OT: Big Bang bust?

As for Eric, well, check him out. I wasn’t impressed long ago in the 70’s, and I am less impressed now:

As long as science is NOT settled I’m happy!

The Captain

Newton vs. Mach: The Bucket Experiment

What is the ultimate nature of motion? Two influential physicists famously debated this question, invoking a bucket-and-water thought experiment to do so – but they arrived at starkly different conclusions. Can we determine which one of them was right? Join us on a journey that spans centuries of metaphysical thought, books worth of controversial literature, and twenty-minutes of bad attempts at animating water spinning in a bucket

At minute 14:35 they change to an experiment with a spring

14:35 - How does the observer know whether the measurement they make corresponds to the shortest length of the spring or not

15:10 - Here the problem is trickier, here the observer has to know, prior to making any measurements in their frame what length corresponds to the natural, undeformed state of the spring and to know that the observer would have had to previously have calibrated the spring rod measurement device in a frame that was already known to be inertial such as a laboratory back on earth.

Why is the above false? How can you find when the object is at rest and the spring is at its relaxed length with no outside reference?

Don’t forget to tune back in for the answer. :wink:



Seems to me the “Big Bang Bust” article linked in the OP summarizes some ideas and probably a press release written by a diletantte I met long ago at a political event at Columbia University (hey, I’m a diletantte and a heretic too and so I have some interest and sympathy, but for neither the scientific nor political foundations that Eric Lerner apparently stands upon).

Heartily agree. The original article was pretty silly. I’m sure DrBob posted it as a joke. But the whole reason behind the JWT is that we don’t know things. The fact there are surprises shows the project is already a success. Very exciting to watch this unfold.


XKCD had a comment about new discoveries overturning big chunks of science… https://xkcd.com/955/


I was going to post something similar. Lerner has been speaking out against the Big Bang theory since at least the 1990’s. So I take the linked article as just more of his bloviating.

I did read through to the scientific paper mentioned in the article. Clearly, I’m not qualified to understand the details of the study. But the gist I get from the introduction and summary is that they say nothing about the Big Bang. What they do suggest is that we (and by “we” I mean qualified scientists) may need to rethink our ideas of how galaxies form and merge.



they say nothing about the Big Bang…

Ya mean like 'what drew all the mass together and compressed it to the point it went ‘bang’?

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One advantage of writing SF is that I can afford to take articles like that seriously*, even if they have obvious flaws.

I think it’s pretty definite that The Big Bang happened - there’s too much supporting data that fits too well.

However, we can fit that in with a variant on Lerner’s interpretation of the Webb data. As in: maybe The Big Bang is not the only thing that happened.

Perhaps it wasn’t “The” Big Bang, but merely “A” Big Bang - one of several, not necessarily all at the same time. Or perhaps it was something that happened for unknown reasons within a different sort of universe - maybe a sufficiently large black hole will hit some unknown-to-us law of physics and explode. Or…

And what effect will these various ideas have, for those who live near where the edge of one Big Bang brushes against whatever else is out there?

  • That is, take it seriously in a fictional context. Gotta remember that last part.

Ya mean like 'what drew all the mass together and compressed it to the point it went ‘bang’?

Maybe it wasn’t “all the mass”. As we now know, you can make matter out of energy and vice versa. So maybe it was just a cosmic burst of energy that turned into matter. Maybe Thor was rubbing a balloon on his head, and it was a sudden static discharge.

So many theories…


And what effect will these various ideas have, for those who live near where the edge of one Big Bang brushes against whatever else is out there?

I’m pretty sure infinity doesn’t have an edge.

But if there is an edge, I’m sure there will be a sign that says “ Yankee Go Home”. Or maybe “42”.

I’m torn.


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Maybe Thor was rubbing a balloon on his head,

Riiight. You make a good argument for the Bible’s version/explanation.

… and still the startling fact exists: there was and is no such thing as 14 billion years ago.

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Ya mean like 'what drew all the mass together and compressed it to the point it went ‘bang’?

Ah yeah!

Or maybe I don’t understand the gravity of the situation? :wink:


Riiight. You make a good argument for the Bible’s version/explanation.

The bible is many good and worthwhile things, but it is not a science textbook.


This is when science gets exciting!

It’s also the same kind of thing that made sitting around the camp fire late at night exciting.
Something to tell a story about

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200 billion trillion stars

There are many grains of sand on the beach and none of them has an elephant playing piano on them… that we know of…? Just having a lot of something doesn’t mean “…And therefore there must be life on one of them.”

On one rock are a bunch of monkeys
There is nothing that even suggests let alone proves otherwise despite Sci-Fi writers and well-published academics

Who think it is all about them
Blaming the victim? Why wouldn’t it be all about them? What is there known at this time that would indicate it should be otherwise? And whom else should it be about? And of all the Grays and Bulge-headed bug-eyed intelligent Star Trek level life forms the universe is actually about (I suppose…?) can you demonstrate that they don’t think it’s all about them? And is that a bad thing or is it just bad for the monkey’s?

Then they blew themselves up

Jumping the gun there. Or do you have a crystal ball? Or maybe someday the self-up-blowing can be mathematically shown to be an inexorable certitude of science and not a character or moral flaw of the monkey? And can said monkey’s even have morals in the first place?

Just some thoughts

Where is Fred Hoyle when you need him?


We do not need Fred Hoyle to to reject Eric Lerner’s ideas:

Eric Lerner’s ideas have been rejected by mainstream physicists and cosmologists. In these critiques, critics have explained that, contrary to Lerner’s assertions, the size of superclusters is a feature limited by subsequent observations to the end of greatness and is consistent with having arisen from a power spectrum of density fluctuations growing from the quantum fluctuations predicted in inflationary models. Anisotropies were discovered in subsequent analysis of both the COBE and BOOMERanG experiments and were more fully characterized by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and Planck.

Physical cosmologists who have commented on the book have generally dismissed it.[In particular, American astrophysicist and cosmologist Edward L. Wright criticized Lerner for making errors of fact and interpretation, arguing that:

  • Lerner’s alternative model for Hubble’s Law is dynamically unstable
  • the number density of distant radio sources falsifies Lerner’s explanation for the cosmic microwave background
  • Lerner’s explanation that the helium abundance is due to stellar nucleosynthesis fails because of the small observed abundance of heavier elements



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