When the Luminal Limit Is Not a Limit (My Brain Hurts Now)

[Misconceptions About the Universe] (Viewer #508,414)

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  1. So, the Big Bang Theory is yesterday’s news and the Steady State universe is back?
    (sigh) Well, if we’re all traveling faster than light (from someone’s point of view) and time slows down as we approach the speed of light (according to Einstein) then I guess it wouldn’t hurt to take another look at that whole “6 days of Creation” theory again! 😉

  2. Or… maybe not. As interesting and well-produced as the video is, all of those admittedly mainstream ideas hinge on the premise that redshift=velocity=distance. I’m not really all that surprised that he didn’t harp on “redshift”, instead stating as empirical fact several things that even though they’re commonly described as theoretical in fact barely (IMHO) deserve the appellation “hypothetical”. In the interest of fairness, I must say this doesn’t make them necessarily FALSE, it simply means they’re a whonkload shakier and less certain than usually portrayed. (And maybe false…)

    Although I said “several things”, since this is a blogpost reply and I’m not in the mood to burden IMAO with an impromptu, poorly edited, textbook, I’m just going to tackle the biggie: “Redshift”.

    Yes, there’s certainly strong evidence that redshift might/could be indicative of recessional velocity. Thank you, Doppler Effect! However…

    No, there’s NO evidence that redshift HAS to be indicative of recessional velocity, or that recessional velocity is exclusively the ONLY THING that could cause redshift. “Well, what else could it BE???” once echoed through these hallowed halls, but unfortunately long before we learned that there were in fact other options, the name “Doppler” had been accepted as essentially law, and most people stopped wondering, much less looking. By the way, this is a sad but general phenomenon: Once you dig into it you’ll find an alarming amount of what we consider established scientific fact is (in fact) just what someone came up with as their best (or only) answer, i.e. the results of not really having an answer to the question “what else could it be?”. Again, doesn’t necessarily mean it (whatever) is WRONG, but it does make whatever degree of correctness it can demonstrate seem coincidental.

    But then we got all sorts of neato high-techie devices, who’s verifiable and repeatable data just didn’t darn well fit with the dogma of the Standard Model. And, darn it, the evidence just keeps stacking up.

    “Evidence of what?”, you’re probably asking, if you’ve read this far…

    “Intrinsic” redshift.

    Which is a fancy way of saying “redshift caused by something other than the Doppler Effect.” The top candidate for which is “electrical stress”.



    Also, quoting from the following link:


    The deceptive thing about math is that the certainty of results tends to obscure the dependency on initial assumptions. If those assumptions are false, the mathematical results are absolutely false. If one’s fortune and prestige depend on the truth of the results, one has a strong incentive not to question the assumptions. One quickly realizes that the best way to do this is not to ask the questions, not to publish them, not to fund research that would investigate them. The certainty of the math then stands undoubted.

    The big bugaboo here – the reason “Real Scientists!(tm)” cry foul (fowl, fraud, crank, hoaxster, etc.) at anyone who dares question the established dogma – is because if ANYTHING else other than recessional velocity can cause – or heck even contribute to – redshift, then the whole house of cards catches fire and burns down. It would mean Nobels were awarded in error. It would mean that thousands, perhaps many thousands or more, of good honest scientists have been, unbeknownst to them, believing, teaching, and fostering falsehood. And they’re simply not going to believe that.

    Even worse, this toppling edifice would slam into others on its way down, threatening the domains of Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Neutron Stars, Black Holes, and the accepted explanations behind many phenomena like GRBs, Gravatars, Blazars, etcetera en excelsis. Can’t have that, now can we?

    But “Evidence” is a harsh, harsh mistress. And she HATES to be ignored. One day she’ll throw a fit, and paradigms (and careers) will crumble. It won’t be the first time… this has happened before.

    (Note: All of the above aside… Watch out because if “they” ever start seriously examining the logical ramifications behind “charge posturing”, worlds will shake. Perhaps literally.)

  3. #2 – Shelgeyr,
    Bacon to you, sir!
    It’s good to be reminded occasionally that “Real Scientists” and other “Experts” don’t have all the answers and that it’s probably wise to be leery of those who act as if they do.

  4. Neat explanation of relative speed, but a simpler version might be if you and oncoming traffic are traveling 55 MPH on a two lane road, your relative speed is 110 MPH. Add in the speed the earth is traveling around the sun, and the speed the sun is traveling through the Milky Way, you could be traveling at a relative speed of tens of thousand miles an hour, and add in how fast the Milky Way is traveling through the known universe it could be a relative speed of millions of miles an hour.
    Or your relative speed could be zero miles an hour. Kind of unlikely, though.
    If you had an infinitely long pair of scissors, the point where the blades intersect would sooner or later travel faster than the speed of light when you were cutting an infinitely long piece of paper. But a point is just a geometric construct, and doesn’t count as far as relativistic speed limits go.
    Math is hard. I need a beer.
    Cool video though, thanks!


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