TRANSHUMANIST THINKING AND THE NECESSARY REJECTION OF THE BIG BANG

TRANSHUMANIST THINKING AND THE NECESSARY REJECTION OF THE BIG BANG:

Transhumanist thinking sometimes stands opposed to scientific orthodoxy. Nowhere is this more apparent than when questions regarding our importance in the grand scheme of things are raised. According to most scientific speculation, the sheer enormity of the cosmos on temporal and spatial scales makes our home planet seem like an insignificant speck and we humans are but transient patterns of matter and energy enjoying a temporary stability before inevitably decaying as entropy marches inexorably onward. Intelligence played no part in the aeons that preceded our evolution and it sure as hell won’t play a part in the vast expanses of time that lay ahead. 

Transhumanist and extropian groups disagree that intelligence is an impotent force in the face of nature’s nuclear, electromagnetic and gravitational energies. They argue that the gigantic technological leaps that have resulted from an understanding of the workings of nature will continue to grow, allowing our species to break free from its biological limitations and its Earthly origins, until via a sublime ability to command the laws of physics, we shall shape the cosmos to suit our purposes.

Of course, if one aspires to understand and command a universe, one must first ensure that the growing body of knowledge in cosmology rests on solid foundations. Today, everybody knows that the Big Bang tells us how the Universe came into being. It does not tell us WHY (such a question is unanswerable via science) and it does not answer every question related to ‘how’ but no matter. Broadly speaking, the Big Bang is correct. It will never be comprehensibly replaced. All that remains for cosmology now is to  tie up a few loose ends. We are uniquely privileged among human cultures in that we KNOW how the universe began, why stars shine, how galaxies formed and how the universe may die. We know, because we have pieced together a mathematical model of the Universe commonly known as the Big Bang, and it is correct.

And yet, history warns us to be wary in declaring victory. How many times in the history of science has it been confidently announced that ‘we know..’ despite the fact that contradictory evidence suggesting we did NOT know was being gathered even while such confidence was being expressed? Should we REALLY be confident that the Big Bang is THE answer to cosmological questions?

I am going to argue that this is very far from the truth.

FALSE HISTORY.

Let’s start with the Big Bang’s history. The way it is presented to the lay audience is rather misleading. The main problem is that certain key facts are conveniently ignored.

 THE MISSING COSMOLOGY.

Next time you visit a bookstore, try this experiment.

Go to the section devoted to popular science, and pick up as many books about cosmology that you can find. Flip to the index and search for the name ‘Fred Hoyle’ or the term ‘Steady State Theory’. There is a fairly decent chance that a large number of books will make a reference to Hoyle, tell you about the key concepts of the Steady State Theory, and explain how it was scientifically disproved.

Now go back to the index and look up the names ’Kristian Birkland’, ’Hans Alvfen’, ’Anthony Peratt’, ’Eric Lerner’, and ’Wallace Thornhill’. While you are about it, search for a reference to ’plasma cosmology’. Very occasionally, a book may make a reference (entering the term into Amazon’s search engine brings up eight books that explicitly mention ‘plasma cosmology’) but overall the chances are excellent that you will find NO reference AT ALL, not even a paragraph explaining its concepts and what key failings lead to its dismissal as a viable theory. Because it so rarely gets mentioned, most people assume there has only ever been one rival theory to the Big Bang, and that is the Steady State theory. Why, one might ask, is this third cosmological theory not referenced mearly so much?

 One possible explanation is that plasma cosmology is (to borrow a phrase coined by Wolfgang Pauli) ‘not even wrong’. In other words, it is a junk theory touted by pseudoscientists and is therefore unworthy of inclusion in any book devoted to real science (although, funnily enough, that never stops books on natural selection devoting space to Intelligent Design, if only to pour scorn on it). 

The idea that the people behind plasma cosmology are psuedoscientists holds no water. At least two key figures were nominated for the Nobel Prize. Kristian Birkland developed a theory in which electrical charges came all the way from the Sun, entered the Earth’s vicinity via the cusps in its magnetic field, and powered the auroras. He died aged 49, just when a working committee was in the process of nominating him for the Nobel Prize in physics (this prize is not awarded posthumously).  Today, plasma cosmologists often refer to Birkland currents, which are plasma filaments formed from swirling streams of electrons and ions. 

Hans Alvfen was not only considered as a candidate for the Nobel prize in physics- he was awarded it. He received the prize in 1970 for developing the field of magnetohydrodynamics, a field that mathematically models plasma as magnetic fluid. But what is more crucial is that he devoted a large portion of his Nobel address to attacking misuses of this theory. He pointed out that magnetohydrodynamics is an approximation which is accurate only in dense plasmas like the Sun. It is NOT appropriate in the much more dilute plasmas of interstellar and intergalactic space.

“The cosmical plasma physics of today is far less advanced than the thermonuclear research physics. It is to some extent the playground of theoreticians who have never seen a plasma in a laboratory. Many of them still believe in formulae which we know from laboratory experiments to be wrong”-Hans Alvfen.

The reference to theoreticians and laboratory experiments in plasma highlight the key difference between a plasma cosmologist and a Big Bang cosmologist. With the Big Bang, theorists use mathematical models that allow them to work forwards from idealised beginnings. But plasma cosmologists model the Universe by working BACKWARDS from physical experiments involving plasma and high-density electric currents. What links these laboratory experiments to the Universe is the fact that A) virtually all of the Universe IS plasma and B) the fact that extremely similar phenomena exists in plasma at all scales, a result of inherent scaling laws ultimately derived from Maxwell’s laws of electromagnetism.  Therefore, a plasma event viewable only via an electron microscope and lasting mere microseconds can be scaled by 14 orders of magnitude and will retain its essential features and behaviours. So what we observe in the lab can be compared (once properly scaled) to plasma on a truly cosmic scale. 

Since Alvfen’s Nobel speech the two groups (Big Bang cosmologists and plasma cosmologists) went on to adopt markedly different approaches to understanding the behaviour of plasma and its role in the Universe. Theoretical physicists studying the Big Bang treat intergalactic plasma as an ‘ionized gas’ and model it mathematically  using kinetic laws. Plasma physicists with knowledge of electrical engineering know, from empirical evidence gathered from 150 years-worth of practical experiments using high energy electric currents fed through plasma, and observations of identical behaviour (appropriately scaled), that REAL plasma should NOT be modelled in the way Big Bangers insist. The other people on my list treat plasma as Hans Alvfen insisted it SHOULD be treated. 

According to David Deustch, the explanatory power of one paradigm in science seems extravagant and unconvincing in terms of the old paradigm. True to form, forums dedicated to Big Bang cosmology dismiss plasma cosmology as wholley unconvincing, and much the same is said of the Big Bang on plasma cosmology forums. Seeing past the personal attacks and concentrating on the bare facts takes some effort, and is of course only possible when all facts are available. The consistant refusal to acknowledge the existence of plasma cosmology makes nearly all popular science books and documentaries pretty useless for drawing informed conclusions. This problem is then compounded by the authors making statements that are best described as being ‘economical with the truth’.

ONE: ‘THE BIG BANG PREDICTED THE EXISTENCE OF THE MICROWAVE BACKGROUND RADIATION’.

This is true. The cosmic microwave background radiation WAS predicted by the Big Bang. However, its temperature was NOT successfully predicted. 

This fact is made quite clear in a paper by Ralph Alpher (one of the key figures in developing the Big Bang theory). In 1949, Alpher wrote a paper called ‘Remarks On the Evolution Of The Expanding Universe’, in which he wrote ‘(the present density of radiation) corresponds to a temperature now of the order of 5 degrees K…however, the thermal energy from the nuclear energy production in stars would increase this value’. Another major figure in the development of the Big Bang theory was George Gamow. In his book ‘Evolution Of The Cosmos (1961), he discussed the temperature of interstellar space, remarking ‘thus when the Universe was 1 second old, 1 year old, 1 million years old, its temperature were 15 billion, 3 million, and 3 thousand degrees absolute, respectively. Inserting the present age of the Universe into that formula we find Tpresent= 50 degrees absolute’.

So, what the founding fathers of Big Bang cosmology predicted was the existence of a microwave background radiation…with a temperature of AT LEAST 5 degrees K and probably more like 50 degrees K.

It is true that the microwave background radiation was determined to exist in 1965. This was the key discovery that disproved the Steady State Theory (which did not predict the CMB). However, the ACTUAL temperature is 2.7 degrees K, some way off the PREDICTIONS put forward by Alpher and Gamow. It is a little known fact that other scientists pursued the idea that redshifts are caused by ‘tired light’ theories, which are simply incompatible with the Big Bang, because they assume the Universe is not expanding at all. PREDICTIONS of the temperature of the CMB based on a ‘stationary universe’ were:

3.2 degrees K (Eddington, 1926)
2.8 degrees K (Regener 1933)
2.8 degrees K (Nernst 1937)
1.9 to 6.0 degrees K (Finlay-Fruendlich 1954).

It is therefore quite wrong to say that the discovery of the microwave background radiation counts as a victory for the Big Bang, because scientists assuming NO expansion  PREDICTED a temperature of between 1.9 degrees K and 6.0 degrees K, with most predictions settling for 2.8. This is FAR CLOSER than the Big Bang PREDICTION of between 5 degrees and 50 degrees K.

It should be pointed out that the names quoted above were not plasma cosmologists. However, whereas the Big Bang is absolutely dependent on redshift being caused by expansion, plasma cosmology is not. The latter does not assume an expanding cosmos at all and is quite capable of accounting for the existence of the CMB.

According to Anthony Peratt, ‘when two magnetized plasma filaments of galactic dimensions interact, they emit an early burst of synchotron radiation that lasts 4 million years or so….dividing the energy by the duration gives a radiated power of 10^37 watts. This is close to the output of a strong extragalactic radio source like Cygnus A’.

Sources like Cygnus A just happen to beam their synchotron radiation directly at Earth. But most of this radiation is scattered haphazardly in other directions. There is an intriguing parallel between the CMB and the radiation produced by very energetic plasma generators in the laboratory. ‘In both cases the spectrum is that of a blackbody, a perfect absorber and emitter of energy. However, this is so in the laboratory version only because filamentary insulation is placed around the generator to protect the environment. Could gigantic filaments of cosmic plasma act like that shielding and give the “wasted” radiation a blackbody temperature that would fill the sky?

Yes. Ok, well what would the energy density be? ‘The answer is a miniscule 10 times 50^-14 joule per cubic meter. This corresponds to a blackbody temperature of 2.87 degrees K, in close agreement with the 2.73 degrees K measured by COBE’. According to Eric Lerner, this data involves three free parameters.

As for the Big Bang, AFTER the CMB was measured, its advocates  manipulated their model until it agreed with observation. The curve that was fitted to the data had seven adjustable parameters, most of which could not be checked by other observations (see ‘first year WMAP observations: Determination of Cosmological Parameters’ by D.N Spergel). 

“The successes claimed by the (Big Bang) theory’s supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters”-open letter to the scientific community, May 22 2004.


TWO: ‘HUBBLE PROVED THAT THE UNIVERSE IS EXPANDING‘.

Edwin Hubble did NOT disover that the universe is expanding. Edwin Hubble discovered that the light from galaxies is redshifted. It is, of course, a postulate that light is redshifted because its wavelength is stretched due to the ongoing expansion of space, but what you never read about is how Hubble himself was not at all convinced that the observed redshift or Hubble constant implied expansion.

“Hubble concluded that his observed log N(m) distribution showed a large departure from Euclidean geometry, provided that the effect of redshifts on apparent magnitudes were calculated as if redshifts were due to a real expansion. A different corrolation is required if no motion exists, the redshifts then being due to an unknown cause. Hubble believed that his count data gave a more reasonable result concerning spatial curvature if the redshift correction was made assuming no recession. To the very end of his writings he maintained this position, favouring (or at the very least keeping open) the model where no true expansion exists”- Allan Sandage, ‘Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada‘, Vol.83, No.6, December 1989.

Hubble’s open-mindedness was prescient indeed, as we shall see next…

DOES THE BIG BANG VIOLATE POPPERIAN LOGIC?

In 1959, the philosopher Karl Popper wrote ‘The Logic Of Scientific Discovery’. This magnum opus tells us that a theory is only scientific if it is TESTABLE, and FALSIFIABLE.  Falsification ocurrs, not so much because a theory predicts the existence of something that we never seem to confirm (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, after all), but when a theory predicts something CANNOT exist, but it then transpires that it DOES.

For instance, the geocentric model of the solar system (with the Earth at the centre and all planets, moons, and the Sun orbiting it) says that Venus cannot have phases like the Moon. But Venus DOES have phases like the Moon. So, that falsifies the geocentric model. Gallileo pointed this out, but the orthodoxy of his day refused to look into his telescope and see this blasphemy.

BIG BANG FALSIFICATION#1 TIFFT’S QUANTIZED REDSHIFTS.

Since the 1970s, the astronomer William Tifft has gathered evidence that redshift is quantized, just like the energy states of an atom.  According to Dava Sobel, ‘This idea has never gone down well with most of Tifft’s peers. The editors of the Astrophysical Journal grudgingly published his first quantized-redshift paper in 1976, but they announced  in an unusual disclaimer that they couldn’t endorse the idea (although they also couldn’t find anything wrong with the underlying observations). The reason for their dislike is not hard to fathom. If the Universe isn’t expanding, there would be no reason to believe…it began with a Big Bang. Cosmologists are generally loathe to toss 20th Century cosmology into the dustbin.’

Quantized redshifts are problematic, because the Big Bang predicts that the redshifts of all galaxies together should form a random distribution. Quantized redshift would mean cosmologically-distant objects tend to cluster around multiples of some particular value.  However, it should be pointed out that Tifft himself does NOT claim his observations disprove the hypothesis that the universe is expanding. On the other hand, as Dava Sobel commented, ‘it is not at all clear…in spite of Tifft’s disclaimer, how quantized redshifts would be compatible in an expanding Universe’.

BIG BANG FALSIFICATION#2- PERCULIAR REDSHIFTS.

Carl Sagan was one of the greatest cosmologists of our time. Regarding the question of the redshift, Sagan remembered Hubble’s skepticism in recalling the work of Hubble’s assistant, Halton Arp. “There is nevertheless a nagging suspicion among some astronomers, that all may not be right with the deduction…that the universe is expanding. The astronomer Halton Arp has found enigmatic and disturbing cases where a galaxy and a quazar, or a pair of galaxies, that are in apparent physical association have very different redshifts”.

Unlike William Tifft, Arp is quite convinced that the weight of evidence he has accumulated disproves the Big Bang. Since the 1960s, he has been cataloguing quasars with enormously high redshifts that appear to be physically-connected or very near to galaxies with low redshifts.  On 9th December 2004, Halton Arp, along with Pasquale Galianni, E.M Burbridge, V. Junkkarien, G. Burbridge and Stefano Zibetti published a scientific paper regarding ‘The Discovery Of A High Redshift X-Ray Emitting QSO Very Close To The Nucleus of NGC 7319’.

NGC 7319 is a Seyfert 2, which means it is a galaxy shrouded with such heavy dust clouds that they obscure most of the bright, active nucleus that defines a normal Seyfert galaxy. NGC 7319 has a redshift of 0.0225. But embedded within its dust clouds is a quazar with a redshift of 2.114. If redshift is caused by the expansion of space, this quazar MUST be BILLIONS OF LIGHT YEARS BEHIND NGC 7319. But the galaxy is opaque, so the quazar has to be near the surface of the dust clouds or even IN FRONT OF THEM.

Remember, that it is a fundamental theory of the Big Bang that the more redshifted the light of a galactic object is, the further away it must be. But if extremely highly-redshifted objects are observed to be very close (even physically touching) low-redshifted objects, that apparently disproves the ‘redshift is caused by expansion’ hypothesis.

The paper was presented by Margaret Burbidge on January 2004 at the AAS meeting in Atlanta. The response was ‘overwhelming silence’ (Halton Arp). The paper was then submitted for publication in astronomical journals, and for the past 3 years has sat awaiting an editorial decision on whether it should be published or not.

The evidence gathered by Tifft and Arp (both of which have been verified by other astronomers over the years) are roundly dismissed by the rest of the cosmological community. They tell us that they are due to data being poorly interpreted, or are the results of optical illusion, or can simply be shrugged off as ‘just a coincidence’. Now, consider these people and the hypotheses they made:

Alfred Wegener, proposed that the Earth’s continents were once a single landmass he named Pangaea, 1915.

Baron Von Reichenbach, hypothesised that dreams are caused by an all-pervasive occult force that he named the ‘Od’, mid 1800s.

Celilia Payne, hypothesized that the Sun is mostly hydrogen, 1920s.

James Price, claimed to be able to turn base metals into gold, 1732.

Various reports over the past 500 years of unusual illumination (such as flashes of light and glowing colours) occurring on the Lunar surface. Witnesses include Sir William Herschel and Neil Armstrong.

Martin Fleischmann and Stanely Pons, claimed to have achieved cold fusion in 1989.

You have no doubt concluded that some of these hypotheses were correct, while others were obviously in error or even fraudulent. But what unites ALL of the people mentioned is that they all suffered extensive ridicule. All of them were told that the weight of evidence favoured entirely different theories, or that the evidence refuted their hypotheses, or that they could be dismissed as products of instrument malfunction or misinterpretation or mere coincidence.  It must surely be the case that, usually, it is wise to dismiss the lone maverick braving ridicule by presenting hypotheses and evidence contrary to the paradigm of the day…but not always.  


FALSIFICATION #3: MATTER IS ORGANIZED INTO FRACTAL STRUCTURES ON SCALES SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER THAN 30 MILLION LIGHT YEARS.

The Big Bang sets a definite limit to the size of structures in the Universe. If we assume the Universe began 14 billion years ago, there cannot have been enough time for gravity to sculpt structures larger than 30 million light years across: Expansion would have prevented anything larger from forming.

BUT, we have observed colossal structures called ‘superclusters’ that stretch out for 100 MILLION lightyears, and which look uncannily like fractal patterns.

Big Bangers claim that ‘visible’ matter is not nearly as abundant as ‘dark’ matter, and so the apparent fractal distribution of matter is an illusion. The universe is far smoother than it appears to be, thanks to the way dark matter is distributed.

BUT, the first 3D map of ‘dark matter’(obtained by observing ’gravitational effects’) reveal that it is organized into the same fractal pattern as ‘ordinary’ matter.

“The Dark Matter makes up a Criss-Crossing network of Strings and Sheets around these voids. And all luminous matter lies within the densest regions of dark matter”- Richard Massey, Cosmic Evolution Survey Project.

The Big Bang demands that matter in the universe, on scales beyond 30 million light years, CANNOT have a fractal structure. And yet we observe fractal structure at scales of 100 MILLION light years (and there is every reason to suppose greater structures remain to be discovered). This is falsification #3.

FALSIFICATION #4: VOIDS.

The WMAP sattelite is often hailed as the instrument that ’proved the Big Bang correct’. But recently, this was brought into doubt when recent data aquired by this probe revealed a huge void. “The enormous magnitude of the hole is way outside the expected range…impossible to explain under the current cosmological theories”.

It is only fair to point out that Big Bang cosmologists have proposed ways to account for both the ‘fractal’ and the ‘void’ observations. In the case of the voids, it’s being suggested that they are caused by our universe colliding with another universe. As for the fractal patterns, they can be accommodated in a modified version of Einstein’s principle of relativity. But this actually highlights another problem inherent with the Big Bang. You might think there is only one ‘Big Bang’ theory, but there have been many versions proposed over the years. In fact, if you include all the variations automatically generated by M-theory, there are more than 10^500 different versions. Given that the theory has so many freely adjustable parameters, and comes in so many different flavours, it is obviously going to be able to come up with an explanation for  anything we observe. But in doing so, we sometimes see Big Bangers violate another sacred tennet of science.

BIG BANGERS IGNORE OCCAM’S RAZOR.

Crudely stated, Occam’s Razor tells us ’don’t complicate things, when what is already known suffices’.

The existence of fractal patterns in space and the existence of gigantic voids were both predicted by plasma cosmology, which starts from the assumption that the universe is mostly PLASMA being shaped by ELECTRIC CURRENTS AND MAGNETIC FIELDS. This is in direct contrast to ’Big Bang’ which assumes space is electrically neutral, and that GRAVITY shaping MATTER is what drives the evolution of the Universe.

Plasma cosmology predicted the existence of electric currents in space, long before the technology to detect them existed. At the turn of the 20th century, Kristian Birkland suggested that electric currents due to plasma from the Sun caused aurora on Earth. Such currents were considered impossible until an artificial sattelite discovered them in 1974. ’Birkland currents’ were then discovered connecting Jupiter and its Moon Io in 1979, and in 1984 Birkland Currents 120 light years long were discovered in the Milky way. The strength of the associated magnetic field was 100 times greater than previously thought possible on such a scale…to mainstream cosmology, that is. Plasma cosmologists had accurately predicted the geometry and strength of such fields with simulations of Birkland Currents in studies of galaxy formation.

The fact that space is teeming with charged particles organizing the plasma around them into filamentary structures precisely as experiments with plasma predicted, DEBUNKS the notion that space is electrically neutral. 

DARK MATTER VERSUS THE BIO-SAVART FORCE LAW.

Big Bangers model galaxies as matter interacting gravitationally. It was Issac Newton who first determined  that the force of gravity varies inversely as the square of the distance between two bodies. But there is a problem, as Stephen Battersby explained: “astronomers really can’t explain why galaxies are moving around so fast…the only force holding galaxies together is gravitation, and gravity is too weak to reign in that rotation, unless there is a lot more matter out there than we can see, matter that exerts that extra gravity needed to glue the galaxy together”. 

That extra ‘stuff’ that we cannot see is Dark Matter. What is dark matter? Nobody knows, despite the 10,000 papers that have been written on this topic at a cost of more than a billion dollars.

The plasma cosmological approach models galaxy formation from interacting plasma pinches. According to Anthony Peratt, ‘swirling streams of electrons and ions form filaments that span vast regions of space…wherever there are multiple strands of electric currents, they prefer to interact in pairs. The reason for this derives from the Bio-Savart force law, which states that currents in the same direction attract while currents in the opposite direction repel. They do so inversely as the distance between them. This results in a far larger ranging force of interaction, than, say, the gravitational forces between two masses…where pairs of these structures interact, the particles gain kinetic energy and at narrow “pinch” regions produce the entire range of galaxy types…no dark matter (is needed) to produce such rotation curves, because the electromagnetic forces are so much stronger than gravity’.

These plasma filaments naturally have a fractal organization. Since everything from superclusters to barred-spiral galaxies form from the plasma pinch caused by interacting Birkland currents, it makes sense that their distribution will be similarly fractal. Furthemore, Birkland filaments slowly fluctuate in their intensity, causing mass density variations that might be interpreted as gravitational effects.

BLACK HOLES VERSUS THE PLASMA FOCUS.

Another mystery of galaxies is the tremendous outpouring of energy that is seen beaming out of their centre. In astrophysics, this is thought to be caused by gigantic black holes, a hypothesis that is hard to reconcile with the fact that stars have been observed orbiting far nearer to these regions than theory allows (black holes are famous for swallowing anything that wanders too close). 

In the plasma model, the electrical current flows into the centre of galaxies, and the energy becomes stored in a filamentary knot, called a plasmoid. When the plasmoid reaches a critical energy level, it discharges its energy in a collimated jet along its axis in the form of electromagnetic radiation and neutrons.

On December 2003, Eric Lerner published a paper in the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. Part of this paper dealt with ’LARGE SCALE STRUCTURES AND VOIDS’. “Plasma cosmology can easily accommodate large scale structures, and in fact firmly predicts a fractal distribution of matter with density being inversely proportional to the distance of separation of objects…Naturally, since the plasma approach hypothesizes no origin in time for the Universe, the large amounts of time needed to create large-scale structures present no problems for the theory”.

This paper was written years before the discovery of the ’impossible void’ in the WMAP data. 

Big Bang’s appeal to dark matter, inflation, black holes, and parallel Universes are ALL violations of Occam’s Razor, because plasma physicists and electrical engineers have empirically confirmed that all the phenomena thought to be caused by such exotic entities can be explained by the fact that space is 99.99% plasma, which is interacting with vast electric currents. But Big Bangers stubbornly insist on modelling plasma as a gas following kinetic laws. By ignoring the FACT that there IS electricity in space, mainstream astronomers regularly FAIL to make ACCURATE predictions, as we shall now see.

ELECTRIC STARS.

Electric currents are responsible for the formation of galaxies, but does their influence on the Universe end there? Another fringe theory, the ’Electric Star’ hypothesis, suggests not. This theory is often mentioned along with plasma cosmology, which leads many to suppose that they are one and the same. However, this is not strictly true. According to plasma cosmology, ’stars are formed by an electromagnetic “pinch” effect on widely dispersed gas and dust. The “pinch” is created by the magnetic force between parallel current filaments that are part of the huge currents flowing inside a galaxy. At this point, plasma cosmologists believe, the mainstream theory that says stars are powered internally by nuclear fusion, (first formulated by Arthur Eddington in the 1920s)  comes into play. 

Those who believe in the ‘electric star’ hypothesis, though, take things a step further. Stars don’t shine because of fusion reactions occurring inside them, but rather because they are connected to electric circuitry within galaxies. The electric currents that created the stars persist to power them. Rather than being gigantic balls of nuclear energy, stars behave as electrodes in a galactic glow discharge. They are, in other words, gigantic balls of lightning. Refutations of this hypothesis do exist (see ‘Tim Thompson’), but these wrongly assume that the ‘electric star’ hypothesis is an electrostatic model (which is indeed easy to dismiss). But, actually, this is a far more complex electrodynamic discharge model. ‘Throughout most of the volume of a glow discharge the plasma is “quasi” neutral, with almost equal numbers of protons and electrons…The current is carried primarily by a drift of electrons in a weak field towards the positive electrode (the star). It is only beneath the corona, close to the star, that the electric field becomes strong enough to generate all the brilliant and energetic phenomena we observe.’

Why would you even consider proposing an alternative hypothesis to the nuclear fusion model, which clearly explains everything we know about stars? The answer is, because our most modern instruments are revealing stellar phenomena that is extraordinarily difficult to reconcile with the ‘fusion’ model, but which fits nicely with the electric star hypothesis.

T DWARFS.

Recently, we have discovered a class of star that have required the HR diagram (which plots the absolute brightness Vs the temperature of stars, thereby allowing is to accurately measure their distance via the parallax method), to be extended. The fusion model tells us that the temperature in a star’s core must be at least 3 million K before fusion reactions can take place. But these stars are in the range of 1,000K or less! Also, the fusion model says that core temperature rises with gravitational pressure, and so every star must have a minimum mass of about 75 times the mass of Jupiter. But many dwarfs do not meet this requirement. Also, Chandra, the orbiting X-ray telescope, has discovered an X-Ray flare being emitted by a brown dwarf, despite the fact that the fusion model tells us such stars this cool should not be capable of X-ray flare production.

Before going on to look at the electric star’s take on things, I must first explain something about the three modes in which plasma operates. Plasma takes on different appearances, depending on the voltage and charge density it experiences.  When voltage and current density is low, plasma is in ‘dark mode’. It emits electromagnetic radiation detectable only by radio telescopes. This is why the sky looks dark at night. If we could see in the radio part of the spectrum, the night sky would glow. If voltage and current density rises sufficiently, it causes emissions in the visible part of the spectrum and is known as ‘glow mode’, and it is visible to the naked eye. Finally, very high voltage puts plasma in ‘arc mode’, causing it to emit electromagnetic radiation extending up to gamma rays.

Now lets see what the electric star model says about dwarf stars, (all quotes in this section credited to Don Scott).

‘In the ES model, there is no minimum temperature or mass requirements because the star is inherently electrical to start with. In the ES model, (if the brown/ red dwarf is operating near the upper boundary of the dark current mode), a slight increase in the total level of current impinging on the star will move it into the normal glow mode. This transition will be accompanied by a rapid change in the voltage rise across the plasma of the star’s atmosphere. Maxwell’s equations tell us that a change in voltage can produce a strong dynamic E-field and a strong dynamic magnetic field. If they are strong enough, dynamic EM fields produce X-rays. Another similar phenomenon can ocurr if a star makes the transition from normal glow to arc mode’.

FG SAGGITAE AND V838 MONOCEROTIS.

The mainstream theory of stars tells us that they move up the HR diagram, evolving from one type of star to another, as their reserves of nuclear fuel (atomic elements) gets used up. This progression is supposed to take many millions of years, but once again recent observations question this assumption.

In 1996, CCD Astronomy wrote about a star named FG Sagittae, saying it ‘breaks all the rules of accepted stellar evolution. Fg Sagittae has changed from luminous blue to yellow since 1955! It, quite recently, has taken a deep dive in luminosity…It is a unique object in the sense that we have direct evidence of stellar evolution but in a time scale comparable to a human lifetime’.

Another ‘mystery’ star was reported by NASA on October 2, 2002: ‘V838 Monocerotis may be a totally new addition to the astronomical zoo. Observations indicate that the erupting star transformed itself over a period of a month from a small-under luminous star a little hotter than the Sun, to a highly luminous, cool supergiant star undergoing rapid and complex brightness changes. The transformation defies the conventional understanding of stellar life cycles’.

How does the ES model explain these ‘mysteries’?

‘If a star’s current density increases, the arc discharge on its surface gets hotter, change colour (away from red, towards blue-white) and get brighter…a star’s location on the HR diagram only depends on its size and the amount of electric current density it is presently experiencing. If, for whatever reason, the strength of that current density should change, then the star will change its position on the HR diagram. Otherwise, no movement is to be expected. And its age remains indeterminate regardless of its mass or spectral type’.

We have seen that Birkland currents are responsible for forming galaxies. We have also seen that currents from the larger circuit of the Milky Way flow into the Sun’s domain. Although these currents are imperceptibly weak at planetary distances, toward the Sun the current ‘pinches down’ and the electric power is sufficient to light the Sun. But what other evidence is there for plasma cosmology and the more radical ‘electric star hypothesis? Well, probes sent to investigate our neighbouring planets, moons, and passing comets have, yet again, made observations that mainstream science label ‘mysterious’…

COMETS.

Comets are supposed to be ‘dirty snowballs’, but this picture is impossible to reconcile with observations of..

1. Highly energetic supersonic jets exploding from comet nuclei.
2. Narrowly confined, filamentary comet jets spanning distances that defy the expected behaviour of neutral gasses in a vacuum.
3. Comet surfaces with sharply carved relied- the exact opposite of what astronomers expected under the “dirty snowball” model.
4. Unexpectedly high temperatures and X-ray emissions from comets’ comas.
5. A short supply or absence of water and other volatiles on comets’ nuclei.
6.Mineral particles that can only be formed under extremely high temperatures.
7. Comets flaring up while in the “deep freeze”, beyond the orbit of Saturn.
8. Comets disintegrating many millions of miles from the Sun.
9. Comet dust particles more finely and evenly divided than is expected for sublimating “dirty ices”.
10. Ejection of larger particles and “gravel” that was never anticipated under the idea that comets accreted from primordial clouds of ice, gas, and dust.

Here is how comets are viewed by electric star theorists:

‘Comets are debris produced during violent electrical interactions of planets and moons in an earlier phase of solar system history.  Comets are similar to asteroids and, their composition varies. Most comets should be homogenous-their enteriors will have the same composition as their surfaces. They are simply “asteroids on eccentric orbits’-Wal Thornhill.

According to Micheal Goodspeed, ‘a comet spends most of its time in the weakest part of the field far from the Sun and may balance its voltage with that field. But as the comet accelerates nearer the Sun, it grows profoundly out of balance with its environment and begins to discharge’.

A charge imbalance develops between the nucleus of the comet and the higher voltage and charge density near the Sun. It is this electrical stress that initiates the formation of a glowing plasma sheath, appearing as a coma and tail. 

PREDICTIONS OF COMET OBSERVATIONS.

Predictability is what distinguishes a good scientific theory from a poor one. If observations tend to confirm predictions, that is a sign that the theory has merit. But if its proponents observe ‘mysterious sightings that were not anticipated’, it is time to be skeptical. With that in mind consider..

On July 4th, 2005, an 820 pound copper projectile was fired at Comet Tempel 1 by the Deep Impact spacecraft. Wal Thornhill issued these following PREDICTIONS, based on the ‘electric star’ hypothesis:

“Considerably greater energies will be released than expected because of the electrical contributions of the comet. An electric discharge in advance of impact is likely. We also expect an interruption of impactor transmission before it reaches the surface”.

AFTER IMPACT: NASA investigator Peter Schultz commented, ‘what you see is something really suprising. First, there’s a small flash, then there’s a delay, then there’s a big flash and the whole thing breaks loose’. 

It is also a well documented fact that the mainstream scientific community, advocates of the ‘dirty snowball’ description all, were ‘stunned’ by the scale of the energetic outburst caused by the impact. This was because their predictions were based on the kinetics of impact and not any possible electric contributions from the comet. In the final seconds before impact, video transmissions from the impactor showed a great deal of interference and moments before it struck Tempel 1, tranmission was lost.

The interference patterns suffered by the video transmissions appeared to be electrical.

PREDICTION 2: ‘Scientists will find considerably less water ice and other volatiles than expected, both on the surface and beneath the surface of Tempel 1. A completely “dry” nucleus should not be surprising‘.

AFTER IMPACT: Gary Melnick, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, said “It’s pretty clear that this event did not produce a gusher. The more optimistic predictions for water output from impact haven’t occurred”. The investigators actually found 200 times LESS water than was required to account for the water supposedly emited into the coma of Tempel 1. Moreover, Thornhill pointed out that “when astronomers view the comas spectrascopically, what they actually see is the hydroxyl radical (OH), which they assume to be a residue of water (H20) broken down by the ultraviolet light of the Sun…In the electric model, negative oxygen ions are accelerated away from the comet in energetic jets, then combine preferentially with protons from the solar wind to form the observed OH radical and the neutral hydrogen gathered around the coma in vast concentric bubbles…The electric model thus resolves two problems for the standard theory: 1) Cometologists have never verified that the assumed photolysis is feasible on the super-efficient scale their explanation requires; 2) Neutral hydrogen is far too plentiful in the coma to be the “leftover” of the hypothesized conversion of water into OH. But if the negatively charged nucleus provides the electrons in a charge exchange in the solar wind, the dilema is resolved and the vast hydrogen envelope is a predictable effect’.

PREDICTION 3: ‘The discharge and/or impact may initiate a new jet from the nucleus (which will be filamentary, not sprayed out) and could even abruptly change the positions and intensities of other jets due to the sudden change in charge distribution on the comet nucleus’.

AFTER IMPACT: El Roque de los Muchachos observatory at La Palma, Spain, released images before and 15 minutes after the impact. Their report stated “new jets appeared after the impact”. Electric star theorists were the only scientific group to anticipate this outcome. No explanation for this ocurrance has been provided by mainstream astrophysicists.

PREDICTION 4: “The camera will reveal sharply defined craters, valleys, mesas, and ridges- the opposite of the softened relief expected of a sublimating “dirty snowball”. 

AFTER IMPACT: The high resolution images taken by Wild 2 clearly show that Tempel 1 is marked with the very ‘craters, valleys, mesas and ridges’ that ONLY the electric star model predicted. The highest resolution pictures taken by the impactor show ‘numerous featureless patches of whiteout, most located where the electrical hypothesis would put them- on the rims of craters and the walls of cliffs rising above flat valley floors’.

PLANETS AND MOONS.

After the release of the Tempel 1 photographs, mainstream astronomers initially tried to explain away the craters and other surface features as the result of impacts. This explanation is extremely unsatisfactory, because a comet is too small to attract enough collisions to cover it, end to end, with craters. Also, assuming this did somehow occur, all surface relief would be quickly eroded by the sublimating ices assumed to be responsible for the cometary display.

But what about planets and their satellites? Surely, the craters we find on such large orbiting bodies as these conforms to the ‘impact’ hypothesis? Again, no. Here too we find features at odds with the standard explanation:

1: remarkable circularity of almost all craters of all sizes. Oblique impacts should form many oval craters;
2: lack of collatoral damage expected if the crater circularity were due to a near-impact explosion like a thermonuclear detonation;
3: flat-bottomed, melted crater floors instead of dish-shaped excavations from blast impact. Impacts and high energy explosions do not melt enough material to create flat floors.
4: many craters with steep walls rather than the shallow dish shape expected from a supersonic blast impact;
5: unexpected terracing of large crater walls, with melted floors of some terraces;
6: Inordinate numbers of secondary craters centred on the rims of larger craters;
7: Absence of larger craters cutting through smaller craters;
8: intricate chains of small craters along the rims of larger craters;
9: Far too many crater pairs and crater chains;
10: Minimal disturbance where one crater cuts into another.

The hypothesis that such features resulted from impacts with meteors and comets is simply incapable of accounting for these observations. The electric star theorists, though, can turn to something known as ’electric arc discharge’.  This brings us back to the starting point of plasma cosmology exploration. Because plasma effects can be scaled over 14 orders of magnitude, surfaces etched with electric spark machining will create features viewable under an electron microscope that could be scaled up to scars covering orbiting bodies, caused by gigantic cosmic electric discharges. Electric discharge experiments conducted in the laboratory have been verified to produce all the primary cratering patterns in the solar system.

MARTIAN BLUEBERRIES AND DOMED CRATERS.

Recent geological surveys of Mars have turned up blue-grey spherules, dubbed ’blueberries’ after the fruit they resemble. Spectroscopic analysis tells us these are not fruit, but something known as ’hermatite concretions’. Dr. CJ Ransom, a plasma physicist at Vermasat Laboratories, has managed to produce these spherules by blasting a quantity of hematite with an electric arc.

Another odd feature of Mars is the sight of domes or spheres resting in craters. The domes range in size from a hundred meters or less to a kilometer or more. Here we can turn to the scalability of plasma effects once more. “Blueberries” created in the laboratory often form inside craters, and there is a striking similarity between these artificially-produced hermatites and the domed craters of Mars. 

The geological evidence observed on planets and other rocky bodies is best explained as the result of past electrical scarring. Evidence for a more electrically-active solar system can also be found on Earth- not so much from geological features, but from records left by our ancestors. 

WHY DID THE ANCIENTS WORSHIP THE PLANETS?

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter. Not many people would fail to recognise that those are the names of other planets in our Solar System. They are also the names of Roman Gods. Other races have attributed the names of deities they worshiped to the planets. But why? True, Saturn has quite spectacular rings and Jupiter’s enormous size cuts an imposing figure, but such things became known only after the introduction of the telescope. To the naked eye, the planets do not look much different to any other star (they don’t twinkle, but apart from that there is no discernable difference).  So, why select these celestial objects for veneration?

‘Because they track paths through the constellations that the stars do not’ would be one possible answer. However, the fact that they do this can only be appreciated if you painstakingly map their progress for a very long time indeed. What motivated our ancestors to chart their progress in the first place?

We find a clue when we look at how cultures around the world have described Venus. The Greeks talked about Aphrodite’s flowing hair. The Babylonians called Venus ‘the torch’ and ‘the bearded star’. To Mexicans it was ‘the smoking star’. Peruvians called it ‘the long-haired star’. Egyptians referred to the ‘Great Star’ ‘scattering its flame in fire’.

None of these descriptions fit Venus as we recognise it. Rather, they seem more like descriptions of a comet. Now, just like the Earth, the planet Venus has a magnetosphere, which is plasma reacting with the planet’s magnetic field, steering and trapping the energised particles.  The magnetosphere is compressed and confined by the solar wind on the planet’s dayside, but on the night side it is stretched into a magnetotail. The plasma sheath surrounding Venus and trailing off it can only be seen via instruments designed to tune in on radio waves. It is running in ‘dark current mode’. But if the current flowing through Venus’s plasma sheath was to increase sufficiently, then the magnetotail  would glow and be quite visible to the naked eye. This, of course, would make Venus look like a stupendous comet.

Is there any other evidence that the electric current running through the plasma in our solar system was stronger in the past? One interpretation of petroglyph art suggests there is. A petroglyph is a carving of a picture on rock, and they date back to the Paleolithic period, making them the earliest markings made by humankind. Rock art from around 50,000 BC depicts animals and hunts and fertility symbols, but between roughly 12,000 and 2000BC much more abstract shapes were carved into rocks. What did these patterns represent? The standard answer (particularly from scholars of rock art with an interest in Native American cultures) is that they are the images witnessed in Shamanistic trances. But plasma physicist Anthony Peratt has a different interpretation:

‘Many petroglyphs, apparently recorded several millenia ago, have a plasma discharge or instability counterpart, some on a one-to-one or overlay basis. More striking is that the images recorded on rock are the only images found in extreme energy density experiments; no other morphology types or patterns are observed’.

Peratt’s investigation consisted of more than just comparing petroglyph art to the discharge formations of plasma. ‘The methodology used in analysing petroglyphs and their comparison to extremely high energy plasma was based on creating a digital database of several tens of thousands of petroglyphs around the world. Where possible the following information was included in the database: Facing direction, most probable field-of-view, longitude, latitude, altitude, and other petroglyphs in association’. This information has enabled Peratt to point to a possible explanation for the vexing question ‘why were petroglyphs often carved into rocks in difficult or specialised locations, when equally satisfactory rocks in more accessible locations were available?’ According to Peratt, ‘Rationale (includes) the line-of-sight to the Earth’s magnetic pole and highly conducting regions on the Earth’s surface’.

Peratt’s conclusion is that petroglyph art from the periods mentioned match ‘the instability associated with an intense current-carrying column of plasma which undergoes both sausage and helix deformations. Such a current would be produced if the solar flux from the Sun were to increase one or two magnitudes or if another source of plasma were to enter the solar system’.

QUESTIONS YOU NEVER THOUGHT TO ASK.

In 1903, Albert Michelson commented, “the most important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplemented by new discoveries is exceedingly remote”. And yet, by the 1920s, investigations into the behaviour of photons and electrons had lead to a radical new branch of science known as quantum physics.  It’s predictive success is unrivalled…and inflationary cosmology disagrees with it by 120 orders of magnitude.

And yet we are assured the theory is correct. Seemingly, all cosmologists are content that its fundamental laws (that gravity is the dominant force at work in the Universe; that redshift is caused by expansion) are beyond question, and all that remains is to answer the facts of physical science in a manner that fits within its framework: Will the expansion continue forever, or will the Universe collapse? If the Universe can go into a ‘Big Crunch’ does that imply it has ‘banged’ and ‘crunched’ in cyclic events forever? Can we travel to parallel universes via black holes? Will our vastly expensive instruments detect particles that prove the existence of dark matter?

No doubt, most of you are aware that such questions remain to be answered by Big Bang cosmology, but hardly anybody is aware of the questions raised by plasma physicists and electrical engineers who, by studying the effects of electricity on plasma, have built a radically different view of the cosmos. Questions like:

WHY DO WE KEEP FINDING PETROGLYPHS WITH THE SAME ABSTRACT PATTERNS, CARVED BY DIFFERENT CULTURES WHO COULD NOT HAVE INTERACTED?

WHAT IS THE REASON BEHIND COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGIES IN WHICH VENUS IS CONSISTENTLY PORTRAYED AS SOMETHING MORE LIKE A COMET THAN A STAR? 

Trouble is, the term skeptic now means something quite different to its original definition. The PROPPER definition of ’skeptic’  (as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary) is ’one who habitually doubts, questions or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions’. But today the skeptic is caste in precisely the opposite light: The doubter of fringe theories; one who disregards conclusions that are not generally accepted. And, above all, one who pays no attention to myths and scratchings on rocks, carved tens of millenia before people knew what was right, because consensus opinion in science had told them.

WHY IS IT UNMENTIONABLE?


Anybody who knows enough about plasma cosmology can see a plausible explanation to the question posed above. The markings match the shapes plasma assumes when a high-density current is run through it. Probes able to ‘see’ plasma in all its modes reveal Venus’s gigantic magnetotail, and moons are scarred in a way exactly matching the damage caused by intense electrical activity (and, for the past 500 years, we have observed lunar phenomena that is clearly electrical in nature, dismissed as ‘due to instrument failure’ or ‘optical illusions’ by astronomers up until 1968). Birkland currents matching the strength and geometry predicted by plasma cosmologists are seen threading through and among galaxies. The universe has the fractal pattern expected by a theory that says electrical effects on plasma are vastly more important than gravitational effects on matter. 

But hardly anybody would turn to plasma cosmology for answers, because hardly anybody knows such a theory exists. A few exceptions notwithstanding, it is never mentioned in any documentary or publication purporting to explain cosmology to the mainstream audience, even when referring to something that is of direct relevance. For instance, an article in NewScientist talked about ‘mysterious magnetic fields’, saying ‘contrary to what everyone once thought, magnetic fields that stretch across galaxies have become a commonplace observation…and there are tantalising hints that they run in plasma filaments across even vaster tracts of Space’.  No reference was made, regarding Anthony Peratt’s comment (made in 1992) that ‘we observe tiny plasma filaments in the laboratory and ever-larger examples in the aurora, solar coronal loops, the galactic centre…and even clusters of galaxies. Could there be even bigger examples containing superclusters of galaxies or even greater aggregations?‘.  It is clearly not the case that the existence of magnetic fields running in plasma filaments across vast tracts of space was contary to what everyone expected. It was something that plasma cosmologists had been predicting since at least 1950. How can the public hope to make an informed opinion when certain facts are routinely left out?

WHY THE MISINFORMATION?

At the very least, the Big Bang could be explained in a manner that is true to the facts. But it is not. Last Friday I visited a bookstore, found lots of new publications devoted to the Big Bang…and the same misinformation.

‘Hubble proved the universe was expanding’ (but no mention of his skepticism that this was the only possible explanation for redshift, nor any mention of Halton Arp’s documented evidence that the expansion interpretation is in error).

‘The Big Bang predicted the existence of the CMB’ (but no mention of the wildly inaccurate predictions of its temperature, nor the more accurate predictions made by scientists assuming the universe is not expanding).

‘Galaxies rotate too rapidly so dark matter must exist’ (but no mention of the work by plasma physicists, matching the rotation curves of galaxies using nothing but the Biot-Savart force law).

CONCLUSION: COSMOLOGICAL THINKING FOLLOWS SOCIETAL STRUCTURE.

Since we had the capacity wonder, human beings have strived to understand the cosmos and our place in it. A study of the cosmological models that have been presented over the ages, coupled with a study of the societies of the time highlights a striking correlation. Whenever society is progressive, cosmological models that posit an eternal universe, forever evolving from one state to another, flourish. Emperical observations and practical experiments are paramount; the need to develop the technologies that drive a progressive society leave no room for Ivory Tower speculation. Conversely, whenever society divides itself into the ruling few and the subservient many (who must not question their lot), and when change no longer means progress but upheaval and death, the deductive method of pure reason, starting from idealised beginnings of how the universe MUST have begun and working forwards, takes precedence. A belief system arises in which mathematical equations are not mere descriptions of reality, necessary servants to empirical study, but instead ARE reality, the very legislation of nature. The notion that the universe is comprehensible is rejected, and the layperson is educated to believe that only an elite class, a Chosen Few, can fathom its mysteries. 

Little wonder then, that in the chaos of the 1st World War, a purely theoretical cosmological model should have taken hold. But since then new methods of observing the Universe have consistently debunked the founding principles that the Universe is expanding and electricity in space is impotent. Transhumanists and extropians seeking to understand the cosmos and speculate on our part in its future evolution aught to abandon Big Bang and adopt the more useful and progressive plasma cosmological framework. 




 



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19 Responses to TRANSHUMANIST THINKING AND THE NECESSARY REJECTION OF THE BIG BANG

  1. Now this was definitely interesting reading. Thanks for the article.

    I just have a few questions, being not sufficiently acquainted with any cosmological model of the universe, either mainstream or fringe. What is the plasma cosmologists’ reasoning for the Universe being mostly plasma criss-crossed by electrical currents? Of course, assuming that there is an infinite time for things to happen, it also means that any explanation is valid (i.e. in infinite time, anything may happen; while using the Big Bang theory, there is limited time to explain everything) — so falling into the same issue as the M Theory predicting 10^500 possible versions of the Universe. Even going back to Einstein’s General Relativity equations, one can predict zillions of possible universes with different structures; Gödel, for example, had found out some rather interesting types. We just happen to pick the solutions to Einstein’s formulas that fit observations best. What your article tends to imply is that “mainstream” cosmology uses equations predicting gazillions of possible universes and just pick the ones that match observation better; while plasma cosmologists rely on just one set, although they have infinite time for that particular set to “have become reality” (because, with infinite time, everything will become real, sooner or later). So, where does it all come from? Or is it just merely matching a theory to observation, and don’t worry about how it all started, just how the theory describes observations? There is nothing inherently wrong in that approach. We most certainly also have billions of theories and laws describing the universe without a clue why it is so — it just happens to fit observations and make good predictions.

    The other questions are more philosophical. I like your last paragraph, where you imply that society tends to favour one model of science over another, because of certain cultural constraints that tend to view a certain kind of explanation under a light that is more “in tune” with its views. This lead, for example, to “global warming” being such a popular theory, because we live in the backlash of the 1970s, thanks to its “return to Nature” stance: all scientific theories proposing that we stop industrialisation and hug trees instead are automatically favoured, while scientific theories proposing alternate explanations to the climate change get scientists burned at the stake (e.g. they don’t get funding and are not allowed to publish). Science is most certainly political as well. So besides the obvious explanation — Big Bangers get more funds — is there another reason why our current society prefers the Big Bang over any other model? What makes our society so special that we’re in love with the Big Bang theory, when — as you so correctly quoted — in the early 20th century a model of a static, infinite universe was preferred? What did WWI do to change the mindset? Is it because after WWI every male scientist in the planet became fond of big explosions? :) I didn’t understand the connection you imply between cosmology and society, although of course there are excellent historical models to study — e.g. why Jewish/Christian mythology implies a certain cosmological model, while Native Indian models have a completely different one, and Hindu or Buddhist cosmology even more radical ones (the latter proposing a strange blend between plasma cosmology and Big Bang theory: the universe is infinite in space and time and criss-crossed with interdependent energy, just like the plasma model; but the observable universe appears to emerge in a Big-Bang style of explosion and collapses at the end, to emerge again and again — and of course, in the “larger universe”, there are constantly smaller, observable universes [of any size and time scale] popping in and out), since those models reflect human thought at the time, which modeled their societies. So, what model of society do we have now, and why is Big Bang appealing to that model, to the exclusion of any other?

    And finally — much in the line of the last question — why do transhumanists and extropians prefer the plasma model to any other? :) What is so inherently appealing to an universe infinite in size and time, modeled like a giant plasma, that makes more sense for transhumanists and extropians, and why do they dislike the Big Bang model so much? Again, I’m assuming that there are good reasons, firmly rooted into the philosophy of transhumanism and extropianism, which favour a certain society with a specific mindset which would be “more in tune” with a plasma universe. For the benefit of your ignorant audience (me!), can you explain the connection?

    Thanks so much!

  2. Nice little piece. and there is more to add to that also as you may know. To me big bangers are the first to take there hit so to say. They show some work but some of it is off. Like the size of the galaxy and background radiation. ( High probability they got the age off a few billion or a lot more years. ) The other thing is our galaxy reduced to a black hole density. The size of the chunk of matter that split off or was injected in to this universe, or amount of energy needed if you want to look at it that way. ( Also the energy needed to expand that mass out. ) They seem to fudge a bit there also when looked at from my perspective. The big bangers also have some other problems besides the universe pointing in one direction showing a aftermath of a type. Ref. http://io9.com/5867033/why-is-the-universe-pointing-in-one-direction or http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=universal-alignment and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_of_time . Also for size and age of the universe http://phys.org/news/2012-04-japan-astronomers-distant-galaxy-cluster.html as you see there has to be older or they have models that are that off. ( I prefer the adjustment to age of the universe personally. ) Also for reference for this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole and http://youtu.be/cW7BvabYnn8 though think of the universe as a supper massive black hole and had enough energy to explode also. Or even break away bubble universe that spilled that into this one.

    To the M-theory or SUSY like and unified. They have the math and stuff to model it right but they fail to fallow there own rule sets when constructing the 3D models I have seen so far. They do great and go so far, and then when you connect the string to the manifold and shape of the particle it makes they miss it. I.E. a quark would have a manifold in it and all the subatomic particles would be strings. Now if that is so you also get what you need for high probability of solving how many types of particles there are out there in this universe as some string theory’s predict. Go figure. LOL By some of the string theories we have a mountain of particles left to discover and catalog to a string subatomic or unified table of sub atomic particles. Just what I was thinking and how I was seeing some of it here. But personally I still like to play with a warped version of Bosonic string theory though it seems to be off a good bit also. Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory or http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/brian_greene_on_string_theory.html but realize that when he renders or talks of strings they do not put them to the particles they represent like the quarks and gluons and such. Also they have them in nice neat rows instead of shells and conglomerate bubble clusters with shell fields they create together. Oh well chunk for now and just a few stray thoughts spilled on the topic also. Just my 2 cents and fast perspective on some of it, and again nice article. :)

  3. JD Law says:

    Cosmologists still have to grapple with universal vs. observable reality. They (the cosmologists) seem to ignore that there is no provable theory for a universal (uniform) reality. General logic seems to lend that uniform reality is only an “almost” proposition. My observable reality coincides (is uniform) with yours, only within limits. We as agents (groups of particles) in the universe each have slightly different observations of the universe. Sure, it is true that many of the fundamental laws of physics, like gravity on earth, for example, 9.8 m/s/s (32.2 ft/s/s) is the same for all of us, but on a more fundamental level, your observations of it (by definition) lack the exactness needed to declare that reality is completely uniform. On both a quantum and cosmological level we should not ignore these differences between observation and reality, especially when considering how our instruments observe, make, and take readings for us to extrapolate. Time-space is a funny thing. If you speak, it takes time (a small amount of time) for the words to travel to the ear of the receiver. If you shine a laser light at the moon, it takes a while for it to reach the moon and bounce back. Yet, in a fully “real” sense, any observations beyond the light cone, or what we call the “Planck” length (One Planck time is the time it would take a photon travelling at the speed of light to cross a distance equal to one Planck length. Theoretically, this is the smallest time measurement that will ever be possible) there is no information which can transfer beyond those limits. Information has its own set of limitations. Information is devoid of meaning or without the capability for comprehension. Compare, “Nihilism” Friedrich Nietzche, The will to Power, Vintage (1968) ISBN-10: 0394704371 (“As long as you still experience the stars as something above you, you still lack a viewpoint of knowledge.”)

    And if “real” has limitations, the physical that we touch, see, hear or smell also has its limitations, lest we convince ourselves that we are the center of our universe. If the Big Bang occurred in a moment and at the “speed of light” — then it follows that everything from that very moment which it occurred, cannot ever again observe any other. Any two particles traveling in directions opposite one another (moving at the speed of light in opposite directions for example) can never observe each other, because any information transmitter (such as light in its many different forms of rays as it has) cannot travel (transmit information) from one particle to the other – i.e. those particles left each other at the speed of light and the light-cone of information transmission restrictions would prevent any information carrier from ever carrying such information back.

    Now, do not take me wrong and suggest that I am saying there is no such thing as universal reality. I am simply saying that our observations of reality have their limitations. Once we accept that limited nature of our existence, then and only then, can we move on to extrapolate theories of how and why we came to be.

  4. Brian H says:

    Nice. Has about confirmed my doubt/disbelief of the BB Theory. Clarifies somewhat for me the connections to Lerner’s fusion project at LPPhysics.com — have a look!

    But you need an editor. “PROPPER….” etc. And, in the last sentence, “aught” instead of “ought”. Sloppy stuff.

  5. An editor would indeed be useful. I speak from experience, since articles I wrote for H+magazine were improved by an editor and always came out much better than my own version.

  6. Brian H says:

    Just to clarify: “3. Comet surfaces with sharply carved relied…” relief?

  7. Terence C. Gibian says:

    A truly remarkable article. I have read much of it before in varied sources, but never collected into such a coherent package, or so well expressed. I would like to quote the last paragraph, but I don’t know to whom to attribute it. Would that be Roxie Martin?

    The difficulty in advancing Plasma Cosmology can be explained in part by the fact that it is a scientific theory in opposition to a religious monolith called Big Bang Theory. The true believers will never give it up, and Max Planck’s observation that “science progresses one funeral at a time” may be telling in this case.

    • Brian H says:

      Interestingly, Planck meant that new theories are not accepted till their creators die and it becomes “impersonal”, with no ego-conflicts in the way.

      • Terence C. Gibian says:

        As in:
        Eine neue wissenschaftliche Wahrheit pflegt sich nicht in der Weise durchzusetzen, daß ihre Gegner überzeugt werden und sich als belehrt erklären, sondern vielmehr dadurch, daß ihre Gegner allmählich aussterben und daß die heranwachsende Generation von vornherein mit der Wahrheit vertraut gemacht ist.

        A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

        This is the parent quote for the paraphrase I used. It could be interpreted in an number of ways.

  8. Terence C. Gibian says:

    As an addendum to my previous post: I would actually like to quote the second last paragraph, and I consider your own words there to be an answer to the question you posed in the last paragraph. The world of the finite, decaying, soon to be destroyed does not fit my view of the universe. I see too much potential for improvement and advancement, putting me at odds with many of my peers. Perhaps we see what we hope to see, but progress is impossible if we think it is.

    • Brian H says:

      You are excessively sensitive if you are affected by the difference between (say) heat-death of the cosmos in a trillion years (give or take an order of magnitude or two) and infinite persistence. Must any goals, achievements, thoughts or products be permanent in order to have meaning?

  9. Terence C. Gibian says:

    A trillion years or so is no problem. I was making reference to people I bump into who think that it is all going to come crashing down within a generation and seem to welcome the end of things. Their views on cosmology are appropriately constrained. Rather like St. Augustine as the Vandals were breaking into Hippo Regius.
    My own perspective is necessarily longer term. A mere trillion years, I’ll take it.

  10. Terence C. Gibian says:

    Previous discussions notwithstanding, Extropia DaSilva has written a sensational article, well researched and written. Perhaps some of the assertions within it will not stand the test of time, but much of it may turn out to be a succinct expression of cosmological theory which could become much more widely accepted in the future. What I am wondering about is this: what is the connection between transhumanism and plasma cosmology? My supposition was that the open ended (relatively) and constantly improving nature of the universe was part of the appeal, but some confirmation here would be welcome.

  11. Patrick McHargue says:

    Very good article. I like that there is so much buttressing of the article in the form of citations, and links. While I don’t have the right tools to determine what theory is correct, I lean more toward theories that don’t require ideas which are non-falsifiable.

    The BB theory reminds me a lot of the Earth-centric models of the solar system from years back. How the epicycle model of the solar system grew in complexity & scope to support the widely-held belief that the Earth was at the center of the solar system, and that all bodies revolved around it.

    The model eventually fell to the contradictions pointed out through better observation techniques, and because scientists refused to overlook those contradictions. I feel that there’s a lot of the same things in play now, as regards the BB theory, and the observations that are becoming available.

    I hope that scientists can look dispassionately at the evidence, and that funding doesn’t dry up for those that propose alternatives to explain the evidence.

  12. “what is the connection between transhumanism and plasma cosmology?”.

    At the beginning of this essay I said that transhumanists, and particularly singularitarians, conceive of intelligence as having more significance in the grand cosmic scheme of things than astrophysicists and cosmologists tend to do. The life story of the universe commonly told by the astrophysics/ cosmology community is one of an a universe evolving from a long lifeless beginning to a relatively brief period where life is supportable in a few places, before ultimately, inevitably, reaching a lifeless end, either in a fiery ‘big crunch’ or an eternity in which entropy drains away all usable energy.

    Some transhumanists disagree and speculate that suitably-advanced technologically-capable civilizations will come to command the universe, shaping it according to their will. The universe will become ‘saturated with sublime intelligence’ and its future course will be intelligently determined by this omnipresent, near omniscient technological hyper-intelligence. That is, of course, wild speculation but if there is to be any hope of reaching such a fantastic future, the transhuman community needs to be properly informed about the scientific facts of astrophysics and cosmology. I really feel this is impossible while there is this curious re-writing of history, one that effectively erases plasma cosmology from popular science (not completely, there one or two books and magazine articles that cover it, but the vast majority of pop science books on cosmology do not mention it at all). Plasma cosmology itself has little to do with transhumanism. I do know that Eric Lerner has an alternative approach to nuclear fusion based on his understanding of plasma cosmology, and maybe if his theory is right and he is properly funded our future cities might be powered by that kind of energy source. That could be a link, I guess. But really the essential thing is that there is this strange omission in pop science accounts of the history of cosmology, an entire field distinct from Steady State theory and Big Bang, that may not be better than either one of those but still deserves to be referenced far more than it actually is, which is hardly at all. The REALLY interesting comparison is with Steady State, generally acknowledged to be incorrect but referenced in every pop-science account. This suggests to me that, whatever reason there is for plasma cosmologists being erased from history, their being wrong is not it.

  13. Terence C. Gibian says:

    I want to show my appreciation for your response which revealed a facet to your article I hadn’t anticipated. The opposition to plasma cosmology has seemed to be more the product of attitude, inertia, and competitiveness than scientific rigor — a case of the true believers defending the faith against the heretics.

    I will continue to follow your work and I hope it will be acceptable to quote from the article. Your data and conclusions were very well researched and succinctly expressed.

  14. Sure, you can quote from this or any article I post on Mind Child’s Musings.

    BTW one must be careful not to portray plasma cosmology as being flawless and kept out of the limelight only by nefarious actions of Big Bang supporters, for the fact is that plasma cosmology does have some serious weaknesses. One of these is that it has no decent explanation for the anisotropies in the WMAP data, whereas they are predicted by inflationary cosmology. Nor does plasma cosmology have an explanation for why redshifted light from type 1A supernova of varying distances increase in a manner that suggests the expansion of space is accelerating. I expect there are many other weaknesses in the plasma cosmology model but these are the two that immediately spring to mind.

  15. Terence C. Gibian says:

    Exactly so. As any theory, plasma cosmology has to be considered a good possibility, but still a work in progress. My objection has been to the “shut out” mentatlity of the cosmological
    extablishment. I have seen this attitude also in linguistics, medicine and economics, to name a few. The defects of this approach was shown clearly during the recent economic downturn. Neoclassical economists not only were, by their own admission, unable to predict it coming, but even now cannot explain the causes. Their adherence to defective theories is only matched by their refusal to consider any new ideas.

    When protecting the status quo becomes more important than the search for truth, science is in trouble. In my view, the disdain BB theorists have for plasma cosmology is merely part of a larger phenomenon, where many scientists have forgotten that the store of knowledge is to be expanded, and not merely conserved.

    Thanks for permission to quote.

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