The Cosmology Thread

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The Cosmology Thread

Post by infidel » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:40 pm

Let's start this off with a bang (HA!)

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/planc ... 30321.html
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Post by JudgeRusty » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:42 pm

My barber died. But my mother cuts hair as a volunteer at the nursing home, so I have been letting her cut my hair.
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Post by infidel » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:45 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:My barber died. But my mother cuts hair as a volunteer at the nursing home, so I have been letting her cut my hair.
Not the youth room! Shoo! :evil:
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Post by ATexanLostinVirginia » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:55 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:My barber died. But my mother cuts hair as a volunteer at the nursing home, so I have been letting her cut my hair.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The Cosmology Thread

Post by Ethell » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:02 pm

infidel wrote:Let's start this off with a bang (HA!)

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/planc ... 30321.html
I'm going to like this thread, too. I'll post here I promise, but man if I don't need to get some serious work done. Back hopefully later today.

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Post by UncleBob » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:46 pm

So.... where to start....

Gap Theory?
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Post by Irish-Dane » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:48 pm

String theory?
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Post by UncleBob » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:51 pm

Higgs-Boson?
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Post by Irish-Dane » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:52 pm

Give me a minute to go look up some Big Bang Theory reruns.
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Post by UncleBob » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:57 pm

Irish-Dane wrote:Give me a minute to go look up some Big Bang Theory reruns.
.....aaaaand scene!
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Post by JohnnyMcPiperson » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:15 pm

Thought it said cosmetology... :oops: HA! Judgerusty, guess I'm not the only one!
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Post by JohnnyMcPiperson » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:19 pm

What about this God Particle thing, anybody heard about that?
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Post by Rusty » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:25 pm

Wow. I heard they had a new age but this is a lot more. Interesting.

Planck was expected to deliver much more detail than WMAP. Interesting stuff.

Johnny: There was a thread going about the latest news concerning the Higgs Boson:
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Post by gaining_age » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:32 pm

Geodesics?

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Post by Rusty » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:40 pm

ESA & Euro folks are quite surprised by the new map of the CBR provided by Planck. The asymmetries and cold spots are apparently not consistent with the current model and specifically concerning dramatic expansion in the early univ.
This is a story to watch. They're signaling that changes to the story are likely. This is a big deal and it's good news that there is clear data that forces a reexamination of their cosmology model. If I had to guess we're going to see more of this. There is a lot of good data from serious investment in satellites, larger telescopes, etc. coming in. Hopefully the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) will surprise them when that is in place too. It's bearing fruit. The summary of the surprises are below.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/acros ... -astronomy
ESA say that this new map of the cosmic microwave background 'challenges some of the fundamental principles of the big bang theory.' It does this by confirming the existence of features in the map that cannot be explained by prevailing theory.

The first strange feature is that the universe's temperature appears to fluctuate more on one side of the universe than the other.

Secondly, there is definitely a 'cold spot' in the universe that extends over an area of space much larger than expected.

A third challenge is that the large scale temperature fluctuations across the entire universe are smaller than those expected from the fluctuations measured at smaller scales.

The theory that these observations challenge is called inflation. It postulates that a tiny fraction of a second after the big bang, the universe underwent a sudden catastrophic expansion. This behaviour was invented to explain why the temperature of the microwave background appeared, at the time, to be so uniform across the entire universe, and on all cosmic scales.

Now, Planck is showing that the temperature, and the fluctuations in it, are not as uniform as thought.

Another problem with inflation is that it lacks a theoretical underpinning from fundamental physics. In other words, no one can find a convincing explanation for why the universe would suddenly expand just after the big bang.
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Re: The Cosmology Thread

Post by Ethell » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:12 am

infidel wrote:Let's start this off with a bang (HA!)

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/planc ... 30321.html
Ok, Rusty and infidel, this article shows the kinds of quotes that get YECers like myself all in knots. Take this quote for example:
This relic radiation provides scientists with a snapshot of the universe 370,000 years after the big bang. Light existed before this time, but it was locked in a hot plasma similar to a candle flame, which later cooled and set the light free.
This isn't stated as a theory but as a fact. What hot plasma? Where does the 370,000 years come from? These are assumptions from a proposed model are they not? Yet the author article states them with certainty. Maybe this is just another example similar to the Higgs boson where the writers reporting on the findings are the ones guilty of stating things with certainty and perhaps the actual scientists involved are not so certain.

This distinction between fact and theory is so important, as you both know, because lay people read these kinds of articles and just take it as fact because they "said so."

Propose a theory and then develop good experiments to validate or reject it. That's what the Planck experiment is. A good experiment. But man, we have to stop stating things as fact that are likely beyond experimentation, right? We can't ever observe the "hot plasma candle flame" but only infer its existence from the results we observe.

Maybe I'm overreacting.

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Re: The Cosmology Thread

Post by infidel » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:16 am

Ethell wrote:Maybe I'm overreacting.
Like I said the other day, you guys can't stand it when tentative knowledge is stated as concrete knowledge. It causes you actual pain, doesn't it? Like every time someone states as a fact that birds are descendants of dinosaurs, I can hear tuttle's neurons exploding.

It's pretty much exactly the same thing that used to happen to me when someone would state something as a fact just because the "Bible says so".
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Re: The Cosmology Thread

Post by tuttle » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:53 am

infidel wrote:
Ethell wrote:Maybe I'm overreacting.
Like I said the other day, you guys can't stand it when tentative knowledge is stated as concrete knowledge. It causes you actual pain, doesn't it? Like every time someone states as a fact that birds are descendants of dinosaurs, I can hear tuttle's neurons exploding.

It's pretty much exactly the same thing that used to happen to me when someone would state something as a fact just because the "Bible says so".
Is it ridiculous to not agree when tentative knowledge is stated as concrete knowledge? tentative knowledge (I assume) is tentative precicely because there is information out there that hasn't been discovered yet that would qualify it as concrete.

There are things that could be classified under tentative knowledge that I'd go along with and act as if it is a fact, but there are others I'm not ready to do so with, such as evolution to the extent that dinosaurs change into birds.
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Re: The Cosmology Thread

Post by Rusty » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:13 am

Ethell wrote:
infidel wrote:Let's start this off with a bang (HA!)

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/planc ... 30321.html
Ok, Rusty and infidel, this article shows the kinds of quotes that get YECers like myself all in knots. Take this quote for example:
This relic radiation provides scientists with a snapshot of the universe 370,000 years after the big bang. Light existed before this time, but it was locked in a hot plasma similar to a candle flame, which later cooled and set the light free.
This isn't stated as a theory but as a fact. What hot plasma? Where does the 370,000 years come from? These are assumptions from a proposed model are they not? Yet the author article states them with certainty. Maybe this is just another example similar to the Higgs boson where the writers reporting on the findings are the ones guilty of stating things with certainty and perhaps the actual scientists involved are not so certain.

This distinction between fact and theory is so important, as you both know, because lay people read these kinds of articles and just take it as fact because they "said so."

Propose a theory and then develop good experiments to validate or reject it. That's what the Planck experiment is. A good experiment. But man, we have to stop stating things as fact that are likely beyond experimentation, right? We can't ever observe the "hot plasma candle flame" but only infer its existence from the results we observe.

Maybe I'm overreacting.
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Re: The Cosmology Thread

Post by infidel » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:31 am

tuttle wrote:
infidel wrote:
Ethell wrote:Maybe I'm overreacting.
Like I said the other day, you guys can't stand it when tentative knowledge is stated as concrete knowledge. It causes you actual pain, doesn't it? Like every time someone states as a fact that birds are descendants of dinosaurs, I can hear tuttle's neurons exploding.

It's pretty much exactly the same thing that used to happen to me when someone would state something as a fact just because the "Bible says so".
Is it ridiculous to not agree when tentative knowledge is stated as concrete knowledge? tentative knowledge (I assume) is tentative precicely because there is information out there that hasn't been discovered yet that would qualify it as concrete.
It depends. All inductive knowledge is tentative to some degree. But not because we're missing something that would make it concrete, but rather because there always exists the possibility that it could be proven wrong (to some degree). That's what we mean by falsifiable. Most of the time this just means refinements to existing knowledge rather than wholesale replacement. Like the Plank observations that push the age of the universe slightly older. It's still within the margin of error of the prior observations. We still don't know absolutely concretely the age of the universe but we're less wrong than we were before.

I do think it is ridiculous to constantly demand disclaimers and margins-of-error on every statement. Perhaps it's just because I come from the scientific side of the argument initially that I understand instinctively that anything stated as fact today may be revised tomorrow. It feels a bit like if I demanded you footnote everything you said about God or Jesus with "according to ancient texts and secondhand sources, etc".
tuttle wrote:There are things that could be classified under tentative knowledge that I'd go along with and act as if it is a fact, but there are others I'm not ready to do so with, such as evolution to the extent that dinosaurs change into birds.
Yeah, ok, what's obvious to me is not so much to you. I totally get it. But there's a significant difference between withholding acceptance of a theory and flying off the YEC handle.
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