The Instigator
GaryBacon
Pro (for)
Losing
91 Points
The Contender
JustCallMeTarzan
Con (against)
Winning
98 Points

The Big Bang did not occur

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,635 times Debate No: 2634
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (33)
Votes (42)

 

GaryBacon

Pro

The Big Bang theory is not credible in my view. I do not believe that it occurred and I will challenge others to show me otherwise.

Since that is the essence of my opening statement, my opponent will have 3 full rounds to give evidence in favour of the Big Bang. I, on the other hand, will have only 2 (plus these few sentences). But I believe it will be sufficient to prove my point.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Well... absent any supporting evidence, your opening argument is somewhat incomplete. I can simply riposte by saying that I believe in the big bang, and turn this into an opinion poll. But there are several reasons I believe the big bang model, most of which are rooted in fairly elementary astrophysics.

1. It was proved in 1924 that the universe is expanding. Elementary measurements of the red-shift in light coming from distant galaxies proves they are moving away from us. The big bang easily provides the energy for this movement of the galaxies.

2. Cosmic background radiation (CBR) provides evidence of the nature of matter immediately following the big bang. This was discovered in 1964 in Holmdel, NJ at the Bell Laboratories with their radio telescope. CBR is the radiation that escapes a group of extremely hot atoms as they begin to congeal, much as happened in the formation of matter after the big bang.

3. We can study the nature of matter as it was in the big bang inside particle accelerators. This study corresponds to what we observe in nature, giving us little doubt that the beginning of our universe was very similar to the collisions in a particle accelerator.

Just a slight overview, but three completely different arguments of why the big bang is a extraordinarily probable cosmic event.

This does beg the question however, if the big bang did not occur, what did?
Debate Round No. 1
GaryBacon

Pro

Your first point to support the big bang is the red-shift of light. This does indeed show that the universe is expanding. But to draw the inference that our beginning must've begun with a singularity the size of an atom is a bit of a stretch. From the start there are two problems with this: the first is that there is no explanation as to why an infinitely dense singularity would suddenly explode, and the second deals with the expansion rate. When any type of explosion provides energy to move an object (or pieces of a bomb) it sets that object in motion with an initial velocity. That velocity should not increase or slow down unless it is acted upon by another force. In the case of the expanding universe, galaxies are actually accelerating away from one another. This energy could NOT have been provided by a big bang.

Your second point mentions the cosmic background radiation. One of the main problems with this is that the cosmic background radiation should be random if it did, in fact, arise from this big bang. However, it fluctuates more often towards the Virgo cluster than anywhere else. This is not at all consistent with the big bang, and the current answers from the big bang theorists state that this abnormal amount of fluctuations toward this cluster are a mere accident (which is highly unlikely).

Your third point was as follows: "We can study the nature of matter as it was in the big bang inside particle accelerators. This study corresponds to what we observe in nature, giving us little doubt that the beginning of our universe was very similar to the collisions in a particle accelerator."

I don't know where this information comes from, but particle accelerators do not in any way give evidence that our cosmos were created by the big bang.

Now that you have stated these points in favour of the big bang, I will show scientific points against it.

Starting out, the big bang claims that at the beginning of the universe this singularity exploded. From there there was this inflationary period in which matter travelled faster than the speed of light. From Einstein's theories, it has been well established that matter cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Yet the big bang theorists must add this to account for our current state of the universe (which according to them is roughly 13.7 billion years old). But to go faster than the speed of light is mathematically impossible according to the Lorentz transformation equations that have been empirically tested and confirmed time and time again. One example is that of time dilation: t'= t [1-(v^2/c^2)]^(-1/2)

Note: the carrot indicates an exponent

Now in this equation, if any velocity greater than the speed of light is used than the number in the brackets becomes negative. To then take the negative one-half power of this number would lead to an imaginary (and therefore nonsensical) answer.

There are also many experiments that show the speed of light as some type of limit. In ordinary events, if a car traveling at 50 mph on the highway were to measure the speed of a car going 50 mph in the opposite direction, the reading would be 100 mph. The speeds are added together. Similarly, if someone shoots a gun from a moving car with a non-moving (in terms of the road) observer, the speed of the bullet measured would be the speed of the bullet plus the speed of the moving car. But when we come to light, it is a whole other story. Someone moving towards light at a fast speed and measuring it will still get the speed of light. For some reason the speeds are not added together. Also, if that same person in a moving car shines a flashlight instead, the road observer measuring the speed of that light would only get the speed of light. Not the speed and the cars velocity added. So this inflationary period is inconsistent with one of the greatest theories the scientific community has ever seen.

But this is not all. Physicists have determined more than the age the universe would be if the big bang created everything. In addition to the age of 13.7 years, they have also concluded that the universe would have a certain density. This density is termed the omega value, and according to the big bang it should be approximately equal to 1.

Measurements were taken of this value, and it came up as .2, which is nowhere close to 1. So the measurements were taken again more carefully and again a value of .2 was obtained. I'm not sure how many times the calculation was performed, but I know that big bang theorists have tried several times to get this value of 1. After many trials to no avail, the big bang theorists gave up on remeasuring. But rather than throw out their theory, they came up with one of the most ridiculous (yet for some reason popular) fudge factors. Their claim was that the omega value must really be 1. However, they were not able to see all of the matter. This lead to this fictional crock they deemed dark matter. Dark matter has never been seen, can never be seen, and has zero evidence to support its existence. Yet it had to be invented for the big bang theorists to hold on to their sacred model. The claim of course being that there is this dark matter all over the cosmos that would fill in the other .8 to get the omega value up to one.

One final point I will make in this round is that the big bang also violates the laws of thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics state that energy transfer is always from hot to cold and always takes place between matter. The only time any type of energy can be emitted in a vacuum is with a phenomenon known as black body radiation (and this is extremely inefficient). The big bang claims that during this explosion, every single atom in the universe was spewed forth and all of these things were at temperatures of millions or even billions of degrees kelvin. Yet somehow things cooled. Of course in their chronology, they allow for cooling over a course of millions of years. But even then, if every single piece of matter in the universe was heated up so much, where could the heat have been transferred to? If the big bang created everything, there would be no other matter to receive the heat. And the heat could not have been emitted simply into the vacuum of space. This would violate the laws of thermodynamics. Do they want us to believe that black body radiation cooled everything? I'm not sure, but I do know that it wouldn't really account for such a temperature drop. The big bang theory is clearly incorrect.

You asked "This does beg the question however, if the big bang did not occur, what did?" I don't really know the answer to this question. But whatever did happen, it was not the big bang.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

>>"This does indeed show that the universe is expanding. But to draw the inference that our beginning must've begun with a singularity the size of an atom is a bit of a stretch."

I plainly addressed this - nobody contends that the starting size of the universe was the size of an atom.

>>"From the start there are two problems with this: the first is that there is no explanation as to why an infinitely dense singularity would suddenly explode, and the second deals with the expansion rate. When any type of explosion provides energy to move an object (or pieces of a bomb) it sets that object in motion with an initial velocity. That velocity should not increase or slow down unless it is acted upon by another force. In the case of the expanding universe, galaxies are actually accelerating away from one another. This energy could NOT have been provided by a big bang."

First, the universe was not an infinitely dense singularity to begin with. Cosmologists contend that it had an extremely high density, yes, but not infinitely dense. As for the reason it would explode - it's pretty simple. The beginning of the universe was the same as a star, basically. The gravity of the mass present presses the atoms too closely together for the nuclear fusion to push back against and balance the size of the star. Essentially, the universe imploded and then exploded, just like an immense star.

There is not enough information to postulate why galaxies are accelerating away from each other. However, we DO know that normal matter is only something like 6% of the matter in the universe. And only 10% of that is matter as we know it - the other 90$ is dark matter. And nobody knows what the other 94% of the universe is made of, only that it has properties that affect gravity. Seems to me that it's possible that this unknown stuff could be responsible for the movement of galaxies. There's also the possibility that spacetime is fundamentally curved, even in deep space (instead of the Euclidian spacetime we generally suppose to be out there) and that is causing part of it...

>>"One of the main problems with this is that the cosmic background radiation should be random if it did, in fact, arise from this big bang. However, it fluctuates more often towards the Virgo cluster than anywhere else. This is not at all consistent with the big bang"

Actually, there's a fairly simple explanation for this. We know that stars have some spots on them that are cooler than others. CBR is the result of the universe cooling enough that radiation could escape the superheated mass of the universe. If the area that was to be Virgo cooled at a slightly different rate (exactly like a star) we would see more radiation escaping the cluster than normal. It's exactly the same concept as encasing a light bulb in a bowl and then drilling a hole in the bowl - we will see a sort of reverse umbra and a penumbra of radiation. This is Virgo - we're getting both where other places only deliver the umbra.

>>"I don't know where this information comes from, but particle accelerators do not in any way give evidence that our cosmos were created by the big bang."

The short answer is that it provides science with the necessary physics to postulate what actually happened under the conditions of the big bang. The universe is made of the same matter that we're slamming together in accelerators - the physics will be the same, and they hold to something like 10^-43 seconds after the big bang - to the point where basically everything was quarks and gluons.

>>"Starting out, the big bang claims that at the beginning of the universe this singularity exploded. From there there was this inflationary period in which matter traveled faster than the speed of light"

This is incorrect. Matter cannot travel faster than the speed of light. However, galaxies ARE expanding from each other faster than the speed of light. It's pretty simple physics. If we move "left" at .6C (60% of the speed of light) and the other galaxy moves "right" at .6C, then the galaxies are expanding at 1.2C.

>>"Someone moving towards light at a fast speed and measuring it will still get the speed of light. For some reason the speeds are not added together. Also, if that same person in a moving car shines a flashlight instead, the road observer measuring the speed of that light would only get the speed of light. Not the speed and the cars velocity added. So this inflationary period is inconsistent with one of the greatest theories the scientific community has ever seen."

This simply seems pretty clear evidence that nothing can move faster than the speed of light. Why doesn't light move faster when shone from a moving car? It can't. Here's another possibility - this may just be a case of quantum tunneling, in which case we don't really have the proper science to describe why this would happen... However, as I demonstrated above with the moving galaxies, the light is still moving at light speed. It's easy to measure speed when you have an idea of your own velocity, especially when that speed is only about 400 kps, and the speed of light is 300,000 kps.

>>"This lead to this fictional crock they deemed dark matter. Dark matter has never been seen, can never be seen, and has zero evidence to support its existence."

Sigh... this is also blatantly false. Dark matter's existence is postulated on the basis of gravitational effects that are simply not accounted for by the presence of normal matter. Clearly there is SOMETHING there that's not normal matter. We call that dark matter. I suggest you read this (http://en.wikipedia.org...) - especially the section about "Observational Evidence"

>>"The big bang claims that during this explosion, every single atom in the universe was spewed forth and all of these things were at temperatures of millions or even billions of degrees kelvin. Yet somehow things cooled. Of course in their chronology, they allow for cooling over a course of millions of years. But even then, if every single piece of matter in the universe was heated up so much, where could the heat have been transferred to?"

You seem to be under the impression that the big bang created even the medium the universe exists in. Instead of a model like a box with a definite edge, the universe is more like an infinite sheet of graph paper where the closeness of matter is represented by the size of the squares. The big bang was basically the start of those squares getting larger. The heat of the big bang could certainly have been absorbed by black bodies or any one of a number of undiscovered cosmological phenomena.

>>"You asked "This does beg the question however, if the big bang did not occur, what did?" I don't really know the answer to this question. But whatever did happen, it was not the big bang."

Science has given an explanation for every issue you raise. Why, then, do you hold the big bang could not have happened? I'm puzzled here - all the evidence we have points to the big bang. If it did not, it would point to something else. Therefore, there MUST be an explanation other than the big bang if the big bang is incorrect. To suggest otherwise is to simply attribute the start of the universe to "no cause," and that is unacceptable. You can't call the big bang theory incorrect without providing an alternate hypothesis. That's exactly like saying that gravity is incorrect. No other hypothesis - gravity's just wrong. Don't know what makes stuff drop, but it's not gravity. Science shows the big bang's likelihood as being extremely high. It's certainly possible we don't know everything about it and other associated cosmological phenomenon. It seems to me that it's fairly clear that we simply don't know enough about cosmology do completely describe this phenomenon. But that doesn't make it wrong.
Debate Round No. 2
GaryBacon

Pro

In your opening sentence you claim that "nobody contends that the starting size of the universe was the size of an atom." I beg to differ. A Belgian priest by the name of Georges Lemaitre was one of the first to receive attention for a big bang model. And his claim, which still stands today, was that all of matter was once squashed down into a "primeval atom." From this dense particle is where the big bang theorists claim our whole universe sprang.

From there you state that the universe was not an infinitely dense singularity, but had extremely high density. I will then use extremely dense for the future. But I want it to be known that the term "infinitely dense" was not created by me. I have seen it explained that way on many documentaries about the big bang. I suppose the idea is that it is the highest possible density since all matter was contained in this one singularity.

You then say that it's explosion is simple, and draw an analogy with a star. The one problem I have with this is when a star implodes to a high density, it does not then explode. Rather, it becomes a black hole. The high density creates such a large gravitational force that nothing can escape (with the exception of Hawking radiation). This singularity at the start of the big bang would be many times more dense than a black hole, and yet somehow all of the matter was able to escape its gravitational hold. I find it a bit incredible.

With the cosmic background radiation, you explain it by stating that the would-be Virgo area may have cooled at a different rate. This is inconsistent with thermodynamics since all of the matter from the big bang was supposedly the same temperature. Furthermore, all of the big bang theorists have been regarding this phenomenon as a mere fluke. It is amazing that you have the answer they have all been looking for.

On the issue with particle accelerators, I have read a lot about them. The claim I have always heard is that they cannot duplicate the conditions that would be present during the big bang. If you could provide a reference where they state that the particle accelerators give evidence that there was a big bang, I would certainly like to read it.

On my point with the inflationary period of the big bang, you mention galaxies expanding from each other faster than the speed of light. This is not at all what the inflationary period refers to. The inflationary period is something that was added to the big bang by Alan Guth. There was no way to account for the smoothness of the universe without this, and Guth worked out some math for it in December of 1979. This phenomenon supposedly took place between 10^-36 seconds and 10^-34 seconds after the big bang. It has the universe expand by a factor of 10^30. And although it is never blatantly mentioned, if you work out the math you can see that it does have matter travelling faster than the speed of light. It has nothing to do with galaxies since it supposedly happened long before galaxies existed.

As far as my statements about light and relativity, it seems that both of us are in agreement. Therefore, there is nothing to debate on this issue.

But then I laid out the history of how dark matter came to be. This is truly how it happened, and it was thrown in as a fudge factor. In response you say "Sigh... this is also blatantly false. Dark matter's existence is postulated on the basis of gravitational effects that are simply not accounted for by the presence of normal matter." And then you refer me to some Wikipedia article on dark matter. The truth is that it was invented to get the omega ratio up to 1. From that point on the cosmologists have been searching for evidence to back up the claim of dark matter, and they look for gravitational effects to try to verify its existence. If you wish you may refer to this peer-reviewed article that explains the omega ratio, why dark matter is needed for the big bang to work, and the lack of evidence.

Valtonen, Mauri and Gene Byrd, "Redshift Asymmetries in System of Galaxies and the Missing Mass," The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 322 (1987)

In my claim with thermodynamics, you state "You seem to be under the impression that the big bang created even the medium the universe exists in." This is not my belief, but I do know that the big bang theorists claim that all matter was created in one fell swoop by means of the big bang. And according to our current knowledge of thermodynamics, the cooling of superheated matter with no other cooler matter present is unlikely.

But there are still some other problems with the big bang that I have not mentioned. The first problem arose when scientists realized that the big bang was not able to account for such large amounts of hydrogen and helium in the universe. The original idea claimed that these elements were created by the stars, but stars did not create enough light elements. So the big bang theorists added yet another fudge factor. This one they called "the period of primordial nucleosynthesis." It is supposedly in this period that most of the hydrogen and helium in the universe was created.

But the problems of the big bang are not over yet. The density predictions for helium-4, lithium-7, and deuterium are in contradiction to the big bang theory. Of course now with the helium and the hydrogen, the big bang theorists will claim that their theory "predicts" these amounts. But in truth it was an ad hoc correction.

This may not be convincing enough for some, but there are even more inconsistencies. The big bang claims that all matter in the universe was created by the big bang, and that the big bang took place approximately 13.7 billion years ago.

Now galaxies in the universe tend to group together a bit. These groupings are called clusters. Some of these clusters then group with other clusters to become superclusters. There have now been superclusters found that have been dated to be approximately 18 billion years old. This would mean that they are more than 4 billion years older than the big bang!! This would be impossible if the big bang were true.

Of course the big bang theorists fudged with the numbers a bit, and they somehow got the age down to around 13.6 billion years. They then claim it as a victory in finding the first galaxies formed after the big bang. But aside from messing with the dating techniques, even this age is inconsistent with the big bang. According to the theorists, galaxies could not form until the matter cooled sufficiently. An age of 13.6 billion years would only allow 100 million years for cooling, clumping into a galaxy, having those galaxies attract each other to form clusters, and having those clusters attract to form superclusters. This is nowhere near enough time.

But if you believe that it is and that the original dating of 18 billion years was incorrect, then there is one more piece of data to mention.

There are large-scale voids observed between some galaxies. Some of these voids, based on our observed velocities of galaxies, would've taken a minimum of 70 billion years to form. The only way that big bang theorists would be able to explain this is to assign much larger velocities to the galaxies before today. But given that the galaxies are actually accelerating away from one another, this would be unlikely. The galaxies would've had to be moving extremely fast, then slow down, and then accelerate again.

On a final point, you mention gravity in the last paragraph and draw an analogy that my disclaimer of the big bang is equivalent to disclaiming gravity. This is not true. The big bang has had to add many fudge factors over the years, and even fiddle with numbers when it came to the 18 billion-year-old superclusters. No such fudge factors were ever needed for gravity. There comes a point where a theory should stop adding fudge factors and simply admit that it is wrong.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

>>"A Belgian priest by the name of Georges Lemaitre was one of the first to receive attention for a big bang model. And his claim, which still stands today, was that all of matter was once squashed down into a "primeval atom." From this dense particle is where the big bang theorists claim our whole universe sprang."

Lemaitre died in 1966 - there is plenty of time to revise his idea of the primeval atom. Clearly this is incorrect, even assuming true infinite density. Density is simply a measure of the space between particles. even assuming this space to be zero (infinite density), the totality of the matter in the universe would still occupy a space larger than that of an atom simply because of the size of the actual physical quarks, gluons, etc... The fundamental pieces of matter have a definite size.

>>"The one problem I have with this is when a star implodes to a high density, it does not then explode."

I will address this as said best by Wikipedia: "Within a massive, evolved star the onion-layered shells of elements undergo fusion, forming an iron core that reaches Chandrasekhar-mass and starts to collapse. The inner part of the core is compressed into neutrons, causing infalling material to bounce and form an outward-propagating shock front. The shock starts to stall, but it is re-invigorated by neutrino interaction. The surrounding material is blasted away, leaving only a degenerate remnant." As you can see - the stars DO indeed implode and then explode. I see no contradiction in positing that the tightly packed matter of the universe could have undergone a similar transformation.

>>"With the cosmic background radiation, you explain it by stating that the would-be Virgo area may have cooled at a different rate. This is inconsistent with thermodynamics since all of the matter from the big bang was supposedly the same temperature. "

I didn't attempt to introduce my answer as conclusive - only as a possibility. Another possibility could simply be that there is more matter in the direction of Virgo to emit CBR.

>>"The claim I have always heard is that they cannot duplicate the conditions that would be present during the big bang."

This is not entirely correct. Nobody knows EXACTLY the conditions that would have been present. Therefore, claiming to duplicate them is illogical. However, we can describe these conditions to the best of our knowledge using physics. Particle accelerators have verified that these physics are correct under conditions of temperature and density that we posit would have been present up to about 10^-28 seconds after the big bang.

>>"On my point with the inflationary period of the big bang, you mention galaxies expanding from each other faster than the speed of light. This is not at all what the inflationary period refers to... This phenomenon supposedly took place between 10^-36 seconds and 10^-34 seconds after the big bang. It has the universe expand by a factor of 10^30. And although it is never blatantly mentioned, if you work out the math you can see that it does have matter travelling faster than the speed of light."

At even 10^-30 seconds after the big bang, neutrons and protons are not even formed yet. So all we have are the fundamental pieces of matter (quarks, gluons, leptons, etc...) that we have observed to be capable of quantum tunneling in laboratory conditions. In essence, you're surprised that particles we've observed to move from place to place faster than photons did so before. I'm not surprised at all.

>>"Valtonen, Mauri and Gene Byrd, "Redshift Asymmetries in System of Galaxies and the Missing Mass," The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 322 (1987)"

How kind of you to provide a link... I can't find a text of that online. Dark matter is simply an explanation for what MAY cause the differences between predicted gravitational phenomenon and observed phenomenon. Clearly there is SOMETHING causing the changes. Whether it is dark matter or a misunderstanding of the complete nature of gravity is irrelevant - there's still some force other than "normal" matter that has a gravitational effect on "normal" matter.

>>"So the big bang theorists added yet another fudge factor. This one they called "the period of primordial nucleosynthesis." It is supposedly in this period that most of the hydrogen and helium in the universe was created."

Is it any surprise that when matter is cooling enough that it CAN form atoms that it would form the most simple ones first? This doesn't surprise me at all. Furthermore, nucleosynthesis in supernovae was confirmed in 1987 during the explosion of supernovae 1987A (how inventive)... The spectrograph readings showed gamma-ray lines of Co proved that the observed Fe was created by radioactive parent elements.

>>"There have now been superclusters found that have been dated to be approximately 18 billion years old."

I can't find any evidence to support this claim - a Google search on "18 billion year old supercluster" (no quotes) doesn't provide any verifying results, nor does the Wikipedia article on superclusters.

>>"An age of 13.6 billion years would only allow 100 million years for cooling, clumping into a galaxy, having those galaxies attract each other to form clusters, and having those clusters attract to form superclusters."

Considering the universe cooled at an exponential rate immediately following the big bang, this figure of 100 million years isn't surprising at all. The universe cooled from 3 QUADRILLION degrees Celsius to a mere Billion in about 3 minutes....

*************************************

It's certainly possible that the big bang model we have now is incomplete. However this does not by any means indicate that it is incorrect. Perhaps the universe is much older than we believe and cooled at a slower rate. That alone would explain many of your objections. I believe you and be warranted in asserting that the theory of the big bang is not complete, but not that it is incorrect. Every time we crash more stuff together in a particle accelerator, we get closer to understanding this phenomenon, and I believe we're getting closer with our advances in quantum mechanics.

All in all, you've provided evidence that our theory is incomplete, not that the event it attempts to describe could not have happened.
Debate Round No. 3
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GaryBacon 5 years ago
GaryBacon
Maikuru: Yeah, my memory for a debate from years ago is not what it used to be. JustCallMeTarzan actually made the comment on his other Big Bang debate. Someone commented on his other Big Bang debate and asked for help.

Rob1Billion: you've got my vote tarzan!

JustCallMeTarzan: Thanks Rob - you want to help out on this one (http://www.debate.org......) ?? The side against the BB has got ample ammunition and uses it pretty well. I kind of got backed against a wall... I think he delivered a better argument, even if his thesis was overbroad.

That debate is here: http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
Hmm...this thing was heavily bombed. I hope to read it over soon and cast a real vote.

I am lost, though. GaryBacon, where in the comments did JCMT admit to losing? I cannot find that.
Posted by GaryBacon 5 years ago
GaryBacon
Man-is-good clearly did not read the arguments. He mentions that his reason is to counter my "vote-bomb?" Yes, I did vote for myself. Most people do. If anyone else reads this debate, please vote for the one that made the most convincing arguments. You may also wish to check out the Comments section where JustCallMeTarzan actually admits to losing this debate.

@Einstein: If you actually look at the equations in relativity, you will see that even if two objects go in opposite directions, each at the speed of light, the final result cannot be a greater speed that the speed of light.

Proper equation for summing two velocities (u is one velocity and v is the other: the final velocity I'll call v')

v'= (u+v)/(1+ uv/c^2)

Even if both speeds are "c", plug in the numbers and the final result is c.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
GaryBacon, you're right on the money!
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 9 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Einstein got the idea - if you drive away from a wall at 60mph, the distance is growing at a rate of 60mph. But if you and another car drive away from each other at 60 mph, the distance is growing at the rate of 120mph.
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
Well, I guess I have it wrong, I stopped studying physics and I guess I'm glad because I'm not cut out for it! Entertaining debate though.
Posted by Einstein 9 years ago
Einstein
No, you have a fundamental misconception about the definition of a velocity. When we are considering things non-relativistically, we can consider a velocity v with reference to a fixed point, absolutely of anything else. You say you need two velocities for this; so under your framework, the "fixed" reference frame would have velocity zero, sure. However, when we say that c is the "limit" of speed for any object, this refers only to information. So, matter and energy cannot travel away from each other relative to a fixed point at a speed greater than c; however, when the space that the matter is lying in expands at a rate greater than c, this is completely different, as it is not information traveling. In other words, think of a blanket on the floor, and you put a pin in the middle of the blanket. If you pull on the blanket on all four corners, it will stretch; and if you were pulling at a speed greater than c in all directions (since the theory is that space can expand faster than the speed of light), then two objects on opposite sides of the blanket would be moving away from each other with velocity greater than the speed of light, relative to the fixed pin that never moves. This inflation is actually necessary for the Big Bang theory to be possible, and most scientists agree that this does not violate special relativity.
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
I don't mean to be a nag, but I REALLY DO NOT BELIEVE that any two objects, traveling in opposite directions even, can reach C (never mind pass it). Einstein, this is the mistake you, Tarzan, and Gary (for not catching it) are making. You say that the speed of C is only the upper speed limit for one object, going in one direction. But, like you pointed out Einstein, there is no absolute reference for space, and velocity has absolutely no meaning whatsoever UNLESS there are two objects involved. Therefore, C is not the speed limit for an object, it is the speed limit for 2 or more objects. Like I said before, if you shine two flashlights in opposite directions, they will seperate from each other at C - not 2C... there is no function for 2C in physics, because NOTHING CAN TRAVEL FASTER THAN C. Again, I am not a physicist (I got a C in physics last semester) but I really do think you guys are screwing this one up!! Does anyone else have an opinion on this? I imagine Tarzan is hard at work fleshing this one out as we have not heard from him in a while... I will try and find some backing for this...
Posted by Einstein 9 years ago
Einstein
Your point of view on that is pretty arbitrary - why should a "fudge factor" or "correction" make a new prediction? You give no justification for this. Does this mean we shouldn't make scientific advances if we can't see the immediate benefit? After all, when you think about it, Newton's gravity didn't actually predict anything new - all he did was write a theory about what he saw; sure, he confirmed Kepler's planetary laws but he didn't do anything besides codify principles that were already known. I'm not saying it wasn't important, of course, but I'm saying that the law of gravitation didn't predict something that really wasn't already known.

As for relativity - sure, it predicted things like the bending of starlight around the sun, but what makes this specifically better than the Big Bang theory or corrections to it? A scientific theory being able to actually predict something visible is nice and useful; but it does nothing other than verify from an experimental point of view that the theory is correct. Since there is no experimental way to determine that the "fudge factors" are correct, the best we can do is know that theoretically it works, and assume that the theory we have is correct and so therefore the fudge factor may be correct as well.

So, like I said, I think your establishment of this fact is arbitrary - you give no justification for why the scientific community should reject it. I also think you need to cut the scientific community some slack here - describing the beginning of the universe is a whole lot harder than coming up with relativity. To Einstein, special relativity made sense and he knew it had to be true, and as we look back on it, we realize how much sense it does make. But we can't experimentally see anything about the Big Bang - all we have is circumstantial evidence, like the CMBR, whereas the evidence for relativity is all around us. The fact that scientists didn't get it exactly right on the first try is not surprising.
Posted by GaryBacon 9 years ago
GaryBacon
Einstein, I do agree with you that the adding of fudge factors does not necessarily render a theory false. However, whenever there is an ad hoc correction made on a theory, there should be some additional prediction that the new assumption should make aside from the one corrected. The factors of inflation and the period of primordial nucleosynthesis do no such thing. Dark matter does in terms of gravity, since this was not why it was originally added. But even in this the so-called evidence that they've obtained to confirm the existence of dark matter is iffy at best.

The development of Newton's theory is not analagous. And the general theory of relativity when added as a correction did make new predictions. Namely, the advance of the perihelion which has been observed in Mercury.

There is my point. A fudge factor that is simply added to correct an error without bringing anything new to the table is normally rejected by the scientific community. This has not been the case lately in cosmology.
I love science, but I've just been annoyed at the way things have been handled in recent decades. Too many violations of scientific principles have been accepted lately, and I'm lashing out at this.
42 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 1 year ago
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Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: pro really did have a stronger argument, and he really doesn't deserve to lose this one because of the dumb vote-bombs.
Vote Placed by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering MIG. Tarzan voted for himself as well so why would you counter Gary?
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering Off_the_Wall.Paul's votebomb.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con managed to explain every point raised by Pro. However, I would like to have seem more sources on both sides to back up their claims.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This was an interesting debate that could have benefited from additional sources from both sides. Without those sources, I found Pro's position largely untenable. After all, a defense of simply "we don't know the answer yet" is suitable given the lack of damning evidence against the big bang. A less extreme resolution, such as "the big bang theory is flawed," would have been a better bet.
Vote Placed by Off_the_Wall.Paul 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter GaryBacon's vote bomb for himself...
Vote Placed by GaryBacon 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by comoncents 7 years ago
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