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Thread: Mainstream Gripes re: Mainstream

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    Mainstream Gripes re: Mainstream

    Does lambda-CDM really lead?

    The irony of today's times is that while dark matter is still unidentified despite half a century of search, taxpayers are asked to invest in yet another potential fiasco. Furthermore, the situation as it evolves in time is that the more we do not find dark matter, the less (in relative funding) do we invest in alternative approaches - to the point of totally choking these approaches. Thus we are putting more and more eggs in a less and less likely basket. Could this be the sign of a person (or a camp of people in prestigious institutes) who became angry because they are embarrassed?
    Seen it happen

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    From that abstract:
    Astronomy can never be a hard core physics discipline, because the Universe offers no control experiment, i.e. with no independent checks it is bound to be highly ambiguous and degenerate.
    I demonstrate in this article that while some of is based upon truth, at least just as much of $\Lambda$CDM cosmology has been propped by a paralyzing amount of propaganda which suppress counter evidence and subdue competing models. The recent WMAP3 paper of Spergel et al (2007) will be used as case in point on selective citation.
    I call this a whetstone paper

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    This preprint has been discussed in another forum where members who claim some understanding of Lieu's examples have slammed it.

    In a nutshell:
    a) he is very selective in his examples
    b) his analyses unhelpful (in terms of doing science)
    c) the "propped by a paralyzing amount of propaganda which suppress counter evidence and subdue competing models" claim cannot be substantiated.

    If anyone's interested, I'll post a link to the discussion.

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Wilson View Post

    Pete.Pete

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    So whatever opposing sides may be discerned here claim the other as using selective examples and making unsubstantiated claims?

    Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the greater view?

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.DIM View Post
    So whatever opposing sides may be discerned here claim the other as using selective examples and making unsubstantiated claims?

    If you wish to draw that conclusion, then of course you are free to do so ...

    However, if your interest in posting in BAUT* has a close relationship with the avowedly scientific approach BAUT takes, then what's the point of your post?

    Specifically, how do you suggest that claims made in the preprint cited in the OP be discussed?

    *At least in the Q&A, Universe Today, Astronomy, Space Exploration, Astrophotography, Astronomical Observing, Equipment and Accessories, Life in Space, ATM, and General Science sections.

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    Lieu has a number of scholarly journal publications, often after numerous re-submissions. I don't see this paper getting accepted by any major journals anytime soon. I don't recall seeing too many published scientific papers that rail against "misdirected funding" or claim that the astronomical community is just pumping out propaganda. So it's just another opinion piece on arxiv, one that is rather vociferous in its attack on the whole of the astronomical community.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    If you wish to draw that conclusion, then of course you are free to do so ...

    However, if your interest in posting in BAUT* has a close relationship with the avowedly scientific approach BAUT takes, then what's the point of your post?
    I simply remarked on how I understood the abstract in light of the thread title.

    Specifically, how do you suggest that claims made in the preprint cited in the OP be discussed?
    I don't necessarily have such a suggestion, I only made an observation which struck me at the time of reading.
    Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the greater view?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    ...it's just another opinion piece on arxiv, one that is rather vociferous in its attack on the whole of the astronomical community.
    I guess the whole idea of The Mainstream grousing about The Mainstream is kinda oxymoronic

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    Stiff

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Wilson View Post
    I guess the whole idea of The Mainstream grousing about The Mainstream is kinda oxymoronic
    Not really. I would regard myself as overly rigid mainstream, but I don't like dark matter. However, after getting hammered endlessly by the proponents, I have to agree that for the time being there isn't any better expanation. Shucks, they might even be right. The important thing is not what you believe, but what explains the natural world best.

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    Well there's a breath of fresh air!

    I wouldn't have such a beef against the mainstream if their attitude was more like that. If they said, The BBT is problematic, but for the time being there isn't any better expanation, that would be OK.

    But you don't read, The universe is thought to have started... No, its always presented as a slam-dunk, a dead certainty. The universe began 13.7 billion years ago...

    Nobody knows that! It's just a theory; one possible explanation of the observations, but fraught with a lot of inconsistancies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Wilson View Post
    But you don't read, The universe is thought to have started... No, its always presented as a slam-dunk, a dead certainty. The universe began 13.7 billion years ago...
    "Always" is quite a strong word and I have to disagree here. I have read and heard a lot of public presentations (books and TV) along the lines "It is generally thought that ...", "The best explanation at the moment is ..." or "It has been suggested and is widely accepted that ... but ..." Skimming through my memory I seem to recognize a pattern: The "soft" phrasing is mostly used by scientists, the "hard" phrasing by journalists.
    Nobody knows that! It's just a theory; one possible explanation of the observations, but fraught with a lot of inconsistancies.
    Indeed, and serious scientists and careful presenters present it as this.

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    Well, sometimes the scientists get debated on the softness of their language because their non-scientific opponents think the use of qualifiers is being wishy-washy instead of being reflective or probabilities.

    That being said, I don't like dark matter or dark energy either. Maybe the universe is not expanding but contracting so fast that the compression shock is as dense as a black hole and that is pulling the universe apart as it shrinks in size. But we wouldn't see this collapse as the compression shock because the light from those distant galaxies is already en route. Then sometime in the future, the stars will simply wink out and the shock will be right behind it. Or does this speculation require dark matter. Oh darn it! Foiled again. ;-)
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

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    I don't think anyone really "likes" dark matter and dark energy. The are just what has popped out of the observations. But, to me, that is an indication that science is doing its job. If only the theories we liked seemed correct then that would indicate bias.
    Quote Originally Posted by JeDi
    The "soft" phrasing is mostly used by scientists, the "hard" phrasing by journalists.
    I agree with this. Science journalists have a hard enough time getting their stories right, a non-specialist is mostly just a waste of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Wilson View Post
    Well there's a breath of fresh air!

    I wouldn't have such a beef against the mainstream if their attitude was more like that. If they said, The BBT is problematic, but for the time being there isn't any better expanation, that would be OK.

    [snip]
    And there you have it, don't you?

    The engine room of modern science - well, astrophysics, cosmology, and space science at least - is theories.

    Pace Popper et al., cosmologists keep the BBT (a meta-theory, not really a single theory) because, whatever its shortcomings, there's nothing even remotely comparable in terms of the range of relevant, independent sets of observations it can explain.

    And, as has also been said, DM and DE are excellent ... as concrete, specific, testable ideas, and it is the making of observational (and experimental) tests which progresses the science.

    But a funny thing happened on the road to the OWL (etc): the more tests were done, the more consistent the DM and DE stories became ...

    At what point do electrons, photons, neutrinos, black holes, quarks, dark matter, and dark energy stop being useful concepts (to help theories get sharper and better) and become real?

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    To be honest, I don't se why this thread has not been moved to ATM.
    Astronomy (to quote the Oxford English Dictionary)is the study of the stars ,the planets and their movements".
    Granted this is a bit dated.
    But astronomy must be about observation.
    This paper is superb in that it is an honest scientist saying that things that should have been observed have not been observed.
    As the author says, DM has not been observed. There may be the odd protagonist at the 3 sigmas level who claims that in one case out of the whole universe they have 'seen' it' but
    "That don't impress me much"
    After 50 years of looking, 'they' can't find it.
    So, lets all agree, it aint there.
    End of it.
    Cheers,
    Lyndon

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    Smile

    It's hiding DM in Deep Hole Found on Mars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lyndonashmore View Post
    To be honest, I don't se why this thread has not been moved to ATM.
    Astronomy (to quote the Oxford English Dictionary)is the study of the stars ,the planets and their movements".
    Granted this is a bit dated.
    But astronomy must be about observation.
    This paper is superb in that it is an honest scientist saying that things that should have been observed have not been observed.
    I take it you're joking, aren't you.

    I mean, of course astronomy is about observation!

    Just as it is a science, and so about theories.

    Observation and theory are locked in an intricate, intimate dance. But theories have the harsher life - only the fittest survive in the intensely competitive scientific jungle.
    As the author says, DM has not been observed. There may be the odd protagonist at the 3 sigmas level who claims that in one case out of the whole universe they have 'seen' it' but
    "That don't impress me much"
    After 50 years of looking, 'they' can't find it.
    Now I know you're joking!

    I mean, by the same "principal assumptions in this field are unverified (or unverifiable) in the laboratory" criterion, even the best alternative explanation* of the billions of astronomical data that astronomers otherwise deploy 'dark matter' to account for must surely earn a 'balderdash and poppycock' epithet!
    So, lets all agree, it aint there.
    End of it.
    Cheers,
    Lyndon
    Are the astronomical data just mass delusions then? Or has some ineffable being been sloppy? Or do we simply shrug our shoulders and forget about it?

    MOND - not only has no one ever seen any such in any lab, not only do the proponents claims no one ever could, but even the man himself freely states it's inconsistent with a bazillion earthly experiments and lab results!

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    But you don't read, The universe is thought to have started... No, its always presented as a slam-dunk, a dead certainty. The universe began 13.7 billion years ago...
    There are reasons for believing this, not related to any choice of cosmology. The fact that essentially all objects we have observed to date have ages consistent with being less than 14Gyr being one of the stronger reasons.

    There is no real reason why this should be the case, the models for simple stellar populations (say for integrated galaxy properties or globular clusters) are generally capable of finding ages up to around 20Gyr, its just nothing ever observed seems to be that old (well nothing convincing).

    The mass of the largest stars in GCs always are consistent with being less than 13Gyr or so (neglecting blue stragglers), and this of course depends only on stellar evolution, which for these low mass main sequence stars is reasonably well known.

    Then there is the fact that there are no stars spectroscopically observed in the Milky Way that have ages that are inconsistent with the age of the Universe. Now there is an issue here that for low mass stars its pretty difficult to tell the difference between a 10Gyr old one and a 20Gyr old one, but as I understand it, we can be sure there is nothing considerably older than about 20Gyr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    Are the astronomical data just mass delusions then? Or has some ineffable being been sloppy? Or do we simply shrug our shoulders and forget about it?
    When you say the data about dark matter is a 'mass delusion' I like it. Great pun. Hadn't heard that one before.
    But what data? examples please on the vast amount of data regarding Dark matter.
    BTW, not the stuff first proposed by Zwicky and then by Vera Rubens but the stuff needed to make the BB work ie 90 to 95%.

    None the less, the paper is atm - 100%

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    Quote Originally Posted by lyndonashmore View Post
    When you say the data about dark matter is a 'mass delusion' I like it. Great pun. Hadn't heard that one before.
    But what data? examples please on the vast amount of data regarding Dark matter.
    This thread might help: What is the observational basis for (cold, non-baryonic) dark matter?
    BTW, not the stuff first proposed by Zwicky and then by Vera Rubens but the stuff needed to make the BB work ie 90 to 95%.
    Hmm, I think you're conflating dark matter, which has lots of footprints in the local universe (and has been studied for over 70 years), and dark energy, which burst upon the astronomy scene barely a decade ago.

    In any case, "Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Three Year Observations: Implications for Cosmology", by Spergel et al.* gives a nice, 90 page summary, covering both.

    The data includes not only the 10 billion or so WMAP observations, but also that from CBI, ACBAR, that collected in studies of the ages of globular clusters and white dwarfs, the Hubble H0 Key Project, SDSS, 2dF, VSA, BOOMERanG, the various high-z supernova data, CFHTLS and other weak lensing surveys, CLASS, that from Lyman forest studies, and so on.

    One 'sound bite' is "Table 3: Goodness of fit [...] for WMAP data only relative to a Power-Law LCDM model" - "No Dark Matter" is by far the worst fit of all the models examined.

    *All Three Year WMAP team papers, including the Spergel et al. one, can be downloaded, for free, from here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    Trouble with forum threads, one doesn't know who is who and how accurate each post is.
    I prefer something like This for discussion on a forum as it is brief and to the point.
    Hmm, I think you're conflating dark matter, which has lots of footprints in the local universe (and has been studied for over 70 years), and dark energy, which burst upon the astronomy scene barely a decade ago.
    Dark energy, dark matter - I thought matter and energy were equivalent?

    In any case, "Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Three Year Observations: Implications for Cosmology", by Spergel et al.* gives a nice, 90 page summary, covering both.

    The data includes not only the 10 billion or so WMAP observations, but also that from CBI, ACBAR, that collected in studies of the ages of globular clusters and white dwarfs, the Hubble H0 Key Project, SDSS, 2dF, VSA, BOOMERanG, the various high-z supernova data, CFHTLS and other weak lensing surveys, CLASS, that from Lyman forest studies, and so on.
    I am always suspicious of main stream papers that rely on New Physics – wouldn’t take long for an ATM thread to be locked if all the author could give in reply was, “well, it must be new Physics”
    I quote the Spergel paper, page 69.
    Cosmology requires new physics beyond the standard model of particle physics: dark
    matter, dark energy and a mechanism to generate primordial fluctuations. The WMAP data
    provides insights into all three of these fundamental problems:
    • The clear detection of the predicted acoustic peak structure implies that the dark
    matter is non-baryonic.
    BTW are they confusing dark matter with dark energy here?
    Anyway, Bottom of page two on the link I give, at the top sums up a little of the OP. "Inflation only works if the dark matter is evenly spread..."
    Now I reckon that if this dark matter/energy that is needed for inflation to work really exists, then it must be everywhere - including in our labs. So why should we be looking for it way out there when it must be all around us. In our houses, universities etc. So after 50 years of looking, why can't we find it? Unless of course it is inflation that is wrong.
    Cheers,
    Lyndon

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    "Dark energy" is an unfortunate pop science term that developed because of the pop science populatiry of the term "dark matter". Both terms have made their way back to the basic science. They are not thought to be the same thing.

    Note that the WMAP team distinguish dark matter from dark energy. The "new physics" that the WMAP addresses is new physics from the point of view of particle physics. The evidence gathering techniques used are based on relativistic physics with a long history of development. Even if we don't know the exact mechanism behing these phenomena, we know much about their nature as it relates to the behaviour of spacetime.

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    Ah!
    So dark matter is that which we can find.
    dark energy is that which we need to prop up a failing BB theory.
    Is that it?
    cheers,
    Lyndon

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    Well, if by "need to prop up" you mean "measure by", and by "a failing BB theory" you mean "multiple independent observations based on the standard General Relativistic framework for large-scale homogeneous and isotropic spacetimes", then yes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    In any case, "Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Three Year Observations: Implications for Cosmology", by Spergel et al.* gives a nice, 90 page summary...
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Could someone summarize the 90 page summary?







    Objectively?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Wilson View Post
    Could someone summarize the 90 page summary?







    Objectively?
    It has lots of words and some pictures. Also, a man wrote it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gliese 581 C View Post
    It has lots of words and some pictures. Also, a man wrote it.
    Well, there goes the objectivity! A noble effort anyway.

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    At what point do electrons, photons, neutrinos, black holes, quarks, dark matter, and dark energy stop being useful concepts (to help theories get sharper and better) and become real?
    Good question. What's your answer?

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