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Scientific American Science writer John Horgan still doubts cosmic inflation …

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Big Bang Theory/NASA

despite gravitational wave findings:

Proposed more than 30 years ago, inflation holds that an instant—10 -43 seconds, according to one estimate—after the Big Bang, gravity flipped inside out, briefly becoming a repulsive rather than attractive force. As a result the cosmos underwent an almost unimaginably rapid growth spurt, which had a profound impact on its evolution, before slowing down to a more leisurely rate of expansion.

Many cosmologists fell in love with inflation, because it seemed to solve riddles posed by the basic Big Bang theory. Why, for example, does the universe appear so uniform in all directions? The answer is that inflation would have smoothed out lumps in spacetime, just as blowing up a balloon smooths out its wrinkles.

But inflation has always been more a product of imagination than empirical evidence. There has never been more than circumstantial, hand-wavy support for its core mechanism, the reversal of gravity. Worse, the theory came in many different forms. My favorite was the eternally self-reproducing chaotic inflationary multiverse model proposed by Andrei Linde, who along with Alan Guth and Paul Steinhardt is credited with inventing inflation. More.

Funny how some front a multiverse based on the findings and others doubt inflation. Best approach is likely informed, cautious skepticism.

See also:

As if the multiverse wasn’t bizarre enough …meet Many Worlds


But who needs reality-based thinking anyway? Not the new cosmologists

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6 Replies to “Scientific American Science writer John Horgan still doubts cosmic inflation …

  1. 1
    Mapou says:

    Cosmic inflation is just a religious concoction with a dash of science-sounding ideas sprinkled in. Horgan is right to be skeptical.

  2. 2
    fossil says:

    I could believe in the big bang along with inflation if it weren’t for the requirement that dark matter and dark energy make up the majority of the universe. Those two things are still not being found anywhere close to the amount needed to support inflation. Neither do I choose to believe in multi-universes. To me if we do we might as well live in never, never land and talk of Captain Hook and Tinker Bell.

    Until these things are observed or otherwise proven by experimentation I will remain a “denier” of both theories.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    here is a good quote from the article:

    Why I Still Doubt Inflation, in Spite of Gravitational Wave Findings By John Horgan | March 17, 2014
    Excerpt: Indeed, inflation, like string theory, has always suffered from what is sometimes called the “Alice’s Restaurant Problem.” Like the diner eulogized in the iconic Arlo Guthrie song, inflation comes in so many different versions that it can give you “anything you want.” In other words, it cannot be falsified, and so–like psychoanalysis, Marxism and other overly flexible hypotheses (mmm Darwinism?)–it is not really a scientific theory.


    Arlo Guthrie – All 16 minutes of Alice’s Restaurant

  4. 4
    KRock says:

    I thought this qoute I came across from Nathan Aviezer, (Professor of physics at Bar Ilan University in Israel), concerning the recently discovered evidence that supports the Big Bang theory, was interesting..

    “One thing the announcement does do is make it clear that the universe had a definite starting point – a creation – as described in the book of Genesis,” Bar Ilan University physics Professor Nathan Aviezer told the Times of Israel.

    “To deny this now is to deny scientific fact.”

    Professor Aviezer goes on to say:

    “Without addressing who or what caused it, the mechanics of the creation process in the Big Bang match the Genesis story perfectly,” he said. “If I had to make up a theory to match the first passages in Genesis, the Big Bang theory would be it.”

  5. 5
    KRock says:

    Qoute(s) as in plural, not singular, my mistake…

  6. 6
    ppolish says:

    I’d like to hear the “something from nothing” crowd explain the “r value of 2.0” at “5 sigma” significance. Something from nothing lol.

    Or how about the “Big Bang was a trillion year whimper in an eternal universe” crowd.

    Considering what happened in a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, the Almighty deserved a rest after 6 days of Fine-Tuning:)

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