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NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-12, 02:56 AM
Ok...so...anyways...Look, I am just a junior in high school...but there is something that I just don't get exactly...the big bang theory. What is it exactly...cuz all I know is that...well it made a big bang. And personally I just don't buy it. Of course I am kind of saying this out of a biased opinion because I am Christian(protestant)...but it is also only a theory..I do understand that much...so if someone would be so kind as to explain exactly what it is...it would be greatly appreciated.

Humphrey
2003-Oct-12, 03:03 AM
Firast of all: Welcome to the board. :-D

Second, while i am nowhere near able to answer your question in the manner you sdescribe, this page (http://www.badastronomy.com/bitesize/hubble_expand.html) does help a bit later on in the article.

Also we have had some discussions here:

http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=7909&highlight=bang
http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=6380&highlight=bang
http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2982&highlight=bang
http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2577&highlight=bang

xbck1
2003-Oct-12, 03:13 AM
First of all, welcome to the board! It's always nice to have more young people hear along with the old fogies ( :D ).

Second, I have absolutely no idea how to explain the Big Bang theory even though I've read gobs of stuff about it. I guess I could say this and possibly clear some things up: the Big Bang happened when some incredibly dense ball of matter exploded and made the universe. But it didn't explode evenly, so there were slight clumps and these clumps came together and made stars, galaxies, etc. This is definitely an oversimplification of what happened, but that's basically how it goes.

Was that a help?



PS: Since you're a Christian (I'm a Catholic and this is what I believe), you could look at it like this. God says, "I want to start the universe, how to do it...?" So he then thinks, "I'll do it with a BANG!" He laughs and the universe goes BOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!

Musashi
2003-Oct-12, 06:28 AM
What is it exactly...cuz all I know is that...well it made a big bang. And personally I just don't buy it. Of course I am kind of saying this out of a biased opinion because I am Christian(protestant)...but it is also only a theory..

So, if you don't know what it is, how can you even have an opinion on it? Maybe it would be better to reserve judgement of the theory until you understand, at least, the basics of it.


..but it is also only a theory

There is a lot made about it being only a theory. The word theory means one thing in laymen terms, and something else entirely when it is used in the scientific manner. I may say I have a theory about why my knee hurts when it rains, but what I really have is a hypothesis, because I haven't done any testing. Once I do some testing, gather some data, and interpret that data, and it supports my hypothesis, then I have a theory. The more data I can gather to support it, the stronger my theory becomes.

By the way, welcome to the board. :)

mutineer
2003-Oct-12, 10:27 AM
Well, I would say that the Big Bang is NOT a theory.
Strictly speaking, we should not be using that word about the numerous versions of the class of conjecture referred to as Big Bang theories.

"The history of cosmology is the history of us being completely wrong" - Marcus Chown.

I'm betting that there are a few more wrong turnings to come - and that a generation from now, cosmological beliefs will be further removed from those of the present day than most professional astronomers suspect (even if some Big Bangish elements remain).

On that basis, I vote "no".
The mainstream has always been wrong so far ...

Visitor
2003-Oct-12, 04:59 PM
Mutineer, could you please tell us where to find some evidence for your statements?
As you seem to be completely uninformed about how to deal with scientific theories, i would like to recommend you to read the introduction chapter of Physics by Jay Orear. Although it focusses on physics (who'd guess that?), the explanation of the "scientific process" is valid for all branches of the natural sciences.

Jigsaw
2003-Oct-12, 05:23 PM
Read this, NewGirl. It's NASA's "Cosmology 101" website.

http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_uni.html


Cosmology is the scientific study of the large scale properties of the Universe as a whole. It endeavors to use the scientific method to understand the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the entire Universe.

Like any field of science, cosmology involves the formation of theories or hypotheses about the universe which make specific predictions for phenomena that can be tested with observations. Depending on the outcome of the observations, the theories will need to be abandoned, revised or extended to accommodate the data.

The prevailing theory about the origin and evolution of our Universe is the so-called Big Bang theory discussed at length in the pages linked below.

This primer in cosmological concepts is organized as follows.

The main concepts of the Big Bang theory are introduced in the first section with scant regard to actual observations.

The second section discusses the classic tests of the Big Bang theory that make it so compelling as an apparently valid description of our universe.

The third section discusses observations that highlight limitations of the Big Bang theory and point to a more detailed model of cosmology than the Big Bang theory alone provides.

As discussed in the first section, the Big Bang theory predicts a range of possibilities for the structure and evolution of the universe.

The final section discusses what constraints we can place on the nature of our universe based on current data, and indicates how WMAP furthers our understanding of cosmology.
And then there are a ton of good links at the bottom and in the sidebar. Take your time, work your way through them.

Cougar
2003-Oct-12, 06:16 PM
I am just a junior in high school...but there is something that I just don't get exactly...the big bang theory. What is it exactly...

This site (http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/RelWWW/wrong.html#bang) should get you started down the right path. Among a lot of other things this site says....

The observational evidence for the standard hot Big Bang theory of cosmology is overwhelming, again, so much so that this theory doesn't have any scientifically credible competitors anymore. However, the theory only takes us back so far in the history of the universe, which is why current cosmological research mostly concerns exploring what happened before the earliest events which are part of the standard hot Big Bang theory.
And certainly there are plenty of Christians who have no problem reconciling their faith and scientific investigation. Who was it said, "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

SirThoreth
2003-Oct-12, 06:26 PM
Ok...so...anyways...Look, I am just a junior in high school...but there is something that I just don't get exactly...the big bang theory. What is it exactly...cuz all I know is that...well it made a big bang. And personally I just don't buy it. Of course I am kind of saying this out of a biased opinion because I am Christian(protestant)...but it is also only a theory..I do understand that much...so if someone would be so kind as to explain exactly what it is...it would be greatly appreciated.

Everyone's given you some pretty decent points to look for in finding out more about the Big Bang. Your local library and bookstores are pretty good places to learn more, too.

Basically, though, the idea was that all matter and energy in the universe was once compressed into a single point that was nearly infinitely small and almost infinitely dense - kinda like what most people think of black holes as being, but on a grander scale. The idea was that it wasn't terribly stable in this state, and basically exploded. From there, things get, um, complicated. One of the reasons scientists believe this plausible, though, is that the galaxies all appear to be flying away from a central point, and usually one another, at at incredible speeds. There's more to it, of course, and I probably hosed at least part of the concept up, but that'll get you started, I hope. :)

On a side note, that's actually related, you mention that you're a Protestant, but not which denomination. I just want to take this time to say that a lot of Christian churches (including a large number of Protestants) support the idea of the Big Bang as being plausible. After all, the Big Bang Theory generally doesn't explain how that infinitely small, infinitely dense point got there in the first place. Some believe that it might have been from a black hole in a previous universe, and that all black holes, in the end, spin off new universes, with varying degrees of success. Others believe the universe is cyclical, and that, eventually, gravity will overcome the force of its expansion, and the universe will begin to contract in a "Big Crunch", eventually returning to that unstable singlarity it started out as, only to start the process all over again.

I cant' speak to your church, but the Catholic church (to which, I guess, I belong), doesn't have much of a problem reconciling their faith to the concept of the Big Bang - after all, even in the event of the cyclical universe, or the black holes spawning "child" universes, it all had to start somewhere, right? There must have been some sort of initial cause to all this. That would be where faith and religion come in, since that's one thing we may never be able to test for, or observe directly using the scientific method.

Last couple notes, coming in from a Conservative Baptist friend who's standing here waiting for me to pack up my gear, we humans consider a day to be how long it takes for the sun to leave and reappear, more or less - these days, a more precise definition is how long it takes the Earth to rotate 360 degrees on its axis. How do you define a day before the Earth is formed? How long is a day to God?

And, the last note, regarding the Big Bang as being a theory, so is the theory of gravity, and the theory of quantum mechanics. A theory is basically an explanation for observed behavior. Quantum mechanics, a theory we don't fully have worked out, is one of the most tested theories out there (your computer, digital wristwatch, TV, etc. depend on it working), yet we still call it a theory. Theories get changed all the time, when we come up with better explanations for our observations. Nothing in science is set in stone, and is always subect to rigourous testing and observations.

Eta C
2003-Oct-12, 06:58 PM
On that basis, I vote "no".
The mainstream has always been wrong so far ...

...Until replaced by a new mainstream. I would also point out that the mainstream is right far more often than most alternatives. Most alternative theories get proposed, are compared to the experimental evidence, are found wanting, and are discarded. Once in a very long while one comes around that explains observations that the current theory cannot, and gets incorporated into the mainstream. That's the way science works.

Eroica
2003-Oct-12, 07:40 PM
I've just been following up some of those links that Jigsaw gave, and look what I found:

It is possible that the universe has a more complicated global topology than that which is portrayed here, while still having the same local curvature. For example it could have the shape or a torus (doughnut).
Homer Simpson might be right after all!

http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_uni/uni_101bb2.html

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-12, 07:49 PM
Well Well Well, I must say thank you very much. All of this information is reall helping me out.

There is one thing that still boggles my mind...
If at the "beginning" there was, well, nothing...then what made that bang? I understand that it wasn't necissarily an actual "bang" but something from nothing in a scientific point of veiw just doesn't make sense. Cause and effect is something I firmly believe in...well because it is just common knowledge. And I'm sure you believe it too. But when there is a cause of something doesn't that cause have a cause of its own...which means it was an effect at one point? Wow...I can't believe I just came up with that...that was kinda deep...hehe.

Something that was meantioned is that God could have said "How do I make the world (universe...whatever he may have called it)? Maybe with a bang!" That does make things seem a whole lot easier but...in the Bible, (and I don't want to mix religion with science too often because it tends to bring up disagreement and arguements) it says that When God created the world, it was dark, therefore He said "Let there be light". If He had done it with a big bang...then there would have been light from the newly formed stars right away...but he specifically made the stars separate from the Earth...and if that happened in a big bang...well it couldn't have...it didn't happen that way...

Thank you much for all of your input it has helped and raised more questions...which I love to be challenged!

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-12, 07:51 PM
By the ways...being only a junior means I still have a whole lot of learning to do!! Eventhough astronomy isn't what I want to go into as a career I still enjoy it. :D

Humphrey
2003-Oct-12, 07:58 PM
Truthfully we do not know what was befote the big bang. Some believe it was the remanant of another universe that had collapsed in on itself. But who knows. It is a mystery that we won't know for a very long time, if ever.


The only problem with the cause and effect relationship is that it can become faulty reasoning. A certain effect does not always have the same cause. Think of how many ways you can get to the number ten by addition alone. There are a infinante number of ways.

The same comes from nearly anything in life. We have the effect, the big bang and the resulting universe. But we can only theorize about what started it. Out explnation could be true, or it could be a possibility that might of worked.

[changed a "and" to a "or"]

Humphrey
2003-Oct-12, 07:59 PM
By the ways...being only a junior means I still have a whole lot of learning to do!! Eventhough astronomy isn't what I want to go into as a career I still enjoy it. :D

Thats no problem we have many on this board much younger than you. Do not feel bad about being young. :-)

mutineer
2003-Oct-12, 09:22 PM
Mutineer, could you please tell us where to find some evidence for your statements?
As you seem to be completely uninformed about how to deal with scientific theories ...
I am extremely well informed. As a 59-year-old who has dipped into cosmology at various intervals in my life, I discover that the "Big Bang Theory" currently in vogue has constantly evolved from the "Theory" as I previously knew it. For example, the Hubble Constant used to be a constant!

Some BB "theorists" believe the Universe is "flat". Others do not. Some believe in "inflation". Others do not. There is disagreement as to how far back in time the "theory" can be extended. To the Planck point? To the instant of creation? Above all, the "theory" combines relativity and quantum physics - themselves irreconcilable.

No serious student of the philosophy of science would regard the term "theory" as that applicable under such circumstances.

However, for myself, I don't get upset at people referring to the Big Bang Theory – used as a generalisation for a broadly coherent set of ideas. Many people who use the term BBT realise that they are not using the word "theory" in its strong sense.

Each step forward in the ability of humans to handle mathematics or to examine the Universe (from Galileo's telescope to those of the 20th Century) has led to a revolution that has jettisoned the previous "mainstream". The detecting devices promised for the next decade may well lead to another revolution. This is what punters refer to as "form". It's what they bet on. Or to put it more formally, it is a sensible construct upon which to rest an opinion.

Russ
2003-Oct-12, 10:19 PM
By the ways...being only a junior means I still have a whole lot of learning to do!! Eventhough astronomy isn't what I want to go into as a career I still enjoy it. :D
Dear NGAMS:

Take it from anoldfart, who's beendaredonedat. Your age/scholastic grade has nothing to do with how much you have left to learn. Your best attitude must be that you will never stop learning. This is because there is WAAAAAAAAAAAY TOOOOOOOOOOOO much to ever learn.

What you are doing now in (I presume) 11th grade is learning how to learn. If you continue on to college, you will learn better skills at learning how to learn. You may even learn a useful profession but when you graduate college, with said profession, you will still have everything to learn.

As proof of this, go to the oldest teacher in your school. Ask that teacher if they have stopped learning. If this person is worthy of their tenure they will tell you they still learn someting new every day.

If you are destined to be a wise and contributing person in society, you will actively persue learning as long as you live. This must not be just for advanced degrees but in all aspects of life as we know it.

Be excited about this! Your adventure is just beginning! :) :D :lol:

Cougar
2003-Oct-13, 12:20 AM
"The history of cosmology is the history of us being completely wrong" - Marcus Chown.


"One can imagine a category of experiments that refute well-accepted theories, theories that have become part of the standard consensus of physics. Under this category I can find no examples whatever in the past one hundred years." -- Steven Weinberg

Chip
2003-Oct-13, 01:41 AM
Do you believe in the Big Bang theory?

To be precise, yes, I believe that the Big Bang theory is viable. Alternate theories do not seem to have the combinations of testable and observational supports for justification. The actual "Big Bang" theory is about eras of expansion, and has nothing to do with a conventional explosion - (even a very very big explosion.)

Analogy: If we were a tiny molecule of floating plankton on a huge wave, and we could see "back" to the crest of the wave where we had been, (the distant horizon of our universe with no center except in time,) we might be inclined to create a theory that suits our observations very well, and the theory is both falsifiable and viable. However, we may not be aware that this huge wave is but a tiny wave in a larger deep ocean of waves. Yet our theory still holds well with our observations, so it is viable.

(This does not mean that I believe the Big Bang theory is sacred or infallible. The word "in" - as in: "believe in," might imply that connotation.) :wink:

JS Princeton
2003-Oct-13, 01:52 AM
Saying that the Big Bang theory cannot be a theory because the details are still being ironed out (e.g. infation and flatness) is denotationally incorrect. Theory just means the scientific model that rigorously predicts all observations ever made and has allowances for future observations. Any self-respecting philosopher of science would definitely have to conclude then that the Big Bang is a viable theory.

NGAMS- there is no reason that you have to wholesale reject the Big Bang simply because it seems to be in contradiction with the Good Book. While there are those who make their interpretations of scripture and then try to make the universe fit to their interpretations, it's probably better to look at the universe and (if you are religious) try to understand your scripture in context of the way things look. After all, if you believe God made you, you must believe that she gave you a mind and the senses so you can figure things out. That's all science does. It doesn't use the Bible as a source code for discovering the universe because to do so would be inconsistent. There's no reason for us to chose a particular interpretation of the Bible over some other interpretation for the Bible to be plainly narrow in exemplifying, so the place to start is with consistent mathematical descriptions of what is going on in the natural universe and work from there. As there are plenty of Christians who find their religion and science completely compatible, I'd say that you are not necessarily limited by your religion to have to reject the Big Bang.

NASA Fan
2003-Oct-13, 03:02 AM
I would like to recomend this wonderfull book that I am currently reading, it has a facinating section on the Big Bang--(which by the way is the section that I am reading now).

The book is (Drumroll please) Bad Astronomy by Dr. Phillip Plait
(NewGirlAgainstMainStream, in case you did not guess it, he is the creater/owner of this wonderfull site).

No, I am not brown-nosing, it is just a good book.

SirThoreth
2003-Oct-13, 05:07 AM
I would like to recomend this wonderfull book that I am currently reading, it has a facinating section on the Big Bang--(which by the way is the section that I am reading now).

The book is (Drumroll please) Bad Astronomy by Dr. Phillip Plait
(NewGirlAgainstMainStream, in case you did not guess it, he is the creater/owner of this wonderfull site).

No, I am not brown-nosing, it is just a good book.

Speaking of which, he also was the tech editor on Astronomy for Dummies by Stephen P. Maran, Ph.D., whcih I'm currently reading, and another pretty good book.

Eroica
2003-Oct-13, 08:52 AM
As there are plenty of Christians who find their religion and science completely compatible ...
George Orwell called it doublethink.

Visitor
2003-Oct-13, 07:01 PM
Mutineer, could you please tell us where to find some evidence for your statements?
As you seem to be completely uninformed about how to deal with scientific theories ...
I am extremely well informed. As a 59-year-old who has dipped into cosmology at various intervals in my life, I discover that the "Big Bang Theory" currently in vogue has constantly evolved from the "Theory" as I previously knew it. For example, the Hubble Constant used to be a constant!
Although I'm only half as old as you and do astronomy and astrophysics only as a hobby, I'm not quite impressed by your argumentation. To make things worse, I don't buy that you're "extremely well informed" about the topic "theories in science". Sorry.
The "scientific process" goes like this (described very briefly):
First, you make your observations. If those observations can't be explained well with existing theories, you may put up a scheme for a new theory that explains your observations, that's stage two. At this point, or after the next step (which is better) scientists normally "come out" and release their work to public discussion. Step three: The scheme is tested, what means that it's used to predict already known events from known data, if the "scheme" is shown by different people/teams to be able to do this across it's whole range of validity, it is then promoted to a theory to work with.
Note: a theory in natural sciences generally consists of two parts: a description that gives a picture of what is happening, and a set of mathematical formulas that give checkable data for "events" from measurable data. The formulas are adjusted with more and more accurate data being gathered, but the "heart" of the theory is not the answer to the question "how much does the effect". The really important question is "how does the effect work at all".

Some BB "theorists" believe the Universe is "flat". Others do not. Some believe in "inflation". Others do not. There is disagreement as to how far back in time the "theory" can be extended. To the Planck point? To the instant of creation? Above all, the "theory" combines relativity and quantum physics - themselves irreconcilable.
First you mix up the formulas with the picture.
The observation here that the mean distances between the galaxies in general seem to become greater (That's still up to date, I hope). The Big Bang Theory's explanation is, that the whole mass/energy of the universe once was éxtremely concentrated and then, BANG!. That's the picture the theory gives, you're tangling with the formulas' shape.
Point two, just stating that the the theory of relativity is irreconcilable to quantum physics does not prove your point. In case one has to work with both (in statistical thermodynamics, for example) the results are at least good enough to work with.
How far back in time the "theory" can be extended? I'd think to the point in time when the laws of nature became the way we know them. That's the philosophical answer, you bounce on the formulas again.

No serious student of the philosophy of science would regard the term "theory" as that applicable under such circumstances.
As I never was a student of that subject, I can hardly say what they would regard as a theory. If they call something else a "theory" than the rest of the scientific community (I love that term!), the the latter has to change immediatly, of course.

However, for myself, I don't get upset at people referring to the Big Bang Theory – used as a generalisation for a broadly coherent set of ideas. Many people who use the term BBT realise that they are not using the word "theory" in its strong sense.
As I already stated, changing the mathematical formulas under constant premises is an adjustment of a theory, not setting up a new one.

Each step forward in the ability of humans to handle mathematics or to examine the Universe (from Galileo's telescope to those of the 20th Century) has led to a revolution that has jettisoned the previous "mainstream". The detecting devices promised for the next decade may well lead to another revolution. This is what punters refer to as "form". It's what they bet on. Or to put it more formally, it is a sensible construct upon which to rest an opinion.
Now you use the term "revolution" very loosely. You use it in a way a journalist would do. If you believe that guys, we have our daily revolution nowadays. In the world of science, the past few hundred years were rather evolutionary. Not to mention philosophy, which is condemned to be footnotes for all times.
;)

mike alexander
2003-Oct-13, 08:18 PM
One thing that causes many people to give pause is the idea that 'something came from nothing'. One way around this is to posit a God who has always existed and could choose to create ex nihilo the physical universe.

Now, my question is: why do so many people (the majority, it seems to me) find the infinite and eternal an easier concept to accept than something from nothing?

Oh. welcome to the board, NGAMS.

TriangleMan
2003-Oct-13, 08:20 PM
Of course I am kind of saying this out of a biased opinion because I am Christian(protestant)...

Welcome to the Board NGAMS! :)

I found a page by the Anglican Journal (http://www.anglicanjournal.com/125/09/af03.html) that gives reviews and recommendations on a number of books that discuss science and how to harmonize science with Christian beliefs. Perhaps they will help you.

Musashi
2003-Oct-13, 08:22 PM
I agree with Mike. In fact, I have made that same point somewhere else on this board I think.

Visitor
2003-Oct-13, 09:13 PM
One thing that causes many people to give pause is the idea that 'something came from nothing'. One way around this is to posit a God who has always existed and could choose to create ex nihilo the physical universe.

Now, my question is: why do so many people (the majority, it seems to me) find the infinite and eternal an easier concept to accept than something from nothing?

And here comes hobby psychologist \me. I thought about this myself, actually I've not come to a conclusion but I have a point to think about:
It's due to human experience in life, and the habit of the human mind to simplify things until they are easy understandable (that is, for the mind that simplifies).
The experience: you know that before you were your parents and before them your grandparents and before them your grandparents' parents and so on and so on...that's easy to understand I guess.
Obviously it's easier for us to asume an infinite row of always-the-same-kind than to imagine just nothing. By asuming something infinite (god, a endless row of collapsing universes) you reduce the problem to something you can imagine, as you only have to take what you know and repeat it endlessly. This in fact makes infinity finite in your mind. Example: count 1...2...3...4...as long as you like ... infinity. Now you still don't know what "infinity" means, but you (think that you) know how to get there!
The concept of "nothing" is on the other hand something that no man can fill with something out of his/her experience. What people normally associate with nothing is darkness, which is scary (due to a feeling of helplessness), but there is still "something" in the darkness we experience. You even can run against those somethings.
BTW: the concepts of eternity and nothingness before the beginning seem to me equal in probability and asumably unprovalbe and undisprovable. So there is no point against believing the version that pleases you more.
Just an opinion.

Jim
2003-Oct-13, 09:34 PM
Welcome to the BABB, NewGirl.

I voted "Yes" but I don't "believe" in the BB as much as accept it as the most plausible explanation of the observational evidence.

Something from nothing is not a problem, when you realize that the Universe is "nothing" right now. (Positive energy and negative energy cancel each other.)

Also, relativity and quantum mechanics will either be reconciled (at the Planck time) or refined/replaced. Don't forget that they are both refinements/replacements of earlier theories.

For an explanation of the BB in near-layman's terms, you might try:
http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~ryden/ast162_9/notes38.html
http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~ryden/ast162_10/notes44.html
They are college lecture notes and quite good.

The full series can be found here:
http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~ryden/ast162_10.html

And, for a whimsical view:
http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze3fs8i/hist/histgrad.html

mutineer
2003-Oct-13, 11:00 PM
But visitor, which of the Big Bang “Theories” do you regard as the Big Bang Theory?
The fact that it is impossible to determine whether or not “inflation” took place illustrates that elements of the BBT must always remain in the realm of hypothesis. How would one test for inflation?

In her opening post, NGAMS referred to the Big Bang as being “only a theory”. I suspect that my reaction to the words “only a theory” was very similar to that of musashi:
There is a lot made about it being only a theory. The word theory means one thing in laymen terms, and something else entirely when it is used in the scientific manner. I may say I have a theory about why my knee hurts when it rains, but what I really have is a hypothesis, because I haven't done any testing.
Thing is … NGAMS was right! The BB is “only a theory” – because in the term Big Bang Theory the word “theory” is used in laymen terms, and NOT in the scientific manner.

Unlike many real theories in physics and chemistry that can be tested in the laboratory, there must always be bags of conjecture about the creation of the cosmos. It was not captured on video, and if we tried to replicate it in a laboratory, the Health & Safety Executive (or the US equivalent) would put a stop to it! (Note: I cast no doubt upon the Big Bang Conjecture representing an heroic intellectual adventure.)

My advice to NGAMS … retain you skepticism. In your lifetime, you will probably witness a revolution in mankind’s understanding of the cosmos. (But be skeptical of believing that either!) Above all, read the excellent posts of dgruss23 on this website. They are wherever possible in accessible language, and encourage the thrill that there is much more still to be discovered and figured out than many will allow.




Each step forward in the ability of humans to handle mathematics or to examine the Universe (from Galileo's telescope to those of the 20th Century) has led to a revolution that has jettisoned the previous "mainstream". The detecting devices promised for the next decade may well lead to another revolution. Now you use the term "revolution" very loosely. You use it in a way a journalist would do. … In the world of science, the past few hundred years were rather evolutionary.
I find it difficult to see any substantial objection to the word “revolution” in this context. Surely our understanding of the cosmos has been completely transformed several times over in the past few hundred years – and in ways which were quite unforeseen.


"One can imagine a category of experiments that refute well-accepted theories, theories that have become part of the standard consensus of physics. Under this category I can find no examples whatever in the past one hundred years." -- Steven Weinberg
But when it comes to cosmology, the "mainstream" theory that the cosmos was the size of the Milky Way has rather bitten the dust in the past hundred years.

JS Princeton
2003-Oct-14, 03:46 AM
Unlike many real theories in physics and chemistry that can be tested in the laboratory, there must always be bags of conjecture about the creation of the cosmos. It was not captured on video, and if we tried to replicate it in a laboratory, the Health & Safety Executive (or the US equivalent) would put a stop to it! (Note: I cast no doubt upon the Big Bang Conjecture representing an heroic intellectual adventure.)

This idea represents the worst sort of armchair philosophizing out there. The fact of the matter is that the Big Bang is based more on observation and tests than most of the theories in "physics and chemistry". Learn something about a theory before you malign it or try to compare it with sentences that are not backed up by fact. To do otherwise is simply dishonest.

The Big Bang was not something somebody "thought up"... it was an observational fact that was discovered to be true for the simple reason that there are observed things in the universe that are explained by no other explanation quite so well.

Donnie B.
2003-Oct-14, 11:39 AM
But visitor, which of the Big Bang “Theories” do you regard as the Big Bang Theory?
The fact that it is impossible to determine whether or not “inflation” took place illustrates that elements of the BBT must always remain in the realm of hypothesis. How would one test for inflation?
The same way that you test for anything in the historical (as opposed to experimental) sciences: by observing the outcome and tuning the theory to match the facts. This is the way all such science is done -- geology and paleontology are two other examples.

In the case of the Inflationary Big Bang model, the primary evidence for inflation is the overall smoothness of the CMB. There's other evidence, too, which I'm sure others are better qualified to describe. Still, as I understand it, the latest data is in remarkably good accord with IBB -- just enough "lumpiness" to produce galaxies, but far too little for any non-inflationary explanation to be plausible.

Visitor
2003-Oct-14, 07:53 PM
mutineer, I regard that Big Bang Theory "The one Big Bang Theory", that is based upon the very idea I pointed out already: the whole mass/energy of the universe once was extremely concentrated and then, BANG!. As more and better observation data and new theories from other fields of science (quantum physics, for example) are taken into consideration, the state-of-the-art way of calculating the way from the beginning to what we can see now is changing. The Basic assumption did not change, however. What you consider being new theories is in fact just adjusting work, and steps to expand the theory's range of validity towards "Point Zero".
Obviously you only know the lay meaning of the term "theory". I still recommend Orear.


I find it difficult to see any substantial objection to the word “revolution” in this context. Surely our understanding of the cosmos has been completely transformed several times over in the past few hundred years – and in ways which were quite unforeseen.
The "revolutions" occured in the puplic ("laymen's") view of the cosmos. Scientifically, the revolutions where rather scarce. The quantum theory can hardly be counted as a scientific revolution, as it developed from the mid-19th century until the 1930s. The theory of relativity arouse from the "vicinity" of the developping quantum physics, and Newton was not inspired by a fallen apple. The "breaks" occured only in the field of astronomy (and that affects peoples' lifes not quite heavy. If we leave out the inquisition).


But when it comes to cosmology, the "mainstream" theory that the cosmos was the size of the Milky Way has rather bitten the dust in the past hundred years
So did the assumption that the cosmos was just a litte bigger than the earth. That once was mainstream too. You use the "laymen theory" again, by the way.


p.s.
JS Princeton, why do you consider "most of the theories in physics and chemistry" being less strongly tested than the Big Bang theory? Without a good deal of physics (and parts of the "grey zone" between physics and chemistry, like spectrography) you can't even think of observing something that indicates the Big Bang.

mutineer
2003-Oct-15, 10:56 PM
But visitor, which of the Big Bang “Theories” do you regard as the Big Bang Theory?
The fact that it is impossible to determine whether or not “inflation” took place illustrates that elements of the BBT must always remain in the realm of hypothesis. How would one test for inflation?
The same way that you test for anything in the historical (as opposed to experimental) sciences: by observing the outcome and tuning the theory to match the facts. This is the way all such science is done -- geology and paleontology are two other examples.
As far as I understand Inflation, it provides an excellent mathematical explanation of observational data. It is of the nature: "this provides the best explanation we can think of - therefore it happened."

So, I agree with you, Donnie B. As you say, this is the way history works - though hopefully with a little more corroboration and circumspection. Paleontology tries to be scientific (i.e. uses latest technology, attempts to be rigorous, etc) but I would be wary of describing its findings as "scientific theories". In fact, I do not believe paleontologists themselves would make that claim. Even though they might fight their corner in favor of a particular interpretation of the evidence, I think they would say they were mostly working on a "best guess" basis.

Science works differently from history. Please note that I am not arguing against the BBT by saying that it is not a theory in the scientific sense. I would regard the various versions of it that I have seen over many years as "essays for a framework" of cosmological history. I am sure that most peope who voted "yes" on this thread expect the BBT to continue to evolve - after all, there is the need to reconcile relativity with quantum mechanics. Even if the BBT did not confront ultimate unknowability, one cannot readily accept as a scientific theory a conjecture which encompasses a known flaw.


The Big Bang was not something somebody "thought up"... it was an observational fact that was discovered to be true for the simple reason that there are observed things in the universe that are explained by no other explanation quite so well. I thought you professed an acquaintance with the philosophy of science in a previous post. An assessment of best explantion creates an "observational fact"? I hardly think so.



But when it comes to cosmology, the "mainstream" theory that the cosmos was the size of the Milky Way has rather bitten the dust in the past hundred years.So did the assumption that the cosmos was just a litte bigger than the earth. That once was mainstream too.Yup! I'd call that a "revolution" too!

Let me make this clear. I don't want to appear dismissive of the BBT. Simply, standing back from the fray and taking an historical perspective, I'm betting that the mainstream will shift course a bit more than most people think over the next (say) thirty years. I'm betting on form. (Unfortunately, I'm not betting on being alive in thirty years time!)

JS Princeton
2003-Oct-16, 04:57 AM
JS Princeton, why do you consider "most of the theories in physics and chemistry" being less strongly tested than the Big Bang theory? Without a good deal of physics (and parts of the "grey zone" between physics and chemistry, like spectrography) you can't even think of observing something that indicates the Big Bang.

Scientific theories do build on each other, true, but the theories I'm talking about in chemistry and physics that are less stronly tested are those which are indicative of the natural order of the universe. For example, quantum mechanical models of chemistry (which is the way things are built these days) have gaping holes that simple lack proper observations to fill them, and worse the theory's extension can only be done on an approximation basis. For that reason, the Big Bang is something that is far better determined than that.

The Big Bang is a theory that was driven from observation. Before the universe was observed to be expanding, no one would have a priori predicted it. In theory, Einstein could have, but it was so "out there" that it didn't dawn even on him. If you think that the Big Bang is simply the best expanation, you just haven't studied the development of the theory well enough. It is actually a statement of observation. It takes some extreme bending over backwards to create elaborate constructs that do NOT give you an expanding universe that works with GR in the way the Big Bang works. I have yet to see one that's even remotely comparable.

Eroica
2003-Oct-16, 07:21 AM
The Big Bang is a theory that was driven from observation. Before the universe was observed to be expanding, no one would have a priori predicted it.
Poe did:

The willing into being [of] the primordial Particle has completed the act, or more properly the conception, of Creation. We now proceed to the ultimate purpose for which we are to suppose the Particle created — that is to say, the ultimate purpose so far as our considerations yet enable us to see it — the constitution of the Universe from it, the Particle ... From the one Particle, as a centre, let us suppose to be radiated spherically — in all directions — to immeasurable but still definite distances in the previously vacant Space — a certain inexpressibly great yet limited number of unimaginably yet not infinitely minute atoms.
Eureka. (http://www.pambytes.com/poe/stories/eureka2.html)

Tau
2003-Oct-16, 09:53 AM
NewGirlAgainstMainStream,
First of all, a warm welcome from another new arrival!

I thought I'd give you some advice that might help you in understanding cosmology. It's about using so-called "common sense": don't.
A lot of the concepts you'll encounter will be counter-intuitive. This means that they go against your everyday logic and are consequently hard to accept.
Consider the rotation of the Earth. If no-one had ever taught you about gravity and astronomy, would you accept the idea of us rotating the Sun and not vice-versa? After all, we are used to seeing the sun rise and set. The idea of a static Earth comes to us naturally. Don't laugh at my example, since there are still people alive who think that the sun (and the entire universe) rotates around us.
The reason the theories seem counter-intuitive is that our minds are evolved to cope with everyday tasks. There was never a drive for our species to evolve into astronomers. As a result, extremely large (or small) scales always manage to baffle us. You wrote that you believe in cause and effect. This works only if you apply your logic on a scale that we can naturally understand (mere thousands of years/kilometres). The reason for this is that causality is just a (flawed) model used to translate the surrounding reality into something we can understand.

I remember reading Stephen Hawking's book "A Brief History of Time" when I was about your age. It took me quite some time to digest each chapter, but it seemed to make sense in a really awkward way. :o
Keep asking questions. That's the only easy advice I have.
I wish you good luck. 8)

kanon14
2003-Oct-16, 10:07 PM
Let me make this clear. I don't want to appear dismissive of the BBT. Simply, standing back from the fray and taking an historical perspective, I'm betting that the mainstream will shift course a bit more than most people think over the next (say) thirty years. I'm betting on form. (Unfortunately, I'm not betting on being alive in thirty years time!)
Totally agree. i don't think we've already found out the origin of our universe. Heck, we virtually know nothing about the reality, from quantum physics to the universe as a whole. How could we claim we understand how the universe began then? we can only say that our current knowledge of physics and astronomy suggests that BBT is a possible start of our universe. but that's far from making BBT correct.

ocasey3
2003-Oct-16, 10:43 PM
I would say probable not possible.

kilopi
2003-Oct-16, 10:44 PM
Poe did:
But that's not quite the same thing, because of the "vacant space" idea.

radiated spherically — in all directions — to immeasurable but still definite distances in the previously vacant Space —

dgruss23
2003-Oct-16, 11:10 PM
Its been a few years since I read it, but Eureka was an interesting read. Poe wrote it at a time when many astronomers believed that the "nebula" actually were external galaxies - long before the Great Debate of the early 20th century.

Cougar
2003-Oct-17, 02:06 PM
I thought I'd give you some advice that might help you in understanding cosmology. It's about using so-called "common sense": don't.
Well, a lot of it IS common sense. If the universe is continuing to expand and cool today, it's simple common sense that in the past it was hotter and more dense. This is the simple (and firm) foundation of the big bang theory.

Cougar
2003-Oct-17, 02:16 PM
...i don't think we've already found out the origin of our universe.
Correct. Current theory doesn't address this since we have no observational evidence.

Heck, we virtually know nothing about the reality, from quantum physics to the universe as a whole.
Well, I think you're exaggerating here.

How could we claim we understand how the universe began then?
We don't.

we can only say that our current knowledge of physics and astronomy suggests that BBT is a possible start of our universe. but that's far from making BBT correct.
The BBT can only go back so far. It doesn't get to the "origin" and doesn't claim to. But observational evidence justifies many conclusions derived from "running the film backward" pretty far.

Visitor
2003-Oct-17, 06:31 PM
But when it comes to cosmology, the "mainstream" theory that the cosmos was the size of the Milky Way has rather bitten the dust in the past hundred years.So did the assumption that the cosmos was just a litte bigger than the earth. That once was mainstream too.Yup! I'd call that a "revolution" too!
This was not a revolution "inside science", but a victory of scientific thinking against the two NO!s on this board.


Let me make this clear. I don't want to appear dismissive of the BBT.
That was not clear to me until now.


Simply, standing back from the fray and taking an historical perspective, I'm betting that the mainstream will shift course a bit more than most people think over the next (say) thirty years. I'm betting on form. (Unfortunately, I'm not betting on being alive in thirty years time!)
I'd hold that bet on the Big Bang Theory. The pictures of what happended during the first few minutes of our universe are likely to be changed in the future, but I'm convinced that the theory as a whole will not be falsified (unless the natural sciences are found to be completely wrong in all fields that exist). By the way, I won't accept "scientific revolutions" that are declared only in advertising, the "mirror" (or the like) or on fox tv.



JS Princeton, why do you consider "most of the theories in physics and chemistry" being less strongly tested than the Big Bang theory? Without a good deal of physics (and parts of the "grey zone" between physics and chemistry, like spectrography) you can't even think of observing something that indicates the Big Bang.
Scientific theories do build on each other, true, but the theories I'm talking about in chemistry and physics that are less stronly tested are those which are indicative of the natural order of the universe. For example, quantum mechanical models of chemistry (which is the way things are built these days) have gaping holes that simple lack proper observations to fill them, and worse the theory's extension can only be done on an approximation basis. For that reason, the Big Bang is something that is far better determined than that.
The models you mention are mostly work in progress (often just suggestions), not something that is broadly accepted "as-is". This is like stating in, lets say, the 1950s on the Big Bang Theory: "But it's much less tested than Ohm's law."

Boris
2003-Oct-19, 03:59 AM
hi Girl and thanks for posting this wonderful question and having the courage of your skepticism!

Mutineer, I love those posts, keep them up!

I voted no on the poll. Personally I am not afraid of the notion of an infinite Universe, in both space and time (FLAT space and time, I might add).

As for "creditable" alternative theories, check this out:

http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/cosmology.asp

Many of the observations that seem so inexplicable without the Big Bang, might well have completely fine explanations without a BB. No need to believe everything you read, whether referenced by me or others here. But it is useful to read broadly, then think for yourself.

What's really curious about your skepticism, though, is that the BBT fits so nicely with creationism (which is basically Christian, right?). The BBT posits that the universe was in fact created ex nihilo, and begs the question of what came before. That is where faith becomes crucial, and only in RELIGION, do you find such faith integral to the world view.

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-19, 07:10 AM
I honestly have to say that the BBT is really bogous (what a word). THe thought that something like compression to expansion (thats the wrong term but if you know about the whole thought of our universe expanding then if there is a barier it will colapse and so on and so forth) became our solar system...and many others, is just unbelievable. Truly, I am very very skeptical about it. The whole idea doesn't make sense...and usually sense has nothing to do with it. But, this time, you do have to think. How did our Earth just happen to be the perfect distance away from the sun, at the perfect tilt? There are sooo many factors in it, well it just doesn't make sense! Personally, the fact that our Earth is in such a perfect orbit so that we have weather and water and air and everything else there is the sustains life; there must be no other answer then a Creator. Some higher being the obviously thinks at a higher level because all He had to say was "let there be light" and there was the sun. And if you know anything about the sun you know that we really know nothing about it. It is so complex that there must be a Creator...I think science is more complicated then we understand...it is way too complicated #-o Just a thought...its a little (ok a lot) mind boggling....

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-19, 07:13 AM
And I am very certain about what I believe...I know that this might sound ignorant and that I don't want to even think about another way of creation...but hey, believing seeing, seeing isn't believing.

Visitor
2003-Oct-19, 08:14 AM
Boris, the Big Bang Theory does NOT state that the universe was created ex nihilo. In fact, it does not state anything about how the universe was created, it only describes how the universe developped when all of the energy of the universe already was present. Were this energy came from is not subject to (serious) scientific research, as we can't tell what the laws of nature looked like before "the beginning", or if there were such laws at all. Some people do hope we will be able to answer that question in the future, but I don't understand how that should work.
From your "creditable" site just one example (http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/DidTheUniverseHaveABeginning.asp):

Despite the widespread acceptance of the big bang theory as a working model for interpreting new findings, not a single important prediction of the theory has yet been confirmed, and substantial evidence has accumulated against it.
Well, an expanding universe was first discussed in 1922 by Alexander Friedmann, on base of the Einstein field equations, in 1927 Georges Lemaître proposed that the universe began with the explosion of a "primeval atom". Two years later, Edwin Hubble demonstrated the linear redshift-distance relation, and thus the expansion of the universe was shown by experiment. The quote is falsified by finding a counterexample. In the 1940s, the existence of cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) was predicted which was found experimentally in 1964. That's counterexample number two. Do I need to write more?

NGAMS, I'm very certain about the way things have to be for me to believe them. As an honest statement on your thoughts will probably be regarded off-topic on this board, you might PM me should you be interested in a reply.

Humphrey
2003-Oct-19, 08:29 AM
Newgirl: I don't want to start a argument there but i disagree strongly with what you are saying.

Its a logical fallacy. We are here because the earth did form in this place, but there are countless other planets and solar syastems that have not formed right for life. This planet happens to be that one in a million chance that life formed. Life formed here and we evolved from that first life. We are no more special that if life developed on mars. Our life just happened to of survived.

I suggest you read www.talkorigins.org. Thay have many facinating articles that you will like.


One more thing. We know alot about the workings of the sun. This board and site has many posts and articles on it if you do a simple search.

I hope you stay and debate this. Please. :-)

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-19, 08:46 AM
See, but this now leads into another topic: evolution. That I find quite odd too...

I understand that we know a lot about the sun. But the question is, could we know more? Doesn't it seem that there is so much that we are yet to understand? That does leave quite a gap in our knowledge, now doesn't it? Obviously we don't know enough, thats why we don't know where we came from or where it all started. Or at least most don't...I know, without a doubt in my mind.

But truly, yes, we are the 1 in a million (a google more likely). But...one millionth of a chance for there to be a perfect distance...ok that might happen. Oh wait, there also has to be a perfect tilt of the axis, thats another millionth of a chance. There are countless things that went into the formation of life, and each time it had to be perfect, and perfect happens (acording to you) once in a million.

I don't mean to sound cocky...I think I am sounding that way. I know that I am only a teenager...but I don't think it takes much time to learn common sense and something from nothing and single celled to multicelled to a genius just isnt' common sense.

I just don't think it makes sense and you have yet to prove me wrong.

Once again...I apologize for the cockyness...I'm not very nice... :oops:

Musashi
2003-Oct-19, 10:21 AM
something from nothing and single celled to multicelled to a genius just isnt' common sense.

Something from nothing... like Genesis?
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth

Well, that may not be quite something from nothing.. exactly, but it doesn't really say what God created from does it? Oh, and where did God come from? Either he came from nothing, or he has always been... I give those two things about an equal probability, but funny thing, I could just replace the word 'God' with the word 'universe' and now what? Same two choices, but somehow they aren't common sense... strange.

kilopi
2003-Oct-19, 02:21 PM
I just don't think it makes sense and you have yet to prove me wrong.
I think you're right--it does not make sense to you. :)

Eroica
2003-Oct-19, 03:51 PM
From the fact that on this one solitary planet everything is perfectly arranged for intelligent life and civilization to flourish, you deduce the existence of a beneficent creator.

From the fact that this is probably not the case on countless trillions of other planets in our galaxy, I deduce the non-existence of a beneficent creator.

It's a funny old world, ain't it?

Tau
2003-Oct-19, 04:09 PM
...but I don't think it takes much time to learn common sense and something from nothing and single celled to multicelled to a genius just isnt' common sense.

I just don't think it makes sense and you have yet to prove me wrong.

You didn't read my post. :cry:

Oh well, I'll prove you wrong now: your premises rely on common sense. Common sense includes a simplified model of the universe.
This model is flawed.

Cougar
2003-Oct-19, 05:55 PM
Personally I am not afraid of the notion of an infinite Universe....
What a low, nasty, and misleading debate tactic! The misinforming implication here is, of course, that the only reason others don't hold the position of an infinite universe is because they're afraid! And to say that is incorrect really doesn't do it justice. It's more like that's ridiculous... or that's preposterous... or that's an egregious misrepresentation or... well, you get the idea. Your tactic is much like G.W. Bush trying to imply Saddam Hussein was in on 9/11. He knows it isn't true, but he would sure like all the American "sheep" to think it is.


As for "creditable" alternative theories, check this out:
http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/cosmology.asp
Whether your dear friend's "theories" are creditable or credible is highly controversial. In fact, much of the scientific community has found his theories to be NOT creditable or credible, have they not?

Humphrey
2003-Oct-19, 07:01 PM
Newgirl: We know far more about the universe than you are implying. I amk not much older than you. I am 22. I do know a good amount of general information about this universe. And i have only taken a few astronomy classes.

We know theories on the formation of stars, how they burn fuekl, and their lifespan. We can see into the insides of them to see exxactly what they burn and how their magnetic fields work.

Your theories are a argument from ignorance, Begging the Question, and straw man tactics. You say our ignorance of a single subject means that the entire subject must be false, The truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises, and you use language to weaken anothers side of the argument where it is not weak.

Yes we do not know everything. The lack of certain informatiuon does not invalidate science and valite your theory. A lack of information in a logical sense validates science more than creation. Science bases itself on inperfection. Creationism bases itself on perfection of the universe. The universe is in no way perfect.

Science learns constantly. It constantly questions itself to make itself better. Yes we have a ton to learn. This is true, and we eventuially will learn a good amount of that. It just takes time, technology, and the will of the people.

I am not going to get into a anti-/pro- creation argument here, that is not for this board. Lets leave that for PM or e-mail.

But i am sure we can discuss your theories on the big bang and the solar system if you want. Please give us some hard facts for perfection in the system.

Makgraf
2003-Oct-19, 07:11 PM
NGAMS, I'd like to respond to a couple of your points.


When God created the world, it was dark, therefore He said "Let there be light". If He had done it with a big bang...then there would have been light from the newly formed stars right away...but he specifically made the stars separate from the Earth...


He had to say was "let there be light" and there was the sun.
The problem is, the sun was not created until the 4th day. Therefore, the light that God created was not from the sun. This mirrors that fact that stars did not form right away because they needed to congeal from hydrogen nebulae. So what was the first light? That's a matter of interpretation, though a good case could be made that the first light was that of the the angels and the divine light.


But truly, yes, we are the 1 in a million (a google more likely). But...one millionth of a chance for there to be a perfect distance...ok that might happen. Oh wait, there also has to be a perfect tilt of the axis, thats another millionth of a chance. There are countless things that went into the formation of life, and each time it had to be perfect, and perfect happens (acording to you) once in a million.
You're making a classic post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy here. The reason that life is so suited to the earth, is that it evolved here. If those conditions had been different then life would've evolved differently, and thus would've been uniquely suited for the different conditions. There's of course another explination, that God "helped out" along the way by tweaking things. This cannot be proven but it also cannot be disproven. Because of this, it's probably best for science to work without the "God hypothesis", to paraphrase Laplace.

Cougar
2003-Oct-19, 07:24 PM
I honestly have to say that the BBT is really bogous (what a word).
"Bogus" essentially means false. Do you have any evidence - have you made any observations - that indicate the BBT is false? That's the way science works: It's easy to claim something is true or false; but what counts is whether you can back up your claim with some evidence. The BBT has a considerable and growing amount of evidence that supports it. No fair trying to sweep such evidence under the rug!

THe thought that something like compression to expansion (thats the wrong term but if you know about the whole thought of our universe expanding then if there is a barier it will colapse and so on and so forth) became our solar system...and many others, is just unbelievable.
What? Well, whatever you said, the fact that you can't imagine it - or you don't believe it - has no value as an argument. You've got to point out where the logical lapse is... or where the falsifying evidence is.

How did our Earth just happen to be the perfect distance away from the sun, at the perfect tilt? There are sooo many factors in it, well it just doesn't make sense! ...there must be no other answer then a Creator.
It sounds like you are not going to be interested in any arguments against your "Creator" who you've been praying to every meal and bedtime since you were a little girl. You've grown up with the idea, and it's very much a part of you (whether there's any truth in it or not). You've been indoctrinated in your faith, and if you're comfortable with that, nobody can take it away from you, even if they've got very solid arguments. If you think that's the answer for you, and if you don't care about looking into what science is discovering about our world and universe, many would say that's tragic, but hey, nobody can force you to think rationally.

But frankly, I don't think you are at all open to learning about the supporting evidence and logical conclusions that have come together to establish the big bang theory.


It is so complex that there must be a Creator...
Look at human history. When humans don't understand something, they have always attributed the phenomenon to God, and they've often offered sacrifices in hopes of appeasing the Great One so He'll send rain or a good crop or whatever. Since those times we've found that the weather and earthquakes and eclipses are all pretty natural events. There wasn't any God calling them forth!


I think science is more complicated then we understand...it is way too complicated #-o Just a thought...its a little (ok a lot) mind boggling....
That's why we have schools... and books.

Cougar
2003-Oct-19, 07:32 PM
...a good case could be made that the first light was that of the the angels and the divine light.
Theologically, perhaps. Scientifically, uh, no.

Any interpretation of the bible to conform to the big bang theory is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Papa Bear
2003-Oct-19, 08:22 PM
Personally I am not afraid of the notion of an infinite Universe....
What a low, nasty, and misleading debate tactic! The misinforming implication here is, of course, that the only reason others don't hold the position of an infinite universe is because they're afraid!

Eh...no it isn't. He's only saying the idea of an universe without a definite beginning or end doesn't trouble him with nagging questions. Go back to your 6th grade IQ test. My zip may be a zoodle and your zap may also be a zoodle; but that doesn't mean my zip is also a zap anymore that your zap is a zip!

:D

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-19, 09:21 PM
It sounds like you are not going to be interested in any arguments against your "Creator" who you've been praying to every meal and bedtime since you were a little girl. You've grown up with the idea, and it's very much a part of you (whether there's any truth in it or not). You've been indoctrinated in your faith, and if you're comfortable with that, nobody can take it away from you, even if they've got very solid arguments. If you think that's the answer for you, and if you don't care about looking into what science is discovering about our world and universe, many would say that's tragic, but hey, nobody can force you to think rationally.

But frankly, I don't think you are at all open to learning about the supporting evidence and logical conclusions that have come together to establish the big bang theory.



One thing I have got to point out...I haven't been raised Christian. I made that decsion and commitment myself...

But moving on...

I am quite excited about this. I was very interested in how people would react when someone opposes their opinion. the whole reason I wrote that earlier message was to get you guys a little bit worked up so that I could get some of the really hard evidence out of you. I am religious. I do believe in creationism, but that doesn't mean you have to. That's your choice, and I am not in here trying to change that. In all honesty...this is really good for me. I need someone to challenge my thoughts because if I don't then I will never learn anything. I am more then willing to listen...thats why I posted this in the first place!! So I really enjoy all of the feed back I have been getting and this is really great because I need to know all of this kind of BBT stuff because that might just help me if I decide to go into some sort of astronomy major or even minor or whatnot.

So that you very much for your feedback! i apologize for stirring things up a bit, but I kind of meant to so that I could get some really good responses...and you guys did just that!

If you can't tell...psycology is another interest of mine...I love to see how people react under pressure and in learnign environments...and just about any time.

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-19, 09:28 PM
Cougar, by the ways, ask every scientist and they will say that there are some things that boggle their minds too. I was just saying that there is sooo much going on and in one lifetime you aren't going to figure it all out. They used to think the Earth was the center of the universe...things change now don't they?

So obviously, when I said that...I meant that in general, there is so much going on in our universe that it just won't be all figured out any time soon...


And another thing...I do read books, thank you very much...I'm not an ignorant teenager who thinks she knows everything already.,...in fact I think compaired to what is out there...we really know close to nothing. think about it.

Cougar
2003-Oct-19, 09:37 PM
Boris wrote:
Personally I am not afraid of the notion of an infinite Universe....

He's only saying the idea of an universe without a definite beginning or end doesn't trouble him with nagging questions.

I think you're neglecting the context of this statement, Mr. Bear. Ninety-nine percent of the scientific community agree that the evidence supports the idea that our universe started expanding from a very small, hot, dense volume roughly 13.7 billion years ago.

Now we have this fellow Boris step forward out of the cyber-ether to claim, "Personally I am not afraid of the notion of an infinite Universe."

Who said anything about being "afraid" of the notion of an infinite Universe? Scientists do not reach conclusions depending on what they may fear or not; they simply follow where the evidence leads. Boris lets everyone know, "Personally I am not afraid..." as if that's the reason 99% of the scientific community do not subscribe to an "infinite Universe". Why bring up this idea of being afraid at all if not to slip in such an implication? This is an affront to all scientists. It's sly; it's subtle; it's a clever debating tactic; but it's an affront nevertheless.
http://www.xmission.com/~dcc/cougarsnarl.jpg

Humphrey
2003-Oct-19, 10:03 PM
Well if you are truthful with your reccent revaltion, i suggest to skip the deception and just ask us. All of us would of been more than happy to of discussed the big bang and other astornomy topics. You donb;t need to decieve us to get a truthfull opinion. We have many debates here over topics without someone having to lie to be a oposing opinion.

Speaking of that i do hope you stay on here and enjoy yourself. Along with many wonderful brins we are aslo cool people. :-)

Cougar
2003-Oct-19, 10:26 PM
One thing I have got to point out...I haven't been raised Christian. I made that decsion and commitment myself...
I imagine this was driven more by emotion than intellect....

But moving on...


I was very interested in how people would react when someone opposes their opinion. the whole reason I wrote that earlier message was to get you guys a little bit worked up...
Well, perhaps the reason for my message was to force a little rationality out of you. :)


I do believe in creationism, but that doesn't mean you have to.
Whew. That's a relief. :P


I need someone to challenge my thoughts because if I don't then I will never learn anything.
Now you're talkin'.


I need to know all of this kind of BBT stuff...
For whatever reason, this is a good idea. This is a fascinating time in human history. We've got space telescopes and radio and x-ray and infrared telescopes and telescopes with adaptive optics and fantastically sensitive charge-coupled devices to capture and record the light; We're making observations that have never been made before, and they are leading us to logically conclude many things we never knew before. It's definitely worth investigating what those things are!


...ask every scientist and they will say that there are some things that boggle their minds too.
Absolutely. I have asked. Here's what they said....

"...science is not merely a collection of facts, but is instead an ongoing detective story, in which scientists passionately search for clues in the hope of unraveling the mysteries of the universe." [Alan Guth, The Inflationary Universe, the quest for a new theory of cosmic origins]

"...cosmologists are claiming that they can extrapolate backward in time to learn the conditions in the universe just one second after the beginning! If cosmologists are so smart, you might ask, why can't they predict the weather? The answer, I would argue, is not that cosmologists are so smart, but that the early universe is much simpler than the weather!" [Alan Guth]

"What, then, is the meaning of this work of science? Briefly put, it consists in the task of introducing order and regularity into the wealth of heterogeneous experiences conveyed by the various fields of the sense world... Scientific reasoning does not differ from ordinary everyday thinking in kind, but merely in degree of refinement and accuracy... [E]ven scientific logic cannot deduce anything else from given presuppositions than can the ordinary logic of untrained common sense." -- Max Planck

The essential point in science is not a complicated mathematical formalism or a ritualized experimentation. Rather the heart of science is a kind of shrewd honesty that springs from really wanting to know what the hell is going on!" -- Nick Herbert

"I began to view Nature as an intelligence test to which humanity as a whole has been subjected..." -- Gerard 't Hooft...

"If history has taught us one thing it is that, with hindsight, newly discovered laws always turn out to be quite logical extensions of what we have already known for a long time." -- Gerard 't Hooft...

And we can't neglect Tony Rothman, General Relativity professor at Harvard....


"Recently at a New York cocktail party, a young physicist was asked how he made his living and he replied that he was by specialty a cosmologist. While it might be debated whether cosmology constitutes a "living," his host remained undeterred and immediately inquired if it would be possible to make an appointment for a manicure and a haircut."

marino
2003-Oct-20, 04:26 PM
NGAMS,

If you have the time, read this:

http://home.earthlink.net/~dayvdanls/relativity.htm

mike alexander
2003-Oct-20, 04:29 PM
NGAM:

You should beware the argument from incredulity: "I just can't believe that!" I doubt the Universe really cares what you think. (That's not a cut, just an observation of mine). If the Universe really DOES care what you think... well, that would be incredible.

As a practicing scientist I am frequently boggled by the Universe. On the same track, I am also frequently boggled by what we already know. I doubt a week goes by where I am not stunned by a new discovery or technique. To echo Cougar, these really are 'the days of miracles and wonders'. The growth of scientific knowledge in my working lifetime has been... well, incredible.

Science is more than a collection of facts. It is the interweaving of the facts and the discovery of connections between them. Who would think that the simple mathematical expression 2^n can explain the number of ways you can connect the vertices of a polygon?

Beware the misleading use of probability. The odds against drawing a royal flush are very large... but they are the same as drawing ANY arbitrary set of five cards. We are impressed by the royal flush because we have arbitrarily assigned a high value to it.

As far as the Big Bang goes, it is my personal opinion that it is a work in progress, and that if something replaces it, the replacement will be even stranger.

kanon14
2003-Oct-21, 10:19 AM
NGAM:

believe it or not, i've come across many Christains who think the same way as you do, and the best way to deal with them is not to show them science, since they'll actively ignore any evidence goes against them anyway, but to point out how flawed their arguments are. now let me show you how invalid your arguments are and how unsound your premises are:


Cougar, by the ways, ask every scientist and they will say that there are some things that boggle their minds too. I was just saying that there is sooo much going on and in one lifetime you aren't going to figure it all out. They used to think the Earth was the center of the universe...things change now don't they?

So obviously, when I said that...I meant that in general, there is so much going on in our universe that it just won't be all figured out any time soon...

So according to you:
P1: we know very little about the universe
P2: we will not understand the mystery any time soon
Conclusion: don’t study them at all

Don’t tell me this is not what you implied. You said earlier that the universe is so complex and complicated that we are never gonna understand it, so why not just believe in the supreme creator! If that’s really the case, then you wouldn’t be able to use your computer and post msg like this on the internet cuz none of the above would be invented in the first place. We’ll have no science, no technology, only sitting in a cave naked and hoping god would give us food. (glad that most scientists do not have the same reasoning as you do cuz I hate cave-dwelling!!)

Next is that i don't understand why you would study science at allsince you are so faithful to Christainity and have virtually zero-faith in science. or do you only accept the scientific claims that agree with Bible? How convenient is that. i sure hope there is such a relgion for me.

Ohh btw, if you have so much faith in your religion, why do you waste so much time posting msg here? I mean, don’t you need to convert people into believing your religion cuz I don’t believe everyone you know or you care about is Christian. Or are you planning just to watch alongside as they fall down the hole of hell??

you know what. i'm not in any sense opposed to christianity, or any major religion on earth. their doctrines of teaching people to live a peace life is great. It's just the believer who disgusts me. I'm not saying i dislike all of them but only those who are actively ignorant and not open to new ideas that contradict with their common sense. argh #-o i'm sickened by just imagining i'm living on the same planet with them... ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)

Ikyoto
2003-Oct-21, 11:49 AM
I've stayed out of it because I've had to think of a way to say it without offending...

Creationism starts out saying "god did it" and then attempts to block out anything that doesn't support that, but only has ONE source - a book that was written by people and there is nothing outside that book to support anything it says. There are a few times when it does happen to click with history, but far more times when it simpley does not.

Science starts out observing and says "what can we see from that?" and then continues to question. The process never really ends and that is it's strength! Theories are not just made up - they are what happens when someone has a "guess" and then there is evidence to support that hypothesis... if there isn't any, then it stays a hypothesis and usually dies out.

Theories are always open to question and the ones that become accepted are the ones that have more evidence than others. The theory that the unvierse was created by an intelligent being has so little evidence that it's still a hypothesis. But the BBT has simple logic behind it that is unshakable - The entire universe is observed to be expanding. This is a fact that you cannot brush aside or deny. Since this is known and cannot be ignored, then then universe must have come from a single point in time and space...

The evidence all points to that and so the BBT is far more supported than any other. What it does not deal with is why it started... that is still open to discussion.

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-21, 04:54 PM
Ok...thank you so much for being rude. I love hearing people get mad at me for what I think...when did I ever offend you...how old are you anyway? Cuz you are acting like a child. I am trying to learn more about this kind of stuff....


I have never seen life come out of an explosion before...yeah...plus y'all need to relax...it a THEORY! Not fact...they haven't proven it yet...


I just want to learn more and your rude comments are just making it worse...don't ever offend my religion...I haven't done that to you...just stating an opinion.......


So forget this...y'all got something to send me a pm otherwise don't ever talk to me again...I don't take crap from anybody

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-21, 04:57 PM
I never said "don't study science"...I'm not an idot. IGnorant? Not willing to listen? Pff...you can't stand living on a planet with them...you realize when you die...I see you get turned away from the gate of heaven...you'll believe me then

Cougar
2003-Oct-21, 06:12 PM
NewGirl, don't let one immature poster ruin your whole day. It takes a bit of maturity to realize that it isn't even worth letting an offensive post raise your blood pressure.

But this is a pretty clear example of why this website suggests we steer clear of religious discussions in the first place!

On another matter....


...it a THEORY! Not fact...they haven't proven it yet...
Actually, nothing in science is ever "proven." Proving one thing or another is just not part of science. In Geometry or Logic class we might speak of proof, but not in science in general. Nothing is ever "cast in stone" in science. This is one of the major differences between science and religion. In religion, it's ALL cast in stone. Whatever religious truths are espoused are absolute, fixed, and forevermore! That's why they call it dogmatic. Not so in science. We never know what we're going to see around the next corner, so there is no "absolute truth" in science - we gotta leave the door open for future observations, and we don't know what they're going to be!

What science IS interested in is SUPPORT. Observational support. Of course, logical conclusions come into play as well. If the universe is expanding NOW, it must have been smaller in the past -- that's just a logical conclusion. So if you get enough observational support, then your theory is strongly supported. But it's never "proven".

mike alexander
2003-Oct-21, 09:14 PM
I hope you'll cool down, NGAMS. Deep breath and all that. Consider this practice for your PhD final oral. You want savage criticism? You don't know savage criticism.

I must point out that in terms of offensive posts, telling someone you will enjoy watching as they are turned away from heaven is, by your own beliefs, about as nasty as you can get.

kanon14
2003-Oct-21, 09:38 PM
I never said "don't study science"...I'm not an idot. IGnorant? Not willing to listen? Pff...you can't stand living on a planet with them...you realize when you die...I see you get turned away from the gate of heaven...you'll believe me then
sorry if i've offended you in any way, i just can't stand when someone think they're using scientific method while actually they're just being ignorant

and i'm not mad at all. in fact i'm starting to enjoy it cuz there is no way to not live with uninformed people who feel they have a right to express themselves regardless of how, dare i say stupid, their claims are.

i love hearing funny stories :wink:

kanon14
2003-Oct-21, 09:45 PM
I must point out that in terms of offensive posts, telling someone you will enjoy watching as they are turned away from heaven is, by your own beliefs, about as nasty as you can get.
don't worry ^^ i don't think that's an offensive post at all... i've heard words way more offensive coming from mouths of religious people. btw, if NGAM's religion is the "right" one then even if she's not watching i'll be burning in hell for enternity anyway and i'm kool with it if that's what i get for using my logic sense (no logical person could construct a fully supported argument of the belief of a supreme persoanl being)

you know what i'm actually quite tempting to believe in a god, but i'll only do so if one can show evidence enough to convince me

Cougar
2003-Oct-21, 09:51 PM
...i just can't stand when someone think they're using scientific method while actually they're just being ignorant...
Stating someone's willingness to listen and learn - I think that's the opposite of "ignorant."


...there is no way to not live with uninformed people...
So is that how you live with them - verbalizing how uninformed and stupid you think they are? Or do you think that actually informing them where they are willing to be informed might be a better, more productive approach?

kanon14
2003-Oct-21, 10:26 PM
So is that how you live with them - verbalizing how uninformed and stupid you think they are? Or do you think that actually informing them where they are willing to be informed might be a better, more productive approach?
absolutely agree. no more worthless post from now on

Ikyoto
2003-Oct-22, 01:35 AM
I'd just like to know which posts or parts of posts she finds so increadibly offensive and threatening. I've been trying to curb my natural tendency to be offensive, but if people are going to be so thin skinned, then I'll just be me.

And FWIW, I don't have a problem with anyone believing something. It's when they insist on ignoring logic and cold hard facts and data that can be confirmed. If you ask a question such as "explain the big bang to me because I don't understand it" and when people DO you get upset with them because they may not have explained it to you in a way you understand.. Well, then the fault is both of yours. If it's explained over and over many differnt ways and all you want to do is toss it away because your view of the world is threatened, then don't blame the world for not fitting your view.

kanon14
2003-Oct-22, 02:48 AM
well said Ikyoto =D>

decarmony
2003-Oct-22, 03:30 AM
Dont let being a christian stop you from believing in the big bang. It was a catholic priest that supported this idea and chased Albert Einstien around for a couple years and eventually got hom to help prove its probability.The main difference between creationists and atheists is that we(creationists) believe the whole thing was started by a living intelligence(a creator) and they believe it was started some other way.But, that is a matter of choice since its impossible to convince either of the other or conclusively prove either to the other. I"m a believer in creation and feel that science will one day provide conclusive proof to this believe.But, whatever you believe, I think you will find this board is a great place to read and learn.

Musashi
2003-Oct-22, 03:32 AM
Good post decarmony. =D>

Tau
2003-Oct-22, 11:42 AM
I have never seen life come out of an explosion before...

Calling the Big Bang an explosion isn't that accurate. It wasn't a local phenomenon. It happened everywhere.

By the way, I caught you using your common sense again. [-X

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-24, 05:15 PM
so explosion isn't the right term for the big bang, but it still doesn't produce anything. The Big Bang (the most accepted one) says that all of he matter in the universe was in singularity.Singularity is a point where so much matter is so extremely condensed. It can be compaired to the singularity of a black hole. It was supposedly the size of an atomic atom..(I don't know if the size is correct from my point, I can't remember correct me) But that even then dosen't make sense...and sense has everything to do with it`

kanon14
2003-Oct-24, 05:24 PM
so explosion isn't the right term for the big bang, but it still doesn't produce anything. The Big Bang (the most accepted one) says that all of he matter in the universe was in singularity.Singularity is a point where so much matter is so extremely condensed. It can be compaired to the singularity of a black hole. It was supposedly the size of an atomic atom..(I don't know if the size is correct from my point, I can't remember correct me) But that even then dosen't make sense...and sense has everything to do with it`
i still don't get what exactly doesn't make sense to you? you keep saying it doesn't make sense but fail to explain your criticism. all you've benn saying so far, as far as i can understand, is that BBT contradicts with your intuition. for that i can show you many examples where your knowledge contradicts with your intuition yet you still consider it true.

Cougar
2003-Oct-24, 06:19 PM
The Big Bang (the most accepted one) says that all of he matter in the universe was in singularity.Singularity is a point where so much matter is so extremely condensed. It can be compaired to the singularity of a black hole. It was supposedly the size of an atomic atom..(I don't know if the size is correct from my point, I can't remember correct me) But that even then dosen't make sense...and sense has everything to do with it`
This is indeed a problem. Scientists know this is a problem. Scientists also know that our understanding of the universe is woefully incomplete. Science freely admits that we don't know everything. That's actually the reason science exists - to try to answer these difficult questions.

The big bang theory is a more limited theory than you seem to think. It does not go back to the singularity, which you correctly have pointed out makes no sense. Listen to what these scientists say about the so-called "singularity" that currently serves as a placeholder for the universe's origin because we just don't know what else to put there....


"We mentioned that the FLRW [currently accepted big bang] cosmology begins with a singularity. This is a much more serious breakdown than a flat tire or a cracked engine block. It is, in fact, a physical impossibility -- a region where the laws of physics break down altogether and even spacetime comes to an end." -- Tony Rothman, General Relativity professor at Harvard
So you are not alone on this point, and you're in pretty good company. Here's more....


"...according to classical relativistic theories of gravity, there is inevitably a... physical singularity at the origin of Big Bang cosmological models. These results indicate that, in some sense, there is a serious incompleteness in these theories, since physical singularities should be avoided in all physically meaningful theories." -- from Malcolm Longair's Foreward to Penrose's book, The Large, the Small and the Human Mind
But on the other hand, regarding whether well established existing theories make sense to you or whether you believe them....


"A visitor to Niels Bohr's country cottage asked him about a horseshoe nailed above the front door. 'Surely, Professor Bohr, you do not really believe that a horseshoe over the entrance to a home brings good luck?' 'No,' answered Bohr, 'I certainly do not believe in this superstition. But you know,' he added, 'they say it brings luck even if you don't believe in it.'"

"Quantum theory is like Bohr's horseshoe: it works no matter what a person believes."
Then there are these offerings by Nobel prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman....


"The laws of nature must have existed before even time began in order for the beginning to happen. We say this, we believe it, but can we prove it? No."

"But first a comment on the word "theory," which lends itself to popular misconceptions. "That's your theory" is a popular sneer. Or "That's only a theory." Our fault for sloppy use. The quantum theory and the Newtonian theory are well-established, well-verified components of our world view. They are not in doubt. It's a matter of derivation. Once upon a time it was Newton's (as yet unverified) "theory." Then it was verified, but the name stuck. "Newton's theory" it will always be. On the other hand, superstrings and GUTs are speculative efforts to extend current understanding, building on what we know. The better theories are verifiable. Once upon a time that was the sine qua non of any theory. Nowadays, addressing events at the Big Bang, we face, perhaps for the first time, a situation in which a theory may never be experimentally tested."
Hopefully, there will be some way to get around this drawback.
http://www.xmission.com/~dcc/cougar.gif

russ_watters
2003-Oct-24, 08:41 PM
The Big Bang Theory has a lot of work left to be done on it and its implications, ie the singularity issue. And a lot of people attack it based on the work left to be done, setting aside the fact that that is the entire point of science - figuring out what we don't know. The scientific community is quite open about what we don't know - they have to be because otherwise they can't publish papers on those things and science will stagnate.

So everyone, those who accept the BBT and those who don't, are quite well aware of its incompleteness and limitations. But those who don't accept BBT ignore one simple, incontrovertable, and inexorable fact:

Galaxies (in general) are moving away from each other.

There is no other possible implication of this fact other than at one point these galaxies were much closer together and likely VERY close together.

That is the essence of the big bang and its why the scientific community accepts it. The focus of the scientific community is on working out the specifics, which they freely admit are daunting. But the daunting nature of the specifics doesn't change the inescable fact that the BBT is based on.

ToSeek
2003-Oct-24, 08:54 PM
So everyone, those who accept the BBT and those who don't, are quite well aware of its incompleteness and limitations. But those who don't accept BBT ignore one simple, incontrovertable, and inexorable fact:

Galaxies (in general) are moving away from each other.



Actually, there are those who would argue with this, but they have to come up with a satisfactory non-Doppler explanation for the Hubble shift, but no one (in my opinion and that of the mainstream) has managed to do so yet.

kanon14
2003-Oct-24, 09:11 PM
... "singularity" that currently serves as a placeholder for the universe's origin because we just don't know what else to put there....

exactly =D>

Cougar
2003-Oct-24, 10:50 PM
Galaxies (in general) are moving away from each other.
Actually, there are those who would argue with this, but they have to come up with a satisfactory non-Doppler explanation for the Hubble shift....
I would not argue with Russ's statement, which is indeed held by most of the scientific community, but I would like to see better, direct support for it. It is based primarily on the long-held interpretation that redshift is caused by recessional velocity, or as ToSeek says, the doppler explanation. Is there direct evidence upon which this interpretation is based?

To attempt an answer to my own question, don't we measure relative red- and blue-shifts when isolating each "side" of large, distant galaxies, i.e., the side orbiting toward us vs. the side orbiting away from us? Since these measurements show different spectral shifts, isn't that really strong evidence that the redshift of light is indeed a doppler phenomenon?

http://www.xmission.com/~dcc/galaxy.gif

Cougar
2003-Oct-24, 11:04 PM
I've noticed that the term "doppler" is used in two very different situations: (1) When an object is actually moving through space at high speed relative to an observer and (2) when an object is "sitting still" in space, but the expanse of space between the object and the observer is stretching and expanding. If case (1) has the object moving away, then in both cases the distance between the object and the observer is increasing. In both cases the observer will measure a redshift, but for different reasons. I expect one might say the mechanisms are different. Technically, I guess (1) is an actual doppler shift and (2) is, what, a cosmic shift? (due to cosmic expansion).

decarmony
2003-Oct-25, 05:21 AM
One question about the galaxies moving away from each other. How is it possible for galaxies to intercept or merge like sagitarius and later i under stand andromeda if they are constantly moving away from each other.Without good astronomy knowledge(which i admit i dont have)it would seem that any intersecting of galaxies would support acceleration towards the big crunch rather than away from it.Someone please explain.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Oct-25, 05:32 AM
Well, while most are moving away, it is my understanding that Andromeda is moving towards us for some reason. Couldn't tell you why.

kanon14
2003-Oct-25, 07:04 AM
One question about the galaxies moving away from each other. How is it possible for galaxies to intercept or merge like sagitarius and later i under stand andromeda if they are constantly moving away from each other.Without good astronomy knowledge(which i admit i dont have)it would seem that any intersecting of galaxies would support acceleration towards the big crunch rather than away from it.Someone please explain.
i guess you can think of it this way: although everything comes from the singlarity, they are not all moving towards the same direction with same speed. of cuz it's never possible for the galaxies moving in opposite directions to collide, but don't forget its course can be alter by other near by galaxies. the effect would be small but given enough time, its course can change dramatically and intersect with other courses

i have another question: if everything is moving away from the singlarity, wouldn't the "centre" of the universe be empty by now? i mean everything shuld've left there and the "hole" in the centre would get bigger and bigger every year. i know what i just said is probably wrong but can anyone explain what's wrong plsssss :P

kanon14
2003-Oct-25, 07:05 AM
Couldn't tell you why.

sounds like you know why but just couldn't tell us. you must be one of the disonfo agents from Andromeda :evil:

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Oct-25, 07:17 AM
Ah nuts. You're on to me! :wink:

Cougar
2003-Oct-25, 02:55 PM
its course can be alter by other near by galaxies. the effect would be small but given enough time, its course can change dramatically and intersect with other courses
This pretty much answers decarmony's question. It's just that galaxies that are relatively close to each other have gravitational effects that are stronger than the universal expansion. So the mutual attraction of our neighbor Andromeda and our own Milky Way overcomes the expansion. But remember that the effect of gravity falls exponentially with distance, so the gravitational effect of galaxies that are farther away is not enough to completely counter the expansion. So the short answer is proximity and gravity.


i have another question: if everything is moving away from the singlarity, wouldn't the "centre" of the universe be empty by now?
Picture the old analogy of the universe being the surface of an inflating balloon and the galaxies are dots on the balloon. In the beginning... the balloon was limp and deflated... :oops: Now slowly inflate the balloon. Remember the entire universe is only the surface of the balloon. The distance between the dot galaxies increases, but there is no "center" to the balloon's surface. (This analogy breaks down in view of decarmony's question, since the dot galaxies have no gravitational effect on other dot galaxies - of course they DO in the real universe, especially the nearby ones.)

kanon14
2003-Oct-25, 05:56 PM
icic... now i remember i heard that analogy before. thx for refreshing my memory :)

NewGirlAgainstMainStream
2003-Oct-25, 07:32 PM
This is indeed a problem. Scientists know this is a problem. Scientists also know that our understanding of the universe is woefully incomplete. Science freely admits that we don't know everything. That's actually the reason science exists - to try to answer these difficult questions.



Thats what I have been trying to say the whole time...and you kept shooting me down...crimony

Eroica
2003-Oct-25, 08:59 PM
Picture the old analogy of the universe being the surface of an inflating balloon and the galaxies are dots on the balloon ... The distance between the dot galaxies increases, but there is no "center" to the balloon's surface. (This analogy breaks down in view of decarmony's question, since the dot galaxies have no gravitational effect on other dot galaxies - of course they DO in the real universe, especially the nearby ones.)
Try replacing the dots with ants that are free to crawl over the surface of the balloon as it's being inflated.

Cougar
2003-Oct-25, 11:42 PM
...we don't know everything.
Thats what I have been trying to say the whole time...and you kept shooting me down...crimony
Well, you seemed to imply that we knew, like, next to nothing. This is not the case. There is a lot that has been figured out. In fact, so much has been figured out, one person can't take it all in. So people have to specialize in one or two particular fields...

kanon14
2003-Oct-27, 04:56 AM
Thats what I have been trying to say the whole time...

i don't think so. what you;ve been trying to say is that creationism is the way to go, as you've said:

there must be no other answer then a Creator... It is so complex that there must be a Creator

Grey
2003-Oct-27, 08:37 AM
I've noticed that the term "doppler" is used in two very different situations: (1) When an object is actually moving through space at high speed relative to an observer and (2) when an object is "sitting still" in space, but the expanse of space between the object and the observer is stretching and expanding. If case (1) has the object moving away, then in both cases the distance between the object and the observer is increasing. In both cases the observer will measure a redshift, but for different reasons. I expect one might say the mechanisms are different. Technically, I guess (1) is an actual doppler shift and (2) is, what, a cosmic shift? (due to cosmic expansion).
You've got it right. Technically, one should only use the term "Doppler shift" for the first category. The second can be referred to as a cosmological redshift, and in fact the two have slightly different effects. One of the most important differences is that in the case of a cosmological redshift, the light can be affected during its entire journey.

Sigma_Orionis
2003-Oct-27, 08:48 PM
.....But remember that the effect of gravity falls exponentially with distance........

Exponentially? shouldn't it decrease with the square of the distance?

Cougar
2003-Oct-27, 09:37 PM
.....But remember that the effect of gravity falls exponentially with distance........

Exponentially? shouldn't it decrease with the square of the distance?

I believe that's what I said. :) You're just putting it more specifically by indicating what the exponent is, i.e., the square.

Sigma_Orionis
2003-Oct-27, 09:54 PM
Guess I'm being a nit pick but if the influence of gravity decreased exponentially I think that would mean that it would be inversely proportional to the antilogarithm of the distance and it would decrease a lot faster than if was inversely proportional to the square of the distance