A Search for Scientific Truth
Astronomy could be considered a science that addresses two domains, local (i.e., the solar system) and beyond (i.e., the universe). Of course there is overlap.
Prior to the 20th Century, physicists assumed gravity ruled the universe. A number of scientists even derived mathematical rules for the relationships between different objects in the solar system so that the orbital motions could be explained. Those theories enabled the 1845 prediction and 1846 discovery of the planet Neptune based on its perturbation of the orbit of Uranus.
These rules apply to any two uncharged bodies. In the 20th Century, other physical forces in the universe became understood. These links provide useful overviews of these forces.
Our current understanding of the universe involves four fundamental forces. In their order of strength (strongest first, weakest last) they are:
1) Strong force
This force holds together the nucleus of an atom.
2) Electro-magnetic force
This force exists between positively and negatively charged bodies. Opposite charges attract while similar charges repel.
3) Weak force
This force explains the interactions of certain subatomic particles.
This force exists between any two bodies. It is the weakest of the four forces but it was the only force known to physicists prior to the 20th Century.
With the space age of the late 20th Century, astronomers are now able to see the prevalence of electro-magnetic forces in our solar system. However, many astronomers have been slow to address the important role of these significant forces in the long standing theories, based only on gravity, regarding our solar system and the universe.
The Big Bang is a theory regarding the beginning of the universe. This theory is accepted by most astronomers as well as most scientific reporters and so it is emphasized in many astronomical discoveries or in space-related news articles, as if it were an accepted fact rather than just one of several theories about the evolution of the universe.
This link is a useful reference on the Big Bang theory.
In the 20th Century, astronomers discovered that light from distant sources had a shift in their spectrum toward the longer wave lengths, similar to the Doppler effect where the pitch is sound will change based on the source of sound approaching or departing. Since in visible light red is the longest wave length, this observed phenomenon is called a red shift. Since those light sources that seemed the most distant also had larger red shifts, the logical conclusion that followed was that the universe is expanding since everything was moving away. Since distant objects in all directions could be found with large red shifts, this conclusion also suggested that everything is moving away from Earth, making the Earth the center of the universe (again; many years ago people were convinced the Earth was stationary at the center and the Sun and other planets moved around the Earth). The conclusion that all distant objects were moving away meant that looking back into the past implied everything might have left from a common central origin many years ago.
This link is a useful reference on red shifts.
There are alternate theories regarding the physical explanation of red shifts. Though red shifts can be observed in double stars or nearby objects known to be receding from the observer it is not proven that all red shifts are always solely due to recession.
Halton Arp is one astronomer that discovered red shifts cannot always be due to recession. He has written several books on the matter (the one I read is in my list of books) but two notable observations are:
1) the phenomenon is quantized
The red shifts are not distributed in a manner consistent with the random distances in the universe but rather their values are in steps.
2) the phenomenon is related to age
The red shifts are the greatest in the youngest sources and are reduced in the older sources. This finding derives from the observation that objects with significant red shifts are not random in the sky but can be associated with other nearby objects. Those objects closer to their common source have larger red shifts than those farther away, hence the age relationship.
These observations (by Arp and other astronomers) indicate the Big Bang theory (which had tried to explain why all distant objects are moving away from Earth) is based on a misunderstanding of red shifts.
This link is a useful initial reference regarding Halton Arp. He also has his own web site with a number of articles.
A slight shift in spectrum is observed due to the speed at which a nearby object is approaching or receding from the observer (either toward the blue or toward the red). However there is an apparent underlying physical phenomenon such that much larger red shifts can be observed due to another explanation than this directional effect.
A few interesting recent articles regarding these changes in astronomy and the Big Bang:
A Real 'Theory of Everything'
The True State of the Universe
Black holes tear logic apart
Observing the Dark
The frequent references in the media about dark matter and dark energy never follow up with a disclaimer about the lack of any evidence for such theories.
According to the US Department of Energy: "plasmas are the most common state of matter in the universe. They are even common here on earth. "
Plainly, this claim about plasma is by observation.
One astrophysicist explains dark matter like this: " It's only after decades of careful observations that cosmologists have come to the inescapable conclusion that most of the matter in our universe is simply invisible."
That person continued: "At this point, a dilemma emerged. Maybe there's some invisible matter floating around inside galaxies and clusters, keeping them gravitationally glued together. But maybe our understanding of how gravity works is just wrong; perhaps Newton's work can explain the way planets move in our solar system but not larger systems."
Scientists involved with the electric universe cosmology, which takes into account plasma behaviors, do not resort to any 'dark' mechanism.
These frequent observations and claims about dark matter are from a context that only gravity is at work. However the observation about the prevalence of plasma is ignored (by the scientist or reporter) because its known electromagnetic effects can coexist or even supersede the gravity effects thereby causing doubt about a cosmology that absolutely relies only on gravity.
Any claim about dark matter means the observation cannot be explained by the 'gravity only' cosmology so to preserve the huge investment in the old cosmology 'dark matter' is invoked.
According to NASA "Since space is everywhere, this dark energy force is everywhere, and its effects increase as space expands. In contrast, gravity's force is stronger when things are close together and weaker when they are far apart. Because gravity is weakening with the expansion of space, dark energy now makes up over 2/3 of all the energy in the universe."
This means gravity alone cannot explain observations, so the concept of dark energy is appended to the cosmology to save it.
Cosmologists claim some % of the universe is dark matter and some % is dark energy.
These unseen forces are not science; science requires test and verification.
The cosmology based on 'gravity only' is broken. It requires an unobservable concept to explain the observation.
This is like a meteorologist explaining a tornado which exhibits some unexpected cloud or weather pattern.
After the tornado has demonstrated some anomalous behavior, like an unexpected big bend in the funnel shape or an abrupt change in the motion at the ground so an observation was not strictly in conformance with the theoretical expectation. With that then the meteorologist declares an adjustment is needed to meteorology and our understanding of weather (i.e., to hide the wrong expectation): because there must be an invisible 'dark cloud' at work, maybe even 'dark wind' or 'dark water' and this 'dark thing' was just observed.
If meteorologists can deal with unusual weather but without resorting to a dark cloud theory then why does the scientific community tolerate the claims of dark matter or dark energy from cosmologists?
Observed weather behaviors typically follow somewhat the expectation but the atmosphere and its interaction with land, ocean, or space is chaotic so everyone accepts the forecasts are not predictions for the future. Most people accept weather forecasting is often little more than an educated guess.
There is no need to suggest there is such a thing as dark weather. If there is an anomaly it is accepted as due to the inherent complexity of weather and typically theoretical models can be updated to improve subsequent expectations.
There should be no need to suggest there is such a thing as dark matter or dark energy. If there is an anomaly it should be accepted as due to the inherent complexity of the universe. The problem is many cosmologists will not tolerate any doubt about their theory developed by consensus (so there is always a vested interest; this cosmology is now just dogma), not by using observation for confirmation or for falsification (like the origin of dark matter above).
Cosmology is also inherently complex simply because it deals with events beyond the Earth so all observations must be interpreted.
If cosmology ever transitions from dogma to science where theories are tested and revised or discarded based on actual observations, then cosmology can get closer to a theory where new observations conform with theory, a match that rarely happens now. A significant mismatch currently results in an 'add-on' like dark matter rather than addressing basic assumptions underlying the theory.
This article in pdf is about the arrogance of cosmologists.
Unfortunately climate science is now dominated by dogma as well. Extreme weather events are now claimed to be caused by ‘climate change’ which is another vague explanation but without the word ‘dark’ though still invisible we are told must be the cause.
Richard P. Feynman famously said:"
It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."
Albert Einstein famously said :"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."
inserted Observing the Dark section - 10/12/2018
created - April 2006
last change - 10/12/2018
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