03 January 2006

One for Michael Davies

First, you are not alone. (-:

Note that the reference is not to a random tinfoil-hatter, but to New Scientist article quoting respectable researchers, and another NS article details experiments being done by mainstream scientists into electricity-dominated cosmologies, something I’ve been having fun with recently. There are big, unfilled gaps in the assorted theories there (most notably, any mechanism for generating the stupendous amounts of electricity involved), but in practical terms a terrifyingly large number of “inexplicable” phenomena are readily explicable using it — for example, the mystery of quantised redshifts, a feature of the universe long favoured by Creationists.

One feature of it which has made the concept a bit of a lighting rod for an inordinate amount of hostility is that it is incompatible with the Big Bang as we know it. As a result, we now have the amazing spectacle of a religious war between Atheist and Atheist.

QuASAR in front of NGC 7319

This image is quite a controversial one, as it shows a quasar which is not shining through and obscured by a relatively nearby galaxy, yet has a redshift which is far, far higher than it. The non-obscuration of the quasar is so self-evident that even strong supporters of conventional redshift explanation agree that we are seeing the quasar directly. They then go on to “explain it away” as shining through “a fortuitous window” of clear space in NGC 7319. To see how much stretching is involved here, download the big image and find the two pink glows at 3 o’clock (well, 2:30) in the central galaxy. The innermost glow, the one buried right in the nucleus, is the quasar. Fortuitous? Harrumph! (-:

One could be a freak, but such features of astronomy abound.

It’s important to hammer on scientific sacred cows like this, because the good is the enemy of the best. As long as we settle for a theory which can be defended, we miss out on uncovering a theory which needs no defending.

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