Big Bang Cosmology Fine tuning Intelligent Design

The early universe was flat to a “suspicious” one part in a million

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cosmic inflation theory/Drbogdan (CC BY-SA 3.0)

An “expert voice” astrophysicist explains that the Big Bang is now the “vanilla Big Bang,” which is unpopular because it doesn’t explain all observations:

The Big Bang model is our most successful explanation for the history of the universe that we live in, and it’s ridiculously easy to encapsulate its core framework in a single, T-shirtable sentence…

But

But there’s no reason for our universe to be flat. At large scales it could’ve had any old curvature it wanted. Our cosmos could’ve been shaped like a giant, multidimensional beach ball, or a horse-riding saddle. But, no, it picked flat. And not just a little bit flat. For us to measure no curvature to a precision of a few percent in the present-day universe, the young cosmos must’ve been flat to one part in a million.

Why? Of all the possible choices for curvature, doesn’t nearly perfectly flat seem a little suspicious?

The best solution we have to these conundrums is a process called inflation. The idea was first proposed — and coined! — by physicist Alan Guth in 1980 when he suggested that the same exotic process that flooded the universe with magnetic monopoles could have sent the cosmos into a period of staggeringly rapid expansion.Paul Sutter, “Why We Need Cosmic Inflation” at Space.com

Well, that’s fine but Sutter admits that the hypothesized inflation mechanisms are “poorly understood” and that a cosmology theory must not only explain observations but make successful predictions. We are waiting.

Currently, cosmic inflation is being promoted with some pretty wild theorizing. Faster than light travel is just the beginning.

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See also: Does the beginning of the universe require a cause? Alexander Vilenkin says no. William Lane Craig says yes.

The Big Bang: Put simply, the facts are wrong.

At Science: Hawking’s last work attempted to stick a pin in eternal inflation of the cosmos

and

Cosmic inflation theory loses hangups about the scientific method

9 Replies to “The early universe was flat to a “suspicious” one part in a million

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    My stomach was flat once, but now it is inflating.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    The author claims that we need inflation to explain why the universe is so flat:

    Why? Of all the possible choices for curvature, doesn’t nearly perfectly flat seem a little suspicious?

    The best solution we have to these conundrums is a process called inflation.

    Paul J. Steinhardt, one of the originators of the inflation model but who is now scathing of it, disagrees and holds that flatness remains a conundrum for inflation.

    Specifically he states, “there has to be a patch of space where the quantum fluctuations of spacetime have died down and the space is well described by Einstein’s classical equations of general relativity; second, the patch of space must be flat enough and have a smooth enough distribution of energy that the inflation energy can grow to dominate all other forms of energy.,,, if it were easy to find a patch emerging from the big bang that is flat and smooth enough to start inflation, then inflation would not be needed in the first place.”

    Pop Goes The Universe – Scientific American – January 2017 – Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt and Abraham Loeb
    Excerpt: “If anything, the Planck data disfavored the simplest inflation models and exacerbated long-standing foundational problems with the theory, providing new reasons to consider competing ideas about the origin and evolution of the universe… (i)n the years since, more precise data gathered by the Planck satellite and other instruments have made the case only stronger……The Planck satellite results—a combination of an unexpectedly small (few percent) deviation from perfect scale invariance in the pattern of hot and colds spots in the CMB and the failure to detect cosmic gravitational waves—are stunning. For the first time in more than 30 years, the simplest inflationary models, including those described in standard textbooks, are strongly disfavored by observations.”
    “Two improbable criteria have to be satisfied for inflation to start. First, shortly after the big bang, there has to be a patch of space where the quantum fluctuations of spacetime have died down and the space is well described by Einstein’s classical equations of general relativity; second, the patch of space must be flat enough and have a smooth enough distribution of energy that the inflation energy can grow to dominate all other forms of energy. Several theoretical estimates of the probability of finding a patch with these characteristics just after the big bang suggest that it is more difficult than finding a snowy mountain equipped with a ski lift and well-maintained ski slopes in the middle of a desert.”
    “More important, if it were easy to find a patch emerging from the big bang that is flat and smooth enough to start inflation, then inflation would not be needed in the first place. Recall that the entire motivation for introducing it was to explain how the visible universe came to have these properties; if starting inflation requires those same properties, with the only difference being that a smaller patch of space is needed, that is hardly progress.”
    “…inflation continues eternally, generating an infinite number of patches where inflation has ended, each creating a universe unto itself…(t)he worrisome implication is that the cosmological properties of each patch differ because of the inherent randomizing effect of quantum fluctuations…The result is what cosmologists call the multiverse. Because every patch can have any physically conceivable properties, the multiverse does not explain why our universe has the very special conditions that we observe—they are purely accidental features of our particular patch.”
    “We would like to suggest “multimess” as a more apt term to describe the unresolved outcome of eternal inflation, whether it consists of an infinite multitude of patches with randomly distributed properties or a quantum mess. From our perspective, it makes no difference which description is correct. Either way, the multimess does not predict the properties of our observable universe to be the likely outcome. A good scientific theory is supposed to explain why what we observe happens instead of something else. The multimess fails this fundamental test.”
    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~loeb/sciam3.pdf

    The author in the OP also states that,,,

    For us to measure no curvature to a precision of a few percent in the present-day universe, the young cosmos must’ve been flat to one part in a million.

    The author is off by, err, 10^51 magnitudes,,, as the following author comments, the universe must have been flat to 1 part within 1×10^57 parts over its entire 13.8 billion year history which, “seems like an insane coincidence”.

    How do we know the universe is flat? Discovering the topology of the universe – by Fraser Cain – June 7, 2017
    Excerpt: With the most sensitive space-based telescopes they have available, astronomers are able to detect tiny variations in the temperature of this background radiation.
    And here’s the part that blows my mind every time I think about it. These tiny temperature variations correspond to the largest scale structures of the observable universe. A region that was a fraction of a degree warmer become a vast galaxy cluster, hundreds of millions of light-years across.
    The cosmic microwave background radiation just gives and gives, and when it comes to figuring out the topology of the universe, it has the answer we need. If the universe was curved in any way, these temperature variations would appear distorted compared to the actual size that we see these structures today.
    But they’re not. To best of its ability, ESA’s Planck space telescope, can’t detect any distortion at all. The universe is flat.,,,
    Since the universe is flat now, it must have been flat in the past, when the universe was an incredibly dense singularity. And for it to maintain this level of flatness over 13.8 billion years of expansion, in kind of amazing.
    In fact, astronomers estimate that the universe must have been flat to 1 part within 1×10^57 parts.
    Which seems like an insane coincidence.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-06-universe-flat-topology.html

    Besides failing to explain the initial ‘flatness’ of the universe, physicists are also baffled as to how the universe can possibly maintain exceptional flatness throughout its entire 13.8 billion year history

    “The Universe today is actually very close to the most unlikely state of all, absolute flatness. And that means it must have been born in an even flatter state, as Dicke and Peebles, two of the Princeton astronomers involved in the discovery of the 3 K background radiation, pointed out in 1979. Finding the Universe in a state of even approximate flatness today is even less likely than finding a perfectly sharpened pencil balancing on its point for millions of years, for, as Dicke and Peebles pointed out, any deviation of the Universe from flatness in the Big Bang would have grown, and grown markedly, as the Universe expanded and aged. Like the pencil balanced on its point and given the tiniest nudges, the Universe soon shifts away from perfect flatness.”
    ~ John Gribbin, In Search of the Big Bang

    The universe is flat as a pancake. Coincidence?
    Dark energy is smoothing the expanding cosmic curves – but only exactly the right amount can make that happen – Oct. 2016
    Excerpt: NEXT time you fancy doing something really frustrating, try balancing a pencil on its sharpened tip. Your efforts will succeed for a second at most. Yet the universe has been succeeding at a similar gravitational trick for the last 13.8 billion years.,,,
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23230970-800-cosmic-coincidences-the-universe-is-flat-as-a-pancake/

    Yes, the world (universe) really is flat – December 8, 2016
    Excerpt: The universe has all sorts of deformations in space-time where it varies from the perfectly flat. Any place where there’s mass or energy, there’s a corresponding bending of space-time — that’s General Relativity 101. So a couple light beams would naturally collide inside a wandering black hole, or bend along weird angles after encountering a galaxy or two.
    But average all those small-scale effects out and look at the big picture. When we examine very old light — say, the cosmic microwave background — that has been traveling the universe for more than 13.8 billion years, we get a true sense of the universe’s shape. And the answer, as far as we can tell, to within an incredibly small margin of uncertainty, is that the universe is flat.,,,
    ,,, but there are also no laws of physics that predict or restrict the topology.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....y-is-flat/

    The author in the OP also states that,,

    Why We Need Cosmic Inflation
    By Paul Sutter, Astrophysicist | October 22, 2018
    Excerpt: As best as we can measure, the geometry of our universe appears to be perfectly, totally, ever-so-boringly flat. On large, cosmic scales, parallel lines stay parallel forever, interior angles of triangles add up to 180 degrees, and so on. All the rules of Euclidean geometry that you learned in high school apply.
    But there’s no reason for our universe to be flat. At large scales it could’ve had any old curvature it wanted. Our cosmos could’ve been shaped like a giant, multidimensional beach ball, or a horse-riding saddle. But, no, it picked flat.
    https://www.space.com/42202-why-we-need-cosmic-inflation.html

    The author should be grateful that the universe is ‘ever-so-boringly flat’. If the universe were not so ‘ever-so-boringly flat’ science and technology would not be possible for humans.

    It is important to point out that the reason why Euclidean (3 Dimensional) geometry is even applicable in our science and engineering in the first place is because the 4-Dimensional space-time of our universe (General Relativity) is exceptionally, and unexpectedly “flat”. As Fraser Cain stated in the following article, which was referenced previously, “We say that the universe is flat, and this means that parallel lines will always remain parallel. 90-degree turns behave as true 90-degree turns, and everything makes sense.,,,’

    How do we know the universe is flat? Discovering the topology of the universe – by Fraser Cain – June 7, 2017
    Excerpt: We say that the universe is flat, and this means that parallel lines will always remain parallel. 90-degree turns behave as true 90-degree turns, and everything makes sense.,,,
    Since the universe is flat now, it must have been flat in the past, when the universe was an incredibly dense singularity. And for it to maintain this level of flatness over 13.8 billion years of expansion, in kind of amazing.
    In fact, astronomers estimate that the universe must have been flat to 1 part within 1×10^57 parts.
    Which seems like an insane coincidence.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-06-universe-flat-topology.html

    Simply put, without some remarkable degree of exceptional, and stable, flatness for the universe, (as well as exceptional stability for all the other constants), Euclidean (3-Dimensional) geometry would not be applicable to our world. or to the universe at large, and this would make science and engineering for humans, for all practical purposes, all but impossible.

    Scientists Question Nature’s Fundamental Laws – Michael Schirber – 2006
    Excerpt: “There is absolutely no reason these constants should be constant,” says astronomer Michael Murphy of the University of Cambridge. “These are famous numbers in physics, but we have no real reason for why they are what they are.”
    The observed differences are small-roughly a few parts in a million-but the implications are huge (if they hold up): The laws of physics would have to be rewritten, not to mention we might need to make room for six more spatial dimensions than the three that we are used to.”,,,
    The speed of light, for instance, might be measured one day with a ruler and a clock. If the next day the same measurement gave a different answer, no one could tell if the speed of light changed, the ruler length changed, or the clock ticking changed.
    http://www.space.com/2613-scie.....-laws.html

    This ‘insane coincidence’ of flatness adds considerable weight to both Einstein’s and Wigner’s claim that the applicability of math to the universe is, by all rights, a miracle:

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    The author in the OP also wants inflation to ‘explain away’ why the Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR) is so round and smooth:

    Why We Need Cosmic Inflation
    By Paul Sutter, Astrophysicist | October 22, 2018
    Excerpt: Surrounding us is the cosmic microwave background, the leftover fossil light released when the universe was barely a newborn — only 270,000 years old, well over 13.8 billion years in the past.
    That light comes to us from distant reaches of the cosmos, so distant that it’s now inaccessible to us. And different sections of that background light are inaccessible to each other. In the wonderful jargon of physics, regions of the cosmic microwave background are not causally connected. In other words, for one chunk of the limits of our observable universe to communicate with another chunk in the past 13.8 billion years, they would have had to send signals faster than the speed of light.
    Which would be no big deal at all if the cosmic microwave background wasn’t almost perfectly smooth. The infant universe had the same temperature to one part in a million. How did everyone get so well-coordinated when changes in one area didn’t have enough time to affect others?
    https://www.space.com/42202-why-we-need-cosmic-inflation.html

    Yet, besides failing to explain why the the Cosmic Background Radiation is so smooth and round, inflation also fails to explain the ‘anomalies’ in the CBR.

    Planck reveals an almost perfect Universe (Disconfirms inflationary models) – video
    Quote at 2:00 minute mark: “What’s surprising in Planck’s latest findings and is inconsistent with prevailing theories, is the presence of unexpected large scale anomalies in the sky. Including a large cold region. Stronger fluctuations in one half of the sky than the other. And less light signals than expected across the entire sky.”
    Planck spokesman: “When we look at only the large features on this (CMBR) map you find that our find that our best fitting theory (inflation) has a problem fitting the data.”
    “Planck launched in 2009,, is the 3rd mission to study the Cosmic Microwave Background to date. While these unusual features in the sky were hinted at the two previous US missions, COBE and WMAP, Planck’s ability to measure the tiniest of fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background has made these so called anomalies impossible to ignore.”
    Planck spokesman: “Because of these features that we are finding in the sky, people really are in a situation now where they cannot ignore them any more. ,,, We’ve established them (the anomalies) as fact!”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2CWaLU6eMI

    Moreover, some of these anomalies in the CBR, which the inflation model simply cannot explain, ‘strangely’ line up with the earth and solar system:

    What Is Evil About The Axis Of Evil? – February 17, 2015
    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.
    (Youtube clip on site)
    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.
    http://www.theprinciplemovie.com/evil-axis-evil/

    At the 13:55 minute mark of this following video, Max Tegmark, an atheist who specializes in this area of study, finally admits, post Planck 2013, that the CMBR anomalies do indeed line up with the earth and solar system

    “Thoughtcrime: The Conspiracy to Stop The Principle” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0eVUSDy_rO0#t=832

    Here is an excellent clip from “The Principle” that explains all of these ‘anomalies’ in an easy to understand manner.

    Cosmic Microwave Background Proves Intelligent Design (disproves Copernican principle) (clip of “The Principle”) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htV8WTyo4rw

    Of additional note:

    Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky? – Ashok K. Singal – May 17, 2013
    Abstract: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) observations from the WMAP satellite have shown some unexpected anisotropies (directionally dependent observations), which surprisingly seem to be aligned with the eclipticcite {20,16,15}. The latest data from the Planck satellite have confirmed the presence of these anisotropiescite {17}. Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR catalogue, one of the oldest and most intensively studies sample of strong radio sourcescite{21,22,3}. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP). We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations. Further, even the distribution of observed radio sizes of quasars and radio galaxies show large systematic differences between these two sky regions. The redshift distribution appear to be very similar in both regions of sky for all sources, which rules out any local effects to be the cause of these anomalies. Two pertinent questions then arise. First, why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the most distant discrete sources implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.4134

    And whereas physicists, with there inflation model, have no clue why the universe should be as round and flat as it is, (much less why the CBR anomalies should line up with the earth and solar system) Christian Theists have no problem finding an answer for why the universe is as such.

    The Bible ‘predicted’ thousands of years before it was discovered by modern science, that the universe would be ‘exceptionally’ round and flat:

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    Job 26:10
    He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

    Job 38:4-5
    “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
    Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?

  4. 4
    gpuccio says:

    Mung:

    Have you consulted a good gastroenterologist?

  5. 5
    News says:

    gpuccio at 4 😉 😉 If Mung were a cosmos, he should rather consult a gastro-entire-ologist. 😉 😉

  6. 6
  7. 7
    gpuccio says:

    Mung is certainly a cosmos! 🙂

  8. 8
    PaV says:

    Mung:

    How long was your ‘inflationary period’?

  9. 9
    PaV says:

    As to ‘flatness,’ Roger Penrose points out that to account for the entropy of today’s cosmos, the initial Big Bang material would have to have been ‘ordered’ to the (10)^(10)^123 degree, or some such number. How about that for ‘fine-tuning’!

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