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No Shadow From the Big Bang?

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the four-more-weeks-of-winter dept.

178

ultracool writes "In a finding sure to cause controversy, scientists at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) found a lack of evidence of shadows from "nearby" clusters of galaxies using new, highly accurate measurements of the cosmic microwave background (WMAP). Other groups have previously reported seeing this type of shadows in the microwave background. Those studies, however, did not use data from WMAP, which was designed and built specifically to study the cosmic microwave background."

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178 comments

In other news.... (1, Offtopic)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16057948)

The Vorlons were found travelling through Minbari space.

Re:In other news.... (1)

smeghead (23355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16057964)

I don't know why but I read that as Vogons travelling through Minmatar space.

Too much eve for me maybe...

Re:In other news.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058011)

Im sorry to say, but the big bang never happened. Sure, you have lots of big bangs going off all around, some of them do produce life, but never has one ever created a universe. Im sorry to say, but if god had a big bang before the universe, it wasent responsible for the creation of the unviverse. Us true believers all know the unvirverse is snot blow out of gods nose. Fear the comming of the greate white hankerchif!

Re:In other news.... (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058114)

I don't know how you imagine what god blowing snot out of his nose looks, and especially sounds like. I think that event is quite well described by the term "big bang".

Re:In other news.... (0, Offtopic)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058081)

And in other news: "Your races are not ready for immortality"

Interesting (-1, Flamebait)

gundamstuff (822388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16057983)

Seems like the big bangs being challenged every other day as a theory.. it's almost like evolution.. not a certainty of course but the best idea around that folks have reached a consensus on. You know on a side note I wonder why our American-Taliban friends have never challenged the big bang being taught in schools as apart of their quests to force creationism down our throats. Just a thought.

Grrrrrr! (5, Insightful)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058042)

I hear sentiments like this frequently from people. It is clear to me these people haven't deeply studied physics or evolutionary biology.

First get this in your head. At this point in history, evolutionary biology is a certainty in the way that gravity is a certainty. We may reconceptualize certain parts of it from time to time, but it is clear and obvious that it is there and happening.

The big bang is NOTHING like this. This is because, unlike in biology, in physics at the moment we have massive unknowns (dark matter, dark energy, no clue what the elementary building material of the universe is, no way to connect quatum mechanics to relativity). At this point the best we can say is all clues seem to hint toward a big bang and that seems the most likely explanation to explain currently observed phenomena.

Big difference!

P.S.: Most Christian fundimentalists don't actually understand the difference between evolution and the big bang. They often see the two in their own heads as linked and think by argueing against one, they are arguing against the other as well. See Kent Hovind [youtube.com] and his crazyness, for example.

Re:Grrrrrr! (4, Funny)

Gleng (537516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058158)

At this point in history, evolutionary biology is a certainty in the way that gravity is a certainty.

Heretic! Don't you know that there's no such thing as gravity? All things are held in place by God's will, so that His flock may live without fear of being smitten by flying boulders.

(Excepting brimstone obviously.)

Re:Grrrrrr! (2, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058271)

Heretic! Don't you know that there's no such thing as gravity? All things are held in place by God's will, so that His flock may live without fear of being smitten by flying boulders.

Honestly, even if I believed in God I'd be pretty disappointed if I found out God spends his time micromanaging gravity. You'd think he'd create a rule and move on to more important things.

Re:Grrrrrr! (2, Funny)

Gleng (537516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058295)

Honestly, even if I believed in God I'd be pretty disappointed if I found out God spends his time micromanaging gravity. You'd think he'd create a rule and move on to more important things.

Wouldn't it be a pretty amazing feat to be able to micromanage every single gravitational interaction in the entire universe? In real time?

That would be a proper god.

Re:Grrrrrr! (1)

StonePiano (871363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058345)

Wouldn't it be a pretty amazing feat to be able to micromanage every single gravitational interaction in the entire universe? In real time?

That's an interesting take. I write software that can do millions of calculations, each bent to my will - [evil laugh] Ha Ha Ha. I don't micro-manage each one, I'm too powerful for that. I build multi-threaded systems, each thread independantly handling it's own situation, sometimes communicating to other threads...

Now think what the proper God could do.

The Blind Watchmaker (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058405)

You've just envisioned God as a grand watchmaker (or in this case, a computer programmer).

I'd suggest reading The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins [amazon.com] . You may find it interesting.

Re:The Blind Watchmaker (1)

StonePiano (871363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058533)

Are you evangelizing?

Nope. (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059261)

Main Entry: evangelize
Pronunciation: i-'van-j&-"lIz
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -lized; -lizing
transitive verb
1 : to preach the gospel to
2 : to convert to Christianity
intransitive verb : to preach the gospel

Main Entry: 1gospel
Pronunciation: 'gäs-p&l
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English gOdspel (translation of Late Latin evangelium), from gOd good + spell tale -- more at SPELL
1 a often capitalized : the message concerning Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation b capitalized : one of the first four New Testament books telling of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; also : a similar apocryphal book c : an interpretation of the Christian message
2 capitalized : a lection from one of the New Testament Gospels
3 : the message or teachings of a religious teacher
4 : something accepted or promoted as infallible truth or as a guiding principle or doctrine
5 : gospel music

Thus, I am not.

Re:Grrrrrr! (3, Insightful)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058502)

Nah, that'd be kind of crap.

Now, a god who's clever enough to set the initial conditions, set the universe off on a 15-billion-year-plus rendering process and still get the results he wanted - that's a real god.

Re:Grrrrrr! (1)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058849)

See, thats just why God doesn't do miracles anymore, too much of his energy is to micromanaging the physics of this damn universe. (Joke or troll, you decide)

Re:Grrrrrr! (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059072)

"Wouldn't it be a pretty amazing feat to be able to micromanage every single gravitational interaction in the entire universe? In real time?
That would be a proper god."

Yeah, but then he'd never get laid, unless you're into the writings of Dan Brown.

Re:Grrrrrr! (1)

StonePiano (871363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058318)

You miss the point! Gravity is God's will.

Pretty clever, huh! Would you have thought of that? Or since you've lived with gravity all your life, can you even explain why it works?

I'm sure that one day we'll understand more about what causes masses to attract one another with no apparent contact - I hope I'll see the day. But you've gotta admit, it's amazing stuff.

Big Bang (5, Insightful)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058175)

I think the big bang gets attacked more in the sense of attacks on exactly what the initial thingy was. There's no real doubt that the universe is exploding and has been for most of physically evident history. It may not be the initial event, the universe could be eternal, cyclical, or whatever -- but it's certainly exploding now, and seems to have been for at least 12 billion years.

There isn't so much an attacking of the big bang as trying to nail down what exactly the big bang was. In other words, it's the same kind of attacks that people like Stephen Gould and Lynn Margulis make on evolution. They don't doubt that evolution is a real phenomenon for a second; they just want to nail down what exactly evolution is, what makes it tick, how it happens. It's the good kind of attacking, and it's what makes science jump.

Fundies, in turn, seem to assume that the big bang was invented for the sole purpose of trying to support evolution, which is so ridiculous that it defies the belief of real people. In fact, they seem to think that every branch of science exists solely to provide support for an otherwise untenable theory of evolution. This despite the fact that many of these ideas preceded Darwin (in a few cases by millenia).

Re:Big Bang (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058293)

fundies, in turn, seem to assume that the big bang was invented for the sole purpose of trying to support evolution

And if asked, would surely say that they would like their son to marry a pretty girl. I used to have a lot of fun baiting people like that but it just not the same these days. Its gone stale.

Re:Big Bang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058491)

What exactly is the problem with the big bang, or what there was before it? If I were religious, I'd believe that the big bang is exactly what happened when God said "let there be light". It's not like scientists claim to know anything about things before the big bang.

Re:Big Bang (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058538)

Yeah, but there were more than six days between the big bang and a working functioning earth with humans and all that jazz by anyones theory. The bible says there were only six days between "let there be light" and everything being right and proper. Someone has to be wrong.

Re:Big Bang (2, Insightful)

Thrymm (662097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058706)

A day in the bible according to god, could be like hundreds of millions of years to us.

Re:Grrrrrr! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058184)

Their 'theory' excludes both evolution and big bang.
They think that by proving evolution wrong, this will automatically prove their proposed alternative 'theory' as correct! So, if god created the universe, there you go bye-bye bingbang as well.

The strange is that it might be easier for them to disprove bigbang rather evolution.
I don't know why, maybe their audience is amused with arguments based on every day observed staff about live,cats and flowers, rather than microwave shadows.

Grrrrrr!-Hitting the mark. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058227)

"I hear sentiments like this frequently from people."

Hey! Whatever generates page views for slashdot.*

*And yes, articles that mention science/religion always generate greater numbers than any other type.
That's why I avoid discussing either subject around here. Both because most don't understand the subjects enough to discuss intelligently.

Re:Grrrrrr!-Hitting the mark. (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058243)

I'm not looking for intelligent discussion. I'm merely hoping to dredge some people out of their 19th century worldview.

Re:Grrrrrr!-Hitting the mark. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058254)

"I'm not looking for intelligent discussion."

Then you'll fit right in.

"I'm merely hoping to dredge some people out of their 19th century worldview."

At least the Taliban use a gun.

Re:Grrrrrr!-Hitting the mark. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058360)

Hey - You do know the "Origin of Species" was a 19th century publication don't you?

Re:Grrrrrr!-Hitting the mark. (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058380)

Of course. However, in the 19th century there was room to doubt evolution. In the 21st century we have so much evidence for it that it is a fact in the same way that gravity is a fact.

Re:Grrrrrr! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058251)

You've got your history of science pretty much backwards.

One of the original inventors of the Big Bang was a Catholic priest, Fr. Lemaître. [wikipedia.org] And some scientists were uncomfortable with the idea of the Big Bang, partly because it seemed suspiciously like the traditional Jewish (and Christian and Muslim) accounts of a creation of the universe at some finite time in the past.

Mod parent up. (1)

skids (119237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058371)

Yeah it's an AC, but it contains about the only interesting information I actually learned from this entire thread, and it's at 0.

Why do you only get mod points when noone has anything worthwhile to say? Sigh.

Re:Grrrrrr! (5, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058280)

Sadly I see the grandparent's attitude among many otherwise smart Christians (I myself am a Christian... just to get that out of the way). Many mistakenly think that evolution contradicts the creation story and they insist it's wrong. They won't even take the time to learn about it or, in the case of private Christian schools, teach it. I didn't learn about evolution in a classroom setting until I was 19, but I'm glad I did. My picture of my faith now encompasses evolution, just like it encompasses a round earth that isn't in the center of the universe--Remember that whole Galileo thing, the church messed up real bad there, and I can't help but thing we're doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING AGAIN. All the independant scientific evidence to support evolution can't be ignored. We as Christians need to acknowledge several things: 1) The core of our belief is that Jesus Christ came to earth to in human form to show his love for us and to give us the chance to have a relationship with him. Evolution does not change this. 2) The Bible is not a scientific textbook and should not be treated as one. Jesus spoke to his people though parables all the time... why would God have chosen a 100% accurate word-for-word report on the beginning of life? Note I am just saying we should be more open-minded about this. 3) Evolution does not say God did not create the world, it merely changes the way He created it. I find it much more exciting to think that God planned the entire process of evolution, and the path of every thing on this world, from the beginning to the end of time, and then started everything rolling and let nature itself take over. After all, God is unchanging, right? Why would he then shape and mold the world for a week and then completely withdraw from managing nature? I'm not saying God is absent in the world... indeed, his current presence has simply been unwavering since the beginning of time.

As you can see I've thought a bit about this, and this excites me. So to my fellow Christians: don't be ignorant about Evoltion, get yourself educated and open your mind! Just like Galileo did.

The Sane Christian Position (1, Troll)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058453)

This is the only sane Christian position on the issue and I applaud you for holding it.

That being said, there is no reason to believe in the existence of dieties of any sort. Richard Dawkins gives a nice short explanation of this in his documentary, The Root of all Evil [youtube.com] .

For a longer an more detailed explanation I'd recommend The Blind Watchmaker [amazon.com] .

Re:The Sane Christian Position (1)

Micah (278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059060)

> That being said, there is no reason to believe in the existence of dieties of any sort.

I'd take exception to that. Here are a few things to keep in mind ...

* The Big Bang -- including the fact that time began at the same instant as all the matter and energy in the universe, and the fact that the laws of physics and the physical constants were set at that time (or about 10^-40 seconds after) to values within extremely narrow ranges that would permit the possibility of any life at any time or place in the universe

* Biochemical design -- there are literal motors inside cells! They have all the parts of man-made motors. Yet humans have not even come close to replicating these naturally created motors in efficiency, and cannot even come close to producing this kind of motor at a micrometer level. Paley's watchmaker argument, anyone?

* Encoded information -- cells contain coded information using "letters" and "words" telling it how to do things. Only certain combinations of "letters" form valid "words". Furthermore, this information is "translated" to another form of code as it is carried from the nucleus to the part of the cell that carries out the work. Information always comes from intelligence, and this translation effect really adds to the argument.

* Naturalistic impossibility of the origins of life. Life appeared too shortly after the Late Heavy Bombardment, too quickly, and in a too complex state for naturalism. The earth went from an abiotic state to fully functioning life in only 10 to 50 million years, in the hostile environments of early earth, in the complete absence of prebiotic soup.

* There are numerous factors that need to be met before a planet can be suitable for advanced life. When their likelihoods are multiplied together, it can be shown that the chance of any given planet being able to support advanced life is much, much, much smaller than the inverse of the maximum total number of planets in the universe.

* On earth, the climate could have easily gone to runaway freezing or runaway greenhouse. It was only prevented by a careful control of how much water vapor and other gasses were in the atmosphere and which life forms existed on earth while the sun's luminosity continued to increase.

Sure, we could debate some of these. But the sum total of all this evidence, and MUCH more, leaves me no doubt that a personal God who wants us to be here exists.

Thank you (2, Informative)

Screwy1138 (976897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058536)

Thank you for putting together this text so well. You might find this article interesting, the Pope recently held a conference with several scholars, they conclude the same thing. They will soon be releasing text describing their discussions. See this link.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14681924/ [msn.com]

MOD PARENT UP... (1)

TheUnknownCoder (895032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058611)

He's absolutely right. I too am a Christian. If there's one thing that the rest of us should learn is to open up our heads and try, try to understand the other side of things. Even (and especially) if we do not agree with it. There's always another side, and who's who to decide what's wrong or what's right?
Things unacceptable today were normal a few centuries, even years ago. That, my friends, is called evolution. We evolve, our society evolves, the whole world evolves. Animals need to adapt themselves to changes to the environment. The human species is one of the most adaptable in the world. Why the fuck is it so absurd, and against the Bible?

Can't breed Dalmatians back into wolves (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058856)

Animals need to adapt themselves to changes to the environment.

And they do this by shedding genes. Under my personal interpretation of young Earth, each family of animals was created with genes for all niches, set in mutual inhibition during the first week. Mutations corrupt genes and allow their inhibitors to be expressed, and natural selection helps these mutations propagate in habitats where the inhibitor would allow the animal to thrive in a niche. However, those genes can't as easily come back. You're not going to breed Dalmatians back into wolves because they've devolved to fit the niche for Dalmatians, and the mutations that inhibit Dalmatian-ness are too corrupt.

Science + Christianity: Fundamentally Incompatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058735)

You know, while the parent seems fairly reasonable and I truly wish more religious folk took a similar stance, I feel that I still have to say this...science and Christianity aren't compatible. No way, no how. You can cast creation as a metaphor, argue that God set the wheels in motion, etc., and that's fine and all, but let's be honest: you're not a bona fide Christian unless you accept the virgin birth as an actual historical fact. No metaphors allowed - if you call yourself Christian (at least from any normal branch of Christianity), you accept that Mary did not get pregnant through intercourse. But no modern theory of science will admit the physical possibility that baby Jesus popped out without insemination of Mary's egg, and to an extremely high degree of certainty, that means that Mary had sex (turkey baster aside - I think that would ruin the whole "Son of God" thing anyhow). So let's admit up front that there is an irreconcilable divergence between Christianity and science - if you want to accept the former, you must reject at least part of the latter. For what it's worth...

Re:Grrrrrr! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058770)

Facinatingly enough, the battle of wills over evolution has precious little to do with either religion or science.

Natural scientists were a breed of scientists that ruled scientific fields for several thousand years. Their approach to explaining the unknowns in the world was, basically:

1. God did it.
2. Go prove #1

The competing school of thought in the science community was that of empiricism: we do not inherently no what or why something is, so we should gather evidence about and attempt to use this evidence, combined with a series of simple logical rules, to figure it out.

For a while they mingled here and there: Newton and Copernicus, for example, dislpayed a great deal of empirical thought, but if you actually read their texts you can see a lot of philosophical speculation mixed in as a result of the dominance of natural thought.

Back around 1800 the empirical scientists began to make a name for themselves, though, and started challenging the supremacy of the natural scientists. One of these upstarts was Charles Darwin. Darwin did not "invent" the concept of evolution. Evolution was an age old philosophical concept by that time which was used to explain how organisms became better adapted (by god's will - bear in mind genetics wasn't exactly a burgeoning, or even existing, field at the time).

Darwin merely set out and found empirical evidence that supported this concept and presented it. The natural scientists needed to set up a battle ground to try and retain control of the various institutions of science, so they branded Darwin's evolution as heretical, threw it out of the realm of natural science, and began to attack it as a means to discredit the empirical scientists in the eyes of the public and academia. I would be deeply, deeply surprised to find that most natural scientists or theologians even really disagreed with Darwin's conclusions. It was merely a political ploy to try and shut down a threat to their power.

Now religion gets mixed in: the natural scientists were primarily devout Christians aiming to better understand Creation as they saw it. Since the majority of the public, academia, and government were also religious, they turned into an "us versus them" argument over the "good people" and the godless heretics that were out to get them.

Eventually, the empiricists crushed the natural scientists and the natural scientists became relegated strictly to the field of philosophy. It's hard to argue that somebody's doing something wrong when they make more progress in 200 years, by many, many magnitudes, than their predecessors made in 2000.

Unfortunately, the argument about evolution being "godless" persists to this day because they spread it out into the public before they were shut down, so now we have these huge arguments between groups of people who are completely uninformed of either the subject matter or the history.

It's unfortunate, but it's not atypical. Most political and social arguments are completely absurd and have little if any grounding in reality, and are rarely understood by the people who engage in them. It's for that reason that scientists are so "aloof" in the matter and refuse to get involved. They see it correctly: evolution simply is what it is and now matter of engaging bitter, uninformed people will change that. They're not lawyers, they're not lobbyists, they're not politicians, they're scientists, and they do science, and science doesn't change because some people don't like what it finds, it only changes when they discover a better way to explain something.

Sad, really, that there's any division at all, since the only reason the division ever occurred was because a bunch of people 200 years ago didn't want to lose their jobs.

Re:Grrrrrr! (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058746)

evolutionary biology is a certainty in the way that gravity is a certainty.
in other words, totally wrong [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Grrrrrr! (1)

mrpeebles (853978) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059114)

You have to be careful. Evolution is of course not going anywhere. But I (a physicist) made a post sort of like this at one point (sorry, I don't have a subscription, and can't go back far enough to find it), and a seemingly biologist-type-person linked me to a number of big questions the biologists have with what I have always heard called the "modern synthesis", the idea that DNA carries the hereditary information that Darwin talked about in his evolution. Evidently, there are a lot of big questions for whether there are other structures beyond DNA that could carry hereditary information. For example, the lack of number of genes in the human genome is one such problem that I remember.

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058067)

Evolution is a phenomenon that has been observed directly. The big bang is not. The problem with the big bang is one similar to the problem plaguing black holes: the singularity. It's the elephant in the room.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058137)

When has evolution been directly observed?

This is HUGE news.

Before this date, there had been no recording of a mutation that has resulted in a new structure, organ or other mechanism that makes an organism more fit to survive. So far people have only seen bacteria or viruses in a petri dish cycling through pre-existing immunity combinations, or some natural selection cases like peppered moths.

Can you please point me to the relevant scientific paper? Thanks.

Beneficial Mutations (3, Informative)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058205)

From http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoMutations.html [gate.net]

Evolution of a new enzymatic function by recombination within a gene. Hall BG, Zuzel T, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1980 Jun 77:6 3529-33

Abstract: "Mutations that alter the ebgA gene so that the evolved beta-galactosidase (ebg) enzyme of Escherichia coli can hydrolyze lactose fall into two classes: class I mutants use only lactose, whereas class II mutants use lactulose as well as lactose..." (Obviously, in a lactose-rich environment, this makes E. coli more fit.)

Now that I pointed you to the paper will you give up your unfounded belief?

I'd also suggest reading this [talkorigins.org] to start and maybe this [amazon.com] to learn a bit more about evolution.

Re:Beneficial Mutations (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058255)

This is weird, but now my post is under a completely different post than I replied to and the orginal vanished. Weird.

The original parent claimed that no mutations (rather than recombinations) caused beneficial effects in organisms and challenged anyone to find a paper that said otherwise. So weird...it just vanished.

Re:Beneficial Mutations (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058264)

Ah...I see. Someone moded the post I replied to -1, so its off the radar. I thought I had lost it for a minute. Can you guys mod the parent up to at least 1? This is a commonly held belief by many people and I would like to see it refuted.

Feeding a troll (4, Informative)

leehwtsohg (618675) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058279)

What exactly is wrong with observing "natural selection" cases? Aren't these exactly cases of evolution in action?
* peppered moth: selection for wing coloring
* mutations in HIV after it jumped species to humans. Many other mutations are observed in bacteria and other pathogens that make them resistant to drugs. We are currently waiting in fear for the birdflue to undergo such a change.
* Invasive species: many mutations are observed in invasive species that make them more adapted to the environment.
* Recently, direct observation of the evolution of beak size in Darwin's finches was reported (Science 14 July 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5784, pp. 224 - 226)
* Evolution of RNA sequences: many experiments have evolved RNA sequences that perform various functions. One example among many is converting an RNA enzyme to a DNA enzyme (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/0603 27083737.htm [sciencedaily.com] )
* Artificial evolution: in many experiment run in computers, evolution is able to create new structures, from bridges to sorting algorithms

Finally, I think it is worthwhile to mention one important piece of evidence that has recently been completed. When Darwin suggested in the 19th century that humans and apes had a common ancestor, he was ridiculed. Till then humans were seen as different from all animals, having been created on a different day of creation. In that time, nothing was known of the DNA. Today, we managed to sequence the human and the chimp genome. We know that humans and chimpanzees differ in 1% of their DNA sequence. In fact, the DNA sequence of a human is closer to that of a chimp than the chimp is to an Orangutan, or than the chimp is to any other living species, with the exception of the bonobo. The human is the chimp and bonobo's closest relative.
I think that is quite an amazing prediction to make more than 100 years in advance. In fact, predictions like this are the strongest corroborations in science: making a prediction that is absolutely unthinkable based on the current belief.

Re:Feeding a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058466)

What exactly is wrong with observing "natural selection" cases? Aren't these exactly cases of evolution in action?

Um, no. Though many would beat their chests, point to "natural selection" and say "There is evolution". Natural selection doesn't create new species - it helps the survival of existing species.

* A peppered moth is still a peppered moth
* HIV is still HIV (as with the other pathogens). Infecting another species is not becoming another species (if we travel to Mars - ie live in a different environment - does that make us another species?)
* The Invasive species are still the same species - they are exploiting a Niche - like any other species.
* (*yawn*) This is getting repetitive - Darwins finches are still ... finches.
* Yeash - "in vitro evolution". They performed a chemical reaction in a test tube and have given it the name "in vitro Evolution". The artical uses the term "in vitro evolution" about 200 times, but doesn't really mention anything about the process. I can take a nail and, using "in vitro Evolution" I can create rust.
* So the "Artificial Evolution" software "evolved" a bridge? Did the software Evolve? Or was it created? (Or designed even - probably by some form of intelligence).

My point is that "natural selection" is not "evolution".

And what does "evolution" have to do with the "big bang"?

Re:Feeding a troll (1)

packrat0x (798359) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058560)

Actually, the "Peppered Moth" research was a hoax. The moths don't actually alight on tree trunks, they prefer the underside of leaves. The moths you saw were dead, and they were glued onto the tree.

You give examples of intra-species evolution. This is a well known phenomenon easily shown in selective breeding.

Showing how a species evolves into a wholly different species capable of breeding among themselves but being unable to breed with the former species would be a remarkable proof.

Re:Feeding a troll (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058697)

Actually, the "Peppered Moth" research was a hoax.

That turns out not to be the case [talkorigins.org] . It's also fairly irrelevant as far as the evidence for evolution goes.

Showing how a species evolves into a wholly different species capable of breeding among themselves but being unable to breed with the former species would be a remarkable proof.

Reproductive isolation in the presence of mutation and recombination is more than sufficient. When two subpopulations do not interbreed, their genomes begin to diverge; eventually the populations are different enough that they cannot interbreed even if re-exposed to each other. Not only has speciation been directly observed [talkorigins.org] (also here [talkorigins.org] ), the fact that all known species share common descent is proven beyond all reasonable doubt by the twin nested hierarchy of genetic and morphological evidence. Sadly, creationists require unreasonable doubt.

mutation does not make speciation (1)

anomaly (15035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058696)

Your peppered moth was bad science and a hoax. Not taking shots, but the facts don't support the oft-repeated story.

Mutation is observable and observation makes for good science. Extrapolation allows for the possibility of mutation combining to make new types of creatures, but that has not been observed - just postulated.

Of course mutations occur. Frankly they are almost always "less fit" and become a failure.

Adaptation through natural selection appears to make "more fit" creatures and does create specialization. Interestingly, while it makes creatures more fit for a specific environment, the narrowing of the gene pool (in general) makes the overall creature less fit for general purposes - if conditions change, the genetic information allowing for more fitness for the new conditions is less present in the gene pool of the survivors.

While observation of variation through adaptation and natural selection is reliable and repeatable, this does not make for creation of new species, just new variants which are extremely similar.

We can even look to smart naturalists who can help discredit evolution. Gould said that "phyletic gradualism" was "never seen in the rocks" which is why he created the theory of punctuated equilibrium. This has never been observed, either, but it shows that lack of evidence doesn't necessitate discrediting conventional wisdom.

I'll admit that there is evidence which appears explainable via evolution, but there are other explanations as well. Things which have not been directly observed leave evidence - the cause of which is fodder for speculation. Evolutionists, naturalists, and creationists agree on the data. What we disagree about is the root cause and mechanism of the evidence.

I believe in a God who created order and who created us with the capacity to study the universe to understand it - something which we have done, and will continue to do.

Some of the best scientists of antiquity have been men of deep unwavering faith. Why is that so upsetting to so many today?

Respectfully,
Anomaly

Re:mutation does not make speciation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058790)

Your peppered moth was bad science and a hoax. Not taking shots, but the facts don't support the oft-repeated story.

It wasn't a hoax, nor was it bad science [talkorigins.org] . It's true that the "story" doesn't fully reflect the facts, however.

Mutation is observable and observation makes for good science. Extrapolation allows for the possibility of mutation combining to make new types of creatures, but that has not been observed - just postulated

Speciation has been observed. Of course the new species are so similar to the original lineage that creationists deny that it even exists. But it does exist, and evolution predicts that similarity. We will never see fish turning into dinosaurs or whatever creationists demand evidence of, not on human timescales. But we don't have to; even if speciation is never observed directly, the evidence of its occurrence is overwhelming.

Of course mutations occur. Frankly they are almost always "less fit" and become a failure.

Actually, most of the time they are simply neutral.

Interestingly, while it makes creatures more fit for a specific environment, the narrowing of the gene pool (in general) makes the overall creature less fit for general purposes

That's true. What's your point?

While observation of variation through adaptation and natural selection is reliable and repeatable, this does not make for creation of new species, just new variants which are extremely similar.

See the point above. New species ARE "new variants which are extremely similar". That's exactly how evolution produces new species. And we know that they are new species because they cannot produce fertile offspring with the original species.

Gould said that "phyletic gradualism" was "never seen in the rocks" which is why he created the theory of punctuated equilibrium. This has never been observed, either, but it shows that lack of evidence doesn't necessitate discrediting conventional wisdom.

Neither of your claims is correct. There is evidence supporting both gradualism and punctuated equilibrium. The true story is likely to be more complex than one or the other.

I'll admit that there is evidence which appears explainable via evolution, but there are other explanations as well.

"God did it" is always an "explanation" that can explain any conceivable evidence or lack thereof. It's not a useful explanation, however. Name one valid scientific explanation that is an alternative to evolution.

Some of the best scientists of antiquity have been men of deep unwavering faith. Why is that so upsetting to so many today?

Who says that it is? Faith is fine as long as it doesn't blind you to reality.

Re:mutation does not make speciation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16059073)

Examples of observed speciation, complete with all citations necessary to follow the trail as far back to the original research as you care to go:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.htm l [talkorigins.org]

The rest of your comment contained nothing particularly pertinent and so I will not comment on any of it, save this:

Some of the best scientists of antiquity have been men of deep unwavering faith. Why is that so upsetting to so many today?

The faith of the scientists in question is immaterial to the findings they made in pursuit of science. Furthermore, nobody here apparently is concerned about their faith, save you, and I've never met anybody in my entire life who both understood evolution and who cared one wit about the religion of any person involved in studying it, so long as they understood it, like any other belief be it political, social, or personal, had no place in their work.

Re:Interesting (1)

cyber0ne (640846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058793)

You call that a troll? Weak, dude.

But if you're in any way serious, just look at Penicillin. Why are bacteria increasingly resistant to it with each passing year? The fittest survived and reproduced. Evolution at work.

My high school biology teacher used to say (actually, he'd often sing it... he was an odd fellow) that he was a part of the luckiest generation on the planet today, because his lifespan has generally coincided with the effectiveness of Penicillin. By the time it's no longer useful, he'll likely be dead.

Direct Observation ? (1)

Nowhere.Men (878773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058320)

I don't think so.

I never heard of the direct observation of a monocellular organism evolving into one as complex as a mamifere.

We never observed the big Bang but the CMB and the expansion is as good a data as the evolution of the flu virus every year.

But all of those are indirect observation of the general theory.

Re:Direct Observation ? (1)

CrankyOldBastard (945508) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058443)

Well, so you're saying "Show me the evidence!" and when he does, you then say "No, show me the other evidence, the one you don't have". A similar logic would be not beleieving matches are dangerous in the hands of young children until you've seen them burn down the house!

Actually there is a staggering amount of evidence of what you ask for in the fossil record, but you won't accept that either. Sigh. As a Christian I am a little upset that so many people try to make our faith look stupid and ignorant, when for most Christians outside the extreme fundies these issues simply dont exist, as they have a view of God where He is revealed by His Creation. As usual, the extremists are the ones who get the press, and not the informed majority.

Re:Direct Observation ? (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058914)

Actually there is a staggering amount of evidence of what you ask for in the fossil record, but you won't accept that either.

Sounds like you are arguing against a straw man. Nobody in this thread has said they don't believe in the evidence for evolution. What they are saying is that, like the big bang, evolution hasn't been directly observed. Certainly there is plenty of evidence for it, and we've observed evolution on small scales, but nothing quite like the huge gap between a chimp and a man.

Evolution and the big bang are well-accepted. However, they are incomplete theories, and there are still many questions that need answers.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058484)

Actually, it's the elephant in the other room. Which is the problem - if it were the elephant in this room we could decide to look at it.

Re:Interesting (1)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058930)

Micro-evolution has been observed. I don't know any one of ANY religious persuasion who disputes that.

The real issues are whether humans evolved from apes, whether life as a whole evolved from single-celled organisms, etc, etc.

Many people find it easy to dismiss religious folks by saying they reject the concept of evolution, period. No, by not differentiating between evolutionary theories and referring to them as one whole, people find it easier to dismiss those religious people by not understanding what they believe.

Mini-bangs? (0)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16057985)

Maybe there are mini-big bangs going on. Maybe there wasn't one large one. Maybe, just maybe, there are bangs in the void of space which create our galaxies. Then, this would simply explain where our radiation comes from, the galaxies themselves, always radiating.

(I'm sleepy. I hope I didn't mess that up too badly with poor grammar.)

Re:Mini-bangs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058449)

Mini-bang?
That kinda like a quickie?

Re:Mini-bangs? (3, Funny)

charlesbakerharris (623282) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058475)

I hope I didn't mess that up too badly with poor grammar.

No, it was the "not having any clue what the Big Bang theory is in the first place" where you went wrong.

Re:Mini-bangs? (1)

Hangin10 (704729) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058715)

You realize that the Big Bang created The Universe, not Our Galaxy. Savy?

Re:Mini-bangs? (1)

contrar1an (976880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059024)

I've always wondered the same thing. Matter and anti-matter are constantly created in the void of space. The big bang was an extremely rare event where an entire universe of matter and anti-matter was created. Why isn't it more likely that smaller energy/mass creation events occur more frequently?

In other words, if the laws of the universe allow for a single, giant, highly improbably event, then why don't they allow for multiple, smaller, slightly-more-probable, events?

Re:Mini-bangs? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059172)

Sorta like continuous creation? [wikipedia.org]

Existensial? (2, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 7 years ago | (#16057988)

How can the big bang cast a shadow if there's nothing outside thereof on which to cast it? Now that you've centered yourself, you're sure to win that corporate mini-golf tournament.

Re:Existensial? (5, Informative)

arun_s (877518) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058000)

How can the big bang cast a shadow if there's nothing outside thereof on which to cast it?

Shadows require light, an object and an observer. The 'observer' is us here at the earth. The 'object' is this (from TFA):

Galaxy clusters are the largest organized structures in the universe.[snip] The gravity created at the center of some clusters traps gas that is hot enough to emit X-rays.
This gas is also hot enough to lose its electrons (or ionize), filling millions of cubic light years of space inside the galactic clusters with swarming clouds of free electrons. It is these free electrons which bump into and interact with individual photons of microwave radiation, deflecting them away from their original paths and creating the shadowing effect. This shadowing effect was first predicted in 1969 by the Russian scientists Rashid Sunyaev and Yakov Zel'dovich.


And the 'light' is the background microwave radiation, until now assumed to be from the edges of the universe, beyond these clusters.

Re:Existensial? (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058164)

Yes, I'm aware of that - it was more a tree-falling-in-the-woods sort of quandary not meant to be taken seriously. Irrespective of the background radiation, the initial big bang must have been fantastically bright to the hypothetical observer there to see it, just on the edges of the universe itself. Would an observer on this boundary cast a shadow to a hypothetical observer beyond it? I'll be the first to say that it's a meaningless question, but it's still intruiging.

I've always wondered about that... (4, Interesting)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16057990)

How do we know that the ±0.0001 K (or whatever it is exactly) fluctuations in the CMB isn't just from nearby galaxies? How do we know it is truly background information? No subtraction algorithm is THAT perfect.

Re:I've always wondered about that... (1)

adageable (972913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058671)

Hmm.. I think that's a bit of a generalization. That 0.0001 K could be very significant if it were the difference between two very small temperatures (0.0004 and 0.0003). That's why most of these calculations are made using scientic notation (in the above example 0.4 x 10^-3 and 0.3 x 10^-3). One of the many reasons for using scientific notation is that significant figures are more readily apparent (digits in your measurement that are within the measurement range of the device that you're using).

Usually, when you see this type of measurement from astronomy or high-energy physicists, it's really due to averaged measurements taken over a long period of time or over many experiments. The idea is to average out the noise until you separate the wheat (your information) from the chaff (background noise, experimental variation, etc.).

Re:I've always wondered about that... (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059026)

Great question. In the case of instruments I've used to measure radiation backgrou it comes from measurements deep in caves that shield almost all cosmic radiation and have very low terrestrial radiation levels to get a true "dark" level. As far as knowning how good your subtraction algorithm is, you can use statistics to make claims about the performance of estimates.

Dark shadows (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058031)

What happens when you mix dark energy with dark matter?

Re: Dark shadows (4, Funny)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058053)

What happens when you mix dark energy with dark matter?

A B-Grade Sci-fi thriller

Re: Dark shadows (2)

Omicron32 (646469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058221)

I award you my "Comment of the Month" award. You don't get anything except a vague sense of self-satisfaction that you made someone laugh, very hard.

Re: Dark shadows (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059255)

What happens when you mix dark energy with dark matter?

A B-Grade Sci-fi thriller

Or a typical 3D game.

Re: Dark shadows (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059223)

What happens when you mix dark energy with dark matter?

You get a voidstone, which can be used to make a sphere of annihilation. There's plenty of them in the Negative Energy/Material Plane.

Alternatively, you could use the inspiration to make a "moody" 3D shooter - I'm eagerly waiting for "Bleak Blakness of the Dark Side of the Lightless Shadows of the Coal Mine of Insufficient Lightning". They've promised it's going to have not a single pixel brighter than RGB(0,0,0) - no wonder it requires a GeForce 10000 !

Offtopic, but I've wanted to say that ever since I read Carmack's complaints how he can't do "moody" (read: dark) games in a mobile phone. Nothing is as annoying as having to turn monitor brightness to max and still have trouble seeing just because some second-rate designer doesn't want me to see what's going on...

No Big Bang, just cycles of expansion/contraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058054)

Re:No Big Bang, just cycles of expansion/contracti (3, Interesting)

arun_s (877518) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058105)

Not very convincing when you link to a free-energy crank site [museumofhoaxes.com] .
On the other hand, are there decent alternatives to the Big bang theory these days? All I can remember from college are the steady state and oscillating ones.
For that matter, this news doesn't disprove the theory either. AFAIK other factors like the distribution of stellar matter are still suggestive of a Big Bang.

Re:No Big Bang, just cycles of expansion/contracti (3, Insightful)

StonePiano (871363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058521)

A scientific model doesn't need to be "right" to be useful.

For example, light can be modeled as particles or waves. Actually, neither may be an entirely acurate description of light, but both theories may make useful predictions. They both describe light in very good (if not complete) ways [thespectroscopynet.com] .

More than one model of the shape and origin of the universe may contribute to a view that helps explain observations and make predictions.

These models are not for "believing in". That would prevent us from considering other possible explanations. Two or more models taken together may in some sense seem to contradict each other. But they may both contribute to a yet-to-be-discovered unifying theory. They may both help to shape better approximations of the state of the universe.

That scared the dark matter out of me? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058084)

Why dont they just call them dark shadows and get on with it.

Not so simple as it seems (3, Interesting)

Nuffsaid (855987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058085)

It is easy to form a layman idea about the geometry involved in this phenomenon. A wrong idea, that is. The article's drawing shows a galaxy cluster between us and a distant wall of light, casting a shadow cone. It is rather intuitive that the "wall of light" is actually part of a sphere surrounding us in every direction, with a radius of 13.7 billion light years. The sphere is actually a magnified image of the Universe as it was some time after the Big Bang, when it cooled down to the temperature required for the emission of the observed microwave radiation. And it is magnified not by some optical effect, but by the expansion of space itself. If you were in the cluster's position you would continue to see yourself at the center of such a sphere with radiation coming from all directions. Actually, this would be true for any place in the Universe. Add the fact that things move, light travels at a finite speed, and that the "wall of light" was essentially "here" 13.7 billion years ago, when the light was emitted. Throw in all the relativistic factors required on such scales, and what seemed like a simple geometry problem becomes a job for expert astronomers, not for me.

My favourite explanation is that light and dark travel at different speeds...

Shadows really expected? (4, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058091)

As a physicist (but no cosmologist or astrophysicist), I'm surprised that shadowing was expected. As far as I understood the article, the shadowing effect is expected not due to absorption/inelastic scattering (where I could understand the shadow effect), but due to elastic scattering (the photons just change their direction).

Now it is obvious that the number of photons reaching us from behind is reduced by the elastic scattering process. However one of the basic properties of the cosmic background radiation is that is is nearly isotropic. And that means there should be an about equal amount of radiation scattered into our direction which would not have reached us otherwise.

So is there anything I'm missing?

Re:Shadows really expected? (4, Informative)

hweimer (709734) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058252)

As far as I understood the article, the shadowing effect is expected not due to absorption/inelastic scattering (where I could understand the shadow effect), but due to elastic scattering (the photons just change their direction).

The article is probably a bit misleading. The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect [uchicago.edu] seems to come from inelastic Compton scattering. This leads to a distortion of the original blackbody spectrum of the CMBR. The term "shadow" merely comes from the observation that at lower frequencies there are less photons being detected since they are shifted to higher frequencies.

Re:Shadows really expected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058313)

It's not the number of photons, it's their wavelength. The effect is due to inverse Compton-scattering by which the photons gain energy ie smaller wavelength. I suppose such an effect would be elastic since the energy is not converted to heat. I don't know I'm not a physicist.

Re:Shadows really expected? (2, Interesting)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058357)

IANAP, but I would tend to consider the lack of shadow as a proof for the big bang, not against.
If this radiation comes from the big bang, then it comes from every direction and this cluster of galaxies is as much the center of the universe as the earth itself. OTOH, having a "bright" and a "dark" side of this cluster would indicate that this radiation has a located source and therefore would invalidate the big bang theory.

Of course, there are tons of effects I don't know or don't unerstand, so please explain to me how a shadow would be supposed to appear despite the invariance and isotropy of the universe and how a mere little cluster of galaxies could alter in a measurable way a radiation that literally crossed half the universe and existed forever.

Re:Shadows really expected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058403)

If this radiation comes from the big bang, then it comes from every direction and this cluster of galaxies is as much the center of the universe as the earth itself.

So Earth is at the center of the universe? Yeah, I had a feeling Galileo didn't know what he was talkin about...

Don't strike out the Big Bang yet. (4, Insightful)

yeOldeSkeptic (547343) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058145)

A little shadow anomaly isn't going to seriously dent the Big Bang theory. There is so much evidence for the Big Bang and predictions based on it have been observed that it will take more than a little inconsistency to make the theory suspect. You need something more substantial than shadows to expect a rehauling of the Big Bang.

Remember that there were serious questions about the applicability of Newtonian Dynamics on a large scale too when it was determined that galaxies could not have kept their structure if calculations were based on ND only. However, rather than modify ND, scientists chose to posit an unseen dark matter just to save ND. As it turns out, there is indeed dark matter!

Don't sound the death knell on the big bang yet.

Re:Don't strike out the Big Bang yet. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059075)

A little shadow anomaly isn't going to seriously dent the Big Bang theory. There is so much evidence for the Big Bang and predictions based on it have been observed that it will take more than a little inconsistency to make the theory suspect. You need something more substantial than shadows to expect a rehauling of the Big Bang.

No, I wouldn't expect and overhaul of, or gross changes to, the Big Bang theory - but when a prediction made by the theory fails to pan out, it needs to be explained. Maybe the theory is faulty in the fine details, or an assumption or two is wrong, or the implications of other portions of the theory are misunderstood. This means that, at a minimum, a careful re-examination may be in order. (The first step of course is to rule out a problem with the WMAP probe - in design, construction, or operation. The details of the analysis performed by the physicists of course will also have to be closely examined.)
 
Or, to put it simply; it's far too early to make any comments about changes to the theory - there are more than a few steps and considerable work to be done, to verify or disprove the results in the [scientific, not news] papers.

poorly designed "research"? (5, Insightful)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058208)

The theory, if I understand it, is that since the CMB and the energy from the nebula should have taken the same time to reach from where they were then to where we are now, and assuming that the CMB was not somehow generated "in front of or "at" nebula (which we currently deduce from its very red-shifted frequency and distribution), then we should see the nebula's emissions, but not the same strength of CMB that is measured from the "background" at very small angular displacements from the nebula.

I need to read the REAL article, since the "Science Daily" was a joke, but, here are some issues with the research as described:

#1 the universe has no "edge" in any layman's sense of word. We're no more in the middle than some galaxy 8 billion light years away in any direction.

#2 the CMB is NOT "pointed at" the Earth. It's going in every direction at the same time, including very, very small angles to "straight away" in any direction.

#3 the WMAP antenna is very good, but it is NOT 100% unidirectional, so it will pick up energy from a very narrow cone, not a line straight away.

Therefore the WMAP data will rarely show a "shadow" of much change in intensity, since the antenna will pick up significant CMB from off-axis of the line between the Earth and the nebula, even if the nebula is resolved to nearly all of the sample point. For that matter, it could be lensing on- or off-axis causing some of the intensity variation described in the artice.

The variations in CMB are incredibly small in the first place, and we don't have THAT many significant digits of intensity in the measurement range. We only really detected them when we got WMAP up there. Any additional small variation in CMB co-incident with an ionized nebula is going to be difficult to unambiguously assign to "shadowing", and the even smaller variations of variations from nebula to nebula are very close to the statistical noise values of the original samples.

As I said, maybe the "Astrophysical Journal" article is better presented, but so far, this doesn't sound well thought-out.

Re:poorly designed "research"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058246)

Re:poorly designed "research"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058326)

#1 the universe has no "edge" in any layman's sense of word. We're no more in the middle than some galaxy 8 billion light years away in any direction.

The universe taken as a whole does not have an "edge". But the visible universe does have a 'surface of last scattering.'

#2 the CMB is NOT "pointed at" the Earth. It's going in every direction at the same time, including very, very small angles to "straight away" in any direction.

Any light (or radiofrequency) that you receive is pointed at you.

#3 the WMAP antenna is very good, but it is NOT 100% unidirectional, so it will pick up energy from a very narrow cone, not a line straight away.

This is why God made convolutions. [wikipedia.org]

Big Bang (2, Funny)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058237)

This is slashdot, readers here have never experienced a big bang.

Re:Big Bang (1)

mkswap-notwar (764715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058821)

High-Hat please!! (Duh dum, ching!)

Get it over with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058539)

Ok, just go ahead and post your favorite "Your momma is so fat" joke about the big bang here and get it out of your system.

more info and a quick question (2, Informative)

gsn (989808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16058566)

For those of you who want to read more on it. I'm currently ploguhing through his paper and and a few others but if anyone of the top knows whether Lieu used sigma8 from the WMAP 3yr results and how he selected clusters and estimated cluster mass... Skimming Lieu's paper his conclusion already claims that it is not inconsistent with previous SZE data for individual clusters. Anyways back to digesting papers.
 
Linkys

A primer on the SZE [uchicago.edu]

[PDF WARNING]
Their paper on astro-ph [arxiv.org]

The WMAP 3 year results paper [nasa.gov]

[/PDF WARNING]

Re:more info and a quick question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16058714)

(posting as AC for obvious reasons...)
If I were to choose between the WMAP team and Lieu's analysis, I would go with the experts.
Considering that Richard's own graduate student has actually observed the SZ effect, you gotta wonder what is going on...
Sometimes theorists shouldn't be allowed to play with data; however: a theorist only has to be correct once in their career, while the observer must get it right every time.

Why not track things backward, starting from now? (1)

rdmiller3 (29465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16059168)

"Big Bang", whatever.

When one tracks an animal or a person, one typically starts from the last known certainty. "It was here, maybe yesterday."

Why don't we have the same expectations with all this investigation of origins? Why does everyone seem to be starting with some "In the beginning..." belief?

An investigation of the past from existing evidence should result in an expanding tree of possible causes. "This layer of rock could have been deposited over milions of years or in a single cataclysm." All possible causes should be explored until logically eliminated. (e.g. finding "wrinkled" or "twisted" layers of rock without fractures would eliminate the possibility that the layers solidified before the distortion.)

Where is the hierarchy of this knowledge? Is there a database which gets updated when some part is expanded or falsified?

I'm not an advocate of Creationism, but they DO make one point that should sink in... There is no mechanism for maintaining the pedigree of scientific information.

We say that the speed of light is a constant in all frames of reference. How was that measured? What assumptions did those measurements depend upon? If I think I've come up with something which defies the laws of physics (like a perpetual motion machine or something), how do I find out which experimental results it would seem to contradict?

There is a need for a comprehensive, multilingual database of theories, experimental results, and their interdependencies.

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