Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

How the Universe Stopped Making Sense...

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 19,720
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 11 October 2019 - 12:51 PM

Interesting new article.

 

https://www.livescie...make-sense.html

 

Here's a snippet:

 

We're getting something wrong about the universe.  It might be something small: a measurement issue that makes certain stars looks closer or farther away than they are, something astrophysicists could fix with a few tweaks to how they measure distances across space. It might be something big: an error — or series of errors — in  cosmology, or our understanding of the universe's origin and evolution. If that's the case, our entire history of space and time may be messed up. But whatever the issue is, it's making key observations of the universe disagree...

 

You can see that the edges of WMAP and CV SN overlap [see chart in article], mostly outside the red bar. That was the picture of the discrepancy a few years ago, Mack said: Significant enough to worry that the two measurements were turning up different answers, but not so significant as to render them incompatible with a little tweaking.  But in recent years there's been a new measurement of the CMB from a group called the Planck Collaboration. The Planck Collaboration, which released its latest dataset in 2018, put very strict constraints on the mass fraction and expansion rate of the universe, denoted by the black sliver on the plot labeled Planck.  Now, the authors wrote, two wildly different pictures of the universe emerge. Planck and WMAP — along with a range of other approaches to constraining H0 and Ωm — are all more or less compatible.


  • Joe1950, jpcampbell and HouseBuilder328 like this

#2 sg6

sg6

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,735
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted 11 October 2019 - 01:30 PM

Considering that less then 100 years ago we (many) were under the idea that the milky way was the total universe, it seems a bit presumptious that we now think that we know almost all there is to know. And that we know it with accuracy.

 

So

"It's either something new in the universe or it's something we don't understand about our measurements," she said.

Could be more that we do not entirely understand our universe.

 

Seems we try for the more complex and grandiose ideas rather then simple ones. Suppose it makes better headlines but a little unsure of the real state. And I wonder how much off the real path we go.


  • leonard, russell23, Miguelo and 1 other like this

#3 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 19,720
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 11 October 2019 - 05:11 PM

Considering that less then 100 years ago we (many) were under the idea that the milky way was the total universe, it seems a bit presumptuous that we now think that we know almost all there is to know. And that we know it with accuracy.

 

Well put! I quite agree, but as we know many adhere to the ideology of Scientism.


  • Joe1950 likes this

#4 EJN

EJN

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,611
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Between what is and what's not there

Posted 11 October 2019 - 07:56 PM

Didn't you already start a thread about this? Why yes, right here:

https://www.cloudyni...f-the-universe/

 

So rather than re-typing everything I said there all over again, I will just copy & paste it here.

 

And add an additional comment: Hubble's constant cannot be measured directly from the

CMB, instead it is derived by comparing computer models with varying parameters to

the observed power spectrum of the Planck measurements. I personally put more stock

in measurements made directly from Cepheids and Type Ia supernovae in galaxies.

 

And the universe makes more sense now than it did 30 years ago, when it appeared to be

younger than the oldest stars. The discovery of accelerating expansion resolved that paradox.

 

An 8% discrepancy is a lot better than the 2:1 discrepancy in in the late 70s and early 80s.

The difference is then there wasn't the interwebz and pop-sci writers to blow it

all out of proportion.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From the other thread:
 

It's interesting to look at this compilation of measured values of Hubble's constant
posted by the late John Huchra of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
 
If you take the list of values published 1996 and later, and average them, you
get 68 (km/sec)/mpc, which just shows that if enough people measure something you
will eventually converge on a reasonably correct value. The list stops in 2010 because
of his death.
 
Look at some of the earlier measurements, the values are much higher than modern values.
 
In the 70's & 80's, Allan Sandage was consistently getting values around 50, while
Gerard deVaucouleurs was consistently getting values around 100. The
disagreements over these values became known as "The Hubble Wars."
 
Raw data here: https://www.cfa.harv...hubble.plot.dat
 
h1920.jpg
 
 
ho.2004.jpg
 
 
hubble.key.summary.jpg
 

 

 
If Huchra were still alive he would call the current discrepancy a tempest in a teacup.
It is being totally overblown by pop-science writers.


Edited by EJN, 11 October 2019 - 08:10 PM.

  • llanitedave and Crow Haven like this

#5 DaveC2042

DaveC2042

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 11 October 2019 - 08:04 PM

Ah, the old "if scientists don't understand something then they don't understand anything" gambit.
  • Jim7728, bobhen, llanitedave and 2 others like this

#6 EJN

EJN

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,611
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Between what is and what's not there

Posted 11 October 2019 - 08:10 PM

Ah, the old "if scientists don't understand something then they don't understand anything" gambit.

 

Yeah, I sense a recurring theme/agenda in the OP's postings.


Edited by EJN, 11 October 2019 - 08:47 PM.

  • Jim7728, davidpitre, llanitedave and 4 others like this

#7 russell23

russell23

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,643
  • Joined: 31 May 2009
  • Loc: Upstate NY

Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:48 AM

Well I would ask this - with the precision of our current measurements -  shouldn't there be concern that the error bars no longer overlap with the improved accuracy of the measurements?   I do feel that there has been such a hard commit to the current cosmological paradigm that the exploration of certain aspects of our universe are simply not allowed because the telescope time would be seen as "waste".  



#8 llanitedave

llanitedave

    Humble Megalomaniac

  • *****
  • Posts: 30,425
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA

Posted 12 October 2019 - 02:20 PM

Well I would ask this - with the precision of our current measurements -  shouldn't there be concern that the error bars no longer overlap with the improved accuracy of the measurements?   I do feel that there has been such a hard commit to the current cosmological paradigm that the exploration of certain aspects of our universe are simply not allowed because the telescope time would be seen as "waste".  

That's an unstable situation.  Inevitably, those inconsistencies will become impossible to wave away, and that telescope time won't seem so wasted after all.


  • Crow Haven likes this

#9 theropod

theropod

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 46
  • Joined: 01 Jan 2019

Posted 12 October 2019 - 06:25 PM

Define “scientism”.

 

If you mean accepting empirical evidence gleaned via repeated testing which consistently returns results of a positive nature as some sort of “ism” then the only alternative is some sort of voodoo. The “ism” implies this is all a matter of faith, which suddenly validates all the other “isms”. Baptism, Buddhism, Hinduism and a never ending list of “isms” that are defined by belief. If anyone thinks it takes faith, or belief, to accept empirical evidence they do not truly understand what empirical evidence is. That, or their agenda is driven by jealousy that their favorite “ism” doesn’t generate the same respect that has accumulated for the scientific method.

 

I feel, after dealing with the type specimens for years, that those using such terms are either creationist, or are of intelligent designer crowd. I would sure love to be wrong, but I’m betting I’m not.


Edited by theropod, 12 October 2019 - 06:25 PM.

  • Jim7728, llanitedave and Crow Haven like this

#10 HouseBuilder328

HouseBuilder328

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 149
  • Joined: 24 Apr 2019
  • Loc: Raleigh, NC

Posted 16 October 2019 - 08:46 PM

Thanks for posting - great article.  The more I think about the Universe, including all the science/physics things, the more I stay up at night.  Maybe I should think in more "simple" terms.  grin.gif


  • llanitedave likes this

#11 llanitedave

llanitedave

    Humble Megalomaniac

  • *****
  • Posts: 30,425
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA

Posted 17 October 2019 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for posting - great article.  The more I think about the Universe, including all the science/physics things, the more I stay up at night.  Maybe I should think in more "simple" terms.  grin.gif

What better time to spend doing astronomy!


  • guangtou likes this

#12 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 19,720
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 22 October 2019 - 08:36 PM

I feel, after dealing with the type specimens for years, that those using such terms are either creationist, or are of intelligent designer crowd. I would sure love to be wrong, but I’m betting I’m not.

 

Today is YOUR lucky day as you are wrong :-)  Hope you did not bet too much flowerred.gif

 

As far as defining Scientism, I am using it in its standard dictionary meaning (e.g., Oxford: Excessive belief in the power of scientific knowledge and techniques).  As physicist Ian Hutchinson put it, who is currently Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT:

 

“The health of science is in fact jeopardized by scientism, not promoted by it. At the very least, scientism provokes a defensive, immunological, aggressive response from other intellectual communities, in return for its own arrogance and intellectual bullyism. It taints science itself by association.”

 

A snippet from the article referenced below states the issue well:  "... the fact that they [listed prominent scientists as example] make such bold claims in their popular science literature blurs the line between solid, evidence-based science, and rampant philosophical speculation. Whether one agrees with the sentiments of these scientists or not, the result of these public pronouncements has served to alienate a large segment of American society."  Bottom line is that many scientists, offer a lot of their personal philosophical speculation as if it were science. This is a consequence of their scientism.  The easiest place to see this is in the many news feeds from scientists related to life elsewhere in the universe.  "Evidence-based" science is the last thing they typically express on this topic lol.gif  They "dilute" the "science" they espouse to the point that it no longer has rigor.

 

Here is a good article on it from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

 

https://www.aaas.org.../what-scientism

 

The pattern you will see in many of my posts in this particular forum reference scientific sources who challenge the status quo of the general consensus for current items still in a theoretical rather than fact-proven-law state.  So these sources aren't part of the typical cows following the herd.

 

This particular article discusses the thoughts of 4 scientists involved with the new paper at hand:

Risa Wechsler, Cosmologist, Stanford University
Katie Mack, Theoretical Cosmologist, North Carolina State University
Weikang Lin, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Physics, North Carolina State University
Liqiang Hou, Graduate Student, Physics, North Carolina State University

 

I realize that many of you have more impressive credentials as subject matter experts in this field, but still, I choose to lend an ear to folks like these so as not to only hear the self-serving drone of the hooves of the herd.


Edited by BillP, 22 October 2019 - 08:54 PM.

  • jpcampbell likes this

#13 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 19,720
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 22 October 2019 - 09:15 PM

That, or their agenda is driven by jealousy that their favorite “ism” doesn’t generate the same respect that has accumulated for the scientific method.

 

Wanted to make a comment on this thought separately, specifically, the "respect that has accumulated for the scientific method."  This is an interesting way to put it.  The scientific method is simply a tool, a process.  A loosely defined one as well as there is still no general consensus for what it is precisely across scientific areas and as a result it varies depending on the particular scientific discipline.  But you have to remember the single most important aspect of this tool and process we coin as the scientific method, is not the method itself, but the wielders of the method.  As with any tool, it can be wielded by the skilled scientist and the unskilled scientist, the talented scientist and the untalented scientist, the responsible scientist and the irresponsible scientist, the rigorous scientist and the scientist who laxly has fallen into scientism (as many have).

 

The method can be of course quite good when wielded properly.  But like all things its wielding falls on a spectrum from excellent to fraudulent.  Time will often tell which have wielded it excellently, but that time can often be generational in science.  IMO it is therefore not an issue of jealousy or anything like that from anyone, and just more a matter of that in many instances the results from many have a sufficient amount of scientism within the work or the promotion of the work that it taints the work, and science overall actually.

 

Btw, nothing in this article I posted has anything to do with scientism at all actually (it is my least favorite ism btw).  What interested me was how the community may be at the beginnings of discovering that all the pieces are not fitting like they should be.  So it is intriguing (for me anyway).  It will be a long time, decades or more probably, before it develops into more (if there is more, which there may not be).  Reminds me of the dark matter concept and the early days when a few data results back in the 1930's were beginning to show that things might not be fitting together as we though relative to galaxies.  It takes a long time from the first inklings of observations until they become confirmed sufficiently to have to rework the theories.  We are still not done with the dark matter one obviously and those who first saw the anomalies will not live long enough to see the conclusion. 


Edited by BillP, 23 October 2019 - 08:54 AM.

  • Joe1950 and jpcampbell like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics