Cracks in the Cosmic Egg

We may be getting somewhere, slowly.

One of my agenda threads is that the naturally tendency of science and many scientists to defend themselves against (so-called blind, unreasonable) “faith” is to treat all accepted scientific models as objective fact (despite formally qualifying themselves with concepts like evidence, contingency and empirical falsifiability) – something, after Maxwell, I refer to as “scientistic neurosis”. A denial of doubt where it matters most, at the boundaries of “known” science, as if to give an inch is to concede the whole nine yards. It does real science – and knowledge, and wisdom, and understanding – a major disservice.

Well, fundamental foundations and origins of the cosmos are precisely the areas where such major contingency in the accepted “standard model” exist – by definition. There is such an edifice of cards built on these (contingent) fundaments, that the ratio of the inch to nine yards understates the odds. More butterfly to rain-forest. Chaos is not to be permitted.

Fellow science-worrier Rick unearthed this physics conversation on Space Daily over the weekend. Attempts to probe remaining evidence of the big bang (according to the standard model) yet again, throw up inexplicable anomalies. Surprising evidence, where either adding a fudge to the standard model (no longer massless neutrinos, say), or the possibility that the standard model is fundamentally flawed as a “cosmological principle” are equally valid hypotheses.

Oh for a cadre of working scientists to investigate rather than defend. Trouble is the defenders have multi-$billion budgets to protect, the real scientists don’t.

It is so unwise to have scientific academe justify itself by objective inputs and outcomes. Honesty has more real value.


Facebook thread captured for posterity:

[If the subject matter interests you, see the key reference links below too.]

Rick Ryals commented on this.

Rick Ryals shared a link.
17 hrs · 
Oxnard CA (SPX) Apr 24, 2014 – The world was stunned by the recent announcement that a telescope at the South Pole had detected a cosmic…
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  • Rick Ryals “We got the signal we were looking for-that’s good-but we shouldn’t have gotten one according to the highbrow theorists because they said it should be too small. So we also got a surprise. And often in science, that’s the case. We like to the experimenters to find what we predict, but we also like surprises.”

    This surprise is still so new that additional implications keep coming to light each week. It’s already clear that the result rules out many theoretical models of inflation-most of them, in fact-because they predict a signal much weaker than the one detected. In addition, the discovery also seems to disprove a theory that says that the universe expands, collapses and expands again in an ongoing cycle.

    More than that, the result could very well be what Turner calls a “crack in the cosmic egg,” offering clues that even the most accepted theoretical assumptions contain inaccuracies.

    “There have been hints for a while now that maybe something else is going on,” says KICP Deputy Director John Carlstrom, who leads two other experiments that study the universe’s first light. “Maybe we need to… allow some new physics in there. Maybe there are more neutrinos. Maybe they’re more massive than we thought. Or maybe it’s something none of us have thought of yet.”
  • Ian Glendinning And you didn’t even have to make any of that up. Excellent, all quotes. Your work is done (maybe).
  • Ian Glendinning Forgot to mention – going to conference next month, at which Krauss and Mersini-Houghton both present. Can’t decide whether to take rotten tomatoes or pointed questions.
    13 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Rick Ryals Nah, they are only talking about the distribution of large scale structures, which they plan to adjust by giving neutrino’s mass. If we are right, then it won’t work as it is a cosmological principle that they are missing…
  • Ian Glendinning Live in hope – that is only one of three possibilities suggested. “Something none of us has thought of (yet)” is another. (BTW you give me an opportunity to clarify – I don’t wish to tar Mersini-Houghton with the Krauss brush – she seems to be a true scientist with views outside the accepted mainstream).
  • Rick Ryals “Her theory of the origins of the universe from the landscape multiverse is not phenomenological. The theory and its predictions are derived from fundamental physics and first principles by using quantum cosmology for the wavefunction of the universe on the landscape and calculating decoherence and quantum entanglement among various surviving branches.”

    NOT phenomenological?!?!… how dare she!!!?
  • Rick Ryals Ian, check out my conversation with this astronomer:…/the-multiverse…

    Although we may not be able to directly observe any other universes, their existSee More
  • Rick Ryals Better yet, I’ll copy/paste it here because he has got it buried under other replies:

    Talking about the cosmological problem, I said:
    It’s only a “dilemma” because cutting edge theory doesn’t allow for the obvious classical solution to the problem.

    Flat barely expanding universe maximizes work since energy has the maximum amount of time to do work before it goes inert. It is an energy conservation law, duh.

    Simple stupid and obvious to all who cannot see the forest for the trees…
  • Rick Ryals Dr. Odenwald replied:
    Rick, there can be no ‘classical’ solution to this problem because the geometry of space/spacetime is not flat near the Big Bang but highly curved, and so no ideas from ‘classical physics’ apply. For example, there is no such thing as the Conservation of Energy, because that principle only applies to flat spacetimes. What you call ‘simple, stupid and obvious’ is none of these.
  • Rick Ryals But I replied:
    It is a would-be cosmological principle, like the anthropic principle is “the” alleged” selection principle, possibly even related via the entropic efficiency.

    I do not believe that it matters what space time looks like near the big bang, it is the configuration that is produced, which counts… a near perfectly balanced structure that is perched precariously between diametrically opposing runaway tendencies in order to maintain said entropic efficiency in an accelerating universe.

    The Classical Hierarchy Solution
  • Rick Ryals Then he shut up…
  • Ian Glendinning Yep, like I said the pointed questions seem to evoke the tumbleweed response. The advantage of throwing physical objects is that security and press may get drawn in – riskier, but harder to ignore. (I take it the “she” upfront is Laura ? I’ll read that thread.)
    11 hrs · Like · 1
  • Ian Glendinning OK. So Odenwald does eventually concede “I wonder whether we can ever consider our universe a closed system”. Rang bells with your point about big bang boundary conditions (of our universe) dependent on physical constants in the existing “universe” in which it arises, even though our universe can never communicate with it thereafter. Makes “classical” sense of the multi-verse hack. But agreed – interesting that (any) “anthropic cosmological principle” is discounted before the argument. Pure prejudice.
    11 hrs · Like · 1


  • Ian Glendinning And I see the “she” quote is from Laura’s Wikipedia page. Her star seems to be in the ascendant. Hope I can get her and Larry in the same conversation – I may not need the tomatoes after all. QUOTE “the only theory on the origins of our universe ever to offer predictions and have them successfully tested” UNQUOTE I knew this would take a woman to solve  [And – sorry couldn’t resist – Larry is known to enjoy a flirt.]
    11 hrs · Edited · Like
  • Rick Ryals “I wonder whether we can ever consider our universe a closed system”

    I did not see this, and still do not, but you have to have the right cosmological model, which, to me, the unexpected strength of the ***alleged*** inflationary confirmation says THAT A UNIVERSE WITH PRE-EXISTING FINITE VOLUME had a big bang.

    Einstein would die… again.
    11 hrs · Edited · Like
  • Ian Glendinning I was quoting from his post in the HuffPo thread timed at 25 APR 11:16 AM
    10 hrs · Like · 1
  • Rick Ryals Huffpo is the best place to have your conversations with scientists get lost to the annals of hidden threads in five seconds… and they revamped it!!!
    10 hrs · Edited · Like
    The unexpected strength of the signal at this point in the plot is NOT the unexpected and unexplained *pleasant* surprise that they are hoping for:

    If you reverse project General Relativity (backwards), then you also come to this conclusion naturally, because there is no reason to give up “classical” causality, *unless* you PRE-ASSUME a singularity.

    GR backwards arrives at a big bang in a causally connected universe with volume as the natural solution to the flatness and horizon problems… there was no reason to rationalize faster than light motion of any damned thing.

    It was only, and still is, the pre-assumed singularity that causes all of the problems… 
    [END] > [REFS]

    Before the Big Bang – where I first join up the dots between Mersini-Houghton, Krauss and Ryals. If you have an aversion to the very idea of anthropic principles, take a powder before you read, and leave your prejudices at the door. More links there if you make the effort.

    Uncomfortable Geocentric Problem
    – a series of twitter and facebook exchanges regarding Krauss’ reaction to the suggestion he believed in geocentism – titter ye not.
    [And some additional follow-up resources to that exchange.]

    Calling Larry’s Bluff – many other posts and links where I’ve suggested Krauss doth protest too much. When Krista Met Larry is one such, where in one of his more reasonable moments he does concede there is much wisdom in mythology – his scientism is a defensive front all along.

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