Sunday, November 9, 2014

Yet Another Claimed Stake-through-the-Heart of Big Bang Cosmology?

Another comment, posted under a different topic ("A Paper Illustrating More of Crothers' Relativity ...") and copied here to address:

Please publish this if you dare :)

You can sell your diploma on eBay.

Don't forget to include some lollipops in order to get buyers. Sucking is a great way to spend an afternoon. Sure, you should know all about it, you've spend years sucking it.

Post this comment if you dare. I'll be watching, you preposterous asshole.
Perhaps the commenter didn't actually read the article, or did they not think beyond the title?

The article describes recent observations by the Fermi Large-Area Telescope which rule out particular, but not all, models for Dark Matter.  It's part of the regular process of science and the researchers have done credible work.  Why would I not post it?

The solar neutrino problem when through a similar process for many years of narrowing down what the solution couldn't be while we improved detector technology to the point we could actually detect the 'missing' neutrinos.  See Neutrino Oscillations: Yet Another Blow Against Non-nuclear Stellar Energy..., Falsifying Scientific Models)

How many years since prediction to detection of the Higgs boson? 48 years.  And that was one we expected to find in the laboratory (wikipedia).  It also had a number of 'hiccups' along the way to its confirmation.

Loads of other things were added to the list of contributions to Dark Matter (wikipedia: baryonic dark matter) before we got to the level that everything but a previously undetected particle was all that remained (wikipedia: Dark Matter).

There They Go Again...

Shall we go into all the times that someone has pointed to one story claiming it was the stake through the heart of Big Bang cosmology?  A few months, or sometimes even years later, the problem ceases to be an issue due to
  • an error made in the research result, either in the observations or the theoretical understanding;
  • a recognition that another process, within the context of the standard model, explained the discrepancy;
  • a larger data survey with better instruments finds the 'anomaly' isn't as anomalous as first thought.
Let's go over just a few in recent history, some of which I have explored here:
And this is just the short list...

The funny part is that many of these claims rely on the observation being an extreme outlier in the statistical significance.  But yes, sometimes you can roll a five ten consecutive times on a die.

With the range of evidence that the universe was smaller in the past, and still expanding today, those who expect one or a few of these types of observations to overthrow Big Bang cosmology are overly optimistic.  These anomalies don't make the other evidence go away.

Then there's the research groups that release their results a little TOO soon, before they've made reasonable error checks.  This also winds up feeding a number of crackpot claims.  Consider the recent BICEP2 fiasco which released their results to the press too soon, before others could check the results.
A little patience would have saved the BICEP2 researchers a lot of embarrassment, not to mention their work being picked up by crank science sites claiming the failure was predicted by THEIR theory. 

Note that it is rarely (never?) the crackpot group that actually finds the error in the analysis or experiment.   The interesting part is that it is often the supporters of Big Bang cosmology or the standard model in question (such as those working with the Fermi mission data) that clearly identify the problems.

Conspiracies and Cover-ups

So why would the commenter suggest I would not post it?

Probably because in the world of advocates of pseudo-science, the 'Truth', or at least the 'Truth' they are trying to sell, is covered up or cloaked by conspiracies.   Pseudo-science thrives on the notion that it is some 'conspiracy' of mainstream science to silence them.  The fact that their ideas don't work when subjected to rigorous testing, is irrelevant to them.  I find it very interesting that some studies suggest those who believe in these types of conspiracies are reflecting a segment of their own mindset (Pacific Standard:Belief in Conspiracies Linked to Machiavellian Mindset).

But legitimate science cannot survive in that type of environment.

Note that the researchers who reported the results in the above experiment, or the errors in the BICEP2 results, are not advocates of some radically different cosmology such as Plasma Cosmology or other Electric Universe variant or even Creationists.  They may support some other variant of the Dark Matter problem, but they pretty much support the standard cosmology.  They are researchers whose goal is to report their observations and their analyses faithfully, even when the results may be at odds with the dominant model. 

Contrast the behavior of legitimate scientists to that of pseudo-scientists. 

The fact is that advocates of these 'alternatives' are RARELY the ones who actually expose the flaw in the experiment or analysis that invalidates the result.  The pseudo-scientists usually rant and claim the results aren't correct, but when someone else does the work to define the error, they pat themselves on the back chanting that they "knew it all along".  Of course, the pseudo-scientists don't talk about all the times they claimed the mainstream results were wrong but an error WASN'T found and the results were reinforced by later research.

How often do we see posts at or the various creationists and similar forums on the problems implied by their pet cosmologies?  Pseudo-scientists are quick to jump on a handful of seemingly out-of-place and anomalous observations from mainstream science while conveniently ignoring the far larger successful body of evidence which supports the mainstream cosmology to the exclusion of their pet cosmology.

Have we seen any serious effort at addressing the basic problems of their models which I've summarized at Challenges for Electric Universe 'Theorists'...?   Electric Universe supporters have yet to address the problem of space weather prediction which is explained and even predicted by the standard model far better than anything from the Electric Sun advocates.  Electric Universe advocates ignore and evade these issues, even when billions of dollars of space asset and the lives of astronauts are at risk.

So it begs the question, just who is engaged in a cover-up or conspiracy to hide data contradictory to their model?

On the Motivated Rejection of Science

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