This is being reported everywhere. The irrelevance of CMB polarisation patterns relative to background noise and interference from space dust. No longer clutching at straws to support inflation-driven hacks to explain cosmic evolution since the big bang and, by rights, casting fresh questions over the nature of cosmic origins themselves. Here’s hoping common sense prevails, and good scientists ask the scientific questions. (Like Mersini-Houghton for example.)
Neatly summarised on FB by Rick Ryals:
If you project the expansion of the universe backwards without *pre-assuming* that you have to go all the way to an infinitely dense initial singularity in order to have a big bang, then inflationary theory becomes un-necessary as the most natural solution falls out… A universe with pre-existing volume had a big bang.
No more flatness problem, no more horizon problem… etc… duh.
Ironically, the same day UK science’s poster-boy is aired being interviewed by Jim Al Khalili in The Life Scientific, claiming he supports a multiple (parallel) “multiverses” view. [Text here – (*) even Schroedinger’s damn cat. Aaaaaggghhh!!!.] I do wish scientists would leave metaphysics to the philosophers, or at least (as Jim clearly does) acknowledge that some of the questions really are not in the realm of science. Why? Because if scientists actually did their real jobs, instead of playing stand-up politics with the media and their funding sources, they’d notice there is good scientific evidence for multiple sequential “universes” separated cyclically in time and furthermore, universes that don’t depend on the inflation hack. Nor do they depend on the brainless cop-out that if we can’t fit our flawed story to the cosmos as a whole, we’ll posit an infinity of possible universes where our politically-motivated guesses might just happen to be true in one of them. Scientists ought to have to pass some kind of test before being let loose with the kind of thought experiments used by philosophy. Stands to reason, dunnit?
As Haidt said (previous post) – science is untrustworthy because (too many) scientists spend their time playing-politics and issue-campaigning instead of doing science. Scientists are no more to be trusted than politicians or theologians, and only philosophers seem to appreciate that problem. Honest a-political scientists can of course understand the physical problem, if they put their minds to it, rather than their political defenses.
[(*) Post Note – literally many worlds, multiple parallel (independent) universes, is a thought experiment, nothing to do with physics – if the physics of two different worlds are related in anyway, they are part of the same world, possibly an inadequately explained part of the world, but the same world. Uncertainty of, or superposition of, multiple possible states in this world is a reflection of the difficulty agreeing explanations at the boundaries of physics knowledge about the world – unfinished work of physicists. Multiple universes in the sequential sense is something entirely different, cyclical aeons in the same world, same universe, but with (most of) history reset at each new big bang.
The mechanism is actually a lot easier to understand says Rick Ryals:
When you make a particle pair from vacuum energy you leave a real hole in the vacuum. This increases negative pressure and causes the vacuum to expand. The positive gravitational effect of the newly created massive particle offsets the increase in negative pressure so the “flatness” of the universe is fixed. Ripping out huge chunks of the vacuum structure to make particles with causes the vacuum to “thin” as tension between the vacuum and matter increases. Eventually this process will compromise the integrity of the forces that bind the universe and… BOOM… a universe with pre-existing volume has *another* big bang.
And, Neil Turok, betting against gravitational waves in Scientific American.]