Monday, April 30, 2007

Dark Energy Debunked Some More

Re: Dark Energy Debunked

There is always some emotional component in our effort to think. Humans are never perfectly logical. When we unconsciously perceive that a concept may be beyond comprehension, we cough it up, like a snake that has swallowed an oversize egg. And we recoil from it.

The visceral reaction against it is like a reflex that protects our emotional hearts from choking.This business about dark energy and dark matter involves concepts of immense numbers, "curved" space and such long periods of time that we cannot fully comprehend them.

It is what the author meant when he complained of people's incurable "innumeracy". We do not and can not fully acknowledge how ignorant we are of the ultimate implications of the enormously large or incredibly small aspects of reality. It makes me uncomfortable too.

But, at the same time, I experience a fascinating addiction to it! This is why I bother with this blog in the first place.

It is said that even if all the dark matter in the universe is accounted for, there would still not be enough matter and/or energy in the universe to "close" it. I guess that astrophysicists can apply statistical analysis to the pattern found in the cosmic microwave background to extract a mathematical "power law" that describes the distribution of high and low intensity areas in the sky. That power law is consistent with the pattern's being projected onto the sky from a flat source, I think.

This means that space is flat to within a very small percentage. So, the universe is, in fact, closed or at least it is poised delicately on the borderline between open, or ever expanding, and completely closed, eventually to contract.

But very distant type 1a supernovae SEEM to be more distant, by luminosity measurements, than they SEEM to be by redshift measurements. So, the universe should be older by luminosity than it is by redshift.

If one extrapolates redshift versus distance or time back toward zero, one obtains an intersection with the ordinate axis that is short of the origin (as determined by luminosity). The only way that this could occur is if the radial velocity of expansion line is curved upward, is concave rather than convex. This is the same as saying the universe expansion rate is accelerating.

But, then it is not closed or poised on the borderline. If it is poised, it would show a leveling off, an asymptotic approach to a plateau. So CMB data show a picture that is at odds with the supernova data.

It is not all consistent, in other words. And the rush to a conclusion is surely premature.

There is much evidence in support of the inflationary model of the evolution of the universe. Alan Guth's inflation says that the universe should have a flat curvature to within an exceedingly small percentage. But, again, an accelerating universe is not flat.

Cosmologists seem to want to have it both ways and the alternatives are mutually contradictory. And, they insist on referring to a Hubble CONSTANT. If the universe is doing anything but expanding at a constant rate, if it is slowing down or speeding up, we have a Hubble parameter, not a constant. And then one cannot use linear regression analysis to determine H naught.

That the the latter point is missed may be due to sloppy journalism. The way these issues are discussed in the popular press is confusing. When journalists do not know that an overturned tanker of liquid nitrogen cannot explode like liquid hydrogen or promote an exposion like liquid oxygen, we cannot trust their scientific judgement.

Your visceral reaction against all of this is just a reaction to reality. It is all really very disgusting! Let us continue to watch the soap opera. Maybe there will be some kind of conclusion after all.

Gary Kent

1 comment:

Gary Kent said...

I have some other blogs including NEOCHRISTIANITY, GOD UNBOUND and LONETREE PICTURES.