#1 Is The Planet Earth In A Very Exceptional Place?10-01-2008, 11:24 AMDo We Live in a Giant Cosmic Bubble?
By Clara Moskowitz
posted: 30 September 2008
06:48 am ET
If the notion of dark energy sounds improbable, get ready for an even more outlandish suggestion.
Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly void of matter. Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation.
Dark energy is the name given to the hypothetical force that could be drawing all the stuff in the universe outward at an ever-increasing rate. Current thinking is that 74 percent of the universe could be made up of this exotic dark energy, with another 21 percent being dark matter, and normal matter comprising the remaining 5 percent.
Until now, there has been no good way to choose between dark energy or the void explanation, but a new study outlines a potential test of the bubble scenario.
If we were in an unusually sparse area of the universe, then things could look farther away than they really are and there would be no need to rely on dark energy as an explanation for certain astronomical observations.
"If we lived in a very large under-density, then the space-time itself wouldn't be accelerating," said researcher Timothy Clifton of Oxford University in England. "It would just be that the observations, if interpreted in the usual way, would look like they were."
Scientists first detected the acceleration by noting that distant supernovae seemed to be moving away from us faster than they should be. One type of supernova (called Type Ia) is a useful distance indicator, because the explosions always have the same intrinsic brightness. Since light gets dimmer the farther it travels, that means that when the supernovae appear faint to us, they are far away, and when they appear bright, they are closer in.
But if we happened to be in a portion of the universe with less matter in it than normal, then the space-time around us would be different than it is outside, because matter warps space-time. Light travelling from supernovae outside our bubble would appear dimmer, because the light would diverge more than we would expect once it got inside our void.
One problem with the void idea, though, is that it negates a principle that has reigned in astronomy for more than 450 years: namely, that our place in the universe isn't special. When Nicholas Copernicus argued that it made much more sense for the Earth to be revolving around the sun than vice versa, it revolutionized science. Since then, most theories have to pass the Copernican test. If they require our planet to be unique, or our position to be exalted, the ideas often seem unlikely.
"This idea that we live in a void would really be a statement that we live in a special place," Clifton told SPACE.com. "The regular cosmological model is based on the idea that where we live is a typical place in the universe. This would be a contradiction to the Copernican principle."
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10-01-2008, 11:37 AM
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.C. S. Lewis
10-01-2008, 11:39 AM
Until we, as a specie, find another - the belief stands. ;)At Coretta Scott King's funeral in early 2006, Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, leaned over to him and whispered, "The torch is being passed to you." "A chill went up my spine," Obama told an aide. (Newsweek)
10-01-2008, 12:22 PM
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If that were the case there should be an infinity of dead ends to evolution in nature around us but we have none.There is a certain symmetry to creation that should tell us of our real origin .Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) presented a dynamic worldview in which he argued that our species does occupy a special place within a spiritual universe and that it is evolving toward an Omega Point as the end-goal of humankind on this planet.
10-01-2008, 12:28 PM
If another life form is ever found on another world - the spiritual house of cards will pathetically fall. The finest money making engine in the history of man kind will implode in upon itself.At Coretta Scott King's funeral in early 2006, Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, leaned over to him and whispered, "The torch is being passed to you." "A chill went up my spine," Obama told an aide. (Newsweek)
10-01-2008, 12:33 PMI feel that once a black fella has referred to white foks as "honky paleface devil white-trash cracker redneck Caspers," he's abdicated the right to get upset about the "N" word. But that's just me. -- Jim Goad
10-01-2008, 12:36 PM
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The Phenomenon of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
"Religion and Science: The Best of Enemies - The Worse of Friends." Reprinted here with permission of the author.
Are science and theology reconcilable in terms of evolution? As an eminent scientist and cosmic mystic, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) presented a dynamic worldview in which he argued that our species does occupy a special place within a spiritual universe and that it is evolving toward an Omega Point as the end-goal of humankind on this planet.
With his commitment to the fact of evolution, Teilhard as geopaleontologist and Jesuit priest became a very controversial figure within the Roman Catholic Church during the first half of this century. Actually, because of his bold interpretation of our species within earth history and a dynamic universe, he was silenced by his Jesuit superiors for taking an evolutionary stance at a time when this theory was a threat to the entrenched orthodox theology. A modern-day Galileo, Teilhard maintained that evolution discloses the special place our species occupies within life, nature and the cosmos.
As a geopaleontologist, Teilhard was familiar with the rock and fossil evidence that substantiated the fact of evolution. As a Jesuit priest, he was acutely aware of the need for a meta-Christianity that would contribute to the survival and fulfillment of humankind on this planet in terms of both science and faith. Sensitive to the existential predicament of our species with its awareness of endless space and certain death, Teilhard as visionary and futurist ultimately grounded his personal interpretation of evolution in a process philosophy, natural theology and cosmic mysticism that supported panentheism (the belief that God and the World are in a creative relationship of progressive evolution). Galileo was put under house arrest, and endured humiliation, as a result of his claiming that the earth does in fact move through the universe; a discovery that the aged astronomer was coerced into recanting by the dogmatic Pope Urban VIII (formally Cardinal Maffeo Barberini). Disappointed in the conservative standpoint taken by his Jesuit superiors, Teilhard suffered alienation and discouragement because he rightly claimed that species (including our own) evolve throughout geological time.
As a child, Teilhard showed an interest in both natural science and religious mysticism. Sensitive to his beautiful Auvergne surroundings and particularly drawn to the study of rocks, he found delight in a plowshare (his "genie of iron") which he supposed was an enduring object free from change and imperfection. However, after a storm, the youth discovered that his piece of iron had rusted. Teilhard tells us that he then threw himself on the ground and cried with the bitterest tears of his life. As a result of this devastating experience, he would have to seek his "one essential thing" beyond this imperfect world of matter and corruption. To be "most perfect" (as he put it), Teilhard at the age of 17 entered the Jesuit society in order to serve God. Nevertheless, he intensified his interest in geology on the channel island of Jersey. Throughout his entire life, the scientist-priest would never abandon his love for science, philosophical outlook and devotion to theology (especially eschatology).
10-01-2008, 12:37 PM
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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quote's
He sounds very much like a member of the Society Of Jesus !
Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”
“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”
In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
“We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other.”
“The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed”
“Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven't committed.”
He that will believe only what he can fully comprehend must have a long head or a very short creed.”
“Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come to being”
Teilhard de Chardin quote
10-01-2008, 12:43 PMAt Coretta Scott King's funeral in early 2006, Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, leaned over to him and whispered, "The torch is being passed to you." "A chill went up my spine," Obama told an aide. (Newsweek)
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