Another 'settled science' topic is not so settled after all – Big Bang theory questioned

We’ve all heard of the claim of “settled science” when it comes to global warming/climate change, and we’ve all heard of the “Big Bang Theory”, and I’m not just talking about the popular TV show. The scientific theory goes all the way back to 1927.
This is an artist's concept of the metric expansion of space, where space (including hypothetical non-observable portions of the universe) is represented at each time by the circular sections. Note on the left the dramatic expansion (not to scale) occurring in the inflationary epoch, and at the center the expansion acceleration. The scheme is decorated with WMAP images on the left and with the representation of stars at the appropriate level of development. Credit: NASA

This is an artist’s concept of the metric expansion of space, where space (including hypothetical non-observable portions of the universe) is represented at each time by the circular sections. Note on the left the dramatic expansion (not to scale) occurring in the inflationary epoch, and at the center the expansion acceleration. The scheme is decorated with WMAP images on the left and with the representation of stars at the appropriate level of development. Credit: NASA

The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the birth of the universe. It states that at some moment all of space was contained in a single point from which the Universe has been expanding ever since. Modern measurements place this moment at approximately 13.8 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the universe. After the initial expansion, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow the formation of subatomic particles, and later simple atoms. Giant clouds of these primordial elements later coalesced through gravity to form stars and galaxies. The Big Bang theory does not provide any explanation for the initial conditions of the Universe; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the Universe going forward from that point on. (Source: Wikipedia)
Now, it seems there’s a challenge to this ‘settled’ science, and a new quantum equation predicts the universe has no beginning.
(Phys.org) —The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

The widely accepted age of the , as estimated by , is 13.8 billion years. In the beginning, everything in existence is thought to have occupied a single infinitely dense point, or . Only after this point began to expand in a “Big Bang” did the universe officially begin.

Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity.

“The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there,” Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology, both in Egypt, told Phys.org.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-02-big-quantum-equation-universe.html#jCp

h/t to Rick McKee

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730 thoughts on “Another 'settled science' topic is not so settled after all – Big Bang theory questioned

    • Perhaps the laws break down there because they’re supposed to break down there. In other words, perhaps the universe sprang from nothing. Science can only study nature, and it appears that nature began to exist from nothing (which science cannot study).
      Scientists are supposed to follow the data to the best explanation, no matter where that leads. They aren’t supposed to let their worldview’s interfere, and it’s an arrogant worldview that leads some to claim that science should be able to explain everything.

      • Perhaps the “laws” didn’t “break down there”. Perhaps the “universal constants” that we have measured for only a few centuries are not “constant” over billions of years. The “constant” speed of light comes to mind, which may have slowed a bit even during our time of measuring.
        My biggest question with BBT, however, is that with uniform expansion from an infinitesimal point, all energy/particles would have only radial velocity/momentum. Aggregation in a uniform medium would not change that. So, looking at the universe we observe, where did all the angular momentum come from? Am I missing something?

      • skorrent1 February 11, 2015 at 11:05 am:
        “Perhaps the “laws” didn’t “break down there”. Perhaps the “universal constants” that we have measured for only a few centuries are not “constant” over billions of years.”
        You should maybe read some of the research of Ruert Sheldrake, or listen to some of his YouTubes. He specifically went to the British office of Metrology and aslked about the universal constants, and he found out that they have not even been constant in OUR time, much less over billions of years. When he pointed it out to the archivist, he was told that that he had uncovered one of their dark secrets.
        Hey, don’t look at me. Sheldrake is the one who found it out…LOL

    • If you want to get a feeling for clique science outside climate science look up Halton Arp who compiled the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, a standard reference for various unusual galaxies. Over time, he noticed that “high” and “low” red-shift objects seemed to paired more than statistically likely and suggested that the cosmological red shift might NOT be explained by an expanding universe. In particular he noted more than one Seyfert galaxy of moderate to low redshift that appeared on photographic plates to be physically linked to high red shifted quasars. That observation called into question not only the concept of cosmological red shift but the distance and intrinsic brightness of quasars.
      The question could have been settled by additional observation, but Arp’s position led to an inability to obtain instrument time and funding as well problems getting things published (how familiar is that?). He finally moved from the US to the Max Planck Institute in Germany. He died in 2013.

      • Halton Arp is one of those scientists who will be proven prescient long after his death. One day, textbooks and documentaries will point out how his contemporaries were idiots for not listening to him. Perhaps that day will come in my lifetime.

    • Well rats !
      Does that mean I have to forget all of that interesting Archeo-physics stuff that was supposed to have happened in the first 10^-43 seconds after the big bang, before the universe just became blah boring ??
      Personally, I have never been comfortable with the notion of “inflation”, and I’m also very uncomfortable with both “dark matter” and particularly “dark energy.”
      So they explain in some measure what is observed (apparently), but yet we never find either one of them any place around here.
      But I’m not sure this “new” concept is necessarily a “steady state” universe of the kind that Fred Hoyle championed.
      Well maybe somebody will make some sense out of it.
      Remember scientific theories don’t have to make common sense; and they don’t even have to be unique.
      All they have to do, and they MUST do that, is explain what we actually observe, and do it consistently in every case; no matter what.
      G

      • Or, if I remember correctly from Bible school.
        “I am the Lord thy God. Was, is and always shall be forever and ever world without end amen”.

      • Dark matter is one of the epicycles added to make the hypothesis work in view of contrary observations like constants that aren’t. In less grand areas it would be called a fudge factor.

      • I keep on thinking – what if the ‘aether’ theory is correct, and there’s something in intergalactic space that slows down photons, thus red-shifting them? It’s a sort-of Occam’s Law application to everything that cosmologists have had to invent, in order to explain observations. I know that the Michelson-Morley experiment did no show any ‘aether’ effect, but…

      • Russ, according to Einstein himself GR resurrected the “ether”-
        www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Extras/Einstein_ether.html
        Tom van Flandern had some great stuff questioning the canonization of Einstein, GR and the Big Bang-
        metaresearch.org/
        Personally I see Einsteins work as colossal contributions to physics, however said canonization has stopped any progress in classical physics for almost 100 years. They are theories, not reality. Modern acolytes are confusing the map for the territory. They are to be used, not believed. My favorite, and what I consider the most basic and cogent criticism of SR and GR-
        http://www.amazon.com/Euclid-Einstein-Parallel-Critique-Metageometry/dp/125877271X/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1423766351&sr=8-8&keywords=einstein+or+euclid
        It is ironic but sad the contemporary physicists have given over empiricism for idealism.

      • Keitho,
        I think you better go back and read the Book of Genesis. (it certainly seems consistent with the Big Bang theory to me.) (You may be recalling Aristotle’s ideas without realizing it.)

        • Cheers rw, but that is the point I thought I was making. Belief in BBT by so many avowed atheists is just ironic in my opinion. I need to make my points clearer I guess.

    • And the slower the time .
      Hiiseyin Yilmaz whose monograph DT Campbell did me no favors by passing on to me in my terminal days in grad school , and who made such simple observations as that we live in a flow from high frequency to low , and founded perhaps the first computer speech recognition hardware company , proposed adding a stress tensor , similar to ones in other basic relationships , to the expression for general relativity . See http://www.gravityresearchfoundation.org/pdf/awarded/1976/yilmaz.pdf which I just googled .
      This beyond my understanding of the field , but apparently the emendation — which is the sort of nuance typical of the evolution of physics , eg , from Newton to Einstein , where the prior is a limiting case of the latter — sees the universe as more exponential and removes the singularities like black holes and big bangs .
      Certainly the current state of physics is pretty ugly with dark matter and dark energy in addition to the singularities .

      • Thanks for the link to Yilmaz’ essay. He was an unrecognized genius. His correction for Einstein’s general relativity must be adopted if we are ever to get away from the “dark energy – non-baryonic dark matter” BS and reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity.

  1. The Big Bang theory is cosmological arm waving. Surprising that it has endured for so long. Cosmology is all theory with the most slender, tenuous support and sometimes no support at all except for some fanciful mathematics. Climate scientists have a lot in common with cosmologists.

    • That is incorrect. The development and testing of the model has followed a very rigorous scientific method. It explains the current observations, it makes testable predictions, and those prediction which have been tested have been correct, or have led to tuning of the model. While some astronomers have in the past claimed this is settled, they have been proven wrong. There are still observations which are not explained by the model, so the model is at best incomplete and could still be shown to be completely wrong. The difference between cosmology and climatology is that one is science and the other is political.

      • I am correct. Cosmologists have been spouting theoretical fluff ever since when and they are no closer to the truth now than at the beginning. Revisionisim is the next phase. No great hopes there, either.

      • I’m still firmly leaning towards the current theory because while this new “theory” is interesting, I’ll need to see a whole lot more before thinking it has a chance to supplant the BB theory. This isn’t the first time someone has challenged the status quo only to be found to be wanting.

      • Cosmology and cosmologists in general remain true to science as shown by the BICEP2 retraction. As long as a scientist is ready to remain skeptical about his/her interpretations of data, then they remain as scientists.
        Climate scientists who have refused to accept that the data says CO2 sensitivity is less than 2ºC have wandered off the reservation of science, into political-class servitude for a paycheck. And the GC climate models are garbage.

      • There is a story about a blind man who was brought to an elephant and given his tail to touch, the blind man said, obviously an elephant is like a snake. Apparently the blind-man was familiar with snakes.
        The story shows that making observations does not mean we have made or are able to make all relevant observations and that our conclusions are limited by past experience.
        I am afraid cosmology is like the blind man brought to the elephant.

      • Tony C says, “The difference between cosmology and climatology is that one is science and the other is political”
        ==================================
        In general I agree. While theoretical physicists have political battles for relatively trivial amounts of money, the political forces of CAGW want global power and an ever greater tax burden on the common man. If the “C” in CAGW was removed, and there is no consensus in support of the “C”, then climate science becomes almost as academic (and poorly funded) as theoretical physics.

      • Alx – thanks for reminding me of the blind man and elephant story in this context. I am sceptical of BBT (NB. That’s not the same as saying it’s wrong]. It seems that we have only touched the tip of the tail of the universe, and BBT predictions are working so far because only the tip of the tail has been used for testing them. [Correction : they aren’t really working, because dark matter etc have had to be invented to make them work. As someone pointed out recently, the ‘standard model’ has far too many components to be correct.]
        So we now have to wait for new and better theories.

    • What really infuriates me is the circular reasoning among cosmologists. All observations are interpreted in light of the big-bang theory (BBT) and are then used to demonstrate the accuracy of BBT.
      We just do not know. BBT has some major intellectuals issues and the creation of the inflation phase and dark matter and dark energy are just adding epicycles to our lack of knowledge. Just like climate science.

      • However, it is impossible to prove or disprove the BBT. It really doesn’t matter because we have to deal with the way the universe is now and where it is going. There is so much about the universe we don’t know.

      • Nothing is faster then the speed of light except during the inflation phase then something was faster then the speed of light. Does that make sense? No really. Does that make sense.

      • Sorry, but you are wrong. BBT was developed based on unexplained observations- red-shifting of distant objects, the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) and its distribution of amplitude versus angular displacement, the proportion of light elements in the universe, the large scale structure of the universe etc. etc. Dark matter, cosmic inflation, and dark energy were added to the BBT to explain some of the details, and has been said, make testable predictions- predictions that have been largely proven (for example, the higher order acoustic peaks in the CMBR). There may be a better explanation but if so it has to successfully at least satisfy all of the tests that the BBT explains. Intuition be damned. Neither GR nor quantum mechanics are intuitive and yet they seem to be correct descriptions of reality and satisfy every test that has been made of them.

      • Does the BBT actually conjecture that there even was EM radiation, at the time of the Big Bang, so how did it make it through the dark ages, when the whole universe was opaque ??
        And there weren’t any humans, so there wasn’t any “light” till we got here to create it in our heads.
        But there was plenty of EM radiation to travel at (c).
        I don’t understand any of that especially how “space” itself expanded; but Dr S says it is “consistent with” observations, and that’s what really matters.
        But it is disconcerting to not be able to find any dark matter or dark energy by some other means than the phenomena that they were invented to explain, like the angular momentum of the galaxies and the inadequate amount of “seeable” matter to explain that.
        But if a new theory can also explain what Dr Leif sees, and eliminate DM and DE, and inflation, well that would be good too. Unless someone comes up with some independent test for those nuisance items, that seem to be necessary.
        On this I don’t even have an opinion, so please don’t use for your PhD thesis.
        G

      • my impression is that the Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR) was originally expected to be clumpy (non-isotropic), reflecting the distribution of galactic superclusters.
        Measured from Earth it was not.
        In the 1989 a satellite (“COBE”) was sent up to measuring CBR properly in all directions. When they got the data, ASFAIK it seemed to indicate the CBR was too isotropic to have originated from a Big Bang. ie, not what they expected.
        But then some cosmologists used supercomputers to find variability in the seemingly smooth data. They found some tiny amount, said they it was proof of the Big Bang, which got them the Nobel Prize in 2006. It’s got a cool name, too: “Wrinkles in Time”.
        I suppose the Big Bang happened, but it still seems some of their explanations have an after-the-fact quality. And the use of supercomputers, we know, can be fraught with confirmation bias.
        And there still are a few anomolies in the theory, ASFAIK. Despite science articles in the popular press. Just Googling around to see what is happening now: recently some are arguing something called “Spherical Shell Cosmological Model” to explain the observed CBR.
        I am no expert, btw.

    • The Universe is infinite, therefore the number of theories about the Universe is infinite.
      Only one will receive grants and have a talk show on TV.

    • If they’ve decided to reject empirical data in favor of models that fit what they would rather believe, they’re now identical to the prevailing climate scientists.

  2. Slow news day? It doesn’t matter if BBT is valid or not — it is a compelling idea which challenged the prevailing consensus existed before — Steady State Universe. It is much more interesting and thought provoking than puny 1 degree per century temperature increase.

    • So what you are saying is that theory where everything is created out of nothing was meant to supplant the theory where everything was created out of nothing. 😉

      • No, he is saying is that theory where everything is created out of nothing was meant to supplant the theory where everything always existed and so was not created.

      • An important question is:
        Is the universe mass-energy-space constant throughout time, i.e. at each particular instant, or constant only when integrated over all time?

      • Not quiet David H. The BBT theory is everything was created out of an infinite energy unquantifiable beyond cause and affect something, or (steady state) everything always was and came from nothing, it just was.
        In this you have identified what philosophers call the cosmological argument, which supports everything coming from an infinite beyond cause and affect something, which some call God.

  3. If the universe has always existed then any explanation as to why any two thing in it are mutually visible would be an interesting story to read. The reason being, if the universe has always existed then an infinite amount of time has always been available for the expansion of the universe to create infinite distance between all things such that light will never be able to span the distance. It would also require the night sky be 100% filled with light since the universe would, over infinite time, fill the sky with stars and galaxies. This comes under my “something we’re sure of is wrong” detector.

    • This assumes that you have even the faintest idea of what the Universe actually consists of. The further out man can reach with modern instruments the more he can detect. There seems to be no limit. So it is clear that we have no idea of the extent of the Universe. It may be infinite in size and composition. No limit. it just goes on and on in all directions. The same with time. It may always have existed. If not, then I would like a RATIONAL answer to how all the matter already discovered plus all the matter we are still to discover and add that we will never discover (because of limits to our technology) could have been contained in a pea size object. How was that amazing pea created? What came before? I really think the issue is beyond our scientists but it keeps them occupied and in the meantime they enjoy using our money they manage to extract from us to pursue their fata morgana. And then the Universe is supposed to expand in all directions, but there is not a centre from which it expands.

      • If the universe is infinite, your ‘pea’ was also infinite in size to begin width. Don’t confuse the observable universe [limited by the finite speed of light] with the whole.

      • I’m just a passerby with no understanding of physics whatsoever. Nevertheless, it seems to me that if time is infinite then it would have taken an infinite amount of time to get to today…an impossibility, right?

      • “it just goes on and on in all directions.”
        And since it seems to extend equally in all directions from me, it follows that I have good reason to believe I am the centre of the Universe.
        Not that I ever doubted it.

      • “Nevertheless, it seems to me that if time is infinite then it would have taken an infinite amount of time to get to today…an impossibility, right?”
        That is assuming we have got to today. We may actually still be in the infinite amount of time leading up to today.
        (The possibility of an actual infinite is discussed in mind-boggling detail in the various debates around the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which is a topic in philosophy of religion.)
        I admit that here I find my mental limitations most annoying. Although I can say the words, and know what they are supposed to mean, I cannot form a conceptions of a first moment of time, a moment which does not have a preceding moment.
        Nor can I expand my mind sufficiently to grasp the concept of an infinite time, with neither beginning not end.
        What I can grasp is the idea of circular time, so that each moment both follows and (eventually) precedes any other moment. Today is the present, the far distant past, and the far distant future.
        But that is just crazy.

      • I’m generally of the opinion, that ALL of that which is detectable, (by any means); and ONLY that which is detectable, (by any means) is a part of THE Universe.
        There is nothing else besides that which is detectable (by any means). I’m talking “physical” existence; not figments of our imagination.

      • “And then the Universe is supposed to expand in all directions, but there is not a centre from which it expands”. Don’t you mean “the University expands .. etc”?

      • StephenB
        Your comment about ‘an infinite amount of time’ is an example of how the foundation of modern mathematics is still suffering from problems created by Cantor who misunderstood the subject of infinite series.
        Infinite means ‘goes on forever’. It is not a number. It is like comparing apples and eating.
        The universe is probably infinite and has always existed, and the ‘expansion’ is probably an illusion created by a assumption rooted in the BB theory. We have no evidence that it does not go on forever. We also have pretty firm evidence that gravity is not constant – something cosmologists would rather die creating dark matter with a pencil than admit. If gravity varied even a small amount with distance, there would be no need for dark matter or dark energy.
        We should start be fixing the foundations of math, casting paradox out of Cantor’s paradise. And that is what David Garcia called his book on the subject.

      • Big “like” to your last comment Stephen B
        The refutation of a gravitational constant would also allow the comet we just crash landed on that looks like rock to actually be rock!

      • StephenB
        If you conclude that time has existed forever, there’s another paradox:
        Time has existed forever, but every thing must have a beginning.

      • “If you conclude that time has existed forever, there’s another paradox:
        Time has existed forever, but every thing must have a beginning.”
        Not necessarily a paradox.
        1. In “Time has existed forever” what does “exist” mean? Does it mean the same as “exist” in “this cupcake has existed forever”? If the cupcake exists, I can eat it. (Not that I would want to eat an infinitely old cupcake.) But I cannot (literally) eat time. This suggests that they do not exist in the same way.
        “Every thing must have a beginning” = “Every thing must start existing”. But what sort of existing? Cupcake style? Cupcakes may be the sort of thing that must start existing, but since time does not exist in the same way, is it the sort of thing that must start existing?
        2. Why should we accept that every thing must have a beginning?
        It is not a necessary truth. “Time had no beginning” is not a self-contradictory sentence. Nor is “these subatomic particles have always existed” elf contradictory. (It may not be true, but we cannot tell that simply by thinking about the words.)
        Nor can we base it on experience with any certainty. Our experience is limited to middle-sized entities such as cupcakes, galaxies, and photography clubs coming into existence. It is illegitimate to extrapolate from those to Time, Space, and The Universe.
        So until you can resolve these issues, no paradox.

      • The assumption is that “time” exists at all, which is unproven. It is not a physical property. It is not a physical process. Our measurements of time are no more than observations of movement in space. We may say that it takes a “year” for Earth to orbit the sun, but from Earth’s perspective, it may be merely in constant motion through a timeless fabric. Motion *creates* the perception (illusion?) of time. Were matter to be held motionless and pristine, this would be indistinguishable from time itself stopping. Just as reconstituting matter in precisely the condition it had formerly been in would be indistinguishable from “going back in time.” The ancient Egyptians understood this well enough, attempting to liberate themselves from entropy, and thus time, by embalming their corpses and shielding them from the forces of decay.

    • Your second point (that the night sky is dark) is known as Olber’s paradox. It suffices to disprove any theory of an eternal universe. Quantum or otherwise.

      • That is a silly fallacy. Just with the stars in our own galaxy, the night sky should be blazing with no dark spots at all — however the inverse square law and atmospheric attenuation are the sole reasons the night sky is dark. It has nothing to do with the Universe.

      • Olbers paradox arises because, in an infinite universe of constant density, the number of stars increases at the same rate the intensity of their light decreases. Besides which, if the sky would be blazing with no dark spots at all without atmospheric attentuation from stars in our own galaxy alone, we wouldn’t see any other galaxies, because they’d be hidden behind stars in our own…

      • Olber’s paradox.

        not all infinite sums return an infinite result. the increasing red shift of distant objects means that series is not something like: 1+1+1+1…, but more like 1+1/2+1/4+1/8. The infinite series may even converge on 3.3K.

      • fredberple is right, Olber’s paradox is a false paradox. The series can sum to some finite total. It’s amazing that this wasn’t called out from the start.

      • The night sky is “dark” instead of “bright” because of diffraction.
        No matter how near or far a star may be, it never appears as a singular point of zero angular size.
        Instead it creates a diffraction pattern, (an “interference” phenomenon), which has a finite area (the Airy disk),and the apparent radiance of that diminishes faster with distance than the number of stars increases.
        A related problem is what telescope makers call “The Richest Field” telescope, which asks the question:
        What size should you make a telescope, so that when viewing a random sky area with it by eye, you see the greatest number of brightest stars.
        As you make the telescope aperture bigger, you also have to increase the focal length, and so the scale of the image field gets bigger, and you can’t see all of it in the eyepiece.
        So there is actually one size for an ordinary refractive telescope, that collects the widest field of view with enough aperture to pick up more radiation, to make those star images look brighter.
        The answer is that the objective lens should be something about 2 1/2 inches aperture, and relatively short focal length; maybe around f/4.
        And it works because of the way that bright stars don’t increase in number fast enough to fill the Field of view with a bright field, instead of a dark field.

      • To comment on Ferdberple (i don’t think I can reply directly), Of course he is right about converging infinite series, but you can’t escape the paradox that easily. The perceived strength of light reaching an observer from a given distance r can be expressed as QI, where Q is the quantity of luminous matter (stars, galaxies etc) at distance r, while I is the average intensity of the light reaching the observer from that distance. It is assumed that on a large enough scale the distribution of luminous matter in the universe can be treated as uniform. For a large enough r, it follows that Q is proportional to the surface area of a sphere with radius r. This is directly proportional to r-squared. But (assuming light has been emitted from eternity) the intensity of light reaching the observer from luminous matter at any distance r is inversely proportional to r-squared. So in the product QI, r cancels out, with the consequence that QI is invariant for all distances. The total perceived strength of light reaching the observer is nQI, where n is the number of ‘distances’ (we can assume that a ‘distance’ is not a mathematical point but a small finite interval). In an infinite universe, n is infinite, so with constant QI greater than zero, nQI is also infinite. Since in fact the perceived strength of light is not infinite, we infer that either the universe is not infinite, or that light has not been emitted from eternity, or both.

      • Visible light gets red shifted after traveling through an expanding universe. Shift it enough and it becomes microwave.

      • The sky contains no “light” at all. Light is made in your eye and brain, out of a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum radiant energy; namely the single octave from about 400 nm to about 800 nm wavelength.
        There is some recent work that suggests that the eye can “see” some infrared. Not sure what it tells your brain to register.
        The five human senses are all psycho-physiological / physical responses of our sensory organs and our brain to real physical universe phenomena, so warmth and light and sound and smell and taste and feel are all in our heads, and not in the sky or anywhere else.
        In the case of “light” and “sound”, the units of those creations of our imagination are quite different from the physical units that describe the stimulating energies, whether EM radiant energy in the case of light, or longitudinal compression waves, in the case of “sound.”
        Yes, I know that we flippantly use these scientific terms incorrectly, because of their common colloquial language usage; but we should not lose “sight” of the differences.
        The fact that one person in say 200, having “hearing” disability, does not “hear” the tree when it falls in the forest in front of his eyes; proves that the 199 persons with normal “hearing” created the “sound” in their heads.
        The remaining one made NO “sound” in his/er head because (s)he lacked the functioning organs that make “sound” in our heads.

    • First, one must assume that time requires an energy lost on all systems with mass. Since light has a mass component, then it is subject to said lost and will red shift with time. The electromagnetic energy (photon in this case) falls into an unobservable energy state after 13.8 billion years and hence a dark sky at night for an infinite universe. This theory can supported by the fact that the observed universe goes out equal distance no matter which way we look.

      • In any event, photons can’t “rest”. Photons are a quantified measure of energy transfer, a bookkeeping device, reified by the finite boundary condition of physical law which we call “the speed of light”.

      • Olber’s Paradox states that, in a truly infinite universe, every direction you look would intersect the surface of a star. This is a simple physicality, and not a series convergence problem.
        And light doesn’t redshift over distance. It only redshifts if the source is moving away or it is subject to strong gravity.
        And intervening dust and matter won’t solve it, because it would eventually heat up and re-radiate the light.
        The simplest explanation (Occam’s razor here) is that the universe is finite and expanding. Some very, very, smart physicists have worked on this and pretty much agreed with the conclusion. I find it compelling, too.

      • Epiphron Elpis: you are wrong, you just don’t understand convergence. By your “simple physical” thinking, Zeno would still not have caught up to the turtle. But in fact Zeno enjoyed his turtle soup 2500 years ago.

      • Eustace Cranch,
        I know slightly more than nothing about this subject. But I’ve know about Olber’s Paradox for at least 30 years, and it is convincing.
        But I’m willing to be educated by anyone who knows more cosmology than me. That probably includes most readers here.
        As far as the size of the universe goes, here are a couple of professors from the UK’s U of Nottingham, explaining that exact copies of everyone may be out there…

      • As an electrical engineer, I am well acquainted with calculus and series convergence/divergence. If Olber’s Paradox could be solved so simply, I wonder why some very high-powered physicists spent quite a bit of time an effort trying to explain it. And why several theories were postulated, and are still being debated. Too bad NZ Willy doesn’t have a time machine to go back and tell these guys the “simple” answer.
        But that would create another paradox, wouldn’t it?

      • So if we can only see 13.8 billion light years, then is not the observable universe at least 27.6 billion light years across?

    • Doc
      Laws of physics can not lead to the antithetical laws of physics.
      Big Bang hypothesis is not and can not be the realistic reflection of the physical universe.

    • Lief, there was very good agreement between the planetary movements and the epicycles created to explain them, within observable limits. But you knew that.
      I am (normally) in Waterloo, home of the Perimeter Institute. There is nothing in the universe, observable or not, that cannot be explained by another dimension or two of String Theory. These days they are getting excited by something else but you get the idea.
      A guy came out of a movie advertised as a “full 3-D experience!”. He complained to the manager that is was obviously a 2-D movie. There was nothing “3-D” about it. The manager explained that it really was a 3-D movie but one of the dimensions was wrapped up very tightly and was not observable at the scale of projection in his theatre. So no refund.

    • You speak of Yoda Gas! Strong with the Force it is! Of course it caused the Big Bang, and in the process, made what was before Unknowable. There ain’t nuffin’ it can’t do!

  4. I think their theory still has cosmic inflation / big bang style expansion – they just do a fancy Quantum foot shuffle to avoid the mathematically troublesome singularity at the very start of the Universe.
    From http://www.iflscience.com/physics/quantum-equations-dispute-big-bang
    … Das and Ali propose that the universe is filled with a quantum fluid made up of gravitons, particles that probably have no mass themselves but transmit gravity the way photons carry electromagnetism. The follow-up paper suggests that in the early universe these gravitons would have formed a Bose-Einstein condensate, a collection of particles that display quantum phenomena at the macroscopic scale. Moreover, the paper argues that this condensate could cause the universe’s expansion to accelerate, and so explain dark energy, and might one day be the only surviving component of the universe. …

      • Sly, cause it wasn’t retracted. The paper reported on a particular ‘beta curl’ polarization detected in the CMB using very sensitive instruments at Amundsen Scott research station at South Pole. These can be imprints from gravity waves during the inflation which would confirm Gutt’s hypothesis and therefore big bang. The paper awaited a second confirmation from the Planck mission that thempolarization of CMB was not caused by intervening galactic dust. The Planck results a couple of weeks ago indicate that maybe 60% of the beta polarization is from galactic dust. The maybe 40% that isn’t does not pass rigorous tests for statistical significance. So they have to collect more data over a longer period, and maybe from a different part of the sky.
        Compare and contrast to ‘climate science’ like the present kerfuffles on homogenization at Climate Etc. and the Marotzke mess at Climate Audit.

    • Interesting that they revive the ether in a gas-cloud manner, using gravitons instead if molecules. They just can’t come to grips with the possibility that there can exist a medium that is not granular.
      The idea of turning every wave into a particle is plain weird. They watch a ship get hit by a wave and see it shudder, and say it has been hit by a large particle of water.
      The ether conveys waves of light and gravity and does not have the properties of a gas. It is not a soup of particles akin to a gas. Why are we still stuck in 1880? It is the ultimate medium. It does not necessarily have to ‘be made of’ anything. It is no more explicable that the infinite universe it fills.
      I agree with the post above: the CMB is old light. Drop the detection frequency and you will find older light. There is no paradox.

      • dox is everywhere and always singular. Not quite dox is a contradiction. As is adjunct dox. However there are doxies without smocksies. A sight to behold.

    • Reading the linked article I get the same impression. The equations allow for the universe expanding from a dense state 13.8 B years ago, while avoiding a singularity that Einsteins equations demands. The math is probably beyond my skill, but I’d not be surprised if the differences are minute by the time photons decoupled from the plasma.

  5. The Brane theory attempts to explain the before or start. But the problem with using math and physics of the known universe to explain what existed before it still remains. The Brane theory is just an attempt to explain where the singularity came from.

    • True, but it suggests that there are test we can perform to validate it (sadly, though, falsification would merely be by exclusion).
      It is, theoretically, possible for us to actually attempt to manipulate branes and form a new universe, however fleetingly or unstably, to verify brane, multiverse, and possibly even M-theory (a.k.a. string theory) concurrently, while setting the specifics down in stone.
      Though I don’t see how the big bang theory has been challenged here, merely some specific assumptions we’ve long known have flaws. big bang theory isn’t complete, we know this, just like we know the standard model of physics is wrong, but both are stubbornly excellent at explaining everything we observe and test… until the exact point where they break (at the singularity, for example).

    • It’s a way to avoid asking what a singularity is.
      In a universe where infinity is reasonable then 1 = 3 is reasonable, at the extreme.
      Awkward. So accept and scope out when it’s applicable – or reject.
      But a singularity is an interesting concept.
      Is Zero the same singularity as Infinity?

    • The larger problem is that our current frame of reference, our Universe, and it’s current rules and mathematical relationships may not allow us to test, interact or model (sorry for using the word) other Universes or what happened in this one before Time came into being and entropy started. The good part about all of it is there is still real science going on, questions being asked, and answers being challenged. That’s good for all of us whether the answer is Inflation, Brane theory, God, or some some nut falling off a Cosmic Muffin.
      Now how do we get the Climateers to learn how to question their flawed basic premises?

  6. I thought the idea of dark matter/energy was created to explain the formation of the universe as we see it now because there wouldn’t be enough time after the BB to create the galactic formations we see now without the gravity from DM? If the universe has existed “forever”, would we even need dark matter/energy?

    • No we wouldn’t need DM/DE to explain things if the universe has been here forever. That’s why this is such an interesting story. Personally, I need to look at their model and the math behind it before I can say that they are on to something or just blowing smoke.

      • You’d still need it.
        Dark matter is needed to explain the gravitational physics of galaxies, and the Milky Way in particular. There’s not enough ‘visible’ mass to explain the orbits of stars around the center.
        Dark energy is a fancy (read: brings more funding) way of describing Einstein’s cosmological constant, which is an integration constant from the basic differential tensor equations. It is necessary to explain the current acceleration in the expansion rate. The new theory only changes things at the time when the universe was compact. The expansion still exists, and the measurement of the cosmic background radiation also supports that.

      • That assumes that we understand gravity and since we still haven’t figured out how it works or what propagates it as a force, I think the whole dark matter and dark energy thing is still the “Heere Be Dragons” written at the edge of the map until they get a better handle on whatever causes/controls the interactions we call gravity.

      • scarlet macaw
        The BBT is a lot shakier than that. “Inflation” is not part of anyone’s reality. They worked backwards with certain assumptions and found there was a highly improbably ‘tiny seed at the start’ and a ‘very big universe shortly after’ and invented ‘inflation’ to fill in the missing bit. On a blackboard it is normal to write ‘then a miracle happens’ to in-fill between the two equations.
        It was a ‘logical’ result of having two utterly different sizes of universe in a very short time. So ‘logically’ there must have been inflation to go from one to the other. Logic like that gets virgins tossed into volcanoes.
        The CMB has the ‘wrong distribution’ to be something ‘leftover from the BB’. No kidding. The creation in the minds of men of Dark Matter was necessary because the alternative, that gravity is not constant or a few other possibilities needed to explain the appearance of barred spiral galaxies, would gut the BBT. The whole shebigbang would evaporate faster than a quantum particle popping out of existence.

  7. If I understand it correctly, and I’m no Dr. Sheldon Cooper, then the reasoning goes that since everything we look at in space is moving away from us then there must have been a “big bang” sometime in the past to make that happen. Somehow. the things in front of us are going faster than we are and the things behind us are going a little slower than us. I’m not sure what theory would have the stuff from ‘Big Bang’ propelled at different speeds but some how apparently it does. I have always thought that this whole theory needs more work. Perhaps Dr. Cooper could work on that some more.. I bet Penny could help out too!

    • Which direction is “in front of us,” and which direction is “behind us”? I don’t think you can determine a “front” or “behind.” Where there’s a gravitational lens available, you can often find very old galaxies in any direction in space you look. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong. But Everything at the same red shift is supposedly at the same distance away from us regardless of where you look. And everything beyond our local galaxy cluster is moving away from us at a speed that is relative to its distance not to its direction in space.

    • the reasoning goes that since everything we look at in space is moving away from us then there must have been a “big bang” sometime in the past to make that happen.

      Why only one? We live in a daughter universe, created from a singularity in our parent universe. Dark energy and dark matter is evidence of this parent, and the infinity of parents and daughters.
      Someone from the original universe emailed me a snapshot:
      http://41.media.tumblr.com/cd67bc23967ca4681260459f75cc9828/tumblr_mwvo19asge1rl35vno3_1280.png

    • Minor addition: It is not that things in the “front” of us are going faster or slower than things in “back” of us. Instead everything seems to be going away from us. Hubble’s measurements (that stellar light from other objects was generally redshifted, meaning the object was going away, that the redshifts increased as range to object (which is equivalent to time in the past)) increased) led to an interpretation that the universe has been expanding. It is easier to think of if one thinks about being on the 2D surface of an expanding balloon – we aren’t going anywhere but the whole surface is expanding, and other spots on the balloon are all going away from us. The general observation is that further and further objects have greater and greater redshifts. The notion of an expanding universe fits well with observations. Later, Penzias and Wilson measured the background radiation (unexpectedly, they were trying to reduce the noise of a communication system and could not get it to zero) in the sky and it turned out to be consistent with a redshifted observation of a long ago event when a hot ball of energy decoupled into matter and radiation, after which the background radiation propagated freely in the vacuum. In any event, the notion of an expanding universe from some early time seems consistent with a lot of observations. It is getting back to that time before which we can’t observe directly that has been a problem.
      However, in cosmology, no kriging or homogenization of the data is allowed. And so far no one is proposing a dark matter tax.

      • Why on that expanding balloon Andromeda and the Milky Way would collide in the near future (3.75 billion years) ?

      • FAH
        Redshift could be the result of quantum entanglement of photons which apart from remaining in ‘spooky’ effects at a distance, also have a gravitational (or other) attraction. Even at vast distances, they would slow each other down and eventually return. That could account for redshift and it would not represent speed at all.
        Redshift as distance is fine, but it may not mean velocity. One of the strangest aspects claimed for this expansion theory is that the spaces between galaxies are expanding but not the galaxies themselves. The original inflation after BB theory didn’t have it working like that. The only way to have both happen is to have an ether that is affected by gravity – again, anathema.
        Having to invent DM and DE and Inflation that works but doesn’t work is all done in support of the rather useful general model of the universe. Quantum gravitational entanglement visible at the macro scale is more believable than DM or DE. Maybe there are more than 4 forces.

  8. I’m sorry, I can’t get behind the title of this article. Big Bang Theory was never settled nor claimed to be. it was simply the prevailing theory ( as the article states ) in the absence of a better one. And it remains that currently. it may be hogwash but nobody has staked their career on it being correct to the exclusion of all other options.
    Well, nobody still in work.

      • “Climate change” – thus sayeth your overlords, Obama and the UN IPCC.
        When astrophysicists tell me, the average layperson, that 96% of the universe consists of two mathematical variables – dark energy and dark matter – I really don’t have much credibility in whatever they have to say, not the least of which involves either (a) something that happened 14 billion years ago (b) something that will result in another 25 billion years or so or (c) two immense fudge factors to allow their equations to “work”. I wish my job allowed such freedom, especially for the salaries these scientists earn.

        • Mike the Morlock

          A manager of a Burger place can make 80% of the average salary.

          But think about the higher quality people you get to associate with on a daily basis …
          … at the Burger Place. /snark. 8<)

    • it may be hogwash but nobody has staked their career on it being correct to the exclusion of all other options.

      That’s only because it can’t be taxed. 😎

    • Absolutely.
      Quantum dynamics and general relativity conflict. Well known fact. General relativity’s ‘singularities’ probably do not exist as absolute point-like things.
      Please don’t be ‘Stunning’ Krugers.

  9. dp – Only if it is a) expanding and b) initially contained sufficient matter/energy which are problematic co-conditions.

  10. I have long been troubled by the idea that some known galaxies may be as much as 30 billion light-years from Earth. See http://www.science.tamu.edu/news/story.php?story_ID=1129#.VNp4FCzDua8
    If the universe is really only 13.8 billion years old, and if two photons started out in opposite directions right at that moment of origin, then the farthest apart they could be is 27.6 billion light-years (13.8 x 2). When I have asked physicists about this, their somewhat weaselly response was that the rules of physics did not exist yet in those first few moments after the Big Bang, and that allowed some objects to slip farther away than they should have. That never made sense, so maybe this new insight can clear up that quandary.

    • We see the photons as they were 13.8 billion years ago. In the meantime, the universe has continued its expansion [which is accelerating] so is now much larger, but don’t confuse the observable universe with the whole [which is very likely infinite in extent].

      • Your statment is a logical, physical and mathematical contradiction: object ‘infinite in extent’ can not expand, let alone have ‘accelerating expansion’ ( x * infinity = infinity)

      • Vukcevic said:
        Your statment is a logical, physical and mathematical contradiction: object ‘infinite in extent’ can not expand, let alone have ‘accelerating expansion’ ( x * infinity = infinity)
        —-
        The number of points on a ruler between the beginning of the ruler and the 1 inch mark is infinite. Yet there is a second inch with an equally infinite number of points.
        I think I agree with those that say this isn’t a stick to beat climate science with. I would suggest that “settled science” in the case of cosmology is much different than the “settled science” of CO2 man made warming. As has been mentioned by others, in cosmology “settled science” is the prevailing theory and the people I have asked about questions like this don’t get rowdy, lie or get defensive. They just say its the best we know at the moment and are not troubled by the irregularities. They accept that there are irregularities and over time we may solve some of them. They are not on a religious crusade here.
        In climate science “settled science” really means don’t argue with us because we really don’t care about the science, we just need an excuse for social engineering and control over people.
        So I’ll just finish with the note that (2 + 2 = 5) / 0 = 1 for large enough values of 2 and 0.

      • Remember also 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + … = -1/12 under Ramanujan summation.
        Physics is weird, as weird as mathematics. Infinities are even weirder.
        Vuk – if you don’t understand, it does not mean there is something wrong in physics, or you for that matter.

      • Hi Hugh
        I don’t know anything about Ramanujan summation, but have enough background in both maths and physics to know that:
        a) If someone presents a hypothesis according to which the physics laws as we know them, write themselves out of existence, then I would think something is wrong with either the hypothesis or the laws of physics. I rather trust the laws of physics.
        b) Universe would (just about) tolerate only one infinity, and that is itself.

      • In The Begining there was No End. Infinite is something else.
        However, the Photons we “see” are right here before our very eyes after being rattled by the Domino Effect set in motion far, far away and rather long ago and which remain Dark Matter if not nudged in our direction even if they are from every other.
        Get it pal?

      • davidswuk
        February 23, 2015 at 8:10 am
        In The Begining there was No End. Infinite is something else.
        However, the Photons we “see” are right here before our very eyes after being rattled by the Domino Effect set in motion far, far away and rather long ago and which remain Dark Matter if not nudged in our direction even if they are from every other.
        Get it pal?

    • Not possible, two objects can not move at speed of light each in opposite directions, since relative velocity of one in respect of the other would be 2c, in which case Einstein’s theory of relativity is invalid. They can’t have their cake and eat it.

      • Wait, so light/photons leaving our “side” of the sun travel at a different speed to light leaving the opposite side?

      • Tell that to the promoters of the Einstein’s theory.
        Einstein referred to miner destructions as “spooky action at a distance”
        Let’s have another glass of vine.

      • @ Colin excellent question that I have asked as well. That with the speed of light as being the limit, according to today’s views, falls to me in the same category as light bending. One answer I got that the theory is just based on “visible” light and added that other particles do not bend by gravitational forces. So I then asked the question : If some particles get “bend” by gravity and “others” do not would there not be a separation of said “mass” of particles. I got no answer but my thought then was: What if these “separated”, “un-seen” particles account for “dark mass’ sort of a “Lost in Space” effect? If they are not “visible” ( the answer I got) but are still there it could account for that?

      • two objects can not move at speed of light each in opposite directions, since relative velocity of one in respect of the other would be 2c

        this is an interesting problem. say you were actually moving away from someone at the speed of light, and they shone a laser at you. The light from that laser should never reach you, because you are traveling at the same speed as the laser light and it is behind you.
        Which brings up an interesting question. Why do you not see the person and thus the laser source simply receding from you at the speed of light if all motion is relative? And if you can see the laser source, you can see the light from the laser.

      • Since the space between galaxies is expanding and the galaxies basically sitting motionless in space, there is no conflict with relativity. You should not try to comment on things you don’t understand. And you need some more appreciation of what ‘infinity’ is. Here are a couple of exercises to get you started:
        Imagine a hotel with an infinite number of rooms, all occupied. Now comes a new guest and asks for a room. No problem, says the manager and he just moves all the guests to the room number that is one higher than the one they are in, leaving room #1 vacant and accommodating the new guest. Later that evening an infinity number of new guests arrive all asking for rooms. No problem, says the manager and he just moves every guest to a room with number twice that of their current room number, leaving infinitely many odd numbered rooms accommodating all the new guests.

      • Two points
        1. Infinity is only a mathematical concept, and those who do not appreciate that fact can talk of hotel rooms or similar meaningless analogies. Any ‘object’ you may conceive to have an infinity property (whatever it is, its size, number, etc) would exclude existence of anything else in the universe.
        2. Regarding photons moving away from the sun in opposite direction at speed of light:
        Light is electromagnetic wave, which propagates with (near) speed of light, depending on the medium. Your mobile phone is also source of em. waves, broadcasting in all directions at near speed of light.

      • Thats a misunderstanding of relative velocity. The relative velocity between them would still be 1 – the distance is simply increasing between them (from an observer) faster. Using the composition law for velocities you can see this.

    • From your link: “Because the universe has been expanding the whole time, the researchers estimate the galaxy’s present distance to be roughly 30 billion light years away. ”
      Don’t confine your concept of the distance traveled to the cosmic speed limit. If the photons are traveling at the speed of light away from each other, and the entire “bubble” of space time is also expanding as a whole, then you must add in the amount of expansion to the distance. Now I understand that is a simplistic attempt to explain but it’s the best I could do with my limited written language skills.

      • The best description I saw of that concept was to consider spacetime as the surface of a balloon. Draw two points on the balloon and start blowing it up. The points have zero velocity relative to their “universe” on the surface of the balloon, but are moving away from each other as the balloon inflates. Add 2 to 10 more dimensions (depending on they theory you’re working from) perform the same trick and you get an inflationary universe.

      • Niels –
        That expanding balloon analogy is a false analogy. The surface of the balloon is a curved 2D surface. The universe is in 3D. The expansion as they spell it out is the expansion only on the surface of the balloon. The universe is not the surface of a balloon.
        They also show you how massive objects distort the space around them by showing a 2D elastic surface with a heavy ball sitting on it. While that might make them feel secure in their thinking, that, too, is a confabulation of dimensions. The elastic 2D surface bends due to FORCES within the surface materials, and it doesn’t even come close to representing a 3D universe. It, too, is a false analogy.

    • Me, too.
      I’m no cosmologist, and I know nothing about general relativity. But, until someone who knows something comes along, here’s my guess.
      Even after the Germans took over, Scientific American had some decent valuable-for-us-laymen articles, and one of them described the paradox without tensor calculus, in a way that was convincing enough to pull the wool over my untutored eyes.
      Apparently it’s the universe itself that’s expanding, not just the matter in it. (Three-dimensional) space is like the (two-dimensional) surface of an expanding balloon. With respect to the balloon surface, matter and energy cannot travel faster than light. But there’s no limit to how fast the balloon surface can expand.

    • Matter cannot travel faster than light, but space is not matter, so it supposedly can “expand” faster than the speed of light. That’s how the universe can become over 90 billion light years in diameter after only 13.8 billion years. At least that’s how it is explained in the following video:

    • The difficulty comes from trying to comprehend distance as a function of time. I think it is past time to start measuring distance as a function of monetary units of National Debt.

    • Tom –
      They get around this by explaining that it isn’t the objects that are traveling away from each other, it is the SPACE between them that is expanding. Most oddly, they also claim that the space in local regions is not expanding – only the space between widely separated objects/galaxies/etc.
      Thus this expanding space doesn’t act like two objects simply moving away from each other in normal non-expanding space.
      They skip over the part where, if the space is expanding, then so are the rulers, and the frequencies must be affected, too. That may be (I am not sure yet) how they can get away with claiming that space inside galaxies is not expanding, meaning that our “normal” measuring rods – frequencies, etc. – are not subject to this “space expanding and only space expanding” thing.
      For the most part, it all seems to me to be that they make up whatever rules that can patch up the holes in the theory, and then they patch it again with the next absurdity that arises.
      I’ve found at least three ways to disprove the BBT if it is not space expanding but just objects fleeing from a central singularity location. I won’t go into them here, because the claim is not that objects alone are fleeing outward, but that the SPACE is expanding between them. I think that is an invalid proposition myself. And I DO agree with the late Halton Arp that the red shift = Doppler shift is an invalid simplistic concept – and for the reasons he said.

    • davidswuk
      February 23, 2015 at 8:10 am
      In The Begining there was No End. Infinite is something else.
      However, the Photons we “see” are right here before our very eyes after being rattled by the Domino Effect set in motion far, far away and rather long ago and which remain Dark Matter if not nudged in our direction even if they are from every other.
      Get it pal?

  11. Actually something being prevailant and settled are not the same thing, and if you were to know more about the science regarding the Big Bang, NOBODY in the field says it is settled. You should not draw your conclusions from popular media accounts on complex subjects. There are a few theories around, and actually measurements are being made right now which will slash the one or the other… this is known to everybody in the field, so that alone makes the assertion that the science is settled nonsensical.

    • You’ve heard of tongue-in-cheek? Anthony was merely making a comparison between the BBT and CAGW, and the comparison is very appropriate. I don’t attend any functions or am involved in cosmology in any way but there certainly IS a portrayal of the BBT as fact rather than very questionable theory. Mention doubt of the BBT on any science forum and prepare to be flamed. Lawrence Krauss even states on a documentary called The Unbelievers that “we know the Big Bang happened” (paraphrasing). Perhaps you should go have a conversation with Krauss and many of the other physicists that think like he does and let him know the science is not settled.

  12. We do know the ages of the stars through the stellar evolution models and the very oldest ones get up to $13.6 billion, the metal-poor second generation stars.
    So Big Bang or not, there was a beginning.

    • The oldest stars (globular cluster stars) were modelled to be 18 bn years old, but this eventually crossed with the “known” age of the universe, so the stellar evolution models were progressively tinkered with to keep the oldest stars younger than the universe. So we don’t really “know” anything down that path.

      • NZ Willy – Yeah just like Bill Gates’ MicroSoft programmers have thrown patches upon patches ay their poorly designed Windows operating system since the day it was first released
        Good science predicts; it doesn’t continually adjust. Adjustments are allowed, but there comes a time when there are so many adjustments that the idea needs to be reevaluated.

  13. [T]he Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics … oh, and a handful of assumptions. The first is that the red shift is a Doppler shift. Perhaps so; the arguments against tired light are good. But the last time I looked, cosmologists had no corroborating measurement that the Universe is expanding, now or ever.
    Post Modern Science is regularly settled; regular science, never. Nor, apparently, is the Universe.
    Cosmologists like to extrapolate their equations beyond the domain of their data all the way to the infinite and the infinitesimal. It gets them published, awards, tenure, and fame. And their models needn’t be shown actually to work.

    • Light could very well get tired from having to work its way through all that Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Also how do we know the laws of physics are invariant throughout the universe and throughout time? And that the constants in the equations don’t change?

    • I was told by a guy with a PhD in astrophysics that only cosmic expansion can explain red-shift. Unfortunately, gravitational red-shift was measured by W.S. Adams in 1925 and verified by the experiments of Pound, Rebka and Snider between 1959 and 1965. Thus BBT would appear to be inconsistent with General Relativity.

      • The Pompous Git

        Unfortunately, gravitational red-shift was measured by W.S. Adams in 1925 and verified by the experiments of Pound, Rebka and Snider between 1959 and 1965.

        Has it (the red shift, AND the ALSO theory that stars behave identically under all conditions so as to enable the “red shift” to be assumed valid in all galaxies at all distances (times)) been re-measured since then?

      • The original observation was based on spectral line shift in Sirius. Pound, Rebka and Snider’s earthbound experiment has been repeated many times and in different ways. GPS measurements have to account for the effect.

      • If we theorize that the red shift is caused by an expanding Universe, we may not conclude that space is expanding because of the red shift. Whether Doppler or the expanding universe boot strap, what is the corroborating evidence that the Universe is expanding? What can be measured?

      • So, if we have a tape measure stretched from the earth to the moon, and the universe is expanding, then so is the tape measure, and hence the same number of inches can be counted off between the earth and the moon. But a light beamed from moon to earth would see a tiny shift due to universe expansion. As the tape measure expands, does it become less dense? As the molecules and subatomic particles in it get further apart, do they stay the same size or do they expand as well? What about gravity and the inverse square law? Are those things that are more light years away than they appear because of expansion affected by gravity that affects us? – that is: is there any gravitational effect between us?

        • No, for short distances the nuclear forces, the electromagnetic forces, and gravity are all much stronger than the expansion, so I cannot blame my expanding waistline on the BB. The expansion only becomes important for distances of the order of the average distance between clusters of galaxies.

    • Jeff – Quite correct. You might want to read Hilton Radcliffe, a now retired cosmologist who makes many of the same points. He is, of course, quite unpopular with his peers.

      • As is my want, I found The Static Universe: Expanding the Myth of Cosmic Expansion by Hilton Ratcliffe on Amazon. I recommend the first 2 out of the 3 one-star reviews there. The 3rd appeals to supernova and that as galaxies get further away they move away from us faster, an appeal to the standard cosmology as evidence of — you guessed — standard cosmology. Always read the one-stars first (the five-stars are contaminated by shills). The featured two-star review confirms the lower ratings, referring to Ratcliffe’s crackpot style. Too bad.
        I’ll have to look for a scientific paper by Ratcliffe, if any exists, and it needn’t be published in a peer-reviewed journal, which would be the big bang of publishing and of postmodern science. Any recommendations?
        His blog claims him to be well-credentialed, although credentialed crack-pots are commonplace (like all the IPCC climatologists, they may prove to include all the Big Bang cosmologists). The blog also names a founder of the Alternative Cosmology Group. Maybe there’s a lead from ACG to something substantial. The first page of its blog at http://www.cosmology.info is promising, but unanswered and at first blush appears to be a dead end.

  14. With all of the discussion about infinite time, infinite densities, and newly coined exotic phrases like ‘quantum fluid’, would it really kill them to admit that perhaps believing the universe had a ‘creator’ is not all that far-fetched afterall?
    There was a Popular Science article at one point that stated that science in general does not like the concept of infinite numbers, yet the only way they can explain things in a totally naturalistic way is to introduce the concept of ‘infinity’ (yet natural processes could not possibly allow for it).

    • “…would it really kill them to admit that perhaps believing the universe had a ‘creator’ is not all that far-fetched afterall?”
      “Believing” is not part of the scientific method and has no place in science.

      • Yet this article states a belief that the creation of the universe can be explained in an entirely naturalistic fashion without exactly knowing what it is and without a guarantee that it will ever be found (they find that the Big Bang theory has major issues and that in turns sends them back to the drawing board to find another explanation).
        It’s just as much ‘believing’ in something as in religion at this point, or maybe that type of thing is only permitted on one side on the discussion.

      • Quoting philosopher of science, Aaron Davidson

        As humans we are born into this world without any preexisting knowledge about our universe. In order to cope and survive, we must make observations and draw conclusions from them. Without making observations and generalizations we cannot make sense of our surroundings. From birth, formulating a belief system is essential to our survival, and perhaps even to our consciousness. Although all that exists for the individual is one’s subjective experiences, an external objective reality must be assumed in order to function on a level beyond your average garden vegetable.
        Obviously there is an infinite set of beliefs one can believe in, but most would be nearly as useless as having no belief system at all. As belief systems grow in complexity, beyond simple common sense generalizations, these systems attempt to also explain and understand. Belief systems can be classified into two basic flavors: science and religion.
        What are the distinctions between a science and a religion? At first glance one might be inclined to state that a science is a system where beliefs are derived from objective methodologies and that a religion is a system of beliefs based on faith. However, a conscious entity practicing science can only draw on its subjective experiences to form beliefs. This means that no matter how objective science appears to be, there are generally two assumptions which musty be taken entirely on faith.
        1) There exists an external objective reality
        2) There exists some sort of uniformity through time
        a) the universe has structure
        b) predictions and generalizations are possible.
        Even though these assumptions exist in science it should be noted that as stated before, there is no way around them if we are to attempt to function without difficulty in this universe. Marvin Minsky (1985) has an interesting view of this problem. The limits to human knowledge are created when the questions being asked are circular. For example, asking what caused the universe is asking what causes a cause. This circularity indicates that the question is unanswerable by its very nature.
        Other than those assumptions which are absolutely necessary, science rejects assumptions of faith. Science is a belief system which aims to minimize faith. Religion, on the other hand, is a belief system based completely on faith.

      • Somebody accepts the BBT because they “believe” there may be dark matter (and other stuff) around to tie up all the loose ends.
        The authors propose (and hope others will accept) the theory associated with this posting along with the “belief” that there may be an as yet unmeasurable aether out there to help hold their theory together.
        A whole lot of people “believe” in a creator in order to fill in the unexplainable/unmeasurable gaps in the reality of their world.
        Theories are just that, theories, they are (or should be) open-ended, and they still require belief (faith). The inclusion of some sort of a “creator” really shouldn’t change anything unless it also takes away the open-endedness of the situation.
        Believing is only a problem for those too stubborn to accept that there may be changes (to their theory or their lives) and that their beliefs may actually need to change.

  15. This is so not news. The unfinished business of the reconciliation of quantum mechanics and the purely classical formulation of general relativity was a known loose end back in the ’70s when I first became aware of the subject; the problem was, and remains, trying to get the necessary mathematical formulation that doesn’t turn all the numerical calculations into the form “infinity – infinity”.
    This paper looks to be yet another semi-classical smearing out of the classical singularity, just with a different sort of handwaving from the similar ideas that Stephen Hawking was playing with 30-odd years ago. It’s not even in the class of “way out there” ideas that have a modicum of respectability, like Turok’s cyclic ekpyrotic model of a few years back.

    • almost like religion because the Big Bang was first proposed by Georges Lemaître, a priest and a physicist?

      • Janice,
        A perfect sphere is a fictional concoction of mathematics; one manifestation of it being the Cartesian equation : x^2 + y^2 + z^2 = r^2
        There is absolutely NOTHING in any branch of mathematics that actually exists in the real physical universe; only approximations.
        So the above equation can not explain how you get 8 km high mountains on the surface of the earth; which therefore is not a perfect sphere.
        There aren’t even any points or lines either.
        g

      • “and butter…… and salt…… and beer to infinitely wash it all down!”
        Funny you should mention butter:
        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/23/butter-bad-saturated-fat-healthy-eating-industry
        Apart from the fact that I can now enjoy toast that tastes good again, a few interesting points from that link:
        (1) it’s about well established science that appears to be wrong
        (2) That science is around the same age as the AGW meme
        (3) The article is keen to point out that certain industry segments have benefited from it
        (4) They point out how such financial interests may have influenced the science over the years
        All sound familiar so far?
        (5) It’s the Guardian reporting it – who can see exactly how such things might work for fatty foods yet can’t openly scoff at any suggestion that the same might happen with AGW “science”
        (6) The vast majority of the commenters, who would also sneer at AGW scepticism, take the whole thing enthusiastically onboard, including going as far as suggesting conspiracies by the sugar industry!
        Oh, the hypocrisy!

  16. Here are some stars in just one nearby galaxy (M31), captured by the Hubble telescope (the very bright stars are much closer, in our own galaxy).
    And this explains some of the questions upthread (how big is the universe?)

  17. Quantum equation dilemma:
    1. Creation ex nihilo
    2. Perpetual Motion Machine
    **Some restrictions apply. No quantum superstates or 3rd postions allowed.

  18. There should be no debate over the use of the term” settled “. Science is only settled when it absolutely passes, and continues to pass the Scientific Method.
    Everything else is conjecture, hypothesis or theory.
    Often interesting but don’t overreact, introduce laws, start universal taxation regimes and DON’T blow the budget.

  19. Whether or not the BBT is part of the path to understanding where we all came from, at least we are not being asked to give up our lifestyles, our money and our freedom for it.

  20. of course everything that exists is that which is comprehended by human mind. I would like to find the person who described the universe as expanding like a balloon and give them a slap for confusing my tiny mind.
    As I can understand things things might well be expanding and might well have been very compressed at some time in the past but as we are in the expanding thing we are in the same thing now as before just the scaling is a bit different. the problem with the big bang is what are we expanding into ? is difficult to comprehend.

    • I love this stuff!
      of course for the universe to be expanding 3D space must be being created in order to fit everything in.

      • and I suppose that it might not be getting bigger by, like a balloon, the edges pressing outwards but more 3D stuff might be bubbling up inside and pushing things apart.

      • I can understand the bits that make up me being more compressed in a compressed reality but it would be irrelevant because everything else would be compressed. The reality must react to compression of 3D space. In the big bang theory 3D cannot just keep on getting smaller/more compressed in relation to previous distances between things for some reason I do not understand.

      • We slow light down all the time. That’s how lenses work. It gets slower in any medium except a pure vacuum… and I seem to remember that according to quantum theory there’s not even any such thing as a pure vacuum as particles can pop into existence randomly for extremely short time periods. (Like Planck time scales.) I won’t even pretend to understand it.

      • The referenced experiments resulted in decreased speed even after exiting the medium which originally slowed it, IIRC.
        Mark

  21. A universe that ‘appears’ to be ~14 billion years old could certainly have been created ~4,000 years ago.
    Why did the Creator leave deceptive clues and curse us with curiosity?

  22. There are. Lots of theories that challenge ‘Big Bang’ and they are not new, but just like alternate theories to greenhouse warming they have been sidelined, ridiculed, shunned and de funded by those supporting the ‘mainstream’ model.
    Big Bang, black holes, dark energy and dark matter are all problems of general relativity. The first violates the ‘something from nothing’ law, both BB and Black Holes suffer from the laws of physics no longer working. Dark energy and matter from the absurdity of invisible stuff conviently solving equations that are out by up to 90%!
    The recent comet landing gives a perfect example of Nerds desperately clinging to theory whilst reality ridicules. The comet is clearly not a ‘dirty snowball’, but a giant lump of rock. Every other comet they have gotten close enough to photograph is the same. The implications are as profound as Galilaeo. Gravity might not be constant. Electrical forces might exist in space on huge scales. But like AGW funding and jobs are on the line and admitting that those who currently don’t receive it might be right would be career suicide!

    • I also forgot about the extra dimensions. Created for the same purpose as dark matter. The theories didn’t match observation so they retrofitted the theory with something that was impossible to observe!!
      Sounds more like religion to me but there you go!

      • Epiphron Elpis: “Dark matter” isn’t even matter, it’s just dark. It’s just a measure of the gap between theory and observation. It could be called “daark knowledge”. Or “dark heat” could be the gap between global warming models and the actual flat “pause” — if they could get away with that — but the thermodynamicists have sort of pre-empted that with their “entropy”, the original measure of that which we cannot detect.

    • The implications are as profound as Galilaeo.[sic]

      Galileo believed that comets were an optical atmospheric phenomenon and viciously attacked anyone who claimed they were objects in the space between Earth and Sun.

  23. The Standard Models of particle and cosmological physics, and of climate ‘science’ are not Popper falsifiable and fall across the line of Demarcation from science.

  24. None of the Universe would exist if not observed. It’s all in your mind, which may not exist either. … or it could just be multi-dimensional collapse!

  25. Anthony, I think this topic is simply not germane to the climate change discussion for the fairly simple reason that very few physicists would preemptively declare the science settled and forestall any future debate or new observations of fact from the advancement of the science. I believe that astrophysicists, in particular, are quite aware of the limitations imposed by our technology and our ability to conceptualize the beginning of the universe, and have historically been open to debate….sometimes acrimonious…but usually aimed at improving our ability to describe and model our universe.
    This article, and it’s inflammatory headline, are not up to your usual high standard.

    • No I think you will discover that the powers that be are just as closed minded and protective of their positions in this area as they are in climatology. The same cronyism in peer review. The only difference is that the skeptics in cosmology don’t get the same media coverage

      • “In the end the data always wins, that’s the difference”
        Oh you poor naive fool 🙂 data is ignored, shunned, ridiculed, slandered in every area of science or human endeavour! Human nature applies to all humans, even scientists! No one likes to be proved wrong and outward commitment to scientific method is a poor weapon against pride and ego. Especially if careers and funding are on the line.

      • Turk,
        “In the end…”
        With respect to BBT I don’t really care how far away the end is … no damage will be done.
        With respect to the bad data and its use, as associated with climate scare, I hope the end is near. The end needs to get here before too much damage is done.

    • Our host used to have a site description which encompassed “Puzzling things in nature. . .” Not just “climate.” At some point last year that changed. Personally, I liked the broad scope, and enjoyed the greater variety of topics that it generated. So an occasional article on cosmology or other “non-climate” topics is particularly welcome, IMO.
      /Mr Lynn

    • Improbable.
      The universe is expanding. That makes a steady state universe improbable as it should have expanded too much by now. It needs to be a wobbly universe.
      The lack of gravity waves is a sign that the inflation period didn’t happen with the current laws of gravity applied.
      It’s inflation theory that is challenged by the everlasting wobbly universe theory.
      But that assumes that the laws of gravity are constant at all matter densities – for which we need both dark matter and dark energy to make the sums work.
      Or fiddle-in and fiddle-out factors as the cynical might say.
      It isn’t beautiful mathematics.

    • The standard model has problems at all scales, not just at the micro level. That’s why they had to invent dark matter and dark energy.
      Also “the greenhouse properties of CO2 is solid science”? I would argue that the properties of CO2 are solid, the “greenhouse” bit is pure conjecture.

    • ‘with the greenhouse properties of CO2, which is solid science.’
      In a bell jar with nothing else involved , so like a square chicken in vacuum the model works providing that the model covers all and knows all about the thing is it trying to model, and with climate we are not even close to that. Its not the rules that matter but how to and what your applying them to, if there is a truck load of variables you don’t understand then you simply cannot claim ‘this is not an issues becasue of the laws of anything ‘ If that was not the case they there would be no need at all to come up with 100 reasons why the models have failed in , no need for any ‘missing heat ‘ or missing anything . You want to make claims of perfection , or ‘settled science ‘ you better have a perfect evidenced to start with

    • Yes in deed, every physicist agrees with every other physicist.
      And they all agree on the ‘greenhouse properties’ of CO2 but they just can’t come together on that feedback thingy.

  26. the fallacie of ‘logic speech’:
    ‘a new quantum equation predicts the universe has no beginning.’
    when a language offers a word ‘beginning’ there has to be a phenomenon called ‘beginning’.
    all cretes are liars explains the authochton crete to the tourist.
    AND:
    PREDICTS – already accomplished beginning.
    Karl Kraus for wording, Phillip K.Dick for pre diction.
    Hans

  27. Serious question for the statics crowd.
    Against an infinite time line, does the significance of any event in the Universe fall to zero?
    If that is the case, then local, not cosmic events are both important to a species, but of zero value across cosmological time spans and distances.
    Does it follow then, that events have simultaneously no value, and absolute value. Depending on where one stands? And who’s affected?
    Have I fallen for a faulty philosophical carrot?

    • All values are always dependent on where one stands. Everyone is affected, and nobody is affected. Dust to dust, and ashes to ashes. The only time and place that really matters, to any individual, is the time and place that they occupy. Even without regard for religious morals, though, many people try to do good during their life, try to improve their lot, and the lot of those that will come after them. They do so regardless of whether it makes a farthings worth of difference to the universe. And though the arguments on this blog will make no difference to the world knowledge on this subject, we still come here and argue. It is in the nature of humans to assign values to their thoughts and actions. Who is affected? We all are.

      • Thanks for that. Its a fine point made finely. I ponder often upon, what would transcend local space events, and influence everyone every where in the cosmos. A universal change in the charge of an electron might do it.

  28. There is a theory that models do not conform to nature, but that nature conforms to models. That human consciousness is a causal force that establishes patterns in the chaos.
    As we indulge in childhood fantasies, and impatiently join our ancestors in peering beyond the scientific domain, we must wonder if we will ever pass beyond inference and confirm our perceptions. First, it was gods riding through the sky. Now, it is uniformity and independence to calm our fears of the unknown and anchor our identities in divine grounds.

  29. Jeff Glassman February 10, 2015 at 1:48 pm
    [T]he Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics … oh, and a handful of assumptions. The first is that the red shift is a Doppler shift. Perhaps so; the arguments against tired light are good. But the last time I looked, cosmologists had no corroborating measurement that the Universe is expanding, now or ever. . .

    The distinguished astronomer, the late Halton Arp, offered observable evidence that quasi-stellar objects with high red shifts were physically connected with low-red-shift galaxies. He hypothesized that the former displayed ‘intrinsic’ red shifts, and that the Doppler Effect as evidence for an ‘expanding universe’ was mistaken. Interestingly, he speculated that the quasars were actually young galaxies, ‘birthed’ from older ones. For these ideas, he was shunned by academic astronomy, not unlike the attitude of the academic Warmists to skeptical scientists. See: Halton Arp, Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology, and Academic Science (1998); http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Red-Redshifts-Cosmology-Academic/dp/0968368905/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423609409&sr=1-1&keywords=arp+redshift
    /Mr Lynn

      • Try reading “conversations with God – book 1” by Neale Donald Walsch. See the part on the Big Bang theory. Wraps up God and the Big Bang theory in one!
        Alternatively you could go for “The hitchiker’s guide to the Galaxy” the simple answer is 42 😉

    • Not nothing. The BBT theory is everything was created out of an infinite energy unquantifiable beyond cause and affect something, or (steady state) everything always was and came from nothing, it just was.
      In this you have identified what philosophers call the cosmological argument, which supports everything coming from an infinite beyond cause and affect something, which some call God.

  30. Fred Hoyle believed in a “steady state” universe, constantly expanding ,and new matter spontaneously created in the gaps left by the expansion. It was Fred Hoyle who coined the term “Big Bang” as a derogatory insult.
    George Gamow hypothesized microwave background ratiation of about 5 degrees K as a remnant of the big bang. Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias had problems with static received by their antenna. At firs they thought it was the result of bird shit, but even after a thorough cleaning, the static was still there. It turned out they discovered the background radiation predicted by George Gamow- but 2.7 K rather than the calculated 5 K. Of course there are singularity problems to be resolved, but there must have been a pretty uniform explosion 13.8 billion years ago, else where did that 2.7 K radiaiton come from?

      • The only problem with that, Vukcevic, is that this is, I believe, broad band radiation which follows the full planck profile, as if from a solid body at 2.7K. It is not line spectra, which you might expect from some very thin dispersed gas.

    • My theory, and it’s only a theory, is that if you clean up all the bird shit in the universe that 2.7K radiation will disappear.

      • Wow. I had to read all that stuff above to finally get a good laugh. Just saying bird shit several different ways is funny. I didn’t know how much I don’t know until now. I wish I could understand more of it. I do understand Doppler shift and bird shit. I have been aerial bombarded by a seagull. I’m glad cows don’t fly.

    • adding key information…as you said, “It was Fred Hoyle who coined the term “Big Bang” as a derogatory insult” ..adding…directed at Father Georges Henri Lemaitre, PhD the Belgian priest and physicist who came up with the “primeval egg” theory.
      People then and even now are so pissed off that the big bang was invented by a catholic priest they self edit to exclude that single fact.
      Yup A Catholic Priest invented the Big Bang.

      • Actually Fr Le Maitre resurrected the cosmic egg, rather than inventing it. The idea is expounded in Sanskrit scripture. The Sanskrit term for it is Brahmanda (Brahm means ‘cosmos’ or ‘expanding’, anda means ‘egg’). Certain Puranas such as the Brahmanda Purana speak of this in detail.

      • In the International System of Units (SI units), the units of absolute temperature are ‘kelvins’, with a small ‘k’. All the SI units begin with a small letter, i.e. watts, metres, seconds etc. Kelvins, with a capital K, does not conform. Also wrong, as you say, is ‘degrees Kelvin’, since the units are kelvins and not degrees.
        The confusion arises, I think, because when abbreviated, then capital K is correct, as in 255K. But the abbreviation for metres is ‘m’ , for seconds is ‘s’, with small letters but capital W for watts.
        There is a logic to this
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_System_of_Units
        [Note: Kelvin and ‘degrees Kelvin’ were correct before the convention changed in the 1960s, so George Gamow would probably have said degrees Kelvin]

  31. Well some believe that there are parallel universes and you can “prove” that parallel universes do exist:
    http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=966.0
    “What happens when the red laser light is slowed to one photon at a time (no, this can’t be done in your dining room)? That is, when only one photon is fired through each of the four slits, the same pattern appears. Could it be that, when the photon passes through the slits, they change course and recombine? Nope. When detectors are placed at each of the four slits, and one photon again is passed through them, only one of the detectors goes off, meaning that the photon hasn’t split.
    David Deutsch, using an experimentally confirmed prediction from quantum theory, believes that what’s causing the interference are shadow photons. More specifically, interference, as in this experiment, is not only common for photons but for every particle. So, Deutsch writes in “Fabric of Reality”, this is what is causing the interference, “[W]hen a photon passes through one of four slits, some shadow photons pass through the other three slits.” The shadow photons, then, are blocking the tangible photons, causing only three shadow slits.
    These shadow photons form a parallel universe. David Deutsch writes that they behave as tangible particles do. They obey the law of physics but with the difference that they’re in a different position.”
    If you want to take advantage of these other worlds and experience “Quantum Jumping”, go here:
    http://realityshifters.com/pages/quantumjumping.html
    Then there is the “cyclic model” that doesn’t require a Big Bang:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclic_model

  32. Don’t forget String theory’s take.
    Before the BB the 11 (or more) dimensions were internalised and the universe thus had no length.
    Then the 3 “space” dimensions leaked out. That’s all. It makes the Big Bang less of a big deal.
    Singularities also go away with String theory since nothing can be smaller than the Plank length of 10^-32 mm. If it tries to be smaller it finds that it gets bigger instead.
    I favour the topological string paradigm and find opposition to it to be mostly based on prejudice and misunderstanding.

      • Lack of evidence is not the same as falsifying evidence.
        And there is evidence of a kind – such as dramatic improvement in performance of mathematical formulations of the strong force when string topology is brought in (Venetziani).

  33. “Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you.”
    — Philip J. Fry

  34. This discussion enters the area where ordinary consciousness may not serve us in our quest for answers.

  35. @ NielsZoo February 10, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Now how do we get the Climateers to learn how to question their flawed basic premises?

    Brilliant use of the word “Climateer”. Not sure if it is your creation but it solves several problems at once.
    1) Keeps us from stooping to their level and using harsh stereotypical labels like “denier”
    2) Is akin to “puppeteer” as they are the puppets of a political agenda
    3) Actually refers to the issue at hand unlike “skeptic” and “denier”
    4) I would never be embarrassed to use it
    Thanks!!!!

  36. Do I have to be the first to mention the Great Green Arkleseizure?
    Or:
    FORD:
    Yeah, well, Forget that. I mean do you know how the universe began for a kick off?
    ARTHUR:
    Well probably not
    FORD:
    Alright imagine this: you get a large round bath made of ebony.
    ARTHUR:
    Where from? Harrod’s was destroyed by the Vogons.
    FORD:
    Well it doesn’t matter –
    ARTHUR:
    So you keep saying!
    FORD:
    No, No listen. Just imagine that you’ve got this ebony bath, right? And it’s conical.
    ARTHUR:
    Conical? What kind of bath is –
    FORD:
    No, no, shh, shhh, it’s, it’s, it’s conical okay? So what you do, you fill it with fine white sand right? Or sugar, or anything like that. And when it’s full, you pull the plug out and it all just twirls down out of the plug hole… but the thing is…
    ARTHUR:
    Why?
    FORD:
    No, the clever thing is that you film it happening. You get a movie camera from somewhere and actually film it. But then you thread the film in the projector backwards.
    ARTHUR:
    Backwards?
    FORD:
    Yeah, neat you see. So what happens is you sit and you watch it and then everything appears to swirl upwards, out of the plug hole and fill the bath… amazing.
    ARTHUR:
    And that’s how the universe began?
    FORD:
    No. But it’s a marvellous way to relax.

  37. I love this subject!
    When you make the assertion that everything came from “NOTHING” you really need to understand that nothing is “NOTHING”. It is not a vacuum, or nearly empty space, it is nothing. NOTHING AT ALL.
    So we have everything and it came from Nothing at all.
    We can propose a bouncing universe but the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate.
    So now what?
    Oh the mulitiverse. I would refer you all to the Borde Guth Vilenkin Theorem.
    In any and every case case there is a beginning.
    Fr Georges Henri Lemaitre, The Catholic priest and physicist who invented the Big Bang was right about that.
    In the words of Atheist Leonard Susskind, the first cause that created our anthropic universe is
    1) unknowable;
    2) God; (yes he said this)
    3) incredibly and absurdly improbably accidental;
    4) It will be known someday, maybe.
    Alternatively from Robert Spitzer SJ, a 1 hour lecture on the whole state of the art of science of creation.
    Enjoy watching a polymath jesuit discuss contemporary cosmology.

    • BB is not everything from nothing. The BBT theory is everything was created out of an infinite energy unquantifiable beyond cause and affect something, the alternative is (steady state) everything always was and came from nothing, it just was. Cyclical theory is just a different version of steady state.
      In this you have identified what philosophers call the cosmological argument, which supports everything coming from an infinite beyond cause and affect something, which some call God.

      • You say, “Cyclical theory is just a different version of steady state.”
        Nope. It also had a beginning. The “cycle” must have a starting point. I refer you to Vilenkin. or Susskind for that matter.
        Science and observation is on my side. Cyclic theory, has no evidence and, as such, is speculative.
        Also you say” BB is not everything from nothing.”. Yes is it. With the BB, came time, space, energy matter etc. … everything. Before the BB there wasn’t even a before. There was nothing. And nothing is very difficult to apprehend. Saying that there was anything else before BB is….religion or belief.

      • Alexander Vilenkin tackles several models with his BVG theorem and concludes that it is most likely that the universe had a beginning. You can watch it below, and he specifically deals with the cyclic model, the emergent model, & static. See time stamp 34:19 for his conclusions.

      • I disagree Paul. All the evidence leading up to the singularity points to an infinite energy solution, existing beyond the laws of cause and affect, beyond the constraints of time. On the other hand steady state assumes no beginning, and everything inclusive (all things that can be quantified) has no cause.
        As to cyclical theory, I have often heard it expressed as removing the need for a beginning. If some wish to eliminate that aspect, and define a beginning, it to likely demands infinite energy solutions.

      • David,
        The beauty of the BVG Theorem (you should watch) is that it is independent of the dynamics.
        Now consider the experimental results.
        We have an ever expanding (at an accelerating rate) universe. That empirical observation kills the cyclic and static models. Interestingly, Monseigneur LeMaitre and Eddington considered the cyclic universe back in 1933, 30 years prior to Wilson and Penzias’ background radiation discovery.
        The trouble with the static and cyclic models is that they contradict observation. Proponents of these 2 models (like Fred Hoyle) suffer the narrow mind dilemma. They detest the implications of the First Cause so much that they will defy the most fundamental elements of science to advance a belief. That is not science.
        Further, adherents of the “no-first-cause” camp will speculate, without evidence, of all sorts prior-to-BB circumstance to patch over bad science and avoid observation. That is why I like Leonard Susskind’s explanation of the razer edge anthropic fine tuning. He is honest about it and sticking to the open mind which science requires.
        Alexander Vilenkin, extrapolates the geodesics based on now as a boundary condition. Statics are unstable.
        It is a difficult video, but you will be well served in listening.
        Cheers

  38. Next thing you know, they’ll be calling Piltdown Mann a hoax.
    The problem is when the science isn’t settled, or requires assumptions, but instead of arguing for what the exact state of discovery and how, people get defensive instead of reasoning. Sometimes the truth is obscure, but I tend to go with the side willing to argue the points. (The movie Expelled is worth viewing as is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGgpGLxLQw which someone in the Climate Debate needs to do a similar version, or something along “you can trust climatological models… http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_3UXl0oMYPLs/SXZHIRt_oKI/AAAAAAAAAFw/j6kmhIdEQTI/s1600-h/ATHEIST+LOGIC.jpg).
    Big Bang is old news: http://bigbangneverhappened.org/ – it is simple and explains the data. Steady State was Dogma until a Jesuit’s theory started sounding right. And Plate Tectonics was proposed and ridiculed in 1905.

  39. Anthony,
    The Big Bang theory was never settled science.
    The Big Bang theory might be the orthodox explanation for the beginning of the universe at the moment but it was never “settled”.
    That there might be a view that challenges the Big Bang explanation is not a problem.
    It would be a worry if there weren’t other views.
    Science is never settled, that’s why it’s science.
    It is always open to challenge.
    You are strong on this regarding climate science.
    So what’s the problem if there is robust discussion in astrophysics ?

    • neh… science is awesome! Science adapts, It is not anti science to argue about science. It is required.

    • Hey James-
      You might consider washing y0ur hands before you dig into that popcorn, since it’s obvious to all us yokel anti- heaterists that you just dropped in to fling some poo and see what happens next.

  40. I think we have a whole lot of things to learn, the origin of the universe and how our climate works not least among them.

  41. I be a mere lay person, so please excuse my following question:
    Is space considered to have been contained within the pre-BB singularity and burst forth with all the other stuff, or was space there all along as it is now, and contained the singularity?

  42. Left to its own devices, nature always seems to “decay” in to a state of greater disorder. Yet somehow, after the big bang, nature “ordered” itself into universes, galaxies, stars, solar systems, etc.
    It’s as if a massive star exploded, sending its matter, willy nilly into space at very great velocities, only to have this star-stuff “organize” itself into some sort of coherent mass or several or a great many coherent masses.
    This seems highly improbable and totally at odds with what has been observed anywhere in the observable universe ( unless some PRE-EXISTING significant object- a black hole, a star, etc., with a large gravitational force pulls space stuff into some sort of “coherent” mass.)
    Further, if E= mc^2 , at the time of the big bang, it is really tough to imagine an “E” so immensely huge, that the “m” produced is equal to the present day mass ( including dark matter- whatever that is) of the ENTIRE universe.
    Maybe it was a massive star – a trillion , trilion, trillion trillion x 10^100 times the size of our sun that blew up. Or maybe a whole bunch of very large stars collided and blew up – that was the big bang.
    But that would still not explain how an explosive event produces somewhat ” organized ” outcomes.
    I am NOT a scientist , so perhaps someone out there in the ether (dark matter cloud) can tell me where I am going wrong!!!

    • Your pertinent observation has led to some believing that the likelihood of the Universe being 5 minutes old, is much greater than the likelihood that it is 13 billion years old. It’s a funny old Universe we live in 🙂

    • Its called evolution. Evolution always go the other way. Its like Merlin in King Arthur. While everyone else gets older Merlin get younger. You just have to believe it – like religion.

    • “Left to its own devices, nature always seems to “decay” in to a state of greater disorder. ”
      Which is why it never should be left to its own devices.

    • It is arguable that, given sources of energy, the tendency of matter in the universe is toward increasing complexity, not the reverse. Hence we find complex organic molecules in asteroids.
      /Mr Lynn

    • “Left to its own devices, nature always seems to “decay” in to a state of greater disorder.”
      “Decay” is a human judgement.

  43. Genesis 1
    The Beginning
    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.
    3. And God said, “Let there be Max Photon,” and there was Max Photon.
    4. God saw that Max Photon was good — really good! — and he separated Max Photon from the Darkness.
    5. God called Max Photon “Day,” and the Darkness he called “Night.” And there was Happy Hour, and there was evening, and there was morning — the first Day.
    6. And it’s pretty much been downhill ever since.

  44. Beginning and End depend on time, and time is an invention of man.
    If you accept that things cannot spring forth from nothing, then it must be the case that either God has always existed, or whatever came before the big bang has always existed.

  45. I have nothing against big bang per se, as I have nothing against global warming per se. My objection in both cases has to do with inappropriate introduction of causing mechanisms. In the case of global warming it is a non-existent greenhouse warming. In the case of the Big Bang it is an imaginary “inflation.” Technically, the Big Bang paper had to be withdrawn because the mistook intergalactic dust for the expected gravitational wave from the era of inflation. This way, they are still free to go looking for those gravitational waves by other means. In my opinion they do not exist and these people had to have a cover story of why they did not see them. As far as I have been able to find out, there is no satisfactory theory of inflation. It is just an overblown hypothesis, derived from a grad student’s idea of what was going on in the very early universe. I bet you anything that the current studies of the proton will prove it wrong.

    • I also suspect that inflation is a patch.
      There are surely plenty of other valid explanations for red shift that have not been adequately considered.
      Perhaps the big bang theory is rooted in the desire to project human terms upon the universe. We are born with finite bodies; our lives begin and end. Maybe we just want to believe that the universe is also finite. An infinite universe has no center of gravity upon which to collapse, and so could be eternal.
      This agrees so much more with known physics than something from nothing.

  46. I’ve watched the big bang theory get patched and patched and patched. It should fall because it has been dis proven many different ways by folks who believed that what they should be seeing isn’t there. I have wondered when someone would realize that the universe is an evolution in progress and wondered when folks that would realize that black holes ARE THE EVENT HORIZON, spitting cosmic rays and radiation back out to be formed again infinitely. But no.. apparently the hubris of man dictates that we know the exact beginning of everything…even claiming that we know the exact age and make up of everything.. E=mc2 is ambiguous for we know the speed of light is not constant. We also now know that YES matter can move faster than light. We know that stars sing, why wouldn’t the universe be filled with white noise? And anyone who watches a red sunset caused by a volcano in another part of the world knows that it is not just distance that can red shift light, it is all the crap in between the stars as well. The true science will be able to connect the very small to the very large because nature is a repeating series of patterns but until the math gets corrected it will never be possible.

    • We also now know that YES matter can move faster than light.

      I didn’t know that.
      Could you tacky on a reference or two?

      • We also now know that YES matter can move faster than light.

        I didn’t know that.
        Could you tacky on a reference or two?

        Oh, it is obvious to the most causual of observers:
        Beliefs are created faster than the evidence that supports them.
        Beliefs remain fixed in place despite a change in the evidence that contradicts them.

  47. There are currently almost a hundred different anomalies and paradoxes: Astronomical observations vs Big bang theory. To keep the big bang theory on life support the laws of physics was changed allowing ‘inflation’, dark matter, and dark energy to be created. As observations improved the paradoxes and anomalies have increase not decreased and there is no solution in sight (the problem is the big bang did not happen, the universe is eternal rather than was created from nothing 13.7 billion years ago).
    This paper for example lists 13 paradoxes and anomalies (peer reviewed paper for each paradox/anomaly) concerning the formation and evolution of galaxies.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.0623v2
    This paper for example lists 10 paradoxes and anomalies concerning quasars. An example of an in your face quasar paradox is quasar spectrum does not exhibit time dilation (three peer reviewed papers confirm quasars do not exhibit time dilation, all possible explanations have been eliminated). If quasars were distant objects they would exhibit time dilation. There is no explanation as to why quasar spectrum does not exhibit time dilation and are no paper disputing the observational fact that quasars do not exhibit time dilation.
    Time dilation is a consequence of the fact that the universe is expanding.
    http://phys.org/news190027752.html
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.4297
    Pending problems in QSOs
    Quasars (Quasi Stellar Objects, abbreviated as QSOs) are still nowadays, close to half a century after their discovery, objects which are not completely understood.
    There are half dozen fundamental paradoxes concerning the ‘cosmic’ microwave background radiation.
    The cosmic microwave background radiation (referred to as CMB) on small angles is too uniform (varies as 1 part in 100,000) vs 1 part of 5000 to 1 part of 7000 based on distribution of the matter in the universe (reality that there are galaxies) if there is no ‘inflation’.
    On large angles are vast cold and hot spots and the hot and cold spots in the CMB mysteriously alignment of the large features in the CMB with the axis of our solar system and with our galaxy.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.4786

    Large-Angle CMB Suppression and Polarization Predictions
    The anomalous lack of large angle temperature correlations has been a surprising feature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) since first observed by COBE-DMR and subsequently confirmed and strengthened by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. This anomaly may point to the need for modifications of the standard model of cosmology or may indicate that our Universe is a rare statistical fluctuation within that model. Further observations of the temperature auto-correlation function will not elucidate the issue; sufficiently high precision statistical observations already exist.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0712.1118

    “The mystery of the WMAP cold spot”
    We find that, unlike its Northern counterpart, the Southern Galactic hemisphere of the CMB map is characterized by significant departure from Gaussianity of which the CS is not the only manifestation: we have located a ring, on which there are “cold” as “hot” spots with almost the same properties as the CS. Exploiting the similarity of the WCM and the ILC maps, and using the latter as a guide map, we have discovered that the shape of the CS is formed primarily by the components of the CMB signal represented by multipoles between 10 ≤ ℓ ≤ 20, with a corresponding angular scale about 5−10◦. This signal leads to modulation of the whole CMB sky, clearly seen at |b| > 30◦ in both the ILC and WCM maps, rather than a single localized feature. After subtraction of this modulation, the remaining part of the CMB signal appears to be consistent with statistical homogeneity and Gaussianity. We therefore infer that the mystery of the WMAP CS reflects directly the peculiarities of the low-multipole tail of the CMB signal, rather than a single local (isolated) defect or manifestation of a globally anisotropic cosmology.

    There is a shortage of ionizing sources in the local universe (this problem would go away if the most distant observed quasar was at z=1 and something that happens to a quasars when they turn on causes the higher than z=1 observed quasars.)
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.2933

    THE PHOTON UNDERPRODUCTION CRISIS
    We examine the statistics of the low-redshift Lyman-alpha forest from smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulations in light of recent improvements in the estimated evolution of the cosmic ultraviolet back-ground (UVB) and recent observations from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). We find that the value of the metagalactic photoionization rate (􀀀HI) required by our simulations to match the observed properties of the low-redshift Lyman-alpha- forest is a factor of 5 larger than the value predicted by state-of-the art models for the evolution of this quantity. This mismatch in 􀀀HI results in the mean ux decrement of the Lyman-alpha forest being underpredicted by at least a factor of 2 (a 10 sigma discrepancy with observations) and a column density distribution of Lyman- alpha forest absorbers systematically and significantly elevated compared to observations over nearly two decades in column density. We examine potential resolutions to this mismatch and that either conventional sources of ionizing photons (galaxies and quasars) must be significantly elevated relative to current observational estimates or our theoretical understanding of the low-redshift universe is in need of substantial revision.

    There is a factor of 24 too much high redshift infrared radiation. This problem would go away if what causes some quasars to appear high redshift also causes some galaxies to appear too high redshift.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7087/full/4401002a.html

    Astronomy: Trouble at first light
    Nevertheless, several groups have claimed to have found the footprints of baby galaxies at near-infrared wavelengths, using data from NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)3 , 4, 5 and Spitzer Space Telescope6, and Japan’s Infrared Telescope in Space (IRTS)7. Their evidence comes in two forms. First, there is an excess signal above the combined emission of normal foreground galaxies that would require energetic events to have occurred in the early Universe. Second, the very uneven distribution of the radiation could arise from the spatial clustering properties of primordial stellar systems.
    But rather than helping to decipher the epoch of cosmic first light, such observations have in fact created another puzzle. Simply stated, the dawn of galaxies seems to be too brilliant: the excess signal outshines the cumulative emission from all galaxies between Earth and the extremely distant first stars. If primordial sources are to account for all of this infrared radiation, current models of star formation in the young Universe look distinctly shaky. Too many massive stars ending their brief lives in a giant thermonuclear explosion would, for instance, eject large amounts of heavy elements such as carbon and oxygen into space, polluting the cosmos very early on and altering forever the composition of the raw material available for second-generation stars. But if the first-generation stars were to collapse to massive black holes instead, gas accretion onto such black holes would produce large amounts of X-rays. Both variants seem to be in conflict with current observations8, 9 , 10.

  48. You can theorize the Big Bang starting as a very big black hole. Hawking radiation is constantly at work for billions of years with nothing at all really happening as a result. But eventually, chance results in enough particles escaping at the same time through Hawking radiation that they drag extra particles along with them and a massive chain reaction pulls out all the particles in a few seconds/milliseconds.
    The speed that the particles are pulled out has to be at or above the speed of light for this to happen (or whatever speed exceeds the gravity of the event horizon of a very big black hole). There is recent theory that the bigger the black hole, the more chance one could have Hawking radiation exceeding these limits.

    • We think of critical mass in terms of radioactive elements. However, if there was a time zero black hole, at that density, a sort of critical mass of everything may well have existed, in an astable state. In fact, the time that mass existed might have been surprisingly short. The astable mass innately wants to explode and does. Perhaps the whole thing is a sort of engine and it recycles. In that respect, it may be infinite, but within a given cycle is “the Universe” – e.g. the present Universe we organized structures of matter exist in, until some vast time elapses and entropy reaches a maximum. Then perhaps it all ends in a final grand black hole, rinse, repeat.

    • Bill Illis, William Astley, george e. smith, The Pompous Git, Steve Thayer, lsvalgaard

      You can theorize the Big Bang starting as a very big black hole. Hawking radiation is constantly at work for billions of years with nothing at all really happening as a result. But eventually, chance results in enough particles escaping at the same time through Hawking radiation that they drag extra particles along with them and a massive chain reaction pulls out all the particles in a few seconds/milliseconds.
      The speed that the particles are pulled out has to be at or above the speed of light for this to happen (or whatever speed exceeds the gravity of the event horizon of a very big black hole). There is recent theory that the bigger the black hole, the more chance one could have Hawking radiation exceeding these limits.

      And thus, we return to the Steady State Universe.
      IF you assume that matter (or energy, its equal) could escape from a black hole via Hawking’s radiation; and that the probablity of matter/energy escaping increases with the size of the black hole’s volume (or mass), then the re-entrant matter would return back to space anywhere, right?
      The steady state universe “only” needs something on the order “one atom” re-appearing from the black hole in every cubic lightyear to maintain the ratio’s correct. It is just that, until Hawking Radiation was assumed, nobody could explain where the new matter came from . There never was any problem assuming the new matter would be appearing randomly at the required rate.
      And no evidence against either.

    • You can theorize the Big Bang starting as a very big black hole…

      Would this allow for multiple “big bangs,” perhaps at different times?
      Is our observable universe limited by our vantage point?

  49. There are currently almost a hundred different anomalies and paradoxes: Astronomical observations vs Big bang theory. To keep the big bang theory on life support the laws of physics were changed allowing ‘inflation’, dark matter, and dark energy to be created.
    As the astronomical observations improved the number of anomalies have increased not decreased.
    This paper for example lists 13 paradoxes and anomalies concerning the formation and evolution of galaxies.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.0623v2
    This paper for example lists 10 paradoxes and anomalies concerning quasars. An example of an in your face quasar paradox is quasar spectrum does not exhibit time dilation (three peer reviewed papers confirm quasars do not exhibit time dilation, all possible explanations have been eliminated). If quasars were distant objects they would exhibit time dilation. There is no explanation as to why quasar spectrum does not exhibit time dilation and are no paper disputing the observational fact that quasars do not exhibit time dilation.
    Time dilation is a consequence of the fact that the universe is expanding.
    http://phys.org/news190027752.html
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.4297
    Pending problems in QSOs
    Quasars (Quasi Stellar Objects, abbreviated as QSOs) are still nowadays, close to half a century after their discovery, objects which are not completely understood.
    There are half dozen fundamental paradoxes concerning the ‘cosmic’ microwave background radiation.
    The cosmic microwave background radiation (referred to as CMB) on small angles is too uniform (varies as 1 part of 100,000) vs 1 part of 5000 to 1 part of 7000 based on distribution of the matter if there is no ‘inflation’.
    On large angles are vast cold and hot spots and the hot and cold spots in the CMB mysteriously alignment of the large features in the CMB with the axis of our solar system and with our galaxy.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.4786

    Large-Angle CMB Suppression and Polarization Predictions
    The anomalous lack of large angle temperature correlations has been a surprising feature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) since first observed by COBE-DMR and subsequently confirmed and strengthened by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. This anomaly may point to the need for modifications of the standard model of cosmology or may indicate that our Universe is a rare statistical fluctuation within that model. Further observations of the temperature auto-correlation function will not elucidate the issue; sufficiently high precision statistical observations already exist.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0712.1118

    “The mystery of the WMAP cold spot”
    We find that, unlike its Northern counterpart, the Southern Galactic hemisphere of the CMB map is characterized by significant departure from Gaussianity of which the CS is not the only manifestation: we have located a ring, on which there are “cold” as “hot” spots with almost the same properties as the CS. Exploiting the similarity of the WCM and the ILC maps, and using the latter as a guide map, we have discovered that the shape of the CS is formed primarily by the components of the CMB signal represented by multipoles between 10 ≤ ℓ ≤ 20, with a corresponding angular scale about 5−10◦. This signal leads to modulation of the whole CMB sky, clearly seen at |b| > 30◦ in both the ILC and WCM maps, rather than a single localized feature. After subtraction of this modulation, the remaining part of the CMB signal appears to be consistent with statistical homogeneity and Gaussianity. We therefore infer that the mystery of the WMAP CS reflects directly the peculiarities of the low-multipole tail of the CMB signal, rather than a single local (isolated) defect or manifestation of a globally anisotropic cosmology.

  50. There is a shortage of ionizing sources in the local universe (this problem would go away if the most distant observed quasar was at z=1 and something that happens to a quasars when they turn on that causes the higher than z=1 observed quasars.)
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.2933

    THE PHOTON UNDERPRODUCTION CRISIS
    We examine the statistics of the low-redshift Lyman-alpha forest from smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulations in light of recent improvements in the estimated evolution of the cosmic ultraviolet back-ground (UVB) and recent observations from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). We find that the value of the metagalactic photoionization rate (􀀀HI) required by our simulations to match the observed properties of the low-redshift Lyman-alpha- forest is a factor of 5 larger than the value predicted by state-of-the art models for the evolution of this quantity. This mismatch in 􀀀HI results in the mean ux decrement of the Lyman-alpha forest being underpredicted by at least a factor of 2 (a 10 sigma discrepancy with observations) and a column density distribution of Lyman- alpha forest absorbers systematically and significantly elevated compared to observations over nearly two decades in column density. We examine potential resolutions to this mismatch and that either conventional sources of ionizing photons (galaxies and quasars) must be significantly elevated relative to current observational estimates or our theoretical understanding of the low-redshift universe is in need of substantial revision.

    There is a factor of 24 too much high redshift infrared radiation. This problem would go away if what causes some quasars to appear high redshift also causes some galaxies to appear too high redshift.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7087/full/4401002a.html

    Astronomy: Trouble at first light
    Nevertheless, several groups have claimed to have found the footprints of baby galaxies at near-infrared wavelengths, using data from NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)3 , 4, 5 and Spitzer Space Telescope6, and Japan’s Infrared Telescope in Space (IRTS)7. Their evidence comes in two forms. First, there is an excess signal above the combined emission of normal foreground galaxies that would require energetic events to have occurred in the early Universe. Second, the very uneven distribution of the radiation could arise from the spatial clustering properties of primordial stellar systems.
    But rather than helping to decipher the epoch of cosmic first light, such observations have in fact created another puzzle. Simply stated, the dawn of galaxies seems to be too brilliant: the excess signal outshines the cumulative emission from all galaxies between Earth and the extremely distant first stars. If primordial sources are to account for all of this infrared radiation, current models of star formation in the young Universe look distinctly shaky. Too many massive stars ending their brief lives in a giant thermonuclear explosion would, for instance, eject large amounts of heavy elements such as carbon and oxygen into space, polluting the cosmos very early on and altering forever the composition of the raw material available for second-generation stars. But if the first-generation stars were to collapse to massive black holes instead, gas accretion onto such black holes would produce large amounts of X-rays. Both variants seem to be in conflict with current observations8, 9 , 10.

  51. So….some ones branes are about to explode ? They wouldn’t be p-branes?…..
    Oh , right…that might be me……(8>))

  52. This one requires a little imagination.
    If the universal clock were slowly speeding up, then a given wavelength of light emitted 100,000,000 years ago would appear red shifted under today’s faster universal clock. It would take more “clicks of the clock” today for that same wave to pass a given point (longer wavelength). IMHO Red shift is misinterpreted as expansion. Red shift might be the only way to detect that the universal clock runs a bit faster today.
    Since time is not really incremental, it could have been speeding up forever, and could continue to do so forever. Time has no mass, so no loss of energy to speed it up. Why would the clock speed up? I don’t know, why not?
    Time is a very simple, and mostly overlooked variable in most motion equations. It’s treated as a constant in our current paridigm.

    • I’ve often wondered what the momentum of the universe is in the direction of time.
      And is it constant in all locations? Can’t see how it would be with time going slower near gravity wells.
      So where would that momentum go?

      • Since it is not incremental, it could just continue to speed up forever. There is no consequence other than an observed red shift of emissions depending upon the age of emisssion.

    • Forgot to mention, that under the sped-up clock theory, Light emitted very very long ago (from extreme distances) would appear as very low frequency (such as the background radiation) under today’s faster clock. That’s why the sky can appear dark even with an infinite universe.

  53. Maybe you should review Randall Mills explanation of an oscillating universe that predicted increased expansion prior to observations. I know a lot might think he is a crackpot, but his equations explain tings at the sub atomic level through the universal level. All that has to be believed to accept Mills is that the electron is a 2 dimensional partial versus a 1 dimensional object that can be anywhere at once. I think the predictive power of his theory shows he might be on the right track.

  54. Anthony,
    This subject is interesting to me.
    I have stumbled onto the work of Alexander Vilenkin, professor of cosmology at Tufts.
    Borde Guth Vilenkin Theorem
    Leonard Susskind

    • According to string theory we no longer live in a universe but in a diverse. Since the laws of physics are different in each diverse string theory may not apply there. Oh the conundrum. We will have to get more money to follow the doodle. Better yet we will have to get more money to build a diverse detector.

      • Golden, according to one branch of String Theory, CO2 causes catastrophic global warming, but only if it is anthropogenic in origin. Natural CO2 can rise to 7000 ppm without heating the Earth above 24C because that CO2 has additional dimensions that prevent bad consequences. It is amazing what can happen in String Theory worlds. I believe the possibilities are literally limitless. Sorta like CAGW funding.

  55. Well folks, it’s time for some answers to… so here we go, some answers and big ones, too and this is the way it is.
    You see, the universe is finite (there’s a concept) and it is not the only universe and not only that, but in this universe are many layers and levels and we’re just barely aware of the one we’re in and sometimes a couple more, though don’t really catch on to that, very often.
    There was a group of adventuros that did know a few of these things so set out to find more answers, and they spun themselves up way way faster than the speed of light and went through the black hole and whattaya know, there was the universe hanging on a thread, right alongside a bunch of other little (big) universes, and they were looking just like one of those little puffy white balls along the edge of old timey curtains. These travelers, quakin’ in their socks though they were, noticed the form that all of these little U’s were danglin from and danged if there weren’t a lot of those things, too and this sequence kept up for a time and so it went and suddenly, the intrepid ones found themselves standing in a city and were duly greeted and somebody told ’em – you’re the first ones from your scheme of things to make it this far and the explorers thought- This Far? now it wasn’t really a thought and nobody was really talking, but the city folks said yeah and by the way, you aren’t eternal yet, but now you’re immortal and poof all the travelers were instantly spun back in their bodies and looked at each other and said, well, that was sure something and now we’re immortal, let’s go eat lunch. Oh, and by the way, size is the only illusion. And those are some answers, boys and girls.
    These words were not written to be believed or to be disbelieved.
    [42]

  56. The Divine Paradox — A physicist, who I shall not identify, recently said this: “Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity.” Duh? Well isn’t that conundrum easily explained? How can a math that explains the world that now exists, be expected to work in a world before it exists. It is stupid to even think that it could or would. Sometime, I fear, people get so over educated and wedded to a world view that they cannot imagine the obvious. Once you get back in time to singularity, then there can be no logical or mathematical explanation for what or who caused it. The answer to that requires a divine answer. If God did not create the physical world, then maybe the physical world does not really exist at all. And, if that is true, then who created Twitter to allow me to write this?

    • The physics that we understand for our present universe is not the physics that prevailed prior to Plank time. The “primordial soup” of that time was governed by different laws of which we can never know. Only when this soup cooled enough for the forces to separate did we see the current physics emerge. The real question is how many times did the so called big bang happen only to produce a universe where the physics did not allow any intelligent life to develop. One thing is for sure, this time the physics was just right for intelligent life to develop. So is this the first big bang, the 1000th or the 1,000,000th? Alas, we will never know the answer to that either but it is enjoyable to wonder about it.

  57. It’s not just climate science that’s controlled by a corrupt, greedy establishment funding by an outrageous amount of government money. Cosmology and astrophysics is as well. Any field of science taking big money from government is corrupt.

  58. False. Climatologist use various ecological and climatilogical evidences as well as many peer reviews and observations including geological and glacial evidence to construct the idea of climate change. And cosmologicers work with many different groups of physicist and astronomers to theorize of the universe with actual physical evidence and tested mathematical models. Science doesn’t work of assumptions it works off logic and raw information.

    • Smith.

      False. Climatologist use various ecological and climatilogical evidences as well as many peer reviews and observations including geological and glacial evidence to construct the idea of climate change.

      They just cannot find any evidence for catastrophic man-made climate change. They DO create all sorts of mythical pal-reviewed Big Government self-called “Big Science” for the billions they are paid to create their Climastrology.

  59. Anthony,
    Can you not lambaste/ban the electric universe discussion full stop and acknowledge that, even if he may be a complete lunatic on some levels (and he may be), Wallace Thornhill has done a lot better job of making predictions of what NASA would find at comets (at least comets) than NASA itself has done? (And let’s not even get into star formation, which seems to take place along long glowing filaments rather than at the centre of slowly concentrating nebulae).
    That however loony some of the EU ideas may be, they’re right in that electricity and plasma seem to play a larger role in the universe relative to the role assumed played by gravity in several mainstream models? That both are important and—even if they be mad as hatters and/or charlatans—that they’re pointing out some flaws in mainstream models (including the Big Bang) that need to be pointed out?
    That Matt Taylor of shirtgate fame, a plasma physicist, having such an important role in that mission is a tacit admission of this by NASA, and more is likely to come, albeit too little, too late, and without the correct credit going to all the right people?
    Please and thank you.
    Christoph

    • D*mn! I had a bet going that “42” would appear within the first 100 comments, what took you so long, you cost me $100!
      Had a bet on H*ll being endothermic or exothermic making an appearance too, lost that one also.

      • I’d edited “42” out of an earlier comment… if I’d made it and you’d won, would you have lent me $3?

      • Alan Robertson February 10, 2015 at 7:56 pm
        I’d edited “42” out of an earlier comment… if I’d made it and you’d won, would you have lent me $3?

        Not only would I have, in at least one other universe I undoubtedly did.
        [But in this universe, and in the interest of $3.00, the mods put it back in. 8<) .mod]

  60. Professor Susskind must know that if the universe wasn’t as we see it, then we would not be here to even think about it. It is necessarily special in the ways that make it possible for us to exist.

  61. The fact that galaxies properties are tightly structured rather than random is a paradox. Something controls the development of galaxies and properties of galaxies. This observation supports the assertion that stars, include our sun, are fundamental different than assumed.
    There are piles and piles of anomalies that support the assertion that the primary formation mechanism for galaxies is not mergers and the in fall of gas into the galaxy. There are observed massive flows of gas and objects out of ‘quasars’. It appears the objects that are ejected from quasars form the quasar seed for a new galaxy. There are strange strings of massive stars (paradox of youth stars, very hot stars that emit copious amounts of gas, that matches the elemental composition that of the ‘early’ universe) that have ‘formed’ at the core of our galaxy. These strings of stars exhibit weird structure. There are very hot weird objects in the core of the nearest galaxy to us Andromeda.
    There are observed strings of galaxies that form in voids. There appear to be mother galaxies and baby galaxies which is consistent with an eternal universe, rather than a universe that formed 13.7 billion years ago from nothing.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0811.1554

    Galaxies appear simpler than expected
    Galaxies are complex systems the evolution of which apparently results from the interplay of dynamics, star formation, chemical enrichment, and feedback from supernova explosions and supermassive black holes1. The hierarchical theory of galaxy formation holds that galaxies are assembled from smaller pieces, through numerous mergers of cold dark matter2,3,4. The properties of an individual galaxy should be controlled by six independent parameters including mass, angular-momentum, baryon-fraction, age and size, as well as by the accidents of its recent haphazard merger history. Here we report that a sample of galaxies that were first detected through their neutral hydrogen radio-frequency emission, and are thus free of optical selection effects5, shows five independent correlations among six independent observables, despite having a wide range of properties. This implies that the structure of these galaxies must be controlled by a single parameter, although we cannot identify this parameter from our dataset. Such a degree of organisation appears to be at odds with hierarchical galaxy formation, a central tenet of the cold dark matter paradigm in cosmology6.

  62. Next up; Is the Theory of the Evolution of Species all it’s cracked up to be. (note I’m not referring to genetics or the moderate changes that a species undergoes due to environmental pressures but to the theory that we evolved by chance patterns of interactions. Forming complex systems without undergoing transitory stages of less complexity).
    I’ve personally believed that evolution qualifies as one of the first instances of where a group of individual believers under the guise of “scientists” managed to convince through coercion, persuasion and outright lies that certain fragments of bone were proof positive of ancestral lines extending back to single cell bacteria. There’s some factor missing that spurred evolution and that massive complex changes could occur in relatively short periods of time over large number of vastly differing species is simply unacceptably simplistic and relies on a belief that borders as much on faith as opposing ideas.
    Time for some real research and some debunking of some of the icons of paleontology and their various specious claims which just so happened to coincide with their long held beliefs and the “evidence” that rewarded them with fame and fortune.

  63. I postulate a Created Universe on even-numbered days, a tail-swallowing eternal-and-uncreated Universe on odd-numbered days — since each hypothesis, while equally paradoxical, neatly avoids the paradoxes of the other — with, of course, a day off each leap year for sheer solipsist debauchery… Jubal Harshaw (aka Robert Heinlein)

    I find this a useful technique, and since the Big Bang fits rather neatly in both of Harshaw’s categories, I can remain within the current “consensus” every day except Feb 29th… Useful.

  64. I don’t see how the Big Bang theory is considered an explanation of how the universe was created when it doesn’t explain where the matter in the singularity came from. Its where the mass come from that needs an explanation. Its like someone walking into their home and seeing a bunch of geodes they’ve never seen before scattered all over the place and asking “Where did all this come from? How did this get like this?”, and some future cosmetologist smart ass kid says “They were all in a big pile until about 20 minutes ago when Johnny knocked them over!” If the people who wrote the Big Bang theory were around today they would be working for Microsoft, telling us smart sounding information that does JACK about answering your question.

  65. Stephen Hawking:

    It doesn’t matter whether you throw television sets, diamond rings, or your worst enemies, into a black hole. What comes back out will be the same.

    There goes my plan for Elvis Impersonators…

    • Bill Illis, William Astley, george e. smith, Steve Thayer,lsvalgaard

      The Pompous Git

      Stephen Hawking:
      It doesn’t matter whether you throw television sets, diamond rings, or your worst enemies, into a black hole. What comes back out will be the same.

      There goes my plan for Elvis Impersonators…

      OK. So, if the singularity “barrier” around a black hole means that “no matter what you throw into the gravitational sink around a black hole, it will never get there because the matter “stretches” towards infinity (I almost mis-typed that as “towards insanity” … which might be more correct anyway) around the black hole … Then how did the black hole get larger in the first place?
      How did a super-massive black hole at the center of the galaxy get that big if mass only appears to get across the singularity zone going into the black hole, but can’t actually exceed the speed of light and cross over the mathemagical barrier around the black hole?
      Second. Assume you throw a planet the size of Jupiter into a black hole – or three Elvis’s , which is about the same size. How big a “lump” (mountain) does that form on the black hole’s perfect spheroid – assuming the mass actually gets through the mathingamagical barrier around the black hole?
      What if two black holes were approaching each other, then both tried to suck each other in?
      The two separate-but-smaller singularity boundaries would be suddenly “too small” for the total mass as they got nearer, but both black hole masses would be distinct entities by themselves and outside the other’s singularity boundary. But suddenly, at a single point as they close towards each other, there suddenly would be “more black hole” inside the final singularity boundary than there would be volume within the two singularity boundaries.
      What happens next? Everything goes invisible and we get “dark matter”?

      • Excellent questions to which I have no answer, but I do have a response. I remember thinking some decades ago that if I ever read “First Real Evidence for Black Holes” (and paraphrases) again, I would scream! It’s a bit like “First Ever Traverse of the Northwest Passage” when any historian knows it’s happened at least a hundred times before.

      • PEng
        What a lovely post. I am enjoying this lot’s considered thoughts on the subject more than anything in the past month. Mind-stretching, almost as much as when Elvis’ disappears into the black hole egos of his impersonators.
        The development of theologies, not only CAGW, but many things, has sponsored the parallel development of a system of apologetics for the insiders who justify their faith from within and try to prove the revelation is self-consistent, and an external theological analysis that examines it from outside looking for a rational explanation of its content and again, self-consistency (or not). CAGW fails mostly because of a lack of self-consistency.
        Climate theology is winning over climate apologetics which too many times has to resort to gnostic knowledge and capabilities to elevate bald claims to the status of eternal physical truths.

  66. Professor Susskind must know that if the universe wasn’t as we see it, then we would not be here to even think about it. It is necessarily special in the ways that make it possible for us to exist.

  67. It is our cosmology. We fancy ourselves so evolved, yet ours is equally implausible by any rational standard than any paleo cosmology. BTW, where do parallel universes fit in the graphic?

  68. “The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there,” Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology,
    The observational evidences for Big Bang. dark matter and dark energy are cosmic microwave background radiation, flat velocity curve of galactic rotation, supernova redshift, among others. The most serious problem with your model is how to explain all these observations.
    “Although it’s not a true theory of quantum gravity, the model does contain elements from both quantum theory and general relativity. Ali and Das also expect their results to hold even if and when a full theory of quantum gravity is formulated.”
    In short, you don’t know if your model will hold because it is not a full theory of quantum gravity. Speculations are interesting. Observations are essential.

    • If you are claiming the Big Bang is not a singularity, it violates general relativity. You have to formulate a full theory of quantum gravity to replace general relativity. Short of that, it’s all speculations – “I don’t know but I can make guesses”

  69. I think that the idea that we can travel back in time and alter the present,as many sci-fi films suggest,is not true because we see no evidence of this happening in the present and we assume that time travel will be possible in the future.it is possible to move forward in space to a certain location and then travel backward in space to the starting point but it could be that moving through time is not like that and moving backward in time is just as probabilities as moving forward in time.We know what happened in the past because we remember or have records of what happened in the past but if we could travel backward in time it could be as uncertain as travelling into the future.

  70. Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.[1]
    Regards
    Climate Heretic
    [1]Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  71. It is ironic that Hubble himself was far from convinced that his famous constant was due to the doppler effect and an expanding universe .In a 1934 lecture he said
    “The field is new, but it offers rather definite prospects not only of testing the form of the velocity-distance relation beyond the reach of the spectrograph, but even of critically testing the very interpretation of red-shifts as due to motion. With this possibility in view, the cautious observer refrains from committing himself to the present interpretation and prefers the colourless term “apparent velocity.”
    Similarly the galactic rotation curves shows that Einstein’s gravitational equations which work well enough on the tiny scale of the solar system ,simply do not scale up to galactic masses . In order to preserve the standard cosmological model the consensus cosmological herd simply shovel enough conveniently unobservable dark matter into the calculations to preserve Einsteins equations.
    The red shift is much more simply explained using the Beer Lambert Law as light passes through the rarified inter-galactic medium see eg – the nice originally illustration of the red shift in green laser light passing through a medium at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer%E2%80%93Lambert_law
    Twentieth century science post the 2nd world war was organized so that various fields became dominated by a relatively small self perpetuating clique who came to control academic appointments, the peer revue process, and the awarding of grants etc.so that real progress was held back in favour of preserving the currently fashionable consensus conventional wisdom .Let’s face it – what tenured professor is going to supervise and perhaps fund a Doctoral thesis that might fundamentally challenge the work on which his own career and reputation is based.?
    Again look at how Arp was denied telescope time to study the anomalous red shifts and had to leave the US to continue his investigations.
    Establishment Climate Science since 1990 is a particularly egregious example of this process.

    • Twentieth century science post the 2nd world war was organized so that various fields became dominated by a relatively small self perpetuating clique who came to control academic appointments, the peer revue process, and the awarding of grants etc.so that real progress was held back in favour of preserving the currently fashionable consensus conventional wisdom .

      Henry Bauer wrote of such here at WUWT about his book on same. A very interesting read.
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/05/dogmatism-in-science-and-medicine-how-dominant-theories-monopolize/

    • It was also observed in a laboratory ” Intrinsic Plasma Redshifts Now Reproduced In The
      Laboratory”:
      http://vixra.org/pdf/1105.0010v1.pdf
      “In fact the lines are redshifted with the degree of redshift increasing with the surrounding free electron density”
      It is clear that one cannot reproduce the many light-year distances in the laboratory – and this is replaced with higher plasma density in the laboratory, however the result should be consistent, and for my simple brain the logic seems to be explaining pretty nicely how red-shift is taking place:
      “Energy lost to an electron during emission or absorption =Q**2/ 2e m c**2, where Q is the energy of the incoming photon, e, m the rest mass of the electron and c the speed of light.”
      “On their journey through plasma, the photons will make many such collisions and undergo an increase in wavelength of /eh m ceach time. On this basis red shift becomes a distance indicator and the distance – red shift relation becomes: photons of light from sources twice as far away will travel twice as far through the plasma, make twice as many collisions and thus undergo twice the red shift. Conservation of linear momentum willensure the linear propagation of light. ”
      I thought this would be the end of the big bang when I first read about it, but the train seems to continue to run at full speed.

      • After reading this it seems to me that a change in the notion of CAGW by many scientist is not going to happen anytime soon especially when you consider the huge difference in money spent on the science.

    • Dr Norman Page
      Let me throw a different challenge at the assumed 14 billion year-old Big Bang.
      Conventional consensus places the Big Bang 14 billion years ago. Fine. 13.5 in some recent papers.
      Conventional consensus holds that most ordinary cycle stars are much smaller than supernova-capable; almost all main sequence stars will quietly go through their H-He-C-Ne-O burning (fusion) cycles and then quietly go into a neutron (cold, dark) solid star. No supernova, no release of ANY mass from the main sequence star, no released of ANY heavier atoms fused in He-C-O-Ne etc reactions from that star. A dead end, so to speak.
      Conventional consensus holds that although many stars (all stars) build up heavier nuclei by fusion, ONLY the extreme blast of a supernova can blow those new nuclei out away from the first (parent) supernova’s into a second supernova’s gravity well. once inside that secondary supernova, the nuclei are further built up, fused together, then blown out into subsequent supernovas, blown up again and then re-released as dust and gasses into interstellar space. Once in interstellar space, the dust is collected into the local gravity wells of stars, and the dust rotated into planetary orbits, planetary blobs, then planetary solid condensed spinning globes. Thus, all atoms we recognized (larger than the first few of H and He) come from a series of earlier supernova’s, then traveled through space, then were collected here from space into our solar system.
      Fine. We have all read that.
      Radioactive decay dating, continental movement, early fossils and existing Canadian Shield rocks, etc date the earth as a “rotating, solid, stable globe with today’s features” at 4.5 billion years ago. Absolutely.
      That means the solar system of one radiating sun surrounded by nine planets, a herd of asteroids, and all of the Oort cloud gasses and dirt and dust and ice and carbon and comets existed as it is now somewhere between 5 billion years ago and 4.5 billion years ago, right? Certainly, we were NOT bombarded by ANY nearby supernova’s, nova’s, death stars, or other galaxies between 5 billion years ago and today. And only a couple of asteroid hits for that matter between 4.5 billions years ago and today.
      Thus,
      If the escape velocity from the solar system as we know it today, for a random low weight mass (say a particle of dust coming from the galaxy) at the radius of Saturn’s orbit (which will include almost all of the mass of the solar system) is only13.6 km/sec, then … How could ANY particle traveling faster than 13.6 km/sec be trapped in some proto-solar-system dust cloud? Such a fast interstellar particle would sling right through the more loosely organized proto-dust cloud, and continue on its way only slightly deviated. (Obviously, direct collisions are possible, and probably did happen. But not enough. )
      So, the only dust that could be collected reliably from inetrstellar space would be slow-moving (cosmically speaking), and thus would take ????? years to get here from the “parent” supernova site. Which is (now) and would have had to be (then) more than ???? light years away. (In fact, I know of NO former supernova sites near us in the galaxy that could have sent the number of particles needed. Yes, they would not be radiating now, but where are these parents and grandparents and the thousands of earlier supernova’s?)
      Further challenging the supernova-succession problem is the radial expulsion of the gasses and nuclei from each supernova. They are thrown out (as the 1054 supernova dust cloud shows vividly) in all radial directions away from the original star. Thus, you need to assume some proportion of the new-created nuclei will not get thrown in the right direction to
      (1) get thrown towards the next supernova waiting to blow up (before it blows up!)
      (2) get captured by the next supernova’s gravity field, react within the fusion zones of that supernova (and not all nuclei within the star are going to fuse!)
      (3) get thrown out away from the supernova_2 back into space (again, not all mass escapes the blast zone)
      (4) get thrown a second time in the right direction to get to the third supernova location
      (5) get captured by that supernova’s dust cloud, get absorbed in that supernova’s solar mass, react and fuse within that supernova’s fusion zones …
      Etc. If the probability of a civilization occurring on one planet around one star is minute, try calculating the probably of creating a single iron nuclei! A single Nickle, Chromium, Argon, Krypton, or Cadmium, Gold, and Silver atom.
      A single Uranium nuclei.
      but, it gets worse than that.
      Every Uranium atom created and passed along to our solar system must be made independently of the next iron, silver, magnesium or Chromium atom. That is, if a supernova creates and ejects an iron nuclei (AW = 56), then the fusion cycles that created the iron could not create a silver or gold atom. The fusion cycles that linked up to create the Uranium atom we see today, could not create any of the intermediate lower weight atoms. Every atom we have today had to be independently created from a different fusion chain. A different ejection reaction chain away from the parent and grandparent supernova, and thus a slightly different interstellar trajectory before coming into the solar system’s original cloud.
      Now, obviously, a single supernova is going to create many tons of particles. Some of those particles will even follow parallel paths towards us. But they have to get here to the solar system’s original dust cloud. Which is a very, very small target a very long distance from any other stars. And from any known former supernova’s ..
      So. The particles got here. Got formed inside supernova strings. How long did it take for all of those miraculous supernova strings to form the atoms? How much time did they spend in transit at 13.6 km/sec to get here and be captured?
      You only have 13.5 billion – 5.5 billion = 8 billion years to form all of the nuclei in our solar system.
      And, there are apparently some 1.243E+54 “heavy” atoms in our solar system that must be created.
      10 to the 54th some-odd reaction chains are needed just to create the heavy atoms in the solar system.
      10^ 60 supernova’s? After all, less than 1/10,000,000 atoms ejected from each supernova will end up going in the right direction to get here. Or will more be “aimed” the right direction?
      10^40 some-odd supernovas? 10^ 20 supernova’s? How many were needed to form the atoms we see?
      If the shortest sequence of supernova strings to create all of the atoms we see were linear – a single long particle accelerator so to speak, where is it? If all the atoms could be created from one supernova very close by, so the dust particles did not need to travel millions of years across space, where is the core now? If the supernova’s were popping off very close to each other back then, so transit times were very small and multiple reaction chains almost assured, where are the remnants now, and why are star evolutions so different now? We see only 1 or 2 a decade, and those in ALL of the many galaxies visble.
      Where are the 10^10 supernova remnants in the nearby region we need? Remember, any dust particle captured by a main sequence star or dark cloud or dark matter can’t get here. That particle was properly created, but it dropped down a gravity well and can’t get up.

      • This intrigued me so I discussed it with a friend who studied Astrophysics. He made the following counterpoints.

        •The density of the universe was a lot higher in the past, which is obvious if big bang is true, therefore supernova remnants are more likely to run into other supernova remnants from nearby and gas clouds, and form new stellar nurseries in the past.
        •The size of stars in the early universe was much bigger than is typical now. More massive stars = shorter lifespans, more supernovae more often, more gas/elements to spew out. To put some figures on this, we are talking about stars with masses up to 100,000 times that of the sun. These beasts run out of fuel in under 2 million years. You can fit a lot of 2 million year stellar lifecycles between 560million years after big bang, when the first stars formed and 9 billion years after big bang when our solar system was formed.
        •Looking at the universe as we see it gives a misleading impression. Stars blow away (by em charged particles) the gas clouds that they form out of – there is a very decent amount of matter in interstellar space. Supernovae are very rare today, but back in the second half billion years of the universe’s existence they would have been going off.

        He also pointed out that frequent supernovae are not conducive to life, because the radiation and general disruption within hundreds of light years will sterilise practically anything conceivable.
        Perhaps this makes the improbability of heavy elements less improbable?

        • M Courtney
          I accept each of his comments, each of his approximations (and the assumptions that are required behind the approximations to make them appear reasonable.)
          But … (and you knew the “but” was coming, didn’t you?)
          All of the mass in our current solar system was present as a local cloud somewhere – and that cloud had all of the elements we can now count (weigh) in it. Almost nothing has been added between initial “cloud” gathering and the subsequent consoliation into spinning planets with the sun in the middle.
          He claims 560 million years between the big bang and supernova sequence. OK. Let’s use it, and assign a 13.65 billion year ago BB. Solar system cloud was gathered in this arm of this galaxy 5.5 billion years ago. Then it was gathered together, then those proto-planets accumulated mass to become actual planets. Our own earth is 4.6 billion years old. You may choose whatever age is appropriate for the creation of a stable (non-supernova-blasted!) dust you want, but you have to pick something. Let’s use 5.0 billion years for the “solar system dust cloud” as an distinct entity in space.
          So everything had to be made in that time interval = 13.68 x 10^9 – 5.0 x 10^9 years -0.5 x 10^9 years = 2.57 x 10^17 seconds. Sounds like a lot of time, doesn’t it?
          Quoting Wikipedia, and its several dozens of references, is always risky, but let’s assume they re right. After all, it is merely repeating what your friend said.

          “Studies of the structure of the Kuiper belt and of anomalous materials within it suggest that the Sun formed within a cluster of between 1,000 and 10,000 stars with a diameter of between 6.5 and 19.5 light-years and a collective mass of 3,000 M☉.”

          So, we have to arrange some 10,000 stars – which we will all assume were supernova-capable and were supernova’s that did explode at the right time in the right sequence of chains to create the cosmic dust that makes up who we are today – in a pattern of some 20 parsecs across.
          So, how many isotopes do we have to create in the available time frame?
          The weight of our solar system = 1.992 x 10^33 grams.
          But, the weight of just the top 25 isotopes by weight in our solar system is about = 3.79 x 10^31 gms.
          From Avagadro’s number and the appropriate molar mass fractions of the top 25 isotopes, this means some ~ 1.24 x 10^54 “heavy” isotope nuclei were formed, ejected, transported across space, and collected into the original solar system dust cloud.
          So, if the dust was created uniformly and evenly in a supernova cloud during the entire time from the Big Bang until the solar system dust cloud was gathered in its isolation (13.68 billion – .5 billion (you need to form the supernova cloud first) – 5.0 billion (solar system age) = 8.15 billion years = 2.57 x 10^17 seconds. So you need to form 4.83 x 10^36 nuclei per second for 10^ 17 seconds to create the heavy isotopes in just our single little solar system. Every second. For for every second in that long 8.15 billion year time frames. Then all of the supernova’s have to vanish (or be left behind somehow. or themselves go faster than the left-over dust cloud) because that remaining isolated solar system dust cloud 9us!) has to be stable in space far enough away from everything else to slowly accumulate by itself and begin rotating into the orbits we know exist. Continuously passing nearby stars and multiple supernova’s – though one may be needed to start the accumulation! – will disrupt the accumulation sequence. No accumulation sequence means no planets in stable orbits.
          Obviously, this idea is wrong. Each supernova is a single burst, creating many earth-masses of high weight isotopes in each blast.
          But that very blast of many earth-masses (plus the mass of Venus, plus Mars, plus the moon, plus Mercury plus the Oort cloud plus the asteroids) are randomly blasted into the entire ster-radian sphere around each of the assumed supernovas in every area of the assumed supernova cloud. Arrange the supernova cloud too far away, and too few drifting atoms are sent this way to forms the dust cloud in that little target area. Too close, and each supernova must be timed exactly right – like the micro-second accuracy of a the explosions that form the spherical crushing pressure around a plutonium fission bomb – so the ejected nuclei will all arrive at the same location in the same period of time. Too early a supernova? The nuclei are formed, are ejected in the right direction, travel here in the right length of time, but cross this target area too early to be a part of the dust cloud when it begins gathering. Too late? They arrive, but after the dust cloud has passed by.
          if you throw out the requirement for a chain of supernova’s – which nobody ever has! – then you need to assembly every chromium, iron, nickle, vanadium, and uranium atom now in existence in one super-supernova.
          But nobody has named the formation stream for anything much past the simple “resonances energies” of the early 2He4 combinations: 8O16 ; 6C12 ; 14Si28 ; 16S32. Nobody has – to my knowledge and after all of my searching – explained how many reactions of what kind are needed to form Fe56. (Which reactions, and how likely are each different fusion tree are needed.) No one has ever done anything other than wave their hands “and then all of the other elements are formed” … the early formation tree is very compelling: A series of He4 fusions does indeed make sense because the resonance daughter products ARE the most common isotopes we find! But that resonance “tree” does NOT explain how the rest are made!
          To repeat. How many supernova’s are needed to make one 26Fe (AW 52, 54, 55, 56, or 58) isotope? How many are needed to make one 92Uranium isotope? they were made. But how?
          So, your friend needs to tell you his assumptions for the number of supernova’s needed and the size of that supernova cloud so we can check his assumptions: In particular, we need some guess of transport time from the final supernova cloud surrounding the solar system dust cloud’s to the solar system. Given any transport time (since we know the max speed of the incoming dust particles) we can figure out how many supernova’s need to blast at the same time to get their particles all here at the same time so they can be collected.

      • M Courtney
        February 12, 2015 at 4:36 am
        This intrigued me so I discussed it with a friend who studied Astrophysics. He made the following counterpoints.
        •The density of the universe was a lot higher in the past, which is obvious if big bang is true, therefore supernova remnants are more likely to run into other supernova remnants from nearby and gas clouds, and form new stellar nurseries in the past.

        Hm, interesting but is not the inflation period before the stellar systems?
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29
        “The inflationary epoch lasted from 10−36 seconds after the Big Bang to sometime between 10−33 and 10−32 seconds. ”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:History_of_the_Universe.svg
        So the density does not seem to vary as much in the time post 3 minutes to now…

  72. This is way too funny. Cosmology does not require us to destroy our civilization in order to save the planet so I don’t ever remembering anyone claiming that cosmology and particularly big bang is “settled science”. Not any cosmologist anyway. Galaxies are flying away from each other, that’s an easily observable fact. Also, there is cosmic microwave background, not as easily observable but now measured to extreme precision. Distribution of matter throughout the universe, age and texture of CMB, and measurements of expansion rate changes throughout the history from supernova explosions are asking for explanations and therefore scientists are coming with theories trying to explain that. There’s little doubt the universe used to be very dense, but the singularity is just hypothetical thing, projection of the expansion, and actual Big Bang theory does not depend on it. Anything that goes beyond matter density greater than what physics can reliably describe is pure speculation. Hypotheses that the very dense state was not preceded by a singularity but rather some previous universe crashing on itself are very old. That does not prevent us to set up age of _our_ universe to the moment when this very dense state happened.
    The vague term “Big Bang” refers to the expansion of the universe from its initial very dense state, not to existence of the singularity. And there’s little doubt the expansion has happened. The new hypothesis does not get rid of that, it’s just working around the singularity.

    • Kasuha you say ” Galaxies are flying away from each other, that’s an easily observable fact.”
      See my 10:38 post above. What is observed is the red shift. That they are flying away from each other is a hypothetical interpretation. The distribution of matter throughout the universe is incompatible with the estimated age of the universe unless you bring in a theoretical inflation to preserve the Big Bang model.
      The whole Big Bang model is a house of cards built on a very shaky observational foundation.

      • It’s not like there are no attempts at explaining the redshift without expansion of space, they just don’t provide satisfactory answers. It’s not problem with imagination, I can imagine static universe with redshift corresponding to distance easily. It’s mathematical problem. Many cool hypotheses about universe or quantum physics failed to materialize in usable mathematical apparatus – their results just did not match the reality or failed the Occam’s razor test. Most often both.
        The theory posted above is not questioning superdense state and expansion of space. It just works around the singularity. Which is a nice thing, I’m no friend of the singularity either. There is no doubt among experts that Einstein’s general relativity is wrong in similar sense how Newton’s physics was wrong. It’s just not clear how to expand it. And this is not even the first mildly popular attempt to expand it. These go way back to 1960s.
        The “public” notion of Big Bang is all wrong in any case. So are most of depictions of Big Bang in media. Most people have very twisted and incorrect idea of how did Big Bang look like.

  73. Hang on a minute. Agreed that “singularity” is “problematic” and it would be immensely satisfying to have a universe that has always existed and will always exist, but how does one equation explain away the apparent expansion of the Universe? Is it an illusion? If so how so? Galaxies and stars are born and they die and the cosmos is in a state of flux. there is no reason why the Universe itself cannot be born and die. And then there are Black Holes. They are also singularities.
    Wishes do not explain reality. There is nothing “steady state” about the cosmos around us. It changes just like the climate.

    • Black holes are not singularities; they each contain a singularity. A singularity occurs where the mathematics generates an infinity — an infinite mass for example, or infinite size. What occurs at a singularity is therefore beyond our physics to describe.
      Hoyle and Gold’s Steady State Universe wasn’t at all “steady”. It was expanding just as the observable universe appears to. It did not, however, have a beginning and attendant singularity problem.

      • Singularity is a point in spacetime in which gravitational forces cause matter to have an infinite density and zero volume, such as black holles

      • “Problems with the steady-state theory began to emerge in the late 1960s, when observations apparently supported the idea that the Universe was in fact changing: quasars and radio galaxies were found only at large distances (therefore could have existed only in the distant past), not in closer galaxies. Whereas the Big Bang theory predicted as much, the Steady State theory predicted that such objects would be found throughout the Universe, including close to our own galaxy.
        For most cosmologists, the refutation of the steady-state theory came with the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation in 1965, which was predicted by the Big Bang theory. Stephen Hawking described this discovery as “the final nail in the coffin of the steady-state theory”.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_State_theory

      • Hmmm, I was lent a magazine by a Creationist recently that claimed certain scientists had measured singularities in the 19thC. Tell me oh wise and toothless one, how do you measure infinite density in a zero volume? If it can’t be measured, then I’m as sceptical as hell.

      • there is an energy associated with any given volume of the universe. If that volume increases, the inescapable conclusion is that this energy must increase as well. And yet physicists generally think that energy creation is forbidden.
        Baryshev quotes the British cosmologist, Ted Harrison, on this topic: “The conclusion, whether we like it or not, is obvious: energy in the universe is not conserved,” says Harrison.
        This is a problem that cosmologists are well aware of. And yet ask them about it and they shuffle their feet and stare at the ground. Clearly, any theorist who can solve this paradox will have a bright future in cosmology.
        The nature of the energy associated with the vacuum is another puzzle. This is variously called the zero point energy or the energy of the Planck vacuum and quantum physicists have spent some time attempting to calculate it.
        These calculations suggest that the energy density of the vacuum is huge, of the order of 10^94 g/cm^3. This energy, being equivalent to mass, ought to have a gravitational effect on the universe.
        Cosmologists have looked for this gravitational effect and calculated its value from their observations (they call it the cosmological constant). These calculations suggest that the energy density of the vacuum is about 10^-29 g/cm3.
        Those numbers are difficult to reconcile. Indeed, they differ by 120 orders of magnitude. How and why this discrepancy arises is not known and is the cause of much bemused embarrassment among cosmologists.

        It’s not just the Steady State theory that has problems. I used to have a link to an Australian cosmologist whose class was presented with around a dozen different cosmologies for comparison, but alas it has gone stale.

      • Are you talking to me? I have all my teeth thank you, Pompous Git.
        ” Tell me oh wise and toothless one, how do you measure infinite density in a zero volume?”
        Pompous Git I think you have answered your own question – you don’t measure it – it is calculated mathematically, when you divide a finite number by zero.When a finite mass collapses to zero volume the density becomes infinite.
        And while you are about it Pompous Git, look up the difference between a sceptic and a naysayer or cynic. You might discover you are in the latter category.

      • Richard, when you divide any number by zero, you generate an undefined quantity. Any claim that this quantity exists is entirely speculative and not backed by empirical evidence.

      • “Any claim that this quantity exists is entirely speculative and not backed by empirical evidence.”
        Pompous Git, you have not looked up the difference between a sceptic and a cynic. There is plenty of evidence that Black Holes exist. But I leave you to research that or remain in your cynical world, which is more likely.

      • Pompous Git, you have not looked up the difference between a sceptic and a cynic. There is plenty of evidence that Black Holes exist. But I leave you to research that or remain in your cynical world, which is more likely.

        So where did I claim black holes do not exist? I was taught that they have an event horizon, i.e. a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. The singularity, if it exists, lies beyond that event horizon and is therefore beyond any possibility of having its properties determined empirically. Further, despite the underlying assumption in physics that its laws apply everywhere and at all times, that assumption cannot be corroborated beyond said event horizon. The laws of physics we know and love so much may well not be applicable, thus casting further doubt on the existence of such peculiar things as singularities.
        NB The Git received a distinction for his major assignment in Cosmology at the tertiary level in 2006.
        [“NB” ? .mod]

      • “I was taught that they have an event horizon, i.e. a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer.” What! Really? Which events? You mean like the World cup? Or Wimbledon? Where did you plagiarise that from? Wikipedia?
        This event horizon sounds very much like what lies between you and your claim to fame. Your “distinction”, if it exists, lies beyond that event horizon and is therefore beyond any possibility of having it confirmed empirically.
        I was taught by a different physics teacher. Escape velocity, speed of light …that sort of stuff. You will admit that you might feel gravity more on Jupiter than on Earth and even more on a neutron star and possibly more so in a Black Hole.
        “…despite the underlying assumption in physics that its laws apply everywhere and at all times, that assumption cannot be corroborated beyond said event horizon.” For once Pompous Git I am at a loss for words. Your statement is irrefutable. But here is a thought experiment. We travel to the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy and we shoot you at, through and past the event horizon, armed with a pendulum and stop watch. You may have the satisfaction of knowing whether your suspicions were correct before the gravity of the situation gets you. You will also have empirical evidence whether this peculiar thing called singularity exists, (if indeed the existence of something that theoretically is non-existence, is possible), or you land on a bit of “solid matter”. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) you will not be able to share your knowledge with the “outside world”.
        PS (A slightly lower brow way of saying NB) Pompous Git = A puffed up fool (English / English Slang), IOW, the idiot thinks he knows from which end he pontificates.

  74. @Dr Norman Page ” In order to preserve the standard cosmological model the consensus cosmological herd simply shovel enough conveniently unobservable dark matter into the calculations to preserve Einsteins equations”
    What utter poppycock. Dark matter is not necessary or relevant for Einsteins equations to be preserved. Its existence is revealed by the extra gravity observed unaccountable by visible matter.
    You have just spouted a load of ignorant bs.

    • “Dark matter is not necessary or relevant for Einsteins equations to be preserved. Its existence is revealed by the extra gravity observed unaccountable by visible matter.”
      Not really. We do not know exactly what is causing the difference in the star movement and we explain it with dark matter.
      However the way how we have to place the dark matter in bubles around the galaxy to make it work does not seem right to me. Why would dark matter gather in the form of a ball around the Milky Way?
      Just to make stars move like they do? If it interacts through gravity why would it not collapse?
      And then there are lots of problems:
      ” Huge Dark Matter Experiment Finds Nothing but More Mysteries”
      http://www.wired.com/2013/10/lux-dark-matter/
      “Dwarf Galaxies Dim Hopes of Dark Matte”
      https://www.quantamagazine.org/20141025-dwarf-galaxies-dim-dark-matter-hopes/
      and so on:
      “Dark matter is not behaving as predicted, and it’s not obviously clear what is going on. Theories of galaxy formation and dark matter must explain what we are seeing.”
      http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2012/10/full/
      With a bit of dark matter, dark energy, some dark variations of the constants and dark time flows we can make the universe start some 6000 years ago and everybody is happy….
      When 96% of the universe must consists of dark something to help our theories explain what we see, maybe the theories are simply wrong.

      • Nothing is established but there are many streams of observational evidence for Dark Matter:
        “The first to postulate dark matter based upon robust evidence was Vera Rubin in the 1960s–1970s, using galaxy rotation curves.[7][8] Subsequently many other observations have indicated the presence of dark matter in the Universe, including gravitational lensing of background objects by galaxy clusters such as the Bullet Cluster, the temperature distribution of hot gas in galaxies and clusters of galaxies and, more recently, the pattern of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background. According to consensus among cosmologists, dark matter is composed primarily of a not yet characterized type of subatomic particle.[9][10] The search for this particle, by a variety of means, is one of the major efforts in particle physics today.[11]
        Although the existence of dark matter is generally accepted by the mainstream scientific community, some alternative theories of gravity have been proposed, such as MOND and TeVeS, which try to account for the anomalous observations without requiring additional matter.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

      • Lars, I think you nailed the head on the hit here. Dark matter affects ordinary matter via gravitational attraction, but does not appear to be affected by gravitation itself, a somewhat mysterious occurrence. Gravitation is a symmetric affair with ordinary matter.

      • Richard
        February 11, 2015 at 12:28 am
        Nothing is established….

        And from there quite a few possibilities can be evolved. None of them established. I am anti.

      • “And from there quite a few possibilities can be evolved. None of them established. I am anti.”
        What I meant was science is never settled. No point being anti just for the sake of it. You could think of many possibilities to explain the movement of Galaxies etc., god, angels, but they are not all equally probable. Evidence is the key. If your hypothesis explains the evidence and goes onto making predictions that are again confirmed by evidence then the chances are it explains to some measure how things are in the universe.

  75. Until we learn to bend wireless optics and watch flavours interact Man will never see the other side of the universe and understand it. If you stand at the waters edge, it doesn’t matter how powerful your optical instrument is you’ll only see about 7 miles . So what we can see with the Hubble is only like a grain of salt in comparison to what’s out there. As long as we know that friction can create heat, expansion , resistance and then a spark, then the big bang theory will be hard to defeat . The big question to me is what was the capacitor that stored all that electric potential flavours ?

  76. No kidding the laws of physics breaks down at the singularity. There doesn’t yet exist a universe within which to have physical laws. Why is this surprising?

  77. The idea that the universe (ie the totality of what is, was and will be) has temporal and spatial limits is simply anthopocentric and absurd . . How could there possibly be such limits? Much of the scientific speculation as to what has been happening locally SINCE the occurrence of our most recent local big bang makes a lot of sense though, but at this stage we’re still only scratching at the surface of it all. Imv there will be an infinite number of “big bangs” in an infinite number of locations within infinite space and time, and from time to time more than one of those big bangs will occur in similar places and times ( which is not the same as proposing a multiverse model, which is just as absurd as the idea of the universe starting with OUR big bang). Once we can perceive of the products of our local big bang as simply a local cluster in an infinite number of such clusters we’ll be getting a little closer to the beginning of an understanding, is my view.

  78. Amazing the number of comments attracted by a post that has nothing at all to do with climate, let alone climate warming! Just wish I had the math to understand even a little of this subject, but guess I never will.
    My brain just hurts. I’ll go away and console myself with Everett’s ‘many worlds’ (=many universes) hypothesis which I have always found most attractive and reassuring. Please somebody don’t tell me it’s been debunked..

    • This topic , which has attracted so much interest , albeit unrelated as you say to climatology , illustrates a growing realisation on my part about what it is that makes this site so popular.
      It is a reincarnation , for many , of their student days and the evenings spent solving the world’s scientific and political problems , ever more lively after a few beers.
      Everyone gets a chance to speak , no matter how unorthodox their opinions , and the moderator’s rod is lightly spared and only in the interests of civilised taste.

  79. It’s all down to basics. Is the red shift due to expansion or is it just radiation using energy to travel through the universe. That’s would explain why the further you look the greater the red shift.

  80. It not that it’s “not so settled after all” as the new hypothesis has to be vetted and compared against all the evidence. Challengers to the current best theory show up from time to time in most fields, this is a normal healthy part of actual science and eventually even this challenger will be vetted and may or may not be tossed into the dust bin of science history, if it isn’t may be the Big Bang Theory exits stage left for that same dust bin. Time and independent verification based upon actual empirical evidence will tell the tale. There is lots of evidence to overturn to get the BBT to exit stage left.
    The problem in some sciences, such as climate science, is that the proponents and their supporters, are so dedicated to their claims of c02 climate doomsday raptures that they are blind to the evidence that their claims have already been falsified by the evidence from the objective reality of Nature. She’s not cooperating with their doomsday prognostications, er, predictions. In science when your predictions are wrong your claims are wrong and automatically falsified by the scientific method. Don’t like it then don’t be involved in science.
    The root of their problem is that they believe they are attempting to save the Earth, belief has no place in science at all for when you take on beliefs you put on blinders to the actual evidence. A belief being an assumption that something is true (or false) without requiring evidence. This is the opposite of science, the void in the human mind where there is no science, that endarkened void of faith based beliefs. Even a belief that motivates you to do some science can suck you into the black hole of confirmation bias where you are blind to anything that falsifies your hypothesis and derived claims; once you pass the event horizon of the black hole your beliefs you’re no longer following The Scientific Method, you’re doing something else and not much will save you except casting off of all beliefs and committing (once again) to the principles of The Scientific Method, Empirical Evidence Above all else including above your hypotheses.

  81. Wow. They challenge the prevailing theory without being chastised and excommunicated? Maybe there is till hope for science in our world after all. But maybe it’s just me jumping to conclusions. I love the idea of big bang and its inflationary beginnings but I love a good challenge even more. It’s a good day.

  82. I really don’t like this comparison. Cosmologist and quantum guys would be the first to admit that the reality is the unknown, and all we have is theories that fit some of the facts and leave huge questions unanswered
    The contrast with the science is settled crew is complete.
    I’ve also read Bohm, and I have to say he is closer to a climate scientist than most. He seems to be looking for a solution that fits his preferred worldview, not simply looking at the facts. I.e. he proposes hidden variables that ‘explain’ things so that hie doesn’t have to give up a classical view of the world.

  83. Physics in general and cosmology in particular have quite a lot of fundamentally disturbing problems. Here is one.
    The rate of gravitational propagation, the “speed of gravity” if you will, has never been confirmed. We are told to just believe that it is the speed of light. Just don’t use that value when solving orbit problems or you will get the wrong answer. To solve orbits, you have to take gravitational interaction as instantaneous.

  84. If space is expanding to fill space between galaxy’s.
    Where is the space coming from?
    Why is everything expanding away from us.
    But then that is not true what about the galaxy that we are due to collide with.
    But as there is so much space most of it will miss colliding with our galaxy.
    Big bang does not work for me.
    Got to say to infinity and beyond, now seem to be feasible.

  85. Physics has been in a state of crisis for some time. Under existing theory the universe just doesn’t make sense. It is ridiculously improbably and oddly anthropic. Because the existing paradigm has run its course it is being attacked on all quarters
    This is not the only or the first or only proven science that was later shown to be without merit.
    Just this week a draft version of the new USDA dietary guidance was leaked. Since the 1960s it was recommended on proven science that dietary cholesterol be closely regulated. No more than one egg per day for example was suggested.
    The new guidance will have no dietary cholesterol recommendations what-so-ever. Apparently all that settled science was not so settled.
    Perhaps the pinnacle of bad science was the nature / neuter (gender / nature) debate of the 1960s -1980s. It was proven science that humans have no innate genetic predispositions. We were born as clay and society normed us.
    If you said otherwise you were a dinosar or worse.
    Since the 1980s brain scans and genetic research has shown overwhelmingly that humans like all other creatures are strongly behaviorally influenced by innate biology. Pretty amazing considering how settled the science was at the time.

  86. I’ve spent too much of my life already arguing against the BB theory, the last remnant of creationism in physics. Strangely, the Big Bang proponent are usually even more fanatical than environmentalist wackos, though it would seem that there ain’t no money in cosmology. Or is there?
    Instead of repeating the usual, very long list of observations that contradict the Big Bang dogma, let me mention two latest nails driven into its coffin.
    1) So-called “gravity waves,” supposedly confirming the BBT and registered in 2013, have been proven the duct clouds’ artifact.
    2) The recent Scottish experiment proved that the speed of light in vacuum is variable and slows under the influence of magnetic fields changing the “impulse structure.” Whatever “impulse structure” of light is (and I am not claiming the complete understanding of their experiment), it means that Fred Hoyle was right, after all. Light “tires” with distance, and red shift is not a consequence of “Doppler-analogous” effect.
    P.S. By the way, no other but Mandelbrot himself, mathematically, explained that there is no “Olberg’s paradox.” Read all about it!

    • Alexander. It seems to me that if everything is moving away from us due to the Doppler effect that would place us in the center of the universe. That we would be in the center seems very unlikely. I’m going with you and the tired light. My understanding Hoyle was thought to be very pig headed for not ever changing his mind.
      I thought I made a mistake once but I was wrong.

  87. I do not have a problem with BB theory, it fits our data quite well. I do have a problem with assurance that it is true from the more public advocates like L. Susskind and L. Krauss. The beggining of the universe is the most distant thing from us in space/time and hence our view of it is most limited. I am reminded of Edwin Hubble:
    Thus the exploration of space end on a note of uncertainty. And necessarily so. We are, by definition, in the very center of the observable region. We know our immediate neighborhood rather intimately. With increasing distance, our knowledge fades rapidly. Eventually, we reach the dim boundry – the utmost limits of our telescopes. There we measure shadows, and we search among ghostly errors of measurment for landmarks that are scarcely more substantial. The search will continue. Not until the empirical resources are exhausted, need we pass on to the dreamy realms of speculation.

  88. The strongest, most rigorous argument for the Big Bang origin of the observable universe is (to me, at least) the concept of Entropy.
    In the words of Ludwig Boltzmann, Entropy S = k lnW. W, the number of possible states of motion available to the atoms in a system is simply a cardinal number (a count) and cannot be less than 1 (for a system with no atoms). The minimum possible value for S is therefore 0. But the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us that the entropy of the universe can only increase.
    Retracing the state of the Universe backwards in time finds that earlier states had less entropy, and ultimately that the earliest state of the universe had zero entropy.
    The Big Bang is that event that increased the W of the Entire Universe from 0 to 1 – an empty universe (in which the concept of entropy is meaningless because lnW is undefined) becoming a universe containing one motionless object, with a total entropy of 0.
    Thermodynamics: It’s the Law.

  89. I also do not like the comparison.
    Another ‘settled science’ topic is not so settled after all – Big Bang theory questioned
    In physics, and cosmology is a branch of physics , there is no “settled science” ( http://www.phy.davidson.edu/FacHome/thg/320_files/physics-is-dead.htm )since the quote from the end of the [19th] century:
    : The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote . . . Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals attributed to A.A.Michelson.
    Physics now works with “standard models” which are continuously questioned and measured against the data, and all experiments and observations test the models against the data. I have been studying and working in physics since 1958 and have seen many models evolve and transmute as more and more data were accumulated and accuracies grew. There may be fashions and schools, but comparison with data predominates and sifts the numerous theoretical proposals, and what is a “standard” model in some decades becomes outdated in the next.
    How do standard models change? By peer acknowledgement. Peer acknowledgement starts with citations. If one goes to the Inspire citations, one finds (http://inspirehep.net/search?ln=en&p=refersto%3Arecid%3A1325962 ) 1 citation to the preprint the past six months. This means peers were not impressed enough to site it . For or against makes no difference in the number, this lone citation indicates indifference, not taking the peers by storm. In this day of computer connections citations should appear very fast, still, we should wait a year and see whether some interest in the peer groups is raised before assuming that it is a valuable and correct new interpretation of century long data.
    In contrast to physics research where the models are always open to change if their predictions fail to be validated, climate models are fossilized extrusion from fanatical minds which tend to bend the data to their prejudices and work with “my mind is settled, don’t bother me with the facts” mind set.

  90. Physical Laws govern all physical existence; every action and motion. Our inability to explain that which we can now observe, leads to the awareness that there are other Laws which we do not yet grasp, other phenomenon which we can not yet observe.
    The fact that all declarations such as “the science is settled” have not been met with overwhelming roars of disapproval from the ranks of those who would call themselves scientists, leads to a very big question: “why not?”

  91. Indeed. Big Bang theory is and was never ‘settled’, to imply it ever was is a misrepresentation. Some (fairly good) evidence and some maths (general relativity) points to a Big Bang, it has never been conclusive and unlikely ever to be, just the best we have to date and subject to modification. Any good scientist remains open minded and comfortable with the absence of certainty, which ably highlights the absurdity of ‘settled climate science’.

  92. Red shift is observed in distant stars increasing with the distance of a star.
    If an electromagnetic oscillation is subjected to a powerful electromagnetic shock-wave (such as it may come from a supernova explosion, common throughout universe) the frequency of the oscillation will be slightly altered downwards, i.e. a red shift will be introduced. Since shock propagates at or near speed of light in all directions it may affect any light wave encountering the shock for a much longer longer period of time than the duration of actual SN burst.
    Perhaps astronomers and physicists in particular, need to do far more rigorous analysis of the red shift spectral composition, before the cause of it can be accepted with absolute certainty.
    .

    • Halton Arp had numerous data showing that the farther quasars were from the mother galaxy that their red shifts decreased indicating that the red shift as a sign of age not speed that of course contradicts the standard model. He had to relocate to another observatory.

    • I agree Vuk, the light gets tired travelling through all sorts of obstacles, the further away the light source the more red shifted. Does have no bearing on their relative motion to us.

  93. You can ridicule me if you want, but I say God created the big bang. I haven’t seen an explanation to date to disprove it. And it certainly sits better with me than having to believe everything is random and accidental.

    • There is nothing to ridicule, I say aliens from an alternate universe created the big bang. I haven’t seen an explanation to disprove it. Actually there isn’t an explanation to disprove an infinite number of other possibilities.
      Everyone is welcome to their beliefs, but because beliefs have not or cannot be been dis-proven is not proof.

      • That’s where faith comes in, dear Tom.
        God, according to a rather amazing book
        (given the prophecies made written hundreds of years earlier which happened, e.g., Jerusalem’s fall to the Babylonians and the later fall of Babylon… even Alexander the Great is accurately predicted in the book of Daniel — and there are TONS more pretty amazing facts you need to consider before rejecting that book out of hand….. and, thus, what it says about other things…),
        is self-existent and is the “Alpha,” i.e., the beginning without a beginning.
        That is, the definition of the “term” “God” is why jayhd can make the assertion he or she does.
        Of course, back to the top, that means one must believe in God at all.
        So far, “God” is the most logical explanation — given that we just do not “know.” Something had to be self-existent … .
        OUR LITTLE BRAINS JUST CAN’T GRASP THAT, so, we choose to believe it is possible. Just as we just believe in the Trinity, i.e., that three can = one — can’t explain it; it just is.
        We must be humble enough to admit that there are some truths beyond the grasp of our mind’s power to comprehend.
        We also can’t grasp the idea of “forever,” as in space going on thus, or as in our souls existing on and on… .
        Just
        believe!
        #(:))
        Janice
        P.S. That Jesus did (and said) what he did is a pretty amazing thing… from that historical event, in comes all the rest of the belief… if you are willing to give Jesus serious consideration… . Oh, come, now (smile) that many of his followers are jerks (like I, according to at least one person) does not negate what HE said and did.)

  94. If the universe were infinite and has always existed and is not expanding at or faster than the speed of light then our skies should be constantly changing as objects previously too far away from us to be seen come into view. It would be difficult not to have noticed that. Olber’s paradox requires this. There would also be a red and blue shift caused by the movement of our reference frame through the universe that would allow us to calculate our speed and direction. I would expect too that the background temperature of the universe would have to be much higher than it is currently thought to be. Conservation of energy would cause global warming, freeing my mind from worrying about lighting up my furnace today. I am worried though that our planet is plummeting willy-nilly through the universe at nearly 500,000 mph and nobody is driving. This can’t end well in such a cluttered universe. Version 2.0 will have to address this.

    • If space is infinite then infinitely far away galaxies are receding infinitely fast from us, giving them relatively infinite mass…
      help. I’m lost.

      • Thanks, Leif. The second link was helpful. The first link was a semester’s worth of study, and I’m unwilling at this point to put other things aside for that. Much easier to ask you, and I accept everything you say because you’re the expert.
        If it’s not too much trouble, this link is just a page long. It’s interesting. What do you think? The guy says conservation of energy is wrong. Einstein is the default, so I’m hesitant to accept anything else. But I don’t even know what I don’t know about cosmology. After Einstein you are the expert here. Thanks.

        • Gravity condenses new galaxies out of the intergalactic medium, but most galaxies that could form this way are already here. Today, galaxies actually disappear [also due to gravity] by being swept up by neighboring larger galaxies. The Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy will one day collide and form an even larger single galaxy. Very few new raisins.

      • Dr. S:The galaxies are not moving at all, hence no infinite mass. It is space that is stretching
        ….
        The Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy will one day collide

        Two galaxies should not collide if galaxies are moving apart due to space expansion.
        Andromeda is 2.2 million light years away, it should be mowing away and not towards Milky Way, and so excluding possibility of their collision.
        Is this one of the exceptions to the rule?
        Is the gravitational attraction of two galaxies overriding force of the BB expansion?
        Do we have galaxies moving in all direction?
        Or is it that the BB theory is not working as it is suppose to?

        • The Andromeda and the Milky Way are both members of the so-called Local Group [of about 20 galaxies] that are bound to each other by gravity [like the planets and the Sun in the solar system]. The members of the group move around [like the planets] the center of gravity of the group. The local group itself is gravitationally bound to the local super cluster, moving at 627 km/sec relative to the CMB. The expansion is only strong enough to overcome gravity on the scale of galaxy clusters [tens of millions of light years]. None of this is controversial in any way.

  95. Every time I see these topics I cringe. I have a few simple statements that might help clear things up or add to the confusion! 🙂
    1. Space is infinite in all directions. If you get to the end, guess what? There’s more space on the other side, it just keeps going…
    2. Time is infinite backwards and forewards. There was no “start” there will be no “end” to time. It always has been and always will be.
    3. The Big Bang is just the current “bang”. If you could speed up time and zoom out far enough, you would see the repeated “bangs” happen over and over and over again. This bangs have been happening infinitely in the past and will continue infinitely in the future. The current bang we are a part of is nothing new and nothing special.
    4. The idea of a steady state “universe” is parallel to the idea of steady state climate, cute and cuddley, but not true.
    5. The idea of all of space was contained in a single point is a fun thing assophisicists love to throw about. It is of course ludicrous, just like dark matter, dark energy, parallel universes, wormholes and the accelerating expansion of the universe. Fun concepts, but just mental fapping none the less.
    6. Many assophisicists want fame, fortune and recognition, just like most other people. The more preposterous and bizarre claim they can throw out and substantiate via models and hand-waving, the better for them. Sound familiar? Many of them are no better then our dear climastrologists.
    7. Best part of all? Just like religion, nobody can prove they are right and nobody can prove anyone else is wrong.
    Food for thought…

    • Eric, I believe you’re mistaken about at least some of those points:
      1. I’m not sure space or time can be infinite in the manner you suggest if they came from a big bang or similar. To be sure, you cannot fly beyond the edge of the universe, but that’s because there is no beyond to fly into 🙂 . Similarly, you cannot go back in time to before the big bang, because there is no before.
      2. The idea of an endless cycle of big bangs and big crunches has been floated before now, but hasn’t been (dis)proven (kinda hard anyway, if everything ends up in a singularity 😛 ). I think the current consensus (dirty word here I know, but anyway) is that inflation is too powerful for a big crunch to occur, and that the universe is due to end in a heat death scenario. Of course, cosmologists tend to be much happier to dump said consensus than some people (I guess the grant money just isn’t there 😛 ).
      3. I think a steady state universe raises some rather interesting questions (for starters, how to square the existence of stars etc with entropy and the way in which everything tends to decay, or why all the galaxies we can see appear to be flying apart). Would be preferable to the rather bleak endings most scientists believe we’re due, but there’s a lack of evidence for it these days.
      4. I suspect that most astrophysicists are more concerned about what their colleagues think than about what Joe Public thinks (at least unless Joe Public is seriously considering a multi-trillion-dollar anti-universal-inflation project…) – the lack of money and such probably tends to act as a dampener on the making of outrageous claims.
      5. You can prove particular theories right or wrong (at least insofar as you can “prove” anything in science), because you can compare theories to observations. Of course if there are no observations to be made (hi string theory…) then you’re right, but there is, for example, a wealth of observational data backing up general relativity.
      + + +
      As for the main topic under discussion… looks interesting 🙂 . I’m in agreement with others here in disliking dark matter & dark energy, but frankly my personal preferences are besides the point. If nothing else, hopefully this work will, by being proved wrong, work to strengthen the foundations of the big bang theory. And if it’s right… fun times ahead 🙂 …

      • Great reply! I only have one “Butt”
        “To be sure, you cannot fly beyond the edge of the universe, but that’s because there is no beyond to fly into 🙂 ”
        The term “universe” is typicaly used to describe the area where there is matter. Beyond and between all the matter is space. So, yeah, the beyond to fly into is space, which never, ever ends. It just goes on into nothing for infinity.

    • Food for thought…or for howling at the moon since for many things scientific answers do not exist.
      We do need people thinking crazy thoughts or “outside the box”, that is how knowledge advances in leaps.
      No one is hurt by a mathematician speculating on the nature of time, plenty of damage is done with climate scientists stating humanity is creating a doomsday climate with 95% certainty or whatever current rhetoric states. That is the problem with climate science, they have lost line between possibility and probability, hypothesis and reality.

  96. Our universe is part of a continuous space system of which the entropy of the entire space system is constant.
    Our univers has limits in space, time and velocity of light due to entropy increase.
    Maybe we should know our place better.

  97. So either everything banged out of nothing or everything always existed.
    The big bang theory never completely worked since it needed a singularity existing… where? The big bang theory explains everything compressed within a singularity, it does not explain or even attempt to explain what existed outside the singularity. That requires explaining nothing as a something, which is significantly more difficult than a dog juggling knives.
    Since dogs can’t juggle knives, might as well admit everything always existed all the time, no beginning, no end. Humanities metaphorical representation of that concept is God, commonly described as, was, is and always shall be. Science doesn’t do God, so we go back to the BBT, because that has a beginning and an end, just like the physical world we are familiar with and can actually study.
    Round and round we go, continually advancing our knowledge of the universe, while at the same time like our ancient ancestors, ending up spending considerable time howling at the moon.
    Of course if we get to the point of time travel or invent a warp drive (faster than light travel) then we’ll be much better equipped to determine how valid BBT is.
    There is plenty of applied physics in our everyday life, so we can cut cosmologists a break, however there is no applied climate science, unless you count creating doomsday chicken little politics as applied science.

    • Alex, BB is not everything out of nothing. BB is not everything from nothing. The BBT theory is everything was created out of an infinite energy unquantifiable beyond cause and affect something, the alternative is (steady state) everything always was and came from nothing, it just was. Cyclical theory is just a different version of steady state.
      In this you have identified what philosophers call the cosmological argument, which supports everything coming from an infinite beyond cause and affect something, which some call God

  98. and yes, the cretes language is smarter than logic:
    ‘all cretes are liars explains the
    autochthon crete to the
    tourist’
    understood by every crete
    as ‘all cretes / BUT ME / are liars explains the
    autochthon crete to the
    tourist.’
    THOUGHT before logical speech: logic + language are the tools.
    Regards – Hans

  99. The standard model fails at the beginning per physics 101! You cannot create something from nothing. Even God created the heavens and earth out of chaos. The electrical model of the universe offers a much better description of what we observe in the cosmos.

  100. Anthony,
    You have a great blog and are doing a phenomenal service exposing the controversies, fraud and deception in climate science. So, please don’t blow it by posting this kind of fringe cosmology crapola. Thanks.

    • minarchist,
      Hey, I like reading the latest speculations on cosmology! Apparently many others do, too, with 400 comments so far. You can always skip over articles you don’t like.

      • So Leif, are you referring to CAGW, or BBT , or both as being non controversial? Or perhaps you just like to insult?

      • Leif, there are zero studies showing a consensus on CAGW. (poorly done or not) Personally I support BBT as IMV, everything can not come from nothing, or have always been with no cause, which is the same as saying everything came from nothing and has no cause. BBT mathematically implies that everything came from an infinite energy beyond cause and affect something. However I do not assume it is non-controversial.

      • Leif, the first sentance to that link states…”The zero-energy universe theory states that the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero: its amount of positive energy in the form of matter is exactly canceled out by its negative energy in the form of gravity.[1][2]”
        ===================================================
        Therefore it is not denying energy, it is saying there is an equal amount of negative energy.

      • Not in my thinking. The centripetal force of the earth in orbit is canceled by the centrifugal force of the earth in motion. Both forces still exist.

  101. I don’t think any explanation of how the universe was created is credible until we can understand what the universe is right now. To say it is the collection of stars and matter that is 15 billion light years or so wide is not complete because it doesn’t account for what is outside of that. Is it just a void with no matter that goes on forever? And ever and ever? And if that ends what is outside of that? With our 3-D perception of the world the void outside of our “universe” of matter would have to go on for infinity. That is not possible, but it is all our minds can come up with, so we ignore that basic fact that we can’t even comprehend the expanses of the volume of space we are living in. And we tell ourselves that the universe is this 15 billion light year wide group of matter that is infinitely small within the infinitely large void that surrounds it. There is a certain amount of arrogance in science, asserting that we understand great mysteries while ignoring the fact that we can’t even explain basic things within the same subject matter.

  102. I am reminded of a fundamental difference between Roman Numerals and Arabic Numerals. We use Arabic numerology in large part because of zero. The Romans didn’t have a way to express zero or use it in their math. Just a thought here, maybe Big Bang cosmology needs a zero so they can explain mathematically and cosmologically the “zero” before the Big Bang. We can express negative numbers, less than zero, perhaps time needs it as well.

  103. Interesting conjecture. I wonder how they explain the ‘background’ cosmic radiation that first convinced people that the ‘Big Bang’ happened.

      • Alan, what died that day in the garden? We are born without spirit, the image of God.
        (But I think if we continue along these lines we’ll be trying the mods patience.8-)

        • Yes GungaDin, but if we don’t behave, there will be an unbearable plague and a catastrophic tsunami of “little g’s” running around, remaking everything for their image. (;
          Oh wait…too late.
          ref: Ps 82

      • Gunga Din,
        While knowing little and believing less and then finding certain verses compelling for their implications of our true nature, the exploration of which might prove to be a necessary road for the completion of our journey to understanding of such as the universe, I also have no wish to break glass at the host’s table.

    • It was Hubble’s observation of the constant that is in his namesake that first convinced people as far as I can tell. The only method we have currently to verify that the CMB might tell us something about the early universe is how the universe looks in more recent times. Since the CMB has been traveling through the observable universe for the last 13.7 billion years (if current theory is correct), the possibility of contamination of data seems possible.

  104. In the beginning there was nothing – and then it exploded.
    Hmm, that would only work if you believe in a god.
    Oh wait…the Big Bang was formulated by a Belgian Jesuit priest.
    Since the Universe is roughly 70-90% plasma, the 4K background radiation can be explain by light scattering off the plasma and being shifted to the microwave region. Simulations reproduce the observed pattern.
    A Big Bang universe and a Black Hole universe are mathematically inconsistent.
    In General Relativity – which is a nonlinear theory (only extremely simple problems can be solved) the is only one black hole – and it’s the coordinate singularity.
    It’s equivalent to using spherical coordinates to map the Earth and then claiming the North Pole – which requires independent coordinate patch is a Black Hole.
    If you approximate General Relativity as a linear theory, then mathematically you can have a universe with multiple black holes but it’s no longer a global theory – it’s a local approximation. And since it’s linear theory – that is one has thrown the baby out with the bath water – one can add Black Holes whenever one needs to explain the unexplainable.
    Dark matter is a result of the break down in Hubble’s Law . Quasars the brightest objects in the Universe don’t follow the rule. So they guess. And it breaks down at 1 billion light years for normal objects so we have to guess at the total mass of the Universe to estimate their velocity.
    Cosmology is climatology – they’re never wrong but they’re seldom right.

    • One more time, BB is not something from nothing, but steady state and cyclical are. BB is not everything from nothing. The BBT theory is everything was created out of an infinite energy unquantifiable beyond cause and affect something, the alternative is (steady state) everything always was and came from nothing, it just was. Cyclical theory is just a different version of steady state.
      In this you have identified what philosophers call the cosmological argument, which supports everything coming from an infinite beyond cause and affect something, which some call God

  105. Cosmology is an excellent example of a field in which the mathematical theorists pull the experimentalists around by the nose, much as in “climate science” (or, as I like to call it, “climate seance”).
    First, we have the notion of “space expanding,” a concept that doesn’t survive deep thought. Expanding relative to what? A “space yardstick” by which we measure an expanding yardstick? This is a self-referential spiral.
    And then we have the ASSUMPTION (I don’t have italics or bolds) that the red shift is due to the Doppler effect. Edwin Hubble, who discovered the red shift vs. distance relationship nevertheless did not believe it was due to Doppler shift, for demonstrable reasons. (I read a paper of his on this point years ago, but regret that I cannot find it again.) There are many explanatory alternatives to the Doppler effect, any one of which would resolve Olber’s Paradox.
    And then we have the actual observations by Halton Arp of phenomena and relationships that should be precluded by the “standard theory,” yet can be seen in abundance. His reward was to be kicked into the ditch to discourage him from upsetting the Big Bang applecart. What is fascinating about his observations is that he may have made the only systematic study of ongoing cosmogenic processes.
    Did I mention that most cosmologists imagine that gravity is the only cosmic force operating, and that plasma physics should not be considered? Yet, some of the very large scale structure observed falls out as natural phenomena of plasma oscillations.
    All was well with the infrared background radiation being evidence of a Big Bang–until the structure in the field was discovered. Whereupon, this new-found structure was trumpeted as being “proof” of the Big Bang after all! I recall the news when it happened. A pretty good theory, to be confirmed both by the absence of structure and the presence of structure. Remind you of anything familiar? (Like “climate change”?)
    “Dark Matter” and “Dark Energy” violate the cosmological principle, in that they are postulated substances and phenomena that are not observed locally. (Don’t know about the cosmological principle? Read up on it. A pretty big deal among cosmologists…until they decided to ignore it.)
    It goes on and on. Each new discovery causes the beetles in the Hive of Standard Theory to scuttle and scurry around until they can apotheosize a new Scarabus (a universe made in the imagination of man).

    • The “yardstick” is the speed of light, so distances are measured relative this quantity. Alternatively, a certain distance could have been chosen in which case the speed of light would have varied, rather than distance. (Think Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction). Or a certain length of time could have been chosen.
      Arp was an excellent observer and Gits admire empiricism greatly. It’s certainly true that he was shabbily treated, but then so was Hoyle.
      From the Wiki-bloody-pedia:

      …William Alfred Fowler won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983 (with Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar), but for some reason Hoyle’s original contribution was overlooked by the electors, and many were surprised that such a notable astronomer missed out.[15] Fowler himself in an autobiographical sketch affirmed Hoyle’s pioneering efforts:

      The concept of nucleosynthesis in stars was first established by Hoyle in 1946. This provided a way to explain the existence of elements heavier than helium in the universe, basically by showing that critical elements such as carbon could be generated in stars and then incorporated in other stars and planets when that star “dies”. The new stars formed now start off with these heavier elements and even heavier elements are formed from them. Hoyle theorized that other rarer elements could be explained by supernovas, the giant explosions which occasionally occur throughout the universe, whose temperatures and pressures would be required to create such elements.
      — William Fowler

      • The Anti-Crackpot Index
        I am sure you are all familiar with the Crackpot Index devised by John Baez as a “fun” way to identify “crackpots”. Now there is also a growing phenomenon of the anti-crackpots, that is people who go to enormous trouble to try to debunk other people’s theories but instead of using solid arguments they produce a useless diatribe laced with rhetoric, sarcasm and irrelevant ridicule. I think it is now time to redress the balance and produce the anti-crackpot index as a fun way to help identify such people, so here it is:

        http://blog.vixra.org/2010/09/13/the-anti-crackpot-index/

  106. It’s great fun to see very intelligent scientific people (and many such have commented on this thread) arguing metaphysics. I echo Alan Robertson’s “What a thread!”
    Unfortunately for some, this thread also gives me an opportunity to unleash one of my awful limericks:
    There once was a metaphysician,
    Who asked, in time-honoured tradition,
    “Is the Universe real?
    Or just something I feel?”
    He couldn’t prove either position.

    • A philosopher once had the following dream.
      First Aristotle appeared, and the philosopher said to him, “Could you give me a fifteen-minute capsule sketch of your entire philosophy?” To the philosopher’s surprise, Aristotle gave him an excellent exposition in which he compressed an enormous amount of material into a mere fifteen minutes. But then the philosopher raised a certain objection which Aristotle couldn’t answer. Confounded, Aristotle disappeared.
      Then Plato appeared. The same thing happened again, and the philosophers’ objection to Plato was the same as his objection to Aristotle. Plato also couldn’t answer it and disappeared.
      Then all the famous philosophers of history appeared one-by-one and our philosopher refuted every one with the same objection.
      After the last philosopher vanished, our philosopher said to himself, “I know I’m asleep and dreaming all this. Yet I’ve found a universal refutation for all philosophical systems! Tomorrow when I wake up, I will probably have forgotten it, and the world will really miss something!” With an iron effort, the philosopher forced himself to wake up, rush over to his desk, and write down his universal refutation. Then he jumped back into bed with a sigh of relief.
      The next morning when he awoke, he went over to the desk to see what he had written. It was, “That’s what you say.”

  107. Don’t get too excited this kind of theoretical physics is really more philosophy than science. These are are mathematical models relying on particles, and dimensionalities with little or no connection to reality. But that doesn’t matter much to theoretical physicist, for whom reality is far less exciting than an interesting model.

  108. RE: “So Big Bang or not, there was a beginning.”
    I believe it is only human conditioning or/or the the way we are taught that ‘everything’ has to have a beginning, middle and end, like a story or a theory. Altho difficult to grasp, there is the possibility that there was no beginning . . . or an end; just lots and lots of middle . . . but then again, I’ve only been on this planet for 54 years.

  109. Hello, what is not mentioned is where did all the energy come from for wht may wll have ben a single giant Black hole, rather than a so called pinpoint. Anyway we are really only talking about the visible Universe, what is on th other side. If for examples we were to build a wall around the whole visible universe, what is on the other side. The answer, unacceptable to our human minds is that the Universe can never end,
    As for alternatives, The steady state theory is far more logical than the big bang ever was.
    Michael Elliott, VK5ell40@gmail.com.

    • Steady state is something from nothing. BB is not everything from nothing. The BBT theory is everything was created out of an infinite energy unquantifiable beyond cause and affect something, the alternative is (steady state) everything always was and came from nothing, it just was. Cyclical theory is just a different version of steady state.

      • It is possible that the Universe’s energy content is precisely zero as the energy we see is counterbalanced by an equal amount of potential energy, which is negative…

  110. The study simply says there might not have been a true singularity, but the “big bang” theory is still largely unaltered. Space and time grew out of an incredibly small point, which the new study simply says might not have been infinitely small. The headline is misleading.

  111. This guy says that energy is not conserved. He makes a logical argument.
    I thought I knew very little about cosmology. Now I think I know nothing. Or less than nothing, because what I thought I knew turns out to be wrong.

      • [I]n fact true? Facts in philosophy are truth-valued, but not in science. That distinction is sufficient to account for the failures of the Vienna Circle and Charles Spearman to bring the successes of science into philosophy and psychology, respectively.
        The parallels in science, ostensibly the topic here, are these.
        (a) Science is a mapping on facts to facts, where facts are observations reduced by measurements and compared to standards. Scientific facts are quantities, not truth values. As models grow from conjectures through hypotheses and theories to laws, they mature. Theories make at least one novel prediction validated by measurements within a specified accuracy. Laws are theories complete in all implications.
        (b) Science is the objective branch of knowledge, and scientific knowledge is contained in models of the Real World. Scientific knowledge is devoid of subjective notions, including belief, explanation, description, doubt.
        The names of scientific models may be subjective, and the scientist can believe whatever he wants. He may doubt peer review/AGW/the Big Bang/eggs explains science/climate/the origin of the Universe/heart attacks, or believe that he’ll have another beer describes his thirst, but for openers, whichever of these notions is not measured and compared to standards are, either way, not scientific facts, and so, just for openers, are outside science.
        Science is a tough master.

      • Science is a tough master.

        And something about which you display a considerable amount of ignorance.

        As models grow from conjectures through hypotheses and theories to laws, they mature. Theories make at least one novel prediction validated by measurements within a specified accuracy. Laws are theories complete in all implications.

        As an example, Newton’s laws were never theories. Theories are explanations of phenomena and frequently invoke laws.
        Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the two bodies. Newton wrote that he had no explanation for this; “I brook me no hypotheses”. Currently, there are two gravitational theories, Einstein’s General Relativity and the Quantum Theory of gravity and neither are precursors to Newton’s law.
        Theories are subject to change and do so with some frequency in the history of science. Newton had a theory about light for example, that it consisted of corpuscles and had a drawn out battle with Huygens whose theory was that light was a wave. Snell’s Law describing the relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction when light transits the boundary between two different isotropic media, such as water, glass, or air, takes no account of whether light is a particle, wave, sub-miniature Elvis impersonators or anything else for that matter.
        Incidentally, the law of refraction was first accurately described by Ibn Sahl in of Baghdad, in his manuscript On Burning Mirrors and Lenses in 984 CE, so really we ought to be calling it Ibn Sahl’s Law.

      • Git’s several errors and his insult arise from his confusion over the vocabulary of science.
        He took exception to my account by conflating models and theories. To do so, he introduced MODELS of gravity as his example. To support my observation about the evolution of models, he might have gone much further – including the early models of Aristotle, Galileo, and Kepler before Newton, then adding Einstein and the dark model of the Quantum Theory of gravity.
        Then he might have recognized that Newton’s model is called the Newton’s theory of gravitation. It is not yet called a law, but it reasonably could be. Git confuses that theory with Newton’s Laws, which are threefold, and are models of mechanics, and do not include universal gravitation.
        Git’s reference to Einstein’s model is to his General THEORY of Relativity, still a theory because of other problems, including with gravity in the arms of spiral galaxies. As far as gravity is concerned, GR has been validated as a local improvement over Newton. But far from invalidating Newton’s gravitation, GR just limits that theory to non-relativistic domains. Space flight and the motion of bodies within the solar system are accurately predicted using Newton’s classical mechanics, and could not be measurably improved with relativity.
        His reference to the Quantum Theory of gravity is to String Theory, the puffed-up conjecture that gravity can be modeled from quantum mechanics. Physicists have advanced this model to open the applicability of Quantum Theory, not to perfect the model of gravity.
        Git says, Currently, there are two gravitational theories, Einstein’s General Relativity and the Quantum Theory of gravity and neither are precursors to Newton’s law. Instead, two gravitational models have currency as more than conjectures: the one included in General Relativity, and Newton’s theory, the former for cosmology and the latter for mechanics under Newton’s Laws.
        In the interests of the proper use of language, we might consider these from Dictionary.com without further comment:
        Pompous: characterized by an ostentatious display of dignity or importance
        Git : a foolish or contemptible person.

      • Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation:
        http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/circles/Lesson-3/Newton-s-Law-of-Universal-Gravitation
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation
        http://astro.unl.edu/classaction/animations/renaissance/gravcalc.html
        And an explanation of the difference between theory and law:
        http://thehappyscientist.com/study-unit/when-does-theory-become-law
        Happy reading 🙂 And I strongly recommend What is This Thing Called Science? by Alan Chalmers, and it’s not because he’s a Fellow Australian 😉

      • In the interests of the proper use of language, we might consider these from Dictionary.com without further comment:
        Pompous: characterized by an ostentatious display of dignity or importance
        Git : a foolish or contemptible person.
        You don’t really believe I didn’t know that when I chose the handle? Words fail me :-))))))))

      • Git’s Ref [1]: Posted by the Ministry School Online. Is that where Git git’s his science?
        Git’s Ref [2]: The Wikipedia article titled Newton’s law of universal gravitation is a good example of the limitations of Wikipedia. It doesn’t distinguish between theories and laws. Under the title of his Newton’s law, it refers to Newton’s theory of gravitation, Newton’s Theory of Gravitation, Newton’s Theory (2), and this:
        What Newton did was to show how the inverse-square law of attraction had many necessary mathematical connections with observable features of the motions of bodies in the solar system; and that they were related in such a way that the observational evidence and the mathematical demonstrations, taken together, gave reason to believe that the inverse square law was not just approximately true but exactly true (to the accuracy achievable in Newton’s time and for about two centuries afterwards – and with some loose ends of points that could not yet be certainly examined, where the implications of the theory had not yet been adequately identified or calculated).
        This paragraph directly supports my claim, which confused Git, that models progress. In Newton’s case, the article shows its advancement from a conjecture to a hypothesis and thence to a theory. In spite of the title and Wikipedia’s lack of rigor, Newton’s model of gravity has yet to become a law, and in fact may never achieve that status.
        The same source, Wikipedia, under the article Gravitation has a section titled Newton’s theory of gravitation with an italicized cross-reference to Newton’s law of universal gravitation.
        The lesson for the Gits of the blogosphere is that Wikipedia is an excellent starting point for research, and a very poor stopping point. It’s the Internet sorted and cross-indexed.
        Git’s Ref [3] The web page Newton’s Law of Gravity Calculator is but a name randomly assigned to a formula. It is a page on the blog of the Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A little digging showed it to be the work of research associate professor David M. Lee, PhD, U.NE. Neither the web page nor other work found for Lee discusses models, theories, or laws to illuminate the discussion here.
        Git’s Ref [4] This is a discussion as advertised, but written for children. It is the work of Robert Krampf who posts as the Happy Scientist. Krampf’s bio says he studied geology in college and always loved science.
        For Git’s consumption, Krampf writes,
        The problem you are running into is with the scientific definition of the terms. That causes confusion in many areas of science where the scientific term means something different from the way it is used in everyday language. In the language of science, laws and theories are very different things.
        Krampf’s right about that, and it supports my problems with Wikipedia. But then Krampf, too, gets lost in the weeds. He never mentions models or conjectures, at least on the referent page.
        Git’s Ref [5] What Is This Thing Called Science? is almost 40 years old, a best seller early in the evolution of academic science into Post Modern Science and AGW. Couldn’t resist punctuating the title: What Is This Thing Called, Science?
        The author is Brit Alan Chalmers, holder of a PhD in engineering (a hopeful sign) and now professor in philosophy and history. Perhaps he knows a thing or two about epistemology. Perhaps Git could actually cite something from that tome that support his model of science.
        To Chalmers credit, he begins his model of science with a discussion of the meaning of facts, and he offers an extensive criticism of Popper and his student, Feyerabend. The online preview contains a names index, but not a subject index. A search of the book uncovered 21 references to induction, but only 9 references to deduction, and no references to Cause & Effect by which Francis Bacon replaced the childish induction of Aristotle with deduction to create Modern Science. Bacon is never mentioned in the book. That two-pronged omission is fatal to understanding scientific models.
        Given the definition of pompous and git, P.G. added,
        You don’t really believe I didn’t know that when I chose [my] handle? Words fail me :-))))))))
        My post seemed a good place to remind readers of the origin of Pompous Git so that they can see how P.G. strives in his posts to live up to it. P.G. got this much right: words do fail him.

  112. Scarcely more than a century ago, mankind did not know or understand that what we could see of our Milky Way was not the universe and that other galaxies existed. Now we know that there are mini- galaxies orbiting this galaxy and mini galaxies spinning within this galaxy and that our galaxy is on a collision course to crash into another galaxy.. We have found 100 million galaxies appearing to be strung along filaments, so to speak and explained with terms of “we think” and “we believe” about something we can’t observe and can ‘t explain in a manner which fits with what we previously thought we understood about the physical world. We are left filled with awe at what we’ve found and perhaps even dread, when it begins to sink in how little we know. Cosmology is humble pie.

  113. 1. There is no interstellar medium where electromagnetic waves propagate. Michelson-Morley experiment disproved the existence of ether.
    2. There is no experiment that disproved the special theory of relativity. Its basic premise is valid – light in a vacuum travels at constant speed irrespective of the observer’s motion.
    3. There is no experiment that proved electromagnetic field alters the speed of light.
    These are not absolute truths but it requires empirical evidence to disprove them. If and when that happens, we can revise our current theories such as Big Bang, dark matter and dark energy. The theories are not perfect. They cannot explain everything. But IMO the alternative theories explain less not more.

    • Albert A. Michelson, Edward W. Morley, “On the Relative Motion of the Earth and the Luminiferous Ether”, American Journal of Science, Third Series, Vol. XXXIV (203), Nov. 1887):

      ..the relative velocity of the earth and the ether is probably less than one-sixth the earth’s orbital velocity, and certainly less than one-fourth. … The experiment will therefore be repeated at intervals of three months, and thus all uncertainty will be avoided.

      So no, Michelson and Moreley certainly didn’t believe their experiment “disproved the existence of ether”. Science fiction?

      • Pompous Git still bloviating and spouting learned rubbish? It doesn’t matter what Michelson and/ or Morley thought. The experiment they did was set out to prove ether and it was the first valid experiment to disprove it. Since then there have been many other experiments far more accurate to conclusively do so. But you are still stuck in ether – the cosmological equivalent of a tree-hugger.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_experiment#Subsequent_experiments
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_experiment#Recent_experiments
        You didn’t answer my question about your quote about an event horizon, “i.e. a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer” – where you had plagiarised it from? Was it Wikipedia? From here that is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Event_horizon ?
        And then you say Wiki-bloodypedia. Tut-tut. Rubbishing the source you plagiarise from is like biting the hand that feeds you. Your attempts to don the wisdom of others is transparent. Like the emperor’s clothes you can be seen naked underneath as the Pompous Git.

      • Richard, I was responding to the claim “Michelson-Morley experiment disproved the existence of ether”. It didn’t and I quoted from their paper the relevant section. The full paper is here:
        https://www.aip.org/history/gap/PDF/michelson.pdf
        There is no doubt that later experiments did dispose of the ether, but the original experiment did no such thing; Michelson and Morley said so and that it was necessary for the experiment to be repeated to determine the relative velocity of Earth and ether. If you know of a different version of the paper I referenced, then point us to it. You will be making history!
        As it happens The Git did not “plagiarise” the concept of event horizons from the wiki-bloody-pedia. If my words are the same, it’s highly likely that I remembered them. I use the wiki-bloody-pedia with great caution. Until recently, it had Flowerdale in northern Tasmania as producing 95% of Australia’s cotton. Needless to say, cotton is incapable of being grown outdoors anywhere in Tasmania.
        If you believe that event horizons do not exist, then give us a source. Why do you persist in disparaging posters instead of contributing substantively to the discussion? Is it because you are a Richard?

      • Pompous Git, contrary to what you assert, if the words are the same it is highly likely you plagiarised them and you should not disparage the sources you plagiarise from, As I said it amounts to biting the hand that feeds you and is the mark of an ingrate. I do not mean to disparage you, You do that to yourself without much assistance from me.
        Re: The Michelson-Morley experiment (PS its Morley not Moreley) you display a profound ignorance of science and the scientific method. You claim that the experiment did not disprove the existence of aether because (you claim) Michelson and Morley did not believe that it disproved it. Firstly this claim of yours dubious and is founded on them saying the experiment should be repeated.
        If you had cared to read the very next paragraph of what you had quoted they write “It appears, from all that precedes, reasonably certain that if there be any relative motion between the earth and the luminiferous ether, it must be small; quite small enough entirely to refute Fresnel’s explanation of aberration.”
        Secondly the experiment produced a NULL Result, which means it did not support the hypothesis of the experiment – that aether existed. Michelson or Morley’s beliefs were irrelevant to outcome of the experiment.. Michelson was surprised by the result and did indeed repeat the experiments with greater accuracy and continued to find the Null result.
        I never said that event horizons do not exist. Your powers of comprehension are abysmal. Your bloated opinion of yourself rests solely on your ability to quote, plagiarise and name-drop with little or no innate ability or understanding. The event horizon of a Black hole is the boundary at which the escape velocity equals the speed of light, which is far more comprehensible than your palgiarised quote from “wiki-bloody-pedia”. People who are puffed up egotists wouldn’t recognise sarcasm or satire if it came and bit them on the bum.

      • Richard, I owe you an apology. It would appear that The Git plagiarised the phrase “In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer” from an essay written by Jonathan Sturm in 2006. At that time, the wiki-bloody-pedia used the phrase: “An event horizon is a boundary in spacetime at which the escape velocity required for a given mass has reached the speed of light, making escape impossible” which makes it unlikely that either The Git or Jonathan Sturm plagiarised the phrase from there.
        Meanwhile, either The Git has apologised to Jonathan Sturm, or vice versa. He/they [delete whichever is inapplicable] drank a toast of unoaked chardonnay to aging memory banks. We also discussed the question Who Am I? And If So, How Many?

      • Richard wrote:

        Secondly the experiment produced a NULL Result, which means it did not support the hypothesis of the experiment – that aether existed. Michelson or Morley’s beliefs were irrelevant to outcome of the experiment.. Michelson was surprised by the result and did indeed repeat the experiments with greater accuracy and continued to find the Null result.

        While you believe “”…the relative velocity of the earth and the ether is probably less than one-sixth the earth’s orbital velocity, and certainly less than one-fourth. … ” is “NULL” I still contend that it was a small positive and not null. You further state:

        Michelson was surprised by the result and did indeed repeat the experiments with greater accuracy and continued to find the Null result.

        In Measurement of the Velocity of Light in a Partial Vacuum, Contributions from the Mount Wilson Observatory 1935, vol. 522, p261, Michelson, Pease and Pearson wrote:

        The simple mean of all the readings for the velocity of light is 299,774 km/sec. in vacuo. Since the values fluctuate somewhat with the time, this mean may differ slightly from what would be obtained if observations were made continuously over an extended period. Series of measures 1-13 and 26-54, made from February 20 to July 14, 1931, gave 299,775 km/sec. Series 14-25, made from March 25 to April 3, 1931, gave 299,746 km/sec. The fact that these mean results differed from each other and from the value 299,796 km/sec. obtained on Mount Wilson necessitated additional readings.
        Further readings made from March 3 to August 4, 1932, gave a mean value of 299,775 km/sec. If, however, the readings be divided into two groups with an equal number of individual determinations of the velocity, series 55-110 give a value of 299,780 km/sec, while series 111-158 give 299,771 km/sec.
        Readings were resumed in December, 1932, giving a mean high value of 299,785 km/sec, which dropped to a mean of 299,765 km/sec. on January 15 and rose again to the earlier value on February 28. The mean velocity for the 75 series was 299,775 km/sec.
        Attempts to explain these variations in velocity as a result of instrumental effects have not thus far been successful. [Emphasis The Git’s]

        IOW, Michelson et al were still finding evidence, small in magnitude, but definitely not null for the ether in the mid-1930s when you claim they were doing the opposite. Quite how noticing this makes The Git “the cosmological equivalent of a tree-hugger” escapes me. Presumably you would have The Git being an adherent of caloric theory when writing about that long past episode in science.

      • Git
        Let me first clarify we are talking about “luminiferous ether”, the alleged hypothetical medium through which light travelled in space.
        You wrote “So no, Michelson and Moreley certainly didn’t believe their experiment “disproved the existence of ether”. Science fiction?” This could be read to mean, in absence of clarification, you are questioning that it is science fiction and you also believe what you allegedly say Michelson and Morley believed. And that is the interpretation I took.
        An experiment is interpreted on the basis of its results and not on the basis of anyone’s beliefs, even if they be those of the author(s).
        You again repeated “There is no doubt that later experiments did dispose of the ether, but the original experiment did no such thing; Michelson and Morley said so …”
        Here there needs to be some clarification. It did not “dispose of ether”, because people continued to believe in it and perhaps, as you allege, Michelson and Morley too, but that is not what we are talking about. It did scientifically because it gave a Null result. A Null result is where the result does not support the hypothesis. It did not detect the expected velocity of light relative to the hypothesised ether.
        “IOW, Michelson et al were still finding evidence, small in magnitude, but definitely not null for the ether in the mid-1930s when you claim they were doing the opposite.”
        I never claimed “they were doing the opposite.” They were doing experiments with greater accuracy to try and prove their postulate – ether – and repeatedly coming up with a null result.
        “Michelson et al were still finding evidence, small in magnitude, but definitely not null” – you need to do some reading about null results. It involves statistics. Your statement is meaningless.

  114. 482 comments on this thread…. and not one from sir harry shaman!
    This has been a most enjoyable and interesting discussion of the improbable universe we live in!
    Thank You, Anthony… and all contributors!

  115. Unfortunately, humans will never resolve the origins of time, existence and matter… for it is something beyond the capability of the human condition to grasp, which is why it is easier to say there is a God. Even if humans began understanding, it would cause the human brain to go into information overload and suffer a mental breakdown. In reality, humans err on the side of denial.
    Just as a spider in Alice Springs, Australia, will never comprehend the inner workings of the International space station, humans will never understand “how it all began”, if indeed it ever began at all for us, in our human dimension. Heck, most people won’t even believe in the dimension of the spirit world despite great spiritualists that have been amongst us like the great Doris Stokes! It’s too complex for humans and that’s where the state of denial sets in. Denial is the brains mechanism to prevent information over load from trying to make sense of what the brain is conditioned not to make sense of.

  116. I am not a physicist, however I understand that something very like the big bang is supported by compelling observations.
    There is the red shift, only explainable by the expansion rate of the universe. So space is observably expanding.
    There is the fact that the mass density of the universe is identical in all directions. If we look X billion light years in one direction, and -X billion light years in another direction, and see identical properties, then X billion years ago these systems must have been close together so some event could make their properties uniform. I believe this is explained in inflation by having the speed of light increase by vast factors if mass density is increased.
    So for me, observationally, the fundamental facts of the big bang with something like inflation are well established. (These points are well known and I would have read them in a popular science book.) Alternatives would have to explain these observations.

  117. Just to flagrantly point-out that ‘settled science’ is an everlasting myth that’s been with us in one form or another, same concept just different words, for as long as people unfortunately labelled ‘scientists’, or worse still, philosophers, mistakenly convinced themselves they had some definite material clues about what basic phenomena are and how they actually work. Human capacity will apparently always be rendered sterile and dormant via this enduring feature of a popular tyrannical flapdoodle of flabbergasting proportions being powered by a self-assured astounding indefiniteness, parading around as an advanced but subtle and elucidating material insight about which definitive things can be safely and most assuredly written and reverently uttered.
    This time is different! Every self-respecting flapdoodle says that, but the best flapdoodles believe themselves be self-evidently quite inescapable, and only the unhinged would spurn or seek to repudiate them.
    Flapdoodles however cross-breed with strange flapdoodles, from alternate whereabouts, which produces many sterile, hybrid intellectually-disabled flapdoodles, that tend to form gregarious aggregations that have came to be called ‘Disciplines’.
    Disciplines are thus best understood as a super concretions of particularly dull and insoluble flapdoodles, that are sometimes even superficially congruent. The primary function of a super flapdoodle is to lead everyone astray for a minimum of several decades, whereupon a superior flapdoodle emerges and is applied liberally like a fashionable wallpaper for the eyes.
    Then it’s off to the races once more, for several decades of tyrannical flapdoodle expounding and application of its Holy texts.
    But this time is different – one flapdoodle to rule them all!

  118. I have noticed that all popularised TV shows about the Big Bang show it as a real explosion complete with noise and flames , mostly red and orange and lumps flying about. But surely there was no fire and so on, and obviously no sound , and didn’t the light appear at least 300,000 years later, according to the theory?
    so light was not there at all at “creation”, and please let’s not muddle this theory with ancient jewish or Sumerian mythology, it doesn’t help. It will be very difficult to dislodge the popular belief in Big Bang and of course, black holes, as the whole lot has been now thoroughly Disneyfied and is accepted as real by the vast majority. along with the ideas that dinosaurs were nice friendly animals like hippos, most kids are taught that you can travel through “wormholes”

  119. Dr. S:
    “The galaxies are not moving at all, hence no infinite mass. It is space that is stretching… ….
    The Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy will one day collide ”
    Two galaxies should not collide if galaxies are moving apart due to space expansion.
    Andromeda is 2.2 million light years away, it should be mowing away and not towards Milky Way, and so excluding possibility of their collision.
    Is this one of the exceptions to the rule?
    Is the gravitational attraction of two galaxies overriding force of the BB expansion?
    Do we have galaxies moving in all direction?
    Or is it that the BB theory is not working as it is suppose to?

    • “Is the gravitational attraction of two galaxies overriding force of the BB expansion?”
      “Locally” apparently yes. Andromeda is a “local galaxy”
      “The Big Bang is not an explosion of matter moving outward to fill an empty universe. Instead, space itself expands with time everywhere and increases the physical distance between two comoving points. Because the FLRW metric assumes a uniform distribution of mass and energy, it applies to our universe only on large scales—local concentrations of matter such as our galaxy are gravitationally bound and as such do not experience the large-scale expansion of space.[37]”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang#Expansion_of_space
      This is the source given:
      http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0310808

    • The Andromeda and the Milky Way are both members of the so-called Local Group [of about 20 galaxies] that are bound to each other by gravity [like the planets and the Sun in the solar system]. The members of the group move around [like the planets] the center of gravity of the group. The local group itself is gravitationally bound to the local super cluster, moving at 627 km/sec relative to the CMB. The expansion is only strong enough to overcome gravity on the scale of galaxy clusters [tens of millions of light years]. None of this is controversial in any way.

      • So the only objects in the sky to ultimately appear to go dark because of acceleration of expansion rate would be outside the local super cluster?

  120. Mathematical Masturbation. The real problem here is that physics profession has turned into a welfare scam. In the early part of the 20th century, physicists invented all kinds of new cool stuff like nuclear weapons, transistors, and lasers.
    The Government was so impressed it put them on the payroll. Problem is that the well ran dry twenty or thirty years ago. Physicists try to look busy these days so the honey will keep flowing.
    Sadly, they busy themselves with stuff like this. It is not nor will it ever be science as there can be no access to the times and conditions they are describing, and therefor no experiment. And experiment is what differentiates science from mathematical masturbation.
    Tell the physicists they are done, turn out the lights, and send them home. Their 2 weeks of severance pay will be in the mail. They will be eligible for standard unemployment, but they best start their job searches asap.

    • “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
      3-5 minutes of a google search reveals that anybody and everybody alive in about 1902, could in fact, be the originator of this well known quote.

    • “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”
      Is this not attributed to Lord Kelvin more then 100 yerars ago? And how wrong was it? It is as wrong now…

  121. Energy levels are discrete, with quantum being the smallest amount, which can not be altered.
    The quantum of energy carried by a photon is the product of the Planck’s constant and the frequency. For a red shift to take place, frequency has to be reduced, i.e. the photon has to loose some of it energy.
    – If a photon has a single quantum of energy, it can not be decreased : red shift can not take place.
    – If a photon carries number of quanta of energy, some can be ‘exchanged’ through collisions in the interstellar space, less energy = reduced frequency = red shift; longer the path more quanta lost, larger the red shift.
    – If such ‘exchange’ can not take place, and Doppler reduces frequency (i.e. energy of the photon) the quanta of photons energy can not be destroyed, photons lost energy quanta = heating interstellar space
    – if so the background radiation (3 or 4K) is not leftover of the Big Bang, the universe is kept warm by the red shift (?!).

  122. If a photon has a single quantum of energy, it can not be decreased : red shift can not take place.
    sure it can, it just has smaller quantum.
    Please try to avoid embarrassing yourself by babbling about what you do not understand.
    And BTW, the ordinary Doppler effect shows that red shift can occur. But the expansion of the universe does not show us a Doppler effect; instead it is stretching of space having nothing to do with motion away from us. Galaxies to first approximation do not move, no matter how far away they are.

    • I’m not too embarrassed to ask questions.
      What is first approximation? Is that a particular distance below which you believe expansion does not occur? Is that described somewhere in literature?

      • Because galaxies move around within the local cluster [the Sun – and the Milky Way – is falling towards the Virgo Cluster at 627 km/sec due to the gravity of the mass of the cluster], that movement is not part of the expansion of the Universe, so you have to be further out where the expansion speed is greater than this ‘proper motion’ of the Milky Way. This is discussed in hundreds of papers, e.g. the paper about the Planck results I referred to earlier.

  123. Leif
    It’s a bit hard to prove the Doppler affect from a car traveling at the same speed alongside the car that your using for the experiment. The sun is traveling at near 500,000 mph in a direction tethered to something .

    • You are a bit incoherent. In any event the red shift we observe due to the expansion of the Universe is not a Doppler shift at all, but instead a stretching of space and of the wavelength of the light embedded in it.

  124. If space is expanding like a ball of dough rising, and planets, galaxies, etc are the raisins in the dough, why don’t the raisins expand at the same rate as the dough? At what point in the primordial sausage did space become space and matter become matter. At the most primitive level, everything is a particle correct? So all particles are expanding? Or is it, just some particles are expanding?

    • For the tenth time: the nuclear force, the electromagnetic forces, and gravity are all much stronger than the expansion ‘force’ at distances less than several million light years, so nearby systems of particles do not expand. Only when you get up the a scale of clusters of galaxies does the expansion become important [and measurable].

      • One way is to measure the red shift, z. Another, independent, way is to look at the light curves of supernovae: time runs slower by a factor of (1+z), so the light curves vary with the red shift [and distance].

      • I still can’t wrap my head around the time thing.
        So, no use trying to explain it to me right now, it would take too much of it.

      • Were all particles expanding during the period of inflation? Or just the space particles? Why did inflation stop, but space continued to expand at an increasing rate? It seems that if the other forces were strong enough to stop inflation, then space should be expanding at a decreasing rate. It’s almost as if space has an inherent nature to expand as rapidly as possible. Prior to the end of inflation, there was no speed limit. At the end of the inflation, the speed of light becomes the speed limit, and space is accelerating toward that limit.

  125. “Now, it seems there’s a challenge to this ‘settled’ science, and a new quantum equation predicts the universe has no beginning.”
    Around 200 years ago James Hutton a Scottish doctor, farmer, and businessman, stated that the Earth has no beginning, which was taken in those days as meaning the Universe has no beginning,
    Hutton is credited with being the founder of geochemistry, geophysics and geology. Lyell wrote the world’s first geology textbook based on deciphering Hutton’s turgid prose.

  126. Vuk: “If a photon has a single quantum of energy, it can not be decreased : red shift can not take place.”
    Dr. S. : “sure it can, it just has smaller quantum.”
    So we make it up as we go along.
    There is no smaller or bigger quantum, a quantum of energy is the smallest amount of energy that there is.

        • There is no ‘extra’ energy. If the wave is stretched to twice its length its energy per unit length is half, but since it occupies twice the length, the energy is the same. You say that Doppler shift is impossible [ignoring the fact that the cosmological red shift is not a Doppler shift]. At solar observatories we measure Doppler shifts all the time. Here is a typical measurement at WSO http://wso.stanford.edu/daily/current/scan.12019.gif
          The lower left shows the Doppler shifts over the solar disk, red shifted [although shown in blue, positive change of wavelength] on the right-hand side of the Sun which is moving away from us, and blue shifted [shown in red, negative change] on the left-hand side of the Sun which is moving toward us.
          So, please stop the nonsense.

  127. I see the formation of the universe a bit like a forest fire . As the fire intensifies it sends out embers and small spot fires start and can grow into bigger fires , from little things big things grow if there’s enough potential energy stored. We live in a see of electrons. About 1800 electrons = 1 proton, electric potential creates separation (fission) while protons and neutrons try to create mass (fusion) . Just remember electrons move around solids. Coulombs Law states likeness repels and opposites attract

    • more nonsense: there are very nearly the same number of electrons and protons. The mass of a proton is 1836 times the mass of a single electron, but the number of the two species are very nearly the same [taking Helium to contain two protons].

      • Leif But most of the protons and neutrons have already formed mass and squeezed out excess electron to create space. That’s why there’s more space then mass.

      • I am disappointed and a little amazed at vukcevic. I thought he was a physicist, yet asked the most elementary questions of the BB expansion and when explained in quite a simple and understandable way by Wikipedia (for once) and subsequently by you fails or refuses to grasp it. (Easily understandable to even a non-physicist like me.)
        Basically he is saying if I cant see it I wont believe it. That would eliminate microbes, molecules, atoms,black holes etc. and many counter-intuitive things like the constant speed of light in a vacuum from his belief system.
        His attitude is more that of a denier than a sceptic.

      • I wonder what Reg Cahill is suffering from:

        A New Light-Speed Anisotropy Experiment: Absolute Motion and Gravitational Waves Detected
        Reginald T. Cahill
        School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide 5001, Australia
        E-mail: Reg.Cahill@flinders.edu.au; http://www.scieng.flinders.edu.au/cpes/people/cahill_r/
        Data from a new experiment measuring the anisotropy of the one-way speed of
        EM waves in a coaxial cable, gives the speed of light as 300,000±400±20km/s in
        a measured direction RA=5.5±2 hrs, Dec=70±10◦S, is shown to be in excellent
        agreement with the results from seven previous anisotropy experiments, particularly
        those of Miller (1925/26), and even those of Michelson and Morley (1887). The Miller
        gas-mode interferometer results, and those from the RF coaxial cable experiments
        of Torr and Kolen (1983), De Witte (1991) and the new experiment all reveal the
        presence of gravitational waves, as indicated by the last ± variations above, but
        of a kind different from those supposedly predicted by General Relativity. Miller
        repeated the Michelson-Morley 1887 gas-mode interferometer experiment and again
        detected the anisotropy of the speed of light, primarily in the years 1925/1926
        atop Mt.Wilson, California. The understanding of the operation of the Michelson
        interferometer in gas-mode was only achieved in 2002 and involved a calibration
        for the interferometer that necessarily involved Special Relativity effects and the
        refractive index of the gas in the light paths. The results demonstrate the reality of
        the Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction as an observer independent relativistic effect. A
        common misunderstanding is that the anisotropy of the speed of light is necessarily in
        conflict with Special Relativity and Lorentz symmetry — this is explained. All eight
        experiments and theory show that we have both anisotropy of the speed of light and
        relativistic effects, and that a dynamical 3-space exists — that absolute motion through
        that space has been repeatedly observed since 1887. These developments completely
        change fundamental physics and our understanding of reality. “Modern” vacuum-mode
        Michelson interferometers, particularly the long baseline terrestrial versions, are, by
        design flaw, incapable of detecting the anisotropy effect and the gravitational waves.

        It would seem that there are many experiments replicating the Michelson-Morley light speed anisotropy that Dayton Miller refined back in the 1920s. Always more to learn 🙂
        Paper here (not paywalled): http://www.ptep-online.com/index_files/2006/PP-07-15.PDF

        • yes, these things crop up from time to time, but are never compelling and thus not generally accepted. Physicists are a VERY conservative lot and a ‘finding’ has to be solid, reproducible, and not contrary to a large body of other experiments.

      • There is nothing wrong with understanding that theoretical physics is just that, theoretical. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with theory that accounts for observation. The effects of dark matter are quite observable in many ways (gravitational lensing, rotation of galaxies, movement of galaxy clusters) and not overly complex from my limited understanding. It is simply matter that interacts gravitationally, just as normal matter does, but does not observably interact electromagnetically. While this may make particle physicists shiver, it seems easy to grasp as a laymen. Dark energy, on the other hand, is more limited in what it explains observationally, increasing redshift with distance. Redshift is not hard to observe or measure but distance is another story. The math seems to work but those mathematicians can whip up anything you want. It is still the best theory I have heard to explain observation.

      • In my hunt for the elusive “large body” of M-M replications producing a null result, I came across this:

        Michelson-Morley Experiments Revisited: Systematic Errors, Consistency Among Different
        Experiments, and Compatibility with Absolute Space
        Héctor A. Múnera
        ….1. Introduction
        To the best of our knowledge, the only empirical evidence against the existence of absolute space ( = ether in this paper) is the null interpretation given to the interferometry experiment carried out by Michelson in 1881[1], repeated with experimental and theoretical improvements by Michelson and Morley (M-M) in 1887 [2]. A hundred and ten years later, there is still controversy: some people argue that results were non-null and try to derive implications thereof [3], while others strongly maintain that results were null, and dismiss evidence to the contrary as experimental artifact [4].
        To avoid second-hand interpretations, we revisited the original literature on M-M. It was found that a systematic application of standard statistical tests to the values originally reported does not support the null interpretation. Furthermore, two systematic errors were identified, one of them new to the best of our knowledge. Systematic error 1 (SE1) pertains to data reduction, while systematic error 2 (SE2) belongs to the theory. After removing SE1, speeds become larger than reported, hence closer to Miller’s results. The SE2 implies that fringe-shifts during an experimental sessions present strong variations due to
        changes in magnitude and direction of the projection of velocity on the plane of the interferometer.
        The implications are two-fold: (a) data reduction cannot be done averaging fringe-shifts during a given session, and (b) the phase angle must be included in all equations.
        Section 2 begins with a brief summary of the theory behind the experiment, leading to identification of SE1 and SE2. It continues with a critical review of the class of M-M experiments to show that (1) all experiments were qualitatively compatible with absolute space, and (2) the results never were null, neither in the original version [2] nor in the subsequent repetitions [5-15]. Section 3 contains our contribution to the controversy. Firstly, we remove SE1 from Illingworth’s inter-session data [13]. And, secondly, we apply Illingworth’s method to the M-M experiment [2], to Miller’s measurements on Sept. 23, 1925 [7], and to his own observations on July 9, 1927 [13]. It is found that at a 90% confidence level, all experiments were non-null. The intra-session averages based on velocity exactly correspond to the range of variation of the projection of orbital speed at the moment and location of the observations. Section 4 closes the paper. Except for consistency with absolute space, we do not mention any other implication for our findings.

        [Emphasis mine]
        So where is this “large body of other experiments”? Not being rude; just very curious. And have a distinct preference for primary sources having long ago learnt that secondary sources cannot be relied upon.

        • Einstein didn’t know about the M-M experiment when he formulated special relativity [he didn’t need it] and all the tests of relativity have come out in favor of relativity. Those are ‘all the other experiments’.

      • So you dismiss the COBE result?

        Nevertheless we report here experimental evidence that absolute motion is detectable in laboratory experiments, such as those done by Michelson and Morley and the others, but that this requires a re-analysis of the operation of their interferometer, as reported herein. This analysis leads to a speed which agrees with that found from the NASA COBE satellite observations on
        analysing the dipole anisotropy of the Cosmic Background Radiation. Together these results show
        that absolute motion has been detected.

        Or is it that if theory is contradicted by data, then the data is faulty? Ah well…

        • The COBE result is correct. What is wrong is to take that result as support for absolute motion. What COBE shows is that the solar system [+Milky Way and Local Group] is moving towards the center of the local super cluster we are sitting in at 627 km/sec. This has nothing to do with absolute motion, but is simply the solar system\’s proper motion caused by moving in the gravitational field of the super cluster.

      • Git “[I] have a distinct preference for primary sources having long ago learnt that secondary sources cannot be relied upon.” Your mistake is to assume that the paper you quote and believe as gospel is a “primary source”. Where has it been published? Who peer reviewed it? Is it based on any experiment the author has carried out himself?
        The guy says “To the best of our knowledge, the only empirical evidence against the existence of absolute space ( = ether in this paper) is the null interpretation given to the interferometry experiment carried out by Michelson in 1881[1], repeated with experimental and theoretical improvements by Michelson and Morley (M-M) in 1887 [2].”
        If that’s the best of his knowledge he is pretty ignorant. And if he thinks that that those primitive experiments overturns Einsteins theories he should carry out fresh experiments instead of “revisiting” those ancient experiments.
        The primary sources are the experiments carried out. I gave you the Wikipedia link. The data from the experiments have been tabulated. Look at the Fringe shifts expected and the Fringe shifts measured and experimental resolution. Many more experiments were carried out with accuracies several orders of magnitude better than Michelson-Morleys.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_experiment#Subsequent_experiments

      • @ lief
        Héctor A. Múnera’s reanalysis appears to show the same result as COBE. Why would I accept one, but not the other if they are measuring the same thing?
        @ Richard

        Your mistake is to assume that the paper you quote and believe as gospel is a “primary source”. Where has it been published? Who peer reviewed it? Is it based on any experiment the author has carried out himself?

        Where did I state that I “believe as gospel” any paper, anytime? The paper is illuminating in that it picks up on the error of avaeraging averages. Standard stuff in climastrology I know, but unlikely to have been deliberate in the eight M-M type experiments he reanalyses. Look up Simpson’s Paradox for an excellent example of what can go wrong when you naively average averages.
        Reanalysis is quite respectable, though as my fellow Tasmanians Garth Paltridge and Mike Pook discovered, if your paper doesn’t directly support CAGW, then it’s a long hard slog finding a journal that will accept your work. Read Garth’s The Climate Caper for the full story. Their paper:
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/Paltridge-NCEP-vapor-2009.pdf
        Einstein had a few words of wisdom on peer review. His own 1905 papers were pal reviewed (the publishers were his friends) and he said that if he had been a peer reviewer of them, he would have recommended against publication.

        If that’s the best of his knowledge he is pretty ignorant. And if he thinks that that those primitive experiments overturns Einsteins theories he should carry out fresh experiments instead of “revisiting” those ancient experiments.

        I have no problem accepting Einstein’s opinions regarding the ether. First he accepted its existence, then he denied it existed, then he said the ether existed, but it wasn’t the same ether. Finally, he said that the existence of the lumeniferous ether was irrelevant to GR. And I agree with him.
        If you think these experiments were primitive, then you show your ignorance. Dayton Miller in particular was a very careful experimenter.

      • @ Richard
        From your link:

        After reanalyzing Miller’s original data using modern techniques of quantitative error analysis, Roberts found Miller’s apparent signals to be statistically insignificant.

        This in 2012 long after Millers original data had been destroyed. The other experiments referred to that were not in Múnera’s reanalysis were in vacuo rather than air, or helium in Illingworth’s replication.

      • A modern test of the null-result can be found here: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1002.1284v1.pdf
        “In conclusion, we have set a limit on an anisotropy of the speed of light at a level of ∆c/c ∼ 1 × 10^−17, which allows us to confirm the validity of Lorentz invariance in electrodynamics at the 10^−17 level”
        That is good enough for me.

      • Pompous Git “If you think these experiments were primitive, then you show your ignorance. Dayton Miller in particular was a very careful experimenter.”
        So was Galileo. Science and technology have moved on since their times though. They simply didnt have the instruments to produce the accuracies of the 21st century.There were no “lasers, masers, cryogenic optical resonators, etc.” in those days.
        Why are you delving into accuracies which puts the limit of Vether to around 4 km/s when today the variation of the speed of light has been limited to 10^-17 ?
        Pompous Git “Héctor A. Múnera’s reanalysis appears to show the same result as COBE. Why would I accept one, but not the other if they are measuring the same thing?”
        Measuring the same thing according to who? Héctor A. Múnera? Firstly if you take any crude set of numbers we can get them to agree with another set of numbers but simple division or multiplication.. Secondly he claims “we report here experimental evidence that absolute motion is detectable in laboratory experiments, such as those done by Michelson and Morley and the others, but that this requires a re-analysis of the operation of their interferometer, as reported herein. This analysis leads to a speed which agrees with that found from the NASA COBE satellite observations on analysing the dipole anisotropy of the Cosmic Background Radiation. Together these results show that absolute motion has been detected.” Surely this should be ringing alarm bells in any half sensible persons mind.
        “absolute motion has been detected”! Einsteins theories have been debunked! and NASA and everybody else keeps quiet about it? The only person to notice it is this Héctor A. Múnera’ because he has manipulated figures from an experiment carried out a over a century ago to agree with some figure from COBE which he says is the same thing and why would you not accept it? Well go figure.

      • Thanks for that Lief; I don’t doubt that those experiments are generating the expected data. It’s anomalous data that interests me here. My curiosity in this area dates back to ca. 2000 when, having been told that the Michelson-Morley experiment confirmed SR I discovered that said experiment predated SR by 8 years. And after reading it, I experienced what EM Smith calls a “dig-here” moment. I’m still digging and attempts at locating Múnera’s paper reporting on his own replication of the M-M experiment without having to pay have failed so far. Might have to pop into UTas this week.
        Hey, ho… and Mrs Git won two firsts and a second in the St Ayles Skiff World Championships this weekend. Not bad for a 64 year old 🙂

      • Richard, I learnt long ago not to take my betters’ word for things, mainly because I discovered that no matter their credentials, they were not always correct. E.g. I was chastised in secondary school for believing that uranium transmutes to lead when anyone with a proper education, i.e. the teacher, knew that elements could never transmute into other elements, and therefore I was wrong.
        Another example. When I commenced farming organically 32 years ago, the ag scientists I talked to told me that the results I was getting were “impossible”. A decade ago I was offered the opportunity to undertake a PhD in that discipline without having to complete a degree course. What had been scientifically “impossible” two decades before had become mainstream knowledge. So yes, things change.
        It is entirely possible that Múnera, Miller, Michelson et alia all fudged their results, but I don’t know that. Nor can I think of a rational reason why they would. Given sufficient opportunity, I will investigate and come to my own opinion independently. You may believe that your bullying will somehow persuade me to share your opinion, but it has the opposite effect to that which you desire. The Git has no need to recruit others to share his opinions; he is sufficient unto himeslf . Now how arrogant is that? 🙂

      • Git the phrase is elders and betters. I have learned something today. I had assumed that you were a bit younger than me. Now I’ve discovered by powers of deduction that you are well over 2 decades older than me. Had I known earlier I would have been a bit more respectful…….

      • Congratulations Richard! It’s a great day when you learn something 🙂
        For your elucidation, I turn 64 years old in a couple of months. However, I do not deserve any respect for that; it’s happenstance.

      • So was Galileo. Science and technology have moved on since their times though. They simply didnt have the instruments to produce the accuracies of the 21st century.

        Funny you should mention Galileo. George Smoot in Wrinkles in Time mentions Galileo’s falling balls experiment. When he visited Pisa and saw the tower in the moonlight, he knew that we historians were wrong and that the usual account must be true.
        The usual account is of course that Galileo dropped two balls of the same size and differing weights from the top of the tower, both reaching the ground simultaneously to the utter consternation of the “Aristotelians”.
        The account we historians prefer is the one Galileo wrote. He doesn’t state where the experiment took place, but the height is given. It’s some 90 metres higher than the tower at Pisa, so when Newton wrote of standing on the shoulders of giants, this must have been almost literally true. Galileo’s account also has him observing the fall of the balls, so in Smoot’s account he must have raced very fast after dropping the balls to be able to do so. And what did Galileo observe?
        At first, the wooden ball fell quicker than the iron ball. Then the iron ball caught up with the wooden ball and overtook it reaching the ground well ahead. Galileo also gives a first class explanation for this divergence from the results of his replication of Nicole Oresme’s 14thC thought experiment wherein both balls must necessarily fall at the same rate else Aristotle’s Law of Contradiction be broken.
        One can learn a lot from reading the original account instead of relying on being moonstruck 🙂

        • Odd. I have long been told – by the many-but-always-modern-academia-trained “history revisionists” I so often question! – that Galileo’s experiments were NOT dropping balls (from the Tower of Pisa, or any other tower or church or watchtower) but were rolling balls down a long inclined plane!
          Were his writing explicit about “dropping” the different weight balls?
          Because, over short distances in the quiet of an ancient city night, dropping balls onto to cobblestones yields two very, very distinct “tones” as the wood and the iron balls hit. Thus, regardless of distance (to any reasonable height of course) you do not need to be at the bottom to know which hit first.
          Further, if “I” were the older and wiser and more decrepit (compared to my youthful and exuberant young and agile apprentice) “I” would tell my youth and agile and strong apprentice to carry the weighted balls UP to the top of the tower and drop them. Of course, “I” (being the older and wiser and more important and more credible witness) would need to be at the “smart end of the measuring tape” and stay at the bottom of the stairs to record the results each time. Numerous drops will, of course, be required. Thus, to ensure consistent results between each dropped pair of heavy weights, “I” need to record the results the same way each time, and the youthful and exuberant apprentice would need to precisely duplicate the timing and location of each dropped pair of very heavy weights.
          We will thus duplicate his experiment, and take the youthful and exuberant and mobile (and did I mention youthful?) Janice Moore (who has youthful long legs and unsullied knees and hips) with us to Pisa and duplicate Galileo’s experiment. She can climb the stairs numerous times carrying the numerous heavily weighted (did I mention we shall not tell her they were heavy globes of weighted metal and wood) whilst you and I stay below and do the difficult work of observation.
          And the QA of the local coffee shops.

      • @ RACookPE1978
        As I wrote, we do not know the location, Galileo doesn’t tell us. The height is such that it must have been a cliff (no buildings of that height at that time) and there are several candidate locations. We don’t know whether there were any replications. We do know that it was an assistant who dropped the balls. It’s not a particularly difficult experiment to replicate. Find a large ball bearing and a child’s hollow plastic ball of similar diameter. Perform the experiment on a windless day else the plastic ball might travel too far sideways. Ensure that nobody’s head or any other body parts are between the ball bearing and the ground and that you are high enough for friction to slow the lighter ball quickly enough.
        Galileo certainly did most of his experimentation on friction using inclined planes. It’s not at all clear whether all of these experiments were physical, some may well have been thought experiments. Galileo described one such in Discourses on Two New Sciences. This was the last of his published works and certainly the best (IMHO) though uncharacteristically for Galileo, quite subdued.
        More about Galileo here:
        https://thepompousgit.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/a-modern-fairy-tale/

        • Does that mean we cannot get a Big Government grant to go travel to Italy for three months to research these problems near the Tower of Pisa with our youthful and exuberant stair climber (er, research apprentice) ?

      • @ RACookPE1978
        Alas, The Git would love to travel to Italy; he has a grandson living there. But his arthritis makes sitting in aircraft seats for any length of time, agonising. To add insult to injury, his last trip to visit grandkids and daughter in New Zealand saw him succumb to pneumonia two days later. The passenger in front, a young Asian girl, had spent the entire flight from Sydney to Wellington kneeling on her seat and coughing at The Git. It took many months to recover. I shall content myself with memories of chinotto, fabulous pasta dishes, cheeses, salami and ripe peaches that I consumed when there in 1960 🙂

      • Git “I do not deserve any respect…” maybe you’re right.
        “It is entirely possible that Múnera, Miller, Michelson et alia all fudged their results, but I don’t know that. Nor can I think of a rational reason why they would.”
        You just don’t get it. No one has suggested that Miller, Michelson et al fudged their results. Dont you understand “Why are you delving into accuracies which puts the limit of Vether to around 4 km/s when today the variation of the speed of light has been limited to 10^-17 ?” That is 10^12 times more accurate, a trillion times more accurate than Miller, Michelson et al
        “…Lief; I don’t doubt that those experiments are generating the expected data. It’s anomalous data that interests me here.”
        Anomalous data? Have you any idea what are you talking about? This is like saying I know someone has confirmed those timings with caesium atomic clock, but Galileo, who was a careful experimenter, had an “anomalous” result when he timed it with his pulse.
        Not a very smart thing to say.

      • Listen closely you anonymous Richard. What The Git does with his time is for him to decide, not you. In all likelihood, he will find a flaw in the Múnera reanalysis. OTOH, he may not. In either case The Git will find the exercise entertaining and something a little different to write about. No doubt you are of the opinion The Git should be acting his age and watching Days of Our Wives or The Rest of the Useless on TV or playing bingo with all the other pathetic geriatric old farts. Why don’t you pursue Flinders University for employing Reg Cahill or International Center for Physics (CIF, Centro Internacional de Física) for employing Héctor A. Múnera? While they consume taxpayer dollars, though unlikely to be yours, The Git is retired and privately funded. That means he decides what he’s going to do next. Not anonymous Richards like your rude self.

      • @ RACookPE1978
        I think I may have found the ideal location for replicating the Galilean Pisa experiment. The Shot Tower at Taroona near where The Git lives. If we can sell the idea to Tourism Tasmania, then there might well be government funding available. If it ran in tandem with The taste of Tasmania Festival, the organiser of that is a personal friend [nudge, nudge, wink, wink] and notorious gourmet chef who enjoys The Git’s culinary output as much as he enjoys Paul’s.
        http://www.panoramio.com/photo/61516690
        Nice thing about The Shot Tower is the balls will not be subject to wind drift since it would all happen indoors. And my recollection from when a friend had a recording studio there is that there are many dimly lit parts for jolly japes with the “youthful and exuberant stair climber (er, research apprentice).”

    • electrons are very light compared to protons, so if you imagine putting a proton in an electric field and an electron in the same electric field, the electron will be accelerated 1000x more (same charge, 1/1000th the mass). This means that when there is a charge imbalance and either proton or electron flow could alleviate it, the electrons will flow way before the protons are impelled to move.

    • Don’t believe all you read. If I’m not mistaken, the radon study was another of those “Stuff the rats til they die, then declare it toxic for humans” kinds of studies. They studied miners whose exposure to radon was high and measurable (without controlling for smokers), then extrapolated downward on the theory that “If high exposure for a short time is bad, then low exposure over a long time is just as bad.” Nonsense, of course.

  128. Our “Crazy” Universe
    ~4% Normal Matter
    ~22% “Dark Matter”
    ~74% “Dark Energy”

    Dr.S @ vuk:
    “Ignorance is no shame, but willful ignorance is an abomination”
    Thanks. Abomination or not, I categorically state, I will wilfully ignore the nutter and all opinions that agree with the claim that the universe is “crazy”, and only 4% of it is reality but the rest (all of 96%) is dark stuff, an anthropogenic invention.

    • Well, you have never shown any willingness or ability to learn anything and have always demonstrated a total lack of knowledge of basic physics, so you display of willful ignorance is not a surprise, but it serves you ill to flaunt it at every occasion. Dark matter is very real as is plain to see from its gravitational influence, but that will presumably stay outside of your limited ‘understanding’. Your loss.

      • Not entirely so, I just like to question status quo.
        One thing I learned from you is that old records should be investigated for accuracy. The SSN 300 year old record you are pursuing was an inspiration to look at how the 350 year long CET annual records are calculated. Found a small but important error, proposed alternative to the UK Met Office, which has not only accepted and implemented the method, but following it now by a huge task of correcting charts and rankings, annual minima, maxima etc for the CET, and also for many other UK and regional annual records, related not only temperature but rainfall, sunshine hours etc, i.e. all the annual records based on the monthly averaging.
        with kind regards and all the best
        vuk

  129. All of this appears to confirm a theory that’s been floating around for awhile: Bang, Bang, Bang. In summary, there are intermittent and several bangs that have occurred. This theory helps explain why not all there are so many celestial bodies (including 37 detected galaxies) moving inconsistently with a single Big Bang. Donald Emon seems to be the source of this theory.

  130. There is evidence of the aether every time a double slit experiment is performed; it’s what waves.
    What is incorrect in mainstream physics today is the notion dark matter is a clump of stuff traveling with matter.
    Dark matter is now understood to fill what would otherwise be considered to be empty space.
    ‘Cosmologists at Penn Weigh Cosmic Filaments and Voids’
    http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/cosmologists-penn-weigh-cosmic-filaments-and-voids
    “Dark matter … permeate[s] all the way to the center of the voids.”
    ‘No Empty Space in the Universe –Dark Matter Discovered to Fill Intergalactic Space’
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/02/no-empty-space-in-the-universe-dark-matter-discovered-to-fill-intergalactic-space-.html
    “A long standing mystery on where the missing dark matter is has been solved by the research. There is no empty space in the universe. The intergalactic space is filled with dark matter.”
    Dark matter which fills ’empty’ space is otherwise known as the aether. Aether has mass, physically occupies three dimensional space and is physically displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it. Including ‘particles’ as large as galaxies and galaxy clusters.
    In the following two articles the aether is what waves in a double slit experiment.
    ‘From the Newton’s laws to motions of the fluid and superfluid vacuum: vortex tubes, rings, and others’
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.3900
    “This medium, called also the aether, has mass and is populated by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it” …
    … and displace it.
    ‘EPR program: a local interpretation of QM’
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.5612
    “Wave particle duality is described as the compound system of point particle plus accompanying wave (in the æther).”
    A moving particle has an associated aether displacement wave. In a double slit experiment the particle travels through a single slit and the associated wave in the aether passes through both.
    Q. Why is the particle always detected traveling through a single slit in a double slit experiment?
    A. The particle always travels through a single slit. It is the associated wave in the aether which passes through both.
    The Milky Way’s halo is not a clump of stuff anchored to the Milky Way. The Milky Way is moving through and displacing the aether.
    The Milky Way’s halo is the state of displacement of the aether.
    The Milky Way’s halo is the deformation of spacetime.
    What is referred to geometrically as the deformation of spacetime physically exists in nature as the state of displacement of the aether.
    What ripples when galaxy clusters collide is what waves in a double slit experiment; the aether.
    Einstein’s gravitational wave is de Broglie’s wave of wave-particle duality; both are waves in the aether.
    Aether displaced by matter relates general relativity and quantum mechanics.

  131. Our Universe is a larger version of a galactic polar jet.
    ‘Was the universe born spinning?’
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/46688
    “The universe was born spinning and continues to do so around a preferred axis”
    Our Universe spins around a preferred axis because it is a larger version of a galactic polar jet.
    ‘Mysterious Cosmic ‘Dark Flow’ Tracked Deeper into Universe’
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/releases/2010/10-023.html
    “The clusters appear to be moving along a line extending from our solar system toward Centaurus/Hydra, but the direction of this motion is less certain. Evidence indicates that the clusters are headed outward along this path, away from Earth, but the team cannot yet rule out the opposite flow. “We detect motion along this axis, but right now our data cannot state as strongly as we’d like whether the clusters are coming or going,” Kashlinsky said.”
    The clusters are headed along this path because our Universe is a larger version of a polar jet.
    It’s not the Big Bang; it’s the Big Ongoing.
    Dark energy is aether continuously emitted into the Universal jet.

  132. The Michelson-Morley experiment looked for an absolutely stationary space the Earth moves through.
    The aether is not an absolutely stationary space. The aether is displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through.

      • At this time we have no idea if aether consists of parts, or not. That doesn’t mean it does, or doesn’t, consist of parts, just that there is no evidence of it.
        ‘Ether and the Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein’
        http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Extras/Einstein_ether.html
        “Think of waves on the surface of water. Here we can describe two entirely different things. Either we may observe how the undulatory surface forming the boundary between water and air alters in the course of time; or else-with the help of small floats, for instance – we can observe how the position of the separate particles of water alters in the course of time. If the existence of such floats for tracking the motion of the particles of a fluid were a fundamental impossibility in physics – if, in fact nothing else whatever were observable than the shape of the space occupied by the water as it varies in time, we should have no ground for the assumption that water consists of movable particles. But all the same we could characterise it as a medium.”
        if, in fact nothing else whatever were observable than the shape of the space occupied by the aether as it varies in time, we should have no ground for the assumption that aether consists of movable particles. But all the same we could characterise it as a medium having mass which is displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.

      • mpc755 Thanks for that .
        How long before we smash 2 electrons together to find out if they brake down to smaller or combine to form flavours ?

      • ‘Ether and the Theory of Relativity – Albert Einstein’
        http://www.tu-harburg.de/rzt/rzt/it/Ether.html
        “Since according to our present conceptions the elementary particles of matter are also, in their essence, nothing else than condensations of the electromagnetic field”
        The electromagnetic field is a state of the aether. Particles of matter are condensations of aether. Aether has mass.
        ‘DOES THE INERTIA OF A BODY DEPEND UPON ITS ENERGY-CONTENT?’ A. EINSTEIN
        http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/E_mc2/e_mc2.pdf
        “If a body gives off the energy L in the form of radiation, its mass diminishes by L/c2.”
        The mass of the body does diminish. However, the matter which no longer exists as part of the body has not vanished; it still exists, as aether. Matter evaporates into aether. As matter evaporates into aether it expands into neighboring places; which is energy. Mass is conserved.
        When a nuclear bomb explodes matter evaporates into aether. The evaporation is energy. Mass is conserved.

  133. It’s far beyond just a question. The current theory has all sorts of problems which lead to, among other things, dark matter, dark energy, dark flow, distant galaxy clusters traveling only 1 billion years old (and probably couldn’t attain that maturity in less than 10 + billion years. Stars revolving at unbelievable rates per second.
    The entire theory rests on gravity and red shift.. No attention at all paid to electromagnetism (except for the trivial close by example – the Aurora Borealis) EM attraction/repulsion is many orders of magnitude stronger than gravity.
    It is folks like Halton Arp and the plasma physicists, among others, who are now only a step away from being called “deniers”. ? Perhaps “cosmological deniers” ?

  134. Interesting in the light of what I wrote above regarding Michelson-Morley’s positive results.

    MICHELSON-MORLEY EXPERIMENTS
    REVISITED and the COSMIC BACKGROUND
    RADIATION PREFERRED FRAME
    Reginald T. Cahill and Kirsty Kitto
    School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences
    Flinders University
    GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia
    (Reg.Cahill@flinders.edu.au)
    One fundamental assumption in physics is that the Michelson interferometer laboratory experiment
    of 1881 [1], and repeated by Michelson and Morley in 1987 [2], by Miller in 1925 and
    1933 [3, 4], and by Illingworth in 1927 [5], that were designed to detect absolute motion, gave a
    null result, vindicating Einstein’s assumption that absolute motion (motion relative to space itself)
    has no meaning; it is in principle not detectable in a laboratory situation. Motion of objects is
    always relative to other objects, according to Einstein. Using this assumption Einstein went on
    to construct the Special and General Theory of Relativity, which uses the notion of spacetime to
    avoid any notion of absolute space. Of course Einstein’s formalism has been abundantly confirmed
    both by the extensive use of the special theory in particle physics experiments and theory, and by
    the general theory in various experimental and observational situations.
    Nevertheless we report here experimental evidence that absolute motion is detectable in laboratory
    experiments, such as those done by Michelson and Morley and the others, but that this
    requires a re-analysis of the operation of their interferometer, as reported herein. This analysis
    leads to a speed which agrees with that found from the NASA COBE satellite observations on
    analysing the dipole anisotropy of the Cosmic Background Radiation. Together these results show
    that absolute motion has been detected. New interferometer experiments are needed to confirm
    that the direction of that motion is the same as the direction discovered by the COBE mission.
    These results are profoundly significant to our understanding of reality. It follows from recent work
    that these experimental outcomes will not be in conflict with the Einstein phenomenology, but
    require a major re-assessment of what that phenomenology describes [6].

    Something new to learn every day 🙂

    • The Michelson-Morley experiment looked for an absolutely stationary space the Earth moves through. The aether is not an absolutely stationary space. Aether is displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.
      Watch the following video starting at 0:45 to see a visual representation of the state of the aether. What is referred to as a twist in spacetime is the state of displacement of the aether.

      “Imagine the Earth as if it were immersed in honey,” says Francis Everitt of Stanford University in California, the mission’s chief scientist. “As the planet rotates, the honey around it would swirl, and it’s the same with space and time.”
      Honey has mass and so does the aether. The ‘swirl’ is more correctly described as the state of displacement of the aether.

  135. There is way too much, both crackpot and intriguing, to comment on in this thread.
    Relativity, both Special and General, are applied in everyday technology which would not function either as well, or at all, without them. So, we know they are at least locally valid. Any competing theories would have to produce the same results at the local scale.
    Extrapolating the theories beyond our local confines requires a measure of faith. Yes, they may be consistent with observations, but so might other theories. But, that is OK. As we further develop the theory, we can further test it, and eventually the truth will out.
    The people involved are the sharpest tools in the shed. One must approach the subject with a certain measure of caution and respect. They are not necessarily right, but if they are wrong, they are not wrong in any simple or obvious way, and the edifice they have constructed is a fortress, not a house of cards.
    But, getting back to the subject relevant to WUWT, climate scientists are not, generally speaking, the sharpest tools in the shed. Moreover, a large number of them are advocating wrenching changes to our lives which would result in wide-scale misery and death.
    Whether Dark Matter and Dark Energy are valid concepts has no immediate impact on my life or anyone else’s. The climate debate does. The prognostications of a vocal contingent of activist scientists on that matter are not only hooey, but they are dangerous hooey.

    • “According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable” – Albert Einstein
      Aether has mass and is what waves in a double slit experiment.
      What ripples when galaxy clusters collide is what waves in a double slit experiment; the aether.
      Einstein’s gravitational wave is de Broglie’s wave of wave-particle duality; both are waves in the aether.
      Aether displaced by matter relates general relativity and quantum mechanics.

      • Pace some commenters, the ether theory was never disproved, but it was rendered moot. As it was not needed to explain observed phenomena, there was no reason to complicate matters by speculating on how it might or might not fit the data.
        I have not personally seen anything which needs, or would benefit, from its reintroduction. If you see some usefulness to it, more power to you.

      • There is evidence of the aether every time a double slit experiment is performed; it’s what waves.
        If you can’t understand the particle is always detected passing through a single slit because it always passes through a single slit then you aren’t doing science.
        Are you able to understand in a boat double slit experiment the boat travels through a single slit even when you close your eyes?
        It’s not different for the particle in a double slit experiment.
        In a boat double slit experiment the boat is always detected traveling through a single slit because it always travels through a single slit. It is the associated bow wave which passes through both.
        In a double slit experiment the particle is always detected traveling through a single slit because it always travels through a single slit. It is the associated wave in the aether which passes through both.
        Saying aether is not necessary in order to explain physical phenomenon is more incorrect than saying water is not necessary in order for fish to breath.

      • “Aether has mass and is what waves in a double slit experiment.”
        Spouting rubbish.
        The “ether” he is talking about is not the ether of old, the medium against which absolute motion could be measured, which has been thoroughly debunked. Its called space-time. Nomenclatures were fuzzy then.

      • Spouting rubbish is whatever nonsense you make up trying to explain the observed behaviors in a doubled slit experiment when you are in denial of understanding the particle always travels through a single slit.
        “The word ‘ether’ has extremely negative connotations in theoretical physics because of its past association with opposition to relativity. This is unfortunate because, stripped of these connotations, it rather nicely captures the way most physicists actually think about the vacuum. . . . Relativity actually says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of matter pervading the universe, only that any such matter must have relativistic symmetry. [..] It turns out that such matter exists. About the time relativity was becoming accepted, studies of radioactivity began showing that the empty vacuum of space had spectroscopic structure similar to that of ordinary quantum solids and fluids. Subsequent studies with large particle accelerators have now led us to understand that space is more like a piece of window glass than ideal Newtonian emptiness. It is filled with ‘stuff’ that is normally transparent but can be made visible by hitting it sufficiently hard to knock out a part. The modern concept of the vacuum of space, confirmed every day by experiment, is a relativistic ether. But we do not call it this because it is taboo.” – Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel Laureate in Physics, endowed chair in physics, Stanford University
        Matter, solids, fluids, a piece of window glass and ‘stuff’ have mass and so does the aether.
        Q. Why is the particle always detected traveling through a single slit in a double slit experiment?
        A. The particle always travels through a single slit. It is the associated wave in the aether which passes through both.

      • @ mpc755

        “According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable” – Albert Einstein

        This is not the lumeniferous ether that Michelson and Morley were testing for.

      • @ The Pompous Git
        You can label it whatever you want. Aether, ether, dark matter, quintessence, quantum foam, quantum vacuum, plenum; it doesn’t matter. ‘It’ has mass. ‘It’ physically occupies three dimensional space. ‘It’ is physically displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.
        ‘It’ is what waves in a double slit experiment.
        What ripples when galaxy clusters collide is what waves in a double slit experiment; the mass which fills ’empty’ space.
        Einstein’s gravitational wave is de Broglie’s wave of wave-particle duality; both are waves in the mass which fills ’empty’ space.
        The mass which fills ’empty’ space displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it relates general relativity and quantum mechanics.
        What is incorrect in mainstream physics is the notion dark matter is s clump of stuff anchored to matter.
        Matter moves through and displaces the mass which fills ’empty’ space.

      • “Q. Why is the particle always detected traveling through a single slit in a double slit experiment?”
        It is not untill it is measured
        “A. The particle always travels through a single slit. It is the associated wave in the aether which passes through both.”
        No when it is measured then the wave disappears. Why should the wave, which according to you is created in the aether, once created disappear?

      • @ Richard
        Are you able to understand in a boat double slit experiment the boat travels through a single slit even when you don’t observe it?
        The aether wave does not disappear. It is turned into ‘chop’ and becomes part of the energy associated with the background.
        In a double slit experiment the particle travels a well defined path which takes it through one slit. The associated wave in the aether passes through both. As the wave exits the slits it creates wave interference. As the particle exits a single slit the direction it travels is altered by the wave interference. This is the wave guiding the particle. Detecting the particle strongly exiting a single slit destroys the cohesion between the particle and its associated wave in the aether, the particle continues on the trajectory it was traveling and does not form an interference pattern.

      • mpc755 I have no idea what a boat double slit experiment is. What is “chop”?
        “In a double slit experiment the particle travels a well defined path which takes it through one slit. The associated wave in the aether passes through both. As the wave exits the slits it creates wave interference.”
        If the particle(s) travel through a well defined path why dont they display themselves on the plate?
        “As the particle exits a single slit the direction it travels is altered by the wave interference. ” Why? Which direction? Why does it not display itself?
        “Detecting the particle strongly exiting a single slit destroys the cohesion between the particle and its associated wave in the aether, the particle continues on the trajectory it was traveling and does not form an interference pattern.”
        What? What is “the cohesion between the particle and its associated wave in the aethe” cohesion? why is it destroyed?

      • A boat double slit experiment is a boat and two slits. The boat always travels through a single slit and the bow wave passes through both.
        http://www.thefreedictionary.com/chop
        4.
        a. A short irregular motion of waves.
        b. An area of choppy water, as on an ocean.
        If you place pilings at the exits to the slits in order to detect the boat the boat will get knocked around by the pilings and lose its cohesion with its bow wave.
        If you perform a boat double slit experiment thousands of times and every time the boat always travels through a single slit are you able to deduce the boat travels through a single slit even when you have your eyes closed?

      • “f you perform a boat double slit experiment thousands of times and every time the boat always travels through a single slit are you able to deduce the boat travels through a single slit even when you have your eyes closed?:
        Are you trying to make an analogy with the double slit experiment? Yes you could you dont have both your eyes closed. You have them both open and are observing the wave and the boat crash into wall behind the “slits”.

      • The boat double slit experiment is an analogy for a double slit experiment. In a boat double slit experiment the boat always travels through a single slit and the bow wave passes through both.
        Are you able to deduce the boat travels through a single slit when the experiment is performed and you do not observe the boat?

      • mpc755 “Are you able to deduce the boat travels through a single slit when the experiment is performed and you do not observe the boat?”
        I already answered your question – yes you can. Because although you have not observed the boat travelling through the slit you are observing the wall behind the slits where the boat and the wave crashes into. So yes in the case of a boat you will be able to see both the wave and the boat. and be able to deduce it travelled through one of the slits.
        In the case of electrons and atoms though there in no evidence of the particles only the wave crashing into the wall behind the slits.
        Then when you look at the electrons or atoms or molecules exiting the slits the wave disappears and only the crash of the electrons or atoms are observed.

      • There is evidence of the aether every time a double slit experiment is performed; it’s what waves.
        The aether is, or behaves similar to, a supersolid.
        You are in a bowling alley filled with a supersolid. You roll the bowling ball. The bowling ball displaces the supersolid. As the supersolid fills-in where the bowling ball had been the supersolid displaces the bowling ball.
        By definition, there is no loss of energy in the interaction of the bowling ball and the supersolid and the bowling ball rolls on forever through the supersolid.
        Q. Is the bowling ball displacing the supersolid or is the supersolid displacing the bowling ball?
        A. Both are occurring simultaneously with equal force.

      • You watch the boat double slit experiment a million times. Before the next experiment is performed you drive 100 miles away from experiment. You then drive back. When you get back you are told the experiment was performed again. You did not see the experiment performed. You did not see the boat or the wave associated with the experiment. Everything having to do with that iteration of the experiment is in the past. Are you able to understand the boat traveled through a single slit?

      • And no one tells you anything about the experiment. All you know is that the experiment was performed again. Are you able to figure out on your own that the boat traveled through a single slit?

      • In the case of macroscopic boat of course it goes though the “slit”. But this is not what happens in the double slit experiment. You analogy doesn’t hold good.
        What you are saying an electron, atom etc are particles and there is no particle wave duality. The wave is created in the aether as the electron plows through it. You are also saying that the aether is a supersolid. The electron displaces the supersolid the supersolid fills-in where the electron travels.
        1. Not sure if aether is a supersolid, that aether should create any waves.
        2. Here’s an experiment. If it does create waves, fire one electron, or atom etc at the solid bit between the slits. We should be able to see the wave on the back screen
        3, Here’s another experiment.Fire a round bullet at the solid bit between both the slits which is strong enough to stop it dead. We should be able to see the wave on the back screen.
        If your hypothesis is correct.
        If it is remember me for the Nobel Prize for suggesting these experiments.

      • We have yet to detect the wave of wave-particle duality at the microscopic scale.
        We detect the wave of wave-particle duality at the macro scale. The aether is what waves when galaxy clusters collide. In this case the galaxy clusters are the ‘particle’

      • We have yet to directly detect the wave of wave-particle duality at the microscopic scale. There is evidence of it every time a double slit experiment is performed; it’s what waves.

      • mpc755 “We have yet to directly detect the wave of wave-particle duality at the microscopic scale. There is evidence of it every time a double slit experiment is performed; it’s what waves.”
        Are you dyslexic? You seem to get everything by the tail. The double slit experiment seems to detect the the wave particle duality on the microscopic scale. If aether exists, as you claim, and it is what “waves” in the double-slit experiment, then it would be pretty simple to prove – just shoot an electron or atom through a hole on a screen and see if any wave patterns show up there.
        I suspect you dont know what you are talking about. The quantum theory though weird does explain many things and predicts many things all of which have been tested and found to be true. It is on the basis of that that we have designed many sophisticated machines, computers and smart phones to name just a few. You are replacing one weird theory but one which has stood the rigorous tests with another one which has stood nothing.
        One of the things that the quantum theory states is that space is not continuous but discrete. This aether would be contrary to that.

    • Particles of matter move through and displace the aether. Including ‘particles’ as large as galaxies and galaxy clusters.
      What is referred to as the deformation of spacetime physically exists in nature as the state of displacement of the aether.

      • If its as you claim why cant we detect this aether? Matter should be slowed down as it plows through aether but it doesnt seem to be

      • The following article describes gravity as a pressure exerted by aether toward matter.
        ‘The aether-modified gravity and the G ̈del metric’
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.5654
        “As for the pressure, it is equal to p = 53−αg,6a2 so, it is positive if αg < 3 which is the weaker condition than the previous one. One notes that the results corresponding to the usual gravity are easily recovered. Also, it is easy to see that the interval αg < 15 corresponds to the usual matter."
        The following article describes the aether as an incompressible fluid resulting in what the article refers to as gravitational aether caused by pressure or vorticity.
        'Phenomenology of Gravitational Aether as a solution to the Old Cosmological Constant Problem'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.3955
        "One proposal to address this puzzle at the semi-classical level is to decouple quantum vacuum from space-time geometry via a modification of gravity that includes an incompressible fluid, known as Gravitational Aether. In this paper, we discuss classical predictions of this theory along with its compatibility with cosmological and experimental tests of gravity. We argue that deviations from General Relativity (GR) in this theory are sourced by pressure or vorticity."
        The following article describes a gravitating vacuum where aether is the quantum vacuum of the 21-st century.
        'From Analogue Models to Gravitating Vacuum'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.1155
        "The aether of the 21-st century is the quantum vacuum, which is a new form of matter. This is the real substance"
        The aether is, or behaves similar to, a supersolid, which is described in the following article as the 'fluidic' nature of space itself. The article describes a 'back reaction' associated with the 'fluidic' nature of space itself. This is the displaced aether 'displacing back'.
        'An Extended Dynamical Equation of Motion, Phase Dependency and Inertial Backreaction'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.3458
        "We hypothesize that space itself resists such surges according to a kind of induction law (related to inertia); additionally, we provide further evidence of the “fluidic” nature of space itself. This "back-reaction" is quantified by the tendency of angular momentum flux threading across a surface."
        The following article describes the aether as that which produces resistance to acceleration and is responsible for the increase in mass of an object with velocity and describes the "space-time ideal fluid approach from general relativity."
        'Fluidic Electrodynamics: On parallels between electromagnetic and fluidic inertia'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.4611
        "It is shown that the force exerted on a particle by an ideal fluid produces two effects: i) resistance to acceleration and, ii) an increase of mass with velocity. … The interaction between the particle and the entrained space flow gives rise to the observed properties of inertia and the relativistic increase of mass. … Accordingly, in this framework the non resistance of a particle in uniform motion through an ideal fluid (D’Alembert’s paradox) corresponds to Newton’s first law. The law of inertia suggests that the physical vacuum can be modeled as an ideal fluid, agreeing with the space-time ideal fluid approach from general relativity."
        The relativistic mass of an object is the mass of the object and the mass of the aether connected to and neighboring the object which is displaced by the object. The faster an object moves with respect to the state of the aether in which it exists the greater the displacement of the aether by the object the greater the relativistic mass of the object.
        The incompressible fluid described in the following article is the gravitational aether which "the theory reduces to GR coupled to an incompressible fluid."
        'Empty Black Holes, Firewalls, and the Origin of Bekenstein-Hawking Entropy'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.4176
        "But why an incompressible fluid? The reason comes from an attempt to solve the (old) cosmological constant problem, which is arguably the most puzzling aspect of coupling gravity to relativistic quantum mechanics [13]. Given that the natural expectation value for the vacuum of the standard model of particle physics is ∼ 60 orders of magnitude heavier than the gravitational measurements of vacuum density, it is reasonable to entertain an alternative theory of gravity where the standard model vacuum decouples from gravity. Such a theory could be realized by coupling gravity to the traceless part of the quantum mechanical energy-momentum tensor. However, the consistency/covariance of gravitational field equations then requires introducing an auxiliary fluid, the so-called gravitational aether [14]. The simplest model for gravitational aether is an incompressible fluid (with vanishing energy density, but non-vanishing pressure), which is currently consistent with all cosmological, astrophysical, and precision tests of gravity [15, 16]:
        __3__
        32πGN Gμν = Tμν − Tα gμν + Tμν ,
        Tμν = p (uμ uν + gμν ), T μν;ν = 0,
        where GN is Newton’s constant, Tμν is the matter energy momentum tensor and T'μν is the incompressible gravitational aether fluid. In vacuum, the theory reduces to GR coupled to an incompressible fluid."
        The following articles describe what is presently postulated as dark matter is aether.
        'Quantum aether and an invariant Planck scale'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.3753
        "this version of aether may have some bearing on the abundance of Dark Matter and Dark Energy in our universe."
        "mass of the aether"
        'Scalars, Vectors and Tensors from Metric-Affine Gravity'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.5168
        "the model obtained here gets closer to the aether theory of , which is shown therein to be an alternative to the cold dark matter."
        'Unified model for dark matter and quintessence'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.4758
        "Superfluid dark matter is reminiscent of the aether and modeling the universe using superfluid aether is compatible."
        'Vainshtein mechanism in Gauss-Bonnet gravity and Galileon aether'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1107.1892
        "the perturbations of the scalar field do not propagate in the Minkowski space-time but rather in some form of ”aether” because of the presence of the background field"
        'On the super-fluid property of the relativistic physical vacuum medium and the inertial motion of particles'
        http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0701155
        "In this paper we shall show that the relativistic physical vacuum medium as a ubiquitous back ground field is a super fluid medium."

      • This is too lengthy for me to have a look at right now. Can you answer my questions in a simple manner
        You claim “Particles of matter move through and displace the aether” why then cant we detect this aether?
        You claim aeter has mass then matter should be slowed down as it plows through aether. Why doesnt it?

  136. Q. Why is the particle always detected traveling through a single slit in a double slit experiment?
    A. The particle always travels through a single slit. It is the associated wave in the aether which passes through both.

    Now explain why the wave goes away when you detect the particle. It has been a while since I have studied that.

    • In a double slit experiment the particle travels a well defined path which takes it through one slit. The associated wave in the aether passes through both. As the wave exits the slits it creates wave interference. As the particle exits a single slit the direction it travels is altered by the wave interference. This is the wave guiding the particle. Detecting the particle strongly exiting a single slit destroys the cohesion between the particle and its associated wave in the aether, the particle continues on the trajectory it was traveling and does not form an interference pattern.

      • Your thoughts seem to be a somewhat inchoate form of Pilot Wave theory. The ether is not actually needed even in your description, except as a crutch to enable visualization of causal connections. Needless to say, this would not be the luminiferous ether of yore since the