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Old 04-05-2014, 06:52 PM   #46
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Also, dinosaurs were never real because no one ever saw them.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:04 PM   #47
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Cosmologists cannot explain why the universe behaves the way it does, so they had to invent dark matter, energy, etc to make the mathematical models fit the observations. If you're a brilliant mathematician and you get to make up stuff that has never been observed, you can come up with a structure that mathematically agrees with reality, but it's unlikely to be an accurate description of what's really going on.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:07 PM   #48
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Cosmologists invented energy? Oh this is getting good.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:10 PM   #49
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

They invented dark energy along with a whole slew of other purely hypothetical entities.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:11 PM   #50
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

But in the past, all theories that have mathematically described reality have been correct.

Mathematicians in ancient times have predicted the Earth was not flat and even that the Earth revolved around the Sun with eliptical orbits, but their work was never believed, their equations never trusted because religion reigned supreme. Most of their work was then destroyed along with the Library of Alexandria. Something survived which was passed down as obscure philosophy and was clandestinely accessed in the Renaissance. Those works led to beliefs that what the church was saying was wrong, and mathematicians turned to solve the puzzle once and for all. This time, religion was not strong enough anymore to stop it.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:15 PM   #51
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

No, they haven't. Ptolemaic epicycles for instance. Very similar situation to modern cosmology.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:18 PM   #52
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

You are confusing observations of how the planets and stars move with hypotheses for why stars and planets move the way they do. The problem of modern cosmology lies in the why.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:22 PM   #53
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Btw, I have never met or read the work of any theoretical physicist or cosmologist who claimed their theories as absolute truth. Stephen Hawking, just to point at a well known example, is constantly poking holes in his own theories.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:23 PM   #54
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Wow, are we criticizing Ptolemy now?

He predicted the Earth was round and that there was planetary motion involved.

But let's go back to the basics. How about Archimedes' Sand Reckoner, in which the Earth revolves around the Sun? Completely wrong, huh? He was even close when he tried to calculate the distance to the Sun. While Ptolemy's theory had no mathematics at all, just circles in the sand, Archimedes provided the numbers too. He even tried to predict the number of grains of sand in the universe. And how about this:

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The total number of nucleons in the observable universe of roughly the Hubble radius is the Eddington number, currently estimated at 10^80. Archimedes' 10^63 grains of sand contain 10^80 nucleons, which means that Archimedes' number equals Eddington's number
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:25 PM   #55
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

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Btw, I have never met or read the work of any theoretical physicist or cosmologist who claimed their theories as absolute truth. Stephen Hawking, just to point at a well known example, is constantly poking holes in his own theories.
So true. The reigning idea within cosmology is (as in this documentary) "QUESTION EVERYTHING"
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:29 PM   #56
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

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So true. The reigning idea within cosmology is (as in this documentary) "QUESTION EVERYTHING"
No, it isn't. That's the scientific ideal that no one really adheres to. It's a myth.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:31 PM   #57
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

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No, it isn't. That's the scientific ideal that no one really adheres to. It's a myth.
Do you have proof of this?
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:33 PM   #58
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

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Do you have proof of this?
Yes, the fact that alternatives to the standard theory aren't explored even though it relies on fudges and is frequently caught off guard by observations no one predicted.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:33 PM   #59
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Really though, what's the alternative to mathematical equations and their explanatory power? Should these things not be studied? Should physics be dropped from college curricula? Should we just say "meh, that comet will come whenever it wants?"

"Meh" isn't a satisfactory answer to the human spirit.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:34 PM   #60
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Default Re: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

I don't agree with everything Mjau! has said, but he does have some valid points. And to some of you, stop making this into a science vs. religion thing.

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You cannot compare the theory of electromagnetism to the hypotheses of dark energy, dark matter, black holes, neutron stars, accretion theory, inflation and other entirely hypothetical entities. Electromagnetism can be studied experimentally.
Why not? You said the basics were not infallible. How basic do you get? EM Theory is the basic currently applied at the Large Hadron Collider. Inflation is based on observations that have EM theory at its base.

So again, which are those basic theories that are not infallible. Name them, so we can know which books we must burn.
Simply because one is a widely accepted as a fact, and the other is a commonly accepted as the hypothesis which is most likely to be proven. Just because it is a commonly believed hypothesis doesn't make it true. While it can be proven to be true later on, based on today's understanding that can not be said.
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