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The never-ending story of multiverse cosmology, made easy

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As a physics professor working in a secular university in Australia, and publishing in scientific journals, and knowing the importance of communicating one’s science to the wider community, I have had many opportunities to see how the system works. Outside of the experts in your field the details do not matter, but a good story does.

As an illustration of this let me relate a story from early 2013. At that time I published a cosmology paper,3 which included an interesting concept. I found that using an alternative cosmology in a finite bounded expanding universe, with a unique centre and an edge, one could get the same physical description of the large-scale structure of the universe, which fit the observed data well. But this was without the need for the inclusion of ‘Dark Energy’ or ‘Dark Matter’ fudge factors, as is necessarily assumed in the standard big bang cosmology with no centre and no edge.

It was only a theory paper published in a lower ranked journal, so I didn’t really think much about it. But then I received a call from someone in the publicity department at my university who wanted to speak with me because she wanted to write a press release on it. She asked me what I felt was important about the paper. I told her that the paper was consistent with the notion that our galaxy could be located in a privileged location in the universe. This was contrary to the oft quoted cosmological principle which states that there are no privileged locations—that our location is purely random and the universe has no centre or edge. My paper suggested that that is not necessarily so.

Once she understood what I was saying, her facial expression told me everything. And she said: “I don’t think we can do anything with this.” And I never heard from her again. I had published the science, passing peer-review, but the real story could not be told. Silence was preferred.

Modern day cosmology has developed a ‘good’ story. The general public knows it very well. But they have absolutely no knowledge of the details, nor if they were presented to them could very many of them even comprehend them.

So we’ve heard. What matters in most cases isn’t science but pop science.

6 Replies to “The never-ending story of multiverse cosmology, made easy

  1. 1
    Box says:

    Atheists have hijacked science. Ironically all the worldviews available to them are incapable of grounding the prerequisites for any scientific activity – like “person”, “rationality”, “purpose” and so forth.

  2. 2
    Popperian says:

    Atheists have hijacked science. Ironically all the worldviews available to them are incapable of grounding the prerequisites for any scientific activity – like “person”, “rationality”, “purpose” and so forth.

    It’s not about theism or atheism. The very idea that things like “person”, “rationality”, “purpose” need some kind of ultimate grounding is philosophical issue, which theism is a special case of.

    For example, is God not an authoritative source of knowledge?

  3. 3
    tjguy says:

    Nice to see some scientific research that does NOT support the Big Bang getting a fair hearing here!

    More from the paper:

    “So the usual script is adhered to, and if you don’t depart from that you can get out your message. But suggest something different, i.e. our galaxy is in a special location, and you will hear a deafening silence. Of course, that means you won’t hear anything. You, the author, will be ignored. But for those who accept the standard paradigm—the Lambda Cold Dark Matter big bang story—you won’t have any problem getting out your story.

    That story, which is told over and over again, is filled with made-up stuff, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Dark Radiation, Inflation epoch with inflaton fields, expanding space, big bang singularity, quantum fluctuations of a false metastable vacuum, colliding hyper-dimensional branes, etc.

    Who understands what these things are? The general public certainly doesn’t. The experts can’t really because none of these have ever been discovered or demonstrated in a lab experiment. But they are all needed in the modern big bang story and it is really one big story.

  4. 4
    Me_Think says:

    Heh. Here’s a quote from his ‘paper’:

    People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations, …For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical
    universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations. …You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds.
    In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that

  5. 5
    Joe says:

    Heh. That was some refutation of that quote, MT.

  6. 6
    Axel says:

    He seems very modest about his theory paper, doesn’t he?

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