[Paleopsych] Eshel, Pavel, and Paul--a question

HowlBloom at aol.com HowlBloom at aol.com
Fri Jul 22 05:53:29 UTC 2005

Do you remember my big bagel theory of the cosmos, the one I came up with  in 
1959 when I was working at a cancer research lab?
Back in 1997, it led me to predict a form of negative gravity.  The  
following year the acceleration of the cosmos was discovered and was explained  by 
negative gravity--dark energy.  Then the Big Bagel theory allowed me to  explain 
dark energy--negative gravity--in a unique way--as the gravitational  
attraction between a standard-matter universe on the bagel's topside and an  
anti-matter universe on the bagel's underside.
Now there's more that seems to support the big bagel theory--that the  
universe seems directional, not randomly scattered, that the cosmos needs far  more 
matter than it's got to explain its behavior (the big bagel theory says  that 
two universes are on opposite sides of the same bagel--so there's twice as  
much stuff as we can see), etc.
Does the information in the article below seem to support the big  bagel?  
And how does Modified Newtonian Dynamics fit into this  picture?  Howard
Retrieved July 22,  2005, from the World Wide Web  
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18625061.800  Marcus Chown  Marcus Chown is the author of 
The  Universe Next Door published by Headline (2003)  Enlarge image Evolution of 
the big bang  Enlarge image Big bang Universe  Enlarge image Cracks in the 
big  bangWHAT if the big bang never happened? Ask cosmologists this and they'll  
usually tell you it is a stupid question. The evidence, after all, is written 
in  the heavens. Take the way galaxies are scattered across the sky, or 
witness the  fading afterglow of the big bang fireball. Even the way the atoms in 
your body  have come into being over the eons. They are all smoking guns that 
point to the  existence 13.7 billion years ago of an ultra-hot, ultra-dense 
state known as the  big bang.  Or are they? A small band  of researchers is 
starting to ask the question no one is supposed to ask. Last  week the dissidents 
met to review the evidence at the first ever Crisis in  Cosmology conference in 
Monção,  Portugal. There they argued  that cosmologists' most cherished 
theory of the universe fails to explain  certain crucial observations. If they are 
right, the universe could be a lot  weirder than anyone imagined. But before 
venturing that idea, say the  dissidents, it is time for some serious 
investigation into the big bang's  validity and its alternatives.  "Look at the facts," 
says Riccardo Scarpa  of the European Southern Observatory in  Santiago,  
Chile. "The basic big bang model fails to predict  what we observe in the 
universe in three major ways." The temperature of today's  universe, the expansion of 
the cosmos, and even the presence of galaxies, have  all had cosmologists 
scrambling for fixes. "Every time the basic big bang model  has failed to predict 
what we see, the solution has been to bolt on something  new - inflation, 
dark matter and dark energy," Scarpa says.  For Scarpa and his fellow dissidents, 
the  tinkering has reached an unacceptable level. All for the sake of saving 
the  notion that the universe flickered into being as a hot, dense state. 
"This isn't  science," says Eric Lerner who is president of Lawrenceville Plasma 
Physics in  West Orange, New  Jersey, and one of the conference organisers. 
"Big bang  predictions are consistently wrong and are being fixed after the 
event." So much  so, that today's "standard model" of cosmology has become an ugly 
mishmash  comprising the basic big bang theory, inflation and a generous 
helping of dark  matter and dark energy.  The fact  that the conference went ahead 
at all is an important step forward, say its  organisers. Last year they wrote 
an open letter warning that failure to fund research into big bang  
alternatives was suppressing free debate in the field of cosmology (New  Scientist, 22 
May 2004, p 20).  The  trouble, says Lerner, who headed the list of more than 
30 signatories, is that  cosmology is bankrolled by just a few  sources, and 
the committees that control those purse strings are dominated by  supporters of 
the big bang. Critics of the standard model of cosmology are  not just 
uncomfortable about the way they feel it has been cobbled together.  They also point 
to specific observations that they believe cast doubt on  cosmology's 
standard model.  “Dark  matter is turning up in places where it shouldn't exist”Take 
the most distant  galaxies ever spotted, for example. According to the 
accepted view, when we  observe ultra-distant galaxies we should see them in their 
youth, full of stars  not long spawned from gas clouds. This is because light 
from these faraway  galaxies has taken billions of years to reach us, and so 
the galaxies must  appear as they were shortly after the big bang. But there is 
a problem. "We  don't see young galaxies," says Lerner. "We see old ones."  He 
cites recent observations of  high-red-shift galaxies from NASA's Spitzer 
space telescope. A galaxy's red  shift is a measure of how much the universe has 
expanded since it emitted its  light. As the light travels through an 
expanding universe, its wavelength gets  stretched, as if the light wave were drawn on 
a piece of elastic. The increase  in wavelength corresponds to a shift 
towards the red end of the spectrum.  The Spitzer galaxies have red shifts that  
correspond to a time when the universe was between about 600 million and 1  
billion years old. Galaxies this young should be full of newborn stars that emit  
blue light because they are so hot. The galaxies should not contain many older  
stars that are cool and red. "But they do," says Lerner.  Spitzer is the 
first telescope able to  detect red stars in faraway galaxies because it is 
sensitive to infrared light.  This means it can detect red light from stars in 
high-red-shift galaxies that  has been pushed deep into the infrared during its 
journey to Earth. "It turns out these galaxies aren't  young at all," says 
Lerner. "They have  pretty much the same range of stars as present-day galaxies."  
And that is bad news for the big bang.  Among the stars in today's galaxies are 
red giants that have taken billions of  years to burn all their hydrogen and 
reach this bloated phase. So the Spitzer  observations suggest that some of 
the stars in ultra-distant galaxies are older  than the galaxies themselves, 
which plunges the standard model of cosmology into  crisis.  Fog-filled universe 
Not  surprisingly, cosmologists have panned Lerner's theories. They put the  
discrepancy down to large uncertainties in estimating the ages of galaxies. But 
 Lerner has a reply. He points to other distant objects that appear much 
older  than they ought to be. "At high red  shift, we also observe clusters and 
huge superclusters of galaxies," he says,  arguing that it would have taken far 
longer than a billion years for galaxies to  clump together to form such giant 
structures.  His solution to the puzzle is extreme.  Rather than being caused 
by the expanding universe, he believes that the red  shift is down to some 
other mechanism. But at this stage it is only a guess.  "I admit I don't know 
what that  mechanism might be," Lerner says, "though I believe it is intrinsic 
to  light."  To test his idea, he  would like to see sensitive experiments on 
Earth capable of detecting minute  changes in light. One possibility would be 
to modify the LIGO detector in  Hanford,  Washington state. LIGO is designed to 
detect  gravitational waves, the warps in space-time created by events such 
as neutron  star collisions. To do this it bounces perpendicular beams of laser 
light  hundreds of times between mirrors 4 kilometres apart, looking for 
subtle shifts  in the beams' lengths. With a few tweaks, Lerner believes that LIGO 
could be  modified to measure any intrinsic red-shifting that light might 
undergo.  If the experiment ever gets the go-ahead  and Lerner is proved right, 
the implications would be immense, not least because  the tapestry of cosmology 
as we know it would unravel. Without an expanding  universe, there would be 
no need to invoke dark energy to account for the  apparent acceleration of that 
expansion. Nor would there be any reason to  suppose the big bang was the 
ultimate beginning. "I can prove that the universe  wasn't born 13.7 billion 
years ago," says Lerner. "The big bang never happened."  However, Lerner's claims 
leave  plenty of awkward questions. Among them is the matter of the cosmic 
microwave  background. First detected in 1965, the vast majority of cosmologists 
believe  that this faint, all-pervading soup of microwaves is the dying glow 
of the big  bang, and proof of the ultimate beginning. According to big bang 
theory, the hot  radiation that filled space after the birth of the universe has 
been trapped  inside ever since because it has nowhere else to go. As the 
universe expanded  over the past 13.7 billion years, the radiation has cooled to 
today's  temperature of less than 3 kelvin above absolute zero.  So if there 
was no big bang, where did  the cosmic microwave background come from? Lerner 
believes that cosmologists  have got the origin of the microwave glow all 
wrong. "If you wake up in a tent  and everything around you is white, you don't 
conclude you've seen the start of  the universe," he says. "You conclude you're 
in fog."  Rather than coming from the big bang, Lerner believes that the cosmic 
background  radiation is really starlight that has been absorbed and 
re-radiated. It is an  old idea that was widely promoted by the late cosmologist and 
well-known big  bang sceptic Fred Hoyle. He believed that starlight was 
absorbed by  needle-like grains of iron ejected by supernovae and then radiated as  
microwaves. But Hoyle never found any evidence to back up his ideas and many  
cosmologists dismissed them.  “Some  of the stars in distant galaxies appear 
older than the universe itself”Lerner's  idea is similar, though he thinks that 
threads of electrically charged gas  called plasma are responsible, rather 
than iron whiskers. Jets of plasma are squirted into  intergalactic space by 
highly energetic galaxies known as quasars, and Lerner  believes that such plasma 
filaments continually fragmented until they filled the  universe like fog. 
This fog then scattered the infrared light radiated by dust  that had in turn 
absorbed starlight. By doing so, Lerner believes, the infrared  radiation became 
uniform in all directions, just as the cosmic microwave  background appears to 
be.  All  this is possible, he argues, because standard cosmology theory has 
overlooked  processes involving plasmas. "All  astronomers know that 99.99 per 
cent of matter in the universe is in the form of  plasma, which is controlled 
by electromagnetic forces," he says. "Yet all  astronomers insist on 
believing that gravity is the only important force in the  universe. It is like 
oceanographers ignoring hydrodynamics." To make  progress, Lerner is calling for 
theories that include plasma phenomena as well  as gravity, and for more rigorous 
testing of theory against observations.  Of course, Lerner's ideas are 
extremely  controversial and few people are convinced, but that doesn't stop other  
researchers questioning the standard theory too. They have their own ideas 
about  what is wrong with it. In Scarpa's case, the mysterious dark matter is at 
fault.  Dark matter has become an essential  ingredient in cosmology's 
standard model. That's because the big bang on its own  fails to describe how 
galaxies could have congealed from the matter forged  shortly after the birth of the 
universe. The problem is that gas and dust made from normal matter were  
spread too evenly for galaxies to clump together in just 13.7 billion years.  
Cosmologists fix this problem by adding to their brew a vast amount of  invisible 
dark matter which provides  the extra tug needed to speed up galaxy formation.  
The same gravitational top-up helps to  explain the rapid motion of outlying 
stars in galaxies. Astronomers have measured stars orbiting  their galactic 
centres so fast that they ought to fly off into intergalactic  space. But dark 
matter's extra gravity would explain how the galaxies hold onto  their speeding 
stars. Similarly, dark matter is needed to explain how clusters  of galaxies 
can hold on to galaxies that are orbiting the cluster's centre so  fast they 
ought to be flung away.  But dark matter may not be the cure-all  it seems, 
warns Scarpa. What worries him are inconsistencies with the theory.  "If you 
believe in dark matter, you discover there is too much of it," he says.  In 
particular, his observations point to dark matter in places cosmologists say  it 
shouldn't exist. One place no one expects to see it is in globular clusters, 
tight knots of stars  that orbit the Milky Way and many other galaxies. Unlike 
normal matter, the dark  stuff is completely incapable of emitting light or any 
other form of  electromagnetic radiation. This means a cloud of the stuff 
cannot radiate away  its internal heat, a process vital for gravitational 
contraction, so dark matter  cannot easily clump together at scales as small as those 
of globular  clusters. 
Scarpa's observations tell a different  story, however. He and his colleagues 
have found evidence that the stars in globular clusters are moving  faster 
than the gravity of visible matter can explain, just as they do in larger  
galaxies. They have studied three globular clusters, including the Milky  Way's 
biggest, Omega Centauri, which  contains about a million stars. In all three, 
they find the same wayward  behaviour. So if isn't dark matter, what is going on? 
 Scarpa's team believes the answer might  be a breakdown of Newton's law of  
gravity, which says an object's gravitational tug is inversely proportional to 
 the square of your distance from it. Their observations of globular clusters 
 suggest that Newton's inverse square law holds  true only above some 
critical acceleration. Below this threshold  strength, gravity appears to dissipate 
more slowly than Newton predicts.  Exactly the same effect has been spotted  in 
spiral galaxies and galaxy-rich clusters. It was identified more than 20 
years ago by Mordehai Milgrom at the  Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, who 
proposed a theory known as modified Newtonian dynamics  (MOND) to explain it. 
Scarpa points out that the critical  acceleration of 10-10 metres per second 
per second that was identified for  galaxies appears to hold for globular 
clusters too. And his work has led him to  the same conclusion as Milgrom: "There is 
no need for dark matter in the  universe," says Scarpa.  It is a  bold claim 
to make. And not surprisingly, MOND has had plenty of critics over  the years. 
One of cosmologists' biggest  gripes is that MOND is not compatible with 
Einstein's theory of relativity, so  it is not valid for objects travelling close 
to the speed of light or in very  strong gravitational fields. In practice, 
this means MOND has been powerless to  make predictions about pulsars, black 
holes and, most importantly, the big bang.  But this has now been fixed by Jacob 
Bekenstein at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.  Bekenstein's 
relativistic version of the  theory already appears to be bearing fruit. In May a 
team led by Constantinos  Skordis of the University of Oxford showed that 
relativistic MOND can make  cosmological predictions. The researchers have 
reproduced both the  observed properties of the cosmic microwave background and the 
distribution of  galaxies throughout the universe 
(www.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0505519).  Gravity in crisis Scarpa believes that MOND is a crucial body blow 
for the big  bang. "It means that the law of gravity  from which we derive the 
big bang is wrong," he says. He insists that  cosmologists are interpreting 
astronomical observations using the wrong  framework. And he urges them to go 
back to the drawing board and derive a  cosmological model based on MOND.  For 
now, his plea seems to be falling  mostly on deaf ears. Yet there is more 
evidence that there could be something  wrong with the standard model of cosmology. 
And it is evidence that many  cosmologists are finding harder to dismiss 
because it comes from the jewel in  the crown of cosmology instruments, the 
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe.  "It could be telling us something fundamental 
about our universe, maybe even  that the simplest big bang model is wrong," 
says João Magueijo of Imperial  College London.  Since its launch in  2001, 
WMAP has been quietly taking the temperature of the universe from its  vantage 
point 1.5 million kilometres out in space. The probe measures the way  the 
temperature of the cosmic microwave background varies across the sky. Cosmologists 
believe that the tiny  variations from one place to another are an imprint of 
the state of the universe  about 300,000 years after the big bang, when matter 
began to clump together  under gravity. Hotter patches correspond to denser 
regions, and cooler  patches reflect less dense areas. These  density 
variations began life as quantum fluctuations in the vacuum in the first  split second 
of the universe's existence, and were subsequently amplified by a  brief 
period of phenomenally fast expansion called inflation.  Because the quantum 
fluctuations popped  up at random, the hot and cold spots we see in one part of the 
sky should look  much like those in any other part. And because the cosmic 
background radiation  is a feature of the universe as a whole rather than any 
single object in it,  none of the hot or cold regions should be aligned with 
structures in our corner  of the cosmos. Yet this is exactly what some researchers 
are claiming from the  WMAP results.  Earlier this  year, Magueijo and his 
Imperial  College colleague Kate Land reported  that they had found a bizarre 
alignment in the cosmic microwave background. At  first glance, the pattern of 
hot and cold spots appeared random, as expected.  But when they looked more 
closely, they found something unexpected. It is as if  you were listening to an 
anarchic orchestra playing some random cacophony, and  yet when you picked out 
the violins, trombones and clarinets separately, you  discovered that they are 
playing the same tune.  Like an orchestral movement, the WMAP  results can be 
analysed as a blend of patterns of different spatial  frequencies. When 
Magueijo and Land looked at the hot and cold spots this  way, they noticed a 
striking similarity between the individual patterns. Rather than being spattered 
randomly across  the sky, the spots in each pattern seemed to line up along the 
same  direction. With a good eye for a newspaper headline, Magueijo dubbed this 
 alignment the axis of evil. "If it is true, this is an astonishing 
discovery,"  he says.  “Without an expanding  universe, the big bang was not the 
ultimate beginning”That's because the result  flies in the face of big bang theory, 
which rules out any such special or  preferred direction. So could the weird 
effect be down to something more  mundane, such as a problem with the WMAP 
satellite? Charles Bennett, who leads  the WMAP mission at NASA's Goddard  Space 
Flight  Center in  Greenbelt,  Maryland, discounts that possibility. "I have  
no reason to think that any anomaly is an artefact of the instrument," he says. 
 Another suggestion is that heat  given off by the Milky Way's dusty disk has 
not been properly subtracted from  the WMAP signals and mimics the axis of 
evil. "Certainly there are some sloppy  papers where insufficient attention has 
been paid to the signals from the Milky  Way," warns Bennett. Others point out 
that the conclusions are based on only one  year's worth of WMAP signals. And 
researchers are eagerly awaiting the next  batch, rumoured to be released in 
September.  Yet Magueijo and Land are convinced that  the alignment in the 
patterns does exist. "The big question is: what could have  caused it," asks 
Magueijo. One  possibility, he says, is that the universe is shaped like a slab, 
with space  extending to infinity in two dimensions but spanning only about 20 
billion light  years in the third dimension. Or the universe might be  shaped 
like a bagel. Another  way to create a preferred direction would be to have a 
rotating universe,  because this singles out the axis of rotation as different 
from all other  directions.  Bennett admits he  is excited by the possibility 
that WMAP has stumbled on something so important  and fundamental about the 
universe. His hunch, though, is that the alignment is  a fluke. "However, it's 
always possible the universe is trying to tell us  something," he says.  
Clearly, such a universe would flout a fundamental  assumption of all big bang 
models: that the universe is the same in all places  and in all directions. 
"People made these assumptions because, without them, it  was impossible to simplify 
Einstein's equations enough to solve them for the  universe," says Magueijo. 
And if those assumptions are wrong, it could be  curtains for the standard 
model of cosmology.  That may not be a bad thing, according to  Magueijo. "The 
standard model is ugly and embarrassing," he says. "I hope it  will soon come to 
breaking point." But whatever replaced it would of course have  to predict 
all the things the standard model predicts. "This would be very hard  indeed," 
concedes Magueijo.  Meanwhile the axis of evil is peculiar  enough that Bennett 
and his colleague Gary Hinshaw have obtained money from NASA  to carry out a 
five-year exhaustive examination of the WMAP signals. That should  exclude the 
possibilities of the instrumental error and contamination once and  for all. 
"The alignment is probably just a fluke but I really feel compelled to  
investigate it," he says. "Who knows what we will find."  Lerner and his fellow 
sceptics are in  little doubt: "What we may find is a universe that is very 
different than the  increasingly bizarre one of the big bang theory."  From issue 
2506 of New Scientist  magazine, 02 July 2005, page  30  
Howard Bloom
Author of The Lucifer Principle: A  Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of 
History and Global Brain: The Evolution  of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 
21st Century
Recent Visiting  Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University; 
Core Faculty  Member, The Graduate  Institute
Founder:  International Paleopsychology Project; founding board member: Epic 
of Evolution  Society; founding board member, The Darwin Project; founder: The 
Big Bang Tango  Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American 
Association for the  Advancement of Science, American Psychological Society, 
Academy of Political  Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International 
Society for Human  Ethology; advisory board member: Institute for 
Accelerating Change ; executive  editor -- New Paradigm book series.
For information on The International  Paleopsychology Project, see: 
for two chapters from  
The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History,  
see www.howardbloom.net/lucifer
For information on Global Brain: The  Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big 
Bang to the 21st Century, see  www.howardbloom.net

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