Cosmic Background Fanaticism

We have one experimental find: the Cosmic Radiation Background (CRB), a uniform light from all over the sky at 2.7 degree Kelvin. I will argue that, on the face of it, it has three possible causes. However only one is considered to be true, and is consequently explored to death. That is, as if the lives of physicists depended on it. In truth, it’s only their careers that depend upon it.

A theory nearly everybody believes in, is the “Big Bang”. After all, it’s in the Bible. The Bible is popular, thus, so is the “Big Bang”. As behooves something so big, it’s supposed to explain everything, for example why there is a Cosmic Radiation Background, why there is Helium, etc.

Pleiades Star Cluster: Close To Olbers Effect...

Pleiades Star Cluster: Close To Olbers Effect…

Skeptics will smirk: for centuries people searched for the Cosmic Radiation Background: then, it was called “Olbers Paradox”. The “Paradox” was that there should be a Cosmic Light Background (the light of distant stars)…

Olbers’ reasoning was simple: 1) suppose the universe is infinite. 2) thus looking anywhere around the sky, once gaze is bound to end on the surface of a star. 3) therefore the sky ought to be uniformly bright according to the brightness of the average star.

[Let’s forget modern subtleties such as Red Dwarf Stars and Brown Dwarves…]

However, pointed out Olbers there was no uniform brightness.

Now one such uniform cosmic light has been found, though, nobody seems to remember Olbers’ name. Olbers’ reasoning is inconvenient.

Indeed, ever since Maxwell, we have established that light is electromagnetic radiation. So the Olbers Paradox could very well show up, not as visible light, but as a weak radiation. Why? Well, suppose that distant parts of the Universe recede, as Hubble and his predecessors and colleagues observed: the light from distant stars would shift into the very deep infrared… As observed!

However, now that the Olbers Paradox has become the Olbers Effect, it’s used to explain something else completely different, and outright weird: the Big Boom. Instead of being the light of distant stars (or the like), as Olbers would have had it, the Cosmic Radiation Background (CRB) is viewed as the light from… an explosion.

We see the expansion, we see the stars, we see the galaxies, do we see the explosions?

And the question then appears: what happened to the initial Olbers Paradox? Why does nobody talk about it anymore? Could it not be that the Cosmic Radiation Background is even boosted the Olbers Effect with, say, tired light?

Why are these sort of natural, historically laden questions not addressed anymore?

The answer is simple: take Princeton University’s Physics Department. All professors there are string theorists. Problem: strings don’t exist. So these people are professors of inexistence. No wonder they can’t answer history.

It’s true that theoretical considerations can lead to phenomenological interrogations. But string theory had its chance. By occupying all the theoretical space, it prevents other theories to have their chance too.

Let’s change intellectual gears, and lift the debate into Meta.

What we have here is one experimental find: the Cosmic Radiation Background (CRB), a uniform light from all over the sky at 2.7 degree Kelvin.

We have three possible explanations, yet only one is pushed and pushed and pushed. That’s not the proper scientific method. To figure things out, we have to look everywhere, and make sure that logical branching points have been explored.

OK, governments do not give enough money to do that. They prefer hedge fund managers and Google clowns.

In the age when robots can replace most work, it’s time to reconsider this. Why? Why is it so important to get the universe right? Well, be it only because by doing so, we make our intelligence more subtle. In Bangladesh, the sea is now rising more than 16 millimeters per year, threatening one hundred million people. And nobody knows why.

Perfecting our ability to observe and make theories is our essence. And no better place there is to perfect it than the entire universe.

On a more aggressive meta level, to understand fanaticism, and the related intellectual fascism is urgently needed. In this respect the entire field of physics, as the self described most clever people in the world can be exposed to be complete fools.

Remember the TOE? The Theory Of Everything? Well, as we now know, physicists have theories on, at most 4% of the universe. And those are obviously incomplete. But that’s another story.

In the same vein, maybe they have only a 4% explanation of the Cosmic Radiation Background. Those who are honest enough, and clever enough, will admit that may well be true. No honesty in matters intellectual, no intelligence.

Patrice Aymé


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24 Responses to “Cosmic Background Fanaticism”

  1. Alexi Says:

    Many scientist admit that the term “Big Bang” is poor terminology for describing the start of the Universe. The start of the Universe was not an explosion of something into space like the explosions we see in the everyday world. Instead it was an explosion of space itself with the propagation of uncountable particulars to provide energy and mass. To my mind, the start of the Universe literally marks the start of logic (space) and counting (time).

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Poor semantics? Not so sure. Long story. True it was not debris streaking in space. In any case it’s Fred Hoyle who invented the term (although he may have got it from Gamov). The point of my essay was this: in a rush to incorporate the Big Bang, it got forgotten that we had both an explanation, and an apparent observation, of the Olbers EFFECT (I know it’s called a “paradox”).

      I also point out that it is unscientific to favor ONE explanation over equally plausible others.

      To say there is a start to the universe, and then to start logic from it, is, by definition a-logical.

      Actually that’s one of my objection to the Big Bang: how do they start time? With which clock? Alright, they say, let’s do like in electromagnetism: only the equations have reality. Except there space and time already exist.

      Other points: whatever the fanatics say, the Continuous Creation of Hoyle is neither down, nor out. One may even argue DARK ENERGY IS THE TRIUMPH OF HOYLE.

      • Alexi Says:

        Time is not essential. It is emergent. You can set your clock however you like. What ever is the most helpful.

        I am making a big claim: that space is literally the physical manifestation of all logics.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Time is obviously emergent in Inflation “Theory”. However, not so in the equation of gravitation describing the Big Bang itself. So, to describe the chicken, one needs the egg first. BTW, I have a sophisticated remark about the non explosion explosive explosion of the BB. Separate comment.

  2. Ian Miller Says:

    Clarify for me, please Patrice. You say there rare three explanations. One, I assume, is the Big Bang (for want of something better to call it) Now, as I understand it, the CMB has a spectral shape consistent with a 2.7 K radiator, and while you have tired light as a second explanation, I would have expected that to maintain the spectral shape of its emitters, but recede into the red. That would actually give it a Doppler shift, but I would not have expected a “black or grey body shape” for stellar emitters. I may also be missing something, but I missed the third possibility.

  3. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Our friend the physicist think he has had math, because his mouth is full of it.
    But his mind is not.

    When confronted to the Big Bang as an explosion, the physicist feels awkward: he is reminded of Hiroshima. Surely he is not that gross, and cannot be tricked that way. So she thinks on her bottom and contrives a politically correct slogan: “It is not what you think. Does not really explode.”

    Yes, tell me how not.
    They point at equations that do not work without time.
    It does explode.
    How? One can embed the Finslerian space-time n dimensional manifold E into a 2n+1 dimensional larger manifold F. E explodes inside F.

    Fluctuat Nec Mergitur

  4. Paul Handover Says:

    I love reading and learning about such matters but struggled to understand, sorry comprehend, the essence of this essay.

    Surely 21st C. science simply cannot define the origins of the universe? It may only be debated philosophically! I suspect for many more years.

    • gmax Says:

      What Patrice’s main msg here seems to be is that the fact there is a CRB, main argument for the BB, may actually just be the Olbers paradox, resolved. The fact it’ a Black Body spectrum fits that.

      You have to understand Patrice is remaking Cosmology with a very old, non Big Bang universe!

    • gmax Says:

      Most of today’s physicists’ are absolutely sure they proved the 13.8 gigayear universe. Patrice has found a number of very general arguments to demolish that certainty.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Yes, recently, they changed from 13.75 billion years old to 50 million years older. And they are absolutely sure. Yet I’m sure that they should not be sure.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Paul: I re-tweaked the essay in the meantime (I initially just gave a Wikipedia link to the Olbers Paradox I think). Basically to rephrase it again (GMax already did!), long ago, Olbers pointed out we should see no night at night, but still there was night. I say: this just maybe the CRB (in…light of the expansion).

  5. gmax Says:

    4 percent brains to go with their 4 percent physics? OMG, those physicists have been so arrogant over the years! Remember: a short history of time???

  6. Paul Handover Says:

    Patrice and gmax, thank you your replies. If, and I realise the gravity (!) of this question, the ‘big bang’ is not the front-runner theory for the origin of the universe, what’s the next best idea?

    Or are we staring at a universe with no beginning? (Something that really does give me a headache!)

    Fascinating. Beats politics any day!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      As I argued in “100 billion year old universe”, using only Dark Energy, we get a very very old universe. My position is unassailable in the matter of the economy of thought, as I do away with plenty of extrapolations (Big Bang) and extrapolations of extrapolations (Cosmic Inflation).

      It beats politics, because it’s deeper. Our problems in politics, as Ken pointed out, come mostly, to rephrase it, from our pleasure to be violated and abused.

      • Paul Handover Says:

        Yet the amateur philosopher within me still seeks an answer to that question: Are we staring at a universe with no beginning?

        So, Patrice, what’s your best guess as to the start? Or is even the word ‘start’ incorrect.

        Hell, need to go and lay down again! 😉

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          When one talks, as I do, about a universe 100 billion years old, rather than 13.8 billion, it may as well be infinite in duration. Why? Because we know the universe change as we go back in time (that FACT would survive the sinking of the Big bang). So, evolving on a period of ten times what we have officially now, the universe would have been so different in the past, it would have become an EMERGING PHENOMENON.

          Emerging phenomena evolve into themselves, they don’t really get started. The best example is the chicken/egg problem.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

  7. 100 BILLION YEAR OLD UNIVERSE? | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] Well I have a Quantum answer to that. There are also other explanations available such as Olbers Paradox, and Tired […]

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