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Mars, Mercury May Have Formed From Earth and Venus

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the brothers-under-the-skin dept.

Space 73

goran72 sends along a report on a radical new theory of planet formation that suggests that Mars and Mercury were formed from the scraps of Earth and Venus. The theory has testable predictions — for example that the compositions of the rocky inner planets should be more similar than the current theory of planet formation would have them.

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And Hot Jupiters? (2, Interesting)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26575765)

Hmm-- the new model doesn't seem to account for the fact that planets don't stay in the place where they're formed; gravitational interactions can slingshot them around the early solar system. There's really no other way to account for "hot jupiters," gas giants that are very close to the star.

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (3, Interesting)

clonan (64380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576143)

Very true but the 4 inner planets have almost circular orbits.

Any planet that get flung around will have a very eliptical orbit.

The Hot Jupiters are a different thing. They are caused by the system having enough material to cause drag and slow them down enough to collapse the orbit.

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (4, Interesting)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577073)

Very true but the 4 inner planets have almost circular orbits.

Any planet that get flung around will have a very eliptical orbit.

Orbits get circularized by a number of effects over time, both orbital and viscoelastic coupling. Hot-Jupiter orbits somehow get circularized, after all, and they're much harder to circularize than smaller planet orbits.

The Hot Jupiters are a different thing. They are caused by the system having enough material to cause drag and slow them down enough to collapse the orbit.

Any process that can move Jupiter and super-Jupiter size planets will easily reposition smaller planets.

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (2, Interesting)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26578117)

How do we know that our system didn't have a Super Jupiter that was gobbled up by the sun sometime in the solar system's past.

A super Jupiter being gobbled up by our sun could have caused a mass extinction in earth's past.

It would probvably cause a lot of radiation to be released by the sun and some quite large coronal mass ejections.

Just because we don't have one now doesn't mean we didn't used to have one.

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (4, Informative)

clonan (64380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26579877)

Jupiter sized planets can only form out past the "Snow line" where water can form ice. Otherwise you get terrestrial planets that max out a few times bigger than earth.

When a jupiter sized planet moves into a terrestrial orbit it EATS the planet already there.

Since the earth is still here, no hot jupiter ever existed in sol system.

LOLplanets (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26580099)

When a jupiter sized planet moves into a terrestrial orbit it EATS the planet already there.

Om Nom Nom Nom

http://boingboing.net/images/cookienebula.jpg [boingboing.net]

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (1)

clonan (64380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26578185)

Anything that moves a super-sized planet will eject smaller planets from the system.

The hot-jupiter orbits start circular and are slowly spiralled in.

Actually, most eccentric orbits will be maintained. Only specific conditions will circularize an orbit and most eccentric orbits that get curcularized become unstable in the process.

It is very unlikely that the inner planets moved much with the possible exception of mercury.

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26578525)

Anything that moves a super-sized planet will eject smaller planets from the system.

Experimental evidence strongly suggests that there are no hot Jupiters in the solar system. Therefore, motion of hot Jupiters did not in fact scatter inner planets out of the solar system because our solar system does not have any hot Jupiters.

However, the process by which hot Jupiters are repositioned also can reposition smaller planets. There's nothing special about Jovians that allows them to move but forbids smaller planets to move. The observation of hot Jupiters is a evidence of a mechanism that moves planets, and suggests that in general, planets are not necessarily located in the position in which they had formed.

The hot-jupiter orbits start circular and are slowly spiralled in.

Yes, that's one possibility. There are several models that differ in details.

Actually, most eccentric orbits will be maintained. Only specific conditions will circularize an orbit and most eccentric orbits that get circularized become unstable in the process.

baloney. In Star Trek, circular orbits become unstable and fall into the sun. In real astrophysics, not so much.

It is very unlikely that the inner planets moved much with the possible exception of mercury.

Yet to be demonstrated.

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (4, Interesting)

clonan (64380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26578845)

Eccentric orbit's are destabalized during the process of circularization which then either ejects them OR crashes the orbit. But it is also true the eccentric orbits tend to be a bit more stable than true circular ones...but only a little.

I never said the sol system had a hot jupiter. But it had been cited in the grandparent therefore I was adressing the issue. Hot Jupiters happen in specific conditions where the gas that formed the original system was thick enough to not get blown away quickly. Therefore the jupiter sized planet, with it greater porportional size and gravitational field effect due to lower density, are disporportinaly slowed through friction. As they slow they eat or eject all inner planets until they get close enough so that the solar wind HAS cleared everything out.

The sol system did not have these conditions therefore no hot Jupiter.

With the higher density but smaller size of rocky planets they are not as likley to experience the slowing effect before they clear the neighboring space therefore any moving will probably be due to colision or near collision with other large bodies and will be entierly random.

The reason Venus, Earth and Mars probably haven't moved is because the planets chemistries match theory fairly closely. Planetary genesis theories suggest that there will be subtly chemical differences at varius altitudes from the star. Mercury has unexpected chemistry which could come from collision (there is evidence for such an event) or being moved

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (3, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26580495)

Eccentric orbit's are destabalized during the process of circularization which then either ejects them OR crashes the orbit.

I can't make any sense out of this statement. "Circularization" is by definition decreasing the eccentricity of an orbit. Decreasing the eccentricity of an orbit will not "eject" or "crash" the orbit; you have to increase the orbital eccentricity to do that. You can't "destabilize" an orbit by "circularizing" it; the two things are opposites.

But it is also true the eccentric orbits tend to be a bit more stable than true circular ones...but only a little.

I have not the slightest notion what you mean here. Circular orbits are not unstable! About the most you can stay is that circular orbits are "destabilized" into elliptical ones, but I can't see how that makes them "less stable" that orbits that start out elliptical in the first place.

I never said the sol system had a hot jupiter. But it had been cited in the grandparent therefore I was adressing the issue. Hot Jupiters happen in specific conditions where the gas that formed the original system was thick enough to not get blown away quickly. Therefore the jupiter sized planet, with it greater porportional size and gravitational field effect due to lower density, are disporportinaly slowed through friction.

I don't know what model you're assuming, and I don't know what you mean by "disproportionately" or what sort of scaling law you're assuming. About the best I can say here is that it is extremely model dependent.

As they slow they eat or eject all inner planets until they get close enough so that the solar wind HAS cleared everything out.
The sol system did not have these conditions therefore no hot Jupiter.
With the higher density but smaller size of rocky planets they are not as likley to experience the slowing effect before they clear the neighboring space

about all I can say is that this is extremely model dependent. If the small rocky planets are clearing their region, as you note, the amount by which they move in reaction is going to be inversely proportional to the planet's mass, and hence smaller planets will move more, not less. Have you actually calculated a scaling law? It will depend on what you assume to be the dominant effect, but it's not at all clear that the mechanism vanishes with small planets.

therefore any moving will probably be due to colision or near collision with other large bodies and will be entierly random.

Random, yes.

The reason Venus, Earth and Mars probably haven't moved is because the planets chemistries match theory fairly closely. Planetary genesis theories suggest that there will be subtly chemical differences at varius altitudes from the star. Mercury has unexpected chemistry which could come from collision (there is evidence for such an event) or being moved

There is not enough chemical knowledge of the composition of the inner planets to definitively base this statement on experimental data. (Venus in particular is very poorly characterized). The chemistry seen on the surface is highly affected by the planetary differentiation (that is, what got segregated to the core), and we currently know little about the cores of Mars, Venus, or Mercury.

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26585973)

When I read the summary I thought Velikovsky [wikipedia.org] was coming back.

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26580043)

The moon has a pretty circular orbit. The theory that the moon formed from a collision with earth is the leading theory since it's composition bares out this claim. I would assume the same effects that circularized it's orbit do apply to planets.

Re:And Hot Jupiters? (1)

clonan (64380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26581141)

the moon formed extremly close to it's primary and that regularized it's orbit. In addition it formed out of an accretion disk created by the impact. These discs spontaeously circularize due to internal collisions.

A better example are the moons of mars. They were both captured and both have a moderatly elliptical orbit.

Your argument is exactly the same argument I am making. Planets that form out of an accretion disc will have regular orbits. Planets that are moved to there current position will tend to have eccentric orbits.

Oh great! A planetary scandal! (3, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26575799)

Venus and Earth are not even married! And now they are trying to say that Mars and Mercury are illegitimate children of a lesbian union of planets?!

NO! I will not accept it! GOD DID IT! Things are the way they are because God did it that way and need no further explanation!

Re:Oh great! A planetary scandal! (1)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576011)

Well this hypothesis is even more heretical than you imagine. Think about it. We all know Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. But the Bible says that Eve came after Adam. This theory flies in the face of that. If Mars was made after Venus then the Women must have been made first! Further, Men must have been made from the scraps of Women; rather than Eve being made from Adam's rib.

Re:Oh great! A planetary scandal! (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576983)

Men are the afterbirth? Ewwwww.

Re:Oh great! A planetary scandal! (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577643)

It's even worse than *that*!

Earth and Venus are known as "sister planets".

And as hot as that is, I'm still going to have to disapprove.

Re:Oh great! A planetary scandal! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26586073)

They are both a bit fat around the equator though Earth is the worst offender in this regard.

Re:Oh great! A planetary scandal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26578769)

"GOD DID IT!" Really.......... prove it.

Re:Oh great! A planetary scandal! (1)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598445)

DOG demands that you believe without question.
DOGMA requires you to follow without sight.
DOGMATIC insists that you do it by ritual.

When followed none of these allow you to question the nature of things, you should accept them blindly, with faith and tolerance for those who do not.

Anyway, when whatever you believe proves wrong, just rephrase it.... We didn't mean that the earth was flat and the center; we meant that the earth is so great that it seems flat and its the theological center......

Where do planets come from? (3, Funny)

faloi (738831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26575807)

Sometimes when a mommy planet and a daddy planet love each other very much...

Re:Where do planets come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26576327)

How are planit formed?

How are planit formed?

How do star get soler sistum?

Re:Where do planets come from? (1)

stim (732091) | more than 5 years ago | (#26580939)

happycat is that you?

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26575813)

First post? Really?

Re:FP (2, Funny)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 5 years ago | (#26575863)

No. Not really.

You missed it by 3 minutes.

Not sure about their "problems" (2, Interesting)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 5 years ago | (#26575869)

If the rocky planets formed from a homogenous debris disk, they should all be roughly the same size and orbit the sun in similar circular orbits, Youdin explained.

Uh, why? The disk varies with distance in the standard model. (Orbital speeds, density, composition, etc.) So you wouldn't even really expected the planets to have the same size.

Armitage agreed. "In the standard model the composition varies with distance from the sun," he said.

Huh, that's odd. There was work done about a decade or so ago that said the opposite: there was enough mixing between planetismals in the inner solar system to largely homogenize the compositions. But, then, Phil is an expert in this, so maybe more recent simulations have quashed that.

Re:Not sure about their "problems" (4, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 5 years ago | (#26575923)

Also, I wonder how they get the protoplanetary disk to break up into bands. Saturn's rings aren't really banded as much as you might think. The degree to which they are is largely due to moons (or their on-going generation). Left to themselves, the rings should spread and homogenize.

Re:Not sure about their "problems" (2, Informative)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577013)

Banding is a natural consequence of planet formation. The comparatively stronger gravity of a protoplanet attracts nearby material, which accretes onto the protoplanet and makes it larger; or it changes the orbital energy of nearby material, driving it into a smaller orbit if the material is interior to the protoplanet's orbit, or into a larger one if it is exterior to the p-planet.

The comparison to the rings of Saturn is useful, but not completely germane. The banding of Saturn's rings is more akin to the Kirkwood gaps seen in the orbits of the asteroids, as driven by orbital resonance with Jupiter's orbit around the Sun.

Re:Not sure about their "problems" (3, Interesting)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 5 years ago | (#26578437)

Actually, it's the reverse. If you put a planet in the disk, it tries to open a gap. (See the Keeler and Encke gaps in Saturn's A ring for examples.)

So that's not it. (And besides, it sounds like these guys are positing the bands form FIRST.)

Makes sense (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 5 years ago | (#26575871)

I always thought that the Martians were the rejects and outcasts anyway. But what about those Venusians? Haven't heard or seen much of those legendary critters.

Uranus .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26575939)

That's all fine and very interesting, but what formed from Uranus?

Re:Uranus .... (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576195)

Gas. Lots and lots of gas.
It's very windy there too.

I knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26575957)

So men are from Earth after all? I knew that John Gray was full of shit.

Re:I knew it (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576045)

Well John Gray [amazon.com] is more of a computer scientist then an astronomer. (He is a really good professor too)

Re:I knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26578285)

I meant this John Gray:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gray_(U.S._author)

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26576079)

Mars, Mercury May Have Formed From Earth and Venus on Friday January 23, @11:27AM

So that explains the loud noises I just heard.

inner composition of mars (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576363)

under the chocolate outer crust lies a whipped center, and caramel.

Re:inner composition of mars (1)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577433)

Instead of looking for water at the poles we should be looking for a Coke instead.

You know what? (0, Flamebait)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576459)

All of the planets formed in the general vicinity of the sun from the same materials. OF COURSE, their cores should have a similar makeup, THEY ALL SHOULD! This does not prove anything.

These stupid astronomers need to get a real job.

Re:You know what? (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576699)

Why would they be the same material? Why is the disk homogenous? The temperature gradient and dynamical gradients could, in fact, cause the disk to differentiate.

Re:You know what? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26579599)

I was going to say the temperature gradient wouldn't make a difference, but it would if it was enough to cause a phase-change in the material. Gases would be more likely to be blown outward by the solar wind. The disk would be non-homogenous because there is a sun in the middle of it, not a point source of gravitational force!

Re:You know what? (2, Interesting)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 5 years ago | (#26581103)

Sort of. The real effect is in what is solid enough to accrete. Gases don't participate, which is why you find so little hydrogen compounds (water, methane, ammonia) in the inner solar system relative to what you would normally expect and why the giant planets are, well, giants.

I don't believe as it's currently thought that the proto-Sun had a wind during the planet formation stages. If there were, it'd surely hamper the process. (Eventually, it would have done so when it cleared out the system.)

Oh, my... (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576735)

...that's a big Venus!

Falsifiability (-1, Offtopic)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26576767)

The theory has testable predictions â" for example that the compositions of the rocky inner planets should be more similar than the current theory of planet formation would have them.

And if it's like any other mainstream astronomical theory, the testable predictions really won't matter. At all. If those predictions are found to be false, they'll just make a long series of ad-hoc modifications to the theory in order to "save" it instead of seriously questioning their worldview/paradigm/framework (whatever you care to call it) because of the pseudoscientific disaster that astronomy has become.

When astronomy has a crisis in the next 5-10 years or so, perhaps most of you will be surprised. For a good starting point to see what I am talking about, do some research on black holes and what Schwartzchild really said vs. what is commonly attributed to him in colleges and textbooks everywhere (ask yourself if the most amateur of journalists would report so inaccurately). Or research Edwin Hubble and the fact that there are two equally valid interpretations of the redshift equation and we have settled the question of which to use by making an assumption. Or explain to me how a star that is powered by an internal thermonuclear reaction could have an atmosphere that is many times hotter than its surface (if you think that's a simple matter, you do not appreciate the question). Or why it is that a steady, flowing stream of charged particles is called an electric current everywhere it is found, unless those charged particles come from the sun and compose what is called the solar wind? Or why Hannes Alfven, the originator of what is now called magnetohydrodynamics, has thoroughly discredited his own theory, including during his Nobel Prize speech (especially the part about magnetic field lines being "frozen" in plasma), yet scientists continue to use this discredited theory to come up with fanciful ideas like "magnetic reconnection"? It's time to come up with new ideas instead of unscientifically shoring up old, failed ones in the name of preserving your funding.

And no, just because you see what a house of cards Big Bang cosmology is does not mean that you necessarily believe in theistic creation or anything like that. It means you appreciate the magnitude of a question like "how did the universe get here?" and are humble enough to admit that maybe you don't know. The more petty among you will read what I said and decide (entirely without consulting me) what alternative theory I believe in and will probably proceed to make a contest of it because you cannot grasp the simple essence of "this is an open question" and therefore cannot conceive of anything except one ideology versus another. It's alright not to know; sometimes there is great freedom in it.

Re:Falsifiability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577293)

Last I checked, the solar wind isn't a stream of electrons.

Re:Falsifiability (3, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26578705)

Last I checked, the solar wind isn't a stream of electrons.

It's roughly equal numbers of electrons and protons [utk.edu] , as I recall, with a very small amount of helium nuclei in the mix.

Some good graphs here [solen.info]

Re:Falsifiability (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577343)

I wish I had mod points today, thanks for posting that. It was an excellent and constructive criticism.

Re:Falsifiability (0, Offtopic)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26589903)

I wish I had mod points today, thanks for posting that. It was an excellent and constructive criticism.

Haha, that didn't stop the mods from deciding that a post about problems with astronomy during a discussion about astronomy is somehow -1 Offtopic. Ah well, it wouldn't be the first time someone was just a little too eager to find an excuse to dismiss or silence me or any other critical thinker. I hope others react to that the same way that I do, which is to realize that these are small-minded men who are easily threatened when you challenge their pet beliefs and that therefore, the worst thing you could do is allow their little temper tantrums (in the form of abusing the moderation system) to discourage you.

Re:Falsifiability (1)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577563)

You're probably right. I know a few plasma physicists who would agree with you that field lines aren't frozen in. However, it's a good simplifying assumption that may help you explain other phenomena. You just have to keep that in mind when you apply it.

Electric Universe Crack Head. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26577859)

nt

Re:Falsifiability (5, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577981)

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions [barnesandnoble.com] , Thomas Kuhn's magnum opus, should be required reading before engaging in a debate on science. There's an aphorism that goes "all theories are wrong, but some are useful." We can and do use theories we know have flaws because in the vast majority of cases, they predict and explain what happens in nature. When a better theory comes along to explain the observations, we begin to use that one instead.

It's absolutely useless to say "this theory is wrong!" as long as the theory, however flawed in some cases, works well in the general case. What do you propose to replace it? Does your replacement make specific, verifiable assertions about nature that are more correct or accurate than those of the prevailing theory? I thought not.

(On the off chance that it does, and you can provide evidence, please, submit an article to Science or Nature; you'll be famous for generations.)

Re:Falsifiability (1)

marquis111 (94760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26579043)

"All theories are wrong, but some are useful."
That one's a keeper. I like it; it may just go up on my wall of quotes.

--------------
I drank what?

Re:Falsifiability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26580221)

I'd put it right next to the Socrates quote in your sig.

Re:Falsifiability (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590217)

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions [barnesandnoble.com], Thomas Kuhn's magnum opus, should be required reading before engaging in a debate on science. There's an aphorism that goes "all theories are wrong, but some are useful." We can and do use theories we know have flaws because in the vast majority of cases, they predict and explain what happens in nature.

This is an ideal that quickly falls apart when the effective message from government and private funding is "you support the mainstream theory or we kill your budget". That's not "this is just a theory that happens to do the job right now but may be wrong"; that is something else entirely. Just tell me how many successful predictions have been made by astronomers in the last 25 years and then compare that figure to any other scientific field.

When a better theory comes along to explain the observations, we begin to use that one instead.

That'd be nice, but I'm hearing too many scientists who have tried that only to have their telescope time revoked, their papers unpublished, their funding cut, etc. Halton Arp is a good example. I mean he has a theory that with a single idea has not only better explained astronomical phenomenon but has also successfully made predictions, and his experience is just as I have described. While I think comparing that to Galileo, who was in danger of losing life and limb, is a bit dramatic, a small write-up of his experience can be found here [thunderbolts.info] If you start looking, you will find lots of other examples in several other fields; astronomy just seems to be one of the worst and I suspect that's because of the house of cards that Big Bang cosmology has become (they can afford an amount of hubris that an engineer could not, for example, because if a bridge collapses no one is going to pretend that it didn't).

So, it is not difficult to find real problems with science as it is practiced today, namely that many unscientific things are going on and that money has become at least as important as facts, there remain the kind of popularity contests and persecutions that we like to think we left behind in the Middle Ages, and that's unfortunate. It may be worse still that lots of people like you will disregard these things (things you should not need me or anyone else to point out in the first place if you truly are interested in seeing the right thing happen) and talk about ideals that we'd all like to see that are simply not happening.

In other words, your response was eloquent and pleasing and "+5 Insightful" ... and full of denial. It's alright though, really. When there is a crisis in astronomy in 5-10 years and you ask yourself how this could have happened, why anyone didn't see it coming, just remember me. The way I like to explain it is "just because it has not yet grown into a 75-foot oak tree does not mean that the acorn has not been planted". Some people see the acorn and remove it early. Others are shocked when one day they see a 75-foot oak tree and are amazed at how much effort it takes to chop one down.

Re:Falsifiability (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26577997)

The more petty among you will read what I said and decide (entirely without consulting me) what alternative theory I believe in and will probably proceed to make a contest of it because you cannot grasp the simple essence of "this is an open question" and therefore cannot conceive of anything except one ideology versus another. It's alright not to know; sometimes there is great freedom in it.

The problem with just "not knowing" is what do you do then? I agree we shouldn't treat these theories as absolute truth, but that doesn't mean they're not useful. The scientific method works by making a hypothesis, making predictions from that hypothesis, testing them, and modifying the hypothesis if necessary. But you have to start somewhere. Make some guesses, even if they're bad guesses. If you just shrug your shoulders and say "I dunno", you'll never get anywhere.

Re:Falsifiability (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26593805)

The problem with just "not knowing" is what do you do then?

It means you try as many different alternatives as possible and as each one fails (that is, as you find the limitations of each), you get rid of it instead of making ad-hoc modifications to save the theory. This is childishly simple. There is no need to create this big mystique around it which amounts to pretending like the broken system we have now is the only possible way to deal with these questions. In fact you could say that the real "triumph" (a dubious one) of the current system is that most people cannot imagine another way to do things.

Make some guesses, even if they're bad guesses.

And if you are a scientist and those "guesses" call for a different framework/worldview/paradigm, it could destroy your career because people will balk at this without ever considering the merits of your ideas, including the people who decide whether you continue to receive funding. Isn't this sort of entrenchment and status quo worship exactly the opposite of what science is supposed to represent? Do some research and you'll be amazed at just how much of that really does happen in this day and age and ask yourself whether you think we are moving forwards or backwards.

Re:Falsifiability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26578205)

Electric universe nuts: small on math. Big on words.

Fact is, it's wrong.

Re:Falsifiability (5, Insightful)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26578457)

Nice rant. Got anything to back it up? I mean other than they are all wrong.

Your comment on frozen lines in plasma not withstanding. Its an approximation, that works well for a lot of cases. And anyone in the field will tell you that. Newer models allow this to be relaxed more and more. But really it doesn't change things that much with typical astronomical plasmas.

And the different redshift thing? Could you be more specific? There are really no theories that predict the comsmic microwave background and isotope ratios other than the big bang. Which also leads to the standard red shift interpretation. There really nothing else we have come up with that works. We have just have so much red shift data now. There really are no alternative that explain this without some serious arm waving.

and are humble enough to admit that maybe you don't know

I'm sure you are humble enough for both of us.

Re:Falsifiability (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26593973)

I'm sure you are humble enough for both of us.

The rest doesn't merit a response because you are either interested in finding your own answers or you are not, but they are the type of issues that are fairly easy research topics. This one line was something I wanted to comment on, however, and that was just to ask a rhetorical question.

Do you not see how manipulative that is? You don't like what I say, that's fine, I never asked you to nor did I ever expect you to. But to call my character into question (and it was subtle as far as that goes, but that's just what you did there) when it's utterly unnecessary and won't shed any light on the discussion is a position of weakness. It's foolish because you don't know the first thing about me. It shows a desperation to control and perhaps also a self-congratulatory nature on your part since it was a clever twisting of my words.

So why do you imply that I'm not humble? Because I know how to think critically? Because I question instead of taking knowledge on authority (establishment science, if nothing else, is an authority)? Because I am unashamed of both of these things? I'm guessing you don't have a reason at all, you just don't like that something I said had an unsettling effect on you and you thought you'd take a poke at me because of it. You will never find joy that way.

Re:Falsifiability (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596769)

You are the one who suggested that anyone in disagreement with your view point lacks humility. Your second paragraph sums it up nicely. So why did you put that in your original post in the fist place. Why did you feel a need to bring *other* peoples character into the discussion, in particular people who you are expecting to disagree with you?

So why do you imply that I'm not humble? Because I know how to think critically? Because I question instead of taking knowledge on authority (establishment science, if nothing else, is an authority)? Because I am unashamed of both of these things?

Why do you imply that others especially those who disagree are not also humble, think critically and don't go blindly with authority?

I'm guessing you don't have a reason at all, you just don't like that something I said had an unsettling effect on you and you thought you'd take a poke at me because of it. You will never find joy that way.

That is called trolling. Not the top ten things humble people do.

But that fits. In one of your other posts you refer to Halton Arp as an example of a astronomer that is denied access and other things because of his unorthodox view. Now thats funny on so many levels. I mean half a dozen or so quasars line up with a galaxy and we need a new theory? Instead of considering the random chance that they line up lets suggest a completely new red shift cause..that doesn't affect the other galaxies.... So we get more data, and after we have 100-1000 of quasars that don't fit his model, well now perhaps this red shift mechanism does affect nearby galaxies, but just the ones that we need it too effect. With the data now available its more like the evolution deniers than a scientist.

Yet he still has his job. Still gets the odd paper out, and still "publishes" his poorly reasoned stuff on his web site. He even won awards and is famous for his catalog "The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies" and we still use arp many of them. He is well known and far from a reject. Its just the data does not agree with his models.

In God we trust. As for the rest of you, show me the data!

Re:Falsifiability (3, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26578731)

The more petty among you will read what I said and decide (entirely without consulting me) what alternative theory I believe in

Then, perhaps you should elaborate in what alternative you believe in instead of making pronouncements about how wrong a theory is without offering a more valid alternative.

Re:Falsifiability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26580579)

I believe in science. The big bang? No way. I see that as the same kind of assumption that theists used to make. No, the Earth is not the center of the universe. Similarly, no, we aren't in the center of time. That is: No, there was not a point in the past where before things did not exist, and no, there will not be a point in the future where after which things will not exist.

May it take us a billion years, that junk will be proven wrong. I don't have any better theories, but it'd be nice if people stopped acting like it's a fact. It's just something that fits the data if you want it to.

Re:Falsifiability (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26594025)

The more petty among you will read what I said and decide (entirely without consulting me) what alternative theory I believe in

Then, perhaps you should elaborate in what alternative you believe in instead of making pronouncements about how wrong a theory is without offering a more valid alternative.

That's just it. I don't have all the answers either, nor did I claim to. See, you sound like you just can't stand admitting that this is the case, which is why if I poke holes in your favored theory, you immediately demand that I give you something with which to replace it. That's what religions people do; I expect more strength than that from science. That line of mine that you quoted, it was put there for the sole purpose of avoiding the request that you have made anyway. There are many theories. Perhaps you can do some research and find one that better suits you without needing me or anyone else to show you the way.

Re:Falsifiability (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26595117)

That's just it. I don't have all the answers either, nor did I claim to

In other words, you don't know and so you think other don't know either. Your failure to recognize or accept evidence or a theory does not invalidate the evidence or theory. You argue from ignorance.

Re:Falsifiability (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26579227)

I'm consulting you. Which alternate theory do you actually believe is closest? I'm curious as to which theory doesn't make any assumptions, since you've basically said that assumptions make theories worthless. A theory that doesn't require any assumptions must have all of the possible questions already answered, and so everything is must be figured out. I don't think I'm the only one who'd find learning about that very interesting.

Trying to modify existing theories to match new data isn't inherently any more dishonest or any less useful than trying to come up with entirely new theories just for the sake of "innovating". While I don't doubt there are some people who are so attached to their ideas that they willingly mislead themselves in order to not have to change their minds (or funding), that doesn't mean that everyone who's studying something that you disagree with is automatically a bad scientist or a dishonest one.

Re:Falsifiability (4, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26579969)

When astronomy has a crisis in the next 5-10 years or so, perhaps most of you will be surprised. For a good starting point to see what I am talking about, do some research on black holes and what Schwartzchild really said vs. what is commonly attributed to him in colleges and textbooks everywhere (ask yourself if the most amateur of journalists would report so inaccurately). Or research Edwin Hubble and the fact that there are two equally valid interpretations of the redshift equation and we have settled the question of which to use by making an assumption. Or explain to me how a star that is powered by an internal thermonuclear reaction could have an atmosphere that is many times hotter than its surface (if you think that's a simple matter, you do not appreciate the question). Or why it is that a steady, flowing stream of charged particles is called an electric current everywhere it is found, unless those charged particles come from the sun and compose what is called the solar wind? Or why Hannes Alfven, the originator of what is now called magnetohydrodynamics, has thoroughly discredited his own theory, including during his Nobel Prize speech (especially the part about magnetic field lines being "frozen" in plasma), yet scientists continue to use this discredited theory to come up with fanciful ideas like "magnetic reconnection"? It's time to come up with new ideas instead of unscientifically shoring up old, failed ones in the name of preserving your funding.

The first two statements are insinuations and don't actually say anything (I'm not going to spend many hours reading Schwartzchild, Hubble, etc based on a vague insinuation). As for the high energy of the Sun's corona, the entire Sun is a rotating ball of plasma with strong magnetic fields and a power source in the center. That makes numerous opportunities to create highly energetic particles and throw them out. A steady flowing stream of charged particles is not an electric current because we haven't assertained the most important characterist of a current, namely that there is a net flow of charge. For example, water is a flowing stream of charged particles. However, the charges are tightly bound to each other so there's no EM effect until you almost touch the water. The Solar Wind contains a lot of charged particles, but it is electrically neutral, there is no net flow of charge. It is a plasma without an electric current.

Hannes Alfven hasn't "thoroughly discredited" magnetohydrodynamics. And "appreciating" a question like "How did the universe get here?" doesn't mean the question is well-defined. It implies that there's some process that makes universes. There may well be no such thing.

Having said that, you have mentioned a large variety of subjects: the Sun and its plasma environment, black holes, origin and current dynamics of the universe, and plasma dynamics. A lot of that we really don't have a good grasp on and it is likely that we'll see serious challenges to our understanding of these phenomena.

Re:Falsifiability (0, Offtopic)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26582963)

> And if it's like any other mainstream astronomical theory, the testable predictions really won't matter. At all. If those predictions are found to be false, they'll just make a long series of ad-hoc modifications to the theory in order to "save" it instead of seriously questioning their worldview/paradigm/framework (whatever you care to call it) because of the pseudoscientific disaster that astronomy has become.

That's true of any institution -- it eventually becomes self-serving to maintain the status-quo because that is in its best interest for its own survival. Science, sadly, is not unique in this.

And like they say, "Science progresses one funeral at a time."

> Edwin Hubble and the fact that there are two equally valid interpretations of the redshift equation and we have settled the question of which to use by making an assumption.

Actually the story gets even weirder! Halton C. Arp a professional astronomer, who ironically enough, was Edwin Hubble's assistant (!), proved the "redshift equals distance" is junk science.
http://www.electric-cosmos.org/arp.htm [electric-cosmos.org]

> When astronomy has a crisis in the next 5-10 years or so, perhaps most of you will be surprised.

Actually, the sh!t hits the fan and the real party starts when they find human skulls on Mars -- that will be the big "WTF?" moment in astronomy, cosmology, and religion, but not sure if that will happen in the next 10 years, as the exact date is not important. The fact that a paradigm shift WILL happen in Science, is only thing that DOES matter.

Its about time for us to remember where we came from.
--
You are a Spiritual Being in a Human Body have a Physical Experience.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26578101)

It's even worse than *that*!Earth and Venus are known as "sister planets".And as hot as that is, I'm still going to have to disapprove.

Book to be written (1)

sohp (22984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26579213)

New book title coming soon: Mars is from Earth, Mercury is from Venus.

Re:Book to be written (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26581335)

Mars is from Earth, Mercury is from Venus.

...and methane is from Uranus.

Sorry..

Re:Book to be written (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596249)

"Mars is from Earth, Mercury is from Venus. ...and methane is from Uranus.

Sorry.."

No. No, you're not sorry.

Not at all, you cheeky little monkey!

Mr. Darwin the planets are breeding (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26583397)

The earth and venus were fucking and made the stupid war and speedy communications and shit what do we DO!

"No worries I have my SUPERNOVA OF NATURAL SELECTION"!!!!

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