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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old January 15 2013, 12:26 PM   #31
Kathryn Janeway
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Zion Ravescene wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
"Nothing unreal exists." - T'plana'hath, matron of Vulcan philosophy
That was Kiri-Kin-Tha's first law of metaphysics! You're getting your Vulcan philosophers mixed up.
Parmenides said roughly the same, but he used einai (sorry, no greek letters here) about ten times in one sentence so nobody is sure what he exactly meant.
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Old January 26 2013, 07:54 PM   #32
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Whatever our universe "really" is at the core, what we do know is that its physical rules have been constant since shortly after the Big Bang
We don't "know" that at all. The Big Bang is a mountain of speculation, many erroneous assumptions, and it has been falsified a dozen times over. Yet "scientists" who do not own an Occam's razor persist in the dogma that "even if" the theory is faulty, there are no alternatives to consider. So they'll stick with Big Bang since it explains observed phenomena "well enough." Among the many internal inconsistencies is the notion that physical rules have not been constant since the "Bang" (e.g. the faster-than-light "inflationary" period).

In a similar vein, NASA continues to refer to comets as "dirty snowballs" in press releases, despite the fact that one of their own missions—just one of many to visit a comet up close—has completely shattered this notion.


...besides, everyone knows the universe was created by Haruhi Suzumiya.
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Old January 27 2013, 07:43 AM   #33
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Metryq wrote: View Post
In a similar vein, NASA continues to refer to comets as "dirty snowballs" in press releases, despite the fact that one of their own missions—just one of many to visit a comet up close—has completely shattered this notion.
What mission would that be, and how exactly did it shatter that notion?
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Old January 27 2013, 06:28 PM   #34
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Metryq wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Whatever our universe "really" is at the core, what we do know is that its physical rules have been constant since shortly after the Big Bang
We don't "know" that at all. The Big Bang is a mountain of speculation, many erroneous assumptions, and it has been falsified a dozen times over. Yet "scientists" who do not own an Occam's razor persist in the dogma that "even if" the theory is faulty, there are no alternatives to consider. So they'll stick with Big Bang since it explains observed phenomena "well enough." Among the many internal inconsistencies is the notion that physical rules have not been constant since the "Bang" (e.g. the faster-than-light "inflationary" period).
I said "shortly after," so I don't know what that little rant of yours was motivated by.
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Old January 28 2013, 06:59 AM   #35
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Metryq wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Whatever our universe "really" is at the core, what we do know is that its physical rules have been constant since shortly after the Big Bang
We don't "know" that at all. The Big Bang is a mountain of speculation, many erroneous assumptions, and it has been falsified a dozen times over. Yet "scientists" who do not own an Occam's razor persist in the dogma that "even if" the theory is faulty, there are no alternatives to consider. So they'll stick with Big Bang since it explains observed phenomena "well enough." Among the many internal inconsistencies is the notion that physical rules have not been constant since the "Bang" (e.g. the faster-than-light "inflationary" period).
I said "shortly after," so I don't know what that little rant of yours was motivated by.
That is a sign of an open mind. The dogmas of the past are a chain on the future, a leash that keeps the mind from soaring and imprisons the imagination.
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Old January 28 2013, 03:50 PM   #36
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Metryq wrote: View Post

We don't "know" that at all. The Big Bang is a mountain of speculation, many erroneous assumptions, and it has been falsified a dozen times over. Yet "scientists" who do not own an Occam's razor persist in the dogma that "even if" the theory is faulty, there are no alternatives to consider. So they'll stick with Big Bang since it explains observed phenomena "well enough." Among the many internal inconsistencies is the notion that physical rules have not been constant since the "Bang" (e.g. the faster-than-light "inflationary" period).
I said "shortly after," so I don't know what that little rant of yours was motivated by.
That is a sign of an open mind. The dogmas of the past are a chain on the future, a leash that keeps the mind from soaring and imprisons the imagination.
I think everyone in this forum is smart enough to know that when we talk about science, all explanations are "good enough" approximations until we have something better. But that doesn't mean our current explanations are worthless or that we should just throw them out because they are imperfect.

If the issue is with me saying we "know" something, then let me clarify that I mean it as a shorthand for "it's the best explanation currently available, until we have something better." But that should really go without saying when it comes to science.
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Old January 30 2013, 01:38 PM   #37
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Not dirty snowballs:

http://www.thunderbolts.info/predictions.htm

http://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2012/09/30/a-new-comet/

And Donald Scott's THE ELECTRIC SKY is an excellent primer on the subject.

From Scott's preface to THE ELECTRIC SKY:

It was when astrophysicists began saying things that I, as an electrical engineer, knew were wrong that I began to have serious doubts about their pronouncements. But I agonized over whether those doubts were legitimate. Even though my life-long avocation has been amateur astronomy, my formal background is in engineering – not astronomy or cosmology.

Earning a doctorate in electrical engineering eventually led to my teaching that subject at a major university for thirty-nine years. What troubled me most was when astrophysicists began saying things that any of my junior-year students could show were completely incorrect.

If astrophysicists were saying things that were demonstrably wrong in my area of expertise, could it be that they were making similar mistakes in their own field as well? I began to investigate more of the pronouncements of modern astrophysicists and the reasoning behind them. This book is an account of what I unearthed when I started digging into this question.

It is becoming clear that knowledge acquired in electric plasma laboratories over the last century affords insights and simpler, more elegant, more compelling explanations of most cosmological phenomena than those that are now espoused in astrophysics. And yet astrophysicists seem to be intent on ignoring them. Thus, lacking these fundamental electrical concepts, cosmologists have charged into a mind-numbing mathematical cul de sac, creating on the way a tribe of invisible entities – some of which are demonstrably impossible.
If your mind is rebelling against this even now, then pretend Scott's book is merely foundational material for a sci-fi story you are writing and see where it takes you.
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Old January 30 2013, 06:01 PM   #38
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

I had a feeling you were referring to the Deep Impact mission, in which case I am now deeply puzzled as to why you think "NASA" continues to espouse the "dirty snowball" theory. That's long since fallen out of favor for the better description "snowy dirtballs" and the astronomers who gave a presentation at my daughter's school last month alluded to the fact that many of the near Earth asteroids are thought to be extinct comets.

And Donald Scott's THE ELECTRIC SKY is an excellent primer on the subject.
I presume you have read this book and provide a summary or at least inject a few points from it into this discussion. This is a discussion board, not a book club.
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Old January 31 2013, 10:48 PM   #39
Robert Comsol
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Metryq wrote: View Post
From Scott's preface to THE ELECTRIC SKY:

Thus, lacking these fundamental electrical concepts, cosmologists have charged into a mind-numbing mathematical cul de sac, creating on the way a tribe of invisible entities – some of which are demonstrably impossible.
I like that. I really do! Was that a reference to invisible...pardon..."dark matter"? If the answer is yes, then it looks like a book I'm definitely interested in.

Just for the fun: Check out what Professor Stephen Hawking had to say about "dark matter" (well, considering how loud and clear his silence is, maybe dark matter could be invisible ).

Bob
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Old February 4 2013, 10:48 PM   #40
Metryq
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I am now deeply puzzled as to why you think "NASA" continues to espouse the "dirty snowball" theory.
Because I subscribe to NASA's "science news" emails, and I have received several since the Deep Impact mission stating unambiguously that comets are "dirty snowballs." Asteroids as "extinct comets" is still part of the dirty snowball model—the idea being that all the ices have since melted away. When an actively blazing comet shows a dry, rocky surface with no sign at all of water, you know something is wrong with the existing model. The coma and tail are not sublimating volatiles, they are plasma in "glow mode" or even "arc mode."

This is a discussion board, not a book club.
Give me a moment here to copy and paste the entire text of the book so that you won't have to buy it. I have been making comments about the content of the book.

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Was that a reference to invisible...pardon..."dark matter"? If the answer is yes, then it looks like a book I'm definitely interested in.
It was, indeed. Although Scott is not the first to question the ad hoc invention of "dark matter." Among the other assumed creatures of mainstream astrophysics are neutron stars. From the book:

The extraordinary thing about pulsars is the almost unbelievably high frequency of their flashes of electromagnetic radiation (both light and radio frequency emissions). When they were first discovered, it was thought that they rotated rapidly – like lighthouses. But when the implied rate of rotation for some pulsars was announced to be about once every second, despite their having masses exceeding that of the Sun, this lighthouse explanation became untenable. It was proposed that only such a super-dense material as ‘neutronium’ could make up a star that could stand those rotation speeds – so they must exist. A neutron star was spinning at the required rate.

Neutron stars are impossible. One of the well-known basic rules of nuclear chemistry is the so-called ‘band of stability.’ This is the observation that, if we add neutrons to the nucleus of any atom, we need to add an almost proportional number of protons (and their accompanying electrons) to maintain a stable nucleus. In fact, it seems that, when we consider all the known elements (even the heavy man-made elements as well), there is a requirement that, in order to hold a group of neutrons together in a nucleus, an almost equal number of proton-electron pairs are required. The stable nuclei of the lighter elements contain approximately equal numbers of neutrons and protons – a neutron/proton ratio of 1. The heavier nuclei contain a few more neutrons than protons, but the limit seems to be about 1.5 neutrons per proton. Nuclei that differ significantly from this ratio spontaneously undergo radioactive decay transformations that tend to bring their compositions closer to this ratio. Groups of neutrons are not stable by themselves.

We know from laboratory experiments that any lone neutron decays into a proton, an electron and a neutrino in less than 14 minutes; atom-like collections of two or more neutrons will fly apart almost instantaneously. There is no such thing as neutronium. Therefore there can be no such entity as a neutron star. It is a fiction that flies in the face of all we know about elements and their atomic nuclei.
Of course, the usual counter-argument is always that "the laws of physics are different" long ago or far away. Scott's book describes credible alternatives to pulsars, gamma ray bursts, etc. My favorite bit is the section about the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
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Old February 5 2013, 03:56 PM   #41
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Metryq wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I am now deeply puzzled as to why you think "NASA" continues to espouse the "dirty snowball" theory.
Because I subscribe to NASA's "science news" emails...
Science reporting and scientific THEORY are two extremely different things. "Dirty snowballs" is easier to explain to stupid people than "snowy dirtballs" which is the description that came out of the Deep Impact mission. NASA press releases will almost always use the former description, while sometimes explaining in later paragraphs "There's more dirt than snow, of course." They'd probably be better off coming up with a better phrase, like "frozen mudball" or something, but that's harder for stupid people to grasp.

Don't forget, this is NASA we're talking about. A full third of its budget is dedicated to public outreach, and they cast an extremely wide net.

Asteroids as "extinct comets" is still part of the dirty snowball model—the idea being that all the ices have since melted away. When an actively blazing comet shows a dry, rocky surface with no sign at all of water...
There's no sign of SURFACE water. The jets are coming from reservoirs underneath the surface of the comet, but there's not much to dispute what the jets are actually made of.

Give me a moment here to copy and paste the entire text of the book so that you won't have to buy it.
A simple excerpt will do, particularly if there's a part you think is relevant to the nature of comets/asteroids.

Credit for posting a clip about neutron stars, but:

the usual counter-argument is always that "the laws of physics are different" long ago or far away.
Hard to tell from that single (couple of) paragraphs, but it sounds like he's laboring from a misunderstanding of what "neutronium" actually is. Or maybe I am, I don't know. But neutronium in theoretical neutron stars isn't an atomic structure so much as it is a superdense matter where nuclei are packed extremely close together by gravity. It's indeed true that the "normal laws of physics" don't apply because ABNORMAL ones apply in that case.

He's extremely correct that the actual evidence for this premise is relatively flimsy -- I haven't thought about that in a long time -- and that the assumptions about the nature of neutron stars are based entirely on the pulse frequency and further assumptions about their cause. There are probably far more likely explanations that would be consistent with known (and testable) physics.
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Old February 6 2013, 11:36 PM   #42
Metryq
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
there's not much to dispute what the jets are actually made of.
Stardust Shatters Comet Theory (3)

The shock came from the discovery of minerals that can only form at extremely high temperatures, up to thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. The minerals could not have been created in the cold depths scientists had envisioned. Also, the investigators have yet to find any markers left by water, and some components appear to exclude the presence of water in their formative phase.
Deep Impact—Where’s the Water? This is the first of a series of articles.

But as best we can tell, until very recently there had been no public acknowledgment by NASA that none of the prior comet visits (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2) had revealed surface water!
Again, I am recommending Donald Scott's book as a primer to the "electric universe" (aka plasma cosmology). If you read one or two articles on waterless comets or electric stars without any foundation in the science that has been going on for the last century, then you are trying to form an opinion while walking into the middle of a conversation.
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Old February 6 2013, 11:52 PM   #43
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Metryq wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
there's not much to dispute what the jets are actually made of.
Stardust Shatters Comet Theory (3)

The shock came from the discovery of minerals that can only form at extremely high temperatures, up to thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. The minerals could not have been created in the cold depths scientists had envisioned. Also, the investigators have yet to find any markers left by water, and some components appear to exclude the presence of water in their formative phase.
Deep Impact—Where’s the Water? This is the first of a series of articles.

But as best we can tell, until very recently there had been no public acknowledgment by NASA that none of the prior comet visits (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2) had revealed surface water!
Again, I am recommending Donald Scott's book as a primer to the "electric universe" (aka plasma cosmology). If you read one or two articles on waterless comets or electric stars without any foundation in the science that has been going on for the last century, then you are trying to form an opinion while walking into the middle of a conversation.
Wait, so if mainstream scientists are wrong about comets, that means the electric universe idea is fact? You are too much.
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Old February 7 2013, 05:27 PM   #44
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

Metryq wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
there's not much to dispute what the jets are actually made of.
Stardust Shatters Comet Theory (3)

The shock came from the discovery of minerals that can only form at extremely high temperatures, up to thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. The minerals could not have been created in the cold depths scientists had envisioned. Also, the investigators have yet to find any markers left by water, and some components appear to exclude the presence of water in their formative phase.
Deep Impact—Where’s the Water? This is the first of a series of articles.

But as best we can tell, until very recently there had been no public acknowledgment by NASA that none of the prior comet visits (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2) had revealed surface water!
You linked those before. And it remains relevant, so I repeat: there is no dispute over what the JETS are made of. The halo and tail of the comets are both known to be composed of water and other volatiles, and WELL known at that, because for decades that was the only part of the comet we could even see and examine. They probes that studied Halley on its last pass confirmed as much.

It's the surface composition of the COMET ITSELF that is (or was) up for debate. The present leading theory is that the comets are essentially very porous asteroids with vast water reservoirs beneath a stony surface (interestingly, Ceres and Vesta appear to have the same basic structure).
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