Big Bang from red-shift is so boring.

26 May

A fortnight ago, I had a chat with a physicist (about 20 years my senior) at a local science association open day. I dared to suggest that what we SEE, is what we GET, but he did the same trick that they all do: he moved the goalposts. At some vague point outwards from System Sol, according to the fizzers, reality flips from awesome and worthy Newton, over to burbling and pretentious Einstein.

In fact, light, apparently, can travel a distance of 13 billion light-years but no further. By then it has lost its signal strength. On every vector outwards from our home galaxy Milky Way, we see out as far as a distance of 13 billion light-years. So 13 billion years ago, the distribution of galaxies, presently known to us, comprised a filled sphere of 26 billion light-years diameter.

We get NON-visible signals by radio sensors, out to a distance of 15 billion light-years. Therefore, what we sense is a 30 billion light-year diameter filled-sphere of galaxies. In addition, what would otherwise be inter-galactic nothing, and inter-stellar nothing, we get smaller specimens of matter, and/or energy, falling on their diverse ways, each little-bitty-bit according to its own imparted momentum, in what we sometimes (carelessly) think of as ‘vacuum’.

If you dare to suggest that the sphere we see from here to 13 is real, and the sphere that we sense to 15 is real, the fizzers (who believe that the red-shift of far-travelled light means that “the universe is expanding -a sort of big bang”) go:

Oh no! At 13 ago, it was just a short time since the big bang! We only THINK we see a 26 billion light-year diameter, 13 billion years old, distribution of galaxies! Actually, light curves around and pokes us up the rectum! The universe was just a little bundle of about-to-explode stuff 13 or 15 ago! It MUST be so because Big Bang is TRUE! It MUST be true because it is our cherished theory without which we would be desolate! Er… we would have to begin again! Aiee!

And so they waffle on. Some of them are nice and lovable as was the dear old gent who generously gave me of his time.

Of course, the alternative does not inevitably have to be ‘Steady State’, as defined by whomever, either. We do not KNOW the origin of the cosmos -which is the same as saying the origin of matter aka energy. What part of “do not know” is so hard for scientists, politicians, and priests, to say?

Mortals should resist the urge to desire passionately to know it all. This is a fatal pitfall. It leads to crass error. When some sad souls are so pitiably lacking in awareness of reality as to think that their era is the very one where all truth is revealed, they are scorned by those that succeed them, just as they scorn those that preceded them.

I was pleased that the IMAX Hubble 3D movie avoided the whole problem by not mentioning it specifically.


One Response to “Big Bang from red-shift is so boring.”

  1. Vincent May 26, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Nonsense! Everyone knows the World was created only 10,000 years ago, by God. In six days, yet. While dinosaurs and our views of the Universe were merely put there to test our FAITH!

    (Sadly, there are some poor souls who actually BELIEVE that crap!)

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