These people are really reaching. From Alison Klesman at Astronomy Magazine:
In a study led by Ruari Mackenzi and Tom Shanks at Durham University’s Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy and published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the group explores the possibility that a “supervoid” of space — an area lacking a significant number of galaxies and other matter — is responsible for the Cold Spot. Both regular matter and dark matter tend to clump together in space, forming structures such as clusters and walls in some areas, while leaving voids without much material in others. This effect is exacerbated by the expansion of the universe, and causes the CMB coming from the direction of a void to look different than CMB radiation that must travel through areas of space more densely populated on its way to Earth.
Even without a supervoid in the way, the team estimates a likelihood that the Cold Spot appeared by random chance as 1 in 50. According to Shanks, “This means we can’t entirely rule out that the Spot is caused by an unlikely fluctuation explained by the standard model. But if that isn’t the answer, then there are more exotic explanations.”
Good grief. One in 50 is hardly serious odds at all, as everyone knows. As the ID theorists would say, one must be up orders of magnitude for questions to even be raised.
But because the multiverse is not a concept in science but rather in naturalist philosophy, any argument may be thrown into its defense:
The multiverse describes a set of infinite universes, which includes the one in which we live. To date, no evidence has been found that the multiverse is more than science fiction, but researchers are continually pushing the boundaries of the observable universe to determine whether this concept is fact or fiction. While at the moment the Cold Spot is certainly not definitive evidence of a multiverse, it does indicate a problem in our standard cosmological model that may need addressing if the cause of the temperature fluctuation in this area remains unclear. More.
The defense, by the way can include arguments like this that admit that there is no evidence but provide any old discordant data as… well, as a way of keeping the nonsense alive.
Note: I (O’Leary for News) am starting a new series at Evolution News & Views on the way the needs of naturalist theory make confetti out of the disciplines of science.
See also: See also: 2016 worst year ever for “fake physics”?
Multiverse cosmology at your fingertips
The war on falsifiability in science continues
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