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Huffington Post announces: Universe shouldn’t exist.

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From the Huff:

With a greater understanding of cosmic inflation’s properties and the Higgs boson mass, Hogan and his colleague, Malcolm Fairbairn, who is also a physicist at King’s College London, tried to recreate the conditions of cosmic inflation after the Big Bang.

What they found was bad news for, well, everything. The newborn universe should have experienced an intense jittering in the energy field, known as quantum fluctuation. Those jitters, in turn, could have disrupted the Higgs field, in essence rolling the entire system into a much lower energy state that would make the collapse of the universe inevitable.

So if the universe shouldn’t exist, why is it here?

“The generic expectation is that there must be some new physics that we haven’t put in our theories yet, because we haven’t been able to discover them,” Hogan said.

Cue the supersymmetry circus wagon, and sure enough … rumble, rumble, roll

Presumably the climate change circus wagon is out for paintwork.

This story pretty much picks up the Phys.org release; See “Some wonder: Why didn’t the Higgs boson cause our universe to collapse?”

Some of the rest of us wonder something else too: One reason it all feels like science in a time of decline is the ease with which dramatic speculations ensue from really limited and fragmentary evidence.

We haven’t even figured out whether the recent BICEP result was simply an artifact of cosmic dust (which the HuffPo article admits). If any of this really mattered, you’d think we’d find that out first before we proclaim supersymmetry and a multiverse. The generation that put men on the moon is retiring, and it sure shows.

See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology). A quick, handy guide to the cosmology of a world that no longer makes sense to many thinkers (and that’s okay).

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19 Replies to “Huffington Post announces: Universe shouldn’t exist.

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    So if the universe shouldn’t exist, why is it here?

    Who said it is here? That’s an illusion, a figment of their imagination. Isn’t it?

    Or maybe it’s all just a cosmic fluke?

    Or a product of M-verse theory, whatever that means?

    Or we’re inside a giant computer simulation?

    Or perhaps an alien civilization of category IV? (or was it category III?)

    What else could be?

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    So if the universe shouldn’t exist, why is it here?

    I believe this is why:

    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
    Genesis 1:1

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made . In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    John 11-5, 9-14 (ESV)

  3. 3
    tjguy says:

    If the Big Bang shouldn’t have happened scientifically speaking, maybe it didn’t!

    Why is this not a possibility entertained by the intelligentsia?

    I doubt anyone is seriously considering that possibility, at least publicly, but apart from philosophical bias, I would think that is also a viable option that should be considered.

    Why do so many Christians feel it is necessary to “add God to the mix” to get the Big Bang to work?

    It is a theory that man thought up. I personally don’t think it fits well with Scripture, but even if you think it does, given the mounting scientific difficulties with the “theory”, why do we feel like we need to rescue it by adding “divine intervention” to the mix? How scientific is that?

    Don’t you think that the possibility that the Big Bang is wrong should be seriously considered by science – even if there is no theory yet to replace it?

    But that’s not likely to happen is it?

    “What are you going to suggest in it’s place? If you don’t have anything to offer, then just shut up!”

    That’s usually that criticism, isn’t it?

    I’m not saying to totally reject it, but I am suggesting that scientists should begin to actively consider the possibility it is wrong given the problems that exist with it.

    After all, scientists have some supportive information and some unsupportive information for this theory. They simply assume the supportive information is authoritative and hope to find new information to solve the problems that exist.

    But, perhaps the unsupportive information should be considered as true and other options researched as well. In other words, why are discoveries like this that do not support the paradigm, always ignored? The paradigm is seldom challenged. Instead they appeal to the hope of future discoveries to solve the problem.

    It seems that no matter how many holes it has and no matter how many rescue devices are needed to keep the theory afloat, the Big Bang will stand strong until some new idea is found to replace it.

    Scientists cannot stand to have such an important idea fall the wayside with nothing to replace it. An unsolved problem of that magnitude would be too embarrassing and too threatening to them.

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    tjguy,

    Do you know what was the predominant theory before the Big Bang theory? As far as I remember, they used to say that the universe didn’t have any starting moment, because it had always been. At least where I was that was given as a proven fact.
    In my case, given that I don’t understand the astronomy talk well, my main interest in the Big Bang theory comes from the fact that it took authority away from the pseudo-science that affirmed something had happened without proving it was true.
    The margin of error going from a universe with ‘no beginning’ to a universe with beginning is quite large: infinite.
    Christians have faith in Christ, not in scientific theories. But those of us who like science, like it honest, humble, dedicated, pure.

  5. 5
    Phil2232 says:

    Dionisio,

    The steady state theory was the alternative model.

    “Sir James Jeans, in the 1920s, was the first to conjecture a steady state cosmology based on a hypothesized continuous creation of matter in the universe.[1][2] The idea was then revised in 1948 by Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold, Hermann Bondi and others. The steady state theory of Bondi and Gold was inspired by the circular plot of the film Dead of Night,[3] which they had watched together. Theoretical calculations showed that a static universe was impossible under general relativity, and observations by Edwin Hubble had shown that the universe was expanding. The steady state theory asserts that although the universe is expanding, it nevertheless does not change its appearance over time (the perfect cosmological principle); it has no beginning and no end.”

    “In 1931, Lemaître proposed in his “hypothèse de l’atome primitif” (hypothesis of the primeval atom) that the universe began with the “explosion” of the “primeval atom” — what was later called the Big Bang. Lemaître first took cosmic rays to be the remnants of the event, although it is now known that they originate within the local galaxy. Lemaître had to wait until shortly before his death to learn of the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, the remnant radiation of a dense and hot phase in the early Universe.[6]”

    ‘Christians have faith in Christ, not in scientific theories. But those of us who like science, like it honest, humble, dedicated, pure.’

    9 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

    20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of “science falsely so called”:

    21 Which some professing have “erred” concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

  6. 6
    Acartia_bogart says:

    At one time, people believed that the earth was flat. and that there was water above the sky, and that the sun and stars revolved around the earth, and that the plagues were a punishment from god, and that disease was caused by night air. All I can say is that I am glad that we didn’t just say that there is no point examining for naturalistic causes for these.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Not since 300 BC or thereabouts, where the circumference of the planet was measured. (Columbus’ dispute was about the size of the earth and his OPPONENTS were right. Just, no one understood that the Americas were there. And geocentrism had serious empirical support for many centuries.)

  8. 8
    Acartia_bogart says:

    “And geocentrism had serious empirical support for many centuries.”

    No it didn’t. Geocentrism roughly explained the perceived movement of the sun, moon and stars around the earth, but the wanderers (planets) were explained by divine intervention. If it weren’t for scientists of the day (often in contradiction to the church (even though they were often funded by the church) refusing to accept the supernatural explanations of the day, we would still be believing that the earth was the centre of the universe.

  9. 9
    Andre says:

    Bogart,

    I wonder where you conjure up the nonsense you speak….. It was the scientists that opposed anything other than Platonian science, much like Darwinists oppose evidence these days. But I’ll tell you what keep being ignorant it sure is allot easier than the truth.

    Ignorance is bliss they say….

  10. 10
    Acartia_bogart says:

    “I wonder where you conjure up the nonsense you speak….. It was the scientists that opposed anything other than Platonian science, much like Darwinists oppose evidence these days. But I’ll tell you what keep being ignorant it sure is allot easier than the truth.

    Ahh, revisionist history. You do realize that it was an Ancient Greek astronomer and mathematician that first proposed the heliocentric concept. Based on empirical data.

  11. 11
    Mung says:

    It follows that we should not exist either, yet we do.

    Perhaps we are at the center of the universe after all 🙂

  12. 12
    Dionisio says:

    Phil2232

    Thank you for the information on the universe models and for reminding 1 Timothy 6:19-21

    19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

    20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of “science falsely so called”:

    21 Which some professing have “erred” concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

    1 Timothy 6:19-21

    English Standard Version (ESV)

    thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

    O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

  13. 13
    Jul3s says:

    “No it didn’t. Geocentrism roughly explained the perceived movement of the sun, moon and stars around the earth, but the wanderers (planets) were explained by divine intervention. If it weren’t for scientists of the day (often in contradiction to the church (even though they were often funded by the church) refusing to accept the supernatural explanations of the day, we would still be believing that the earth was the centre of the universe.”

    Acartia bogart, read any literature on this subject (such as Milestones of Science by Curt Suplee), even wikipedia and it becomes obvious that this story is completely made up. Claiming that we would still think that the earth is the centre of the universe is especially ridiculous.

    Geocentrism explained the movements of the planets by postulating epicycles and abstract points called equant points. For hundreds of years, this model produced accurate predictions but was extremely convoluted. Copernicus proposed a model that was also predictive but importantly, it was much simpler. Copernicus wanted to replace geocentrism with a more mathematically elegant model. However, heliocentrism was rejected initially because nobody yet understood inertia (they thought objects would fly off the earth if it moved and therefore that the earth must be in the center. This is why geocentrism won out in ancient Greece and was the dominant view in the middle ages.). But Galileo’s experiments disproved this notion.

    You are so far off the mark that I strongly recommend further reading on this subject. The aforementioned Milestones of Science is good. The Great Copernican Cliche is also a good read that discusses revisionist history.

    Of all the questionable misdemeanors and horrors committed by religion, you had to pick one that was imaginary. A shame.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    Jul3s (attn, A-b):

    You are right.

    Geocentrism, for centuries, had the obvious massive support that our planet does not seem to be moving, which would only be overturned by pretty serious observations and calcs. (One of the underestimated breakthroughs in physics is Gallilean-Newtonian relativity, that in effect implies that with uniform un-accelerated motion, one can regard an inertial frame of reference under such motion as effectively at rest; onward issues on a cosmic absolute frame and absolute time etc would wait for a certain Swiss patents clerk. And while Earth’s surface is not an IFR, effects of rotation and sphericity are typically subtle. Coriolis virtual forces, Foucalt pendulums, direction of hurricane rotation, deflection of artillery shells and the like came up long after the ideas revolution had been well established.)

    Aristarchus proposed heliocentric models but was limited by observational challenges, including things like refraction through an atmosphere of varying density with altitude. Yes, complex models on wheels within wheels were constructed, and they worked well enough to be respectable . . . BTW, planetariums sometimes in effect implement such models, using chains of gears etc. (I summarise here on.)

    C 1600, in fact the best empirically grounded model was Tycho Brahe’s. Then, his former assistant used his data to develop an elliptical orbit heliocentric model. With looping in Mars’ orbit as a key test point.

    Oddly, Galileo paid but little attention to it.

    It was telescopic observations, Newton’s inference to universal inverse square law gravitation and the explanation of Halley’s comet that seemed to seal the deal. But things like stellar parallax were only really measured in C19. But note Almagest had long inferred that the stars were extremely remote.

    I also note, that it is not “religion” so much that we should set up as bogeyman, as unbridled power elites and linked ideologies. We now have about 100 years track record of radically and/or broadly secularised power elites. It is awful, as the ghosts of 100+ million victims just asked me to remind.

    We are finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed. Put in power, money and ideology interests and we will find a way to twist even the best things to bad, self-serving ends. Religious worldviews and faiths have been twisted. Science and Philosophy, not to mention History [try out Historical and Dialectical Materialism for size and associated “Scientific Socialism”], have all been twisted to horrific effect.

    While I am at it, I should note that our dismissive attitude to “Faith” in our day and our near worship of “Skepticism” — often dressed up in a lab coat — are philosophically and logically ill informed.

    Absolute skepticism self-refutes, e.g. one cannot know that one cannot know, nor is doubt sufficient answer to the challenge of truth as that which says of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not. Something like error exists is self evident and so a knowable first truth. So is that we are self-aware contemplative beings (however erroneous we may be on particular points otherwise).

    Once we recognise a specific thing such as a bright red ball on a table, say A, that effects a world partition: { A | not_A }, and immediately we find the triple-principle, the first principles of right reason dropping out: identity, non-contradiction, excluded middle. Likewise, asking why A is, leads to the hope or expectation of a good and sufficient reason, thence understanding possibility vs impossibility of being, contingency and necessity of being, thence on contingent beings the significance of on/off enabling factors. Onward, cause and effect. Thence also, an appreciation of the value, strengths and limitations of things such as phil, logic, math, science, history and so forth. For me a breakthrough point was realising the significance of Godel’s incompleteness results on the limits of Mathematics and struggling with the bridge between syllogisms and propositional calculus. (I actually made a meeting with a Mathematician on the subject of how converting the Socrates syllogism to (p AND q) => r meant through De Morgan and truth tables, that p => r AND/OR q => r. The answer was, yes of course. Try linking that to the conceptual links implicit in the syllogistic approach.)

    Recognising that to lure, kidnap and murder three boys for the “crime” of being Jewish (and “worse,” Yeshivah students) points to how moral principles are deeply stamped in our nature. Indeed, it is self-evident that we have core basic rights and duties. Thus, we live in a world where we are morally governed creatures, one in which OUGHT is real, and therefore has a ground in an IS capable of bearing that terrific weight.

    There is but one serious candidate, after centuries of back and forth exchanges: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of reverence or even worship.

    In that context, I invite you to glance here on, and here on also.

    KF

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I should note, selective hyperskepticism undermines itself via the inconsistencies in standard of warrant demanded for what one is comfortable with, and what one does not like.

  16. 16
    Axel says:

    In his post #3:

    ‘……. I personally don’t think it fits well with Scripture, but even if you think it does, given the mounting scientific difficulties with the “theory”, why do we feel like we need to rescue it by adding “divine intervention” to the mix? How scientific is that?……’

    How scientific is that? tjguy, that implicit censure of yours reminds me of far right-wing Catholics talk as if Christianity were coterminous with Catholicism. If it doesn’t sound distinctively Catholic to them, it can’t be Christan and must be wrong.

    You take that to a whole nother level, that of scientism: any knowledge that is not ‘scientific’, is, ipso facto, illusory, spurious.

  17. 17
    Axel says:

    As a matter of fact, to the former, Christianity is seldom even a consideration, if that can be gauged by a total absence of any mention of it.

    Rather akin, it seems, to Lefebvre’s failure within the two-year span in which a young priest acted as his assistant, to mention Christ to him in any conversation – the Church being the thing, you see?

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    Professor John Lennox once said that “Nonsense remains nonsense, even when talked by world-famous scientists.”

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    Huffington Post should announce that Huffington Post shouldn’t exist.

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