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Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Cosmology, Creationism, Physics, Research, Science, Skepticism | 0 comments

Basic Algebra and 12th-Grade Science…

… is not going to over turn science.  Reading a popular science book and disagreeing with it does not mean that you are qualified to deconstruct modern theories.

Look, science is hard.  It’s so unbelievably fucking hard that the vast majority of humans on this planet don’t understand even the basic structure of how to solve the problems that some scientists are working on right now.

Let me just give you an example.  There’s an interesting problem in cosmology.  Where did baryons come from?  Why is there matter?

This is a set of equations that might help solve that problem.  This is from a paper published in 1982.  The title of the paper is “CALCULATION OF COSMOLOGICAL BARYON ASYMMETRY IN GRAND UNIFIED GAUGE MODELS

Inserting the branching ratios of table 5 together with relations (6.2.2) into eqs. (4.4.6) and (4.4.7) give the complete Boltzmann transport equations for the evolution of number densities in the minimal SU(5) model:

where

where  is the SU(5) gauge coupling constant, and  are effective masses for the quarks in the heaviest family (evaluated at an energy scale ). With  and  and . In the cross sections  given above,  is the c.m. energy, taken to be averaged over thermal equilibrium distributions for the incoming particles. The cross sections given ignore the presence of background gas: its effects were discussed in subsect. 4.5, and will be mentioned in subsect. 6.4 below. The  and  decay widths are also averaged over equilibrium energy distributions.

Now, let me be perfectly honest.  I have no idea what the fuck any of that means.  I see English words and I see things that look vaguely like the math I did in college, but this stuff is as much beyond me as my knowledge of physics is beyond that of a garden snail.

I’m not dumb.  I was reading popular science quantum mechanics books in high school.  I’d confuse the hell out of my teachers by trying to explain gauge bosons to them.  I read this sort of thing for fun.  Not once in a while, but constantly.  I regularly read the blogs of people working in these fields.

Now, someone with a basic understanding of high school algebra comes along and says something like “all these quantum interactions aren’t nothing, that means all science is wrong” or something equally stupid.  Here’s what I think.

orly_spock

 

Now.  Here’s a directly relevant equation from the WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) that talks about how data from this satellite applies to the inflationary models of the Big Bang.

One may categorize slow-roll models into several classes depending on where the predictions lie on the parameter space spanned by nsdns/d ln k, and r (Dodelson, Kinney, & Kolb 1997; Kinney 1998; Hannestad, Hansen, & Villante 2001). Each class should correspond to specific physical models of inflation. Hereafter we drop the subscript V unless there is an ambiguity; it should otherwise be implicitly assumed that we are referring to the standard slow-roll parameters. We categorize the models on the basis of the curvature of the potential η, as it is the only parameter that enters into the relation between ns and r (eq. [20]) and between ns and dns/d ln k + 2ξ (eq. [22]). Thus, η is the most important parameter for classifying the observational predictions of the slow-roll models. The classes are defined as follows:

Class A: negative curvature models, η < 0.

Class B: small positive (or zero) curvature models, ≤η≤ 2&epsis;.

Class C: intermediate positive curvature models, 2&epsis; < η≤ 3&epsis;.

Class D: large positive curvature models, η > 3&epsis;.

Each class occupies a certain region in the parameter space. Using η = (ns - 1)α/[2(α - 3)], where η = α&epsis;, one finds the following:

Class A: ns < 1, ≤r <  (1 – ns),  (1 - ns)2 < dns/d ln k + 2ξ < 0.

Class B: ns < 1, (1 – ns) ≤r≤ 8(1 ns), –  (1 – ns)2≤ dns/d ln k + 2ξ≤ 2(1 - ns)2.

Class C: ns < 1, r > 8(1 ns), dns/d ln k + 2ξ > 2(1 – ns)2.

Class D: ns≥ 1, r ≥ 0, dns/d ln k + 2ξ > 0.

Here’s some interesting stuff.  I actually understand what is going on here.  So, when one can explain the math to me, in detail (see the paper for the data), then I will consider one sufficiently versed in this to make value judgements on the science.

Until that occurs, one are still free to make value judgements on the science… and I (and everyone else) is free to ignore one as being woefully uninformed about reality.

One can correct that issue by learning.  These are not that difficult to decipher.  I’ve chosen to do other things, but again, I understand the basics of what’s going on in the second set of equations.  Anyone can.  But I guarantee you that even college level physics and calculus is not going to be sufficient for this endeavor.

I’ll add that part of the conclusion of this second paper is very simple.

WMAP has made six key observations that are of importance in constraining inflationary models:

  1. The universe is consistent with being flat (Spergel et al. 2003).

     

From Wikipedia

Flat universe[edit]

In a flat universe, all of the local curvature and local geometry is flat. It is generally assumed that it is described by a Euclidean space, although there are some spatial geometries that are flat and bounded in one or more directions (like the surface of a cylinder, for example).

The alternative two-dimensional spaces with a Euclidean metric are the cylinder and the Möbius strip, which are bounded in one direction but not the other, and the torus and Klein bottle, which are compact.

In three dimensions, there are 10 finite closed flat 3-manifolds, of which 6 are orientable and 4 are non-orientable. The most familiar is the 3-Torus. See the doughnut theory of the universe.

In the absence of dark energy, a flat universe expands forever but at a continually decelerating rate, with expansion asymptotically approaching some fixed rate. With dark energy, the expansion rate of the universe initially slows down, due to the effect of gravity, but eventually increases. The ultimate fate of the universe is the same as that of an open universe.

A flat universe can have zero total energy. Thus, physicists suggest a flat universe could come from nothing

(my bolding)

And here’s a link that talks about a flat universe, why ours is a flat universe, and why it could come from nothing.  I would also encourage you to read Lawrence Krauss’ A Universe from Nothing.  Read it several times.

If one decides that modern physics is wrong, then we can talk about it.  But I will insist on specific points, with mathematical and evidential support that first, shows why the vast majority of cosmology papers are wrong and second, what the alternative is and how we test it.