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The Cosmological Paradigm - by John Prytz

Although modern cosmological ideas aren't quite set instone, an overall paradigm has emerged. IMHO it is rather seriously flawedwhich is perhaps why there isn't quite the consensus in modern cosmology as sayin some other areas of scientific inquiry, such as Darwinian evolution or thestandard model of particle physics. In any event, the following currentCosmological Paradigms (CP) are stated then if necessary rebutted by myself(JP).


CP - The Big Bang Event is attributed to be / explain theorigin of our (note: not "the") Universe.


JP - No issues here and there are three lines of actual observationalevidence that support and back this up. 1) The Cosmic Microwave BackgroundRadiation; 2) the chemical abundances of hydrogen, helium and lithium; 3) theDoppler redshifts exhibited by distant galaxies that relate the shifts withgalactic distance. The greater the shift, the greater the distance.


CP - The Big Bang Event happened roughly 3.8 billionyears ago - give or take.


JP - I have no issue with this dating.


CP - There was no before the Big Bang Event.


JP - This is just an unproven assertion and there arevarious scenarios that postulate a before the Big Bang Event. I'd postulatethat of necessity there must have been a before the Big Bang Event on thegrounds that according to the First Law of Thermodynamics matter / energy canneither be created nor destroyed. Therefore the Big Bang Event could not havecreated matter / energy and therefore matter / energy existed prior to the BigBang Event.


CP - The Big Bang Event was a micro-sized (pinhead)happening. That is to say the entire contents of our Universe were jammedtogether inside a tiny volume in the beginning. This is deduced by running theexpansion rate of our Universe back to just Nano-seconds post the Big BangEvent.


JP - Cosmologists can't actually see the embryo Universeuntil roughly after 380,000 years post the Big Bang Event. That's because theUniverse was just too opaque to have photons escape. That's akin to how photonsat the center of our Sun just can't immediately escape and make themselvesknown.


Further, there is absolutely no justification for runningthe clock back to just Nano-seconds post the Big Bang Event. There's theexpanding balloon analogy. Consider the filming of an expanding balloon andcalculating the expansion rate. Then run the clock backwards until the balloonwas the size of a pinhead. You could do it, but it would be fallacious andunjustified. The same would apply to extrapolating a nuclear or dynamiteexplosion back to a nanosecond post said explosion and concluding that theA-Bomb or the dynamite stick was then the size of a pinhead.


Finally, if the contents of our Universe were once jammedinto a volume the size of a pinhead, you'd have a singularity. And whilecosmologists talk about a singularity at the Big Bang Event that implies thatthere must have existed the Mother of all Black Holes and this there could nothave been a "Bang", big or otherwise. Thus, the Big Bang Eventhappened in a volume of space that was large enough to avoid the formation ofthat Mother of all Black Holes; way, way, way larger than the size of apinhead.


CP - The Big Bang Event created all of the Universe'smatter and energy.


JP - There is no way to demonstrate, even in theory or byuse of a theoretical equation(s) the creation of an absolute something (which matter/ energy is) from the state of an absolute nothingness. It's absurd andprohibited by the First Law of Thermodynamics as noted above. Matter and energymust have existed prior to the Big Bang Event.


CP - The Big Bang Event created both time and space


JP - This is just about as bogus as it gets. Since timeand space have no actual structure and are composed of no actual substance,neither can be created - except within conscious minds. Time and space are justmental concepts and constructs. Now the concepts of time and space aredependent on the existence of matter and energy. Time for example is justchange and change is just motion and something with structure and substance hasto exist in order for there to be motion. So if matter and energy existedbefore the Big Bang Event, then so too does the concept of time and space,again something that minds envisage since time and space are immaterialconcepts.


CP - Because the Big Bang Event actually created space,there was no center to the creation of our Universe.


JP - The Big Bang Event did not create space. Space is animmaterial hence mental concept. Space has no structure and is composed of nosubstance. Anyone who claims otherwise has to actually identify what thatstructure is and what that substance is. IMHO, the alternative is that the BigBang Event happened in already existing, or preexisting space. Thus, there isindeed a center that exists as the center of the creation of our Universe.However, that center has so now cooled off to the temperature of the rest ofthe Universe that it can no longer be identified as a unique point.


Further, the directions of all of the expanding galaxiesin (not on) space doesn't in and of itself identify the center since eachgalaxy would have to identify itself as the center since all other galaxies aremoving away from every other galaxy (local galactic clusters excepted ofcourse).


CP - The Big Bang Event created an absolute something(our Universe) from an absolute nothing.


JP - This, yet again, is in total violation of the FirstLaw of Thermodynamics (noted earlier) which states that matter / energy canneither be created nor destroyed. Thus, yet again, there was a before, aprevious material existence prior to the Big Bang Event.


CP - The Big Bang Event was apparently immediatelyfollowed by a very brief period of very rapid inflation. Inflation is requiredin order to account for various observational features the Universe has. These observations centred on: 1) the horizon problem;2) the flatness problem and 3) the monopole problem


The horizon problem – contact between two regions – isa problem in that if you look at exact opposite regions of the Universe; youtend to see pretty much the exact same thing, especially when it comes totemperature. Well, in order for things to achieve equilibrium, requires thatthe two regions be in relatively close proximity since the exchange can onlyhappen at velocities equal to or less than the speed of light. If two oppositeareas of the sky, looking deep into space, are the same temperature, itrequires that these two regions were once close together, close enough forequilibrium at or less than the speed of light to have taken place in order toeven conditions out. Unfortunately, the distances observed between oppositepoints in the sky are such that uniformity could not have been possible. Theyare now out of contact with each other – beyond each other’s ‘horizon’ so anybits of non-uniformity between regions that eventuated way back when shouldhave persisted – and when we look that deep into space we are looking way backwhen. We need some serious additional oomph to get uniformity between regionsfrom way, way back then (i.e. – immediately post Big Bang Event) out tocurrently observed distances.


The flatness problem revolves around the observationthat the Universe is fine-tuned with respect to the density of matter andenergy contained within, a density that has resulted in a just so ‘flat’universe. Translated, a flat universe is one where Euclidian geometry holdssway (the three angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees). Now if the densitywas greater, the Universe would be closed, like a sphere (i.e. – the Earth),where the angles of a triangle on the surface add up to more than 180 degrees. Ifthe density were less, the Universe would be an open (i.e. – saddle-shaped)hyperbolic Universe where the angles of a triangle add up to less than 180degrees. If you have a potentially wide range of possible densities, it’samazing that our Universe has that just-so flatness.


The monopole problem is that under the conditions ofthe Big Bang, one should have generated monopoles – magnets with either a northpole, or a south pole, but not both. Alas, no monopoles have ever been detectedor observed. They appear to be rarer than hen’s teeth.


Well, the way to circumnavigate those problems is topropose not just an original Big Bang Event explosion, but an additionalsuper-ultra ‘explosion’ that speeded up the expansion of the Universe, ever sobriefly, by a very, very, very large factor indeed. This secondary ‘explosion’was termed "inflation". Inflation made the expansion rate of theUniverse caused by the Big Bang to appear almost insignificant.


So how does an extreme, but brief, burst of expansion(i.e. – inflation) solve the flatness, horizon and monopole issues?


The horizon problem is solved by inflation. While,initial pre-inflation Big Bang conditions would have provided for the requiredclose enough contact to achieve uniformity, regions flying apart would soonacquire their own distinct ‘personalities’ and be far enough apart thatequilibrium could never be restored between these regions, even at light speed.However, that additional serious bout of Inflation then rapidly expanded outthat evenness, Inflation providing the extra oomph and freezing the uniformityin place to the distances we observe today.  


The flatness problem is explained because an extremelyrapid rate of inflation would smooth out the Universe. If you’re bacteria onthe surface of an un-inflated balloon, you’ll see peaks and troughs – wrinkles.If that balloon is blown up thousands of times greater in extent, the surfacewill now appear flat – just like the surface of the Earth appears flat to us.


The monopole problem is solved because the volume ofthe Universe increased thousands of times over in nanoseconds such thatmonopoles were now dispersed over an incredibly large volume such that the oddsone would be in our cosmic neighbourhood becomes vanishingly tiny.


JP - Inflation is just an ad hoc way of explaining awayvarious anomalies that would arise if only there had just been a"Bang". Other than the lack of these anomalies, there is noobservational evidence that this brief burst of additional post "Bang"inflation. Another point of contention is what came first, the Big Bang Eventchicken or the Inflationary egg? That's not clear depending on whatcosmological model you adopt. Also, I never really understood why you need BOTHthe Big Band Event AND inflation. Why not just combine the two into one briefbut violent Ka-Boom.


CP - As a result of the Big Bang Event creating space,space in and of itself is expanding and carrying the cosmic flotsam and jetsampiggyback style along for the ride.


JP - The rather awkward question is, if space is anactual something that has substance, what is space expanding into?


By the way, there is no actual observation that can becurrently made that can distinguish the flotsam and jetsam of our Universe becarried on space as opposed to travelling and expanding through space.


Further to the point and in any event, theMichelson-Morley experiment in the late 19th Century (1887) disproved the ideathat space was an actual something, at that time referred to as the"ether".


CP - The expansion rate of space is now accelerating.


JP - Where is the necessary energy for that observationcoming from? It takes increasing amounts of energy to cause increasing rates ofacceleration. After all, our Universe was born with only a limited finiteamount of matter / energy. That finite amount can't be further increased as ifby waving a magic wand.


CP - The energy for this observed acceleration is called"Dark Energy".


JP - And nobody has a clue what "Dark Energy"actually is. Attaching a name to something isn't in and of itself an actualexplanation for what it is or why it is or how it came to be.


Further, if "Dark Energy" is all pervasive,then "Dark Energy" should be around each and every one of us rightnow. "Dark Energy" should therefore be readily accessible for in situinvestigation - ditto "Dark Matter". Both "Dark Energy" and"Dark Matter" aren't just OUT THERE somewhere, but here, there and everywhere.Alas, that reasoning hasn't resulting in cosmologists being any the wiser.


CP - Expanding space creates "Dark Energy" and"Dark Energy" expands space thus creating even more "DarkEnergy" in an ever circular pattern.


JP - That's a free lunch / something from nothingscenario. IMHO there has to be an alternative explanation that accounts for theapparent acceleration rate of our Universe's expansion rate. Two things come tomind. The first is that astronomers / astrophysicists don't understand Type 1-Asupernova as well as they think they do. Type 1-A supernova were the standardcandle that was used in determining the acceleration rate. Secondly, if thespeed of light has not remained constant over cosmic time, that would throw amonkey-wrench into the works. 


CP - The Energy density of our Universe is constant eventhough our Universe is expanding.


JP - The obvious conclusion is that therefore something(energy) is constantly being created out of absolutely nothing in totalviolation of the First Law of Thermodynamics. It's a waving the magic wandscenario.  


CP - Based on current observations, it would appear thatour Universe will keep on keeping on expanding forever, resulting in aneventual "Heat Death" or cosmic "Big Rip" where "DarkEnergy" will ultimately tear everything macro apart down to the microfundamentals.


JP - That would appear to be the case - based on currentobservations and understandings that is.


Summation of JP cosmology:


Basic premise - The Big Bang Event happened inpreexisting space and time and did not create matter / energy, nor was it amicro-sized happening. The (our) Universe is expanding therefore through spaceand not on space.


*The container we call "space" (actually IMHOpreexisting space) extends as infinitely in all directions as makes no odds. Nomatter how far you travel into space, you can travel further.


*In this infinite cosmic expanse, universes are born (BigBangs) and expand. Further, all universes share the same laws, principles andrelationships inherent in our physical sciences.


*Since matter / energy can neither be created nodestroyed, there has to be recycling going on at the cosmic level; on a cosmicscale, since otherwise time and entropy marches on and universes age and likegood soldiers, just fade away.


*However, the problem arises that if our Universe isgoing to expand forever and ever, amen, then how are the materials thereingoing to get recycled?


*Lets first take a step back. There's a lot of recyclingthat takes place in our own Universe. Lots of ordinary stars, even like our ownSun, spew out stuff - sort of like taking the recycling bin out for eventualcollection. I mean things like the solar wind and coronal mass ejections. Otherstars spew out more of their guts (nova) or even large amounts of their innards(supernova) into interstellar space. All of this expelled stuff contributes toan ever increasing amount of interstellar gas / dust which when dense enough,under gravity, contracts to give birth to new (2nd, 3rd, 4th, generation)stars. As an example, our own star is believed to be a 3rd generationstar.    


*Analogous to stars spewing out their innards (asexpanding star-stuff), we have an expanding Universe. But in 'infinite' spacewhat if one expanding universe starts to intersect another expandinguniverse(s) Maybe the now increasing density is sufficient to cause gravity (asin the case of interstellar gas / dust becoming new stars) to strut it's stuff.One get a local contraction into a quasi-Big Crunch. It has to be quasi sincethe contraction has to avoid the Black Hole / singularity scenario.


*Anyway, old universes, like old stars, recycle into newuniverses. That's true whether it be via a quasi-Big Crunch or if even insteada Big Bounce (see below), you still end up with a new (even if not improved)expanding universe.


An analogy:


Take the following analogy: There's four cars all headingeast, west, north and south respectively that's leading to an intersection. Thedistance from the car's front bumper to the middle of the intersection isexactly 60 miles. If all four cars travel at exactly 60 mph, it's going to beone almighty Ka-Boom at the intersection. But if the four cars travel at 58,59, 60 and 61 mph respectively, there will be no Ka-Boom at the intersection.The Ka-Boom is the analogy for a collapsing universe creating a singularity -the Mother of all Black Holes - and thus eliminating any possible new Big bang.The Big Crunch that avoids the creation of the Mother of all Black Holes isanalogous in the same way as the four cars travelling at ever so slightlydifferent speeds avoided the four-way crash at the intersection. 


Another possibility is that what if the four cars areakin to super-magnets? Front bumpers are positive north poles and rear bumpersare negative south poles. So the four cars that are just about to collide in aBig Crunch don’t because their collective magnetic repulsions stop their motionthen repelled the cars backwards and away from each other – a sort of BigBounce. This might be analogous to how electrons are seemingly repelled fromcrashing into and entering the nucleus of their atoms or akin to the PauliExclusion Principle which prohibits lots of electrons from cramming into thesame ‘orbit’. 

Science librarian; retired.

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