the expansion of the Universe as these local speeds are very small compared to the expansion speed; that is what ‘essentially’ means. Imagine a log rubber band being stretched constantly. On the band are two lumps of sugar each surrounded by several ants [attracted by the sugar]. The distance between the sugar lumps steadily increases as the rubber band is stretched, yet the ants move around their lumps regardless of the stretching of the band.

    Doppler is an adequate principle to communicate the concept of red-shift.
    But only when the speed is a rather small fraction [like less than a quarter] of the speed of light.
    The concept fails completely for large red-shifts or for photons. The photons we see today in the CMB have been red-shifted to more than a 1000 times their original wavelength. Try to explain that as a Doppler shift.

  270. lsvalgaard says:
    March 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm
    phlogiston says:
    March 18, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    Is a “distant galaxy whose “recession velocity” is greater than the speed of light” out of our light cone?
    This is a bit tricky as ‘is’ implies the ‘present’, but what is the present for a galaxy 10 billion light-years away? Is it ‘now’ or is it when the light we see was emitted? As we see the galaxy as and where it was 10 billion years ago, it can by now easily be out of our light come.

    Thanks again. I appreciate your patient answers. So parts of the universe inside our light cone are pulled out of it by cosmic expansion, which thus shrinks our cone. In a distant future we will be alone in our light-cone with a starless sky. Heat death of the universe is a dismal prospect.

  271. I was looking up all this stuff, and see some odd things.

    There is this problem that the universe we know appears to be extremely improbable from a big bang, yet we have multiple evidences that that bang happened (some arriving this week). This is known as the “fine tuning” problem.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_inflation

    Now we have gravity waves, pointing to “chaotic inflation”, which seems to need a lot less fine tuning, BUT:
    It is a “large field model” which seems unlikely to work and successfully produce inflation, possibly once again reintroducing fine tuning to get it to work.
    And the real biggie, the reheat phase necessary produces entropy, and already the universe seems to need to have started at a statistically impossibly low state of entropy, and now needs to start at even lower entropy. In addition, the idea that one could get around this by postulating that this universe was “born” out of one or two other universes interaction actually makes the problem worse, as the birthing universes must be at an even lower state of entropy, so you have multiplied impossible by 2 or 3, not exactly the way to go to get rid of fine tuning.

    The conclusion appears to be that this universe is still just as improbable as it was a few days ago, and just as improbable as when the predicted cosmic background radiation was discovered and it was said “we are stuck with this preposterous universe”.

  272. Tomorrow Wednesday there will be colloquium at SLAC about the discovery:
    The colloquium will also be *streamed live to the public* via this link:

    https://www6.slac.stanford.edu/kipac-colloquium-bicep2

    _Tentative Schedule (speakers and exact timing subject to change):_
    3:00pm: *Chao-Lin Kuo*, co-leader of the BICEP2 collaboration, assistant professor of physics at SLAC, Stanford
    3:35pm: *Andrei Linde*, author of inflationary cosmology theory, Harald Trap Friis professor of physics at Stanford
    4:00pm: *Eva Silverstein*, professor of physics at Stanford and SLAC
    4:10pm: *Uros**Seljak*, professor of physics at UC Berkeley and LBNL
    4:20pm: *Ryan Keisler*, Kavli Fellow at KIPAC
    4:30pm: *Kent Irwin*, professor of physics at SLAC and Stanford
    4:40pm: *Leonardo Senatore*, assistant professor of physics at Stanford and SLAC
    4:50pm: *Renata Kallosh*, professor of physics at Stanford 5:00 pm: General Discussion
    5:30 – 8 pm : Reception with Wine/Beer and light food.
    Following the colloquium KIPAC invites staff to stay and discuss the results with their colleagues.
    I’ll attend,certainly after 5:30.

    [Note: times are Pacific Standard. GMT –8, I think. ~mod.]

  273. lsvalgaard:

    “All of infinite space expands. This simply means that the distance between ANY two objects [no matter where] increases with time.”

    and

    “As I said several times the expansion only occurs for particles [that are not 'pesky'] that are far enough from each other that their mutual gravitational attraction is negligible. And that is FAR: several million light years.”

    Thank you for the clarification. So the reference to “any two objects” is only referring to those that are not experiencing meaningful gravitational interaction. Just to make sure I’m understanding, I wanted to ask a follow up.

    Presumably the expansion (which is great enough to occur C+ speeds) is generalized across the universe and is not prevented from operating locally. So would we then be saying that the reason we don’t observe expansion on a smaller scale is because gravity is strong enough to overcome the expansion effect within, say, our local gravitationally-bound region?

    Thanks,

  274. Funny how this release of 3 year old news has coincided with the ending of the fiscal year and all that means to research. One might say.
    Other than that I would think that the only two ways to expand the space between two objects without moving them is to either throw a curved ball, so to speak, or speed-up the clock.

  275. So, I assume we now have everyone on the same page that distant galaxies may in fact be in motion at a given velocity, which may in fact be towards us, in relation to various reference frames at least.

    Galaxies move around at hundreds of km/s while Hubble’s Constant is ~67 km/s per megaparsec (3.26 megalightyears), so we can look at Andromeda, which is heading towards us at ~120 km/s and is under 1 mpc away at about 2.54 mly.

    If Andromeda was say, three or four times as far from us it would no longer exhibit blueshift and may even have a slight redshift (fun fact, M31 is one of the very very few blueshifted galaxies in the sky) due to the metric expansion increasing the distance between it and us at a greater rate than it is traveling.

    Bump that up to hundreds or thousands of mpc and you’re looking at tens of thousands of km/s away from us.

    At the other end of the scale, hold your arm out, the space between your fingertip and your nose is expanding at around 2×10^-18 m/s, so, good luck identifying that.

    Relative to the CMBR we’re moving around 600 km/s, incidentally.

    Oh, about the doppler-or-not discussion, cosmological redshift is another effect entirely, it is quite possible for a body to be moving towards us rapidly enough that it would have a noticeable blueshift except it is so far away that it is extremely redshifted by the expansion of the universe.

  276. climatereflections says:
    March 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm
    So would we then be saying that the reason we don’t observe expansion on a smaller scale is because gravity is strong enough to overcome the expansion effect within, say, our local gravitationally-bound region?
    Yes, that is correct.

  277. wyn palmer says:
    March 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    “If the rate of expansion is increasing, as measurements suggest, then possible explanations include quintessence or phantom energy and eventually the big rip will occur so that everything, down to and including sub atomic particles will be ripped apart into nothingness…”

    You should start a new political party.

  278. milodonharlani says (March 18, 2014 at 12:23 pm): “Your citation from Job could not possibly correspond less to physical reality. It would help if you had actually read the verse in Hebrew with benefit of the Ugaritic texts.

    ‘Northern skies’ is a totally bogus mistranslation. The text says nothing about skies. The word rendered wrongly as “the north” in older translations actually refers to Zaphon, ie Mount Aqraa on the Turkish-Syrian border, which marked the northern border of the Levant in ancient times as now.”

    Milodonharlani, the Gnostic:
    Your response makes no sense.
    You might want to read the passage in context.
    Job is talking abt how awesome God is.
    It makes no sense, in context, to say that God stretched out a local mountain over the nearby valley of chaos.

    This is a poetic review of the creation story in Genesis. The creation story is referenced many times in the OT, as well as often in the NT. So, referencing the creation story is normal, not unusual. If this use of a term for “north” were unusual, it would not fit with the rest of the OT. But it does.

    The word in my JPS is “Zaphon.” A proper noun.

    What common word is this proper noun based on?

    It is based on a Hebrew term for “north.”

    The local “Zaphon” was likely named after the term for the poetic location of God’s throne, poetically recognized as on top of a high mountain. “Zaphon” is in Job and the Psalms, both recognized as, in their most recognized oldest existing in-writing forms, being among the oldest if not the oldest writings of the OT. So, your rendering may be totally backward: the mountain may be named after the poetic, supreme, heavenly-throne location, not vice-versa.

    Isaiah 14 has a similar passage – noting God’s complete, cosmological awesomeness, and using “Zaphon” for astronomical north, above everything else, like we say the North Star is above all of us. In other places, Isaiah discusses local places clearly as local places. It is quite clear when Isaiah is referring to local places and to allegorical or metaphorical places and things.

    The North Star is not really “above” any of us anymore than Alpha Centauri is. It is a poetic expression that happens to be totally congruent with the creation story in Genesis: God spread the heavens out over the earth, and later in the Bible, in many places, continues to spread the heavens – written way closer to BC 1,000 than AD 2,000.

    Is this fudging of the meaning from “Mount Zaphon” to “north” acceptable? Yes. in many places, proper nouns have double-meaning with their common nouns, and in many places, this is explicit (i.e., “Gilgal” in Joshua), not just tacit. This is normal.

    And, you failed to use your Gnostic knowledge to address the issue of the earth hanging on nothing, rather than on turtles or whatever people otherwise believed in 1,000 BC.

    So, while my interpretation of this scripture from Job could be wrong, by no means can it be said that, “Your citation from Job could not possibly correspond less to physical reality.”

    Job says that God is spreading the heavens out over us. This is current, prevailing cosmology, per Hubble’s red shift. The earth is suspended over nothing. This is current, prevailing astronomy, fairly certain since we have boats, planes, satellites, and space ships that have circumnavigated the globe in many directions, with no one yet detecting any sort of platform upon which the earth rests.

    What would it take for semi-nomads in the Bronze-Age to arrive at such advanced cosmology?

    In trying to be clever, and trying to figure out any and every way to discredit Jews or Christians, you are going to end up working yourself into a corner. You likely don’t see this, since all of us are “moronic.” You are also thumbing your nose at God, who created you and loves you despite your faults.

    He is very interested in having a better relationship with you.

  279. My comments are censored now. If a photon bounces back and forth on two parallel mirrors that are kept at the same distance by a solid link. This photon is constantly travelling in a universe in expansion and it does not have a red-shift.

    The farthest objects are red-shifted by a factor of 1000 because they are moving away very fast and their internal clock is therefore slowed down by a relativistic effect. If people were living there, they would see the same thing when looking in our direction. The twin paradox is exactly that, both twins see the other twins age slower for as long as no acceleration is happening.

    The red-shift is always proportional to the slowing of time. The objects with a red-shift of 100 are evolving 100 times slower from our referential. Special relativity is enough to explain the red-shift. The expansion is very likely the be the reason why those objects are moving away. But the red-shift has nothing to do with the expansion.

    [Your comments are not censored by anyone at WUWT. ~mod.]

  280. Marc77 says:
    March 19, 2014 at 7:00 am
    The farthest objects are red-shifted by a factor of 1000 because they are moving away very fast and their internal clock is therefore slowed down by a relativistic effect
    The cosmic microwave background are photons that are red-shifted by a factor of 1000 since they were last scattered 379,000 years after the Big Bang. The temperature then was 3000 K and is thus now 1000 times less, i.e. 3 K. Space has thus expanded by a factor of 1000, as simple as that.

  281. ***
    phlogiston says:
    March 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    In a distant future we will be alone in our light-cone with a starless sky. Heat death of the universe is a dismal prospect.
    ***

    Prb’ly true, but right now we’re in the “Golden Age” of the universe. Revel in it. And if this multiverse stuff is correct, if we’re smart enough we can just tunnel over into another, younger universe. :)

  282. philjourdan says:
    March 19, 2014 at 7:28 am
    #3 – so beyond the galaxies, we have just a bunch of empty space?
    There is no ‘beyond’. There are galaxies all the way

    • @Lsvalgaard – My questions were written before I read the entire thread (I had read up to the point that the comment was in reply to). So I have a better understanding now. I do not recall who posted the point out “relative speed”, but using the analogy of the cat walking towards him and the perspective was very good.

      Actually, while it may be a bit frustrating for you and Paul Westhaver, I am reading all the comments and learning a lot. In a field we are proficient in, we often forget that others do not see the connection from A to B and so we do not talk about it. But the conversation you have been having with Paul has caused some of those connections to come out and made it a lot easier to understand. So Thank you and Paul and I will continue to read.

  283. milodonharlani

    Reading about Einstein he once indicated that if God was involved in physics he probably set the rules in place but did not then interfere with their operation. He also believed that the bottom line rules would be “simple” like his E=MC2. Interpreting the Bible as if it were a present day document, and not allegorical, will get one nowhere. Even if the writers were “enlightened”, I am sure that such enlightenment would not include present day physics or paleontology to be used for interpretation. They wrote in terms that fit their understanding at that time. In the end, belief in God will be a matter of faith, not scientific proof. However, without resorting to the anthropic principle, the mere facts of science such as the energy levels within the atom, the expansion rate of the universe, the DNA changes and differences relative to time and mutation rates, etc., etc. would lead one to necessarily be a strong believer in coincidence or believe in a Designer for everything to be as perfect as it is for this universe and we who inhabit it to exist today. I cannot bring myself to believe in that much coincidence and yes I do have a very good understanding of probability and statistics and am aware of the various multiverse theories. The “something from nothing” theories still beg the question of the origination of the mechanism or the initial something, initial conditions and boundary conditions.

  284. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 8:22 am
    would lead one to necessarily be a strong believer in coincidence or believe in a Designer for everything to be as perfect as it is for this universe and we who inhabit it to exist today.
    This leads to the issue of SETI. If the Universe were ‘designed’ or ‘tuned’ or whatever to fit life as we know it, then that would also be true for the untold trillions of other planets in the observable Universe, so the Universe should be teeming with life, and one must ask with Fermi: “where is everybody?”.

  285. lsvalgaard says
    “This leads to the issue of SETI.”

    The variables necessary for life to exist here on Earth are so numerous that development of intelligent life may be rare even within the habitable zones of stars. In an infinite universe or even semi-infinite, your point is still well taken. However, considering the speed of light as a barrier of sorts, they may well be out there but the time required for discovery of others may be very long for both us and them. And we have just learned how to read, so to speak. One thing for sure is that our little piece of rock is well “designed or tuned” for life and the degree of faith required to believe in coincidence as the cause for all of this exceeds that required for faith in a Designer, at least for me. Another way of considering this is to buy what all of the religions seem to believe and that is that we are “special”. Or one could buy the Star Treck Prime Directive when considering why no one has contacted us. A truely advanced society might not consider us worthy of contact or tastey enough to visit, depending upon in what direction they developed.

    It will always come down to faith in the end and a willingness to ignore our vanity and believe in the possibility of a higher power and that perhaps some of those ridiculed for their beliefs actually are inspired and know more than we do. And this is from one who does not buy many of the rules and controls that religions attempt to impose just as I do not buy all of the accepted scientific theories. One of the Nostic Gospels, that of St Thomas, says we will find God within us. Not something that Emperor Constantine wanted to hear when the present New Testament was being adopted in about 450 AD, as it did not require much of a Church, structure or control.

  286. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 10:54 am
    to buy what all of the religions seem to believe and that is that we are “special”.
    Or perhaps there is a different god for every planet with life.

  287. TheLastDemocrat says:
    March 19, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Zaphon became the Hebrew word for “north” because the mountain Zaphon was in the north. Zaphon, the abode of Baal, contrasts with Zion, the home of Yahweh. Baal Zaphon was worshiped even in Egypt, where a shrine to him was located along the route of the Hebrew slaves out of captivity, indeed where they crossed the “Red Sea”. (Vowels are conjectural in Hebrew where not indicated by diacritical marks, since the language is written in consonants.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baal-zephon

    If you really suppose that the Bible is the Word of God, then you ought to try to understand its real meaning, instead of making stuff up about it.

    As with much of Job, the passage in question was obscure before the 1929 discovery of the Ugaritic texts & later the Akkadian texts from Ras Shamra. Transliterated from Hebrew, Job 26:7 reads: “no†eh tzäfôn al-Tohû Toleh eretz al-B’liy-mäh”. You might recognize “tohu” from Genesis 1. Scholars today would translate this verse as something like, “He stretches out Zaphon above the wasteland; while He suspends the land upon nothing.” (“Eretz” in Hebrew contains all the meanings of “earth” in English, including “land”, “soil”, etc, hence is used in modern Hebrew to refer to the land of Israel.)

    IOW, as with much of Job, the passage is about the power of God, who created Zaphon, the mighty, sacred mountain in the north, which looms over the desert. It says nothing at all about astronomy, astrophysics or modern cosmology.

    By studying recent real scholarship, instead of the mendacities of the professional liars of Answers in Genesis, you could learn a lot about the Bible.

    It is a shameful, outrageous libel to claim I disparage true Christians or Jews, because I call BS on lying creationists who worship their own false interpretation of a compilation of books written, copied, selected & translated by men (& maybe one woman), instead of worshiping God, Whom the authors tried to imagine.

  288. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

    You mean “raise the question”, not “beg the question”. Begging the question is the name of a logical fallacy which means assuming what you intend to prove. Unfortunately, this misuse is spreading. Please excuse my pedantry, but the misuse still annoys me.

    The Anthropic Principle–attractive to some since the particular parameters of our universe are indeed statistically improbable if this be the only one–is truly challenged by the multiverse hypothesis. But the God hypothesis doesn’t explain anything or make testable predictions, so isn’t scientific. Believing in it remains a matter of faith, as it should be. Were it possible to “prove” or confirm the existence of God, then faith would have no value. The Christian God therefore must always remain mysterious for justification by faith alone to “work”.

    Not sure what you mean by “something from nothing theories”. The Big Bang Theory, well supported by observations, doesn’t posit something from nothing, since under it the universe expands from a hot, massive singularity. Science may one day be able to peer back beyond the beginning, as it were, or find evidence for other universes outside ours, which some scientists already claim to have done.

    In the present state of science, you’re free to believe that God created the mass & energy observed in this & any other universes, but there is no compelling scientific reasons for making that assumption. Science cannot yet deal with the question of why anything should exist, & may never be able to do so. At present scientists have to be content with studying how nature works without knowing why. As I wrote before, it could just be that mass & energy are properties of spacetime.

  289. milodonharlani says:
    “Not sure what you mean by “something from nothing theories”. The Big Bang Theory, well supported by observations, doesn’t posit something from nothing, since under it the universe expands from a hot, massive singularity. Science may one day be able to peer back beyond the beginning, as it were, or find evidence for other universes outside ours, which some scientists already claim to have done.”

    Agree with most of what you say. But where did the singularity come from? Something from nothing. Big Bang is a theory but not necessarily supported as the beginning of the entire universe, since the universe may well be infinite and the Big Bang a local event. One theory is that a bump contact with another multiverse caused what we see as the “Big Bang”.

  290. lsvalgaard says:
    March 19, 2014 at 11:04 am
    Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 10:54 am
    to buy what all of the religions seem to believe and that is that we are “special”.
    “Or perhaps there is a different god for every planet with life.”

    Or perhaps time constraints on how long it takes to develop intelligent life and how long it lasts before self or natural destruction limit the potential for contact with other intelligent species. I have also seen theories regarding the unlikely possibilities of mutation and natural selection, given the time that life has been around, actually coming up with intelligent life without intervention of some sort. Mutation and natural selection work well within species but are questionable in going from single cell critters to intelligent, self aware life, if there is, indeed, truely such in existence today.

  291. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 11:50 am
    But where did the singularity come from? Something from nothing.
    We have to be careful with the concept of ‘nothing’. The ‘vacuum’ has properties [as opposed to 'nothing' which is the state of 'no properties'] as is therefore not ‘nothing’.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum :
    “QED [Quantum ElectroDynamics - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_electrodynamics ] vacuum has interesting and complex properties. In QED vacuum, the electric and magnetic fields have zero average values, but their variances are not zero.[18] As a result, QED vacuum contains vacuum fluctuations (virtual particles that hop into and out of existence), and a finite energy called vacuum energy. Vacuum fluctuations are an essential and ubiquitous part of quantum field theory. Some experimentally verified effects of vacuum fluctuations include spontaneous emission and the Lamb shift.[19] Coulomb’s law and the electric potential in vacuum near an electric charge are modified.[20]
    Theoretically, in QCD vacuum multiple vacuum states can coexist.[21] The starting and ending of cosmological inflation is thought to have arisen from transitions between different vacuum states.”

  292. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm
    Or perhaps time constraints on how long it takes to develop intelligent life and how long it lasts before self or natural destruction limit the potential for contact with other intelligent species.
    If the Universe were designed for life, it would be a poor designer that lets her creation self destruct.

  293. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Our universe is not infinite, but a collection of multiverses might be.

    I assume by “bump contact” you refer to Brane Theory.

    Presuming a Creator contributes nothing to scientific understanding, & is itself a “something from nothing” hypothesis. But, as I noted, the God hypothesis isn’t scientific, since it can’t be tested, although some have tried to do so. It is now & IMO should remain in the realm of faith, or at most metaphysics, rather than physics. The potentially theistic Anthropic Principle (actually various principles, including the jocularly named CRAP) is however IMO potentially testable, hence scientific. It can in effect be falsified by discovery of multiverses.

  294. milodonharlani says:
    “The Anthropic Principle–attractive to some since the particular parameters of our universe are indeed statistically improbable if this be the only one–is truly challenged by the multiverse hypothesis. But the God hypothesis doesn’t explain anything or make testable predictions, so isn’t scientific. Believing in it remains a matter of faith, as it should be.”

    And I will be waiting, probably a long time, for the scientific proof of the multiverse hypothesis. Given my age, the God hypothesis will, no doubt, be proven to me, one way or the other much sooner.

  295. lsvalgaard says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    The concept of species extinction in the late 18th & early 19th centuries met opposition because the Great Chain of Being created by God could not contain imperfect forms, & extinction implied imperfection. It took Thomas Jefferson for instance about 20 years to come to terms with the reality of extinction, after it was first demonstrated by Cuvier. That’s why he asked Lewis & Clark to be on the lookout for mastodons or mammoths in the West.

  296. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Even if you don’t meet your Maker, the God hypothesis would not necessarily be falsified. There could be a Creator, but He might not grant all or any humans eternal life.

    This cosmologist thinks she has already detected evidence of another universe next to ours, & some of her colleagues agree with her:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Mersini-Houghton

  297. lsvalgaard says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm
    Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm
    Or perhaps time constraints on how long it takes to develop intelligent life and how long it lasts before self or natural destruction limit the potential for contact with other intelligent species.
    “If the Universe were designed for life, it would be a poor designer that lets her creation self destruct.”

    The universe, or at least our little corner of it, was designed for life. The scientific proof of its existence is all around you. As to the Designer’s interference in its affairs, I’ll go along with Einstein on that one.

  298. milodonharlani says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm
    the God hypothesis isn’t scientific, since it can’t be tested
    It is interesting how this viewpoint has changed over the centuries. It is not too long ago that most scientists [or natural philosophers] would consider our very existence as direct proof of that hypothesis, so that it indeed passed the test with flying colors. c.f. psalms 19:1 or Ephesians 2:10

  299. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm
    As to the Designer’s interference in its affairs, I’ll go along with Einstein on that one.
    I was not referring to interference, but to the shabby design.

  300. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    That the parameters of this universe make subatomic particles, elements, compounds, life, planets, stars & galaxies possible is not necessarily evidence of design, however the statistical odds may be stacked against a universe with those particular rules. But with a possibly infinite number of universes, that argument, the Anthropic Principle, goes away.

    As you note, it is no evidence of a personal God Who intervenes in life on earth, counting hairs on heads & the fall of sparrows & grading souls on their performance here.

  301. milodonharlani says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:14 pm
    Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Even if you don’t meet your Maker, the God hypothesis would not necessarily be falsified. There could be a Creator, but He might not grant all or any humans eternal life.

    This cosmologist thinks she has already detected evidence of another universe next to ours, & some of her colleagues agree with her:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Mersini-Houghton

    I don’t worry about not waking up in the afterlife, it is only if I do that concerns me.
    An interesting multiverse piece, but one researcher’s “evidence” is another’s conjecture given all the potential (known or unknown) variables which could cause the effects being studied. It’s kind of like the proof for dark matter. Gravitational effects do not prove its existence, they only imply that dark matter could be the cause of the effects seen. And as I have argued with Lief, bring me a spoonfull. Too much we don’t know about gravity. And then there is MOND (also with its defficiencies, I know).

  302. flying colors. c.f. psalms 19:1 or Ephesians 2:10

    lsvalgaard says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm
    Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm
    As to the Designer’s interference in its affairs, I’ll go along with Einstein on that one.
    I was not referring to interference, but to the shabby design.

    Self destruction would not have anything to do with the design only the actions or inactions of those self destructing.

  303. lsvalgaard says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Also in the second creation story in Genesis 2 (at odds with that in Genesis 1), in which God fashions the first man out of dirt, then breathes life into him (Genesis 2:7). But special creation isn’t scientific, as not falsifiable, since, among other reasons, the Creator might have worked in so many mysterious ways His wonders to make. The previous myth (Six Days) in Genesis 1 fudges this by saying that the earth brought forth plants (Day Three; Genesis 1:11) & the waters various swimming & flying creatures (Day Five; Genesis 1:20), with the sun & moon on intervening Day Four, then the earth again bring forth land animals & humans on Day Six (Genesis 1:24-31). The order of creation in the second story (Adam & Eve) is irreconcilably different.

    There was not a convincing scientific alternative to special creation of species, including humans, by a supernatural Creator until the 19th century, although many before that time had glimpsed reality, however dimly.

  304. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm
    Self destruction would not have anything to do with the design only the actions or inactions of those self destructing.
    Designing something that self destructs is shabby design in my book.

  305. As regards looking back before the BB at its precursors, is not all information homogenized in the hot minimum entropy soup that is our current conception of the BB singularity – the ultimate singularity?

  306. lsvalgaard says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:02 pm
    Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 11:50 am
    But where did the singularity come from? Something from nothing.

    “We have to be careful with the concept of ‘nothing’. The ‘vacuum’ has properties [as opposed to 'nothing' which is the state of 'no properties'] as is therefore not ‘nothing’”

    I used “nothing” to be outside of space/time since there would have been neither prior to the big bang from which space, time, energy and matter sprang.

  307. lsvalgaard says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:49 pm
    Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm
    Self destruction would not have anything to do with the design only the actions or inactions of those self destructing.
    Designing something that self destructs is shabby design in my book.

    It is called free will, unless you are a Calvinist and believe in predestination. A form of predeterminism.

  308. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm
    It is called free will, unless you are a Calvinist and believe in predestination.
    You are assuming that there is such a thing. and even if there were, it is not credible that all the trillions [billions, whatever large number you prefer] of civilizations ALL decide of their own free will to self destruct. Unless they really don’t have free will, and their ‘free’ choice was built in.

  309. milodonharlani
    lsvalgaard

    Thanks for the interesting discussion. I now have to go babbysit my granddaughter. Even more interesting and challenging. Will check back later.

  310. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    An activity perhaps not dissimilar to interacting with WUWT commentators.

  311. lsvalgaard says:
    March 19, 2014 at 1:03 pm
    Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm
    It is called free will, unless you are a Calvinist and believe in predestination.
    “You are assuming that there is such a thing. and even if there were, it is not credible that all the trillions [billions, whatever large number you prefer] of civilizations ALL decide of their own free will to self destruct. Unless they really don’t have free will, and their ‘free’ choice was built in.”

    Nope, just differentiating between shabby design and acts of the designees.

  312. milodonharlani says: March 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm “The Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation is not homogenous, hence contains information allowing hypothesis testing for pre-Bang conditions & speculation as to the fate of the universe.”

    You missed my predicate of the singularity, not surprisingly.

  313. Doug Huffman says:
    March 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    No, I didn’t.

    The CMB records the early expansion, which contains info about both the singularity & conditions before it, as reading the link would have showed you. Should I be surprised you didn’t read it?

  314. Doug Huffman says:
    March 19, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Even when it cites its sources & quotes them accurately? Interesting.

  315. lsvalgaard says:
    March 18, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Fascinating lecture & graphics by your colleague Kuo detailing observational confirmation of inflation. Liked his explanation of likelihood of detection of gravity waves & plans for follow up experiments at the South Pole. Also his salute to Guth. Good scientific method.

    Hypothesis author Linde’s presentation comes next.

    https://www6.slac.stanford.edu/kipac-colloquium-bicep2

    Thanks! Also appreciate your discussion of vacuum.

    Will have to study what implications this finding has for Vilenkin & Tegmark’s multiverse version of inflation.

  316. Charming, self-effacing presentation by Linde, pointing out that among the many inflation models ruled out at high level of probability by gravity wave observations is his own 1981 “new inflation”.

  317. lsvalgaard
    I am back. From your wikipedia links: “Vacuum is space that is devoid of matter. The word stems from the Latin adjective vacuus for “vacant” or “void”. If one believes in the Big Bang then our space/time originated at that time. Prior to that time there was no space, nor was there any “prior” as there was no time within which the QED vacuum could exist nor fluctuations could occur. Fluctuations are changes and changes require a time element. So, the singularity had to exist within which the fluctuations occured to cause inflation. The singularity is therefore the “something from nothing”, not the inflation.

  318. milodonharlani says:
    March 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm
    Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    “An activity perhaps not dissimilar to interacting with WUWT commentators.”

    An excellent simile, or is it more metaphorical?

  319. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    A simile is a metaphor, but not all metaphors are similes. My lame attempt was IMO a simile because it implies the use of “like”, if “not dissimilar” means the same as “not unlike”.

  320. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    One school of cosmological inflation thought, quantum “eternal inflation”, as championed by string theorist Valenkin (like Linde, an ex-Soviet emigre), does hold that nothing, ie no energy, mass or time, existed before the Big Bang, just the physical laws. This potentially theistic view perhaps strangely arises from a multiverse vision, in which not just our universe but its sister universes all arose at the same time. If I have understood its proponents correctly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29

    Interestingly, the probable gravity wave discovery rules out cyclic models of inflation, in which “something” could exist before the Big Bang. But it does not necessarily falsify all models in which something precedes the start of inflation of our universe, again if I understand the implications of the discovery, as elucidated in the presentations linked by Dr. S.

  321. Leo Norekens:
    Lemaître developed his theory in constant consultations with Vatican.
    Perhaps, you need a more detailed and substantiated source of information than Wikipedia.

  322. Fun discussion.

    Jim G says:

    …where did the singularity come from? Something from nothing.

    Maybe. Maybe not. Our knowledge base isn’t advanced enough to know yet.

    But if there was a Big Bang [I'm one of those who thinks there was], then it would seem intuitive that the universe is finite. Unless you think it had a definite beginning, but no end…

  323. milodonharlani says:

    Found your citation:
    “Some physicists have tried to avoid the initial conditions problem by proposing models for an eternally inflating universe with no origin.[81][82][83][84] These models propose that while the universe, on the largest scales, expands exponentially it was, is and always will be, spatially infinite and has existed, and will exist, forever.”

    The concept of an infinite universe seems to have gained followers (cosmological acoustics) and from what I understand those that buy that version also consider it to have had no beginning, though not neccesarily eternal into the future. Some consider this to be antitheistic, but then, would not an infinite and eternal God have such a construct?

    Logic still has me captive regarding something from nothing, scientificly, before space and time there could be no QED fluctuations re the Big Bang, unless it was, indeed, a local happening in an infinite universe.

  324. dbstealey says:
    March 19, 2014 at 6:09 pm
    Fun discussion.

    Jim G says:

    …where did the singularity come from? Something from nothing.

    “Maybe. Maybe not. Our knowledge base isn’t advanced enough to know yet.

    But if there was a Big Bang [I'm one of those who thinks there was], then it would seem intuitive that the universe is finite. Unless you think it had a definite beginning, but no end…”

    There is always the colliding “brane” multiverse option which gives rise to results that mimic a BB.

  325. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I could be wrong, but IMO the colliding brane hypothesis is falsified by this week’s gravity wave result, if it holds up. Hope someone who knows more than I will correct me if wrong.

  326. Alan Esworthy says:
    March 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    He was a saint if all he’s doing is smiling & not going, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, I told you so, oh ye of little faith!”

  327. milodonharlani says:

    Just read it and though interesting, my position is that if the universe ( all space/time, energy and matter ) began as a singularity, ala the BB, then from what did the singularity arise? Don’t see that answer anywhere so far, just conjecture. Actually don’t see how anyone could do more than posit some guesses, at least from a scientific standpoint. I have come to believe, however, that mathematically anything can be conjured up. Had lots of math myself up through advanced calculus and differential equations and most every type of statistical methods available then, long ago of course, but none of the truely esoteric stuff, algebraic topology, etc. So still can be overwhelmed. Not that I won’t believe it can be proven mathematically, just that it does not follow that it represents what is really going on in the real world. Not that it could’nt, just that it does’nt necessarily.

  328. Psalm 89:11-12
    “The Heavens are yours and the Earth is yours; you have prepared the world in its fullness.
    You have created the North and the South; Tabor and Herman sing your Name.”
    Wonderful poetry, although nothing cosmological is implied, whatsoever. Or so I have now learned from milodonharlani. As well as learning that, in the OT, a place is never used to represent a general cardinal direction.

  329. From the presentation linked by Lief, some things seen:

    Large parts of string theory have now been falsified. Meanwhile, some other parts, such as “metastable vacuum string theory” have at least gained some respectability, though not “proven”. Many other (non string) theories have also been falsified or in need of revision. This is an advance, before this, many theories were not even falsifiable, plus, we can now concentrate on the remaining theories and not waste our time. Thus, many links to theories seen here may be “so last week”. On the presentation, they showed a long list of theories only one of which had not been falsified. A lot of what you read on the internet may be obsolete.

    The idea that there was no big bang is falsified (actually, now multiple times). The idea that the universe had no beginning is falsified (multiple times). The ideas about other universes, or “eternal inflation” are in flux, some falsified, some given at least enough respectability now that they deserve consideration such as observations and experiments to look into their claims, since there is now a limited possibility that they may have some data which may or may not back them up.

    And about this idea that “something from nothing” proves or disproves the idea “God” (defined as “the creator”), this is what is written: Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.. Specifies are, “since the creation of the world” and “from what has been made”, this claims that there is evidence, it occurs in the time frame from the creation of the world and later, and it is visible or otherwise detectable. It makes no claim of evidence from before “the creation of the world”, only evidence FROM that world. There is thus no claim that negative evidence shows God.

    Note that this makes the Bibles claims scientific, because with this verse, the Bible is scientifically falsifiable (the only religion to make such a claim). People on this thread have tried to do so, but using the usual “straw man” argument, make it say something that it clearly does not say (if you read and know exactly what it said and exclude what it did not say), then show that it says something false. Example, “the world was made in six days”, a false argument, because it was stated to be made in six “echad yom”, an undefined, possibly long period of time. Basically, treat it like science, with its word like scientific data, and do what the gravity wave people did, verify that what you think it said is what it really said before making a claim it said something false. Note also, most branches of creationism, especially the mainstream (“consensus”) version, are made by those ignorant of what is originally said, and often ignorant of science as well, hence they are basically just straw man arguments without knowing it, and are easily falsified. Falsifying creation does not falsify that Bible, since they are not one and the same, and are often not even close.

    Also, the idea of multiple universes does not seem to make any difference to the God or no God argument, the original quote was Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth., there is clearly no mention there of how, or from what (if anything). That is not surprising, if it was mentioned, the bible would be a multi volume affair just to bring most of mankind throughout history up to snuff on the math, physics, etc. The only other applicable places are ones like this “Isa 44:24 “…who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens”, which has been at least shown to be not falsified by this weeks announcement of inflation. The current (as of this week) scientific evidence of multiple universes is that some ideas have been falsified and others now have the possibility of gaining enough respectability that you can say “well…maybe”.

    One wonders what scientific advances (or retreats!) were made at the party after the presentation by drunken physicists.

  330. Jim G says:
    March 19, 2014 at 5:09 pm
    The singularity is therefore the “something from nothing”, not the inflation.
    \In quantum theory there is no singularity, and you should be careful to draw parallels between things that may not admit such. It is also possible that the energy content of the Universe is strictly zero as its potential energy [which is negative] may just equal its kinetic energy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-energy_universe

  331. How come when I look in the mirror, my image is reversed left to right, but not up and down? How does it know?Someone (Feynman?) explained this … The left/right reversal is a psychological effect/illusion from imagining yourself walking around to the other side of the mirror and looking back that at yourself. In which case, you have (mentally) flipped yourself around left to right. Mirrors don’t reverse things: to prove this you can hold up a letter, or better yet a word, in front of you, between yourself and the mirror, and you will see that it is not backwards in the reflection.

  332. @Alexander Feht: “Lemaître developed his theory in constant consultations with Vatican.”
    >> Source ? Was anyone in the Vatican even aware of this priest’s existence before 1930?

  333. Leo Norekens says:
    March 20, 2014 at 8:30 am
    @Alexander Feht: “Lemaître developed his theory in constant consultations with Vatican.”
    >> Source ? Was anyone in the Vatican even aware of this priest’s existence before 1930?

    It doesn’t really matter as the assertion is false to begin with.

  334. When I look in a mirror, and look down at my right hand, the hand on the right side of the mirror is indeed my right hand.

    If it did reverse things then you’d see something like raising your right hand and having the hand on the left side of the mirror do the same.

    If I call my head “right” and my feet “left”, looking in a mirror doesn’t reverse their positions does it?

    Maybe it’s easier for me because I have a mole above my right eye, so pictures are always kinda odd looking due to not matching my “expected” asymmetry.

    I suspect meeting a clone of yourself with your natural left-right asymmetrical features reversed would inspire less unease as a perfect clone would.

  335. Max™ says:
    March 20, 2014 at 10:27 am
    When I look in a mirror, and look down at my right hand, the hand on the right side of the mirror is indeed my right hand.
    If you look at two mirrors set at an angle [e.g. 90 degrees] towards each other, the mirror image is not reversed.

  336. Well, the in-out direction is reversed, which I neglected to mention.

    So the image of me seems to be facing the opposite direction I am, lending to the psychological urge to define it as another you standing there facing that way, and thus waving at me with his left hand when I wave my right.

  337. TheLastDemocrat says:
    March 19, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    As I commented, the word Zaphon did come to be used to represent the direction north in later Hebrew, which is why the passage got mistranslated in the first place, but that’s not what it means in the ancient Hebrew of Job 26, where it refers to the mountain, home to the god Baal. Both the grammar of the biblical verse itself & the Ugaritic, Phoenician & Aramaic texts found in the 20th century make this clear. And there is certainly no mention of the skies, as in the mendacious translations of creationist stooges.

  338. An interesting parallel conversation is going on, and I would like to suggest that original data and replicability is central to both. Now, CMB radiation measurements have traditionally come from WMAP and there are some real problems with it as pointed out by Pierre Robitaille and Steven Crothers. I do not know if they have had a chance to look at the data or the instruments, or the computer processing over 3 years used by Stanford with BICEP2.

    Likewise, what milodon is saying is also subject to tests because the original text is available to all of us to analyze. One tool anyone can use is Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, and this shows that the word “north” in Hebrew is stafawn, 6828. Looking up that word in Strong’s shows that that is the only word for “north” used in the entire Old Testament, with one exception. It is used @129 times, to indicate the direction north, and in lists with the three other directions. He is free to handle the text any way – and I think he is a professional at telling students who haven’t read it (and likely won’t) what it says – but the original data is there for any one to replicate his analysis. Reading the entire book or the entire chapter is always a good idea. It really is a beautiful chapter.

    milodonharlani says:
    March 20, 2014 at 11:15 am “As I commented, the word Zaphon did come to be used to represent the direction north in later Hebrew, which is why the passage got mistranslated in the first place, but that’s not what it means in the ancient Hebrew of Job 26, where it refers to the mountain, home to the god Baal.”

    Now it is kind of funny that the Book of Job discusses just how limited our own understanding of the natural world and of our experiences in it really is. At least there is a little Socratic humility about the limitations of human knowledge, and the difficulties of appearances from sensually ascertainable facts, in Job. A good lesson for every one.

  339. Legatus says:
    March 19, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I would urge you to study the OT in Hebrew before commenting upon it.

    “Echad Yom” refers to the first day of creation, not the following five days. Interestingly, it should be translated literally as “Day One” or “Day of the One”, not as the “First Day”, which would be “Yom Rishon”. The subsequent days of creation use ordinal rather than cardinal numbers, ie Second Day, Third Day, etc. The name of the first day thus emphasizes the action of the Creator Himself in making the universe & all that would be within it.

    “Day” in Hebrew has much the same range of meanings as it does in English, so could be more than 24 hours. Hence, you’re right that the number of hours in each of the days of creation is not specified, although each has a morning & an evening, even before God made the sun. However the source for this first of the two creation myths in Genesis was a Mesopotamian story in which the creator god Enki set up the seven day week. For Babylonians, the first, seventh & 15th days (like the Roman Ides) of the week were holy, perhaps due to phases of the moon.

    Supposing that the days of creation in Genesis 1 lasted on average around two billion years (to approximate the age of the universe) however presents problems. On Day One, God made night & day, but the waters of the deep already existed. On the Second Day, He let the firmament be in the midst of the pre-existing waters, to divide them into those above the solid vault of heaven & those below (this goes back to ancient Sumeria). On the Third Day, God gathered together those waters under heaven into seas, so that dry land could appear, then He let that newly exposed land bring forth plants. But now science has discovered that water collected on earth only after its molten surface cooled.

    On the Fourth Day, God created the sun & the moon, & attached the stars to the firmament, from which we learn later in the Bible that they are in danger of falling to earth, & when they do, they’re people, as also is the sun. How the plants got along without for the sun for perhaps two billion years remains a mystery; maybe that day was shorter than the others. Note also that the sun is not the source of light, but merely a sign marking time. On the Fifth Day, God let the waters bring forth swimming & flying creatures. In the actual history of the earth, however, marine animals predate green plants. Primary producers in the Cambrian ecosystem were cyanobacteria, not plants.

    On the Sixth Day, God let the earth (or land) bring forth land animals, then he made humans. So Genesis 1 has that part right, since land animals did follow sea creatures in the actual order of appearance on our planet. But the process didn’t take two billion years. Large animals with hard body parts abounded in the Cambrian & Ordovician & had definitely moved onto land by the Silurian Period, but probably sooner than that.

    If you limit the days of creation to less than a billion years each to match the age of the earth rather than the universe, these problems don’t go away. Trying to inject modern science into ancient myth doesn’t work.

  340. Zeke says:
    March 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Strong’s Concordance is old & sometimes wrong, although still helpful. Strong died in 1894, before the many great 20th century discoveries of ancient texts.

    As I’ve said at least twice before, Zaphon came to be used to indicate north, but its original meaning was the name of a mountain now on the Syrian-Turkish border, which marked the northern end of the Levant.

    Translators in previous centuries wrongly assumed that “tsfn” (Hebrew being written in consonants) meant “north” in places where it in fact refers to the mountain whence the direction name came, as has been made plain through study of the texts detailing the stories about Baal Zephon.

    If you really want to know what the Bible actually says, it pays to stay on top of the scholarship of the past 85 years or so. Recent translations that try to be accurate rather than support creationist lies, like the NRSV Catholic Edition, now use “Zaphon” instead of “north”. But then creationists rarely actually read the Bible, preferring to swallow whatever lies they are fed.

    Job is indeed a powerful meditation on how little humans can understand God. The passage in Job 26 about Mt. Zaphon is very much in line with this message.

  341. Milodon, Strong’s Concordance itemizes every single Hebrew word from the Masoretic Text and every single Greek word in the Septuagint – including prepositions and articles – so that English speakers can compare every single occurrence of any word in the Bible, and look at the words in Hebrew and Greek. It is an excellent tool. I highly recommend it. Cosmic Microwave Background radiation on the other hand is harder to check, and so are the adjustments and computer analysis used to extract some signal from the noise.

  342. Zeke says:
    March 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm
    Strong’s Concordance itemizes every single Hebrew word from the Masoretic Text …It is an excellent tool. … Cosmic Microwave Background radiation on the other hand is harder to check, and so are the adjustments and computer analysis used to extract some signal from the noise.
    Just as we must trust Strong to have done a faithful and correct job, we must also trust the authors of the result under discussion to have done a faithful and correct job…

  343. Zeke says:
    March 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    As I said, Strong’s is useful, but OT scholarship has moved on since his time, as has astrophysics. Some of the translations common in his time have been found false. More fundamentally, the whole Masoretic text of the OT (relied on for centuries by Protestant scholars) has been called into question by discovery of ancient Hebrew originals of many books, which have shown the Greek Septuagint preferable to the later (post-Christian) Masoretic text. Both post-Temple Judaism & Christianity edited & selected scripture for their own purposes.

    Surviving biblical texts disagree with each other in details large & small. It’s not IMO justifiable to imagine that texts & translations of the Bible are somehow more trustworthy than telescopic observations & analyses of the cosmic background radiation.

    As for Mt. Zaphon, you might enjoy reading this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Aqraa

    Better yet, I suggest Fox’ 2009 book, cited in the Wiki entry. In the 1940s some scholars called the identification of Mt. Aqraa with Zaphon into question, but IMO Fox pretty much nails it.

    Baal himself is the Canaanite version of the late Mesopotamian storm & water god Marduk, patron of Babylon, whose mythological lineage goes back to Sumer, just as do the creation stories in Genesis & other OT books. Maybe strange that Canaan would be more influenced by Mesopotamian than Egyptian mythology, but that seems to be the case. There were similarities between the two ancient river valley cultures & their cosmologies, however.

  344. lsvalgaard says:
    March 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    The gravity wave team’s work can be checked both as to its result & the statistical significance they found for it, is being & will be more.

    IMO it’s actually harder to check Strong’s work because so much scholars would like to know about ancient texts is not as readily observed as the CMBR. Finding better texts is accidental, while the radiation is all around us all the time.

    It’s wrong to take present or past understanding of Holy Writ as holy writ. It’s subject to further elucidation as new evidence emerges, just as is science. Understanding of God’s Word has grown just as it has of God’s Work, which better reveals His Mind than does the Word, written, complied, copied & translated by fallible people with agendas.

  345. Yes, Dr S, Stanford took the temperature of the Universe from the South Pole and now knows how the complex system originated and functions to many decimal points of certainty. I am familiar with the tune.

    (However, I don’t have to “trust” Strong because I have Masoretic and Greek versions and I can refer to those as well.)

  346. Zeke says:
    March 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm
    I am familiar with the tune
    so you then do have strong confidence in their result, right?

    (However, I don’t have to “trust” Strong because I have Masoretic and Greek versions and I can refer to those as well.)
    and have you, indeed, extensively cross-checked Strong and verified that his references are correct, based on your own deep knowledge of Hebrew and Ancient Greek?

  347. I got here very, very late. I’m not going to try to enter the discussion other than to say, “God said it and BANG! It happened.”
    (PS BibleWorks is an excellent program. It’s expensive but worth it.)

  348. Milodon, philologists really are such interesting people. And they have a lot to contribute. But expert classes of interpreters, priests and scholars do historically introduce their own problems, and I like reading primary sources. Remember, spiritual laws, like scientific discoveries, are only useful insofar as you personally apply them to real life, and practice practice practice.

    To illustrate, I might like to have Maxwell’s books on the shelf, but I am far happier using the electricity to run the bread maker, coffee maker, slow cooker, and incandescent lights while I read other books too. It is no good to only apply linguistics in this situation.

    Try Zarathustra’s “good thoughts, good words, and good actions” for a few months. (If you fail, you might need a savior.) Please release me from this conversation now. Nice to see you.

  349. lsvalgaard says:
    March 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm
    Zeke says: March 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm I am familiar with the tune
    so you then do have strong confidence in their result, right?

    Thank you Dr S, I do have strong confidence in critical discussion of scientific questions asked, tools used, measurements taken, and interpretations and processing of data.

  350. Zeke says:
    March 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I thought I was practicing good thoughts, words & actions. But of course you’re entitled to your opinion to the contrary.

    The Masoretic text is from the 7th to 10th centuries AD, so reflect Medieval culture, including selection decisions (such as excluding the Book of Enoch, because he like Jesus was transported directly to heaven in Gen 5:22-29) conditioned by the Christian environment. If you want to understand Jewish scripture as Jesus & the Apostles knew it, you need much older texts, those upon which the Septuagint translation (still used by the Greek Orthodox Church) was based. To do so, you need the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered 1946-56 & which are now available in digital format:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea_Scrolls

  351. Zeke says:
    March 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm
    Thank you Dr S, I do have strong confidence in critical discussion of scientific questions asked, tools used, measurements taken, and interpretations and processing of data.
    To participate and appreciate such critical discussions you need to have the necessary background and general knowledge about the subject. I take it that you agree with this and will then trust the conclusions of people thatdo what it takes for this. This is a problem we all face and in the end it usually comes down to trusting their assessment as we cannot all be experts on everything.

  352. lsvalgaard says:
    March 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Valid scientific results are repeatable, so we might not need to trust the BICEP2 group alone. At the very least, their observations & analyses will be examined by others.

    But as you know there are also other teams working on gravity wave detection by means besides the Antarctic telescope.

  353. milodonharlani says:
    March 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm
    But as you know there are also other teams working on gravity wave detection by means besides the Antarctic telescope.
    And their results are eagerly awaited, in addition the the result from the next generation BICEPs detectors. The results should be in during the next few years, so we don’t have to wait long. Already now, they have a 7 sigma result, so the chances are very slim that they will be overturned.

  354. lsvalgaard says:
    March 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Truly exciting times through which to live. Even 5 sigma is orders of magnitude better than climastrological statistical significance.

    I’m still struggling with which models of inflation the apparently robust finding falsifies or confirms. I also wonder if the observations can help narrow down the time period in which inflation occurred, & define what stages of the evolution of the universe should be considered part of the Big Bang.

  355. milodonharlani says:
    March 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm
    Legatus says:
    March 19, 2014 at 8:57 pm
    I would urge you to study the OT in Hebrew before commenting upon it.

    You can also do that, to make it easier and faster, use this http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/genesis_one_age_earth.html . This guy concentrated on just Genesis one, looking at every word using the most up to date knowledge. Basically, did to that one chapter what BICEP2 did to gravity waves, a laser like focus on that one thing followed by lots of checking for accuracy, mistakes, etc. This guy included links to many sources, further looks at specific words and sentences, pretty much everything known on this one single chapter. That web site also has others who looked into the Yom words and associated words, call it “replication”, IE see what others say before deciding.

    “Echad Yom” refers to the first day of creation, not the following five days. Interestingly, it should be translated literally as “Day One” or “Day of the One”, not as the “First Day”, which would be “Yom Rishon”. The subsequent days of creation use ordinal rather than cardinal numbers, IE Second Day, Third Day, etc. The name of the first day thus emphasizes the action of the Creator Himself in making the universe & all that would be within it.

    There is a reason for this, seen above with the discovery of inflation (to 5 sigma so far). The universe, or at least the stuff that would become the stuff that made “heavens and earth”, plus the natural laws governing it, were made in a fraction of a second (actually, the “time” at the start of that fraction of a second of inflation). That is why a correct translation is In-beginning had-created God the-heavens and the-earth, a completed act, now known to have taken a fraction of a second. The subsequent things that happened were the result of the very specific and careful initial conditions created, the initial conditions done personally by God (method unknown), the subsequent things that happened being second hand creation, nature taking it’s course as it was designed to do. Hence the different words used for the first “day” (period of time) and later ones. Think of it as someone setting up a lot of dominoes to fall in a large, carefully designed pattern, then knocking over the first one only, direct action, then letting the others knock each other over, indirect action. Another reason for using different words for the later YOM would be that in the first one there was no time, for the later ones, there being matter and energy and space etc there was. Subsequent “days” could be said to have been created by God, because God created the very specific initial conditions to make it happen just that way (down to the specific conditions necessary to make earth, life, etc), but except for making mankind by special creation (“cheating”), no interference is made, no “magic” done, IE no breaking of natural laws. The words “and God said” mean exactly what they imply, God transmitted information, in this case, the detailed information of the initial conditions, that is why “and God said” are included in later verses, the information included are what caused the later effects, like a planet capable of life, the life on it, etc. These later effects are the result of setting up those dominoes in a very specific pattern, and then knocking over the first one, the pattern design being the really hard part. Note also that God is outside of time, so for God, to do it “then” is the same as doing it “now”. Note that verse two and on are preceded by the word AND which in this case indicates a change of scene, because that is what that specific Hebrew word means, in this case, a change from a scene that includes “the heavens” to earth at sea level. This point of view or scene must be changed because of that word AND, otherwise you are interpreting it as other than it is written.

    “The prefix ו of the first Hebrew word of Genesis 1:2 represents the “and,” which here has a disjunctive effect, indicating a change of scene. The “heavens and the Earth” have been completed. Now, in Genesis 1:2 the scene has changed from the entire universe to “the face of the deep.” The participant has changed from God to “the Spirit of God.” The action also changes from creation (bara) to moving over face of waters. Genesis 1:2 is a statement about planet Earth relating the background conditions necessary for understanding the events of Genesis 1:3-4″.

    “Day” in Hebrew has much the same range of meanings as it does in English, so could be more than 24 hours. Hence, you’re right that the number of hours in each of the days of creation is not specified, although each has a morning & an evening, even before God made the sun. However the source for this first of the two creation myths in Genesis was a Mesopotamian story in which the creator god Enki set up the seven day week.

    Here is a quote about the true meaning in Hebrew of morning and evening: In biblical Hebrew, “evening” (‛ereb) has several meanings, including “sunset,” “night,” or “at the turn of evening” and conveys a “sense of gradual cessation or diminishing of activity.” “Morning” (bōqer) also has several meanings, including “the point of time at which night is changing to day… the end of night, daybreak, dawn” or “beginning of day” and conveys a sense of a “new starting of creative activity.” Thus, neither term restricts the meaning of “day” to a 24-hour period. This is necessary because Hebrew only has a limited number of words, thus one word must stand for several things. Conclusion, your idea “before God made the sun” is irrelevant. Also, the sun is part of “the heavens” (which means all things above and outside the earth, sun, moon, planets, stars) described above as having already been made, thus ruling out the possibility of this being “before God made the sun”. As for the Mesopotamian story, it may have been written before Genesis (if the dates of known writing of each are correct), but that does not mean it was not known before that. Plus, it is written that God spoke to Moses, and he wrote this down (he did not have to understand it, just know how to write). To disbelieve that, you must do something called “begging the question”, where you decide before the evidence what you want to believe. Better to decide nothing at first, take that as a hypothesis, then check data to verify or falsify it, and if you can’t yet, put it in the “maybe, maybe not” file.

    Supposing that the days of creation in Genesis 1 lasted on average around two billion years (to approximate the age of the universe) however presents problems. On Day One, God made night & day, but the waters of the deep already existed. On the Second Day, He let the firmament be in the midst of the pre-existing waters, to divide them into those above the solid vault of heaven & those below (this goes back to ancient Sumeria). On the Third Day, God gathered together those waters under heaven into seas, so that dry land could appear, then He let that newly exposed land bring forth plants. But now science has discovered that water collected on earth only after its molten surface cooled.

    Um, supposing…two billions years?? Why would we “suppose” anything, does it say that? The exact times are not listed, only unknown periods of time, which ended with a “sense of gradual cessation or diminishing of activity” and then moved on to the next phase with a “new starting of creative activity”. To decide a time frame is outside the scope of the words, even to decide that the time-frames are equal to each other is outside. One can only decide what it means using the specific words actually used, not something made up, that is a “straw man” argument. As for the rest, going with what it actually says, especially the word AND indicating a change of scene to a point of view specified as earth at sea level, see my earlier post, it makes perfect sense when and only when you read exactly that the words are and mean in the original, especially the word AND.

    On the Fourth Day, God created the sun & the moon, & attached the stars to the firmament, from which we learn later in the Bible that they are in danger of falling to earth, & when they do, they’re people, as also is the sun. How the plants got along without for the sun for perhaps two billion years remains a mystery; maybe that day was shorter than the others. Note also that the sun is not the source of light, but merely a sign marking time. On the Fifth Day, God let the waters bring forth swimming & flying creatures. In the actual history of the earth, however, marine animals predate green plants. Primary producers in the Cambrian ecosystem were cyanobacteria, not plants.

    Sun and moon are part of “the heavens” stated to be created already in verse 1, see the word AND above. They are a sign of days and seasons because they were visible then to be used as such, not visible before then In danger of falling, become people, where, exactly? I dunno about that, except they are, in a way, in danger of falling due to this thing called gravity, ask the dinosaurs about dangers of falling things. As for the plants, this is written to humans from their point of view, they knew nothing of cyanobacteria (no microscopes), which are a sort of plant (they use photosynthesis), and which eventually evolved into plants, the same is said of birds after fish, they were originally dinosaurs, but it says birds because no human has ever actually seen a dinosaur, birds came from dinosaurs, and the Hebrew of course has no word for dinosaur (later the word behemoth is used, not exact but the closest there was). Basically, it is stated using stuff we see now, without going into how they got that way, although the order they started on the long road to getting that way is correct.

    On the Sixth Day, God let the earth (or land) bring forth land animals, then he made humans. So Genesis 1 has that part right, since land animals did follow sea creatures in the actual order of appearance on our planet. But the process didn’t take two billion years. Large animals with hard body parts abounded in the Cambrian & Ordovician & had definitely moved onto land by the Silurian Period, but probably sooner than that.
    If you limit the days of creation to less than a billion years each to match the age of the earth rather than the universe, these problems don’t go away. Trying to inject modern science into ancient myth doesn’t work.

    Once again with insisting on “days” (yom) being of uniform length, not stated or even implied. Once you use the word AND and assume the stated point of view for verse two and following, sea level on earth, and get rid of this idea injected into the text that the “days” are of uniform length, it becomes much clearer and does match what we know of the basic progression of the earth from what it was like when it first lumped together to now. The idea “myth” is begging the question: Begging The Question (Assuming The Answer, Tautology):
    reasoning in a circle. The thing to be proved is used as one of your assumptions. For example: “We must have a death penalty to discourage violent crime”. (This assumes it discourages crime.) Or, “The stock market fell because of a technical adjustment.” (But is an “adjustment” just a stock market fall ?)

    In this case, assuming the “days” are of uniform length, assuming a myth before evidence, or assuming there is no God who narrated Genesis to Moses.

    As for the latter, it goes like this: “But I don’t believe in God, he does not exist!” So, if you believe, or disbelieve something, that automatically means it is true or false, simply because of your belief? So, your belief has creative power, things become true simply because you believe them, or false simply because you do not? So, since you have this ultimate creative power, you are, by definition, God. As such, I do not need to believe you, because you just told me you do not exist.

    the sounds of heads exploding

  356. One watching the live stream yesterday (Mar 19), there was shown a list of theories, all but one of which had just been falsified (by inflation). Is there somewhere I can see that written, not just a flash by on a live video?

  357. Legatus says:
    March 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I did not insist on the days of creation in Genesis 1 being of equal length. I said they would have to average more than two billion years each to cover the age of the universe, or the time between the Big Bang & the appearance of humanity. Maybe Day One lasted a tiny fraction of a second & the Second Day four billion years. It makes no difference, since the whole story is a reworked Mesopotamian myth without any scientific basis, whatever its other values may be.

    Please state the biblical basis for your belief that God dictated Genesis to Moses. There is no evidence for Hebrew writing from the time Moses would have lived, if he or someone like him existed. I suppose he could have taken down the divine dictation in Egyptian hieroglyphs, which later could have been translated into early Hebrew. If Moses did exist, then he would have been a witness to Exodus (if the anything remotely like the legendary rather than historical events it describes actually occurred), but not to Genesis.

    The evidence for the Mesopotamian origin of Genesis 1 is overwhelming. I invite you to make the comparisons yourself. The Sumerian original predates the biblical version by much more than a millennium & the Babylonian take on it by several centuries at least. There is not even in the Bible any reason to imagine that God dictated Genesis to Moses.

    There’s no point in replying to the rest of your gloss. You’re entitled to your opinions, of course. But I would note that even desert nomads of 1000 BC would have been familiar with cyanobacteria, since they form slime mats. And while land vertebrates & invertebrates are descended from fish, the flying insects, pterosaurs, birds & bats did not evolve directly from sea creatures, so Genesis has that all wrong, as with almost everything else when you try to read science into Bible stories. Birds are not just descended from dinosaurs; taxonomically they are dinosaurs. So biblical authors were indeed familiar with dinosaurs, just not with the large animals associated with dinos in the popular imagination. Unless you also think that Noah somehow fit sauropods onto the ark & they were still around some 1500 years later.

  358. Legatus says:
    March 20, 2014 at 6:29 pm
    One watching the live stream yesterday (Mar 19), there was shown a list of theories, all but one of which had just been falsified (by inflation). Is there somewhere I can see that written, not just a flash by on a live video?
    Yes, there is. Linde’s talk is there somewhere, but I can’t find it right now. I’m sure it will become more visible soon.

  359. milodonharlani says:
    March 20, 2014 at 8:07 pm
    lsvalgaard says:
    March 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    https://www6.slac.stanford.edu/kipac-colloquium-bicep2

    Says recording will be added when available. A Powerpoint version with the graphics would be great. Hope to see link to the video on your valuable site when possible.
    From what I can gather, Vilenkin, et al’s eternal inflation is not ruled out.

    Thanks.
    From what I gather, for the first time, there is even some possibility of (future) evidence for eternal inflation, as compared to the idea at the beginning when there was not, and then after that when there was some predictions verified but not any smoking gun yet (as much as there ever is in science). For that matter, while much of string theory just bit the dust, other parts of it are now becoming either testable or possibly testable, or at least falsifiable which moves string from the hand waving catagory to science.

  360. Legatus says:
    March 20, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    If eternal inflation be not ruled out, this result might be good for theism, since at least Valenkin’s version of the EI model answers the question of what came before the Big Bang with “nothing except physical laws”.

    Not that this says anything about biblical creation stories, of course. Maybe in dictating to Moses, God simply rehashed the creation myths he had already dictated to Sumerian scribes. But either His dictation or Moses’ stenography somehow introduced contradictions, since the two creation stories in Genesis & the differing versions of the Noah’s flood myth cannot be reconciled with each other, let alone with science or physical reality.

  361. milodonharlani says:
    March 20, 2014 at 7:07 pm
    Legatus says:
    March 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm
    I did not insist on the days of creation in Genesis 1 being of equal length. I said they would have to average more than two billion years each to cover the age of the universe, or the time between the Big Bang & the appearance of humanity. Maybe Day One lasted a tiny fraction of a second & the Second Day four billion years.

    “Day one” would have lasted from inflation, 13.8 billion years ago, to 4.5 billion ago when there as a lumpy, hot, just forming early earth, since that is described in verse 2. The other “days” would have been of varying length, depending on how long the various processes, say the crust cooling enough for liquid water to stay on the surface (reducing the cloud cover enough so that day and night were distiguishable), and the later “day” when crustal cooling had gone on long enough to wrinkle the crust so that dry land appeared out of an earth completly covered in water (confirmed by ancient crystals) took.

    Supposing that the days of creation in Genesis 1 lasted on average around two billion years (to approximate the age of the universe) however presents problems. On Day One, God made night & day, but the waters of the deep already existed… But now science has discovered that water collected on earth only after its molten surface cooled.

    The waters of the deep did indeed already exist, they were just all up in the air, making things rather dark. This is also described in Job 38:9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness. Moses would not have known this, his job was simply to werite it down. Later readers, not knowing about clouds, water vapor, etc, and of course having never witnessed these events, would have misinterpreted it. Now we know better.

    Please state the biblical basis for your belief that God dictated Genesis to Moses.
    Exo 33:7 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp.
    Exo 33:8 And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent.
    Exo 33:9 As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses.
    Exo 33:10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent.
    Exo 33:11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
    Exo 24:4 Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said.
    Exo 24:7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people.
    Exo 17:14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered

  362. Legatus says:
    March 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Nothing about dictation of Genesis specifically, just as I said.

    Trying to insert physical reality into biblical myth does violence both to science & religion.

    If God had wanted to let 1000 BC readers in on physical reality, He would have dictated something like, “In the beginning, everything that is and could ever be was gathered into a hot, dense kernel much smaller than a mustard seed. And He said, let it grow, and it expanded at very great speed. When it had grown for some time, there was light and God saw that the light was good.” But that is not what the authors (who clearly were not Moses) of the irredeemably contradictory myths in Genesis 1 & Genesis 2 wrote, because God was not dictating to them.

  363. milodonharlani says:
    March 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm
    If eternal inflation be not ruled out, this result might be good for theism, since at least Valenkin’s version of the EI model answers the question of what came before the Big Bang with “nothing except physical laws”.
    Not that this says anything about biblical creation stories, of course. Maybe in dictating to Moses, God simply rehashed the creation myths he had already dictated to Sumerian scribes. But either His dictation or Moses’ stenography somehow introduced contradictions, since the two creation stories in Genesis & the differing versions of the Noah’s flood myth cannot be reconciled with each other, let alone with science or physical reality.

    Biblically at least, I don’t see eternal inflation as either “good” or “bad”, since Gen 1:1 simply says “God created”, no other details given, like how, or from what (if anything). Personally, I prefer to go where the evidence leads anyway, thus “good” or “bad” are irrelevant. My talking about the bible is simply a wish for accuracy, if one is to criticize something, criticize what it says, not what it does not say, IE evidence, not just believing something because you want to. Think of it as Eschenbachs rule (“quote me”) applied to this.

    The second chapter of Genesis is not a second creation story. It covers in detail only the creation of mankind, the garden is just like gardens today, not created, planted like we plant gardens, and protected like our gardens from thorns, carnivores, etc. Note also, there were carnivores, otherwise Adam would not have understood “you will surely die”. Being thrown out meant that they had to work to eat, contend with thorns and carnivores, etc. Hey, they wanted to go their own way, God simply accommodated them.

    There was also no magical fruit. The sin wasn’t caused by the fruit, but by the decision to decide for oneself whether eating it was good or evil. The tree of life was simply a visible representation of a promise for later, useful for people who, after all, have five senses. The best form for that was food, since food enables us to live. Tasty food would be best, since it is a promise of future good things, and fruit is tasty. Pretty simple really. A lot simpler than the stuff invented by creationists, they have taken it and added a lot of stuff that is not written, while ignoring what is.

    BTW, I believe the idea is that eternal inflation might be seen by looking for evidence left over from quantum tunneling.

  364. Legatus says:
    March 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Genesis 2 is a second creation story because the order of creation of things & life forms is irreconcilably different from in Gen 1, as is also its Hebrew usage. Clearly, whoever was responsible for assembling scripture just punted & put these two irreconcilable stories together in hopes that no one would notice. Ditto for the two versions of Noah’s flood & the many other internal discrepancies in the OT. But for centuries alert readers have noted the contradictions, to the detriment of the propagation of the faith, as Augustine so wisely observed.

    Please don’t even try to engage in the hopeless twisting & turning & cherry picking required to try to insert modern science & objective physical reality into biblical myths. The exercise is worse than pointless. It only subjects believers to even more hilarious ridicule.

  365. milodonharlani says:
    March 20, 2014 at 10:47 pm
    Genesis 2 is a second creation story because the order of creation of things & life forms is irreconcilably different from in Gen 1

    What lifeforms are said to be created?
    It says:
    Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
    Sounds like an already done deal.
    Gen 2 says a man and a woman were created (fashioned, to be specific), nothing else.
    A garden was planted in an empty area, not created, just planted, stated to be planted.

  366. Just a thought. The timing might not be right, sequentially, in Genesis, but there have been some relatively recent ‘discoveries’ that mirror Genesis. I only heard recently of geologic findings that indicate the earth was probably at one time completely covered with a shallow ocean. http://metro.co.uk/2008/12/31/early-earth-was-covered-in-water-274995/
    New Scientist magazine reported: “As the mantle cooled, land would have gradually appeared as the oceans became deeper and regions of high relief on the continental crust formed.”
    There are, of course, other geologic theories on how the waters were all gathered together and land appeared.

    “1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
     And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.” Genesis

    There are numerous articles on water/ice coming in on comets, on the moon, Jupiter’s Europa, etc. Not to mention that the water in the mantle originally came from the ‘sky’. And here is a new one: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Herschel/Herschel_discovers_water_vapour_around_dwarf_planet_Ceres
     
    “And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.” Genesis

    Put in the context of what people understood about science when the Bible was written these items are pretty straight shootin. Things written thousands of years ago that were not known a hundred years ago as far as science was concerned.

  367. I wonder if, in the various currently ongoing observations, whether it will be possible to estimate the size of this univwerse, if it can be even said to have a size?

    I mean, with inflation, we now know that it can be larger than we see. We have the problem that as we look further, we are looking back in time, and eventually run up against 13.8 billion years and run out of time and cannot see any further. Are there any measurements that could be used to tell basic things, such as whether or not it is finite, and if finite, what size it might be?

  368. Why is it so difficult to make a distinction between the physical concept of “beginning” and the religious concept of “creation”? Why do people, when confronted with the boundaries of human knowledge, feel the need to kneel before a god?
    I consider the Big Bang theory as science, but all the religious babble on this thread, all the references to the Holy Writ, and all the attempts to turn scientific findings into proof of the unprovable, are no less than embarrassing. I’m sure many readers agree.
    If I were a moderator, I’d say: find a different forum to discuss “creation”. Don’t mix religion with science, unless you insist on embarrassing yourself.

  369. Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:17 am
    Are there any measurements that could be used to tell basic things, such as whether or not it is finite, and if finite, what size it might be?
    All the data we have says that the Universe is ‘flat’. This implies that it is infinite.

  370. Jim G says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:16 am
    Just a thought. The timing might not be right, sequentially, in Genesis, but there have been some relatively recent ‘discoveries’ that mirror Genesis. I only heard recently of geologic findings that indicate the earth was probably at one time completely covered with a shallow ocean. http://metro.co.uk/2008/12/31/early-earth-was-covered-in-water-274995/
    New Scientist magazine reported: “As the mantle cooled, land would have gradually appeared as the oceans became deeper and regions of high relief on the continental crust formed.”
    There are, of course, other geologic theories on how the waters were all gathered together and land appeared.

    Actually, the stuff I was mentioning came from far earlier. There were crystals formed on the early earths crust, the earliest rocks of any kind we can date, at or over 4 billion years ago (4.35 I believe). They formed, were buried by the crust folding over, and have eventually resurfaced and been found. In every instance, they show that they were formed in the presence of liquid water. That suggests either that a “late heavy bombardment” would have actually been an early one, while the crust was still too hot to allow liquid water, or that the bombardment and the earth forming from smaller bits were one and the same (which actually makes more sense). However…the exact wording en Genesis uses the word “evening” which can mean “a sense of gradual cessation or diminishing of activity”, note the word gradual, each epoch of time simply states that such and such happened, then gradually diminished, they could well have overlapped. Plus, the part where it says dry land appeared doesn’t say how much, just that it had started to do so. That means it could have been gradually appearing out of the sea for a very long time afterwords. One rock starting to stick it’s head up out of the water would have been enough, others would have followed soon enough, either through the crust cooling, or a volcano. The land we know has been submerged previously in all cases, sometimes several times, plus moved around, sometimes washed over by the ending of ice ages, or buried under ice or under a vocano, etc. It has taken a lot of searching and dating to find the really old rocks, and those were on the surface, buried, and then eventually found their way up again.

    Also, as in all cases, the appearence of plants merely states the start of the appearence of plants, in this case cynobacteria, which eventually became the plants we know today. It was written for humans, who arrived after all that, as long as it ended before they got there it is said to be in a previous “day” (epoch is actually a better word).Note also what it does not say, it does not say that the plants (including pre plants as we would now differentiate between plants and cynobacteria) were created (evolved) on dry land or in water, it could have been either, and certainly most of them were in water for a long time.

  371. lsvalgaard says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:00 am
    Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:17 am
    Are there any measurements that could be used to tell basic things, such as whether or not it is finite, and if finite, what size it might be?
    All the data we have says that the Universe is ‘flat’. This implies that it is infinite.

    Hmm, your right…
    I guess that means we will never see all of it.
    And the idea of guessing its, say, shape outside of our view from data seems unlikely, right? I mean, is there any way in the future that we can even detect anything “outside” our time limited view?

    I guess that TV show that had a spacecraft speeding toward the edge of the universe is now so last week

  372. Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:18 am
    And the idea of guessing its, say, shape outside of our view from data seems unlikely, right? I mean, is there any way in the future that we can even detect anything “outside” our time limited view?
    The flatness is a property of space itself so should apply everywhere. Actually, as time passes we see more and more. Unfortunately the Universe is now expanding faster than what we can see, so eventually everything will disappear from view.

    I guess that TV show that had a spacecraft speeding toward the edge of the universe is now so last week
    There is no ‘edge’

  373. Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:25 am
    Sooo, the universe went from no size (?) to infinite in a very short period of time.
    No, it has always been infinite.

  374. lsvalgaard says:
    March 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    If the Universe were designed for life, it would be a poor designer that lets her creation self destruct.

    Leif, that is a silly argument. You are assuming you know enough about the system to know how to improve it. If you had such knowledge I would be comfortable calling you God. ;)

    To anyone: I am still having trouble with the red shift. It is the result of the space it is traveling through expanding and not a result of the actual motion of the object emmitting the light(?). Does the photon get stretched in all directions and not just the direction of travel? Would this cause its amplitude to change? Are the photons 1000 times bigger? If gravity counteracts the expansion, does it have a shrinking effect or does not allow the expansion phenomena to take place at all?

  375. Legatus says:
    March 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    You ought to read the whole of Genesis 2. It most certainly is another creation story, at odds with the one in Genesis 1. The order of creation in Gen 2 is plants, man, animals, woman.

    4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

    5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

    6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

    7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul…

    19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

    20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

    21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

    22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

    23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

  376. Leo Norekens says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:49 am

    It is indeed embarrassing that so many creationists, & others who mix science & religion to the detriment of both, comment on this blog, which is why I reply to them. Warmunistas try to label CACA skeptics as anti-science through guilt by association with creationists & religious opponents of evolution. The ID advocates & other creationists here only provide ammo for climastrologists.

  377. @lsvalgaard

    There is no “edge”.

    No, it has always been infinite.

    Leif – are not these two statements in contradiction?

    If the universe “has always been infinite”, this means that after the big bang the universe expanded into an already existing space.

    Meaning that there is in fact an edge – the edge of the universe which at 10e-35 seconds was the size of a grape and which now is somewhat bigger – but not infinite.

    Standard cosmology as I understood it is that space itself was expanding with the big bang. So there is in fact no edge since beyond the edge is no universe, no space, no physics.

    Going from a flat cosmology to an infinite universe takes you into Fred Hoyle territory which is problematic for a lot of reasons.

  378. milodonharlani says:
    March 21, 2014 at 1:17 pm
    Leo Norekens says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:49 am

    It is indeed embarrassing that so many creationists, & others who mix science & religion to the detriment of both, comment on this blog, which is why I reply to them. Warmunistas try to label CACA skeptics as anti-science through guilt by association with creationists & religious opponents of evolution. The ID advocates & other creationists here only provide ammo for climastrologists.

    I fully agree. My father is a church minister, I have faith and attend church with my family most Sundays. But at the same time I love cosmology and contemplation of deep space and deep time, and the profound scientific questions that stretch and challenge the human intellect, such as the big bang and inflation. 6-day literal creation diminishes God-given human intellect, and represents the same thing as the equally narrow-minded CAGW relative to real climate science, taking into consideration climate over deep time, evolution of multicellular life half a billion years ago in an atmosphere of 20,000 ppm CO2. Warminusts are narrow-minded fundamentalists of a more dangerous sort than Christian ones.

  379. phlogiston says:
    March 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    @lsvalgaard

    There is no “edge”.

    No, it has always been infinite.

    Leif – are not these two statements in contradiction?

    If the universe “has always been infinite”, this means that after the big bang the universe expanded into an already existing space.

    Meaning that there is in fact an edge – the edge of the universe which at 10e-35 seconds was the size of a grape and which now is somewhat bigger – but not infinite.

    Standard cosmology as I understood it is that space itself was expanding with the big bang. So there is in fact no edge since beyond the edge is no universe, no space, no physics.

    Going from a flat cosmology to an infinite universe takes you into Fred Hoyle territory which is problematic for a lot of reasons.
    ——————————————-
    I don’t see the contradiction. Something that starts as finite or with an edge would have this problem (namely a paradox of going from finite to infinite). But, I don’t see the contradiction for a system that starts infinite, has no edge, and is expanding (or contracting).

  380. phlogiston says:
    March 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm
    @lsvalgaard
    There is no “edge”.
    No, it has always been infinite.
    Leif – are not these two statements in contradiction?
    If the universe “has always been infinite”, this means that after the big bang the universe expanded into an already existing space.

    I think I see the problem. “Before” the inflation, the universe had no edge because there was nothing to have an edge with. That is, there was nothing outside it, no empty space, because what we know as empty space isn’t really empty. Our empty space has occasional atoms in it, light moving through it, time operates, and other natural laws operate. Plus, subatomic particles can pop into existence (and then back out of existence) and do all the time. Anything “outside” the universe “before” the big bang therefor does not count as anything. It has no definition we can describe, nothing exists there because nothing can, there being no natural laws to exist with.

    There is a sort of “edge” to it, however, time. “Before” the big bang, we can detect nothing, and from our point of view, there may be nothing to detect. That would be because the natural laws we know did not operate there, so we have no way to describe anything “then”. I have to put quotation marks around “then” because we have sent up satellites to go around the earth with very accurate clocks on them, and their time differed with the time of clocks on earth, thus showing that time is a property of matter, gravity, etc, IE this material universe. Before 13.8 billion years ago, there was no material universe as we know it, and thus no time as we know it. Time started 13.8 billion years ago.

    Thus, to describe “outside” or “before” we are trying to describe something which we have no way to describe (or detect), because we only know (and can see) this universe and its time, natural laws, etc. Whatever may be the cause of this universe, we would have no frame of reference to describe it.

    This universe, I think we are stuck with it. I guess infinite will just have to do.

  381. milodonharlani says:
    March 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm
    Legatus says:
    March 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm
    You ought to read the whole of Genesis 2. It most certainly is another creation story, at odds with the one in Genesis 1. The order of creation in Gen 2 is plants, man, animals, woman.

    That is just it, there is no order of creation here. The first chapter is describing the order, which is why it has “days”. The second chapter starts with saying that all that is finished, and furthermore, does not state any days. Then it describes the planting of the garden, specifically stated as planting, not creating, in an empty place, creating man, putting him in it, and then this. 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field. Note what is missing there, WHEN he formed them, or how. He did create them, in chapter one, in a certain order, so it is stating a correct thing, he created them, and since it does NOT state WHEN in the second chapter, it is not a contradiction to say he created them and then brought them to the man, because he did, it just took…a while. Specifically, as stated in chapter 1, it started with plants, then through other stuff finally to the animals, which, therefore, coming from the original plants as they did through the long process of evolution, they originally came from the ground, or the material stuff of this earth.

    One problem is the language problem. Hebrew is an inclusive language, our language is an exclusive one, time wise. That is, when they say “day”, they mean day or any fraction of it. We, however, have clocks and stuff, when we say day we mean all of it, otherwise we divide it into parts and name those instead. Thus, the second chapter, not stating “days” and thus not stating an order, is using inclusive language when it states that God created the animals and brought them to Adam. He did, the inclusive part is, that includes the entire creation of them back to the first cynobacteria.

    If it had used days in the second chapter, it would have contradicted the first, it does not. Before you say something is a contradiction, you have to know what a contradiction is, and is not.

  382. lsvalgaard says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:00 am
    Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:17 am
    Are there any measurements that could be used to tell basic things, such as whether or not it is finite, and if finite, what size it might be?
    “All the data we have says that the Universe is ‘flat’. This implies that it is infinite.”

    In an open universe, everything will happen. In a closed universe, everything will happen again and again. Or do I have it backwards? And a flat universe is neither open nor closed?

  383. Joseph Murphy on March 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    starts infinite

    Another contradiction I fear. As Legatus points out, Einstein’s insight was that space and time are inseparable, two sides of the same coin.

    “Start” implies non infinite in time, thus space also couldn’t be infinite either.

    After reading “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene I have become a believer in string theory and its 11 dimensional topological solution it offers to the problem of singularities and boundaries. Then the big bang is no longer such a big deal, just a moment in which 3 of the 11 dimensions leak out and become spatially extended – become space in fact.

  384. If the universe is both infinite in time (always was) as well as space then there is no before. Or, one could simply argue since there was no time before space/time came into being, there was no “before”.

  385. Jim G says:
    March 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm
    lsvalgaard says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:00 am
    Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:17 am
    Are there any measurements that could be used to tell basic things, such as whether or not it is finite, and if finite, what size it might be?
    “All the data we have says that the Universe is ‘flat’. This implies that it is infinite.”
    In an open universe, everything will happen. In a closed universe, everything will happen again and again. Or do I have it backwards? And a flat universe is neither open nor closed?

    Flat universe
    In a flat universe, all of the local curvature and local geometry is flat. It is generally assumed that it is described by a Euclidean space, although there are some spatial geometries that are flat and bounded in one or more directions (like the surface of a cylinder, for example).
    In the absence of dark energy, a flat universe expands forever but at a continually decelerating rate, with expansion asymptotically approaching zero. With dark energy, the expansion rate of the universe initially slows down, due to the effect of gravity, but eventually increases. The ultimate fate of the universe is the same as that of an open universe.
    A flat universe can have zero total energy.
    There is a growing consensus among cosmologists that the universe is flat and will continue to expand forever.The ultimate fate of the universe is dependent on the shape of the universe and what role dark energy will play as the universe ages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shape_of_the_universe#Flat_universe

    In a flat universe, if you start off in a straight line, you will go in that straight line forever (try not to run into anything), there is no edge, and no coming around to the other side when you meet an edge.
    Note the problem with wikipedia, some information is literally so last week, much of it has now been either flat out falsified, or at least called into serious question.

  386. Legatus on March 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm
    milodonharlani says:March 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Legatus says:March 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    You ought to read the whole of Genesis 2. It most certainly is another creation story, at odds with the one in Genesis 1. The order of creation in Gen 2 is plants, man, animals, woman.That is just it, there is no order of creation here. The first chapter is describing the order, which is why it has “days”. The second chapter starts with saying that all that is finished, and furthermore, does not state any days.

    As Weand pointed out, the Hebrew grammatical sense of the six creation days in Genesis is open ended and continuous. The problem of boundaries is similar in Genesis 1 as it is in cosmology.

  387. phlogiston says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm
    After reading “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene I have become a believer in string theory

    Uh, with this inflation announcement, I am not sure how much string theory has not been falsified. From what I understand, much has, while other parts have gained credibility. That is why I would like to know what is now been falsified, some books etc are so last week.

  388. phlogiston says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:25 pm
    Legatus on March 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm
    milodonharlani says:March 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm
    Legatus says:March 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm
    You ought to read the whole of Genesis 2. It most certainly is another creation story, at odds with the one in Genesis 1. The order of creation in Gen 2 is plants, man, animals, woman.That is just it, there is no order of creation here. The first chapter is describing the order, which is why it has “days”. The second chapter starts with saying that all that is finished, and furthermore, does not state any days.
    As Weand pointed out, the Hebrew grammatical sense of the six creation days in Genesis is open ended and continuous. The problem of boundaries is similar in Genesis 1 as it is in cosmology.

    Some problems with that (if I understand you):
    First one Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. That sounds exactly like what it says, completed, not continuous. However, one must realise, this is talking to people, and the part that is completed is the main part of setting up a place where people can live. While some things may change, major changes, such as those listed in chapter one, are not happening. We won’t suddenly find ourselves on a world with just an ocean and no dry land, or wrapped in thick darkness under massive clouds, or suddenly have a world with only plants and nothing else, or any of that, all that massive change is over. There may, however, be much smaller, gradual changes.Also, the “evening” word (chapter 1) means a gradual cessetion of activity, as in, not all at once.

  389. Joseph Murphy says:
    March 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm
    “If the Universe were designed for life, it would be a poor designer that lets her creation self destruct.”
    Leif, that is a silly argument. You are assuming you know enough about the system to know how to improve it. If you had such knowledge I would be comfortable calling you God. ;)

    To see something that is broken it is not necessary first to know how to fix it. To see why, drop an egg on the floor. I do not buy the even sillier argument that ‘god works in mysterious ways’. If I am the best she can do, I’ll label her poor designer.

    To anyone: I am still having trouble with the red shift. It is the result of the space it is traveling through expanding and not a result of the actual motion of the object emitting the light(?)
    Essentially yes for the cosmological red-shift at large distances.

    Does the photon get stretched in all directions and not just the direction of travel?
    A photon that enters your eye [or instrument] has been traveling in a straight line [apart from some minor gravitational bending and lensing] and its wavelength is stretched. Other photons are traveling in other directions and are stretched in that direction [it is more complicated than that as photons going from A to B take all possible routes simultaneously, but for this discussion that is not relevant].
    Would this cause its amplitude to change? Are the photons 1000 times bigger?
    The wavelength changes; that changes the energy of the photon as it becomes redder, but because it is spreading over a larger volume, the total energy does not change.
    If gravity counteracts the expansion, does it have a shrinking effect or does not allow the expansion phenomena to take place at all?
    The gravity that holds you to the surface of the Earth prevents you from expanding. On the large scale, gravity did slow down the expansion a bit, but ‘dark energy’ is now counteracting the slowing effect of gravity.

    phlogiston says:
    March 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm
    “1: There is no “edge”.
    2: No, it has always been infinite.”
    Leif – are not these two statements in contradiction?

    No, see below.

    If the universe “has always been infinite”, this means that after the big bang the universe expanded into an already existing space.
    No, it means at every part of the infinite universe expanded. The best way to think about this is simply that the distance between any two points A and B is expanding regardless of where A and B are [provided they are far enough apart].

    the universe which at 10e-35 seconds was the size of a grape and which now is somewhat bigger – but not infinite.
    No, this is a persistent myth. People who say so mean [but rarely say] that the ‘observable universe’ [which is finite, of course] was of this or that size.

    Standard cosmology as I understood it is that space itself was expanding with the big bang. So there is in fact no edge since beyond the edge is no universe, no space, no physics.
    See above.

    Going from a flat cosmology to an infinite universe takes you into Fred Hoyle territory which is problematic for a lot of reasons.
    No, nothing to do with Hoyle. If the Universe is flat it is infinite.

    Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm
    the universe had no edge because there was nothing to have an edge with.
    At all times there was [and is] no edge.

    There is a sort of “edge” to it, however, time.
    Indeed, such an “edge” is there.

    In an open universe, everything will happen. In a closed universe, everything will happen again and again. Or do I have it backwards? And a flat universe is neither open nor closed?

    A closed universe has a finite volume [but still no edge - this of the surface of a sphere; it is finite but you never run into where the surface ends when traveling along the surface]. A flat or open universe has infinite volume and you could argue that everything will happen again [infinitely many times], but such speculation is not very fruitful.

  390. Why is the Universe flat and not spherical?
    My question involves the Universe is flat theory. If there was a big bang why would the Universe be flat? I would think that the Big Bang would result in a sphere shape mass of energy, light, matter, heat, radiation, etc. and whatever else expanding outward while maintaining the shape of the sphere.
    The meaning of the Big Bang has been very often misunderstood. It is thought that something exploded somewhere and then the exploded part expanded to where we are currently. This is not correct. Before the Big Bang, there was no space or time. So, there is nothing “outside” the Big Bang. The Universe simply expanded from a very small volume into a huge volume, and this expansion is occuring even today. So, the place where we are right now corresponds to some place in a very small volume in the very early Universe. Hence, the Big Bang occured EVERYWHERE in the Universe. It occured at all places including the place where we are right now.
    Why does the Universe look flat? This was one of the perplexing questions in cosmology for a long time. Today, most astronomers believe in the theory of inflation (and there are pieces of evidence supporting this). According to this theory, the Universe underwent exponential expansion about 10-30 seconds after the Big Bang. The result was that something of the size of an atom expanded to the size of the solar system by the end of the inflationary epoch.
    If this were the case, irrespective of the original geometry of the Universe, it would appear flat to us. The analogy will be to take a balloon; we can easily see it to be rounded; now blow the balloon to a very large volume and then put a small ant on its surface. The ant will think that it is on a sheet; it cannot detect the curvature. To put this in another way, the distances that we probe are way too small to detect any possible curvature in the Universe.
    If as you say “the distances that we probe are way too small to detect any possible curvature in the Universe” … how can we accept recent “proofs” of a flat universe? Are all attempts to prove the flatness or otherwise of the universe limited to data collected from the observable universe? If so, and we suppose our view to be equivalent that of a short sighted ant on earth, surely it must be an impossibility to find such a proof, unless of course information can travel faster than light.
    First, you have to distinguish between “universe” and “observable universe”. Technically, “universe” constitutes everything that exists, while “observable universe” constitutes everything that exists within our horizon (that is, the volume of the universe within which light has had time to reach us). Every observation we can ever make is confined to the observable universe, and we have no way of knowing for sure what’s happening beyond the horizon. But many people use “universe” as shorthand for “observable universe”, which can create some confusion. So when we say “WMAP provides strong evidence that the universe is flat”, we really mean “WMAP provides strong evidence that the observable universe is flat”.
    However, according to inflationary theory, even if the universe has some curvature, the observable universe should be flat at the level at which we’re capable of measuring it. But we don’t *know* that inflationary theory is correct. So yes, it is important to do experiments like the one performed by WMAP. If we were to detect deviations from flatness in the observable universe, then it would provide evidence against inflation.

    Found on the web, flat universe.
    Note, the current evidence as of days ago is that the inflationary model is confirmed, and the universe is believed to be infinite in size. This is because inflation shown to be true tells us about it’s size, even though we can observe only some of it.

  391. lsvalgaard says:
    To anyone: I am still having trouble with the red shift. It is the result of the space it is traveling through expanding and not a result of the actual motion of the object emitting the light(?)

    “Essentially yes for the cosmological red-shift at large distances.”

    Better conceptualized of as a wave, rather than a photon (particle), and the wave length being stretched, from our point of view, essentially looking back in time, by the expansion of space.

  392. lsvalgaard says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:58 pm
    Joseph Murphy says:
    March 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm
    “If the Universe were designed for life, it would be a poor designer that lets her creation self destruct.”
    Leif, that is a silly argument. You are assuming you know enough about the system to know how to improve it. If you had such knowledge I would be comfortable calling you God. ;)

    To see something that is broken it is not necessary first to know how to fix it. To see why, drop an egg on the floor. I do not buy the even sillier argument that ‘god works in mysterious ways’. If I am the best she can do, I’ll label her poor designer.

    You may not be finished yet…

    I mean, what if you are designed to live forever (not nessissarily here)? Then, things look different. One could get a lot better in that period of time. Unless, of course, one decided to be finished, to not let God continue, at which case, this is as good as you are going to get.

    Children don’t start out grown up.

  393. lsvalgaard says:

    So, if the universe is flat, not curved inward (closed), nor curved outward (open), again, I know not very fruitfull, but would all possibilities occur or just those that do occur, do so over and over again? It is at least interesting to think about.

  394. Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm
    I mean, what if you are designed to live forever
    Will not do, as I am already rotten to the core, and so will only get worse.

    Jim G says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm
    So, if the universe is flat, not curved inward (closed), nor curved outward (open), again, I know not very fruitful, but would all possibilities occur or just those that do occur, do so over and over again?
    I think the former, but somewhere in the infinite universe there is another me thinking the latter.

  395. @lsvalgaard

    How can the infinite expand?

    Legatus on March 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm
    phlogiston says:March 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    After reading “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene I have become a believer in string theory

    Uh, with this inflation announcement, I am not sure how much string theory has not been falsified. From what I understand, much has, while other parts have gained credibility. That is why I would like to know what is now been falsified, some books etc are so last week.

    Andrei Linde who created the chaotic inflation hypothesis within the framework of string theory, has been vindicated not falsified by the gravity spin wave evidence for inflation.

  396. phlogiston says:
    March 21, 2014 at 9:14 pm
    How can the infinite expand?
    Easy: the distance between ANY two points increases. If you frame the statement like this, then you don’t get confused by or feel uneasy about concepts like ‘infinity’, ‘edges’, ‘nothing’, …

  397. phlogiston says:
    March 21, 2014 at 9:14 pm
    @lsvalgaard
    How can the infinite expand?
    Legatus on March 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm
    phlogiston says:March 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm
    After reading “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene I have become a believer in string theory
    Uh, with this inflation announcement, I am not sure how much string theory has not been falsified. From what I understand, much has, while other parts have gained credibility. That is why I would like to know what is now been falsified, some books etc are so last week.
    Andrei Linde who created the chaotic inflation hypothesis within the framework of string theory, has been vindicated not falsified by the gravity spin wave evidence for inflation.

    No, within the framework of part of string theory. Large parts of it have been falsified, other parts have gained credibility, which does not mean they have been proven true, only that they are now considered better candidates for the truth. The problem then remains now, in which catagory does your book reside?

  398. lsvalgaard says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm
    Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm
    I mean, what if you are designed to live forever
    Will not do, as I am already rotten to the core, and so will only get worse.

    Precisely the first posulate of Christianity, which says that that is true of everybody.
    The second one is, that core can be replaced.
    Strangely, this still leaves you as you, but a changing you, now getting better instead of worse.

  399. It used to be said of this universe that anything who’es probabilities were less than one over ten to the fiftieth power was impossible, that being the number of electrons in the universe. As of this week, there appear to be an unlimited number of electrons in this universe. Does that mean anything is possible? Well…no.

    First, anything can only be possible as constrained by the nautural laws of this universe, so a lot of things simply aren’t possible. Second, some things, while physically possible, may be statistically impossible anyway. Example, the old million monkeys thing, now replaced by infinite monkeys. No matter how many monkeys there are, can there ever be a time when one of them starts typing Shakespear, starting with his first works, and going in order through all his works, all with the correct original spellling and punctuation? Some things, while physically possible, appear to be simply statistically possible, no matter how many monkeys you have or how long you take (there appears the problem of time limitation anyway).

    Another possible example, that “other Leif”, who thought something different. Well, it is now believed that the human brains possible different connections between neurons are almost infinite, with more possibilities then anything else in the known universe. Thus, for “other Lief” to think one different thought, one must realise that to do that would involve a change of causality going back to the first divergent thought that was the start of a long change of divergence leading up to that thought. Also, something would have stimulated it, even if there is another earth with another Leif, it is simply impossible for that other earth to be exactly identical to this one (including its view of the stars for instance), and to be populated with exactly identical copies of all human beings on earth, who, for all their lives, think exactly the same things over there as thier copies do here, and thus provide the exact same intellectual and emotional stimulations over time as have happened to “localised Leif”.

    Some things are simply impossible, even in an infinite universe, especially a time constrained one.

    Whoes going to clean up after all those monekeys?

  400. I will still postulate the possibility of a universe that is infinite in time as in, always was, no beginning to space/time, as well as infinite in size and that the Big Bang was a local event, cause as yet unknown. This does not preclude a Supreme Being Who is infinite as well. It also limits what we can interpret from the signatures left in the microwave background as a result of this local event. The zero sum energy for that infinitely small local section of the infinite universe may still hold true and the fluctuations re QED occured here, within that infinite universe, if they occured at all.

  401. Legatus says:
    “First, anything can only be possible as constrained by the nautural laws of this universe, so a lot of things simply aren’t possible.”

    We can only know what we can observe and test for in our infinitely small corner of an infinite universe. Rules may be different elsewhere while being relatively homogeneous overall, like the small discrepancies in energy distrubution we see in the microwave background that gave rise to that part of the Universe that we can detect.

    The problem is the we cannot wrap our minds around infinity, or God, and our vanity influences us to believe that we always have the answers. The good part is that our inquisitveness and perserverence does not allow us to stop asking questions and looking for answers.

  402. So Isvalgaard (et al?) has it that we (in our Galactic Group sense) exist in an ever expanding Infinite Universe in which our view of Worlds beyond is limited by the ever increasing speed of their recession from not only us but from each other too.
    Such a view however requires our conception of the continued growing of a space already Infinite
    in size and having no `Outer Limits`.
    (S)He also has it that in the Space beyond the furthest visible to us Galxay lie more Galaxies, ad infinitum yet still perceives of a `Beginning of Time` which occurred 14 billion years ago and which must have required either an ejection of the outermost at infinite speed or a `Steady State` style of eruption that has been in existence, ad infinitum, for them to be at infinity now.
    So, no, I don`t see it that way and can sleep more comfortably on the concept of `Our Universe`, co-existing most likely, with others at different stages of evolution, in an endless inert and timeless void in which there is no `Ether of Universal Space` to convey radiation let alone visible light but in which the spent remains of previous Universes eventually coalesce and re-ignite as did ours some 14 Billion years ago in which the outermost material etc. would have been expelled more violently to greater velocity than those inside and which thus destines them to that ever greater separation we can just as well call Expansion with the Red Shifts being caused by both differential speeds of expulsion and likely stretching of the Ether (and Time) out of the same cause.

  403. david(swuk) says:
    March 23, 2014 at 5:46 am
    So Isvalgaard (et al?)

    That is Leif Svalgaard (approximate spelling), solar scientist.

    Anyway, here is the reasons for that belief:
    A survey or mapping a while back showed that a large part of the universe which was mapped showed the universe was “flat”.
    This discovery of inflation shows that what we see is true everywhere, same natural laws, same flatness.
    Flatness means that if you travel in a direction, your path will not curve, you will continue forever in a straight line.
    Forever means infinite.
    We have no observation that shows non flatness. None zip zero nada.

    Second, we have evidence of 13.8 billion years of stuff happening.
    We have no evidence before that. None zip zero nada.

    Saying the universe is finite or that there is a before is going outside the data. Saying that is saying “I reject your reality and substitute my own”. You can do that if you are God and things become true just because you want them to be. You can prove me wrong by showing me that you are God. Good luck with that.

    The universe doesn’t care what you believe or what will help you sleep at night, it refuses to change (stubborn!). Example, people used to believe that the sun went around the earth, the sun did not care and stubbornly refused to move. We discover what is, our belief or wishes do not make it so. Your belief is irrelevant.

    The above is only subject to change IF new, contrary evidence is found. It has not been yet, we are stuck with the only evidence we have. “We are stuck with this preposterous universe”, actual quote at the discovery of the big bang.

    There are suggestions of a possibility of “eternal inflation” or other universes, but nothing yet definite at all, just the possibility that we might have some future way of seeing a footprint of another universe(s) “before” this one (or a possible footprint that may not be definite). That cannot yet be determined, so you can believe anything you want about that, so long as you realize that that belief is also irrelevant. “What is, is, and what ain’t, ain’t”.

  404. lsvalgaard says:
    March 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Brilliant, I must say.

    Welcome an actually possibly overly optimistic Dane, not the usual melancholy variety.

  405. Thank you for your clarification of i.d. and response Dr. Svalgaard.
    However, according to The Science of the time, `Flat` was our World until it was proven round(ish) by adventure and so effectively finite for those who believed it must stretch into infinity previously.
    So you are at least consistent might I say and I do have respect for that.
    Nevertheless your exposition requires the impossible expansion of an already infinite (Universal) Space and the increasingly infinite speed of matter which occupies it as you appear to build from the so far inexplicable Red Shift in light received from distant Galaxies and for which I believe different reason will be found or at least theorized.
    Such reason will I believe constrain our Universal theories to the more likely Physics we experience here in our `Local Group` and which we should expect to be in force wheresoever we might find to have come into coalition in like manner until such expectation is proven wrong.
    Additionally would it not require an explosion of infinite force to project time/space/matter into infinity itself?
    And, with having slept well on putting into words I had been rolling around for many years despite the emergence of those more esoteric theories now put into greater question upon the arrival of `The Crowbar` I now realize I have observed support for the earlier view I held of those ejected too waves of gravity eventually overcoming the inertia of the BB and taking us back to square one and so comply with the Conservation of Energy and thus Matter we still have carved in stone.
    So that only leaves The Chicken!

  406. david(swuk) says:
    March 24, 2014 at 3:57 am
    would it not require an explosion of infinite force to project time/space/matter into infinity itself?
    Your main problem is the [false] assumption [and I admit that that is fueled by the popular literature on this] that the Universe began as a very [finite] small ball and is now expanding into infinity. This is not the case. The Universe is and has ‘always’ been infinite and so has infinite positive energy to power the expansion which began and still goes on everywhere. It is very likely that the [negative] gravitational potential energy just balances the positive energy [in matter] and that the total energy content of the Universe is exactly zero.

  407. phlogiston says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm
    ————————————
    Semantics. Replace “starts infinite” with “never was finite”.

    lsvalgaard says:
    March 21, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    To see something that is broken it is not necessary first to know how to fix it. To see why, drop an egg on the floor. I do not buy the even sillier argument that ‘god works in mysterious ways’. If I am the best she can do, I’ll label her poor designer.
    ———————-
    If we are talking about broken eggs your argument is acceptable (in a Wittgenstein/conveying meaning sort of way). When talking about God the illogical nature of the argument is a bit more glaring (It is not logical in either case, it conveys meaning in the first). Your last statement just sounds hubristic but help me understand. Is your argument thus “I am not perfect, therefore God does not exist.”? Really?

    Thank you for the responses! I have one more thought that poped into my feeble head. Forgive any bad terminology. The redshifted photon actually became redshifted when it was a probability field. That field collapses into a photon on obersvation. If the field is very large (like the ones we are talking about) does it collapse faster than the speed of light? Or does the distant part of the field not realize immediatly that it has been detected? Perhaps never will with all this expanding ;) and then one photon can become 2, but niether can know it.

  408. Legatus says:

    “We have no observation that shows non flatness. None zip zero nada.

    Second, we have evidence of 13.8 billion years of stuff happening.
    We have no evidence before that. None zip zero nada.

    Saying the universe is finite or that there is a before is going outside the data.”

    Given an infinite universe of which we can only see an infinitely small portion, saying there is no possibility of anything else or different conditions is like an ostrich saying the universe must consist of only the hole into which he has stuck his head.

  409. lsvalgaard says……
    It is very likely that the [negative] gravitational potential energy just balances the positive energy [in matter] and that the total energy content of the Universe is exactly zero.

    ……………………………..

    and so is not your ever-expanding infinite Universe into which we have been thrust what I alternatively see as that inevitable and endless Void of absolute nothingness beyond our (and likely others(still expanding we might hopeUniverse of Matter, Space, Time and a force of Gravity which logically would need to be the equal of the force which created it.
    Unless that is there is another agent at work injecting more space but zip, nada, `it all material into the brew.
    Bubbles?
    Or just a load of froth!

  410. for….”might hopeUniverse of Matter, Space,……………………………………….”

    please read – might hope large but eminently finite Universe………………..

    ta…..

  411. Joseph Murphy says:
    March 24, 2014 at 5:22 am
    If we are talking about broken eggs your argument is acceptable (in a Wittgenstein/conveying meaning sort of way). When talking about God the illogical nature of the argument
    I don’t your god has anything to do with this or that ‘logic’ applies to her.

    Or does the distant part of the field not realize immediatly that it has been detected? Perhaps never will with all this expanding ;) and then one photon can become 2, but niether can know it.
    When you move at the speed of light, time does not exist and there is no ‘collapsing’ [as that implies time - before the collapse, after the collapse].

    Jim G says:
    March 24, 2014 at 8:11 am
    Given an infinite universe of which we can only see an infinitely small portion, saying there is no possibility of anything else or different conditions is like an ostrich saying the universe must consist of only the hole into which he has stuck his head.
    General Relativity requires that a ‘flat’ [or more precise: a 'non-closed'] universe is infinite. We have no data that indicates a problem with General Relativity.

    david(swuk) says:
    March 24, 2014 at 9:08 am
    and so is not your ever-expanding infinite Universe into …
    There is no ‘into’ as all of the infinite Universe expands. This simply means that the distance between any two points increases with time. In this way of thinking all the problems and paradoxes vanish.

  412. lsvalgaard says:

    ” We have no data that indicates a problem with General Relativity.”

    We have no data from outside of our infinitely small observable portion of the universe, is the point you must have missed. One might also consider that we have no such data from inside our little corner of the universe…… with present technology. Both caveats should caution one to keep their mind open to other possibilities.

  413. Jim G says:
    March 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm
    Both caveats should caution one to keep their mind open to other possibilities.
    General Relativity is built on the [equivalence] principle that the laws of physics should take the same mathematical form in all reference frames. The rest is derived from this principle. GR is not constructed from ‘data’, but has been found to agree with whatever data we have. The only other alternative is that the laws of physics does not take the same form for all observers, and that alternative does not seem viable to me. Of course, if you deny the equivalence principle, then anything goes, although whatever you come up with must still do as well in agreeing with the data as GR. This is not a question about ‘open mind’, but about hard mathematics.

  414. Legatus says:
    March 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    milodonharlani says:
    March 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm
    Legatus says:
    March 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm
    You ought to read the whole of Genesis 2. It most certainly is another creation story, at odds with the one in Genesis 1. The order of creation in Gen 2 is plants, man, animals, woman.

    That is just it, there is no order of creation here….

    ===================================================================
    Figures of Interruption. (http://rhetoric.byu.edu/figures/Groupings/of%20Interruption.htm)
    Why did Adam need a “help meet”? Why did Adam name her and not God?
    The added information is by way of explanation, not a sequence of events.
    (Here’s something that may add a bit more to the Genesis side topic. http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/attention-surplus-disorder-part-two/)

  415. lsvalgaard says…..

    In this way of thinking all the problems and paradoxes vanish.

    …sorry, yours may but mine won`t:-

    surely there can only be one infinite space and not the two and/or expansion of the already infinite to which you are wed.
    from where comes that supra-infinite space into which your infinite Universe is ever expanding if it is not that your Universe is and always must remain finite as it expands out of initial inertia into that endless “Nothingness” I have described which must ever exist even if our “Somethingness” and indeed that of “Others” never had or could?

    just because our Universe is already so large that we cannot see the wood for trees never mind its shape cannot mean that it therefore has no end or other dimension and so we must consider better the nature and effect of other forces liberated in our Cosmic hatching that will I think eventually reverse our growth.

    however, your notion of increasing the distance between two points by creating more space and not moving them further apart would be an out and out winner in the Real Estate biz if it ever proved kosher………………….but as I write I transpose in minds eye your unending creation of interstitial space to a pond of (very deep) water on which are anchored many randomly spaced boats and the only way I can visualize increasing their distances of effective separation to a tender say is to create ripples of ever increasing amplitude between them. Add Infinitum.
    or counter-flowing currents/w.h.y.- snakes and ladders of ever-increasing length – Indian elasticized rope tricks?????
    (so back to that toilet roll of a Universe we again stumble in hope of worm-holes that would surely lighten our load)
    so don`t give up the day job pal. it is still “work in progress” too,
    is it not, our Sun (just next door relatively), and exactly how it performs.

  416. david(swuk) says:
    March 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    surely there can only be one infinite space and not the two and/or expansion of the already infinite to which you are wed.
    There are infinitely many infinite universes. Space is not being created, bur just stretched. Stretching a rubber band does not create more rubber. And I am not ‘wed’ to that idea. The infiniteness follows from General Relativity. Prove GR wrong and you have my ear.

  417. lsvalgaard says:

    You introduced the term ‘data’, not I. Again you missed the point. The data that contradicts relativity that you referenced as not existing may exist outside of our tiny corner of the universe or outside of the capability of our present day technology to see. As far as the [equivalence] principle, it may not be compromised, but it may be that we are not yet seeing the entire picture. Or until we know any adjustments that may need to be made to GR. You know, the Holy Grail that so many scientists seek to find, and have so far failed to find. That glitch in GR that needs to be fixed.

  418. Jim G says:
    March 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm
    Again you missed the point. The data that contradicts relativity …
    If the equivalence principle holds GR is clear and there are no problems at all. If you deny [as you seem to do] that the principle holds then you can get anything you want in some remote corner where the laws of nature are different. I do not entertain that idea, so have not missed your point [that you think the laws of nature vary with location], I simply do not lend it any credence.

  419. lsvalgaard says:

    If at the higher levels of energy time “unzips from space” or the speed of light differs or whatever there could be some “adjustments” required. Likewise, the granularity of energy distribution found in the micsrowave background which lead to the visible universe we see may also exist re the equivalence principle, which may work to even out differences in the infinite universe while causing local differences. Possibilities abound.

  420. Jim G says:
    March 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm
    Possibilities abound.
    If the equivalence principle [E.P.] holds, there are no other possibilities. Einstein once wondered if a god had any choice in creating the universe. If you abandon the E.P.anything goes. You seemed to have made your choice.

  421. lsvalgaard says:

    “You seemed to have made your choice.”

    I do not disagree with what GR and Quantum theory say about the physical wolrd today, including E.P. I am withholding my future choices and keeping my mind open to further developments and future information.

  422. Jim G says:
    March 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm
    I do not disagree with what GR and Quantum theory say about the physical world today, including E.P. I am withholding my future choices and keeping my mind open to further developments and future information.
    If you agree that E.P. holds you have no future choices as to whether the Universe is infinite. I also keep my mind open to the possibility that I win the Mega Millions Lottery next week, but that is not really a rational position.

  423. lsvalgaard says:

    Who said I was “rational”? I have rarely been accused of being “normal” either. I take these non happenings as compliments.

  424. lsvalgaard says:

    Remember, though, most of the greatest new scientific ( as well as business, political, musical and artistic) concepts came from those considered irrational and abnormal by their contemporaries.

  425. Jim G says:
    March 24, 2014 at 9:32 pm
    Remember, though, most of the greatest new scientific concepts came from those considered irrational and abnormal by their contemporaries
    Simply not true. You could, perhaps, defend ‘abnormal’ if you by that mean ‘extraordinary. Newton, Einstein, Feynman, etc, cannot be accused of being ‘irrational’. You are sliding into Dunning-Kruger land http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

  426. lsvalgaard says:

    I did not say they were abnormal or irrational, only that they were considered such by their contemporaries. Particularly those with whom they disagreed and who were many times in positions of power or authority within the establishment of the times.

  427. lsvalgaard says:

    In which case their contemporaries were the ones living in Dunning-Kruger land.

  428. Jim G says:
    March 24, 2014 at 9:55 pm
    I did not say they were abnormal or irrational, only that they were considered such by their contemporaries
    No true either, and it is not becoming of you to put yourself in their class.

  429. Jim G says:
    March 24, 2014 at 9:59 pm
    In which case their contemporaries were the ones living in Dunning-Kruger land.
    It is a bad idea to dig your hole deeper.

  430. lsvalgaard says:

    “No true either, and it is not becoming of you to put yourself in their class.”

    Never said I was in their class. The idea is that I would accept their ideas more quickly than those contemporaries of whom I was speaking.

    In some areas I am even more conventional and dislike new ideas (change) more than than you seem to. I am told this is a result of getting older. For instance, I like my XP system, out of date and unsupported as it is, more than any of my other computers and it is freezing up on me again!! Had to restart it just now, again.

    I always enjoy your comments and hope you have a good evening but I am going to sign off for now. The computer gods seem to heal this machine after I shut it down for a while. I am going to hate having to use one of the newer systems on a regular basis.

    I wish you a good night.

  431. Jim G says:
    March 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm
    Never said I was in their class. The idea is that I would accept their ideas more quickly than those contemporaries of whom I was speaking.
    With the hindsight of centuries and decades that does not require much, but your basic premise is dead wrong. The truly great ideas put forward by rational people are quickly accepted, except for a few hold-outs who are ‘withholding their future choices’.

  432. lsvalgaard @ 10-33pm March 24.

    now who is seeking to position himself more favourably on the premises of an inadequate GR theory and likely highly distorted myopic observation?

    however, going back to 4-32pm….

    I take it then in your GR EP world of “an infinite number of infinite Universes” all of them, from being infinite, must still be expanding since (infinitely?) long ago and on and on into the infinite future along with others ever being created – what, every other weekend (or seventh day)?
    otherwise your stretched rubber band analogy of ever-expanding Space would seem inferior to that of say a recovering sponge of such mass that it has a habit of collapsing in on itself on regular occasion. So perhaps my earlier shot at comparing (y)our Universe with boats anchored on a deep pond should in fact envisaged a highly rippled surface connection between vessels in “The Beginning” which then calms as the storm that created them subsides and increasingly frees them from the restraints of crushed matter, energy and time of their entombment.
    (but)
    beyond that each and every new Universe must have vacant space in which to infinitely expand at infinite speed if it isn`t that the other elephants already in the matchbox cannot shift over a bit at comparable speed. If they are all in the same dimension that is – no?

  433. lsvalgaard says:

    “The truly great ideas put forward by rational people are quickly accepted”

    But you are not doing that, you merely defend the status quo, ‘With the hindsight of centuries and decades that does not require much.’

  434. Joseph Murphy says:
    March 24, 2014 at 5:22 am
    If we are talking about broken eggs your argument is acceptable (in a Wittgenstein/conveying meaning sort of way). When talking about God the illogical nature of the argument
    I don’t your god has anything to do with this or that ‘logic’ applies to her.
    —————–

    I don’t think I explained myself well. With the analogy of the broken egg, I said it conveys meaning. That is to say, to someone that has experienced an egg, we can convey the meaning of a broken egg without having complete knowledge of the egg. That tells us nothing about whether a broken egg is better or worse. Your original argument (correct me if wrong) was that you can see that the universe is broken (or not optimal) without understanding it as a whole. Where that argument fails with the egg is that you are not making a claim about whether it is better or worse to be broken, although broken may imply that in some cases. You are simply making a claim to know the current state of the egg, for better or worse. To a baker it is better, for the potential chicken probably worse, for the egg itself irrelevant perhaps.
    Back to the universe then. When you make a claim that the universe would be better off with X change, you can only make that claim based on what you know about the universe, an incomplete picture. In this case of course what you don’t know could invalidate your prior opinion. But, more than that you are making a claim about the purpose of the universe, what it should be doing. If you know how to improve you also know what result you want. So, assuming you are not making your claim based solely on self benefit, you are either claiming complete knowledge of the universe, or at the very least (most?), knowledge of the purpose of the universe. That is why I said your argument was silly. Trying to disprove God (if that was your goal) by pointing out faults with the universe is just a ridiculous line of reasoning. If you want to disprove God then at least define it first so we can both be talking about the same thing: a little woman in the sky, the creator, omnipotent and omniscient, whatever. I am not picky.

    While that conversation is fun I am here for the science. But, I feel my lack of physics knowledge is to much of a burden to toss around on this forum and you have been most generous with your replies already so I will leave it be. Thank you for your help on this difficult (for me!) subject.

  435. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 7:39 am
    But you are not doing that, you merely defend the status quo
    Nonsense, there is status quo. A hundred years ago, none of this was even dreamed of, and since then progress has been ever accelerating with [undoubtedly] more confirming or detailed data in the future. The foundation [E.P.] is solid, and, in any event one must go by with one knows so far. It is just like the question whether the Earth is round or flat. No future discovery [made by people with open minds] can turn it back to flat again. We may find ever better approximations to the oblateness of our ’round’ globe, but that is it.

    david(swuk) says:
    March 25, 2014 at 6:55 am
    each and every new Universe must have vacant space in which to infinitely expand at infinite speed if it isn`t that the other elephants already in the matchbox cannot shift over a bit at comparable speed. If they are all in the same dimension that is – no?
    No. This is your mental block. Here is an exercise you can do [three times a day until you get]:
    Imagine a hotel with infinitely many rooms that are all occupied. At a certain point, an infinite number of new guest arrive each needing a room for the night. The clerk says “no problem” and moves all stating guests into a room number that is twice the number of the room they currently hold [as every number has a double, the clear will not run out of rooms]. Now, the clerk has infinitely many vacant rooms [all the ones with an odd room number] and can easily accommodate all the new guests. No new rooms are created. If tomorrow another batch of infinitely many guests show up, the clerk just repeats the procedure, and so on, ad infinitum.

    Joseph Murphy says:
    March 25, 2014 at 8:54 am
    you are making a claim about the purpose of the universe
    There is no data that the Universe has a purpose, just as the is no purpose in the natural selection leading to homo sapiens sapiens from whatever ‘green slime’ we came from.
    Trying to disprove God
    One cannot disprove something that is not even wrong.

  436. lsvalgaard @ 10-23am

    ok, the coffee should have penetrated by now I hope…………

    so the Earth WAS flat until found round(ish).

    twice times infinity is still infinity. so the old joke about how to fit a third elephant into a matchbox was only funny until you heard it.

    I cannot disprove GR as it is not wrong per se and so will never have had your ear until I do – if you follow.

    the purpose behind natural selection is to preserve and prosper life in all its differently evolving forms, including mankind. presently he is embroiled in the problem of how to shed those Earthly bounds of his which he knows one day will cause his demise.

  437. david(swuk) says:
    March 25, 2014 at 11:00 am
    the purpose behind natural selection is to preserve and prosper life in all its differently evolving forms, including mankind.
    Who is perhaps the greatest threat to life on our Earth [at least according to some folks], so you have a nice contradiction here. But it doesn’t matter: the Universe and Evolution have no purpose other than what your wishful thinking makes up.

  438. david(swuk) says:
    March 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Natural selection & other evolutionary processes have no purpose. No one is guiding them. They are a consequence of reproduction & work with whatever genetic material & its encoded structures & processes are available. After mass extinction events, life starts over working with whatever is left.

  439. lsvalgaard says:
    “in any event one must go by with one knows so far”

    Not that long ago that would mean a flat earth with the sun revolving around it and those saying otherwise were heretics with the “experts” defending what was known so far…..

  440. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm
    Not that long ago that would mean a flat earth with the sun revolving around it
    And you would not accept the evidence to the contrary, but rather keep your future choices open. Willful Ignorance of progress is no excuse.

  441. milodonharlani says:
    March 25, 2014 at 2:33 pm
    david(swuk) says:
    March 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

    “Natural selection & other evolutionary processes have no purpose.”

    they have the purpose of perpetuating the species, by instinct habit or desire – get you head straight (you wouldn`t be another SP by any chance?)

  442. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    There was never (at least in the ancient Near East) a model with a flat earth & the sun revolving around it. In the Bible, the unmoving earth is flat, & the sun goes over it, entering by one door in the solid vault of heaven & leaving by another, then hurrying around outside the dome to the place of his rising, which isn’t revolving as now understood. Some Early Church Fathers clung to this model, but after the first few centuries AD the Church adopted the Ptolemaic model, with a spherical earth resting at (or near) the center of a series of nested spheres, one of which carried the sun.

    The closest to a “revolving” sun was the Egyptian cosmos, in which the sun traveled under the flat earth to return to the place of his rising.

  443. david(swuk) says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I don’t know what an SP is in this context.

    Evolutionary processes have no purpose because purpose implies some end or goal. Natural selection & other evolutionary processes arise from the fact of reproduction, a characteristic of populations of living things. When you get your head straight around this fact, you can begin to understand nature.

  444. lsvalgaard says:
    March 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm
    the purpose behind natural selection is to preserve and prosper life in all its differently evolving forms, including mankind.
    “Who is perhaps the greatest threat to life on our Earth [at least according to some folks], so you have a nice contradiction here. But it doesn’t matter: the Universe and Evolution have no purpose other than what your wishful thinking makes up”

    same reply as that given to your “sell” mate Mil

    (to a typically one-dimensional reply from a born again Flat Earther) `.

  445. david(swuk) says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm
    they have the purpose of perpetuating the species,
    No, there is no purpose in nature, only blind, meaningless action. Your view seems to be like saying that the purpose of mountains is to provide a gradient so rain water can flow back to the sea where is came from.

    milodonharlani says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:34 pm
    There was never (at least in the ancient Near East) a model with a flat earth & the sun revolving around it.
    It seems to me that Jim G is arguing that he would cling to the flat earth model, rejecting knowledge gained since because he would like to keep his future choice open [having an open mind = not accepting progress] and not be locked into new ideas, which will change with time anyway.

    • Poor Dembski and Behe and other such folks
      Try to put science sheen on creation
      But when matched with the evidence, they become jokes
      This can’t bring God any elation

      I have argued for decades against Dembski’s notions
      “Probabilities” diced on my easel
      His “intermediates” idea should cause no commotions
      Methinks it is like a weasel

      When Behe gets down to details of a case
      Like the Type III pumps in cell membranes
      He quickly gets lost, and is badly off-base
      Making non-fact assertions like dumb-brains

      But viruses do indeed add DNA
      And this shows as historic “scar tissues”
      We carry such chunks, and they have much to say
      As a speed-up cause? I have no issues

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  446. milodonharlani says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:38 p

    I don’t know what an SP is in this context.

    no,well you picked-up on my reply to one who is apparently still nailed down to a Flat Earth believer type logic like you in your joint misunderstanding of the depth of meaning in the word “purpose” and its derivatives. Procreation by means of instinct, habit and/or desire is not a random event.

  447. lsvalgaard says:

    “It seems to me that Jim G is arguing that he would cling to the flat earth model, rejecting knowledge gained since because he would like to keep his future choice open [having an open mind = not accepting progress] and not be locked into new ideas, which will change with time anyway.”

    Actually I was arguing that you would defend flat earth as the accepted proven science of the day.
    You are digging your hole deeper, as you like to say.

  448. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Dembski & Marks are totally clueless as to biology in general & genetics in particular. It’s ludicrous to assert that there isn’t sufficient time for evolution to occur. Evolution is observed directly occurring around us all the time, as well as in the past, demonstrated in the fossil record & within the genomes of organisms now living.

    As was hilariously shown in the Dover case trial, ID is just warmed over anti-scientific creationism.

    Viruses are not only a source of mutations but of additional genetic material upon which evolutionary processes can work in more complex organisms.

  449. lsvalgaard says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    So it would appear. General relativity is as well established as any other valid, confirmed scientific theory, such as for example the germ theory of disease.

  450. milodonharlani says:

    “Viruses are not only a source of mutations but of additional genetic material upon which evolutionary processes can work in more complex organisms.”

    It is my understanding that viral introduced mutations act as an accelerator to other mutational processes.

  451. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm
    Actually I was arguing that you would defend flat earth as the accepted proven science of the day
    Your ‘argument’ [?] falters on your ignorance of what constitutes science.And on your refusal to accept any scientific progress because something better might come down the pipe later on [the 'open mind' fallacy]. Solid knowledge cannot be undone. You cannot reject a round Earth simply because you hope that in future there might be evidence [that we don't know of now] that the Earth is flat after all.

  452. Your arguement is based completely upon misrepresentation of what I have said. Unproven theory, no matter how often science has failed to disprove it, is not proven scientific fact. Your dark matter is an excellent example. No one has YET found any, only unexplained gravitational disturbances that a construct of theoretical dark matter conveniently fits the with the math. Other models also fit the math. However you consider the gravitational irregularities as observations of Dark Matter itself when they are only observations of the gravitational irregularities, the effects, not neccesarily the proposed cause, ie Dark Matter. The most popular theory of the day wins your support. An open mind does not cause one to obviate proven facts of science but it does allow one to consider the possibility of IMPROVEMENTS based upon new facts.

  453. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 4:54 pm
    The most popular theory of the day wins your support.
    No, the theory with the most supporting data wins my favor.

    An open mind does not cause one to obviate proven facts of science but it does allow one to consider the possibility of IMPROVEMENTS based upon new facts.
    That has nothing to do with ‘open mind’. Any scientist worth her salt considers new data ['facts' is too big a word] as important input, but does not [as you] reject sound and hard-won knowledge simply because of the possibility of future improvements. In fact, it is good science to state one’s case in a way that maximizes its chances of being wrong. That is: without using weasel-words like ‘shoulda’, ‘coulda’, ‘might’, etc. Paint the picture as starkly as possibly to maximize its glaring problems.

    Dark matter is a good case in point. Evidence has been accumulating for 80+ years and have reached the point where it must be taken seriously. It is possible to explain the evidence in terms understandable to freshman physics, e.g. http://www.leif.org/EOS/CosmicSoundWaves.pdf For me, this is good enough to lend my support. If you disagree, show where the article goes off the rail in your opinion. This is not rocket science.

  454. lsvalgaard says:
    March 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm
    david(swuk) said.

    (they have the purpose of perpetuating the species,)

    “No, there is no purpose in nature, only blind, meaningless action……………………..”

    and so the horn on the end of a Rhinoceroses snout has no purpose then?

    Go annoy one and “discover”.
    please.

  455. david(swuk) says:
    March 25, 2014 at 5:22 pm
    and so the horn on the end of a Rhinoceroses snout has no purpose then?
    It was not put there in all its glory with the intent of keeping me away, but rather evolved by blind chance from, perhaps, a little knob on its snout that turned out to be useful to deter predators or attracting the opposite sex. Natural selection quickly turns so small chance improvements into full-fledged features. No ‘purpose’ here.

    david(swuk) says:
    March 25, 2014 at 5:28 pm
    so its all still “in the air” then
    No, that is not what the short paper says, which is that the BICEP2 result does not necessarily rule out ALL competing theories of inflation, “even [as the paper ends:] though existing data from cosmology is strongly suggesting that it does”. The main result [the signature of gravitational waves] stands.

  456. lsvalgaard says:

    I did go to your link and have read this all before. I have never said that dark matter is not the answer, only that I feel that it is too convenient and, as I said, no one has actually found any, YET, only gravitational effects credited to Dark Matter which are not the same as ‘oberving’ Dark Matter. So I have my doubts. Other possible answers exist. http://www.astro.umd.edu/~ssm/mond/, Variable Speed of Light theories, Space Separate from Time http://arxiv-web3.library.cornell.edu/pdf/1008.1915.pdf. All, including Dark Matter, have their weaknesses. None are as yet proven. All are works in progress. Reading Einstein, he felt that the final answers would be simple, like his E=MC2. You may “support” what you like and I reserve the right to continue to question if Dark Matter truely exists until someone comes up with some. Continued skepticism IS a scientific mind. Theories are not proven scientific facts. The speed of light (at present energy levels in our observable universe), time dilation, quantum entanglement, etc. have all been proven. Dark Matter is still a theory.

  457. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 5:59 pm
    I have never said that dark matter is not the answer, only that I feel that it is too convenient
    Once you say something like that you betray bias. DM is the result of an 80+ year struggle to understand what we observe. What you ‘feel’ is hardly a compelling argument against the evidence presented to you.

    Dark Matter is still a theory.
    Perhaps, you do not understand what ‘theory’ means. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory :”A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation”.
    As for nobody ‘has found it yet’, that goes for most particles, e.g. quarks. They are not ‘found’ [isolated, put in a box] but are inferred from the effects, just like Dark Matter. Being ‘skeptical’ about this, especially considering your bias [betrayed by the 'too convenient' remark] is just a ‘cover up’ for some underlying agenda, and such has no place in science.

  458. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 5:59 pm
    Other possible answers exist. http://www.astro.umd.edu/~ssm/mond/, Variable Speed of Light theories, Space Separate from Time http://arxiv-web3.library.cornell.edu/pdf/1008.1915.pdf
    To my knowledge, none of those [nor of other ones] explain the shape of the curves in Figure 2 and 4 of the sound wave paper. Perhaps I have missed it, so please provide links to such explanation of those particular observations are described. If you cannot, then you must stop saying that ‘other possible answers exist’.

    All, including Dark Matter, have their weaknesses
    And what are the weaknesses in the Dark Matter explanation? I don’t know of any, please enlighten me.

  459. lsvalgaard says:

    I see you must escape to the quantum world to support your effects equal cause proposition. Yes, it is really hard to see those quarks or the collapse of a wave function. The inconvenient truth here is that since this Dark Matter supposedly makes up the vast majority of matter in our universe and the rules, as you say, are the same everywhere, so are you not somewhat skeptical that there is no Dark Matter to be found in our local vacinity or anywhere else so far, other than supposedly light years away? Not even in a collider? Just one little subatomic particle? You have greater faith than I.

  460. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm
    I see you must escape to the quantum world to support your effects equal cause proposition
    Your tendentious comment makes your bias clear. I chose that example, because I though you would understand it. But, never mind, almost everything we know and accept are the result of inferences made by observing the effects of objects, for example: we know that the Earth’s outer core is liquid because it does not transmit transverse seismic waves, yet nobody has held a piece of that core in his hand or had it in a suitable box for closer observation.

    The inconvenient truth here is that since this Dark Matter supposedly makes up the vast majority of matter in our universe and the rules, as you say, are the same everywhere, so are you not somewhat skeptical that there is no Dark Matter to be found in our local vicinity or anywhere else so far, other than supposedly light years away?
    The density of DM would be exceeding small so no wonder that it is hard to observe, but with your belief in future ‘improvements’ it should not be hard to accept that DM will eventually be found.

    You have greater faith than I.
    Perhaps I just know a bit more about these matters and have thought the matter through a bit more, and am unencumbered by whatever bias ails you.

  461. lsvalgaard says:

    My ‘bias’ is toward skepticism. Yours is apparently towards generally accepted theory. DM may, ideed, eventually be found and then I will accept what is found. Until then it is a theory. Perhaps even the best one, so far, but still a theory, not fact. In spite of the source, I found this article interesting.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/03/dark-matter-search_n_4536287.html

    It may be below your level but I found it an interesting summary of what is/was going on with the attempts to rectify observations with GR.

  462. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Science is all theory. Nothing is ever “proven”. But to make it to theory level, a body of hypotheses have to have survived tests of predictive power without being shown false.

    Some theories have better support than others, such as the heliocentric theory, confirmation of which is now directly observable in so far as the earth can be seen to go around the sun. However details & implications of the theory still need confirmation.

    Other well-supported theories also still need further elaboration & refinement, such as the germ theory of disease, atomic theory of matter & theory of gravitation. OTOH other once popular theories have been shown false, like phlogiston & the humors theory of disease.

  463. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm
    My ‘bias’ is toward skepticism. Yours is apparently towards generally accepted theory.
    My bias is towards what convinces me, not what generally goes, although these two approaches often go along the same path [not always]. skepticism is good to a point only. Once the evidence becomes overwhelming, overwrought skepticism becomes a hindrance to progress and a brake that holds back your understanding of nature. Some people are happy with such an outcome, not wanting to be bothered by things that they consider ‘too convenient’.

    DM may, indeed, eventually be found and then I will accept what is found. Until then it is a theory.
    “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation”.

    In spite of the source, I found this article interesting
    As it says: “Physicists still have no proof that dark matter exists at all, but the evidence for it is substantial. The movements of stars and galaxies can apparently be explained only if there is much more gravitating matter in the universe than the visible stuff of atoms and molecules. Attempts to correct the discrepancy by rewriting the rules of gravity in Einstein’s general theory of relativity have repeatedly failed“.

    Some of the better popular explanations are:

    http://galileospendulum.org/2013/03/21/planck-results-our-weird-and-wonderful-universe/

    and http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/02/26/dark-matter-just-fine-thanks/#.UzI28NJdX3R

  464. milodonharlani says:

    “Science is all theory. Nothing is ever “proven”. ”

    Perhaps not all of a given theory is ‘proven’ but parts most certainly are. Take nuclear fission and fusion for instance. That part of nuclear theory is beyond a shadow of a doubt. Much of GR is proven and so on, as in your examples as well. Time has been experimentally shown to slow down in the presence of the curved space/time near a large mass. Dark matter, not so much. Medical theories come and go and sometimes go backwards, as in the wisdom of tonsil removal. That seems to change every 10 years or so. I understand the concept, thank you very much. Mostly, I object to stating theory as fact when that part of it being discussed does not have such supporting evidence and is based more upon interpretation than hard evidence. My early employment was heavily invoved with statistical analysis of research data and I know what can be done with such analyses.

  465. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 8:07 pm
    Mostly, I object to stating theory as fact when that part of it being discussed does not have such supporting evidence and is based more upon interpretation than hard evidence.
    You are confusing ‘theory’ and ‘fact’. We accept a theory as ‘fact’ if evidence for it is so overwhelming that not accepting it becomes an obstacle to understanding and progress. The evidence for DM is substantial and compelling and there are no other ‘explanations’ that fit the observations. So DM is not seriously ‘being discussed’, except, perhaps in some circles like ‘evolution’ is being discussed by creationists. The search is now on for direct detection. Your ‘skepticism’ is of the worst kind: that which is based on a combination of ignorance and willful neglect of evidence. This is sad because a scientific literate populace is highly desirable if not necessary. The USA ranks low on the literacy scale often because of unwillingness to learn under varying guises such as skepticism, religion, new-age relativism, conspiracy-theories ["I know what can be done with such analyses"], and general proliferation of pseudo-science of all stripes.

  466. lswalgaard
    said (last night) amongst other things……

    “general proliferation of pseudo-science of all stripes”

    Yes indeed, if we ever could spend as much on satisfying our thirst for real knowledge we as we do our “darker sides” we would be seeing more light for sure – but, for that darker side though, we would perhaps still be living in caves and living in fear of that big ugly demon with a big sharp horn on the end of his snout every time we went out even though, like many others in different ways, he is so tethered by his `accidental or was it designed` lack of imagination and fear of his rivals that he`ll starve in a field of plenty .
    Otherwise I have to conclude that the word “purposeful” loses its meaning somewhere across The Pond. Too many big ripples I guess.
    As for DM our need of it is still based upon our interpretation of observation and expounded theory as I understand it and which we know to be inadequate for crossing all the t`s`never mind dotting the `hi`s`, so don`t let rhinocerotidaen attitude stop you from questioning you own budding convictions.
    (? if I shot, say the first msec dot of an S.O.S. signal at the Moon, would the photons that soon landed there be the same ones that came out of the ass end of my laser?)

  467. lsvalgaard says:
    March 25, 2014 at 10:23 am

    There is no data that the Universe has a purpose, just as the is no purpose in the natural selection leading to homo sapiens sapiens from whatever ‘green slime’ we came from.
    —————-
    yes, so you retract your former statement, “If the Universe were designed for life, it would be a poor designer that lets her creation self destruct.” as completely nonsensical?
    —————-
    lsvalgaard says:
    March 25, 2014 at 10:23 am

    One cannot disprove something that is not even wrong.
    —————-
    Agreed, and nice reference. I thought you were starting down that path so it is good to see it is not the case.

  468. Jim G says:
    March 25, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Proof is for math, not science, which relies on testing of predictions to see if they can be shown false, not on “proofs”. Facts are observations, upon which hypotheses & theories must be based & their predictions tested. Part of a theory may become a fact, as with the present ability directly to observe that earth goes around the sun, which in 1543 was not observable so had to be inferred by Copernicus in formulating his heliocentric theory. His posited rotation of the earth has also been observed.

  469. milodonharlani says:

    Go find the errors in string theory, as Leif asked me to do relative to DM in his link on DM. (“please provide links to such explanation of those particular observations are described.”) Each theory sets out in a particular direction to explain certain observations. When they do explain them, those proposing the theory feel they are on the right track as do others, rightfully, in the scientific community. Explaining those particular observations does not prove the theory, only that it is one possible answer to why that observation is so. Others may exist or come later. String theory may, as the article points out, be disproved by these most recent observations re gravity waves. At present the main problem with DM is not that it is not a good theory to explain what has been observed but that no one can find any. My “bias” is in the fact that the answer to the dilemma fits the mathematical theory and is ‘conveniently’ invisable and undetectable by any means, so far, when it supposedly makes up 85% of all matter. So far the answers that come back sound more like religion than science, DM is too small, too dense, inside the sun, etc

    The big one is “only interacts with other matter/energy through gravity”. For this reason, many scientists continue to look at our understanding of gravity, electromagnetism, the space/time concept, VSL, etc. in an attempt to find out what is going on. This is science.

  470. Joseph Murphy says:
    March 26, 2014 at 8:11 am
    yes, so you retract your former statement, “If the Universe were designed for life, it would be a poor designer that lets her creation self destruct.” as completely nonsensical?
    Of course not, as that statement was an argument against purposeful design.

    Jim G says:
    March 26, 2014 at 9:21 am
    At present the main problem with DM is not that it is not a good theory to explain what has been observed but that no one can find any.
    That is not a problem for the existence of DM, just as the fact that Newton could not find a cause for gravitation was not a problem for the existence of gravity.

    My “bias” is in the fact that the answer to the dilemma fits the mathematical theory and is ‘conveniently’ invisable and undetectable by any means, so far, when it supposedly makes up 85% of all matter.
    It is measured to make up the 85% of all matter. Even the various [semi-serious] attempts to explain the data by modifications to our theories of gravity assumes the existence of DM.

    So far the answers that come back sound more like religion than science
    The objections against DM sound more like religion than science. I think your objection is simply based on ignorance of the science involved, as so clearly exposed in your comments.

    The big one is “only interacts with other matter/energy through gravity”. For this reason, many scientists continue to look at our understanding of gravity, electromagnetism, the space/time concept, VSL, etc. in an attempt to find out what is going on.
    Many scientists are interested in finding out what DM is [a Nobel prize beckons if you find out], not whether DM exists, of which there is no doubt anymore [after 80+ years of research]. Why would you investigate something that does not exist?

  471. Jim G says:
    March 26, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Dark matter exists, & most of it is non-baryonic, ie not composed of “ordinary” matter. Baryonic dark matter is just ordinary matter that isn’t readily detectable for various reasons.

  472. lsvalgaard says:

    “conspiracy-theories ["I know what can be done with such analyses"],”

    No conspiracy theory involved, just observation of human behaviour when self interest overwhelms data and observations. ‘ Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much ‘ and much too emotionally. The closer one gets to the truth the more vehemence and name calling (“ignorance and willful neglect of evidence” you say) becomes evident from the other side. I have not argued that DM is necessarily wrong, nor even that it is not the strongest fit to the observations SO FAR, as I have said, it may well be correct, but that considering other possible answers is, ignorant, pseudoscience, bias, dare I say heresy. You apparently extremely dislike the concept of other people’s ideas or perhaps of not being the smartest one on the block to whom everyone concedes your superiority. Science is nothing if not skepticism.

  473. I don’t understand…gravity is a consequential physical force caused by two objects already in existence. How could the emanation of gravity waves be possible without pre-existing structures?? I refere to the Genesis quote from the bible (I am not a Christian, but do dwell in Christ Conciousness), “…And God Spoke and there was light…” I believe SOUND SOUND SOUND SOUND SOUND SOUND SOUND SOUND LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT FREQUENCIES FREQUENCIES FREQUENCIES FREQUENCIES FREQUENCIES ……….to be the source of all vibration in the cosmos. Every living thing, including every cell in its body, and every non-living thing, such as rocks and planets, vibrate at a frequency. ONE SHOULD INVESTIGATE CYMATICS…to see the geometrical patterns derived from a tone generator and metal shavings. These geometries are the platonic solids in their entirety, but also these geometries can exist without forming matter….crashing through the universe at the speed of light, colliding with other waves and FORMING NEW GEOMETRIES IN SPACE TIME. Space is the breath of god and waves are his voice, time is simply a bystander along for the ride.

    Please comment as this is very sacred to me.
    Thank You

  474. Here are some publishers, their websites (or websites about them) and publications listings, some of which are outside the box in physics. I realize the theoretical nature of this material. However alternative theories and approaches do exist and can be quite interesting.

    http://guava.physics.uiuc.edu/~nigel/courses/569/Essays_Fall2012/Files/damasco.pdf

    “Without theorists such as Verlinde or Sakharov or Pauli, alternate modes of thinking about gravity may not have existed for a long time.”

    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/11/our-understanding-of-gravity-is-fundamentally-wrong-two-conflicting-theories-of-the-universe.html

    “Dark Matter Might Not Exist”

    http://www.imperial.ac.uk/AP/faces/pages/read/Home.jsp?person=j.magueijo&_adf.ctrl-state=azjzxmgp7_3

    Joao Magueijo Author: “Faster Than the Speed of Light”

    http://www.physics.berkeley.edu/research/faculty/horava.html

    Petr Hořava “Splitting time from space”

  475. Jim G says:
    March 26, 2014 at 10:52 am
    when self interest overwhelms data and observations.
    And now you accusing the scientists involved of unseeming behavior.

    You apparently extremely dislike the concept of other people’s ideas or perhaps of not being the smartest one on the block to whom everyone concedes your superiority.
    The generally accepted science is the intersection of the ideas of very many smart people and it is usually a good idea not to dislike the ideas of so many people most of whom are smarter than oneself.

    Science is nothing if not skepticism.
    Skepticism in itself is not science.
    Skepticism when based on ignorance (real or willful) is not science either.

    alan mcduffie says:
    March 26, 2014 at 11:21 am
    Please comment as this is very sacred to me.
    The sound waves during the birth of our Universe were critical in determining the structure and are critical in framing our knowledge of said birth. The rest of your comment may have meaning for you personally.

    Jim G says:
    March 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm
    some of which are outside the box in physics
    The more something is ‘outside the box’, the more skeptical one must be. It seems that you adhere to just the opposite.

    alternative theories and approaches do exist
    None of them can calculate the accurately measured amplitudes of the peaks of the sound-wave signatures observed in the CMB, and are therefore of little or no interest. The viability of scientific speculation rests on the capability of the hypothesis to predict or at least fit the observations. And every other speculation I know of [including what you cite] fail in that respect. This is enough to excluding serious support for such [otherwise interesting and entertaining] speculations.

    and can be quite interesting
    or more correctly: ‘quite entertaining’

  476. Jim G says:
    alternative theories and approaches do exist and can be quite interesting

    lsvalgaard says:
    “or more correctly: ‘quite entertaining’”

    There are Thoroughbreds and there are Belgians, each has a valuable function to perform.

    • I’ve been a member for quite a few years
      Of the Yahoo group “Special Relativity”
      And over and over, some new guy appears
      And he’ll debunk Albert with new alacrity

      But this group had quite clever people on board
      Math pros, historians, physicists, wizards
      Each new attempt from the high-boasting hoard
      Was slaughtered like cattle, and slunk off like lizards

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  477. Keith DeHavelle says:

    House painters abound. Few can make it as an artist. However, an artist’s creativity is, now and then, invaluable.

  478. In response to Zekes says on March 20, 2014 at 11:58 am, yes, Dr. Pierre-Marie Robitaille has read the papers on WMAP, COBE, and FIRAS, extensively. The cosmic background radiation signal does not exist insofaras as it comes from the earth’s oceans. Read his papers. Black holes and big bang universes cannot coexist by their definitions. Read Stephen Crothers papers. Einstein was wrong on general and special relatively. Read Crothers’ papers. He points out the errors in Einstein’s math. You cannot divide by zero, but Einstein thinks he can. Einstein also mixes in Newtonian two body equations into his field equations based on a single body. You can’t do that. Black body radiation is not universal. Read Robitaille’s papers. He is the world’s leading expert on black radiation. The sun is a liquid, not a gas. Read Robitaille’s paper.

    Have a gaseous day,

    Greg Gribbon
    Bradford, ON

  479. Greg Gribbon,

    Who to believe? Robitaille? Or Einstein?
    Who to believe? Crothers? Or Einstein?

    General and Special Relativity have not only stood the test of time without ever being falsified, they have also been validated to many, many, many decimal points. There are very few theories anywhere that have been confirmed so thoroughly.

    So…

    Who to believe? Robitaille? Or Einstein?
    Who to believe? Crothers? Or Einstein?

  480. I think a common problem here is surfacing, the difference between things in the world we know, at the scales we know, and the differences in the world of the really huge, cosmic scale, and the really tiny, subatomic scale. The rules, or natural laws, at those two scales are so different than the rules at the scale of “real life”, that we live in, that it does not seem possible. Hence, when told that such and such is so, it is so different from “real life” that it simply seems impossible, and people seek alternative explainations that seem more like “real life”. Such explainations have failed, however, and the only ones that match observations are so unlike “real life” or “common sense” that you either reject the observations and thus reject reality, or learn to eccept them.

    For something like “dark matter”, well, whatever it is falls in the realm of both the cosmic and the subatomic scales, and can thus be expected to be weird times two. Get used to it, “we are stuck with this preposterous universe”.

    Personally I thnk it’s more interesting this way.

  481. So, you haven’t read any of the papers.

    Is Einstein a god, deity, demigod, infallible? So we teach our students not to question Einstein? Even Einstein admitted that he might be wrong.

    The sun does not bend light due to gravity. It bends it due to refraction through the sun’s atmosphere. This was one of Einstein’s proofs. His math is wrong is also wrong. His field equation derivations involve dividing by zero. Since when has any mathematician worth his salary ever admitted this is possible. Relativity has not been confirmed thoroughly no matter how many decimal places you think it is right. Relativity makes no sense whatsoever as it does not reflect anything in the real universe. It’s astromathimagics i.e. complete nonsense. And a cult has arisen out of it.

    Read just the papers on black body radiation. I dare you.

    Greg Gribbon

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