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:
- "It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory — if we look for confirmations.
- 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.
- Every "good" scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.")
- 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 falsifiability, or refutability, or 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.
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.
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.
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.