Thursday, November 16, 2006

Your Tax Dollars At Work


These Hubble photos show supernovae within their host galaxies. Though they don't know what powers exploding stars, astrophysicists claim they can predict luminosity of Type Ia supernovae. By comparing the apparent luminosity to redshift, we can test cosmological theories. Today at a videoconference Adam Riess and Mario Livio announce that "dark energy" has been an ever-present part of the universe. Here is a hilarious quote from their press release:

"Pinpointing supernovae in the faraway universe is similiar to watching fireflies in your back yard. All fireflies glow with about the same brightness. So, you can judge how the fireflies are distributed in your back yard by noting their comparative faintness or brightness, depending on their distance from you."

When stationed at a Navy base learning to fly, I saw many fireflies. They do not, repeat DO NOT all glow with the same brightness. Male fireflies compete for females by varying their brightness. Female flies know this better than Hubble scientists. Perhaps the latter have seen fake fireflies in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Below is their new diagram of the Universe. Note the galaxies circling around in epicycles. They make diagrams with cute balloons because they feel the public is too dumb for the truth. Americans, your tax dollars paid for this.

12 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

Hi Louise

I listened to the first 20 minutes of journalists questions. The journos were good, but none of them were thinking about the right theory and asking pertinent questions.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous e sciaroni said...

They must use convoluted explanations as they try to make their linear theory fit the nonlinear data.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous etmthree said...

I suspect you would serve your cause and self better if you were less denigrating in your portrayal of theories you disagree with.

In any event, your ideas do not seem to have a significantly higher proportion of falsifiable data than those of the people you ridicule.

Not that many of them aren't complete assholes...

6:39 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

etmthree

We tried being nice for years. Enough is enough.

6:56 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks all, I appreciate the variety of responses. The universe is not accelerating, c has been slowing down. This fits the non-linear data better than any DE model. A child can figure that out.

I share Kea's frustration; others have told the world that DE exists when it doesn't.

10:07 PM  
Blogger nige said...

Hi Louise,

I've jost found out why dark energy and cosmic string stuff is so over-hyped in the UK by the New Scientist.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Webb

which explains New Scientist's reasons. It quotes http://www.science-writer.co.uk/news_and_pr/announcements/2005a_announcements.html

Prof Heinz Wolff complained that cosmology is "religion, not science." Jeremy Webb of New Scientist responded that it is not religion but magic. ... "If I want to sell more copies of New Scientist, I put cosmology on the cover," said Jeremy.

Then the Wiki page goes on to say:

Physics in the UK is allegedly in a "terminal decline" [5], and the efforts of Jeremy Webb and the rest of New Scientist (Britain's main science weekly) to "sell more copies" [6] have not boosted student interest in the subject, according to recent statistics:

Since 1982 A-level physics entries have halved. Only just over 3.8 per cent of 16-year-olds took A-level physics in 2004 compared with about 6 per cent in 1990.

More than a quarter (from 57 to 42) of universities with significant numbers of physics undergraduates have stopped teaching the subject since 1994, while the number of home students on first-degree physics courses has decreased by more than 28 per cent. Even in the 26 elite universities with the highest ratings for research the trend in student numbers has been downwards. [7].

One writer for Electronics & Wireless World magazine was emailed by Jeremy Webb on 30 August 2004:

Hawking and Penrose are well regarded among their peers. I am eager to question their ideas but I cannot afford to ignore them. Any physicist working today would be daft to do so. Nevertheless, neither makes regular appearances in the magazine. Paul Davies writes for us between zero and three times a year, writing as much about biology these days as he does about physics. He is invited to write. [8], [9]

Helene Guldberg in an article for Spiked Science on 26 April 2001 [10] reported that Jeremy Webb's behaviour had been sarcastic and rude towards her and others who disagreed with the New Scientist during "the horrendous event that was the New Scientist's UK Global Environment Roadshow":

Webb asked - after the presentations - whether there was anybody who still was not worried about the future. In a room full of several hundred people, only three of us put our hands up. We were all asked to justify ourselves (which is fair enough). But one woman, who believed that even if some of the scenarios are likely, we should be able to find solutions to cope with them, was asked by Webb whether she was related to George Bush!

When I pointed out that none of the speakers had presented any of the scientific evidence that challenged their doomsday scenarios, Webb just threw back at me, 'But why take the risk?' What did he mean: 'Why take the risk of living?' You could equally say 'Why take the risk of not experimenting? Why take the risk of not allowing optimum economic development?' But had I been able to ask these questions, I suppose I would have been accused of being in bed with Dubya. [11]

However, New Scientist had an online link with a podcast of Jeremy Webb very politely interviewing British Prime Minister Tony Blair [12], where Jeremy Webb explains New Scientist's standpoint:

In certain areas, we seem to be moving further away from rational thought, whether it’s the rise of fundamentalist religious beliefs or the use of unproven alternative therapies.

12:11 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

HI Nigel. I would happily help New Scientist by putting cosmology on the cover, with a big "GM=tc^3" for their readers. (You may add dimensionless constants at your pleasure)

Yesterday's post had the week's biggest response, so stirring up controversy works.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Louise

Jacques just asked you a nice question over on Clifford's blog.

12:12 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks Kea, I wrote them a reply. It's a big improvement over just getting deleted.

5:38 PM  
Blogger nige said...

Now we see whether JD is truly interested or is just trying to find a hole to attack.

Louise,

Maybe you should try imagining yourself in the shoes of someone else. It is only to be expected that mainstream people will want to inspect your ship for holes (or weaknesses) before even thinking of boarding your ship when you set sail on your maiden voyage.

If they do claim to find a hole, especially if it seems to be below the waterline, it would be strange for the ship owner to dismiss the person who finds the hole as "lacking interest".

It would also be important to fix that hole or the defective welding before the ship is launched into the water.

There is a old saying: "a stumble may prevent a fall".

You should try to examine the landscape of possible solutions to your equation, just in case some of your assumptions (about precisely what is the correct solution) are wrong. It is too late if you wait until you are really famous before admitting you could be wrong in some detail or other.

You're definitely right regards the basic form of the equation. It is just that there are a lot of details that need clarification and possibly some corrections.

Best,
Nigel

3:35 AM  
Blogger Rae Ann said...

Kind of a dumb question. If c is slowing would our experience of time change too?

3:58 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

HI Rae Ann: It might if we waited billions of years, but for our experience c may be considered constant. Only at high redshifts is c change noticeable at all. Your patience is appreciated too.

7:24 AM  

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