Culture and Religion

A world view where the guide for society is based on human nature,
 not on ancient scriptures.  Home  or Topic Groups

 

Wrong Turns by Cosmologists

Cosmology, our understanding of how the universe works, has progressed over many centuries. Unfortunately its current course is on a path after many wrong turns. Until those mistakes are corrected, the future course will continue in a wrong direction.

In ancient times, the sun, moon, planets, and stars moved around the Earth. That is just as we see it from Earth's surface.

Some civilizations recorded these motions so accurately they could predict eclipses.
Ptolemy added more epicycles to explain retrograde motions of planets.
Early 1540's Copernicus put forth his Sun centered model. It offered a more diect explanation for observed motions.
As no one can feel the Earth moving around the Sun this was not immediately accepted.
Around 1600,
'
[Galileo] changed natural philosophy from a verbal, qualitative account to a mathematical one in which experimentation became a recognized method for discovering the facts of nature. Finally, his discoveries with the telescope revolutionized astronomy and paved the way for the acceptance of the Copernican heliocentric system
'

In 1609 Kepler put forth his laws of planetary motion in our solar system, based on observations.
In 1687 Newton put forth his law of universal gravitation.
Around 1860's Maxwell, Faraday, and others explained magnetism, electricity, and more.
Roughly to the year 2000 there were many scientists consecutively adding to what was known or explained, in different sciences.

A)
Roughly after 2000 cosmology took a diversion toward theoretical concepts, away from observations and experiments.
In 1908 Minkowski described phenomena like time dilation and length contraction  using a concept called spacetime.

B) In 1915 A significant diversion took place with Einstein's theory of relativity.This theory, following Minkowski,  attempted to describe how the accelerating observer would have a distorted frame of reference as the observer's velocity approached the speed of light, assumed to be a universal limit. This frame of reference was called spacetime and it would be distorted or curved by a gravitational field. This theory resulted in much confusion. An accelerating observer would have a distorted spacetime; the distortion was called spacetime curvature. Other observers could not see that single distorted space time.

C) Unfortunately many misunderstood the theory. The theoretical spacetime distortion observed only by that unique observer was assumed to exist in the real universe.
For example the theoretical collapse of mass into a geometric point for the observer was assumed to be a real entity though impossible by physics, so it was called a singularity. Black holes were conveniently assumed to be present at a location wherever there was no other convenient explanation.

Spacetime curvature was assumed possible at distant locations wherever the observed objects, often quasars, were not in the correct position for the cosmologist's expectation.


In 1919 during a solar eclipse an observation of a star near the Sun's surface was claimed to confirm Einstein's spacetime curvature despite another explanation was applicable.

by 1917 red shifts were observed for galaxies.

D) The galaxies were assumed to be receding objects
E) In 1919 Hubble Flow described a relationship for distance to these red shifts.

F) This was a wrong interpretation.
'
In 1929, Hubble took Slipher’s red-shift data and combined it with red-shift observations he and his assistant Milton Humason had made. He plotted the red-shift data against galaxy distance data and found a remarkable correlation.
'
G) it is unfortunate no scientist had sufficient confidence to question the assumption all shifts of a line in a spectrum are always a result of relative velocity.

This should have been questioned when a red shift was related to distance. This kept cosmology stuck with the very unlikely result that a red shift always indicates both a velocity and a distance.

'

H) Big Bang
In 1931 Lemaître went further and suggested that the evident expansion of the universe, if projected back in time, meant that the further in the past the smaller the universe was, until at some finite time in the past all the mass of the universe was concentrated into a single point, a "primeval atom" where and when the fabric of time and space came into existence.
'

This was the consequence of many uncorrected mistakes.

I) Dark Matter

In 1933 Zwicky proposed dark matter to explain motions of stars in galaxies.

This conjecture was a result of a lack of understanding galaxies.

J) 1936 Hubble described Local Group as an island separated from
Hubble Flow

The expanding universe (except around the Earth!) meant cosmology was detached from physics based on evidence from experimentation.

in 1950's first quasars observed
in 1960's quasars with extreme red shifts observed

L) the extreme red shift for a hydrogen ion was incorrectly assumed to be the velocity of the quasar. These extreme velocities were then treated as confirmation of a rapidly accelerating expansion of the universe and its fabric of space.

M) 1980's dark energy proposed
With so many erroneous velocities assumed to be present something beyond rational physics was required. This something is undetectable or impossible to test via the scientific method.

N) in 2011, Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess shared the Nobel Prize in Physics “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae.”

The series of mistakes, never corrected,  is part of 'accepted' science, without question.

The first step to be taken in improving cosmology is to fix all the previous mistakes, including further mistakes based on earlier ones. That is a long list

One possible plan is discard all theories since  and start over with the voluminous data from Hubble and other observatories plus the substantial data archives from many space probes. That plan is not a smooth transition. The alternative is review every theory for mistakes, ranging from trivial to fundamental.

Hit back to go to previous page in history.
Select  Cosmology to see other posts and comments to that group.