Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Two False Philosophical Assumptions Which Lie At The Heart of Cosmology

False Assumption Number One:

The Copernican/cosmological Principle:

The Copernican Principle states that we are not privileged observers/Earth is in no special location.

This is false; it has been scientifically falsified.

The Earth is aligned with the largest scale structure in the universe: the cosmic microwave background itself.

This is no longer a supposition, or a possibility.

It is a scientific fact.

The Copernican Principle lies at the very heart of modern cosmology- all of modern cosmology is based on this assumption, which has been observationally falsified.

The cosmological principle is a generalization of the Copernican Principle, and states that there are no privileged observers/no special locations.

Another way of saying this is that there is no up, down, left, or right in the cosmos.

Another way of saying this is that the universe must be isotropic (must look about the same in all directions) and homogeneous (must look about the same in all directions no matter where you are looking from).

This is false; it has been observationally falsified.

There exists a preferred direction in space; the so-called "Axis of Evil".

A coordinate system can be constructed based on this Axis, which yields an up, a down, a left, a right.

But wait........

There's more!

The special direction in space is not just any direction......

It is a special direction which is aligned with the ecliptic and equinoxes of Earth.

Lawrence Krauss wrote, back in 2006:

Krauss recently stated, before the Planck release, that he thought the alignments were wrong.

Instead, Planck has confirmed that they are right.

One must conclude, logically, that Krauss therefore now believes that we are the center of the universe.

But one ought not assume logic in such a case.

Krauss has also authored a book, the title of which is an immortal bungle; a botch job that belongs among history's greatest fundamental self-contradictions:

"A Universe From Nothing"

But logic requires us to admit that nothing can come from nothing.

If something comes from nothing, then the nothing is not nothing, but something.

A five year old can prove this conclusively.

But some of our leading cosmologists cannot.

Please keep these points in mind the next time you find yourself tempted to assume that the scientific elites are prepared to tell us "how things really are".

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The "Inflationary Unlikeliness Problem": Has Planck Already Sunk Concordance Cosmology?

In a remarkable paper published April 12 on the Cornell University preprint site,  the implications of the Planck observations for our standard cosmology are addressed in (relatively!) "plain English" by a team including one of the creators of inflation theory, Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University.

Is this what it sounds like when the fat lady starts singing............?

"....the favored models are anything but simple. Not only do they greatly exacerbate known problems of initial conditions and the multiverse, but, combined with earlier results from WMAP, ACT and other observations [7], they also create a new problem that we call the inflationary “unlikeliness problem.” Namely, the only way to obtain the Planck results is from potentials that are exponentially unlikely according to the logic of the inflationary paradigm itself.  

"In sum, by favoring only plateau-like models, the Planck2013 data creates a serious new challenge for the inflationary paradigm: the universally accepted assumption about initial conditions no longer leads to inflation; instead, inflation can only begin to smooth the universe if the universe is unexpectedly smooth to begin with!

 PS: We are informed early on that one particular problem is not even considered in all of this:

"(In this Letter, we will not discuss the marginal deviations from isotropy on large scales reported by the Planck collaboration [2]."

Those "marginal deviations from isotropy" include the Axis of Evil.....the marginal little deviation from isotropy that happens to be pointing directly at us.

Interesting times!

Much more to come in "The Principle".

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Tale of Two Anomalies

Anomaly One: CMB AXIS

Physically observed over 9 years, 2001- 2010.

Constitutes direct challenge to fundamental assumption of modern cosmology.

Ascribed to galactic foreground contamination, scanning beam anomaly, dust foreground contamination, discrepancies in data extraction algorithms 2003-2013

Physically observed again 2013, by different mission, different scanning apparatus, different orbit, different data extraction algorithms.

Dismissed as "3 sigma" anomaly, a "statistical glitch" in media coverage.

Anomaly Two: Dark Matter

Physically observed in three particle detections, 2013.

Constitutes supporting claim for missing component in standard cosmology.

Described as "3 sigma" detection- strong evidence in favor of detection in media coverage (one guy has  decided the evidence is actually 10 sigma!).

Consilience in action.

Anomaly One is a challenge to the foundational assumption of all our standard cosmology.

Anomaly Two is a potential big supporting piece of the puzzle for all our standard cosmology.

Some anomalies are more equal than others.

In the meantime, Popper reminds us:

  1. "It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory — if we look for confirmations.
  2. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory — an event which would have refuted the theory.
  3. Every "good" scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.
  4. A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.
  5. Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks.
  6. Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now speak in such cases of "corroborating evidence.")
  7. Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers — for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by reinterpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status. (I later described such a rescuing operation as a "conventionalist twist" or a "conventionalist stratagem.")
One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiabilityor refutabilityor testability."


The universe is now observationally shown to be non-isotropic on its largest observable scales. 

This violates the cosmological principle.

The universe's largest scale observed anisotropy- the CMB "Axis of Evil"- is aligned with our ecliptic and equinoxes.

This violates the Copernican Principle.

There is no "three sigma" to this whatsoever.

The Axis is real.

It exists.

Whether it can be dismissed as a "three sigma" anomaly is completely irrelevant, and is a question that deals with statistical probabilities from within the assumptions of consensus cosmology's model- a model which failed to predict the Axis in the first place, and instead positively counter-predicted it.

The "probability" of the Axis is a question which assumes we know how probable the universe is.

We don't.

Our sample size, when it comes to universes, is exactly one.

The Axis is a hugely important discovery, since it refutes the foundational assumption upon which our modern scientific world view has rested for centuries.

The dismissal of the Axis provides an even more important insight into an hypothesis I have developed elsewhere on this blog:

Consilience lies at the heart of the post-scientific method.

Falsification lies at the heart of the scientific method.

We are now witnessing the steady progress of the post scientific method.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tip O' The Hat To Ethan Seigel On The Great Non-Discovery Of Dark Matter

File under "Credit Where Credit Is Due"

Ethan has been an up-front adversary on the question of the Copernican Principle and geocentrism generally on his blog- it is very nice to see him pulling the covers on a recent shameful claim of the "detection of evidence for dark matter", which was nothing of the kind.

Relevant excerpt:

To reiterate, based on what AMS has presented, there is nothing to suggest that they have detected any evidence whatsoever for particle dark matter. The press release (and the earlier press conference) — reported upon by many that I will not link to — suggest otherwise, and that is misleading. In fact, calling it misleading is generous, because I personally believe it is deceitful, and it’s a deceit that I even anticipated a few weeks ago!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What The Heck Is Going On With the Planck Team????

Utterly amazing.

It appears there is a war going on behind the scenes of the Planck Team itself, on just what the observations actually are.

From the abstract of Planck Paper I: "Overview"

"Planck finds no evidence for non-Gaussian statistics of the CMB anisotropies"

From Planck paper XXIII: "Isotropy and statistics"

"We detect pronounced signatures for both non- Gaussianities and anisotropies........a highly significant detection of both non-Gaussianities and anisotropies in the Planck data, consistent with those obtained previously with WMAP data .......the asymmetry was found to be highly significant for the whole range l=2600."


Now I am just a simple country boy, but even I can see that these two statements are directly contradictory.

Interesting times!

Much more to come in "The Principle".