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#1
First and foremost, this will be a NON-Religious thread. Try not to argue about that stuff here; go to the religion thread for that.

Here's an article on wired.com about a scientist with the courage to question the Big Bang Theory.

http://www.wired.com/science/space/news/2007/11/big_bang

Here's the whole article:
Most astronomers say that world-famous images from the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite show structures of the early universe. But a lone radio astronomer is claiming that the pictures depict nearby hydrogen gas clouds in our own galaxy, calling a key theory into question.

Astronomers are abuzz because if Gerrit Verschuur of the University of Memphis is right, one of the most important theories developed in the past 15 years -- one that won a Nobel Prize -- would be toppled. The world’s top astronomical publication, Astrophysical Journal, will publish Verschuur's research December 10.

"If I'm right, this is a paradigm shift," said Verschuur, who is 70 and a well-known author of numerous books on astronomy.

It would mean our understanding of how the cosmos was born 14 billion years ago is seriously flawed. Astronomers would have redder faces than they’ve had since the beginning of the 20th century, when some scientists claimed they saw "canals" built by Martians on the red planet.

NASA scientists led by George Smoot of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced in 1992 that their Cosmic Background Explorer satellite had imaged the ultimate baby pictures of the universe, revealing the seeds. Like acorns growing into oak trees, they theorized, those seeds grew into galaxies like the star-packed Milky Way, our own spiral-shaped celestial home.

Stephen Hawking called it the greatest discovery of all time. Smoot compared it to seeing the face of God. In 2003, higher-resolution images of the seeds were taken by another satellite, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, known as WMAP, showing numerous fine seeds or "ripples" that resemble a serious case of acne.

Verschuur's research asserts that the seeds are not located on the edge of the universe at all. Rather, he says, the so-called seeds are very nearby: They're just previously unmapped clouds of "neutral hydrogen" gas located inside the Milky Way. In other words, astronomers who mistook the "seeds" for objects on the edge of the universe are like someone who looks outdoors through a window and mistakes smudges on the glass for clouds in the sky.

"Smoot said he saw the face of God. All I can say is, God lives in our neighborhood," Verschuur joked.

He said he’s found at least 200 instances where the so-called cosmic seeds lie suspiciously close to known hydrogen clouds inside our galaxy.

There's a long history of astronomical debates over whether celestial objects are close or distant. For example, the former Mt. Palomar and Mt. Wilson astronomer Halton Arp has argued that super-bright objects in the heavens, quasars, are located much closer to Earth than is generally believed, and that they’re ejected from galaxies like pinballs from pinball machines. But virtually all astronomers reject Arp’s claims on the grounds that they’re based on an unconvincing statistical analysis of the comparative locations of quasars and galaxies.

This week, a similar critique is being lobbed against Verschuur. But, surprisingly, the most cautious reaction came from Smoot.

"One would have to do a very careful (statistical) study to see if this (correlation between hydrogen filaments and cosmic seeds) could happen by simple chance or is truly convincing," Smoot said in an e-mail.

Within the astronomical community, he noted, experts are quick to fault Verschuur’s correlations between hydrogen and cosmic seeds as statistically unsound. "That might be the correct conclusion," Smoot said, "but seems a little fast to me."

At Oxford University in England, astrophysicists Kate Land and Anze Slosar have conducted a statistical analysis of Verschuur’s work.

"It does not hold water at all," Land told Wired News by e-mail. In other words, she believes Verschuur’s correlations between the WMAP seeds and galactic hydrogen filaments are just coincidences. If that's true, then Verschuur’s claim is an astronomical version of those Bible evangelists who think they see Jesus’ face in a burrito.

"Notoriously, by eye, one can often think they see correlations between patterns," Land said. “But one doesn't really see the anti-correlations. So two maps (of the sky) that just fluctuate randomly can appear correlated."

A leading cosmologist with the WMAP project, David Spergel of Princeton, agreed. Verschuur’s "is basically a wrong article," he said.

NASA scientist Gary F. Hinshaw concurred: "I am quite confident that the … correlations claimed in the Verschuur paper are not (statistically) significant."

Ultimatelly, Verschuur’s claim will stand or fall upon the treacherous terrain of statistics, which means it likely won't be settled anytime soon. History shows that debates over statistical interpretations can go on forever. The defenders of orthodox cosmology claim Verschuur’s analysis of celestial images is statistically too fragile to take seriously. He counters that his data is too convincing to be deflated by fancy-pants statistical manipulations.

Astronomers regale their students with cautionary tales of stargazers who embarrassed themselves when they reported seeing celestial sights that weren't really there. Besides the Martian "canals," some of the funnier examples include the astronomer who, in the 1920s, claimed he saw swarms of insects on the Moon. In the 19th century, astronomers reported -- incorrectly -- that they saw a planet inside Mercury’s orbit, which they dubbed "Vulcan." Now all that remains of Vulcan is its most famous fictional inhabitant, Mr. Spock of Star Trek. Like the rest of us, astronomers sometimes see what they expect to see.

For astronomers, the problem now is to decide who's "seeing" things -- Verschuur? Or themselves? Verschuur said he felt "terror" when he published his article, because he's just one guy at a campus living in a small Tennessee town outside of Memphis, and he's taking on the whole astronomical world. But he consoles himself with his wife’s advice: "Gerrit, remember that you’re just communicating what the data show."


*puts on flame shield*
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#2
i did not read that, way too much text. all ive got to say is, we werent there, were never gonna know what happened.
ehh
#3
Wow, interesting. I'd love to see how this all turns out.
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#4
who cares. thats never going to help us
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#5
very interesting thank you for sharing,
don't really know if his right or not but they should try and figure this out together..
#6
that was like the great wall of china sized wall of text.

i doubt this guy is the first to question it though...

thought of the day:

who gives a **** how the earth was formed, it does not really matter
#8
I didn't read the whole article but I don't believe that the big bang happened because the planets are all spinning different ways if they all came out of the same dot at one time they would be spinning in the same direction.
#9
Quote by InTheFlesh!
Who wants to paraphrase it for me!



I'll try.

First, alot of people thought the universe was formed by big bang. Then some guy thought that it wasn't because of some hydrogen clouds and stuff. Then some other stuff happened and a guy said "Gerrit, remember that you’re just communicating what the data show." Hell if I know, i didn't read it either.
#10
Quote by holybassbatman!
I didn't read the whole article but I don't believe that the big bang happened because the planets are all spinning different ways if they all came out of the same dot at one time they would be spinning in the same direction.



Wow... just wow.


You should pick up a science book sometime, they're great to read.


Quote by InTheFlesh!
Who wants to paraphrase it for me!



Unh yeah, I'll take the honor.

So basically scientists have been looking at the sky and they saw stuff.

They thought it was "the beginning of the universe" swirling gas clouds forming galaxies and all sorts of ancient cosmic formation stuff. They can do this because they're so far away that by the time you finally get to see it, it's already a couple billion years later.

They theorized by looking at these formations that the universe came from a central point, which means it's expanding (or exploding) which is where we get the name "The Big Bang."


Then this guy came and said that they weren't actually looking at ancient galaxies but instead just clouds, gas clouds. Kinda like looking at the sky and thinking that there's stars in the sky but instead it's just fire flys flying around.


So basically this guys trying to prove it by using statistical data (which in the end will doubtfully prove anything).

You see we have a list of all the known gas clouds in the universe and if a crap load of the "ancient galaxies" are seen near these gas clouds then it's believed they're probably just more gas clouds instead of other galaxies.

So yeah... got it?
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Last edited by Alex The Red at Nov 19, 2007,
#11
Quote by Alex The Red
Wow... just wow.


You should pick up a science book sometime, they're great to read.



Fuck You I'm a university science student.
#12
Quote by guitarguy17
that was like the great wall of china sized wall of text.

i doubt this guy is the first to question it though...

thought of the day:

who gives a **** how the earth was formed, it does not really matter

It helps us understand how the universe works. In case we have to leave the planet.
#13
Oh ****s.

All of the time spent watching discovery channel...

Wasted.

If he's right. Which I wouldn't doubt.
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I thought about it, and frankly, I couldn't fault his logic.
#14
Quote by holybassbatman!
Fuck You I'm a university science student.



Sorry to offend you so much, I didn't mean this to get personal.


Just try this, take a can of marbles ( the universe/planets) throw it onto some concrete (the big bang) and note the directions that all of them spin at on the ground.


If they're all spinning the same way then you're right and I've been an idiot.

If they aren't then I'm right and you got an apology to do.
Leader of The Cult of Echoes, for those who believe 23 min. of Pink Floyd Epicness just isn't enough.

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#15
Fools! A Chuck Norris Sneeze started it all!
I <3 bangoodcharlotte

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#16
Either way this debate won't affect me in my day to day existence but it is bloody interesting and would shock me if proven to be right because we'd be back to square one with the 'How did the Universe form?' question.
#17
If they find a better theory that may lead to the truth, I'm all for it; that's the beauty of science. However, if it's going to be "debunked", what do we make of Microwave Background Radiation?
#18
1) calebrocker posts evidence of no big bang
2) Therefore God Exists
^This post was probably sarcastic

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#19
Quote by James_Water2
1) calebrocker posts evidence of no big bang
2) Therefore God Exists


.....
This topic has nothing to do with God.
Quote by steven seagull
There are no boring scales, just boring guitarists.

Quote by convictionless
dude calebrocker, that first song on your list almost made me cry
11/10
you win my good sir

^ My For Mom cover

Check out my MP3s!!
#20
Wow I just would really like to know why it matters I mean even if we do **** up our own planet to the extent where we can't live here why should we have the right to **** up another planet?
Due what you want as long as you vote Due!
#21
Quote by James_Water2
1) calebrocker posts evidence of no big bang
2) Therefore God Exists


Wow that is really dumb ok since one human found theory of creation is proven wrong this popular one must be true. No it likely means that we got here another way.
Due what you want as long as you vote Due!
#22
Quote by tayroar
Wow that is really dumb ok since one human found theory of creation is proven wrong this popular one must be true. No it likely means that we got here another way.

He is referring to another thread.
#23
Quote by holybassbatman!
I didn't read the whole article but I don't believe that the big bang happened because the planets are all spinning different ways if they all came out of the same dot at one time they would be spinning in the same direction.
Elaborate, since what youre saying doesnt make any sense to me. Maybe if you explained it a little more
#24
Great discovery, but the early formations of the Universe aren't based solely on the images taken by the Cosmic Background Explorer. We have many theories all supporting the same claim. That the Big Bang did occur. of course, I'm not stating this as fact, merely as well thought out theory. I'll be reading his paper on the 10th of December, for sure.
#25
Quote by holybassbatman!
I didn't read the whole article but I don't believe that the big bang happened because the planets are all spinning different ways if they all came out of the same dot at one time they would be spinning in the same direction.


Actually, the reason they don't have the same spin is the same reason particles don't have the same spin. Because of exterior forces, such as gravity and electromagnetism.
#27
I have no idea what any of this means. I want him to be wrong so I don't have to ****ing learn a whole new set of science books. that would suck indeed.
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#28
The most powerful force in the world is gravity, that's why I believe in the big bang. Galaxies swallow each other regularly (not like daily, but it happens) and if enough combine, the gravitational field would grow, drawing more galaxies into it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Thats just my opinion.
#29
Quote by ckellingc
The most powerful force in the world is gravity, that's why I believe in the big bang. Galaxies swallow each other regularly (not like daily, but it happens) and if enough combine, the gravitational field would grow, drawing more galaxies into it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Thats just my opinion.


It's actually the weakest force. It only seems powerful because it only effects the very vast objects. It effects the smaller one as well, but not nearly as much. Think about it this way. You take a magnet and can easily lift small metals with it off the ground. So that means, that that little magnet just countered the entire earths gravitational pull on that metal.
#30
Quote by James_Water2
1) calebrocker posts evidence of no big bang
2) Therefore God Exists

I remember those things.

1) You can't prove God doesn't exist
2) Therefore God exists.

1) God is good
2) There is good in this world; good exists.
3) Therefore God exists.
#31
1 If I say something doesn’t have a cause, it doesn’t have a cause.
2 I say the universe doesn’t have a cause.
3 Therefore, the universe doesn’t have a cause.
4 Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

although my personal favorite is the argument from marx:

1 Marx says that religion is the opium of the masses.
2 If I'm seen reading a copy of the Communist Manifesto, it'll make me look like an intellectual.
3 Therefore God doesn't exist.
#DTWD
#32
Wow, this is interesting. This would probably be the most important discovery in the 21st century so far if this is true.
I can honestly say I have really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like.


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#33
Quote by holybassbatman!
I didn't read the whole article but I don't believe that the big bang happened because the planets are all spinning different ways if they all came out of the same dot at one time they would be spinning in the same direction.

Holy god... j-... jesus... w... what?

You're an idiot.

Word on the (physics) street is that this guy doesn't have the statistical data to prove anything. He's got some, but the correlation isn't anywhere NEAR high enough to debunk anything. Besides, we have other reason to believe that the Big Bang existed. COBE's data ain't the only thing...

EDIT:

Jeez, didn't even notice it was calebrocker's thread... this is the same guy who said that just because someone said, "It was like looking into the eyes of God" about COBE, God existed.
Looking for my India/Django.
Last edited by redwing_suck at Nov 20, 2007,
#34
Quote by primusfan
1 If I say something doesn’t have a cause, it doesn’t have a cause.
2 I say the universe doesn’t have a cause.
3 Therefore, the universe doesn’t have a cause.
4 Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

although my personal favorite is the argument from marx:

1 Marx says that religion is the opium of the masses.
2 If I'm seen reading a copy of the Communist Manifesto, it'll make me look like an intellectual.
3 Therefore God doesn't exist.

Except atheism isn't a belief, but a lack thereof, so those don't really apply.

edit - and gravity is based on mass, so I dont think it can be called "strong" or "weak," since the amount of gravity exerted by an object depends entirely on its mass.
#35
Quote by Spaceman_Spiff
Except atheism isn't a belief, but a lack thereof, so those don't really apply.


no, a belief, in this sense at least, is faith in something that cannot be stated as fact. so you believe there is no god. it's not like you know there's no god and i just haven't been enlightened ... as much as you'd like to think that is the case.

i was merely countering parodies of logical proofs with the parodies of opposing logical proofs. i don't know where belief came into it really.

and on topic, i just believe whatever the majority of scientists tell me is true. i have no interest in natural sciences, because most of my science teachers sucked and i have a mental block. except for when i'm watching discovery channel.

i'm not kidding either. if the majority of scientists say something is fact, i'll take their word for it. they have PhD's and labcoats and i like to doodle cartoon characters and make fart noises with my hands. i'm not exactly going to have the experience to challenge one if i wanted to.
#DTWD
#36
Quote by lateraluspiral
who cares. thats never going to help us

that's ignorant and undermining of the scientific community. That's like saying "who cares how this car-thing works, let's just drive it." what happens to that car? runs out of gas, oil turns to sludge, etc. All I'm saying is that there's something to be said for knowing about the universe. Not my area of expertise, but that's why we have astro-physicists and the like.
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#37
Ya' Know' I'd be funny if the Universe was like Pacman, and if you went far enough to the right or left, you'd come back on the other side.
#38
Quote by JeffWiredBeck24
If they find a better theory that may lead to the truth, I'm all for it; that's the beauty of science. However, if it's going to be "debunked", what do we make of Microwave Background Radiation?


That's true. This is not the only evidence we have for the big bang.

Even if the Big Bang does get completely dumped, not all is lost. There'll just be another theory developed and we'll get even closer to discovering what really happened. Disproving old models (and in seeing that they are wrong, thinking of new ones), e.g. geo vs. heliocentric model of the universe is a significant way of advancing in science.
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#39
awesome.... this is going to be a huge turnover in the way we perceive reality if this turns out to be true.
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