Feb 27, 2010

Cosmic Fingerprints #3

Email number three, 


   In your kitchen cabinet, you've probably got a spray
bottle with an adjustable nozzle.  If you twist the nozzle
one way, it sprays a fine mist into the air.  You twist 
the nozzle the other way, it squirts a jet of water
in a straight line.  You turn that nozzle to the exact
position you want so you can wash a mirror, clean up
a spill, or whatever.

   If the universe had expanded a little faster, the 
matter would have sprayed out into space like fine
mist from a water bottle - so fast that a gazillion
particles of dust would speed into infinity and never even 
form a single star.

   If the universe had expanded just a little slower, the 
material would have dribbled out like big drops of water,
then collapsed back where it came from by the force
of gravity.

   A little too fast, and you get a meaningless
spray of fine dust.  A little too slow, and the whole
universe collapses back into one big black hole.
This is called the "Goldilocks syndrome", it's where every thing is "just right". The earth lies inside a Goldilocks zone. Not to hot not to cold. Our three examples being Venus, Earth, Mars. Venus being too hot, Mars being too cold and Earth being just right. However there is evidence that the reason Venus is so hot may have to do with the atmosphere being like a green house and trapping the heat in. The opposite may be true of Mars, With out an active magnetic core, like Earth, Mars was unable to keep it's atmosphere from being slowly blown away by the solar wind. Thus unable to keep a very warm, to our standards, temperature.

   The surprising thing is just how narrow the difference
is.  To strike the perfect balance between too fast and
too slow, the force, something that physicists call 
"the Dark Energy Term" had to be accurate to one part in 
ten with 120 zeros.  

   If you wrote this as a decimal, the number would
look like this:


   In their paper "Disturbing Implications of
 a Cosmological Constant" two atheist scientists 
from Stanford University stated that the existence of 
this dark energy term would have required a miracle... 
"An unknown agent" intervened in cosmic history 
"for reasons of its own."
Back to quoting someone again. I often say "oh my god", when I see something dramatic or surpassing. This however doesn't mean I am invoking Odin or Thor. To bring to a more dramatic example, when a loved one is hurt in an accident and their life is threatened, emotions take over our rational nature. We will often assume the worst case possible. When they survive or recover our emotional brain flips from doom and gloom to elation. At this point It becomes a "miracle" that they survived. Not a health care system of Ambulances with highly trained professionals, a hospital staff, all highly trained and some of the best life saving equipment in the world. No it was a "MIRACLE"

   Just for comparison, the best human engineering
example is the Gravity Wave Telescope, which was built with
a precision of 23 zeros.  The Designer, the 'external
agent' that caused our universe must possess an intellect,
knowledge, creativity and power trillions and trillions
of times greater than we humans have.
 For a very long time many people gave the credit for the Pyramids of Giza, to aliens, not humans. When confronted with amazing things why is it the nature of man to invoke gods instead of just marveling at the amazing power of the natural world. Humans have only been a technical society for about a couple of hundred years. Nature can make a blackhole, the most powerful and amazing object in the whole universe. In-fact the universe seams to be designed to create black holes not people. It is amazing we as humans are able to build anything with the precision of the Gravity Wave Telescope.

    Absolutely amazing.

    Now a person who doesn't believe in God has to find 
some way to explain this.  One of the more common explanations 
seems to be "There was an infinite number of universes, so it
was inevitable that things would have turned out right
in at least one of them."

Actually no we don't. I don't have to believe in some god to explain this, I'm willing to wait for science to explain this and eventually science, by the power of humanity, will explain this and many other mysteries. Just like we did 200 years ago with lighting. 

    The "infinite universes" theory is truly an amazing theory.  
Just think about it, if there is an infinite number of 
universes, then absolutely everything is not only possible...
It's actually happened!  
    It means that somewhere, in some dimension, there is
a universe where the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last
year.  There's a universe where Jimmy Hoffa doesn't get 
cement shoes; instead he marries Joan Rivers and becomes 
President of the United States.  There's even a 
universe where Elvis kicks his drug habit and still
resides at Graceland and sings at concerts.  Imagine
the possibilities!  
    I might sound like I'm joking, but actually I'm dead
serious.  To believe an infinite number of universes
made life possible by random chance is to believe everything
else I just said, too.  
 The only thing that is provable at this time is just after the big bang starts. The science that deals with the big bang is unable to get us to the actual event, or before it. The tv show Sliders was based on the multi-universe idea. There is also String theory that gives us nine dimensions. Super Gravity is another contender. These are the three strongest contenders for the theory of the universe. At this time we don't have the ability to test for them, which means until we can they are unprovable. This however does not mean there are a bronze age gods out there spreading milk across the galaxy.

    Some people believe in God with a capital G.
Faith is believing with out any proof.

    And some folks believe in Chance with a Capital C.
Trusting in science is not "Faith". Ignorance is not a reason to believe.

   Tomorrow's installment: "If you can read this email,
I can prove to you that God exists."  Sound a little bold?
Tune in tomorrow - same time, same station.

Respectfully Submitted,

Perry Marshall

The next one should be great!

Feb 25, 2010

Cosmic Fingerprints #2

Here is day two of Cosmic Fingerprints.
There is not much to disagree with this posting and seams fairly accurate.


  The Big Bang theory was totally rejected at first.

But those who supported it had predicted that the ignition
of the Big Bang would have left behind a sort of 
'hot flash' of radiation.
   If a big black wood stove produces heat that you
can feel, then in a similar manner, the Big Bang should 
produce its own kind of heat that would echo throughout 
the universe.
   In 1965, without looking for it, two physicists at
Bell Labs in New Jersey found it.  At first, Arno Penzias 
and Robert Wilson were bothered because, while
trying to refine the world's most sensitive radio antenna,
they couldn't eliminate a bothersome source of noise.
They picked up this noise everywhere they pointed the
   At first they thought it was bird droppings.  The
antenna was so sensitive it could pick up the heat
of bird droppings (which certainly are warm when
they're brand new) but even after cleaning it off,
they still picked up this noise.
   This noise had actually been predicted in detail 
by other astronomers, and after a year of checking 
and re-checking the data, they arrived at a conclusion: 
This crazy Big Bang theory really was correct.
  In an interview, Penzias was asked why there was so much 
resistance to the Big Bang theory.
   He said, "Most physicists would rather attempt to
describe the universe in ways which require no explanation.
And since science can't *explain* anything - it can only
*describe* things - that's perfectly sensible.  If you
have a universe which has always been there, you don't
explain it, right?  
   "Somebody asks you, 'How come all the secretaries 
in your company are women?' You can say, 'Well, it's 
always been that way.'  That's a way of not having 
to explain it.  So in the same way, theories which 
don't require explanation tend to be the ones
accepted by science, which is perfectly acceptable 
and the best way to make science work."
   But on the older theory that the universe was eternal, 
he explains: "It turned out to be so ugly that people
dismissed it.  What we find - the simplest theory - is
a creation out of nothing, the appearance out of nothing 
of the universe."
   Penzias and his partner, Robert Wilson, won the Nobel
Prize for their discovery of this radiation.  The Big
Bang theory is now one of the most thoroughly 
validated theories in all of science.
   Robert Wilson was asked by journalist Fred Heeren if 
the Big Bang indicated a creator.
   Wilson said, "Certainly there was something that
set it all off.  Certainly, if you are religious, I can't
think of a better theory of the origin of the universe
to match with Genesis."
"if you are religious"

   Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment: "Why the
Big Bang was the most precisely planned event in
all of history."

Let's see what we get next this should be interesting.

Feb 23, 2010

Cosmic Fingerprints #1

Recently I while reading a science blog and saw an add for a free daily "news letter" that would explain the origins of the universe.

So I bit and I signed up for it. Now in a multi part posting we can all go through it and see what we have.

100 years ago, Albert Einstein published three papers that rocked the world.  These papers proved the existence of the atom, introduced the theory of relativity, and described quantum mechanics.

Let's start here first, papers don't prove scientific concepts, papers may explain experimental results, and propose many other things, but they don't 'prove'.
Second, the theory of the atom was pretty much already accepted.

Pretty good debut for a 26 year old scientist, huh?   His equations for relativity indicated that the universe was expanding.  This bothered him, because if it was expanding, it must have had a beginning and a beginner. Since neither of these appealed to him, Einstein introduced a 'fudge factor' that ensured a 'steady state' universe,one that had no beginning or end.   But in 1929, Edwin Hubble showed that the furthest galaxies were fleeing away from each other, just as the Big Bang model predicted.  So in 1931, Einstein embraced what would later be known as the Big Bang theory, saying,"This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened."  He referred to the 'fudge factor' to achieve a steady-state universeas the biggest blunder of his career.   As I'll explain during the next couple of days, Einstein's theories have been thoroughly proved and verified by experiments and measurements.  But there's an even more important implication of Einstein's discovery. Not only does the universe have a beginning, but time itself, our own dimension of cause and effect, beganwith the Big Bang.   That's right -- time itself does not exist before then.  The very line of time begins with that creation event.  Matter, energy, time and space were created in an instant by an intelligence outside of space and time.   

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whhooooa,  we need to stop here, and he was doing so well.  "...intelligence outside of space and time.". Just because there was a beginning does not mean there was an "intelligent beginner" the cause can be nothing more than  a process that requires only the right set of conditions to occur. But I'm sure he will explain how he knows there was an "intelligence" at the beginning. 

About this intelligence, Albert Einstein wrote in his book "The World As I See It" that the harmony of natural law "Reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection."*  

*   Pretty significant statement, wouldn't you say? 

So now we know how the author knows there was an "intelligence" behind the big bang. One of the smartest men to ever live said so. As the asterisk points out Einstein's statement is very profound and very provocative. Yet that does not make it true.  Take for example another very profound statement, "all men are created equal" a very profound statement one that, however is not true. Take for example the severely mentally ill, they are not on equal footing as someone who has full faculties. 
Just because Einstein said it, does not make it true. Take another quote from the same person, "god would not play dice with the universe". This was in response to Hissenburg's uncertainty principle, a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics. I'll blog about that latter on.  Einstein even argued against quantum theory's more esoteric concepts. Quantum Mechanics bothered Einstein on a deep and spiritual level. He did not like the fuzzy logic of the Quantum world.
Even great minds can be wrong.

He went on to write, "Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe--a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble."

And yet another quote that is wrong. There are more nontheists scientists than there are theist scientists. For example look at the "Steve" project.

Well so much for profound, if your not familiar with logical fallacies and not up to speed on many of the trickier arguments theist use. It can seam and does at first seam to be very reasonable. He slips none factual statements and make it seam like fact my tying it to an expert. Let's see what his next email will bring.

Feb 16, 2010

Feb 15, 2010

Found this On PZ blog LMAO

Question number three

It you throw a ball level with the ground and drop one from the same height, which one will hit the ground first?

In the mind many picture a base ball player throwing baseball at nintyeight miles an hour. In your mind you can see the ball just flying on forever. While the dropped ball falls strait to the ground in all most no time at all. So of course the dropped ball, a no brainer.

Well there's lot going on here, not just physics. I remember when young trips out to the farm for the weekend. It was about a two hour drive. Yet the drive there took forever and the drive home almost no time at all. Well we all know what this is, simple anticipation. The way there all I could think about was what we were going to do. The ride home no anticipation so time seemed to go by faster. Though the time is basically the same the perception of time changes.

Some thing similar occurs with the ball, anticipation as well as projection. We include the distance the ball is  traveling as part of the time. In our minds it can be difficult to separate distance with time. After all it takes time to travel any distance.
As we learned in question two all objects fall at the same rate, regardless of weight. But what about falling with speed?

Let's conduct an experiment. We will need a driver, some form of automobile (not a convertible) and a ball. Now sit some where as not to distract the driver, have the diver stop at a fairly level location, now drop the ball in the seat next to you. Note the time it took to fall. Now have the driver drive down a level straight section of the highway, at highway speed, drop the ball again from the same place as before, note the fall time.So what happened. Most of us did the experiment in our minds. and yes both balls fell at the same speed.

What is going on here? As we showed in question two, objects fall at the same rate in a vacuum regardless of there mass. This also includes there movement at an angle perpendicular to the force of gravity. This is how satellites stay up. They are constantly falling in reference to the ground or center of gravity, they just travel fast enough that they are constantly falling in an arch.

For a conformation of this look at the Myth Busters episode where they shoot and drop a bullet.

Question Two: An Oldie but a Goodie.

Question 2) If you drop two items from the same hight one is made of hollow glass and the other is made form solid gold which will hit the ground first?

Almost everyone knows this one. Most of us had this in school and it is very counter intuitive. To answer the questions all items fall in gravity at the same rate. Then why do some things fall differently? that is where the medium that the item is moving through comes into play. Basically lighter objects or objects that have less mass, are more affected by the friction generated by the medium. Take for instance  a balloon compared to a marble. Now lets use a balloon that is the same weight as a marble, yes it will be a big balloon. Drop them from the same hight and what happens? The marble drops like a, well, stone, straight down. Now drop the balloon. It will fall slowly maybe even drift side to side, but will take forever to reach the ground. Now they both weigh the same, so what is going on here.
The balloon has a huge surface area compared to the marble, so it has contact with much more of the medium it is travailing through. Therefor the friction in the air will affect the balloon to a much greater degree than the marble. To really see the difference pop the balloon and then drop it. Quite a bit of difference.
So the question should be; Which item will hit the ground first if dropped in a vacuum.

For conformation on this please refer to the Apollo program, this very experiment was done with a feather on the moon.