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Question: How old is the universe?
Billions of years old - 29 (82.9%)
Less than 7,000 years old - 1 (2.9%)
Other - 5 (14.3%)
Total Voters: 35

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BillO
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« on: Aug 19, 2017, 05:18PM »

An important question that keeps coming up in religious discussion.  Some folk from the Judaeo-Christian view are fine with the universe being old as are most atheists.  I've never heard of an atheist that thought it was under 7K years, but there could be some.  Comments are optional.
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 19, 2017, 06:43PM »

We postulate that the Big Bang (that set everything in motion) occurred 14 billion years ago (100 billion dog years ;-) ).  But there is also a postulation that the Big Bang was not the first one and there may have been others before.  This is a concept I really have a hard time understanding, but maybe we can find evidence that this is so.  Meanwhile, my hour upon the stage will be drawing to a close and I do not expect to see the next eclipse after the one Monday.  Our lives are but a brief second in the scale of the cosmos.
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 19, 2017, 08:36PM »

For everything to start expanding at the moment of the Big Bang, that everything had to already exist prior to the moment of the Big Bang. We can trace the start of the expansion at 13.8 billion years, but I don't think there is yet a prevailing theory for what all that matter and energy was behaving prior to that sudden expansion. Or even for how it behave after the explosion but before it was cool enough for the laws of conventional physics to apply.

Now the question after that, is - is the universe part of a multiverse, and if so, how does THAT work!
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 20, 2017, 07:26AM »

But there is also a postulation that the Big Bang was not the first one and there may have been others before.
I'm not sure I buy into the oscillating universe theory at all.  There is no evidence for this, and as far as I can see, there could be no evidence of it.  If the universe collapses altogether (big crunch) such that it ceases to exists, for even the briefest moment, there would remain nothing wherein any evidence could be carried forward.

That said, in 2011 the Nobel prize in physics went to group the showed the rate at which the universe is expanding was increasing.  As of 2016, due to data from better surveillance of the universe, some in the physics community are questioning that result saying that the additional evidence may suggest steady-state expansion.  So at this time, even the possibility the 'big crunch' is in doubt.  Without the big crunch we can't have an oscillating universe.
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 20, 2017, 07:38AM »

For everything to start expanding at the moment of the Big Bang, that everything had to already exist prior to the moment of the Big Bang. We can trace the start of the expansion at 13.8 billion years, but I don't think there is yet a prevailing theory for what all that matter and energy was behaving prior to that sudden expansion. Or even for how it behave after the explosion but before it was cool enough for the laws of conventional physics to apply.
 
Now the question after that, is - is the universe part of a multiverse, and if so, how does THAT work!

This is the problem--yeah. It seems that we have only two options we can even try to conceive of. The cosmos came into existence at some point, in which case there would have had to have been nothing before that, and what does that mean? Or the cosmos has simply always existed, but how can anything have no beginning or end?
 
We can't really conceive of what it would mean for time to come into existence, or how nothing could have existed before there was anything, or how something could have no beginning or end--that something has just always existed and always will, or what could be beyond the cosmos or how the cosmos could have no spatial boundaries, or how the smallest particle can be made of nothing but itself--indivisible. Applied infinities just don't compute on the natural gear we have. Thinking about these kinds of things deeply can get you a brief high--I suspect it's synaptic overload or something like that.
 
Our brains may just not be powerful enough or set up right to deal with these kinds of things. We simply have no viable or actual answer as yet, and none in sight. The large majority feels as if it makes sense to insert God did it. as if that's an actual answer rather than the logical equivalent of just calling it magic. This is another human brain thing--we don't deal well with uncertainty--particularly uncertainties that are important to us. Most believers aren't so anxious and self-absorbed they need to feel like they have all the best toys though--most in my experience are satisfied with enough.
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 20, 2017, 07:46AM »

For everything to start expanding at the moment of the Big Bang, that everything had to already exist prior to the moment of the Big Bang.
This sounds like a sensible assumption based on conventional thinking.  However, nothing about the initiation of the big bang is conventional at all, so your statement does not necessarily follow or make sense in terms of what was happening then.

The first problem is of course, if the big bang had not created the universe yet, where was 'everything' existing?

The Zero-Energy Universe  hypothesis is gaining momentum and helps explain where 'everything' came from.  Still just in its infancy, but definitely a better approach than trying to explain where 'everything' was before there was a place for it.

The muti-verse has been discussed for a fairly long time.  At this point it's still just a cognitive pass time, but an interesting one.
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 20, 2017, 08:40AM »

I heard some scientist recently say that if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs had been 5 minutes later, it wouldn't have been nearly as devastating. T-Rex would still be around. And we wouldn't. But maybe T-Rex would have evolved and learned to play trombone by now, so this forum might still exist.

Updated with link to article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/05/18/why-these-researchers-think-dinosaurs-were-minutes-away-from-surviving-extinction/?utm_term=.f84f512d2ac8
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 20, 2017, 03:11PM »

I heard some scientist recently say that if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs had been 5 minutes later, it wouldn't have been nearly as devastating. T-Rex would still be around. And we wouldn't. But maybe T-Rex would have evolved and learned to play trombone by now, so this forum might still exist.

5 minutes?  We can do the math and see.  It was not a glancing blow.  From the evidence collected (and I freely admit I am not a geologist, so I can't criticize their findings) the meteor came in at nearly 90 degrees and at about 70,000 KPH.  So when it hit it hit at approximately dead center of the earth from it's perspective.  We don't know how aerodynamic the meteor was, or if it was rotating so lets assume a worst case such that it would have to renter at at least 10 degrees to make impact in such a way as serious damage to the planet would occur.

I wish this forum allowed TEX editing.  You'll have to trust me on some of my math as I can't show it to you.

So, the earth moves through it's orbit at about 108K kph and has a radius of about 6.4K kM.  We'd hit at 10 degrees at about 83% of that or about 5.3K kM.  At 108K kph the earth will move about 1.8K kM per minute.  Therefore anything beyond 3 minutes late would have been fairly safe.

5 minutes and we would barely have had our hair rustled - so to speak.  Whoever the scientist was, he was right.  Good!
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 20, 2017, 03:27PM »

Our brains may just not be powerful enough or set up right to deal with these kinds of things.
Indeed, you are most certainly right.

About 5200 years ago the Sumerians realized we didn't have the head for numbers and created a tool (writing) to assist us.  We've been inventive enough to conjure up new tools along the way that help us out.  The computer is a really good one that can be re-configured almost endlessly.  We're pretty good at abstraction, and I feel confident we'll develop the tools to assist with this eventually.  Just a matter of beating our heads against the wall long enough for that to happen.
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 20, 2017, 03:34PM »



I heard some scientist recently say that if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs had been 5 minutes later, it wouldn't have been nearly as devastating...

I recall the premise of "When Worlds Colide" was that the first encounter was a near miss but it circled around and smacked the Earth on the second pass.


BTW, if you like seeing planets get flung out of their orbits, try Super Planet Crash.
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 20, 2017, 04:31PM »

5 minutes?  We can do the math and see.  It was not a glancing blow.  From the evidence collected (and I freely admit I am not a geologist, so I can't criticize their findings) the meteor came in at nearly 90 degrees and at about 70,000 KPH.  So when it hit it hit at approximately dead center of the earth from it's perspective.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39922998
 
How are you deriving a dead center impact from 90º and 70k KPH?
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 20, 2017, 04:51PM »


http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39922998
 
How are you deriving a dead center impact from 90º and 70k KPH?
The 70K kph is not important to the derivation, only in calculating the minimum angle before the atmosphere would deflect it.

If it hits at 90 degrees, it's normal to the surface.  If it's normal to the surface it's in direct line with the center of mass, if you are approaching a sphere directly towards it's CoM, you are hitting it dead center.

IOW ... You can hit a sphere dead center at any point on the sphere as long as you are hitting it normal to its surface.

Another way to think of it.  If you (Byron) were riding on the meteor and it was coming in to hit the earth at 90 degrees, you would see yourself head directly at the center of the 'disk' you see before you.  Regardless of the point you are heading for ... the point of impact.



Another fun fact.  In this case it was near the equator, which is convenient.  It means it came in + or - 23.5 degrees from the ecliptic, making it likely that it was local (solar system) asteroid.
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 20, 2017, 05:18PM »

I'm not a scientist and I'm really not up on the scientific theories involved in the creation of the Universe.  I do believe that the age of the Earth is older than a literal interpretation of Genesis would allow for.  There are basically two schools of understanding of the Genesis text some interpretations allow that the 7 days of creation were literally 24 hour days as we know them today (I find this view very difficult to defend myself).  Others believe that the term day in this case denotes an undetermined period of actual time, and not a literal 24 hour day. If you dismiss the 24 hour day, and allow that the exact order of events may have differed from the Genesis story it is easy to allow for a God driven creation of the Universe that is in line with what the scientists are discovering. 
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 20, 2017, 05:24PM »

If you dismiss the 24 hour day, and allow that the exact order of events may have differed from the Genesis story it is easy to allow for a God driven creation of the Universe that is in line with what the scientists are discovering. 


How I you reconcile evolution with the idea of creation?
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 20, 2017, 05:50PM »



How I you reconcile evolution with the idea of creation?
Adam and Eve were amoebas?

Easy enough really, God influenced the evolutionary process to produce man.

You could make the bible work with a little editing and by providing a "Readers Guide" to workable interpretation.  I'd probably still be a skeptic, but I'll bet there would be far fewer of us.  The orthodoxy and the fundamentalists are and will be responsible for the continued decline of religion.
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 20, 2017, 06:08PM »

The 70K kph is not important to the derivation, only in calculating the minimum angle before the atmosphere would deflect it.

Yeah ... realized what 90º means when I started reading this again.
 
D'oh!
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 20, 2017, 06:47PM »

I can't help but wonder when the Earth & moon STOPPED getting hit with meteors?
Seems the moon is pretty well shot up,  so to speak, with craters,  and here on Earth there are several well documented craters fairly close together,  relatively speaking.

So,  how shy & when did THAT stop??

My weird thinking at 3AM when I can't shut my brain off....



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« Reply #17 on: Aug 20, 2017, 07:12PM »

Quote
I can't help but wonder when the Earth & moon STOPPED getting hit with meteors?


After a few billion years the planets have cleared out most of the seriouly large things they could collide with.

There really hasn't been a cessation however. The collision rate is approaching zero but will never be zero.

The moon, with no atmosphere to shield it, is still getting visibly smacked fairly often

Impact! New Moon Craters Are Appearing Faster Than Thought

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« Reply #18 on: Aug 20, 2017, 07:25PM »

I can't help but wonder when the Earth & moon STOPPED getting hit with meteors?
Seems the moon is pretty well shot up,  so to speak, with craters,  and here on Earth there are several well documented craters fairly close together,  relatively speaking.

So,  how shy & when did THAT stop??

My weird thinking at 3AM when I can't shut my brain off....



Eric

Eric, it's only 10:00pm here at EDT.  It's only 8:00 where you are.

Anyway,  Meteor impacts have not stopped.  They may have slowed down, and the reason for that is because, well, a lot of the natural space junk  has landed somewhere in the solar system.  We only got so much at the point of formation of this system.  IOW, we are running out stuff to hit us (earth and the moon).  Nonetheless, NASA have a whole department that eat, live and breath just this subject, so let me turn it over to them with this quote:

" On average, 33 metric tons (73,000 lbs) of meteoroids hit Earth every day, the vast majority of which harmlessly ablates ("burns up") high in the atmosphere, never making it to the ground. The Moon, however, has little or no atmosphere, so meteoroids have nothing to stop them from striking the surface. The slowest of these rocks travels at 20 km/sec (45,000 mph); the fastest travels at over 72 km/sec (160,000 mph). At such speeds even a small meteoroid has incredible energy -- one with a mass of only 5 kg (10 lbs) can excavate a crater over 9 meters (30 ft) across, hurling 75 metric tons (165,000 lbs) of lunar soil and rock on ballistic trajectories above the lunar surface.

The lunar impact rate is very uncertain because observations for objects in this mass range are embarrassingly few -- a single fireball survey conducted by Canadian researchers from 1971 to 1985. Clearly more observations are needed if we are to establish the rate of large meteoroids impacting the Moon.

But why look at the Moon? We need to understand the numbers of meteoroids across a range of sizes so we can evaluate the threat to spacecraft.  Small meteoroids are measured with radar as they ablate in Earth’s atmosphere.  Larger meteoroids are less abundant so a large collecting area is needed to measure a statistically significant sample.  The surface of the Moon provides millions of square kilometers of collecting area we can see from Earth."


And I'll add to that this NASA quote:

“On March 17, 2013, an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium,” Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said in a statement. “It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we’ve ever seen before.”

PS:  Robert beat me to it...
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« Reply #19 on: Aug 20, 2017, 07:43PM »

Eric, it's only 10:00pm here at EDT.  It's only 8:00 where you are.

Anyway,  Meteor impacts have not stopped.  They may have slowed down, and the reason for that is because, well, a lot of the natural space junk  has landed somewhere in the solar system.  We only got so much at the point of formation of this system.  IOW, we are running out stuff to hit us (earth and the moon).  Nonetheless, NASA have a whole department that eat, live and breath just this subject, so let me turn it over to them with this quote:

" On average, 33 metric tons (73,000 lbs) of meteoroids hit Earth every day, the vast majority of which harmlessly ablates ("burns up") high in the atmosphere, never making it to the ground. The Moon, however, has little or no atmosphere, so meteoroids have nothing to stop them from striking the surface. The slowest of these rocks travels at 20 km/sec (45,000 mph); the fastest travels at over 72 km/sec (160,000 mph). At such speeds even a small meteoroid has incredible energy -- one with a mass of only 5 kg (10 lbs) can excavate a crater over 9 meters (30 ft) across, hurling 75 metric tons (165,000 lbs) of lunar soil and rock on ballistic trajectories above the lunar surface.

The lunar impact rate is very uncertain because observations for objects in this mass range are embarrassingly few -- a single fireball survey conducted by Canadian researchers from 1971 to 1985. Clearly more observations are needed if we are to establish the rate of large meteoroids impacting the Moon.

But why look at the Moon? We need to understand the numbers of meteoroids across a range of sizes so we can evaluate the threat to spacecraft.  Small meteoroids are measured with radar as they ablate in Earth’s atmosphere.  Larger meteoroids are less abundant so a large collecting area is needed to measure a statistically significant sample.  The surface of the Moon provides millions of square kilometers of collecting area we can see from Earth."


And I'll add to that this NASA quote:

“On March 17, 2013, an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium,” Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said in a statement. “It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we’ve ever seen before.”

PS:  Robert beat me to it...

Bill,  This thread just happened to be going tonight,  but got me thinking about the times I wake up at 3 & start thinking....
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« Reply #20 on: Aug 20, 2017, 07:44PM »

Bill,  This thread just happened to be going tonight,  but got me thinking about the times I wake up at 3 & start thinking....

Ahh, I know the experience...   Good!
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« Reply #21 on: Aug 20, 2017, 08:40PM »

My father, a chemistry Ph.D. and not a science-doubter but also a devoted Lutheran (sola scriptura) was comfortable with the idea that the creation story in Genesis had the essential events in an order similar to the known science and yet wasn't intended as an exact timeline.
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« Reply #22 on: Aug 20, 2017, 10:16PM »

It's worth noting that there are more than a few present-day physicists, cosmologists, philosophers etc. who believe that "time" may prove to be nothing more than an illusory construct of the human mind, and that the concept of "age" may not even be applicable to the universe (multiverse?).
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« Reply #23 on: Aug 20, 2017, 10:35PM »

My father, a chemistry Ph.D. and not a science-doubter but also a devoted Lutheran (sola scriptura) was comfortable with the idea that the creation story in Genesis had the essential events in an order similar to the known science and yet wasn't intended as an exact timeline.

He's not exactly alone. As I understand it that's the most popular viewpoint from US Christians who can handle reality "imposing" upon their religious beliefs--used to be a significant majority of Christians, but I'm not sure that's still the case.
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« Reply #24 on: Aug 20, 2017, 10:37PM »

It's worth noting that there are more than a few present-day physicists, cosmologists, philosophers etc. who believe that "time" may prove to be nothing more than an illusory construct of the human mind, and that the concept of "age" may not even be applicable to the universe (multiverse?).

I expect one can get high trying to wrap one's brain around that one too.
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« Reply #25 on: Aug 21, 2017, 05:31AM »



How I you reconcile evolution with the idea of creation?

Lots of ways.

One obvious one:  evolution continues.  Man becomes divine sometime in the future.  Divinity is not subject to time.  Therefore God exists then and in the past. 

Easiest way:  the Bible is the history of the last 6,000 years of Jewish history, but doesn't go back before that. 
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« Reply #26 on: Aug 21, 2017, 06:15AM »

It's worth noting that there are more than a few present-day physicists, cosmologists, philosophers etc. who believe that "time" may prove to be nothing more than an illusory construct of the human mind, and that the concept of "age" may not even be applicable to the universe (multiverse?).

Some wit said that time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.
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« Reply #27 on: Aug 21, 2017, 06:31AM »

BTW, if you like seeing planets get flung out of their orbits, try Super Planet Crash.

Robert, that's fantastic.
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« Reply #28 on: Aug 21, 2017, 06:35AM »

Some wit said that time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.

Yes, and it seems to fail a lot.
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« Reply #29 on: Aug 21, 2017, 08:35AM »

Some wit said that time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.

Yes, and it seems to fail a lot.

For example:

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/07/20/quantum-experiment-shows-how-time-doesnt-exist-as-we-think-it-does-mind-altering/
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« Reply #30 on: Aug 21, 2017, 11:56AM »

The universe and everything in it was created at my birth and will cease to exist upon my death.
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« Reply #31 on: Aug 21, 2017, 12:11PM »

The universe and everything in it was created at my birth and will cease to exist upon my death.

Let us know when you start to feel sick.

We'll all chip in for cryo.  Seems like a reasonable investment, for those of us who want to live past you. 
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« Reply #32 on: Aug 21, 2017, 12:20PM »

The universe and everything in it was created at my birth and will cease to exist upon my death.
Ah yes.  A valid answer from the perspective of your subjective worldview.
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« Reply #33 on: Aug 21, 2017, 01:19PM »

The universe and everything in it was created at my birth and will cease to exist upon my death.

From a personal perspective, one that you experience, I guess that's it.

All the fossils, they were already here. Didn't need time to form.

Thank you for sharing your universe with us!
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« Reply #34 on: Aug 21, 2017, 03:11PM »

I'd like to suggest another idea.....that the universe is much older than 14 billions years...it's like someone just came up with the random number of 14 billion years and everyone just jumped on it. I don't get it. And now whenever we look at a new galaxy (old) that is really far away, they always say "well, we know the universe is 14 billlion years old; therefore, it has to be younger than that".   Confused

We seemed to be limited by the scope of what is visible Hubble as well. "Hubble can only view galaxies that are 14 billion light years away, therefore, it's true"  Confused

Here's another question I have, if the visible universe is 96 billion light years diameter (roughly; again we're limited by what our primitive telescopes can see), how can the universe be only 14 billion years old? Does't make sense, because if you think the universe started off in a concentric ball, then exploded, it would take longer than 14 billion years to stretch out to a diameter of 96 billion light years. If the universe started off as an amoeba type configuration, then 14 billion years would be more believable.
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« Reply #35 on: Aug 21, 2017, 05:24PM »

I'd like to suggest another idea.....that the universe is much older than 14 billions years...it's like someone just came up with the random number of 14 billion years and everyone just jumped on it. I don't get it. And now whenever we look at a new galaxy (old) that is really far away, they always say "well, we know the universe is 14 billlion years old; therefore, it has to be younger than that".   Confused

We seemed to be limited by the scope of what is visible Hubble as well. "Hubble can only view galaxies that are 14 billion light years away, therefore, it's true"  Confused

If the Hubble can see something 13.5 billion light years away then you know it's at least that old.

There's a lot of physics to it I couldn't explain but the 13.8 billion years number is one that several different ways of estimating the age of the universe happen to all come real close to. Wikipedia has an article on the age of the universe.
Quote
Here's another question I have, if the visible universe is 96 billion light years diameter (roughly; again we're limited by what our primitive telescopes can see), how can the universe be only 14 billion years old?


The 90-something billion light year diameter accounts for the further distance the objects that gave off that light have traveled away from us since the light was emitted. Yup there's a wiki article on the size of the universe also.

All of these numbers admit they depend on some assumptions.  Good assumptions, based on strong evidence about how matter behaves, but still assumptions.

One theory says the universe is really much smaller that what we seem to observe...

Quote
If the Universe is finite but unbounded, it is also possible that the Universe is smaller than the observable universe. In this case, what we take to be very distant galaxies may actually be duplicate images of nearby galaxies, formed by light that has circumnavigated the Universe. It is difficult to test this hypothesis experimentally because different images of a galaxy would show different eras in its history, and consequently might appear quite different.




On the other hand, there is nothing anyone can measure that indicates an age older than 14 billion years and no predictions for an age older than that also fit with what physicists already know about how things work.
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« Reply #36 on: Aug 22, 2017, 05:11AM »

Robcat, in response to....
On the other hand, there is nothing anyone can measure that indicates an age older than 14 billion years and no predictions for an age older than that also fit with what physicists already know about how things work.

My concern is that scientists are working from a pre-determined set of beliefs; they assume that the universe is 14 billion years old (again, based off of the limitations of Hubble) therefore all their core estimates are based off of that pre-determined assumption about the age of the universe.

If the James Webb telescope is going to have 10X the power of Hubble, it's going to blow their 14 billion year theory "out of orbit":), or at the very least, it should force astronomers to seriously increase the numbers for the size of the universe.
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« Reply #37 on: Aug 22, 2017, 05:46AM »

I'd like to suggest another idea.....that the universe is much older than 14 billions years...it's like someone just came up with the random number of 14 billion years and everyone just jumped on it. I don't get it. And now whenever we look at a new galaxy (old) that is really far away, they always say "well, we know the universe is 14 billlion years old; therefore, it has to be younger than that".   Confused
 
We seemed to be limited by the scope of what is visible Hubble as well. "Hubble can only view galaxies that are 14 billion light years away, therefore, it's true"  Confused
My concern is that scientists are working from a pre-determined set of beliefs; they assume that the universe is 14 billion years old (again, based off of the limitations of Hubble) therefore all their core estimates are based off of that pre-determined assumption about the age of the universe.
 
If the James Webb telescope is going to have 10X the power of Hubble, it's going to blow their 14 billion year theory "out of orbit":), or at the very least, it should force astronomers to seriously increase the numbers for the size of the universe.

Notice that scientists are also the ones who correct these kinds of errors though. That's because they tend to challenge or at least test our existing understanding. In my experience your characterization of how scientists think doesn't match what I see at all. You can see this in documentaries too. They're always watching for new data that will change things and improve our understanding.
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« Reply #38 on: Aug 22, 2017, 05:53AM »

Yes. We want to be wrong. It means that there's a whole lot of interesting thinking to do right in front of us.
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« Reply #39 on: Aug 22, 2017, 06:22AM »



My concern is that scientists are working from a pre-determined set of beliefs; they assume that the universe is 14 billion years old (again, based off of the limitations of Hubble) therefore all their core estimates are based off of that pre-determined assumption about the age of the universe.

This is a mistaken notion that they just "assume" things and that they let the Hubble limit their speculations. They exhausted the Hubble's limitations for this sort of stuff pretty fast and that's why there will be the JWT.





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« Reply #40 on: Aug 22, 2017, 07:06AM »

1000 years ago we believed all of Creation was around 5,000 years old based on Bishop Ussher's calculation.  Because we didn't know any better.  We've learned a lot in the intervening millennium.  Best estimate now is 14 billion years.  Maybe we will find some new evidence for a different age.  That's what Science is all about.  If you think you know it all, you don't understand.
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« Reply #41 on: Aug 22, 2017, 07:18AM »

1,000 years ago, people would have been pretty hard put to it to believe anything on the basis of James Ussher's work, given that he wasn't born until 1581! But the numbers in the Jewish texts are plain enough, if extraordinarily odd in various ways, and I highly doubt that he was the first person ever to add them up.

Other religious traditions in existence at that time believed other contradictory things. The Babylonians were 1,500 years gone by then, but their creation myth dates the start of things back a quarter of a million years, and their exaggerated king ages (tens of thousands of years) make the Genesis age exaggerations look distinctly unambitious.
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« Reply #42 on: Aug 22, 2017, 07:44AM »

Oops.  I thought he was much earlier.

Thanks for the update.

And we don't really know what the Aztecs or other Americans thought the age of the world was.  We know the Aztecs talked about 5 ages based on the Sun Stone (we are in the 5th Age).
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« Reply #43 on: Aug 22, 2017, 11:35AM »

I thought the Age of Aquarius began in 1969?
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« Reply #44 on: Aug 22, 2017, 12:08PM »

I thought the Age of Aquarius began in 1969?
The thoughts on that range from 1994 to 2720, but not 1969 - but hey, your reckoning is just a valid in light of the fact that noone has a clue.
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« Reply #45 on: Aug 22, 2017, 02:20PM »

This is a mistaken notion that they just "assume" things and that they let the Hubble limit their speculations. They exhausted the Hubble's limitations for this sort of stuff pretty fast and that's why there will be the JWT.







It's a mistaken notion to believe that they aren't. If you ask them to come up with a rough estimate for the age of the universe, it's simply that, a rough estimate. Everyone is afraid of "nonconformity" in the Science world, so no one budges from the 14 billion year idea. Plus, the 14 billion years isn't really based on anything. Try to find some hardcore data to prove it; you won't find it.
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« Reply #46 on: Aug 22, 2017, 02:50PM »

It's a mistaken notion to believe that they aren't. If you ask them to come up with a rough estimate for the age of the universe, it's simply that, a rough estimate. Everyone is afraid of "nonconformity" in the Science world, so no one budges from the 14 billion year idea. Plus, the 14 billion years isn't really based on anything. Try to find some hardcore data to prove it; you won't find it.
This is absurd.

Where do these 'beliefs' come from Stuart?  The 13.799 Billion estimate is fairly new.  When it was adopted, it was adopted quickly from new information which was also published quickly.  There was no sense of fear of 'nonconformity' about it.  Scientists are not generally in fear of nonconformity.  I can see how a person in the military might think that way though.  There is certainly good reason to fear nonconformity in the military.

My bet is that one could present all the hardcore data in the world to you and it would not help.  Do you understand what to do with all that data?  Are you up to date on all the applicable theoretical physics?  Just let me know and I can direct you to all the data you want on this.

However, as a physicist, I can assure that given what we know about the universe now, and the latest data we have, the estimate of 13.799B years +/- 21M years is astonishingly convincing.  The fact that you believe the current age estimate has been brought about primarily by the use of the HST is revealing in and of itself.  Combine that with the other things you've said and it's clear you have little understanding of the underlying science that leads the astrophysicist community to agree on this latest estimate.

Just to help me get a better idea where you sit on this, perhaps you could tell how old you think the universe is, and why you think that?
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« Reply #47 on: Aug 22, 2017, 06:40PM »

It's a mistaken notion to believe that they aren't. If you ask them to come up with a rough estimate for the age of the universe, it's simply that, a rough estimate. Everyone is afraid of "nonconformity" in the Science world, so no one budges from the 14 billion year idea. Plus, the 14 billion years isn't really based on anything. Try to find some hardcore data to prove it; you won't find it.

This is about like saying there can't any hard core data for the weight of a rock; that just because you can put it on a scale that everyone agrees is accurate and see a number that everyone agrees is the result, that doesn't prove what the weight of the rock is because ... everyone is afraid to disagree!
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« Reply #48 on: Aug 22, 2017, 06:52PM »

A bunch of trombonists debating the age of the universe is about as valid as a group of astrophysicists chatting about the best way to play Bolero.
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« Reply #49 on: Aug 22, 2017, 06:55PM »

Here's a brief history of the many disagreements about the age of the universe. The current number is a disagreement with a previous number which was a disagreement with a previous....

Note that for this article, "Hubble" is the man and his "constant", not the telescope.

Cosmic age problem

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« Reply #50 on: Aug 22, 2017, 08:09PM »

A bunch of trombonists debating the age of the universe is about as valid as a group of astrophysicists chatting about the best way to play Bolero.

They might be more valid about Bolero than I, cuz I'm never going to do it.
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« Reply #51 on: Aug 22, 2017, 08:48PM »

A bunch of trombonists debating the age of the universe is about as valid as a group of astrophysicists chatting about the best way to play Bolero.
LOL!

Some of us physicists play trombone, and have even played Bolero!
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« Reply #52 on: Aug 22, 2017, 08:56PM »

I'm sticking with 14 billion years until somebody delivers convincing evidence it's something else.  Whether it's 13 billion or 15 billion is really not going to affect my life very much.
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« Reply #53 on: Aug 23, 2017, 02:56AM »

Everyone is afraid of "nonconformity" in the Science world

Perhaps we need to back up a little here. Stuart, what has led you to conclude that the "science world" (which contains millions of people between them researching topics covering an overwhelming variety of fields) thinks this way as a whole? Your conclusion bears no resemblance to any part of scientific research I've ever encountered in my studies and career in maths and physics. It is pretty much a prerequisite to embark on a scientific career that one be attracted to the idea of questioning orthodoxies.

There are plenty of people in the world who are all too quick to conclude on the basis of internet reading and/or sitting on their own in a darkened room for a bit too long that they have perceived an embarrassingly basic fault in some principle whose accuracy has been established well past the point of basics. The PR department of every university and laboratory regularly fields their letters - the classic is "I've designed a perpetual motion machine, so you're all wrong, nyah nyah!". The sad thing is that if they'd devoted the same effort to studying the subject that they have to trying to jump ahead of their current state of knowledge without bothering to see what other people have already learned, they could be making a genuine contribution to humanity's collective knowledge-gathering enterprise (aka "science") rather than wasting everybody's time.
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« Reply #54 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:19AM »

A bunch of trombonists debating the age of the universe is about as valid as a group of astrophysicists chatting about the best way to play Bolero.

Mike, look around. This forum is about 99% avocational trombonists chatting about Bolero, slide oils, how to play changes, yada yada yada.

An outsize number of them have math and engineering backgrounds. I'm a horrible mathematician, but I took calculus and physics courses in college so while I would rarely be able to add anything to a discussion amongst professional scientists, I can usually understand the basic outlines of what they're talking about. Some of the people on here have a deep enough understanding to intelligently debate the subject.

It's a mistaken notion to believe that they aren't. If you ask them to come up with a rough estimate for the age of the universe, it's simply that, a rough estimate. Everyone is afraid of "nonconformity" in the Science world, so no one budges from the 14 billion year idea. Plus, the 14 billion years isn't really based on anything. Try to find some hardcore data to prove it; you won't find it.

Did you take a physics course in college? You should if you haven't - a good teacher can explain the math. I had a wonderful lecturer, a brilliant Japanese professor who communicated the most complex ideas with clarity in a way I didn't think possible. If you doubt the results of Hubble as "scientists... working from a pre-determined set of beliefs", then you must by proxy also doubt the measured speed of light. We can measure "C" - we aren't guessing. We don't "believe" this is the speed of light. We know it. We measure it. If another way of measurement is more accurate and we find that 186,282 mi/s should actually be 186,283mi/s, we CHANGE it. If new information comes along that suggests the universe is actually older than 14B years, we change it. That's not belief.
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« Reply #55 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:33AM »

Mike, look around. This forum is about 99% avocational trombonists chatting about Bolero, slide oils, how to play changes, yada yada yada.

An outsize number of them have math and engineering backgrounds.

It's a lucky thing for the professionals that this is true.

Why?  The avocational trombonists buy the majority of trombones.  If the pros were the only ones, the market would be so small that a good trombone would cost $25,000 or so. 
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« Reply #56 on: Aug 23, 2017, 07:20AM »

I guess that's true. 2 out of the 4 bones in my big band are engineers, along with half the sax section. The leader and lead alto is a PhD in math and college professor.
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« Reply #57 on: Aug 23, 2017, 07:45AM »

I blame all the internet ads that have ledes like "13 Year Old Proves Scientists Wrong!"

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« Reply #58 on: Aug 23, 2017, 07:59AM »

I blame all the internet ads that have ledes like "13 Year Old Proves Scientists Wrong!"



Yeah.

Although it did happen with the hot water freezing thing.
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« Reply #59 on: Aug 23, 2017, 12:28PM »


After a few billion years the planets have cleared out most of the seriouly large things they could collide with.

There really hasn't been a cessation however. The collision rate is approaching zero but will never be zero.

The moon, with no atmosphere to shield it, is still getting visibly smacked fairly often

Impact! New Moon Craters Are Appearing Faster Than Thought



The moon's lack of atmosphere not only allows more objects to strike the surface but also precludes surface erosion through rain water and wind. Earth, by contrast, has a very dynamic atmosphere wherein erosion has hidden most of the obvious visual evidence of impacts. It ain't over. Our mayfly lifespans don't provide a natural perspective for geological or celestial time scales. That's the bad news. The good news is that our tiny lifespans make the odds of experiencing a major impact pretty tiny.
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« Reply #60 on: Aug 23, 2017, 12:40PM »

Earth, by contrast, has a very dynamic atmosphere wherein erosion has hidden most of the obvious visual evidence of impacts. It ain't over.

Not just erosion.  Plate tectonics has something to do with that (and has only been understood during our lifetimes.)  (for a very interesting reason)
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« Reply #61 on: Aug 23, 2017, 01:14PM »

Not just erosion.  Plate tectonics has something to do with that (and has only been understood during our lifetimes.)  (for a very interesting reason)

Yep. Also vulcanism. And, let's not forget the organic world. Forestation, animal activities, etc. The surface of our little planet is constantly being reworked like an etch-a-sketch.
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« Reply #62 on: Aug 23, 2017, 02:08PM »

And glaciers that have scraped over large parts of the Earth.
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« Reply #63 on: Aug 23, 2017, 02:10PM »

And glaciers that have scraped over large parts of the Earth.

I thought that glaciers would melt due to man made global warming, not scrape?
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« Reply #64 on: Aug 23, 2017, 02:19PM »

Now the dogmabot persona is actually pretending not to understand how time functions even on the most basic level.
 
Are we still going to lavish it with attention so it can set the social climate in here too?
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« Reply #65 on: Aug 23, 2017, 04:02PM »

Age of the universe? Many days I struggle to recall my own age.

Now the age of Kathy in accounting... THAT'S a mystery. 35? 60? Got that ageless look there... Hard to tell. And a hand across the face if asked.
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« Reply #66 on: Aug 23, 2017, 04:08PM »

Perhaps we need to back up a little here. Stuart, what has led you to conclude that the "science world" (which contains millions of people between them researching topics covering an overwhelming variety of fields) thinks this way as a whole? Your conclusion bears no resemblance to any part of scientific research I've ever encountered in my studies and career in maths and physics. It is pretty much a prerequisite to embark on a scientific career that one be attracted to the idea of questioning orthodoxies.

Just a thought...

https://newrepublic.com/article/135921/science-suffering-peer-reviews-big-problems

Quote
So, what is the problem with peer review?

In the first place, assessing the quality of a scientific work is a hard task, even for trained scientists, and especially for innovative studies. For this reason, reviewers can often be in disagreement about the merits of an article. In such cases, the editor of a high-profile journal usually takes a conservative decision and rejects it.

Furthermore, for a journal editor, finding competent reviewers can be a daunting task. In fact, reviewers are themselves scientists, which means that they tend to be extremely busy with other tasks like teaching, mentoring students and developing their own research. A review for a journal must be done on top of normal academic chores, often implying that a scientist can dedicate less time to it than it would deserve.

In some cases, journals encourage authors to suggest reviewers’ names. However, this feature, initially introduced to help the editors, has been unfortunately misused to create peer review rings, where the suggested reviewers were accomplices of the authors, or even the authors themselves with secret accounts.

Furthermore, reviewers have no direct incentive to do a good review. They are not paid, and their names do not appear in the published article.

Finally, there is a another problem, which has become worse in the last 15-20 years, where academic competition for funding, positions, publication space and credits has increased along with the growth of the number of researchers.

Science is a winner-take-all enterprise, where whoever makes the decisive discovery first gets all the fame and credit, whereas all the remaining researchers are forgotten. The competition can be fierce and the stakes high.

In such a competitive environment, experiencing an erroneous rejection, or simply a delayed publication, might have huge costs to bear. That is why some Nobel Prize winners no longer hesitate to publish their results in low-impact journals.

....


We found that a consistent number of reviewers, aware of this competition, purposely downgraded the review score of the competitor to gain a personal advantage. In turn, this behavior led to a lower level of agreement between reviewers.

Finally, we also asked a sample of 620 external evaluators recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk to rate the images independently.

We found out that competition did not improve the average level of creativity of the images. In fact, with competition many more works of good quality got rejected, whereas in the noncompetitive condition more works of lower quality got accepted.

This highlights the trade-off in the current publication system as well.

To note: it's quite easy to glorify nameless groups such as "scientists". No names, just a title. But James down the hall? Ignore that guy. He's just publishing to meet the requirements for his job. That's all. His real study had a great flop and he needed something. It happens, ya know? Now scientists...


To really note: science these days is what is paid for. What nutritional science? Probably funded by food manufacturers to sell product. What health science? Likely funded either by pharmaceuticals looking for a profitable drug or collegiate hospitals looking for a reputation. So it goes...

As an IT professional, I accept that my work is to further the business interests of my employer. Seems odd to think that science somehow could remain pure to their own pursuits whilst taking the money...
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« Reply #67 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:02PM »

Bob, are you trying to cast doubt on the Hubble constant by some how equating his work with that done by corporate shills working for the oil/fast food/pharmaceutical industry?
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« Reply #68 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:13PM »

Bob, are you trying to cast doubt on the Hubble constant by some how equating his work with that done by corporate shills working for the oil/fast food/pharmaceutical industry?
Don't forget the collegiate industry. Or healthcare/biotech for that matter.

Merely remarking on the motivation of many scientists: that their work is not for the sake of their work, but as people making a paycheck, and that's how they choose to do it. Just like most anyone else.
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« Reply #69 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:21PM »

Yes, I understand that. I can give you chapter and verse on special interests and how they work.

I'l clarify: what I'm asking is are you bringing up the bad behavior of industry "scientists" in an effort to shed doubt on the Hubble constant? Do you personally believe the math behind the constant is faulty?

Are you trying to bad-apple the argument?

Are you trying to suggest that there is some financial benefit to showing the age of the Universe to be 14B years old? If so, who is paying for that?
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« Reply #70 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:27PM »

Yes, I understand that. I can give you chapter and verse on special interests and how they work.
Special implies that a group/interest is the exception... Quite the opposite, really. 

I'l clarify: what I'm asking is are you bringing up the bad behavior of industry "scientists" in an effort to shed doubt on the Hubble constant?
Did I bring up the hubble constant?

Are you trying to suggest that there is some financial benefit to showing the age of the Universe to be 14B years old? If so, who is paying for that?
Dunno. What is the financial benefit either way?
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« Reply #71 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:51PM »

Special implies that a group/interest is the exception... Quite the opposite, really. 
Do not conflate what you hear about on Fox news or breitbart with the majority of what scientists are actually doing. Do not conflate special interests (which you are talking about) with the majority of work that scientists do. Most of them labor in practical obscurity and earn about the same as a teacher in Oklahoma, if they're lucky.
Did I bring up the hubble constant?
You didn't mention anything specific, Bob. You engaged in a vague attack on science in general in a half-hearted attempt to undermine the assertion that the Universe is 14B years old. This is the only explanation as none of the other options have any scientific support whatsoever. If that's not the case then one can only assume you are either posting in the wrong thread or not aware of the discussion.

Dunno. What is the financial benefit either way?
Exaclty, Bob. There is no benefit to showing the universe to be 14B. So your back door assertion that the science supporting this is somehow the result of special interests is flawed. Thank you for admitting it.

As far as the financial benefit to it being 6,000 years old? There's a hell of a lot more money in the church industry than there has ever been in the "proving hubble right" industry. Talk about the ultimate special interest...
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« Reply #72 on: Aug 23, 2017, 08:34PM »

As an IT professional, I accept that my work is to further the business interests of my employer. Seems odd to think that science somehow could remain pure to their own pursuits whilst taking the money...
I get you now Bob.  I really do, and feel pity.
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« Reply #73 on: Aug 23, 2017, 09:17PM »

Isaac Newton was in the pocket of Big Gravity. Everyone knows it but no one says it.
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« Reply #74 on: Aug 23, 2017, 09:31PM »

Isaac Newton was in the pocket of Big Gravity. Everyone knows it but no one says it.
Rob, you owe me a glass of wine.  I managed to knock mine over in a fit of laughter after reading this post.
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« Reply #75 on: Aug 24, 2017, 02:39AM »

Isaac Newton was in the pocket of Big Gravity. Everyone knows it but no one says it.
Good! Good! Good!
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« Reply #76 on: Aug 24, 2017, 02:56AM »

Do not conflate what you hear about on Fox news or breitbart with the majority of what scientists are actually doing. Do not conflate special interests (which you are talking about) with the majority of work that scientists do. Most of them labor in practical obscurity and earn about the same as a teacher in Oklahoma, if they're lucky. You didn't mention anything specific, Bob. You engaged in a vague attack on science in general in a half-hearted attempt to undermine the assertion that the Universe is 14B years old. This is the only explanation as none of the other options have any scientific support whatsoever. If that's not the case then one can only assume you are either posting in the wrong thread or not aware of the discussion.
Exaclty, Bob. There is no benefit to showing the universe to be 14B. So your back door assertion that the science supporting this is somehow the result of special interests is flawed. Thank you for admitting it.

Quite the rant there.

Fox news? Vague attack on scientists in general? Special interest conspiracy? No benefit to something you hold up high, named with the person's name who initially took it from someone else?

Sorry to admit scientists are just people. And in a capitalistic society, people need to get paid, which means bringing value to an employer... even if only in reputation (which would actually be a benefit).

There is a real problem with peer review today, and it actually supports the point ArrowHead made - albeit vaguely. Nor is science or the scientists that practice it really that bright shining utopic model. It's a human practice done by humans motivated by current human trends. Your rant basically validates my point that it is often taken too seriously.


Otherwise... the age of the universe and other such questions of higher physics... I just find them funny. Basically the religious aspect for science. They are theories and guesses. Math that seems right, but cannot actually be proven or tried. What does it matter how old the universe it? What does it impact? How can we even know if we got it right? We don't. Personally, I'm still waiting for a non-mathematical explanation to say what all these extra dimensions are.

Have fun out there.  Hi
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« Reply #77 on: Aug 24, 2017, 05:33AM »

No, Bob, you are being incredibly dishonest in your argument here and I'm I'm not letting you do it.

We can prove the speed of light, Bob. It's a constant.

You don't understand the science well enough to attack it, so you are attempting to attack the motivations of the scientists. It's sad.

And of course when you get called out on it you dismiss my calling you out on it as a "rant" and the make the preposterous claim that what I said somehow validates your point. It doesn't.

Any problems with "peer review" are not indicative of problems with Hubble. Hubble is open to change when better numbers come along, just like any formula. But that doesn't matter, you can't understand Hubble, so you'll try and tie that in the abuses in the pharma industry.

I have to wonder if you've ever submitted anything to peer review, I don't think you have. It's more akin to being attacked on 20 sides by friendly fire than it is to a rubber stamp.

Otherwise... the age of the universe and other such questions of higher physics... I just find them funny.

Your incredulity does not make the research invalid. Just because I don't believe Justin Bieber's grammy win in 2016 doesn't mean it didn't happen.

They are theories and guesses. Math that seems right, but cannot actually be proven or tried. What does it matter how old the universe it? What does it impact? How can we even know if we got it right? We don't. Personally, I'm still waiting for a non-mathematical explanation to say what all these extra dimensions are.

This statement right here underlines your complete lack of understanding of what a scientist does. Just do yourself a favor and start out with what the scientific definition of a "theory" is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

I'll highlight the first two paragraphs for you, lest you skip them and be eternally in the dark:

"A scientific theory is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can, in accordance with the scientific method, be repeatedly tested, using a predefined protocol of observations and experiments.[1][2] Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and are a comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.[3]"

"It is important to note that the definition of a "scientific theory" (often ambiguously contracted to "theory" for the sake of brevity, including in this page) as used in the disciplines of science is significantly different from the common vernacular usage of the word "theory". In everyday non-scientific speech, "theory" can imply that something is an unsubstantiated and speculative guess, conjecture, idea, or, hypothesis; such a usage is the opposite of the word "theory" in science. These different usages are comparable to the differing, and often opposing, usages of the term "prediction" in science versus "prediction" in vernacular speech, denoting a mere hope."

When we call something a theory, that basically means that it's as close to "right" as we can possibly get with our current understanding of how things work. Theory doesn't mean "gee I had a thought."
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« Reply #78 on: Aug 24, 2017, 05:58AM »

No, Bob, you are being incredibly dishonest in your argument here and I'm I'm not letting you do it.
...

This statement right here underlines your complete lack of understanding of what a scientist does. Just do yourself a favor and start out with what the scientific definition of a "theory" is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

I'll highlight the first two paragraphs for you, lest you skip them and be eternally in the dark:

"A scientific theory is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can, in accordance with the scientific method, be repeatedly tested, using a predefined protocol of observations and experiments.[1][2] Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and are a comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.[3]"
And when we can repeatedly test the big bang... then I will agree with you.

Wha? we can't? ok then...

And how do we repeatedly test the age of the universe? Can you go back to put a marker in the beginning and record from there? How would you even record time when our primary points of reference wouldn't exist yet?

As I said, I'm still waiting on a non-mathematical answer to say what all of those other dimensions are. We have length, width, depth, time... so what's the 8th dimension? And the 9th?

Do you know the answer, by chance? If not... maybe you can cool it with the ad hominems.
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« Reply #79 on: Aug 24, 2017, 06:06AM »

There was a one panel comic strip in most daily newspapers drawn by a guy named Unger called HERMAN. My favourite, which, to me , explains all of religion and most science goes something like this:

A security guard is standing in front of a triceratops skull in a museum and he says to a museum guest: " How old is it? Exactly 40 million and seventeen years old. I know because the sign on it said 40,000,000 years old when I was hired....and that was 17 years ago."
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« Reply #80 on: Aug 24, 2017, 07:13AM »

So it seems that about 84% of folks that responded agree with the scientists.  I'm guessing that the 13% who choose 'other' believe that the universe is ageless - that it has existed forever.  Interestingly we have only one person that is a biblical literalist.  I honestly thought there would be more.  There are supposed to be about 24% in the general population in the US that take the Bible as the literal word of god.

The sample size is pretty small here so it's impossible draw any hard conclusion here though.
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« Reply #81 on: Aug 24, 2017, 07:45AM »

There are supposed to be about 24% in the general population in the US that take the Bible as the literal word of god.

They may say that when asked but I'm not convinced 24% of the population has studied the Bible enough to be sure what is literally in it. 1 out of 4 people are Bible scholars? No way.

It's like how 40% of the population say they go to church every Sunday. Really? If we had 40% of the population getting up and heading to church on Sunday morning we'd have the most ginormous traffic jam of the week in the parts of the city least able to handle the increased traffic. I don't think we even have 40% of the population commuting to work on Monday morning.
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« Reply #82 on: Aug 24, 2017, 07:58AM »

They may say that when asked but I'm not convinced 24% of the population has studied the Bible enough to be sure what is literally in it. 1 out of 4 people are Bible scholars? No way.

It's like how 40% of the population say they go to church every Sunday. Really? If we had 40% of the population getting up and heading to church on Sunday morning we'd have the most ginormous traffic jam of the week in the parts of the city least able to handle the increased traffic. I don't think we even have 40% of the population commuting to work on Monday morning.
Divine intervention prevents the traffic jams.  ;-)
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« Reply #83 on: Aug 24, 2017, 08:02AM »

No, Bob, you are being incredibly dishonest in your argument here and I'm I'm not letting you do it.

His ruler's out man (and it's scale is way off).
 
Discussion is over ... if there ever really was that potential.
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« Reply #84 on: Aug 24, 2017, 08:13AM »

No, Bob, you are being incredibly dishonest in your argument here and I'm I'm not letting you do it.
I don't think it's fruitful to 'debate' anything with Bob.  Here is a guy that works on computers but thinks science is questionable nonsense devised by people who's primary aim is a paycheck and that logic is hopelessly flawed.  His ethics are revealed by what he writes.  He cannot conceive of anyone wanting to do anything good unless they are forced to by a ferocious supreme being who holds their eternal existence in the balance.  He cannot conceive of altruism.  He cannot believe that someone would put their life's opus ahead of grubbing an income.  He cannot conceive of any human being that is other than completely selfish.


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« Reply #85 on: Aug 24, 2017, 08:32AM »

I don't think it's fruitful to 'debate' anything with Bob.  Here is a guy that works on computers but thinks science is questionable nonsense devised by people who's primary aim is a paycheck and that logic is hopelessly flawed.  His ethics are revealed by what he writes.  He cannot conceive of anyone wanting to do anything good unless they are forced to by a ferocious supreme being who holds their eternal existence in the balance.  He cannot conceive of altruism.  He cannot believe that someone would put their life's opus ahead of grubbing an income.  He cannot conceive of any human being that is other than completely selfish.

Lots of ad homiems flying around today... When you can't deal with the argument, attack the person. Aside from being butt hurt per your ethics, or rather lack thereof, the above rant is relevant how? Oh yes... it's not.

Interesting that people who are so focused on process, facts, and observability turn so quickly to emotion, defensiveness, and attacks when their precious bubbles are popped.

In the same vein, the bit about flawed peer review was a scientific study noting those problems. Yet the response? HAVE YOU EVER SUBMITTED TO PEER REVIEW?!?! HUH?!?! (from a professional musician/arranger of all things)



And what is that 8th dimension again?

And if science is all about repetitive testing and observation, how do we do that with the big bang theory?

Yup...

Somehow the big science proponents ignore science they don't like and question they can't answer, and just go on the attack instead. How's that as far as increasing knowledge?


Again, goes to prove my initial argument... scientists are still people and the work shouldn't be taken too seriously. If it works, great. If not, or is theory only... nothing to get your panties in a wad about.
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« Reply #86 on: Aug 24, 2017, 08:38AM »

I don't think it's fruitful to 'debate' anything with Bob.

It varies. Sometimes he can bring good insight to the table. Too often he adopts a contrarian position and then aggressively smacks down anyone that disagrees with him on any aspect of it. This is wearing, and so I tend not to bother engaging with him (Hi Bob!).
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« Reply #87 on: Aug 24, 2017, 08:46AM »

It varies. Sometimes he can bring good insight to the table. Too often he adopts a contrarian position and then aggressively smacks down anyone that disagrees with him on any aspect of it. This is wearing, and so I tend not to bother engaging with him (Hi Bob!).
Quite ironic, considering I posted a quick article about a scientific study that supports a previous post, and since then... it's been an ad homimem pile up saying how dare I question science or the regular folks who conduct it. Only science should question science! And a rather interesting avoiding of looking at the science that does so...

I must be a bad person. For shame bob... for shame.

I won't get my biscuit now.

Then again, I'm stuck on a diet, so that's probably helpful anyhow.  :-P
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« Reply #88 on: Aug 24, 2017, 08:51AM »

I see no ad hominem.
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« Reply #89 on: Aug 24, 2017, 08:54AM »

I see no ad hominem.
Well yes.... you only see what you want to. Pretty common really. Most people are that way to an extent.

ad ho·mi·nem
ˌad ˈhämənəm/Submit
adverb & adjective
1.
(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
"vicious ad hominem attacks"
2.
relating to or associated with a particular person.


A full post on irrelevant and off topic grievances against a person rather than an argument is right in line with the above.





Since yall seem to want to make this about me anyhow instead of the topic...

Does anyone know where I put my cucumber/goat cheese/salmon rounds?

It's lunch time, and dieting stinks.
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« Reply #90 on: Aug 24, 2017, 09:00AM »

Hey, somebody remind me, were those evil scientists right about that eclipse thing?
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« Reply #91 on: Aug 24, 2017, 09:05AM »

Hey, somebody remind me, were those evil scientists right about that eclipse thing?
I thought the evil scientists were the ones down in the Caribbean on a remote island plotting world domination... Or what lunch they should have with their cocktails...  Don't know
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« Reply #92 on: Aug 24, 2017, 09:13AM »

Well yes....
.
.
It's lunch time, and dieting stinks.
Well, I guess you are right on both accounts.  Let me apologize for my part of the fist.  I can't help you with the 2nd but I can empathize.
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« Reply #93 on: Aug 24, 2017, 09:37AM »

Lots of ad homiems flying around today... When you can't deal with the argument, attack the person.

Fallacies happen in the course of making an argument, not in the course of addressing problem child behaviors. So no, you're not seeing any ad hominem fallacies. You've just made yourself an issue by breaking out your ruler any time someone is so rude as to traumatize you with disagreement. No one is arguing that you're wrong because you're being a problem child, they're just calling you out for being a problem child about being wrong, which they're explaining with valid (or at least non-ad hominem) arguments.
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« Reply #94 on: Aug 24, 2017, 09:41AM »


After a few billion years the planets have cleared out most of the seriouly large things they could collide with.

There really hasn't been a cessation however. The collision rate is approaching zero but will never be zero.

I've been reading about this and it's a bit more complicated. The Earth and other inner planets act to sweep up the asteroids around us too quickly to allow for the billions of years of bombardment that is in evidence...



Quote
[Near Earth Asteroids (whose orbit takes them near Earth's)] survive in their orbits for just a few million years.[6] They are eventually eliminated by planetary perturbations, causing ejection from the Solar System or a collision with the Sun or a planet. With orbital lifetimes short compared to the age of the Solar System, new asteroids must be constantly moved into near-Earth orbits to explain the observed asteroids. The accepted origin of these asteroids is that asteroid-belt asteroids are moved into the inner Solar System through orbital resonances with Jupiter. The interaction with Jupiter through the resonance perturbs the asteroid's orbit and it comes into the inner Solar System. The asteroid belt has gaps, known as Kirkwood gaps, where these resonances occur as the asteroids in these resonances have been moved onto other orbits. New asteroids migrate into these resonances, due to the Yarkovsky effect that provides a continuing supply of near-Earth asteroids.

There won't be many new asteroids arriving in our lifetime but over millions of years, new ones will become NEAs.
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« Reply #95 on: Aug 24, 2017, 10:52AM »

So it seems that about 84% of folks that responded agree with the scientists. 

Which scientists? The majority of scientists who hold a purely materialist view of the universe?

We can't just unequivocally lump all credible scientists into the Big Bang camp.
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« Reply #96 on: Aug 24, 2017, 10:54AM »

Well, I guess you are right on both accounts.  Let me apologize for my part of the fist.  I can't help you with the 2nd but I can empathize.

Thank you. I appreciate it.
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« Reply #97 on: Aug 24, 2017, 10:55AM »

We're supposed to have a visit by a NEA on September 1 (according to the NASA Web site).

As to the Big Bang, we need to figure out what the consequences of such an event are and then test the consequences.  Much like finding the Higgs Boson.  Will we prove it this century?  Who knows?  People are looking to model it all kinds of ways.  If we find one that fits what we see we can adjust our model.  Otherwise, just keep looking.

Nobody is "invested" in Big Bang.  It was used to try to describe what we see.  Nobody was there when it happened (except maybe God, and he's not talking).  About all we can honestly state is that the Solar System is around 4 billion years old so it's a youngster compared to other stars.  How did it come about?  When I was a kid we had a "big bang" where the sun exploded and ejected several lumps of matter that condensed to be what we see as planets, moons, and the asteroid belt (which may have been the result of another big bang).

Lots of ways to conjecture.  Just like trying to mentally create the perfect trombone.
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« Reply #98 on: Aug 24, 2017, 11:03AM »

Just like trying to mentally create the perfect trombone.

I'm sure you got a lot of bang for your bucks on your trombone.
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« Reply #99 on: Aug 24, 2017, 11:08AM »

I'm sure you got a lot of bang for your bucks on your trombone.

Nope, just blats :-P
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« Reply #100 on: Aug 24, 2017, 11:10AM »

Nope, just blats :-P

Is there a musical notation for blats?
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« Reply #101 on: Aug 24, 2017, 11:27AM »

Which scientists? The majority of scientists who hold a purely materialist view of the universe?
We were talking about the age of the universe, so I'll bet I meant the ones that figured it out.
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« Reply #102 on: Aug 24, 2017, 11:52AM »

We're supposed to have a visit by a NEA on September 1 (according to the NASA Web site).

As to the Big Bang, we need to figure out what the consequences of such an event are and then test the consequences.  Much like finding the Higgs Boson.  Will we prove it this century?  Who knows?  People are looking to model it all kinds of ways.  If we find one that fits what we see we can adjust our model.  Otherwise, just keep looking.
Well, yes and no. Yes... that is the approach. But the other side of it is that you aren't actually testing or using the scientific method against the big bang to see if it works. You are using it to test downstream consequences of what you think the big bang would do.

The caveat is that not only is working around the edges like that a very slow and tedious process... even if you validate what you think the big bang should do and it all checks out, that may or may not be anything like the actual process that began it all.

Basically testing the consequences of abstraction to see if it falls apart, but even if it doesn't, then what is to say the abstraction is accurate?


The whole big bang question often seems like a scientific(ish) way to try to ask the same question religion often starts with. How did we get here? Given the nature of the question as well as the current working theory, it doesn't seem like it can ever be "proven" per say... just looked into and contemplated.

Maybe it's just me, but I never tended to care about that part.

7 billion years? 10 thousand? A few hundred? What's the practical impact of any of it? We now know we live on a sphere and are pulled towards the mass by gravity... yet as a people, we still generally consider up and down fairly set concepts, rather than moving/looking towards or away relative to the sphere. It's hard enough to grasp those concepts... don't know we could ever reasonably expect to fully grasp much much larger ones.

Shoot... even a year is a limited measurement based on our own limited situations and is meaningless most anywhere else.
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« Reply #103 on: Aug 24, 2017, 01:32PM »

... even if you validate what you think the big bang should do and it all checks out, that may or may not be anything like the actual process that began it all.

"may or may not" is a rhetorical sleight-of-hand used to insert a far-fetched doubt about something into a conversation.


"Vaccinations may or may not prevent disease!"

"Free elections may or may not be necessary for democracy!"

"Smoking may or may not cause cancer!"


With "may or may not" you can elevate almost any notion into a discussion and derail it because of the time spent batting it back down.


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« Reply #104 on: Aug 24, 2017, 03:04PM »

"may or may not" is a rhetorical sleight-of-hand used to insert a far-fetched doubt about something into a conversation.


"Vaccinations may or may not prevent disease!"

"Free elections may or may not be necessary for democracy!"

"Smoking may or may not cause cancer!"


With "may or may not" you can elevate almost any notion into a discussion and derail it because of the time spent batting it back down.




"On many sides...many sides."
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« Reply #105 on: Aug 24, 2017, 05:29PM »

"may or may not" is a rhetorical sleight-of-hand used to insert a far-fetched doubt about something into a conversation.

And it is distracting... where? exactly?

The big bang theory is an abstraction. We think this happened. We think this would result from what we think happened. Let's see if that resulted.

At no point can the abstraction be tested nor recreated. Were it possible, even a failure would still probably destroy the planet and you with it.

Nor can we ever say that we have "proven" the abstraction, because without recreating it... we can't say the idea was ever fully validated. 

May or may not in this sense is a unknown. How close the theory is, is unknown, nor can it be known by the nature of the theory. No derailment at all. Simply recognition.

If there isn't doubt, you aren't thinking. If you aren't thinking, it isn't science. It's just repeating or agreeing with something you once heard...



And really, at this point, for everything we know... we are still quite a ways off. Einstein's elusive hopes of a theory of everything are still elusive, nor is there even a widely accepted grand unified theory. And for the larger populous... these questions will almost always be either saying something they heard once, or taking it on faith per "science".




On a more realistic possibility per space... if people did land on mars and start a colony... how would they measure time? Earth years would be clinging on to baggage that would serve more to hinder at that point than help. Same with days and hours. All of these are based on earth's rotation around the sun or its own axis, and mars has different ones. Come to think of it because time is central to these physics calculations and such. Even basic things like a light year and distance.
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« Reply #106 on: Aug 24, 2017, 05:33PM »

Which scientists? The majority of scientists who hold a purely materialist view of the universe?

We can't just unequivocally lump all credible scientists into the Big Bang camp.
We were talking about the age of the universe, so I'll bet I meant the ones that figured it out.

And to note, of that 84% poll BillO speaks about... The number of polled that can expertly understand the big bang enough to really critique the theory itself is likely 0, maybe 1, and the respondents are basically taking the big bang on faith.

If you want real, solid numbers... screw the big bang. Let's talk about faith in the big band! Jazz it up!
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« Reply #107 on: Aug 24, 2017, 06:39PM »

"may or may not" is a rhetorical sleight-of-hand used to insert a far-fetched doubt about something into a conversation.






And to ascribe equal probabilities to all possibilities, regardless of how far fetched.

Bayes Theorem, anyone?
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« Reply #108 on: Aug 24, 2017, 07:39PM »

Let's get one thing straight here folks.  The determination of the age of the universe is not a consequence of the big bang.  Both the age of the universe and the big bang are the consequence of the same thing.  The measured rate of expansion of the universe got it all started.  That is not an abstraction, it is a measurement.  Mind you, you need more than just the rate of expansion for both, but those other things, like methods of stellar aging and the background ration, etc... are not also not conjecture and have either been measured or proven accurate for many decades.

So, here in a very oversimplified way, is how this is done.  They look around us using the instruments they have at objects, then take a sack full of measurements of the objects, their magnitude, their relativistic red shift, their spectra, their distance, the spectra of the background radiation in their neck of the woods, etc...  They crunch all that information using well understood, tested and trusted mathematics and physics and determine the age of each object.  When they find the oldest objects - currently ~14 billion years old - then they say "The universe must be at least that old".  Only then do they speculate that if there was a big bang, it occurred at least ~14 billion years ago.

Let me repeat, the determination of the age of the universe is not dependent on the big bang.
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« Reply #109 on: Aug 25, 2017, 03:10AM »

They may say that when asked but I'm not convinced 24% of the population has studied the Bible enough to be sure what is literally in it. 1 out of 4 people are Bible scholars? No way.

It's like how 40% of the population say they go to church every Sunday. Really? If we had 40% of the population getting up and heading to church on Sunday morning we'd have the most ginormous traffic jam of the week in the parts of the city least able to handle the increased traffic. I don't think we even have 40% of the population commuting to work on Monday morning.
Ok, 1/4 of the religious people as religious scholars is seen as too high. A 2-6k old text... relatively simple to understand, we just don't take the time.



Yet... the science community, asking basic questions similar to religion.... where did we come from? how did we get here? etc... you're talking about higher physics. Evolutionary theory that spans not just biology, but geology and a host of other disciplines. And so it goes.

If we poll the same people who said 80 some percent, what is the age of the universe, odds are... they will answer in even great percentages that we came here through evolution.

Yet, maybe 1 might be an expert in either, and almost certainly 0 are expert in both. And that's just two of many questions. So in essence, you have a bunch of people who have little to no clue about the science but say it's right.

Yeah, you can say they could learn it, but odds are they will die and discover if there is a god long before an average joe learns higher physics.


What is that, if not faith in science?
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« Reply #110 on: Aug 25, 2017, 03:13AM »

So, here in a very oversimplified way, is how this is done.  They look around us using the instruments they have at objects, then take a sack full of measurements of the objects, their magnitude, their relativistic red shift, their spectra, their distance, the spectra of the background radiation in their neck of the woods, etc...  They crunch all that information using well understood, tested and trusted mathematics and physics and determine the age of each object.  When they find the oldest objects - currently ~14 billion years old - then they say "The universe must be at least that old".

So serious question:

14 billion years is a long time, in which a lot could and did happen.

How is it possible to say with any certainty, much less prove accuracy, that something is billions of years old?
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« Reply #111 on: Aug 25, 2017, 03:34AM »

Is there a musical notation for blats?

The conventional method is to write "Trombone" at the top of the page
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« Reply #112 on: Aug 25, 2017, 04:15AM »

So serious question:
 
14 billion years is a long time, in which a lot could and did happen.
 
How is it possible to say with any certainty, much less prove accuracy, that something is billions of years old?

The first step is to overcome the Dunning-Kruger Effect, if only for a moment, and pay attention to those who know a whole lot more than you do about it.
 
But that first step can be really hard for a lot of people, so the whole process just gets derailed right off the bat.
 
We're seeing the results of that little problem writ large in the current cartoon series set in the White House.
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« Reply #113 on: Aug 25, 2017, 04:52AM »


The first step is to overcome the Dunning-Kruger Effect, if only for a moment, and pay attention to those who know a whole lot more than you do about it.
 
But that first step can be really hard for a lot of people, so the whole process just gets derailed right off the bat.
 
We're seeing the results of that little problem writ large in the current cartoon series set in the White House.

ie you have no clue, and rather than admit it... prefer to attack and distract.


I can recall a time, granted a long long time ago... but there was a time, when you actually contributed to a conversation rather than just added meaningless commentary about posters or off topic rants. Whatever happened?
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« Reply #114 on: Aug 25, 2017, 04:54AM »

So serious question:

14 billion years is a long time, in which a lot could and did happen.

How is it possible to say with any certainty, much less prove accuracy, that something is billions of years old?

Multiple methods converge on the same date.  Isochron is pretty reliable because you don't get a wrong date, when there's error you get no date at all (never get a linear relationship.) 
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« Reply #115 on: Aug 25, 2017, 04:55AM »

Multiple methods converge on the same date.  Isochron is pretty reliable because you don't get a wrong date, when there's error you get no date at all (never get a linear relationship.) 

Can you elaborate? Multiple methods? such as....
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« Reply #116 on: Aug 25, 2017, 05:29AM »

ie you have no clue, and rather than admit it... prefer to attack and distract.

Just cutting to the chase, as they say--going right to the Real Issue™.
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« Reply #117 on: Aug 25, 2017, 06:14AM »

Can you elaborate? Multiple methods? such as....

First go here:
http://www.krysstal.com/scale_time.html

and get a sense of the scale of what we're talking about.

I find most people who don't believe the science really haven't been exposed to what the consensus is. 
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« Reply #118 on: Aug 25, 2017, 07:12AM »

Just cutting to the chase, as they say--going right to the Real Issue™.
Only you say that. There is no "they". Just like a quick review of your posts shows mostly quick, glib responses. The longer ones are where you detail out what you already think, without thought or care for the actual discussion, and in areas you already like.  No question, no discussion, just... "oh, you have kids? let me tell you aaaaaaaall about mine." It's like you gave up thinking. If you want to cut to the chase, you don't need to post anything if you don't have anything to add.

First go here:
http://www.krysstal.com/scale_time.html

and get a sense of the scale of what we're talking about.

I find most people who don't believe the science really haven't been exposed to what the consensus is. 
Went to the page. Didn't really load much of anything except the title. Maybe blocked by the proxy.
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« Reply #119 on: Aug 25, 2017, 07:44AM »

Only you say that. There is no "they". Just like a quick review of your posts shows mostly quick, glib responses. The longer ones are where you detail out what you already think, without thought or care for the actual discussion, and in areas you already like.  No question, no discussion, just... "oh, you have kids? let me tell you aaaaaaaall about mine." It's like you gave up thinking. If you want to cut to the chase, you don't need to post anything if you don't have anything to add.
Went to the page. Didn't really load much of anything except the title. Maybe blocked by the proxy.

I had that trouble too, but it worked on my phone though slowly.  It collapses the age of the universe into an equivalent 24 hour day.  Maybe try a different browser?  I'll try at home too and see if it's the PC here. 
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« Reply #120 on: Aug 25, 2017, 08:03AM »

Only you say that. There is no "they". Just like a quick review of your posts shows mostly quick, glib responses. The longer ones are where you detail out what you already think, without thought or care for the actual discussion, and in areas you already like.  No question, no discussion, just... "oh, you have kids? let me tell you aaaaaaaall about mine." It's like you gave up thinking. If you want to cut to the chase, you don't need to post anything if you don't have anything to add.

It's hard to read with your knees flailing about wildly (makes the head and the view all shaky).
 
If you can calm yourself I'm sure you'll do better.
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« Reply #121 on: Aug 25, 2017, 08:04AM »

So serious question:

14 billion years is a long time, in which a lot could and did happen.

How is it possible to say with any certainty, much less prove accuracy, that something is billions of years old?
Easy question to ask.  In that piece you quoted from my last post I gave you a list of some of the measurements and methods.  My question to you is, how deep do we need to go here before you say we're done?  A lot of the theory involved is based on prior theoretical work.  How much of it do you need to understand before you'll be comfortable with the response?

For instance I can tell you that if you look at the magnitude of a star (how bright it is) and measure it's distance and spectrum you can tell what kind of star it is.

TO determine it's distance you need to measure is spectrum.  Once you've recorded the spectrum, you can determine the redshift.  This tell you how far away it is.  Hubble's law will then tell you when that light was emitted (call this X).  In this video (easy to watch)  Eylene Pirez explains how old the light coming from a galactic object is.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/MUevlAk88Rs" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/MUevlAk88Rs</a>

Now you need to determine the age of the object at the time the light was emitted.

So we know at his point the magnitude of the star and its distance as well as the composition of it's spectrum.  This information is enough to determine specifically what kind of star it is (where it lies on the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram) and which of stellar dating techniques can be used to precisely determine it's age.  For instance, main sequence stars have a very predictable rate at which they consume hydrogen and produce helium.  Using the spectrum of the light emitted by the star will give you precisely the ratio of hydrogen to helium and hence the age of the star.  Other kinds of objects, like cephied variables and supergiants have different methods.

Of more interest to ageing the universe though is in determining the age of composite bodies like galaxies.  This is done using the methods to date very large objects in the the galaxy like super giant stars.  The reason super giants are needed is that, for very far galaxies individual objects are impossible to make out, but you can see the influence of exceptionally huge objects by the way they effect to light fluctuation of the galaxy.  Once you've aged your galaxy you can call that Y.

Get your oldest X and add to the the corresponding Y of that object, then you know the age of the universe is at least X+Y.

Using that method you'll get pretty close.

You can also use the methods described in the wikipedia article to make your estimate more precise.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_universe where they go into great detail about the background radiation measurements.

If this does not give you a good idea Bob, or is unacceptable to you, you have a choice with 2 options as far as I can see.  Option #1 - enroll in your nearest university and take a graduate school track degree program in physics.  You probably don't need to get a masters or PhD. if the undergraduate program is intended for students that want to go all the way and become astrophysicists.  That should be fine.  Option #2, keep to your current beliefs about this because to go further we need to get into it deeper than I'm prepared to do on this forum.
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« Reply #122 on: Aug 25, 2017, 08:15AM »

The krysstal "long day" (no relation to Joshua's long day!) is worth looking at.

It shows in a clear, graphic way that there can be no alignment of Genesis and current science.  You cannot make days into eons or harmonize any historical interpretation of Genesis with the evidence.  If you want to retain Genesis you have to consider it allegorical.
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« Reply #123 on: Aug 25, 2017, 08:18AM »

Here's a graphic that does load.  It's not as detailed as krysstal's but tells the same story.

https://flowingdata.com/2012/10/09/history-of-earth-in-24-hour-clock/

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« Reply #124 on: Aug 25, 2017, 09:01AM »


It's hard to read with your knees flailing about wildly (makes the head and the view all shaky).
 
If you can calm yourself I'm sure you'll do better.
Are you on drugs currently? Even your attempts at pithy remarks show less and less coherence.  Don't know
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« Reply #125 on: Aug 25, 2017, 09:02AM »

Here's a graphic that does load.  It's not as detailed as krysstal's but tells the same story.

https://flowingdata.com/2012/10/09/history-of-earth-in-24-hour-clock/

Maybe I'm missing something? This is the age of the earth in a relational diagram... ok. Seen a number of similar things before. But how does that relate to the age of the universe?
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« Reply #126 on: Aug 25, 2017, 09:15AM »

Are you on drugs currently? Even your attempts at pithy remarks show less and less coherence.  Don't know
Nah. it's Logorrhea
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« Reply #127 on: Aug 25, 2017, 09:41AM »

Maybe I'm missing something? This is the age of the earth in a relational diagram... ok. Seen a number of similar things before. But how does that relate to the age of the universe?

It gives you a sense of how old the universe is in comparison to humans. 

It should be basic high school science - it was when I was in school. 
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« Reply #128 on: Aug 25, 2017, 10:04AM »

Easy question to ask.  In that piece you quoted from my last post I gave you a list of some of the measurements and methods.  My question to you is, how deep do we need to go here before you say we're done?  A lot of the theory involved is based on prior theoretical work.  How much of it do you need to understand before you'll be comfortable with the response?

Thanks Bill. Explanations make sense as far as putting the calculations together. And maybe it's because I'm the odd duck who hated math until I got to calculus and figured out what was behind all of the formulas before... But the thing I have always been suspicious of as far as length and dates, is what is behind them?

Distance and age for example. In context of just our own galaxy, we haven't traveled at all really. We've barely made the extent of our own solar system. So how well can we really calibrate those great distances? Presumably, we take some aspect we can measure locally and expand that. Like trying to measure the distance from coast to coast using a wheel that is an inch in circumference and then adding the inches to get the number of miles. Or age? Billions of years? Based on how much time to actually study and calibrate? Once you have those assumptions, the calculations make sense, but the assumptions themselves... dunno.



Oh the other side, as you note... want to know more? Go take a graduate physics track. Ok. So if it really is that high of a bar to understand, much less to work with... How is that much different than taking these numbers on faith? Faith that the methods are right and that the people know what they are doing, and faith that others are thoroughly checking? Because most people can say, oh yeah, the universe began with the big bang and is __ years old, and we came here via evolution... But to say that and understand what it means will be a tiny tiny fraction of a percent. At that point, for a regular Joe, is there really much of a difference putting faith in science than in a god?
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« Reply #129 on: Aug 25, 2017, 10:58AM »

Faith that the methods are right and that the people know what they are doing, and faith that others are thoroughly checking? Because most people can say, oh yeah, the universe began with the big bang and is __ years old, and we came here via evolution... But to say that and understand what it means will be a tiny tiny fraction of a percent. At that point, for a regular Joe, is there really much of a difference putting faith in science than in a god?

Yes, that's true.  There are theories that can be understood by nonspecialists without math degrees; the last one dates to 1847 or whenever Darwin wrote his book. 

It's not blind faith.  The eclipse did happen at 2:44 PM in my location exactly as the science predicted.  There is a pretty good track record.  But this stuff is not something any of us could verify on our own.  Well, maybe a couple of us. 

What is a bit curious is the large number of people without any math or science background who can instantly spot flaws in theories that the scientists who study them can't detect.  (I'm not putting you in that category.)  You only have to look at any evolution debate or climate debate, or for that matter vaccine debate, to see that. 
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« Reply #130 on: Aug 25, 2017, 11:37AM »

Thanks Bill. Explanations make sense as far as putting the calculations together. And maybe it's because I'm the odd duck who hated math until I got to calculus and figured out what was behind all of the formulas before... But the thing I have always been suspicious of as far as length and dates, is what is behind them?

Distance and age for example. In context of just our own galaxy, we haven't traveled at all really. We've barely made the extent of our own solar system. So how well can we really calibrate those great distances? Presumably, we take some aspect we can measure locally and expand that. Like trying to measure the distance from coast to coast using a wheel that is an inch in circumference and then adding the inches to get the number of miles. Or age? Billions of years? Based on how much time to actually study and calibrate? Once you have those assumptions, the calculations make sense, but the assumptions themselves... dunno.



Oh the other side, as you note... want to know more? Go take a graduate physics track. Ok. So if it really is that high of a bar to understand, much less to work with... How is that much different than taking these numbers on faith? Faith that the methods are right and that the people know what they are doing, and faith that others are thoroughly checking? Because most people can say, oh yeah, the universe began with the big bang and is __ years old, and we came here via evolution... But to say that and understand what it means will be a tiny tiny fraction of a percent. At that point, for a regular Joe, is there really much of a difference putting faith in science than in a god?

This then comes back to a definition of words like faith and trust.

As you alluded to, things like the size, brightness and spectrum of stars and what they tell us about their age, and the special theory of relativity which allows us to calculate the relativistic redshift, and Hubble's law and the measurement of the Hubble constant, our ability to interpret the background radiation - they have all been tested multiple times locally and at distance and have been verified time and time again.  However, this repeated success in their predictions does not give us any right to put faith in them, but it does allow us to build a confidence in them.  When they have never proved wrong repeatedly we begin to stop verifying them through other means each time we use them.

For instance, I no longer have to repeatedly prove F=mA via experiment.  It has earned it's right to be trusted because it has never been wrong outside of the relativistic or sub-atomic realms for nearly 400 years.  It's probably even better to say I have confidence in it, rather than I trust it.

Faith, to me, is a stronger expression than confidence or trust.  Faith, like faith in God, is given without question or proof because of what God represents.  Nothing in nature can command that.  Scientists learn to build confidence slowly.  Right from the start we are expected to do experiments to show F=mA.  Everything in science is questioned, over and over again.  We don't even call something a 'theory' unless it has shown itself to be right.  Until then it gets labelled with being a mere hypothesis.

The only places I know of in the imagined world of humans where proof is actually claimed is in mathematics and logic.

As for the regular Joe and complex physics, I'm not sure.  I would not advise them to just have faith in it, but maybe read as much as they can understand about it and ask questions.  If they can grasp the higher level details then I'd suggest they can have some confidence in the results, but until it produces more and more verified results, remain skeptic.  Heck, I'm always skeptical of scientific results, just like any scientist worth his salt.  In areas where I have expertise I'll actually check the math.  This will give me a high degree of confidence in the results.  If it's in an area I have little clue, I'll have little confidence in it.  But I do have some confidence in the scientific method so I'd be likely willing to give them some credence.  As an example - string theory - I'm really weak there and have not even tried very hard to get a hold of it.  I'm very skeptical of anything that comes out of string theory.  That doesn't mean I'll dismiss it entirely, but you wont see me trying to explain it or having a discussion in support of it.
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« Reply #131 on: Aug 25, 2017, 11:49AM »

This then comes back to a definition of words like faith and trust.

Don't forget equivocation.
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« Reply #132 on: Aug 25, 2017, 01:28PM »


Don't forget equivocation.
Please forget equivocation. It's irrelevant.
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