Theory of Inflation

20 May 2017

Another one of Jovan's links. Go to https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/a-cosmic-controversy/ ... which is dated back to February 2017. It concerns the origin of space and time, as outlined in 'Pop Goes the Universe' - which argues against mainstream consensus theory of Big Bang and Expansion. The theory presented is not too different from the preferred explanation in spite of the controversy engendered. The universe began with a bounce rather than a bang (or explosion), from a previously contracting universe. It is in effect a watered down version of Big Bang - and goes beyond the point of creation (the banging event). Perhaps that is what sparked the ire. All we know is that it provoked a response from 33 astrophysicists - many of them well known and ensconced in feather bed positions at universities around the world. They jointly defended mainstream inflationary cosmology - and they don't appear to be amused. A sampler is this one - 'the (authors of Pop Goes the Universe) make the extraordinary claim that inflationary cosmology cannot be evaluated by the scientific method ...' and accuse scientists in favour of inflation of ditching empirical testability. This sounds to me to be a reasonable summing up of the situation - but the 33 big wings were far from pleased. They continue in their complaint to claim inflation is actually testable - but in the next paragraph admit verification is by models alone (and most certainly not by empirical testing). In other words, it's using models as factual rather than as feasible possibilities. The reliance on models over observation seems to be a common theme in some science issues nowadays. Models done by engineers, for example, are verified because if they do not work the experiment has failed. Models of such things as economics, climate change, and cosmology theory are not experiments as such but are built on a number of assumptions - which may be right but equally, could well be completely wrong.

The article is followed by an Author's Reply - which begins by showing respect for their betters. They express disappointment with their response, saying they have missed the point. The claim that inflation has been confirmed refers to the outdated theory before we understood its fundamental problems. Ouch.