Science and Antiscience

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Thu Dec 6 19:11:42 MST 2001


Stan wrote:

>  EVERYTHING BEGAN WITH A BIG BANG, WHICH WAS INITATIED FROM A
>  "SINGULARITY."  HUH? THIS MAY BE MY VAST IGNORANCE SHOWING, BUT
>  THAT JUST DOESN'T SQUARE WITH ANY EXPERIENCE I HAVE HAD, BEING
>  CLEAR THAT I WASN'T THERE, IF IT HAPPENED.

you've seen fireworks displays, n'est pas?

sometimes its difficult to track the trajectory of the rocket which
bears the explosive charge right up to the point of explosion that
produces that big spread of light (i'm thinking of the big spreading
stuff, not those small white -- ahem -- big bangs). wouldnt you find
it natural to extrapolate backwards and deduce a rough position where
the explosion "singularity" began???

why a "singularity"???

because once you get down to the dimensions of the actual explosive
charge, the original laws used to extrapolate the colored streaks
backwards in time are no longer applicable. in this particular case,
the light and expansion effects would be distributed roughly over the
dimensions of the charge. and theories which sought to resolve the
singularity to dimensions smaller than the enclosing charge would have
to take acount of the explosion physics, the trigger mechanism, flame
propagation in the charge outward from the trigger, etc.

why do people make such a complicated thing out of a simple little
theory like the big bang? going backwards from observed red-shift and
cosmic microwave background and some other important measured
parameters is not so different. at some point, the backward
extrapolation breaks down, signaling we need new input in order to
resolve further. and the theory is hard to come by, as well as
pbservations to nail it down.

les schaffer


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