The Big Bang

John K Clark (
Sun, 2 Nov 1997 23:50:17 -0800 (PST)


On Sun, 2 Nov 97 (Tony Hollick) Wrote:

>The velocity of light is (approximately) constant at 'c',

The speed of light in a vacuum is EXACTLY c for ANY observer.

>but only _relative to the emitting charge_.

Relative to anything.

>In a Galilean framework (i.e. 'position-space', which is _logically

I hope not, because if so that means logic must be inconsistent. We know from
experiment that Galilean or even Newtonian physics is wrong.

>once you abandon locality -- see Bell, Aspect etc.),

Aspect proved experimentally that Bell's inequality is violated and that
means weird quantum effects that move instantly and do not weaken with
distance do exist, but as these effects can carry neither energy nor
information I don't see the relevance to the Big Bang or General Relativity.

>velocity addition is clearly demonstrable as well as being logically


>there is a constant process of absorption and re-emission as photons
>travel from A to B

The index of refraction is a measure of how much a substance will slow down
light, water is pretty dense so light is only about 80% as fast as in a
vacuum for example.

>there is no perfect vacuum in space

But pretty damn close, on average about one hydrogen atom per cubic meter.
Radiation is only scattered if the particles are about the same size as the
wavelength of the photon, yet the redshift has been detected from radio
waves to X rays, an enormous range, and the shift is always exactly the same
for all wavelengths. This can not be the cause of the redshift.

>some of the most perfect vacuums around are probably right here on

Nope, we can't even get close.

>In space, the free electrons are particularly voracious absorbers
>and emitters of photons.


>The photons perform _work_ on the electrons as they're absorbed and
>re-emitted. They move the electrons around.

You're still on solid ground.

>This (along with photon-photon interaction -- see Jean-Paul Vigier
>et. al.) is the cause of the cosmic (Hubble) redshift, which is of
>course directly proportional to the distance stellar photons have to
>travel to get here.

And now you enter the Twilight Zone. All elements produce a unique set of
emission and absorption lines in their electromagnetic spectrum, a redshift
means that the information on the relative position of these lines is
preserved, they're just "shifted" to a longer wavelength. There are only 2
things known to science that can produce a redshift:

1) The Doppler effect.

2) Gravity. (an effect discovered by Einstein by the way)

The huge redshift seen in distant galaxies does not produce fuzzy lines but
sharp ones, so the gravitational field would not only have to be enormous but
also constant over thousands of light years, over an entire galaxy. Nothing
known to science can produce a gravitational field like that. It also seems
very strange that the gravitational field of all objects is proportional to
their distance from a small planet called Earth.

You claim to have found a third way to produce a redshift, some sort of
mysterious inter galactic gas, well that's jim dandy, but until you can show
me the stuff and let me watch it do its thing in the lab your theory remains
just that, gas.

>>The Big Bang predicted that as our telescopes got bigger we would
>>find that billions of years ago the galaxies were closer together
>>than they are now. We have.

>No way, Jose! As Leibniz pointed out, the same facts can be
>explained by an indefinitely large number of different theories.

I sense desperation, I can't think of any other reason you would invoke the
name of a man dead for 300 years to dismiss with a wave of your hand hard
experimental data obtained in this very decade. I also note that in my last
post whenever I mentioned a scientific fact in favor of the Big Bang your
only rebuttal was to tell me to read books by various philosophers but that
just doesn't wash. It's science that must give marching orders to philosophy
not the other way round.

>>The observable universe has a radius of 10 to 20 billion light years,
>>the big bang theory predicts that we will never find an object in it
>>older than 10 to 20 billion years. So far at least nobody has,
>>although some things are getting close

>Oh, c'mon!!! The cosmologists are 'explaining away' astronomical
>artefacts older than the estimated age of the Universe all the

Yea yea, I've heard it a million times, cosmologists are hiding evidence and
engaged in a huge conspiracy of silence, probably related to the JFK
assassination, UFOs, and that car that runs on water.

>it's the interstellar debris which is scattering the stellar
>radiation, giving rise to the uniform background. It accounts for it
>very well, actually.

Does it produce a blackbody spectrum? Is the temperature close to 2.7 degrees

>>The Big Bang was unknown at the turn of the century and only became
>>popular in the 60's when the evidence for it overwhelmed competing

>You've been reading too many childrens' histories of physics!

I need your help to explain something, I can't ask momey or daddy because
it's past my bedtime and I'm not supposed to be playing with the computer
this late. If I'm wrong then at least one of the following 3 things must be
true but I can't figure out which one:

1) The Big Bang was known at the turn of the century and popular because
those naughty logical positivists loved it so much.

2) The Big Bang did not become popular in the 60's.

3) Despite the fact that The Big Bang theory was the only one that predicted
universal blackbody microwave radiation and said how hot it would be,
when evidence for it was actually found nobody was impressed and most of
the advocates of competing theories did not conceded defeat.

>TRUTH has a central regulating role in values AND facts.

Science is about what is, morality is about what we want, confusing the two
is disastrous to both. Consider Lysenko's nitwit communist genetics or the
social darwinist's nitwit morality.

>If General Relativity depicts a four-dimensional Parmenidean Block
>Universe, within which nothing ever changes, and in which free will
>is a delusion, I _choose_ to say 'to Hell with it.'

Don't get me started on free will, I spent months debating that topic on this

>"The statement 'God exists' has meaning, and it may even be true.
>But since there is no conceivable observation which could _refute_
>such a statement, it is _unscientific_." -- Bryan Magee, 'Popper.'

OK, but what does that have to do with the price of eggs? The Big Bang can
be refuted, at least in theory, but nobody has done it yet.

>He [Einstein] thought GR was wrong, and spent decades trying to come
>up with 'a more realistic theory'

Nonsense. Like all scientific theories General Relativity does not cover
everything, it says nothing about the strong or weak nuclear forces, Einstein
spent the last 20 years of his life trying to extend it into those areas and
he failed, but that certainly doesn't mean General Relativity is wrong.

>His theory is methodologically flawed and empirically falsified.

Empirically falsified? In his first paper Einstein predicted that the
precession of Mercury's perihelion should shift by 43 seconds of arc a
century more than Newton says it should. It does.

In the same paper Einstein said that light from a star that just grazes the
surface of the sun should be deflected by 1.75 seconds of arc. It is.

General Relativity predict that time runs slower in a gravitational field,
such as on the surface of the Earth than it does in open space far from any
large mass. Because it's a scientific and not just a philosophical theory it
can give you numbers and tell you exactly how much slower, just use the
following formula:

/ v^2
/ 1 - ---
\/ c^2

If you plug in v as the Earth's escape velocity at the surface, about 7 miles
per second, and c as the speed of light in a vacuum, 186000 miles a second,
you find that a clock on the Earth's surface is only running 99.99999993% as
fast as a clock in deep space. This has been confirmed experimentally and has
become important commercially. Global Positioning Satellites contain atomic
clocks and send out timing signals, they enable a receiving station to
calculate his position within a few inches, if General Relativity was not
taken into account this would not be possible, instead we have a multi
billion dollar industry.

The gravitational field on the second story of a house is a little weaker
than it is on the first story 10 feet below, General Relativity predicts that
time will run slower down there, 3 parts in 10^16 slower. Incredibly even
this tiny difference has been detected experimentally, and it was done more
than 30 years ago, using the Mossbauer effect for which he received the Nobel

>>The universe may or may not be infinite but it is certainly not
>>Euclidean, if it were gravity could not exist.

>That verges on the absurd ... Relational or Faradayan or Newtonian
>or Graviton-mediated gravitational force gets along just fine in a
>Euclidean framework.

Yes, and they get along just fine with your philosophy, but they don't agree
with experiment, in such a confrontation the victor is clear. Your philosophy
may insist that an instrument produce a certain reading but if it stubbornly
refuses to do so then its time to find a new philosophy.

Aristotle was like you, he somehow deduced from pure philosophy that women
have fewer teeth than men. They don't. Aristotle had a wife, he could have
counted her teeth at any time but never bothered because he already knew the
answer, or thought he did.

>What the hell are you talking about? GR?

Give that man a cigar.

By the way, if as you say the universe is infinite in all directions and thus
is infinitely old and has an infinite number of stars, how do you explain
Olber's Paradox. Why is the sky dark at night?

Pick any point in the night sky and extend a line from you to that point,
eventually the line will hit the surface of a star, so the entire sky should
be as bright as the sun. Put it another way, all the light emitted by an
infinite number of stars would have nowhere to go, it would accumulate and
vaporize the earth. Your interstellar gas would be no help because it would
heat up too.

The Big Bang theory has no trouble with Olber because light from stars more
than 20 billion light years away has not had time to reach us yet.

>An infinite Universe has nowhere to expand _into_. Right?

Wrong. I'm the manager of a hotel that has an infinite number of rooms and
all are occupied, you walk in and ask for a room. No problem, I just tell
guest #1 to move to room 2, 2 to move to 3, 3 to move to 4 ect.

An infinite number of guests walk in and ask for a room. No problem, I just
tell guest #1 to move to room 2, 2 to move to 4, 4 to move to 8 ect.

Incidentally, the universe does not expand into space, space itself is

John K Clark

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