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Author Topic:   No Big Bang--Just gentle whisper
Percy
Member
Posts: 19240
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 61 of 100 (362807)
11-09-2006 7:35 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by nwr
11-08-2006 11:25 PM


Re: BB skepticism
Hi Nwr,

It sounds like you feel abused and purposefully misinterpreted, and that's probably because it was my intention to treat you the same as a creationist who, for the umpteenth time, was challenging science with no evidence. You don't feel you were doing that (the "challenging science with no evidence part", not the "umpteenth time" part, which of course you weren't doing) and you described differences between your approach and the creationist approach, but I'm not sure those distinctions loom as large to others as they do to you. For example, you said you would rebut with evidence a creationist who used your approach to argue for flood theory, but the same is true of your questioning of the Big Bang. That's why I quoted Sylas's characterization of Big Bang theory as a shortcut, since I don't have time to get into it in detail.

In other words, I'm done. I know you entered this reluctantly, and I appreciate that you stuck with it. This would be fascinating to continue, but you raised no concrete evidence to focus on, so it would be a real tough row to find evidence that is an effective counter to the position that the evidence isn't sufficient for you personally. I'd effectively be in the position of doing a serial presentation to you: "Is this evidence good enough? No? How about this evidence over here? No? Well then, how about this evidence?" I'm sure there will be future opportunities to discuss this, which would be good, because I'm intrigued by your position. Anyway, I hope there are no hard feelings.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by nwr, posted 11-08-2006 11:25 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by baloneydetector#zero, posted 11-09-2006 9:11 AM Percy has not yet responded
 Message 63 by nwr, posted 11-09-2006 12:21 PM Percy has responded

  
baloneydetector#zero
Inactive Member


Message 62 of 100 (362824)
11-09-2006 9:11 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Percy
11-09-2006 7:35 AM


Response to Everybody
My views of the universe and all of it’s quirks (and quarks) are the result of at least 70 of my 76 years of inputs into this little brain of mine. My bread-and-butter field was electronic engineering. When I wasn’t doing that, I was ingesting everything in the sciences, religion & even pseudo-sciences. For any calculations you need all the inputs you can get a hold of.
I have no conscious control of the outputs of these calculations. Not everything that was input was accepted. Too many humans are apt to swallow anything. For example, there are almost as many religions today as there are people. When you accept all, you end up by building the rest of your outputs on quicksand. My mind has a tendency to simplify instead of complicate things. It tends to generalize instead of specialize. There has been a lot of indigestible matter that has been left by the wayside.
I’m not saying that I’m correct in all the results that I have been writing about. But, honestly, they are the best I can do after all the filtering and reorganization that this little mind did. One cannot ask for much more.
It’s true what I stated at the beginning. Too many people have digested too much and will not be too pleased with having fun poked at their specialty. I’m also too old to keep up with all the responses. I print everything out and read at my leisure. The Texas desert air is good for old codgers and for their cogitations. No bugs like in Maine where I grew up.
I do not get riled at the negative or sometimes even insulting responses. I expected that when I started. In one of the forums, I was kept too busy trying to respond to all so that I never even got to finish my input thread.
I suggest that you sit back and think, think, think. Much of the information out there is set in shaky ground. Swallow some mental “Tums”. After you settle down, smile and smell the roses.
As for myself, I have many more threads to inflict on y’all.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Percy, posted 11-09-2006 7:35 AM Percy has not yet responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5590
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 63 of 100 (362899)
11-09-2006 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Percy
11-09-2006 7:35 AM


Re: BB skepticism
It sounds like you feel abused ...

I would say "frustrated" rather than "abused", It is frustrating when your debate opponent expects you to defend positions that you have not asserted. It's a bit like debating against ... (ok, best to omit the names).

... and purposefully misinterpreted, ...

I'm not suggesting there was purposeful misinterpretation. There was misinterpretation, but I put that down to miscommunication. It is hard for me to be sure whether that is misreading, or whether my writing was unclear. Still, cavediver seemed to have no problem understanding my position.

It sounds like you feel abused and purposefully misinterpreted, and that's probably because it was my intention to treat you the same as a creationist who, for the umpteenth time, was challenging science with no evidence.

You seem to be saying that you intentionally misinterpret and abuse creationists. If that was not what you intended, may I suggest you post a clarification.

For example, you said you would rebut with evidence a creationist who used your approach to argue for flood theory, but the same is true of your questioning of the Big Bang.

That's more miscommunication. You could not use my approach to argue for flood theory. Though it would be a stretch, you could perhaps use it to conclude (for yourself) that geological claims about the age of the earth are not adequately supported by evidence, and are therefore premature. But that would not support flood theory. For that, you would need positive evidence in favor of flood theory.

I'd effectively be in the position of doing a serial presentation to you: "Is this evidence good enough? No? How about this evidence over here? No? Well then, how about this evidence?"

And you would be missing the point. As I hinted, in the last paragraph of Message 41, we have very different ideas about what constitutes a scientific theory. For you, it is that theory it is that the theory is an explanation. For me, the alleged explanatory abilities of a theory are mostly marketing fluff, something used to sell the theory to others. To me, what's important about a scientific theory is the way that it drives the agenda for empirical research in the discipline, and drives that agenda in a positive direction.

When we look at empirical investigation in astronomy, it is largely driven by the Hubble satellite, by the construction of very long baseline arrays, and similar technological advances. There seems to be more interest in obvservational investigation of xray bursters and of solar systems that might support life, than there is in work to advance BB knowledge.

Granted, there is a lot of speculative theorizing about BB. If some of these theories get to the point where they set an empirical research agenda, that might well cause me to re-evaluate BB theory. The reason I can be rather casual about BB, is that it doesn't seem important to take a position at this time. 'Tis better to have a "false" theory that drives empirical investigation in a positive direction, than to have a "true" theory that does not much affect the empirical research.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Percy, posted 11-09-2006 7:35 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Percy, posted 11-09-2006 12:35 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply
 Message 66 by cavediver, posted 11-09-2006 2:56 PM nwr has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5590
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 64 of 100 (362900)
11-09-2006 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by Son Goku
11-09-2006 3:50 AM


Re: To invert the waters,.....
So let's take the epistemic road, how decent a theory is the big bang in this regard?

To me, it does not seem particularly important. I gave more detail in Message 63 (my response to Percy). Granted, I do not follow everything that happens in empirical astronomy, so it is possible that my assessment there is out of date.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Son Goku, posted 11-09-2006 3:50 AM Son Goku has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19240
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 65 of 100 (362903)
11-09-2006 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by nwr
11-09-2006 12:21 PM


Re: BB skepticism
Well, just the same, thanks for participating. :)

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by nwr, posted 11-09-2006 12:21 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 2026 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 66 of 100 (362919)
11-09-2006 2:56 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by nwr
11-09-2006 12:21 PM


Re: BB skepticism
When we look at empirical investigation in astronomy, it is largely driven by the Hubble satellite, by the construction of very long baseline arrays, and similar technological advances. There seems to be more interest in obvservational investigation of xray bursters and of solar systems that might support life, than there is in work to advance BB knowledge.

I think you need to check out the COBE and (more importantly) WMAP satellites, their finding and the subsequent research. I think you will find that there is plenty of empirical investigation going on. 4 out of the 32 papers submitted to astro-ph today are BB related. That is ignoring all of the related theoretical papers of hep-th and gr-qc.

With regard to your concerns over redshift representing recession, I think it has already been pointed out here that expansion or contraction is a prediction of General Relativity. The red-shift we observe is evidence for this prediction. We do not simply *assume* it is recession. Also remember that GR has been tested to an almost unimaginable degree of accuracy, not just here on Earth, but in the depths of the Galaxy.

Here is my problem with BB. A simpler Hubble Redshift theory...

I would seriously challenge your contention that anything departing GR is more simple... GR, like SR, may appear complex to the unwary, but both are mind-boggling in their simplicity. Whatever you can construct to give GR both locally and Galactically, whilst providing for a static universe with some strange unknown red-shift phenomenon will be some strange bastard of a theory ;)

However, on the topic of your "extrapolations" there is the issue of whether we are justified in the use of the FRW solution of GR for the universe... do we have the correct matter distribution to create that type of space-time? Is the universe smooth enough? This would be an intersting discussion.

What other evidence do we have? The CMBR you will have a very hard job explaining away as anything other than the surface of last scattering of the opaque early *small* universe. It is has numerous properties other than the simple black-body spectrum and isotropy. Check out the WMAP pages of Wiki for more details.

Talking of small, the fairly early universe has a much larger angular size on the celestial sphere, as you are spreading it over the entire sky (like the antarctic cirlce viewed from the North Pole), so early objects appear much larger than more recent objects. I've not found any published observational evidence of this (haven't really looked to be honest) but sooner or later it will be a fact to contend with - or maybe not, in which case things will get much more exciting!

Finally, for now, your suggested possibilities wrt red-shift sound like they are going to cause big problems for our assumptions of isotropy and homogeneity (Copernican and Cosmological Principles) which is just something to bear in mind.

I must admit, despite the above, a little of your skepticism has rubbed off and I would like to see if we can confirm the recessional velocity of some of the more local distant objects.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by nwr, posted 11-09-2006 12:21 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by nwr, posted 11-09-2006 6:53 PM cavediver has not yet responded
 Message 68 by Son Goku, posted 11-10-2006 8:38 AM cavediver has responded
 Message 70 by Percy, posted 11-19-2006 2:16 AM cavediver has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5590
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 67 of 100 (362957)
11-09-2006 6:53 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by cavediver
11-09-2006 2:56 PM


Re: BB skepticism
I think you need to check out the COBE and (more importantly) WMAP satellites, their finding and the subsequent research.

Thanks for that. I didn't know about WMAP, so there's some reading for me to do.

However, on the topic of your "extrapolations" there is the issue of whether we are justified in the use of the FRW solution of GR for the universe... do we have the correct matter distribution to create that type of space-time? Is the universe smooth enough? This would be an intersting discussion.

Yes, good point.

If there are actual black holes, would they affect the topology of the universe? And if so, how would that affect extrapolation? I wouldn't expect small black holes to be much of a problem, but what if there are really huge black holes?

I must admit, despite the above, a little of your skepticism has rubbed off and I would like to see if we can confirm the recessional velocity of some of the more local distant objects.

I'm glad to hear that. To me, it seems a natural question. Admittedly, its a tough one, but maybe somebody could come up with a way of tackling it. I wonder if there is a way of using the motion of our solar system through the milky way galaxy, and using two future points on that path as the ends of a base line for some sort of triangulation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by cavediver, posted 11-09-2006 2:56 PM cavediver has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by ramoss, posted 11-19-2006 8:37 AM nwr has responded

  
Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1153
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005


Message 68 of 100 (363036)
11-10-2006 8:38 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by cavediver
11-09-2006 2:56 PM


Off topic
Whatever you can construct to give GR both locally and Galactically, whilst providing for a static universe with some strange unknown red-shift phenomenon will be some strange bastard of a theory

For your interest have you heard the "Island in theory space" discussion about QM that has appeared in the last year?
http://www.scottaaronson.com/papers/island.pdf

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by cavediver, posted 11-09-2006 2:56 PM cavediver has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by cavediver, posted 11-10-2006 8:54 AM Son Goku has not yet responded

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 2026 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 69 of 100 (363038)
11-10-2006 8:54 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Son Goku
11-10-2006 8:38 AM


Re: Off topic
Thanks for that. Hadn't seen it as I have been single-minded on my business for the past 18 months. But this is actually my favourite topic of all. When I was a bit more serious, I was getting into Topos Theory for similar reasons.

Also, at the less extreme end, we used to play around with relaxing all sorts of conditions. Orientability was the favourite, which led into the work on pinors and even pistors - the non-orientable counterparts of spinors and twistors; but also varying signature with Kleinian space-times. The driver behind this work was the quantum foam.

It all plays into my Grand Scheme, where "reality" is actually a natural and necessary consequence of logic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Son Goku, posted 11-10-2006 8:38 AM Son Goku has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19240
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 70 of 100 (364672)
11-19-2006 2:16 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by cavediver
11-09-2006 2:56 PM


Re: BB skepticism
cavediver writes:

I must admit, despite the above, a little of your skepticism has rubbed off and I would like to see if we can confirm the recessional velocity of some of the more local distant objects.

M33 qualifies as local. It's recessional velocity has been measured using VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry), see for example M33 Distance and Motion. They found that it is moving relative to the Milky Way with a velocity vector of 190+/-59 km/sec, and reading on to page 12 you can find that it is receding from us at the rate of 39+/-9 km/sec. The Hubble constant is around 71 km/sec/Mpc, M33 is about .96 Mpc away, so it should be receding at around 70 km/sec, so it's receding at only about half the Hubble derived rate. The closer M31 galaxy, Andromeda, is .77 Mpc away and is approaching us at about 300 km/sec. As expected, local motions overwhelm the contributions from the expansion of the universe for relatively close objects.

This highlights the difficulty of the problem that you and Nwr have briefly touched upon. You want distance and velocity measurements made by means other than measurements of electromagnetic frequency shifting effects, which includes VLBI, yet even local objects that are far too distant for any other methods display a range of recessional velocities that overwhelm any contribution from the expansion of the universe. So you need measurements of distance and motion that are independent of electromagnetic frequency effects for much more distant objects than M31 and M33.

In other words, you're posing a question that is unlikely in the extreme to have an answer in any number of human lifetimes. It's fine to pose such questions, but one shouldn't invoke skepticism simply because unanswerable questions exist. If existing evidence is insufficient to justify confidence then the insufficiency should be identified and described. The evidential and theoretical foundations of the Big Bang are extremely strong. Pointing to an unanswerable question simply avoids focusing on an examination of the existing positive evidence. I'm not sure how one would equate skepticism about whether the Big Bang happened with other skeptical positions, such as that the extent in time of earth history has been overestimated by about 4.56 billion years, but they certainly seem much closer in skeptical degree to each other than to skepticism of, say, the precise position of Australopithecus afarensis in the hominid family tree.

I was hoping the discussion between you and Nwr would develop into an examination of the evidence for the Big Bang and am disappointed that this unanswerable and irrelevant measurement question seems to have closed the discussion.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by cavediver, posted 11-09-2006 2:56 PM cavediver has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by cavediver, posted 11-19-2006 9:30 AM Percy has responded
 Message 75 by nwr, posted 11-19-2006 10:27 AM Percy has responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3125
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 71 of 100 (364693)
11-19-2006 8:37 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by nwr
11-09-2006 6:53 PM


Re: BB skepticism
Define 'small' black holes. Define "Big" black holes.

THere is empirical data to show that there is a black hole in the center of the Galaxy. For that matter, there is a black hole at the center of every galaxy that the looked at for finding empirical evidence of a black hole. The one in the center of Milky way has the equivilant of nearly 4 million suns. THis is dwarfed by the black hole in the center of andromeda, which is about the mass of 140 millions stars. In a couple of billion years, when the Andromeda galaxy and the milky way 'collide', this should make for interesting disruptions as it is likely the milky way black hole will probably be captured and absorbed by the Andromeda black hole.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by nwr, posted 11-09-2006 6:53 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by nwr, posted 11-19-2006 9:52 AM ramoss has not yet responded

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 2026 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 72 of 100 (364697)
11-19-2006 9:30 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by Percy
11-19-2006 2:16 AM


Re: BB skepticism
M33 qualifies as local

Yes, but not "local distant" as I specified. It is a technical term that refers to the closest objects whose cosmological red-shift dominates that of their peculiar motion... or perhaps I just made it up ;)

I... am disappointed that this unanswerable and irrelevant measurement question seems to have closed the discussion.

No :) Time, as ever, closed the discussion for now. There is hope...

And I don't believe it is unanswerable and it most definitely isn't irrelevant, even if it is only to silence (fat chance) certain critcis. We don't need direct measurements, just contributing evidence would be nice.

is unlikely in the extreme to have an answer in any number of human lifetimes

So say in about twenty years then? (given past experience of such predicted time-scales!) It's secondary and tertiary effects that we need to think about.

The evidential and theoretical foundations of the Big Bang are extremely strong.

Of course they are. Exceptionally strong. However, what has piqued my interest is that our primary evidence - expansion of the universe as implied by recessional velocities as implied by cosmological red-shifts - perhaps could do with having some of its "implied"s beefing up a little. It's a discussion for cosmologists amongst cosmologists, that is all.

This is where us scientists always fall down in debate with creationists/skeptics - all they have to do is make one statement that makes us think "hmmm, perhaps I haven't given that enough thought - I must look into that" and we are in science mode, all thought of debate gone. We are scientists after all, not evangelists for science.

Edited by cavediver, : typos


This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Percy, posted 11-19-2006 2:16 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Percy, posted 11-19-2006 9:47 AM cavediver has not yet responded
 Message 93 by Percy, posted 11-22-2006 8:52 AM cavediver has not yet responded
 Message 95 by Percy, posted 11-22-2006 10:13 AM cavediver has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19240
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 73 of 100 (364700)
11-19-2006 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by cavediver
11-19-2006 9:30 AM


Re: BB skepticism
Percy writes:

I... am disappointed that this unanswerable and irrelevant measurement question seems to have closed the discussion.

No :) Time, as ever, closed the discussion for now. There is hope...

And I don't believe it is unanswerable and it most definitely isn't irrelevant...

Oh, yes, quite correct, it's not irrelevant to the issue of whether the Big Bang happened. I meant that the fact that we can't answer that question right now is irrelevant to considering whether our confidence in an affirmative answer to the question, "Did the Big Bang really happen?" is justified.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by cavediver, posted 11-19-2006 9:30 AM cavediver has not yet responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5590
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 74 of 100 (364702)
11-19-2006 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by ramoss
11-19-2006 8:37 AM


Re: BB skepticism
Define 'small' black holes. Define "Big" black holes.

I don't really need to do that. We have intuitive notions of "small" and "big", and those are sufficient for what I wrote in Message 67.

THis is dwarfed by the black hole in the center of andromeda, ...

It seems that you have no difficulty using intuitive notions of relative size.


Just say no to McCain 2008; he abandoned principle when he caved on habeus corpus

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by ramoss, posted 11-19-2006 8:37 AM ramoss has not yet responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5590
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 75 of 100 (364707)
11-19-2006 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by Percy
11-19-2006 2:16 AM


Re: BB skepticism
I was hoping the discussion between you and Nwr would develop into an examination of the evidence for the Big Bang and am disappointed that this unanswerable and irrelevant measurement question seems to have closed the discussion.

I think cavediver is not as troubled by my skepticism as you are. No doubt he disagrees with me, but he doesn't see great reason for concern.

I'm still mystified as to why you are so troubled by my skepticism. A scientist should be skeptical, and my skepticism is no threat to science.

I think you have not recognized the significance of what I wrote in the last paragraph of Message 41. My ideas about science, and how it works, are different from yours. Until about 15 years ago, I used to think of science in about the same way that you do. I have since come to recognize that way of thinking as a mistake.

A scientific theory brings with it empirical methodology, which may include methods for making testable predictions. It also brings an explanation. My skepticism is only toward the explanation component. For maybe 200 years, the luminiferous ether was the accepted explanation for light. This had been thoroughly tested, and was better confirmed that BB cosmology. Yet we have now rejected the luminiferous ether as non-existent and part of a flawed explanation. Newton's theory of gravity reigned supreme for even longer, and was more thoroughly confirmed. Yet we have rejected the Newtonian explanation in favor of GR. In both cases (the ether, and Newtonian gravitation) we continue to use much of the empirical methodology, but we no longer accept the explanations.

I have a higher threshold than you for adopting explanations.

Edited by nwr, : spelling correction


Just say no to McCain 2008; he abandoned principle when he caved on habeus corpus

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Percy, posted 11-19-2006 2:16 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Percy, posted 11-19-2006 10:43 AM nwr has acknowledged this reply
 Message 77 by Son Goku, posted 11-20-2006 7:46 AM nwr has responded
 Message 78 by Percy, posted 11-20-2006 10:56 AM nwr has responded

  
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