The Instigator
GarretKadeDupre
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Samreay
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Geocentrism

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Samreay
Voting Style: Judge Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/20/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,347 times Debate No: 56864
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (73)
Votes (3)

 

GarretKadeDupre

Pro

Although the debate is titled "Geocentrism", I will only be arguing that our galaxy, the Milky Way, is within 100,000 light years of the center of the universe.

If any appeal to authority or majority is challenged, it will have to be argued from empirical data.

First round is for acceptance only. Please comment if you're interested.
Samreay

Con

I accept this debate. As my position as con, I will argue against Geocentrism. I also assume that Garrett, claiming Geocentrism, is arguing to fulfill his BoP.
Debate Round No. 1
GarretKadeDupre

Pro


This debate should have been called “Galactocentrism” but alas, it's too late to change the title now. It was clarified in Round 1 however, so it shouldn't be a problem that I'm arguing for galactocentrism and not geocentrism.



Unscientific Prejudice Against Galactocentrism



Over the past century, mainstream science has consistently demonstrated prejudice against galactocentrism, the idea that the Milky Way holds a uniquely special place in the universe. This is due to the culture following the rejection of geocentrism, as well as the prevailing ideology. In the 60s, Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, explained:



I suspect that the assumption of uniformity of the universe reflects a prejudice born of a sequence of overthrows of geocentric ideas[...] It would be embarrassing to find, after stating that we live in an ordinary planet about an ordinary star in an ordinary galaxy, that our place in the universe is extraordinary[...] To avoid embarrassment we cling to the hypothesis of uniformity.”(1)



This assumption of uniformity is, by definition, not supported by observation. Mainstream science has abandoned the possibility of galactocentrism on ideological grounds, as Stephen Hawking plainly admitted in 1960:



[W]e are not able to make cosmological models without some admixture of ideology.”(2)



In 1996, Hawking clarifies:



[I]f we observe all other galaxies moving away from us, then we must be at the center of the universe. There is, however, an alternative explanation: the universe might look the same in every direction as seen from any other galaxy, too[...] We have no scientific evidence for, or against, this assumption.” (3)(emphasis mine)



This unwarranted prejudice against the resolution of this debate can be traced back to 1937, when Edwin Hubble wrote:



The assumption of uniformity has much to be said in its favour. If the distribution were not uniform, it would [increase or decrease with distance]. But we would not expect to find a distribution in which the density increases[...] symmetrically in all directions. Such a condition would imply that we occupy a unique position in the universe, analogous, in a sense, to the ancient conception of a central earth. The hypothesis cannot be disproved but it is unwelcome[...]”(4)(emphasis mine)



Now that I've shown ideological assumptions, and not scientific observation, is the root of modern prejudice against galactocentrism, let me move on to the empirical evidence in favor of the resolution.



Waning Density



The farther one travels away from our galaxy, the less dense the distribution of galaxies becomes. This is depicted clearly an image constructed from data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (and edited by myself to illustrate our location in the center). The Milky Way is in the center of the image, and the colored particles represent galaxies:



(5)



Obviously, our galaxy is in the center of the universe. It's the only plausible explanation for why the other galaxies are arranged around us like that.



Concentric Density Spheres



If that wasn't enough, the density is roughly arranged into concentric spheres around our galaxy, as can be observed in these chart (also compiled from SLOAN survey data, with the 2nd edited by myself for clarity):



(6)



Fingers of God



This is the phenomenon where clusters of stellar objects are arranged in an oblong cluster that points towards our galaxy, as seen in this chart compiled from The CfA Redshift Survey data:



(7)



Interestingly, my source for this chart demonstrates that same, unscientific prejudice towards galactocentrism when it says the following:



We should know by now that we are not privileged observers, thus this effect must be unphysical.”



Restated, their argument is this:



P1: We should know by now we aren't privileged observers.


P2: Evidence shows we actually are privileged observers.


C1: The evidence is an illusion.



This is absurd reasoning, and not scientific. It's obvious that if gigantic, stellar formations are “pointing the finger” at our location, our location is the center of the universe.



(1) Feynman, R.P., Morinigo, F.B. and Wagner, W.G., Feynman Lectures on Gravitation, Penguin Books, London, 1999.


(2) Hawking et al., The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,1973.


(3) Hawking, S.W., The Illustrated A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, 1996.


(4) http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu...


(5) http://space.mit.edu...


(6) http://www.sdss.org...


(7) http://astro.berkeley.edu...


Samreay

Con

A debate is always the best way to start one's day. In my first post, I wish to present a few brief refutations to all points Garrett has raised, and then present a few reasons why I am not a galactocentrist myself.

Refutations


1. Ideological

Now, Garrett here is right. In scientific inquiry, we do start off saying "We are probably not special" and go from there. The reason for this should be obvious to all readers: if we did not start at this point and instead started with the assumption that what we observe was unique and special to us, then the impetus to explain and investigate odd phenomena vanishes. So we begin with the assumption we are not unique, but that does not mean that one cannot present evidence that we *are* unique, and indeed, this is what Garrett will now try and do.

2. Galaxy density

For this section, my opponent takes a visualisation of SDSS (Sloan Digital Sky Survey) results and tries to infer that the lower galaxy redshift density at higher redshift implies we are the centre of the universe. Whilst I could argue that higher density does not implied being physically central in the universe, this is not needed as lowering density is simply a result of Garretts lack of familiarity with cosmological surveys. Very simply stated, the graph Garrett presented shows successfully redshifted galaxies. The further out we go, the fainter the galaxies are and the lower the success rate on redshifting. When given a slightly larger telescope and looking out at higher redshifts (SDSS isn't a deep field survey, it has a median redshift of 0.1 - you can read about the survey on Wikipedia for corroboration [1]), you can see for yourself the fade off in the image presented by Garrett (which occurs around z=0.7 - redshift is denoted by a z) is simply because of redshifting difficulties:

QSO

The above image is from the 2df QSO surey quasar survey, which goes up to z=13 [2].

To hammer this point home, imagine you are standing in the middle of a relatively sparse forest, idenifying trees around you. You look at each tree you can see and try and identify it visually, and plot your result on a piece of paper. After finishing, you look down and realise you've managed to identify far more trees in your immediate vicinity than trees further out that you had to squint at. This is perfectly expected from any location in the forest, and anyone trying to claim that because of that plot they are at the centre of the forest would probably receive a few skeptical glances.


3. Great wall

I am really liking this debate, as it is helping me distil a good amount of cosmological information. So what Garrett has pointed out as "Concentric Density Spheres" in the SDSS diagram are the known result of Baryon Acoustic Oscillations [3] that give rise to large scale structure in the universe. In particular, Garret his highlighted the Sloan Great Wall [4], which is named because it was discovered by the SDSS. What Garrett is shown though is just a helpful cherry picking of the data which supports his view, because when we zoom out a little more, we clearly see galacitc filaments are not concentric spheres, and indeed we aren't even in one of the more impressie superclusters.

Filaments1

The above image is based on physical data [5], the below is a simulation of mass distribution showing the structure of filament at extremely large scales [6]. Notice the lack of concentric spheres or indeed any obvious focal point that one could claim is the "center" of the universe.

Filaments2

Unfortunately for Garrett, these images and their lack of any centre point merely reinforce the position that our galaxy is not special or unique in its location.


4. Fingers of God

Fingers of God are not indications of a central position in the universe, they are a well understood observational phenomenon that would be seen from any viewing direction [7]. To give a brief explanation, redshifting works by measuring recession velocity. In galactic clusters in which galaxies are orbitting each other and being pulled around, the objects recession velocity is a combination of both the expansion of the universe and it's perculair velocity (how it is moving relative to the cluster). Now, galaxies moving towards us in the cluster appear to have a lower recession velocity, and galaxies having a perculiar velocity away from us appear to have a higher recession velocity. Given that redshifting directly converts recession velocity to distance, those changes in recession velocity cause the cluster to become elongated, and we call those "Fingers of God" (don't ask me why). One could redshift those clusters from any direction, from any other galaxy, in every case we would find a finger of god. In fact, I would easily argue that NOT observing fingers of god would be far stronger evidence of us being unique, because it would mean that all galaxies would have to only be moving tangentially to us (no perculiar velocity), and that would be inexplicable.




Why I am not a galactocentrist

There are three main reasons I want to talk about. 1: we do not have available evidence for it, so we have a scope problem. 2: it makes no sense in spacetime models and 3: it would falsify modern cosmological models, and we have a vast amount of data supporting them.

1. Scope

Notice, if you will, that the evidence Garrett has been using is only up to z=0.7. Indeed, this is the region we have the most data for, by orders of magnitude. However, z-0.7 corresponds to a bit less than 10 Glyr in radius. The size of the observable universe is around 47 Glyr in radius, so we are looking at a volume of less than 1% of the observable universe. This worse when we realise that the universe itself is, to best calculation, at least 250 times the volume of the Hubble sphere (250 is the lower bound for a closed universe, the upper bound is infinite) [8]. So this means that at the very most, we are looking at a volume of <0.003% of the universe and trying to say "See, we are in the middle of it". We simply do not have the data to form such a conclusion. Imagine that even if the arguments Garrett presented were valid, we would only have grounds to say that we appear to be the focal point of our immediate galactic neighbourhood. It could be possible that there are many such focal points and "concentric spheres of density" in the universe around different points. My mental pictures for this is that Garrett is trying to show we focus of an antlion trap and therfore the world, but is currently not considering the fact that a singular antlion trap is rarely the case.

Antlion

I hope to talk about the other two points in my next argument.

Conclusion

Garretts arguments for galactocentrism are founded on minunderstandings of basic observational cosmology and have been soundly refuted. Furthermore, even if incontrovertible evidence arose that we were the focus of our galactic neighbourhood, the sheer size of the universe means that continuing the conclusion out to being the focus of the universe will be unjustified. In my next argument, I will explain how a central point is geometrically nonsensical under the Minkowski space-time metric and why galactocentrism is a hypothesis that directly contradicts modern cosmology and thus cannot be considered individually.



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...;

[2] http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au...

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5] http://rand0m1y.blogspot.com.au...

[6] http://scienceblogs.com...

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[8] http://arxiv.org...





Debate Round No. 2
GarretKadeDupre

Pro

Waning Density



Con says, “I could argue that [growing] density [towards us] does not implied being physically central in the universe[...]”



Con can't argue this. The only plausible explanation for us being in such a special place is that we are in the center of the universe. To argue otherwise would be saying out of all the possible places we could be in, we just happened to end up here. Con is appealing to a statistical impossibility.



Con says, “However, z-0.7 corresponds to a bit less than 10 Glyr in radius. The size of the observable universe is around 47 Glyr in radius, so we are looking at a volume of less than 1% of the observable universe.”



1 Glyr (Gigalight-year) = 1 billion light-years.



My first chart represents 2 billion light-years,(5) a.k.a. 2 Glyrs.



47 Glyrs / 2 Glyrs = 100 / 5, so we're actually looking at 5% of the observable universe, not “less than 1%” like Con said.



Con says, “So this means that [...]we are looking at a [tiny part] of the universe and trying to say "See, we are in the middle of it". We simply do not have the data to form such a conclusion.”



I'm using the evidence available to draw a conclusion. If you have a different conclusion that can be drawn that's equally supported by the same evidence, let's hear it! Appealing to the possibility that I may be wrong, because contradictory evidence might turn up later, is a logical fallacy.



Con objects that my chart only represented up to z=0.7, so here is a larger chart compiled with more recent data that reaches up to z=2.3 and includes not only galaxies, but quasars too:



(8)



As you can see, the waning density and concentric spheres are still present.



Con says, “Very simply stated, the graph Garrett presented shows successfully redshifted galaxies. The further out we go, the fainter the galaxies are and the lower the success rate on redshifting.”



If the waning density were really an illusion due to a declining success rate with distance, the density would decline smoothly and not abruptly, forming concentric spheres as you can see in the image.



Con showed a chart from the 2dF quasar survey and said, “The above image is from the 2df QSO surey quasar survey, which goes up to z=13.”



However, his chart is compiled from data only up to z=3; here is what his source says:



The survey probes redshifts up to z~3.”



If the survey really went to z=13, why does Con's chart only go up to z=3? What is it hiding? Could it be the telling indicators of galactocentrism that mainstream science doesn't want to flaunt? Further, Con's survey is outdated, and my last chart is compiled with more recent data.



Con says, “imagine you are standing in the middle of a[...] forest, idenifying trees around you. [...]you look down and realise you've managed to identify far more trees in your immediate vicinity than trees further out that you had to squint at. This is perfectly expected from any location in the forest[...]”



Con's analogy fails because in his scenario, distribution density would wane away from the observer smoothly, not abruptly, several times. Con's analogy fails to account for concentric density spheres. In fact, if Con charted trees in concentric spheres around him, he would have to assume the trees were planted around him like that on purpose. Maybe if the analogy involved mushrooms it would be different, but Con would still have to explain why he was standing in the center of the circle. But trees don't form fairy rings, so the only explanation is that Con is standing in the center of a bulls-eye plot of trees.



Concentric Density Spheres



Con asserts these are due to a phenomenon known as Baryon Acoustic Oscillations. I'm going to have to demand an explanation from Con of what this is and how it explains away the concentric circles, or have his argument dismissed.



Identifying a feature as the “Great Wall” doesn't damage my argument anymore than calling the oblong clusters pointing towards us “Fingers of God” proves God's existence. Con has a lot of explaining to do.



Con says, “when we zoom out a little more, we clearly see galacitc filaments are not concentric spheres[...] The above image is based on physical data”



Con's source for this image brings me to a blog post that doesn't source the image. I'm going to have to dismiss this pretty picture until Con can point me to the data it was derived from. An obvious red flag about the picture is the complete, 360 degree mapping which should be impossible to obtain since the Milky Way Galaxy obscures much of our view; in fact, that is why my charts don't map all the way around.



Con says, “the below is a simulation of mass distribution showing the structure of filament at extremely large scales [6]. Notice the lack of concentric spheres or indeed any obvious focal point that one could claim is the "center" of the universe.”



I'm going to have to dismiss this picture as well. It's not drawn from empirical data; it's a computer modeled simulation which assumed galactocentrism is false as one of it's parameters. Using this picture as evidence against galactocentrism is fallacious. It's circular logic.



Con says, “Unfortunately for Garrett, these images and their lack of any centre point merely reinforce the position that our galaxy is not special or unique in its location.”



Unfortunately for Con, his images only demonstrate confirmation bias (using outdated data because the new data doesn't support his position) and circular logic. It also demonstrates why one shouldn't use blogs as a source of evidence in a scientific debate.



Fingers of God



Con says, “Fingers of God are[...] a well understood observational phenomenon that would be seen from any viewing direction [7]. To give a brief explanation, redshifting works by measuring recession velocity. In galactic clusters in which galaxies are orbitting each other and being pulled around, the objects recession velocity is a combination of both the expansion of the universe and it's perculair velocity[...]”



Before we go further, Con is going to have to clarify what he means by “expansion of the universe” since his entire rebuttal of the Fingers of God argument depends on it. Does he assume expansion into the dimension of hyperspace, where space itself expands, or does he mean all matter is moving away from a central point in only 3 dimensions?



I can easily demonstrate to you, right now, that the universe is 4D. Pace backwards and forwards: you're traversing 1 dimension. Run in a circle: you're exploring the 2nd dimension. Now jump up and down: that's the 3rd dimension you just went through. Well actually, you've traveled through the 4th dimension of time, too, since you're further along in time now than you were at the start!



If Con wants to argue space expands into an extra, 5th dimension, he's going to have demonstrate this is true.



(8) http://astro.uchicago.edu...

Samreay

Con

My thanks to Pro for his timely response. To address his challenges and disputations:


The implication of waning density

In my last post, I pointed out that even if waning density was correct, it does not imply we are the centre of the universe. I believe this point has been lost on Pro, so to state it more clearly: Pro has yet to provide a model or theory about a galactocentric universe which predicts waning density, and as such it seems simply that Pro finds it intuitive: if you're in a region of high density, it lends credence to being in the centre. What I was trying to explain, is that, given the lack of model Pro has presented, I could also present an unsupported model in which there are regions of high density scattered randomly over the universe, and thus increased density would not imply centralisation. I would like from Pro actual supportive arguments for all of this points. Why does increased density imply centralisation? Why does Pro believe this to be a singular phenomenon?


On the scope of the data

You know, I was trying to be generous to Pro, by upping the survey radius to all of SDSS's high density mapped area up to z=0.7. But sure, I will now take Pro's 2Glyr figure. What Pro seems to have forgotten in his maths is that we do not live in a 1 dimension world. Pro has presented a sphere of radius 2Gly, in a universe of Hubble radius 47Gly, and minimum radius of 293 Glyr [1]. Just looking at the observable universe to be extremely generous to pro, we have (2/47)^3 = 0.008% of the observable universe. So it seems extrapolating a perceived trend (which doesn't actually exist, as I will get to) based on less than a hundredth of a single percent of the universe to the entire universe to be a bit unwarranted. If we did actually throw in the minimum size of the universe (going beyond the observable universe), we are drawing conclusions about the whole with less that 0.00003% of the data. Rigorous, this is not.



Concentric Spheres

Two very simple things to note in here: firstly the majority of galaxies we can get a good redshift on occur at z<0.8 (beyond that point its old enough we mostly get quasars) and so there is a greater focus on spending very precious telescope time at less than this redshift so that we can get highest number of successful redshifts. Secondly, more importantly and also more amusingly, the "sphere" shown in the image Garrett presented is an artifact of the particle rendering system, nothing more. This is also why no SDSS data release supports concentric density spheres - this is something that if it existed, would be noticed by actual cosmologists. I give you two images below, one taken when zoomed out and the minimum particle size (1px on your monitor) makes the "sphere appear", and a zoomed in image, where you can see we actually do get a fade out and not a sudden drop. These concentric spheres do not physically exist.

zoomed out

zoomed in



My unfortunate typo

I apolise to the readers and to Garrett. When typing in the redshift for the 2df QSO survey I typed in "13" instead of "3". Of course, given that this is further out than the local area galaxy data presented by the SDSS team, it is obviously still valid. We do not see concentric spheres in it. Furthermore, I wish to point out to Garrett that in cosmological surveys "more recent data" doesn't mean we throw the old data out or do not use it. The surveys look at different things, in different areas of the night sky. In fact, for proper cosmological studies, we normally combine as many surveys as we can into the data set we feed to our model, because each survey only contains a small portion of the data we have available. Data does not become outdated unless the methodology of the survey was found to be incorrect.


BAO

I will try and keep this as nontechnical as I can. If anyone wants more information or a more detailed explanation, feel free to ask in the comments, or hit up Wikipedia [2]. The BAO are a result of the coupling between matter, dark matter, photons and neutrinons in the early universe before it cooled (forming the CMB). Observed time and temperature constrains on the evolution of the early universe allow precise calculation of the Baryon Accoustic Oscillations. Given the expansion of the universe, the regions of higher density in the BAO collapse faster and become regions of higher density in the universe, at a length scale of around 160MPc (490Mlyr). These regions of higher density - these filaments, are what is shown in the diagrams I presented previously. Now, for a graphical overview, read the smaller plots top to bottom from the left to the right for the time evolution of the BAO from t=100yrs to t=500Myrs (which is essentially the same as now). This is the correct and scientifically accepted explanation of large scale structure in the universe.


BAO


Filaments

Tying into the BAO, filaments are essentially the large scale sctructures we talk about. As to sources, the one Pro was unable to find is from the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, where they put observed data into their T3E supercomputer and let it evolve in a simulation [3]. This, unlike what Pro will say, obviously does not assume galactocentirsm (once again, it was actually given cosmological data to use as the initial condition). However, if he remains unconvinced, here is another image using just observed point sources [4]. Once again... no concentric spheres. No indication we are in a unique position.




Fingers of God

I am not certain what is causing confusion in my opponent, so please see this easy to understand sources for an external explanation of fingers of god if my explanation is not being understood [5][6]. As to what I mean by expanding spaces... precisely that. Space is expanding. It's not expanding into another dimension, it is simply expanding in our current dimensions, at a rate of around 70km/s/Mpc [7]. Now, I realise Pro is a creationist that rejects the Big Bang theory, but let me point out that regardless if its correct or not, any direct conversion of recession velocity to distance (which is what redshifting is), would have radial skewing from the perculiar velocity of galaxies in a cluster.


Why galactocentrism is geometircally nonsensical

Finally to get to something new! Unfortunately, I only have space for one point. Garrett, are we not introducing new arguments in our conclusion, or would I be alright to put my third point in it?

Okay, so to get down to business, there are three possible universes we live in: a closed, flat or open universe [8]. Now, the universe is actually so flat that it could be any one of the these within the uncertainty we have for the total curvature [9]. So let us examine each three cases. For flat and open, space is inifite, so it is mathematically nonsensical to define a centre point. For a closed universe (one in which if you kept flying you would reach where you started eventually), we can think of this easier if we imagine a 2D closed universe, which would be like a sphere with galaxies dotted on the surface of the sphere. There is no center point we can place on the surface of a sphere, and there is no center point if we extend our 2D example up to 3D. For a center to exist in the universe, we would have to have a finite spacetime boundary which has an axis of symmetry, and this does not exist under any physically possible universe shape.




Conclusion

I hope this has helped inform readers on cosmology and some of the fantastic phenomenon we see.


[1] http://arxiv.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de...
[4] http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com...
[5] http://www.astro.washington.edu...
[6] http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu...
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_law#Observed_values
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[9] http://arxiv.org...
Debate Round No. 3
GarretKadeDupre

Pro


Con says, “I would like from Pro actual supportive arguments[...] Why does increased density imply centralisation?”



This is because the method of determining the distance of the data points in both Con's charts and mine utilizes the fact that almost all of the points are moving away from us. A simple thought experiment where one rewinds time to the beginning demonstrates that this means most of the matter in the universe originated from a central point somewhere around the current location of our galaxy.



Con says, “So it seems extrapolating a perceived trend[...] based on less than a hundredth of a single percent of the universe to the entire universe to be a bit unwarranted.”



As I explained last round, this is a fallacious rebuttal because my claim is based on the evidence we do have, while Con's argument relies on the hypothetical possibility that contradictory evidence may turn up in the future. If all scientific claims could be falsified based on the mere possibility of falsifying evidence turning up in the future, no scientific hypothesis would survive this absurd standard of proof.



Con says, “no SDSS data release supports concentric density spheres - this is something that if it existed, would be noticed by actual cosmologists.”



First, cosmologists have noticed it, and in fact have been noticing it for over 30 years:



Over the past three decades or more astronomical evidence has been interpreted by some as suggesting that a major component of the redshift of quasars arises from a non-cosmological origin (Burbidge 1968; Karlsson 1971; Karlsson 1977; Burbidge & Hewitt 1990; Burbidge & Napier 2001; Bell 2002a; Bell 2002b; Bell 2002c), which is quantized in some fashion.(9)



By the way, for those who may be unfamiliar with the word “quantized”, it simply means restricted to particular number ranges. If redshift values of stellar objects are quantized, this means they are arranged in concentric spheres about us, or their density distribution peaks at a certain distance. Of course, this assumes the validity of using redshift values to determine distance, but this is something Con and I agree is valid.



Second, it's not true that “no SDSS data release supports concentric density spheres”, because in SDSS Quasar Catalog III Bell et al. found 6 concentric circles, which they refer to as “peaks” in redshift values. Here is a chart of the 46,400 quasars where several of the peaks are clearly visible:



(10)



The authors demonstrated that data selection effects could not explain away all of the peaks, and focused on the peak at z=0.70 because it had been demonstrated independently by previous studies already:



[A]nalysis of the distribution of over 46,000 SDSS quasar redshifts has been found to show a[...] distinct power peak for redshift periods less than W10;z = 1. The peak found corresponds to a redshift period of W10;z 0.70[...]The power peak is detected in three different samples[...] We conclude that it is real, and is due either to the preferred redshifts predicted in the DIR model, or to selection effects. However, because of the way the intrinsic redshift relation was determined it seems unlikely that one selection effect could have been responsible for both.(10)



Con may object that this paper, http://arxiv.org..., repeated analysis on the sample after accounting for selection effects and failed to find any peaks or quantization (a.k.a. concentric density spheres).



The problem with this argument is that the way they supposedly accounted for selection effects was “by excluding extended objects,” but “[e]xcluding extended sources will certainly eliminate many low-redshift quasars”!(11)



In other words, the new analysis that didn't find quantization in redshift values had actually eliminated an entire subset of quasars! Obviously, if you eliminate a subset of data from the data set, then try to look for it, you're not going to find it.



The second problem with their supposed “correction” is when they “limited the sample to a uniform magnitude limit of i < 19.1.” What if the peaks were due to quasars with a magnitude greater than 19.1?



Last, but not least, they “have corrected for the known incompleteness near z2.7 and z3.5”. The problem is that they don't even say what they mean by “corrected.” The locations at z=2.7 and z=3.5 represent troughs. If you assume these troughs are caused by “incompleteness” and “correct” them by flattening the peaks down to the level of the troughs (which is what they did! see their new chart), of course you're going to erase all evidence of the peaks! What's particularly suspicious about this is that their biggest “correction” involves erasing the peaks without explaining how. If anyone wants to verify their results, they can't!





In contrast, the study that did find the peaks(10) actually did explain their methodology fully, so anyone can replicate these results for themselves and verify the existence of the peaks. The data is in the public domain.



Con says, “I give you two images below, one taken when zoomed out and the minimum particle size (1px on your monitor) makes the "sphere appear", and a zoomed in image, where you can see we actually do get a fade out and not a sudden drop.”



Unfortunately for Con, even his zoomed-in image demonstrates quantization:





Con tried to explain away the thick, filamentous structures curved around our galaxy as “Baryon Acoustic Oscillations” but, for all his explanations, he didn't say why they appear to be wrapped around our galaxy if we aren't in the center of the universe, which was the entire reason I mentioned them in the first place.



When I challenged Con to source his “pretty picture” from a previous round, he said it was from the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, where they put observed data into their T3E supercomputer and let it evolve in a simulation [3]. This, unlike what Pro will say, obviously does not assume galactocentirsm (once again, it was actually given cosmological data to use as the initial condition)”



I think Con's trying to say they didn't assume galactocentrism is false. Well, Con is simply wrong. Following his source(11) for the simulation, one can read the following:



[Observed data] was extrapolated backwards in time to shortly after the Big Bang. The simulation [that made Con's picture] then followed evolution forward again to the present[...]



This admits the simulation actually did assume galactocentrism is false! It simulated the Big Bang, and the Big Bang doesn't allow for galactocentrism. So Con's picture is based on a simulation biased against my position; he can't use it as evidence.



Con says, “here is another image using just observed point sources [4]. Once again... no concentric spheres. No indication we are in a unique position.



Since nobody can find out how the image was contrived, I'm going to have to dismiss it.



Con says, “Okay, so to get down to business, there are three possible universes we live in: a closed, flat or open universe”



Actually, there's another possibility, and it's called a spherical universe.



Con says, “the universe is actually so flat that it could be any one of the these[...] For flat and open, space is inifite, so it is[...] nonsensical to define a centre[...]” However, space is obviously not flat, since nothing prevents me from moving in all directions. No space ceiling has ever been found.



Con says, “For a closed universe[...] we can think of this easier if we imagine a 2D closed universe, which would be like a sphere with galaxies dotted on the surface[...]”



This makes no sense: a 2D universe wouldn't be “like a sphere” because spheres are 3D.



Con says, “For a center to exist[...] have to have a finite spacetime boundary[...] this does not exist under any physically possible universe[...]”



Con can't just assert that my scenario is not physically possible.



(9) http://arxiv.org...


(10) http://arxiv.org...


(11) http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de...

Samreay

Con

I will adress my opponents points first, and then provide my last argument against geocentirsm in this post.

The scope problem

As pro seems to have misunderstood my position, allow me to clarify that I am not claiming there is a scope problem based on the possibility of contrary data turning up. I am not relying on the possibility of contrary data, merely pointing out that extrapolating our data on the assumption it is representative of the universe when we have such a tiny portion of the observed universe to go off may be rash. This isn't absurd, it is prudent. Luckily for theories like the Big Bang theory, our evidence stretches all the way out to the CMBR, which is as far as it is physically possible to see.


Redshift quantisation

And now we come to ground we have both tread before. If it is useful to readers, see this citation for the wikipedia entry on redshift quantisation [1]. Here though is what I think is the most pertinent excerpt:

In 1973, astronomer William G. Tifft was the first to report evidence of such clustering (before that see György Paál[3]). Recent redshift surveys of quasars (QSOs) have produced no evidence of quantization in excess of what is expected due to galaxy clustering, [4][5][6][7] and consequently most cosmologists dispute the existence of redshift quantization beyond a minimal trace due to the distribution of galaxies across voids and filaments.


So we can see already the position Pro is arguing from isn't something that has managed to get acceptance by the community of cosmologists. The reason for this is that these peaks disappear once selection effects are taken into account properly (selection effects, as in because telescope time is limited, we have to chose what to look at. Given that choices aren't done by saying "Okay, we just looked here, lets look over there", and are done by the probability we think we will get a redshift off the object, we do not actually look at all redshift distances equally). So, to support his position, Pro cites Bell and McDiarmid [2] which analysed the SDSS DR5 (data release five). So let us actually go straight to the SDSS team and what they had to say about it [3]:

Repeating the analysis of Richards et al. (2006) for the DR5 sample reveals no structure in the redshift distribution after selection effects have been included (see lower histogram in Figure 3); this is in contrast to the reported redshift structure found in the SDSS quasar survey by Bell & McDiarmid (2006).

So using a different analysis on the data makes all the peaks disappear. This is why cosmologists are not convinced: the results disappear when you use a different analysis algorithm or different data sets. Case closed.


BAO and Filaments

I must say that now Pro's continued discarding of my sorces and rebuttals is starting to be annoying. I am not even going to bother refuting the diagram he drew on to show density spheres, as I think simple visual inspection of his drawn spheres is enough to show that Pro is now grasping at straws. I should also note that the Sloan Great Wall (what Pro circled in one of his first diagrams) is a filament, and pro has simply assumed that it is a spherical shape, despite the data I have presented.

Pro dismissed my point source image showing that there are no spheres by saying he couldn't find how the image was made. So, here are a few more sources showing galaxy and cluster distribution, and all showing that there "density spheres" do not, in any way, exist [4][5][6][7][8][9][10]. I have even given another image below to try and drive this point home.




Why galactocetnrism is geometrically nonsensical

I don't have too much to say in this section, given that Pro provided no refutation and merely showed he did not understand what the terms flat, open and closed mean. I would invite Pro to actually follow up the basic source of Wikipedia I provided for a detailed explanation. In essence, "flat" spacetime implies no global curvature, not that it is 2D. To explain the closed universe further, a closed universe would be like the surface of a sphere (which is 2D), in that if you went in one direction on that surface you would end up where you started. Pro proposes a spherical universe, by which I imagine he means a finite space-time boundary at some arbitrary point. Not only is this undemonstrate, this is not one of the possible space-time gemoetries given in the Friedmann metric, which means that Pro's hypothesis now contradicts general relativity (and therfore special relativity by extnesion) as well as its contradiction with the Big Bang theory. Needless to say, this is not a point in favour of a galactocentric universe. Note that Pro's version of a spherical universe is not to be confused with the spherical unvierse given on Wikipedia, which is a closed universe [11].

My final point

As Pro helpfully pointed out in his closing statement, geocentrism and the Big Bang theory are mutually exclusive. Therefore, when deciding on which theory is more likely correct one cannot consider them in isolation - you have to compare the amount of confirmation of both ideas. This means that even if everything Pro has already said about density spheres, quantisation, etc, is correct, that galactocentirsm still wouldn't be mainstream cosmology because the confirmation we have for the BBT is so much stronger. To keep it short, the BBT theory explain the composition of the stars, the galaxy formation ratios (when we look back in time), the ratio of elements in the universe, the cosmic microwave background, the baryon acoustic osciallations, the homogeneity of the universe and a hundred other things which galactocentrism says absolutely nothing about. The ability for the BBT to explain so much more than galactocentrism means that if you ever had reason to place them both on the scales together, the BBT would be the most confirmed, most detailed, and most explanatory theory by a massive margin. Now add in that Pro's proposed universe shape isn't allowed by general relativity, and you can add in GR and SR to the BBT on the imaginary scales we are talking about. Do I even need to continue? The only way a person can, given these options, actually believe geocentrism is the most plausible scientific explanation is to have already concluded that before judging the scientific evidence - which is what Pro has already done and admitted in our last conversation [12]. On the topic of authority:

You've got your authority: the modern consensus. I've got mine: the word of God. You may challenge the mere existence of my authority, but at least I can honestly say I believe my authority to be infallible.


Conclusion

In this debate I have presented three solid reasons why the conclusion that geocentrism is true is completely unwarranted. I have also presented solid refutations for every single argument Pro has put forth. As such, I believe I have demonstrated without any doubt that geocentrism is not a scientifically plausible, nor scientifically supported, hypothesis.






[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://arxiv.org...

[3] Page 12: http://arxiv.org...

[4] http://www.sttff.net...

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[7] http://uvs-model.com...

[8] http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com...

[9] http://upload.wikimedia.org...

[10] http://www.phy.olemiss.edu...

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 4
73 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Samreay 2 years ago
Samreay
Also, if anyone wants more voting because they enjoy it, I've just finished another debate:

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Samreay 2 years ago
Samreay
True, I've read back over my comments and there is a bit more aimed knowledge than perhaps your average reader would have. Thanks for the heads up.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 2 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
oh okay good point
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
ChosenWolff
My advice? Both of you, like Wylted said, need to use more rhetoric. On science debates, people are inclined to believe who makes the most sense. Not that they're right, but they understand what their saying.
Posted by Samreay 2 years ago
Samreay
Thanks for the feedback BladeRunner.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD:

An interesting and technical debate!

Pro seemed to hurt his own case in R1 with his own quote:

"[I]f we observe all other galaxies moving away from us, then we must be at the center of the universe. There is, however, an alternative explanation: the universe might look the same in every direction as seen from any other galaxy, too[...] We have no scientific evidence for, or against, this assumption." (3)(emphasis mine)

He emphasized that there was no evidence for or against the assumption,and argued that non-galactocentrism was ideologically preferred.

Con's tree analogy was strong, but so was his rebuttal of the concentric rings point.

Pro should be careful with terms like "statistical impossibility".

Con does a good job asking the "why" questions as to the ramifications of Pro's theory.

Pro tries to argue that if everything appears to be moving away from us, therefore we're the center of the universe. In an expanding universe, though, it would seem most likely that everything would expand away from us, just like dots on a balloon all separate as the balloon inflates. This assertion from Pro just doesn't seem to hold much water. Further, Pro asserts that galactocentrism and BBT are mutually exclusive...which would seem to make the expansion point require a great deal most justification than Pro provided, since he has to provide an alternative to BBT.

Con showed a firmer grasp of general cosmology, particularly in terms of geometry/topology, and in the end his arguments stood, and Pro hadn't, in my opinion, fulfilled his BoP. Arguments to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 2 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
Thanks for voting Roy! I'd just like to add I agree with the comment below me... you can't find a center point of origin in BBT
Posted by Samreay 2 years ago
Samreay
Thanks for the comments Roy.

If I might be so bold, your statement "The Big Bang Theory is that the known universe began from a well-defined point" is technically incorrect. The BBT's 'point' of expansion isn't well defined, because it contained all of space (which then expanded). Anyway, just that brief comment, cheers mate.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 2 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
Thanks for the RFD whiteflame! It's interesting that that's the deciding factor in your vote.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
I thought the forest analogy was good, but insufficient by itself to show that density changes are just illusions. It worked to some extent, informing me with another reason why we could see the phenomenon, but I'd need to see some visual proof rather than just the analogy. Realistically, though, the density argument wasn't his strongest point. I'd have to assume that the density change was the result of the expansion of the universe after the Big Bang, and that seems like a decently large assumption.

You're right that proving Pro's points wrong would have been sufficient given the burdens. Garret's always been pretty good at defending his points, though, even if it's only pieces of them that make it through. You essentially have to win that all of his arguments are vacuous and at least 50-50 uncertain in order to win that way, which actually shifts the onus to you. An offensive argument, like the last two you presented, would have forced Garret to respond or lose the debate, taking some of the pressure off of you. I think you did show some glaring errors in his analysis, but without the accompanying burdens analysis to show that he had to convincingly win a point or two in order to take the debate, I'm forced to look at it on balance and just evaluate whether galactocentrism has any moderate likelihood of being true. That's why it's always good to lead off with some burdens debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
GarretKadeDupreSamreay
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
GarretKadeDupreSamreay
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: The resolution is plausible. The Big Bang Theory is that the known universe began from a well-defined point, so the Milky Way might be near that point. But Pro's main evidence of mass being concentrated and of concentric shells doesn't hold up to close examination. Con made the case that they are artifacts of observation. Pro mistakenly argues that if all observed points are receding, we must be at the center. All points recede from any observing point if the universe is uniformly expanding. Con was correct that if density was higher near the Milky Way it wouldn't prove it was in the center. Big Bang Theory is well-established science and contradicts that notion. Interesting debate on a subject I hadn't previously considered.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
GarretKadeDupreSamreay
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.