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Author Topic:   Universe Race
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 222 of 410 (458326)
02-28-2008 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 205 by ICANT
02-27-2008 2:37 PM


A slight digression -- perhaps forgivable.
Then there is the biggest fudge factor of all called dark matter.
Which is invisible, can not be detected, makes up most of the universe, yet is accepted as a fact.
Since there is now a subtopic on dark matter, maybe I'll offer a comment on it before it's ruled off-topic.
First of all, dark matter can be detected -- through its gravitational interactions. After all, that is why it was postulated to begin with.
Let me remind our readers that there has been precedent (and successful precedent!) for "dark matter". Namely the perturbations of the orbit of Uranus in the 19th century. Newton's Laws of Motion and the Universal Law of Gravity gave a way of precisely calculating the orbits of the planets. When Uranus was discovered, its orbit was worked out according to the known laws of physics. Yet, it was eventually noticed that it did not follow the correct orbit.
According to ICANT, scientist should have decided that they don't know anything at all about the universe or about planets or about how planets should move. Heck, they probably should have resurrected the old planets-pushed-by-angels theory.
But, instead, these silly scientists came up with a fudge -- they proposed that the gravitational effects of an as-yet undiscovered planet was causing the anomalies in Uranus' orbit. What a bunch of maroons!
An interesting thing happened, though: it turns out that a planet of the right size at the right positions could actually cause the observed perturbations in Uranus' orbit. Now this is a bit odd -- there was no reason that this should have been possible. The anomalies in Uranus' orbit could have been such that there was no way to place any planet in any kind of orbit in such a way that its gravitational effects would actually cause what was observed. But, as ICANT will undoubtably point out, a fudge is a fudge.
Except that a planet (which we now call Neptune) was actually discovered by looking in the areas where it was proposed it should be. Ooh! Embarassment for the 19th century ICANTs! That's gotta hurt!
Now we observe that the motions of stars moving within galaxies (the rotation of the galaxies) do not fit the calculated motions based on our understanding of the laws of motion. So obviously, scientists should just give up on trying to understand the universe and go back to church.
Except those silly scientists, puffed up by their wholly accidental "success" in the discovery of Neptune, decide that there might be more mass in these galaxies than we can see. And they have proposed actually distributions of this mass that can account for the anomalies.
Hmm. Again this is interesting. There is no reason that any distribution of any mass would result in correctly prediction the motions of the stars in these galaxies. It could be that no matter how scientists tried to distribute mass within these galaxies, the motions would still all be off! So it is interesting that this is even possible....
But no matter. A fudge is a fudge. After all, how often can ICANT be wrong?

If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a monkey.
Haven't you always wanted a monkey?
-- The Barenaked Ladies

This message is a reply to:
 Message 205 by ICANT, posted 02-27-2008 2:37 PM ICANT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 236 by ICANT, posted 02-28-2008 9:14 PM Chiroptera has not replied

Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 223 of 410 (458336)
02-28-2008 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by ICANT
02-28-2008 8:45 AM


Inflation was added in 1981 to solve the Horizon problem.
This was an adjustment of the numbers to make the predictions of the Big Bang Theory match observations.
....
Inject inflation problem solved.
That's good, right? There was a problem, a solution was proposed, and it worked. And ICANT thinks that this is a problem.
People who want to learn a little something about inflation can read about it on Wikipedia.
First of all, there was no guarantee that anything could have solved these problems. That such a simple solution worked is remarkable in itself. But the interesting thing is that inflation actually solved several problems: the horizon problem, the flatness problem, and the lack of magnetic monopoles; the Wikipedia article describes these problems. So, a single proposal actually explained several different observations.
Another point to make is that inflation wasn't just thrown in ad hoc. There are theoretical explanations for this period of inflation.
Finally, I should point out that scientists don't just propose theories or solutions, and then claim that all the problems are solved as the creationists do. Rather, scientists continue to probe the limits of the theories. Cosmologists continue to make observations to try to find out if there is anything that seems to contradict the inflation theories, and to try to adjust the theories to construct the best possible theories to explain our universe. I find it amusing that the so-called problems that the creationists and other nay-sayers use against the standard scientific theories of our universe are actually discovered and discussed by the scientists themselves. But that is what scientists do -- they construct theories only to try to test them beyond their limits.

If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a monkey.
Haven't you always wanted a monkey?
-- The Barenaked Ladies

This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by ICANT, posted 02-28-2008 8:45 AM ICANT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 280 by ICANT, posted 03-06-2008 7:42 PM Chiroptera has replied

Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 226 of 410 (458397)
02-28-2008 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 218 by Vacate
02-28-2008 1:15 AM


Re: No truth
You are so focused on this T=0 shtick that you have missed an important point.... What happened before is unknown, that is the end of it.
Just to make sure that we understand this, there was no before. Asking about what happened before is like asking what is north of the North Pole, in the oft repeated, but still very good, analogy.
Edited by Chiroptera, : minor typos

If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a monkey.
Haven't you always wanted a monkey?
-- The Barenaked Ladies

This message is a reply to:
 Message 218 by Vacate, posted 02-28-2008 1:15 AM Vacate has not replied

Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 230 of 410 (458416)
02-28-2008 8:12 PM
Reply to: Message 195 by Son Goku
02-27-2008 6:32 AM


Re: For the Aleph-Zeroth time.....
Ha ha ha ha. I just noticed this subtitle.
I just taught my math classes about Aleph-naught. Their test is Monday.

If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a monkey.
Haven't you always wanted a monkey?
-- The Barenaked Ladies

This message is a reply to:
 Message 195 by Son Goku, posted 02-27-2008 6:32 AM Son Goku has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 278 by Son Goku, posted 03-05-2008 10:26 AM Chiroptera has replied

Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 279 of 410 (459320)
03-05-2008 8:44 PM
Reply to: Message 278 by Son Goku
03-05-2008 10:26 AM


Re: For the Aleph-Zeroth time.....
Did they buy/trust it?
Heh. They didn't actively resist like classes have in the past, so I'm not sure. It's usually the Cantor diagonal proof that the real numbers have a greater cardinality than the natural numbers that they can't quite get themselves to trust.
Basically, for the exam on this portion I mostly just ask them to be able to state the cardinality of some sets, and match sets that have the same cardinality (including some finite sets). (This, by the way, is a class for liberal arts majors who don't require mathematics computations in their fields of study.)
It was jolly fun watching their expressions of horror as I begin to giggle uncontrollably.

...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi

This message is a reply to:
 Message 278 by Son Goku, posted 03-05-2008 10:26 AM Son Goku has not replied

Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 281 of 410 (459408)
03-06-2008 10:04 PM
Reply to: Message 280 by ICANT
03-06-2008 7:42 PM


Look! The troll got me to react! Ha ha!
Everybody can stick their head in the sand if they want to but there are problems with the BBT that need to be addressed.
This coming from someone who has consistently failed to understand even the most rudimentary points that people have been making.
You haven't even been able to understand what people have been trying to explain to you. You certainly don't have the expertise to judge whether these "problems" are important enough to cast doubt on the general Big Bang theory. Hell, I don't even have the expertise to do this, and I'm a hell of a lot smarter than you are.
There was a study once where it was determined that incompetent people tend to not understand that they are incompetent. They are so incompetent that they don't even have the skill base to judge their own competency. This is where you fit. You are so incompetent at this type of field that you can't even understand that you don't know a goddam thing. At least I'm smart enough to understand that there are people who know about this a lot more than I do, and I respect their expertise. In particular, when people who study this fucking thing say that the evidence for it is quite good, and can explain why in terms that I can understand, and even explains the problems at length, then I'm smart enough to realize that they know what they are talking about.
The sad thing is that this stuff can be understood on a basic enough level if one is willing to make the effort. Unfortunately, you seem to want to keep your head buried in the sand to save your own primitive creation myths.

...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi

This message is a reply to:
 Message 280 by ICANT, posted 03-06-2008 7:42 PM ICANT has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 282 by teen4christ, posted 03-06-2008 10:29 PM Chiroptera has not replied

Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 326 of 410 (459613)
03-08-2008 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 325 by Agobot
03-08-2008 7:53 PM


And how come some of the experts speak with such great authority about the Big Bang, its phases, how it started, how it proceeded, how matter came to be, when, in fact, the Big bang itself is not proven to be a fact?
Well, because the Big Bang is pretty much a proven fact.
When the laws of physics as we understand them are applied to a very hot, very dense universe, the result is pretty much the universe we see around us.
It seems like a remarkable coincidence that a completely wrong theory would produce a universe like the one we see around us. So remarkable that it's pretty improbable that some unknown process is responsible for the universe around us.
The closest contender that I can think of is that God created the universe with every appearance that it was once very hot, very dense, and then expanded to our current universe with the laws of physics that we understand operating. Why he would do such a thing, I can't imagine, but I don't believe that such a god exists so it doesn't really matter.

...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi

This message is a reply to:
 Message 325 by Agobot, posted 03-08-2008 7:53 PM Agobot has not replied

Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 334 of 410 (459660)
03-09-2008 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 329 by Zucadragon
03-09-2008 7:28 AM


Re: Pea size
If I understand correctly, and I'm trying to even though its a hard way to think for me, the universe shouldn't be seen as an actuall ball thats expanding but more or less a surface that is expanding in all directions.
What may be confusing to some is that we have been using two different analogies to express two different aspects of our expanding universe.
One analogy is, as you have said, the expanding 2-sphere -- a spherical surface that is expanding. This represents a two-dimensional universe in analogy to our three dimensions. All the galaxies are on this surface. As this surface expands, the galaxies will move further apart, and the farther apart the galaxies begin, the greater the rate at which the distance between them increases -- in other words, galaxies in this two dimensional universe will see greater red shifts associated with galaxies that are farther away. To a two dimensional person living in this sphere, nothing else exists except the surface -- there is no inside the sphere, nor is there any outside the sphere.
The other analogy that we have been using is a static spherical surface. This represents not our three dimensional universe, but our 4 dimensional space-time, which, in GR models, exists "all at once" and is not changing. In this model, a line of longitude represents the "time" direction, and just as we are always moving forward in time, so a person on this sphere always moves along a line of longitude. Here, though, since the sphere has only two dimensions, and one of them is time, there is only one other dimension that serves as space -- hence the person believes she lives in a one-dimensional universe. The space that she sees is at right angles to the line of longitude, so her universe (at least the spatial part) is a circle of latitude. Assuming that she is moving toward the equator, when she measures the size of her universe, the circle of latitude is bigger at later times than earlier times -- hence she sees her universe as expanding. Her spatial universe is a circle of latitude that is moving toward the equator, and so getting bigger. Again, all that exists is the surface -- there is no "inside the sphere" or "outside the sphere."
So, a 2-sphere is being used in two separate analogies to illustrate two different aspects of the phenomenon. I hope that people weren't getting confused, and if they were I hope this clears some of the confusion up.

...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi

This message is a reply to:
 Message 329 by Zucadragon, posted 03-09-2008 7:28 AM Zucadragon has not replied

Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 377 of 410 (459804)
03-09-2008 10:29 PM
Reply to: Message 376 by DrJones*
03-09-2008 10:22 PM


Re: Pink Unicorn
Remember that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the father is trying to get the guards to guard his son? That's what this conversation is reminding of.

...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi

This message is a reply to:
 Message 376 by DrJones*, posted 03-09-2008 10:22 PM DrJones* has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 380 by DrJones*, posted 03-09-2008 10:44 PM Chiroptera has not replied

Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 394 of 410 (459879)
03-10-2008 1:35 PM


Short summary.
It is clear from the evidence that the universe was once very hot and very dense, and expanded to what we see today. We understand the laws of physics enough that when we start with the universe in a very hot and dense state, and then allow it to expand (as General Relativity tells us), then the theory predicts phenomena that we actually do observe. The Big Bang theory has been confirmed and is not in any serious doubt by anyone who can post an intelligible message on an internet forum.
As we "run the clock backwards" on our model and observe that the universe was hotter and denser at earlier times, we eventually get to a point where the energies are so great and the radius of the universe so small that our current understanding of the laws of physics are inadequate. We basically have no understanding of any earlier time. There are some theories being developed that may eventually give us insight as to what the universe was like before this time, but they are still in development.
So, the current state of our knowledge is that the universe was at one time very hot (the temperature was large but finite), it was very dense (the density was large but finite), and it was in a state of expansion. From this time on, we have a pretty good idea of what was happening. Before this we do not.

...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi

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