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Lopsided universe? Well, that would explain a lot …

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File:A small cup of coffee.JPG From PBS:

Could the Universe Be Lopsided?

Physicists call a universe that appears roughly similar in all directions “isotropic.” Because the geometry of spacetime is shaped by the distribution of matter and energy, an isotropic universe must posses a geometric structure that looks the same in all directions as well. The only three such possibilities for three-dimensional spaces are positively curved (the surface of a hypersphere, like a beach ball but in a higher dimension), negatively curved (the surface of a hyperboloid, shaped like a saddle or potato chip), or flat. Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann, Belgian cleric and mathematician Georges Lemaître and others incorporated these three geometries into some of the first cosmological solutions of Einstein’s equations. (By solutions, we mean mathematical descriptions of how the three spatial dimensions of the universe behave over time, given the type of geometry and the distribution of matter and energy.) Supplemented by the work of American physicist Howard Robertson and British mathematician Arthur Walker, this class of isotropic solutions has become the standard for descriptions of the universe in the Big Bang theory.

However, in 1921 Edward Kasner—best known for his coining of the term “Googol” for the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes—demonstrated that there was another class of solutions to Einstein’s equations: anisotropic, or “lopsided,” solutions.

Known as the Kasner solutions, these cosmic models describe a universe that expands in two directions while contracting in the third.

Then there is the Mixmaster Universe (no, really), the Axis of Evil, and tilted universes.

Even if the preponderance of evidence today points to cosmic regularity, who knows when a new discovery might call that into question, and compel cosmologists to dust off alternative ideas. More.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Actually, the best evidence is that the universe is shaped like a leprechaun’s hat. I have equations; they just don’t make any sense.

But, according to one of the above theories (Mixmaster), the universe exhibits “deterministic chaos.” Which means that my equations may not have to make sense.

In other words, as long as it’s fun, it’s fine. But when people start to take this stuff very seriously, they underestimate the storm they are unleashing.

See also:
In search of a road to reality

The bill arrives for cosmology’s free lunch

If ID theorists are right, how should we study nature?

20 Replies to “Lopsided universe? Well, that would explain a lot …

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    But, according to one of the above theories (Mixmaster), the universe exhibits “deterministic chaos.” Which means that my equations may not have to make sense.

    I might be misreading here, but if the implication is that “deterministic chaos” is an oxymoron, I don’t think that’s the case. Deterministic chaos is the only kind of chaos I’d heard of until now.

    In other words, as long as it’s fun, it’s fine. But when people start to take this stuff very seriously, they underestimate the storm they are unleashing.

    This also seems cryptic. Cosmologists take their work seriously, just as we all do. I’m not aware of any storms being unleashed in the process.

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:


    From reading other comments in this thread, one could tell that some people seem to take all that funny cosmology stuff a little too serious. 🙂

    Keep posting. Some of us here like your refreshing sense of humor.

  3. 3
    daveS says:

    Maybe I missed the joke? I don’t know…

  4. 4
    News says:

    The new cosmologies are not shedding much light, except on the sheer power of the human imagination. Whatever they were supposed to explain has been rendered by their own rules unexplainable. What follows?

  5. 5
    daveS says:

    Referring to the linked article, certainly the discovery of the Higgs particle was a triumph for the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which is a “good” thing, no? One more prediction confirmed.

    I gather it’s still unclear what the implications of this discovery are for the Standard Model of Cosmology (Lambda-CDM), or any of the other cosmologies.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    News, What Is Evil About The Axis Of Evil?

    The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Radiation contains small temperature fluctuations.
    When these temperature fluctuations are analyzed using image processing techniques (specifically spherical harmonics), they indicate a special direction in space, or, in a sense, an axis through the universe. This axis is correlated back to us, and causes many difficulties for the current big bang and standard cosmology theories. What has been discovered is shocking.

    Two scientists, Kate Land and João Magueijo, in a paper in 2005 describing the axis, dubbed it the “Axis of Evil” because of the damage it does to current theories, and (tongue in cheek) as a response to George Bush’ Axis of Evil speech regarding Iraq, Iran and, North Korea.

    In the above video, Max Tegmark describes in a simplified way how spherical harmonics analysis decomposes the small temperature fluctuations into more averaged and spatially arranged temperature components, known as multipoles.

    The “Axis of Evil” correlates to the earth’s ecliptic and equinoxes, and this represents a very unusual and unexpected special direction in space, a direct challenge to the Copernican Principle.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “the Higgs particle was a triumph for the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which is a “good” thing, no? One more prediction confirmed.”

    The confirmed prediction of the Higg’s boson is indeed good news. Good news for the Theist that is!

    I have no idea why an atheist would dare to think the confirmed prediction of the Higg’s boson supported his naturalistic position. (that is if there were any such ‘persons’ as atheists to even think given naturalism in the first place (Nancy Pearcey; Finding Truth):

    podcast – Are Humans Simply Robots? Nancy Pearcey on the “Free Will Illusion”

    It is interesting to note that Dr. Craig used the example of Peter Higg’s mathematical prediction of the Higg’s boson itself, which Peter Higg’s had made 3 decades ago before it was discovered by the LHC, as a philosophical proof for Theism:

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video

    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    William Lane Craig on the unexpected applicability of mathematics to nature – 11/13/13

    It is a shame that atheists, (if they even existed as real persons 🙂 ), always have to try to steal from God in order for them to try to make it seem they are even sane in their rejection of God.

    supplemental note:

    at 37:51 minute mark of following video, according to the law of identity, Richard Dawkins does not exist as a person: (the unity of Aristotelian Form is also discussed) i.e. ironically, in atheists denying that God really exists, they end up denying that they themselves really exist as real persons.

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? – video
    Quote: “It turns out that if every part of you, down to sub-atomic parts, are still what they were when they weren’t in you, in other words every ion,,, every single atom that was in the universe,, that has now become part of your living body, is still what is was originally. It hasn’t undergone what metaphysicians call a ‘substantial change’. So you aren’t Richard Dawkins. You are just carbon and neon and sulfur and oxygen and all these individual atoms still.
    You can spout a philosophy that says scientific materialism, but there aren’t any scientific materialists to pronounce it.,,, That’s why I think they find it kind of embarrassing to talk that way. Nobody wants to stand up there and say, “You know, I’m not really here”.

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,

    And although Dr. Nelson alluded to writing an e-mail, (i.e. creating information), to tie his ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design, Dr. Nelson’s ‘personal agent’ argument can easily be amended to any action that ‘you’, as a personal agent, choose to take:

    “You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t open the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    What should be needless to say, if raising your arm, or opening a door, is enough to refute your supposedly ‘scientific’ worldview of atheistic materialism, then perhaps it is time for you to seriously consider getting a new scientific worldview?

    Also of note, When the agent causality of Theists is rightly let ‘back’ into the picture of physics, as the Christian founders of science originally envisioned, (instead of the self refuting ‘blind’ causality of atheists), then a unification between Quantum Theory and Relativity is readily achieved in the resurrection of Christ from death:

  8. 8
    daveS says:

    “Higg’s”. lol

    A triumph for the atheist Peter Higgs as well!

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    It seems to favor the casinos.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Whether Higgs was an atheist or not in his personal beliefs has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Higgs, and every other atheist on the face of God’s green earth, has to steal Theistic presuppositions in order to rationally practice science in the first place.

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb – audio of the 1985 Greg Bahnsen debate available at the bottom of the site
    Excerpt: The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,,

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.

    It is not an accident that there weren’t any atheists at the Christian founding of modern science.
    If you truly believe there is no reason why anything exists in the universe, and that everything in the universe is all ultimately an accident, then that belief certainly prevents a ‘person’ from ever investigating to see the reason(s) behind why anything exists in the universe.

    “virtually all of science proceeds as if ID is true – it seeks elegant and efficient models; it reverse engineers biological systems; it describes evolution in teleological terms; it refers to natural forces and laws as if there is some kind of prescriptive agency guiding matter and energy; it assumes that the nature of the universe and human comprehensive capacity have some sort of truthful, factual correspondence.”
    William J Murray

    “Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules. Hawking needs God In order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter

    Photo – an atheist contemplating his mind

    In fact, it is impossible for atheists to live their own personal lives as if atheism is true. Moreover, to the extent that an atheist is able to live his own personal life consistently within his worldview, he would be considered psychopathic.

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt: ,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, “Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get.”
    An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, “The impossibility of free will … can be proved with complete certainty.” Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. “To be honest, I can’t really accept it myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?”,,,
    In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots — that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one “can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free.” We are “constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots.”
    One section in his book is even titled “We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.”,,,
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.

    It would be nice to see an atheist be honest and openly admit their reliance on Theistic presuppositions, but then again, I guess that makes me a fool for ever expecting thieves to be honest about their blatant intellectual theft from God.

    Quote of Note:

    “If the world is rationally constructed and has meaning, then there must be such a thing [as an afterlife].”
    Kurt Godel – Hao Wang, “A Logical Journey: From Gödel to Philosophy”, 1996, pp. 104–105.

  11. 11
    daveS says:

    It would be nice to see an atheist be honest and openly admit their reliance on Theistic presuppositions, but then again, I guess that makes me a fool for ever expecting thieves to be honest about their blatant intellectual theft from God.

    Perhaps you should send Professor Higgs a sharply worded letter.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    daveS, that’s your response to the complete epistemological failure inherent within your atheism? that I should write a sharply worded letter to Higgs?

    Seeing as that is a pathetic response to the points raised, I’ll take that response to be your concession that ‘you’, (if there even were a real ‘you’ in atheism), have no real defense against the valid points raised in my post against atheism.

  13. 13
    daveS says:

    The failure is that atrocious argument by WLC that you summarized. I doubt it keeps Professor Higgs up at night.

    Anyway, Nobel laureate Higgs doesn’t need a lecture on how to do science from WLC.

    That’s my last word on this off-topic diversion.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    daveS, ‘That’s my last word on this off-topic diversion.’

    translation, “I have nothing except a fallacious appeal to authority to try to counter your argument with thus I wish this discussion to end since I’m getting the crap beat out of me’


  15. 15
    daveS says:

    “talk to the hand”

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    So, besides my Theistic presuppositions, you steal my line as well! 🙂

  17. 17
    ppolish says:

    Atheist Scientists come up with so very very few big ideas – Dr Higgs deserves some credit. Kudos good Dr.

    He certainly isn’t a Militant Atheist by any stretch.

    BTW, guess what – the God Particle is extremely fine tuned. Sitting right on the edge.
    Has scientists perplexed. Surprised. What else is new lol:)

  18. 18
    Mapou says:

    Some physicists are calling for a revolution in physics. Here’s a surprising call to simplify physics from physicist Neil Turok: To Explain the Universe, Physics Needs a Revolution [Scientific American].

  19. 19
    ppolish says:

    The universe is “lopsided” is one way to put it. A gentle politically correct way to put it.

    How about the Universe is freaking aligned with the conscience specks that have emerged to measure it. How about that?

    Copernican Principle has to be careful not to trip over Darwinism as it rushes to the exit. See ya.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks ppolish,

    Peter Higgs criticises Richard Dawkins over anti-religious ‘fundamentalism’ – Dec. 2012
    Excerpt: In the El Mundo interview, Higgs argued that although he was not a believer, he thought science and religion were not incompatible.,,,
    He said a lot of scientists in his field were religious believers. “I don’t happen to be one myself, but maybe that’s just more a matter of my family background than that there’s any fundamental difficulty about reconciling the two.”

    A few more quotes along that line:

    From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? … I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. –
    Sir Fred Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16. – It was also this work that caused Hoyle, an atheist until that time, to begin to believe in the guiding hand of a god (small g)

    “I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite intelligence. I believe that the universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science.”
    Anthony Flew – world’s leading atheist philosopher for most of his adult life until a few years shortly before his death
    The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel (Nov. 25, 2012) – video

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