Superstition has exerted a powerful force on human psyche and history. Strengthened with a few facts, a superstition becomes accepted reality until new perceptions can reopen debate. That is an exciting possibility in today’s Nouveau Renaissance. Humanity’s new course needs a road sign: “Caution, Falling False Paradigms Ahead”.
Climategate has shown that even the most well funded science can be wrong. All objective, science trained minds have left the Global Warming station. Well meaning scientists are already doing damage assessments and future hazard avoidance studies. It is now a perfect time to reassess another possibly defective theory on the origin of the universe.
The ‘Flat Earth Theory’ required an explanation of cyclic visible planetary movements of the then know members of our solar system. The Sun rose over the Earth everyday in a predictably variable pattern. The moon waxed and waned between full and new. The inner orbit planets, Mars and Venus arose predictably and briefly as morning or evening stars. The outer planets, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn crossed the complete sky and then disappeared for long and varying periods of time.
Fourteenth century scientists struggled to explain these readily observable events and attempted to explain them as nested spheres, driven by great gears, which were below the flat Earth and thus invisible. Mechanical clocks were just then being perfected and animated character clocks made this seem plausible to the masses.
Galileo added a new complexity and doubt when his telescope observations indicated moons circling the outer planets. The set of spheres and gears necessary for the Flat Earthers became impossible. To those in power it was time to silence the messenger. It is hard to refuse the offer, “the world is flat or your heads on a platter”.
The original Renaissance involved a startling across the board shift in paradigms. Gutenberg printing presses spread literacy, Columbus doubled the size and transformed the shape of the world. Telescopes and microscopes vastly expanded the visible universe in both directions. Freedom challenged feudalism and Martin Luther challenged the Pope. Enlightenment was no one trick pony.
Today humanity is on the threshold of a new awakening. The internet is our new printing press and our collective conscious is our new hemisphere. New prophets and new visions are confronting the established twentieth century theories of Relativity, Big Bang and Quantum Mechanics.
Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity in 1905, Planck the Quantum Mechanics Theory in 1918 and Hubbel the Expanding Universe Theory in 1929. All of these theories appear correct within certain ranges but have conflicts at their boundaries. Scientists struggled thru the last half of the twentieth century to find a “Unified Field Theory” that could join these theories.
The results of this effort could best be described as mathematical masturbation. Elaborate formulas for “String Theory” expanded the known four dimensions to nine and required extra “multi-verses” of invisible worlds. Since noting behaved according to the predicted mass calculations, then there must also be anti-matter and dark matter. Newtonian physics require a force for acceleration and nothing ever explained the force required to accelerate entire galaxies. We are approaching the fourteenth century dilemma of too many spheres and too many gears.
Einstein never really bought into either of the conflicting theories and was too busy developing a bomb that could short circuit the Third Reich to get involved in those debates. Many others have been troubled by these one sided debates and hungered for alternative explanations.
To deconstruct a superstition you must begin at the point of real fact. All stars and galaxies are far enough away and move slowly enough to be considered fixed point sources. As the Earth circles the Sun in a 180 million mile ellipse, we witness closer points moving more relative to the distant points. As you walk across your backyard the tree in your yard appears to move relative to the two trees on the hill down the street. Those two distant trees do not appear to have any movement relative to each other.
What Hubbell first observed with his vastly improved telescope was that some of the previously ‘fuzzy’ stars were in fact clusters of stars forming very distant galaxies. Using spectral analysis he was shocked to find that these galaxies were moving away from us. Even more startling was that the further the apparent distance, the greater the apparent speed.
The often mentioned analogy is dots on an inflating balloon all expand away from each other and the further away the greater the movement. To an observer on the balloon surface there would be some dots visible on the opposite side of the balloon but there would also be a horizon beyond the balloon with ABSOLUTELY NO DOTS.
Part of Einstein’s Theory was that space was curved and that light was bent as it traveled past a large mass. Repeated experiments have shown that light does bend as predicted and to see how this would change the Big Bang Theory, we must introduce two other concepts of Physics.
These are two concepts that are both unsettling and liberating to the freshman Physics student. It is at first hard to believe that the two eyes and two ears that you have used your whole life are not the perfect place from which to understand the universe. In fact, there is no perfect place and everything appears different depending on your unique place. This does not imply that there is no right or wrong answers to scientific question, a fact I learned on many examinations.
Your antique phonograph spins at a constant velocity, but the first song on the album is moving a greater distance than the inner most, last song. The further from the center spindle, the greater the angular acceleration. Points of light along the album would all appear the same from the center UNLESS the light was required to circle the album in a spiral to the center. Under this condition the further away the light, the greater the apparent acceleration.
Part of the curved aspect of space is that light would eventually return to its source. At fourteen billion light years and counting scientists have yet to discover the ‘edge of the universe’ which is beginning to appear to be as mythical as the ‘edge of the Earth’. Our next ‘breakthrough’ may be when we see all the way around the universe to the backside of the Milky Way.
The great mass of the billions of galaxies that we see has a tremendous ability to bend light and in perfect conformity to Einstein’s Theories. The farther away the galaxy, the greater mass required to pass and the greater the apparent acceleration. Imagine a non-expanding universe. It appears that it is never too late to open a hundred year old debate.
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