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14 years ago @ The Devil's Scien... - And So It Begins · 0 replies · +1 points

Right, the big bang is more akin to the stretching surface of a balloon you're blowing up than a literal explosion.

14 years ago @ The Devil's Scien... - And So It Begins · 1 reply · +2 points

*It's worth noting, particularly because it is a field I have studied, in the Cosmological Astrophysics section, what we are measuring is not the velocities of the galaxies, but rather the rate of expansion of space between ourselves and said galaxies. Even then, we directly measure the Redshift of the light from those stars in order to determine their recessional velocity. This distinction is only important in the field itself, and does not affect the argument in any way. I chose to be clear in my presentation, rather than precise and pedantic.

14 years ago @ AnAtheist.Net - Bad Astronomy · 0 replies · +1 points

Interestingly enough, I figured I'd add this, since it was relevant, the two laws you referenced in you question about "proven science" are both statistical phenomena, and not at all physical truths. They are not held to be true in 100% of cases, but only overall and on average.

14 years ago @ AnAtheist.Net - Bad Astronomy · 1 reply · +2 points

Nothing is 100% proven in Physics, specifically the examples you mention. Things can only be known to the extent that "we have observed nothing that contradicts" any given law of physics. Inflationary theory received the best possible kind of verification, which is to say it made a previously unanticipated and unmeasured prediction which was right on the nose. In general, such a prediction is unheard of. In real science, nothing can be garnered from the attachment of the word "theory" to any branch of research. The word carries no true meaning as to the certainty or reliability of the theory. It's attachment is purely aesthetic.

I should note, for the uninformed reader, that the prediction of the Polarization of the CMBR was not some 50/50 craps shoot, it was an astounding triumph of science over the unknown. As to my qualifications in the subject, I am getting my PhD in physics, so I figured this was a conversation that could use my input.

14 years ago @ AnAtheist.Net - Bad Astronomy · 0 replies · 0 points

I said nothing unfair or undue. There is no such thing as a "finished work" within physics. Everything is suspect. As I explained, nothing is 100% proven, but Inflationary theory is as finished as they come.

14 years ago @ AnAtheist.Net - Bad Astronomy · 3 replies · +2 points

Scientific opinion does seem to converge on a single explanation, but I can assure you that it is nothing like the bible's explanation unless you state it in terms so general as to be dishonest, and leave out all the "important bits".

You seem to have taken up the common Creationist tactic of conflating and confusing the term "theory". The "theory of inflation" is unproven is the exact same way that the "theory of gravity" is unproven. That is to say, we have a theory the gravitational force exists everywhere in the universe, but this theory is unproven insofar as we have not traveled to every place in the universe to check.

The hallmark of a very powerful (and thus very good) theory is the ability to make unanticipated and previously unmeasured yet verifiable predictions. Inflationary cosmology not only predicted that the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) would be polarized, something which was unanticipated and unknown when predicted, but also predicted precisely what that polarization would be. That is the best sort of experimental verification one could ask for.

Furthermore, Inflation isn't just a theory that was created to address one problem. Well, that's not quite right. Inflation was investigated as a means to solve one of the problems of the Big Bang, but then they realized it actually solved all of its major problems. Regardless, Inflation is a stage of the Big Bang, not really a separate theory. The Big Bang is incomplete, for a number of reasons, if you remove Inflation.