Earth Might Have Hairy Dark Matter!

Some news about your planet.

From the Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

Earth Might Have Hairy Dark Matter

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought.

A new study publishing this week in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, proposes the existence of long filaments of dark matter, or “hairs.”

Dark matter is an invisible, mysterious substance that makes up about 27 percent of all matter and energy in the universe. The regular matter, which makes up everything we can see around us, is only 5 percent of the universe. The rest is dark energy, a strange phenomenon associated with the acceleration of our expanding universe.

Neither dark matter nor dark energy has ever been directly detected, although many experiments are trying to unlock the mysteries of dark matter, whether from deep underground or in space.

Based on many observations of its gravitational pull in action, scientists are certain that dark matter exists, and have measured how much of it there is in the universe to an accuracy of better than one percent. The leading theory is that dark matter is “cold,” meaning it doesn’t move around much, and it is “dark” insofar as it doesn’t produce or interact with light.

Galaxies, which contain stars made of ordinary matter, form because of fluctuations in the density of dark matter. Gravity acts as the glue that holds both the ordinary and dark matter together in galaxies.

According to calculations done in the 1990s and simulations performed in the last decade, dark matter forms “fine-grained streams” of particles that move at the same velocity and orbit galaxies such as ours.

“A stream can be much larger than the solar system itself, and there are many different streams crisscrossing our galactic neighborhood,” Prézeau said.

Prézeau likens the formation of fine-grained streams of dark matter to mixing chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Swirl a scoop of each together a few times and you get a mixed pattern, but you can still see the individual colors. [There are people who think this stuff up.]

“When gravity interacts with the cold dark matter gas during galaxy formation, all particles within a stream continue traveling at the same velocity,” Prézeau said.

But what happens when one of these streams approaches a planet such as Earth? Prézeau used computer simulations to find out.

His analysis finds that when a dark matter stream goes through a planet, the stream particles focus into an ultra-dense filament, or “hair,” of dark matter. In fact, there should be many such hairs sprouting from Earth.

A stream of ordinary matter would not go through Earth and out the other side. But from the point of view of dark matter, Earth is no obstacle. According to Prézeau’s simulations, Earth’s gravity would focus and bend the stream of dark matter particles into a narrow, dense hair.

 

[…]

Read the rest there.  They break it down Barney-style for us.

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42 Responses to Earth Might Have Hairy Dark Matter!

  1. ShenValleyLewis says:

    I believe that the concept of dark matter was created in order to cope with difficulties in the Big Bang Theory. The reasons are complex, but as I understand it, the issue pertains to how fast the universe is expanding. All of this “dark” matter is needed for the theory, in order to supply additional gravitational force to account for why the galaxies don’t appear to be moving as fast as the theory predicts.

    Some scientists think that the Big Bang Theory is now outmoded and needs to be discarded, but many clearly still cling to it – whether for scientific reasons, or for philosophical / existential reasons, is an open question. After all, one of the attractions of the Big Bang Theory is that it allows us to dispose of the necessity of a Creator – or at least some people think so.

    At any rate, if the Big Bang Theory is abandoned, then the whole concept of Dark Matter falls by the wayside – just as the notion of epicycles became obsolete when the geocentric model of the universe was abandoned.

  2. The Masked Chicken says:

    “After all, one of the attractions of the Big Bang Theory is that it allows us to dispose of the necessity of a Creator – or at least some people think so.”

    In a rare conjunction of scientists in the office, three of us physical scientists, including a physicist and an astronomer were sitting around, just this morning, talking about how the Big Bang matches pretty well with Genesis.

    The Chicken

  3. acricketchirps says:

    If the Big Bang Theory is abandoned, then the whole concept of Dark Matter falls by the wayside

    But for now, it’s gonna be my new favourite expression:

    “Hey, what’s the big hairy dark matter with ya?!”

  4. Imrahil says:

    After all, one of the attractions of the Big Bang Theory is that it allows us to dispose of the necessity of a Creator – or at least some people think so.

    That is a myth by brought up by some of the slightly anti-intellectual pious. Excuse the frankness.

    In actual reality, the concept that does exclude talk of the Creator (though, to be fair, it is not incompatible with a creation) is Steady-State. Stating “there was a Big Bang”, on the contrary, comes very close to stating “there is Someone who banged the universe into existence”.

    Which is why that physicists are, in fact, at pains to point out that it doesn’t actually reach that point – for otherwise the oh so very scientific mindset of our age would dismiss the theory, as not fitting to the modern pseudo-dogma “God’s existence can’t be proven”. Which was also, in fact, why some physicists clinged, for some time, to Steady-State, precisely because Big-Bang smacked so much of religion (and that’s not what scientists want, right? – science is immune from ideologies and prejudices, but scientists, of course, aren’t.).

    Which is why when the Big Bang theory was accepted over Steady-State, in the 1950s, the general tenor was “this is a Vatican victory”, and Ludwig Ott would state rather briefly that (no literal quote) “according to St. Thomas, it cannot be philosophically shown that the Universe had a beginning in time; other eminent theologians have said we can; in any case, we believe this on the grounds of revelation, and it also seems to be shown be the findings of modern science”.

    [That said, I am unsure how much of astrophysics depend on choosing “the Universe looks the same from every point within it” (cosmological principle) over “the solar system is in the center of the Universe” – as far as I’m aware, science, as such, can’t decide between the two, and the preference for the first has non-scientific reasons, i. e., “you can’t really suppose the latter in this age, come on”.]

  5. anilwang says:

    After all, one of the attractions of the Big Bang Theory is that it allows us to dispose of the necessity of a Creator – or at least some people think so.

    Actually, atheists hated the Big Bang theory precisely because it does point to a creator. Renowned cosmologist Carl Sagan never accepted it and preferred a cyclical universe, and Stephen Hawking is using a lot of smoke and mirrors to try to avoid the Big Bang happening (i.e. redefine nothing to mean empty space plus time plus energy plus the laws of nature and invoke an infinite number of universes, that must also have a beginning that must never be spoken of since it points to God).

    The problem is, the current theory might allow there to be a finite number of cycles before this universe, but there would still need to be an initial Big Bang the created all space and time and energy and the laws of physics. Quite literally is no “before the Big Bang” and absolutely nothing physical that “caused the Big Bang”. That doesn’t leave a lot of alternatives other than God.

    That being said, we know that there’s a problem with our equations. Both the Theory of Relativity and Quantum mechanics are demonstratively true, yet they don’t match up. We haven’t yet come up with a theory that is able to handle both extremes, so it is not at all surprising that we end up with “fudge factors” like dark matter and dark energy to fill in the gaps. But that’s how science works. Eventually, we’ll have enough data about the world for the “fudge” to congeal into a more firm theory.

  6. MrTipsNZ says:

    This is cool. Plenty of dark matter around the recent synod too….just saying.

    ShenValleyLewis: you do realise a Catholic priest, Msgr. Georges Lamaitres played a major role in the development of the BBT? And he had a theory of the cosmic egg. Wot Chicken said….Genesis.

  7. Andrew says:

    The creation narrative in the book of Genesis is all about the Creator and His creative action.
    The Big Bang Theory says nothing about any Creator or any creative action.
    In fact, the Big Bank Theory says nothing about a creative action of any kind: instead it attempts to chart the history of the material universe.

  8. The Masked Chicken says:

    “That said, I am unsure how much of astrophysics depend on choosing “the Universe looks the same from every point within it” (cosmological principle) over “the solar system is in the center of the Universe” – as far as I’m aware, science, as such, can’t decide between the two, and the preference for the first has non-scientific reasons, i. e., “you can’t really suppose the latter in this age, come on”.]”

    Actually, you can. The second hypothesis is Mach’s Principle (used by Geocentrists) and there is at least some evidence from quantum experiments that it is wrong. Dennis Sciama, the doctoral advisor to Stephen Hawking and the quantum theorist, David Deutsch, showed that one can derive the Einstein equations of General relativity from the Mach Principle.

    The Chicken

    The Chicken

  9. ShenValleyLewis says:

    I happily admit that I am not a physicist, or in fact a scientist of any type. My information about dark matter comes from an article I read many years ago, and may be out of date. My main reason for posting, though, was to remind the readership that the current state of scientific knowledge is usually more complex than the presentations you find in the general news media. The existence of dark matter has never been proven (as the article admits), rather it has been postulated to explain away the difficulty in a theory. To me, it does seem a lot like the old theory of epicycles, which were postulated to explain the fact that the apparent motion of the other planets was not perfectly circular.

    I also want to point out that the question of how the Big Bang Theory was viewed in the 1950’s is a different question from how it is viewed today. In the mind of the average “man on the street” it is not associated with theism. Perhaps the situation is different among scientists.

    MrTipsNZ – Yes, I had heard that Msgr. Lamaitres played a role in the development of the BBT. I don’t see that as being relevant. I wasn’t arguing that the BBT is incompatible with belief in God, only that many people in our society consider it as such.

  10. Imrahil says:

    Dear Chicken,

    thanks. Interesting, all that.

    Dear ShenValleyLewis,

    thanks for the answer.

    In the mind of the average “man on the street” BBT is not associated with theism. Well, it isn’t indeed, and that is because the average man of the street believes the myth that science and religion are antagonists, all the more since some very pious people (and some very outspoken scientists) say so.

  11. The Masked Chicken says:

    Sciama wrote a laymen’s book in the 1950s describing the Mach Principle. You can find the title in his bibliography.

    Theism among scientists is a tricky matter. Many scientists have to hide their beliefs. My colleagues, this morning, all happened to be Christians, so the discussion could be pretty lively.

    To some people, the Big Bang Theory is a TV show. The Theory was discovered by a guy named Sheldon, something,

    The Chicken

  12. “The existence of dark matter has never been proven (as the article admits), rather it has been postulated to explain away the difficulty in a theory. To me, it does seem a lot like the old theory of epicycles, which were postulated to explain the fact that the apparent motion of the other planets was not perfectly circular.”

    A perceptive analogy–between current cosmological theories (dark matter and all that) and the old earth-centered Ptolemaic model of the solar system, whose epicycles (wheels within wheels) dated back to Apollonius and Hipparchus in the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C. Of course, the Ptolemaic model was replaced in turn by the sun-centered but otherwise similar model of Copernicus, then Newtonian mechanics, and finally Einstein’s general relativity. To many, current mathematical theories contrived to model observations of the universe have a similar aspect of transience.

  13. Susan G says:

    As a mathophile, I’ve always found Genesis to relate quite well to the Big Bang Theory. Throw in the beginning of John, and we have the spoken Word… speaking creation into existence in a burst of energy (…light…).

    A colleague and I spent hours pondering those first verses of Genesis a couple years ago… and the more we related it to our limited understanding of the Big Bang theory, basic physics and infinity, the more it seemed to match up.

    Of course, we’re both supporters of the idea that all true mathematical and scientific knowledge points us towards God and not the other way around.

    W also speculated that Genesis points to the idea that in the beginning, there is both God and “not God”– the darkness, which is not a thing in itself, but the absence of being, the absence of God, the absence of light. In short, a void.

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    All I know is what Egon said. Don’t cross the streams. It would be bad.

  15. Burke says:

    Dear Fr Zuhlsdorf,

    This is, I’m afraid off topic, but it is a matter of grave urgency and this was the only way I could think of to contact you about it. A terrible act of sacrilege is reported to be taking place in Spain. An ‘artist’ has gotten his hands on numerous consecrated hosts on put them on show in a blasphemous display in Pamplona. There is an article about it here: https://news.artnet.com/people/spanish-art-exhibition-host-abel-azcona-371129 and an online petition to stop this here: https://www.change.org/p/josebaasiron-pamplonairuna-paren-esta-grave-profanaci%C3%B3n-p%C3%BAblica-es-delito?recruiter=145751750&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

    I found out about this on the blog of Dom Mark Kirby of Silverstream Priory here: http://vultuschristi.org/index.php/2015/11/ave-verum-corpus-2/#comment-7459

    and I felt sure it was something you’d want brought to your attention so you could fight against it.
    In Christ,
    Patrick

  16. KateD says:

    Masked Chicken,

    There is a college junior/senior level (Inorganic Chemistry?) chemistry book, the first chapter of which is totally plagiarized from Genesis, blow for blow. I want to say it was by Chang, but that may have been 1st year.

    Wouldn’t it be great if science didn’t feel compelled to independently (re)discover the truths of the universe, but was free to avail itself of the already available knowledge found in the bible?

    Did “Let there be light” refer to the photon epoch?

    Regarding that 27% (+/-1) of matter that is dark and hairy and invisible and not producing or interacting with the light….uhm…..sounds like a good argument for more exorcists!
    :D

  17. rodin says:

    “Prézeau likens the formation of fine-grained streams of dark matter to mixing chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Swirl a scoop of each together a few times and you get a mixed pattern, but you can still see the individual color.”

    Is this what one would call a bad hair day?

  18. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Thank-you acricketchirps and MrTipsNZ for the smiles.

    Henry Edwards says:

    “The existence of dark matter has never been proven (as the article admits), rather it has been postulated to explain away the difficulty in a theory. To me, it does seem a lot like the old theory of epicycles, which were postulated to explain the fact that the apparent motion of the other planets was not perfectly circular . . . ”

    Thanks for that , Henry Edwards. I thought the wording was rather convenient:

    “Based on many observations of its gravitational pull in action, scientists are certain that dark matter exists”

    . . . as opposed to, “scientists have proven that dark matter exists. Hmmm . . .

    Maybe the people who adhere to this theory (and perhaps a few others) are just about ripe for conversion now. Try to picture the following conversation between a Catholic and one who delves into dark hairy matters:

    Catholic: “So professor, you are convinced that dark matter exists ?”
    Professor: “Correct.”
    Catholic: ” But you can’t see it . . . ?”
    Professor: “Correct – I can’t see it.”
    Catholic: “. . . or touch it or taste it or hear it. . .?”
    Professor: “No, no, no . . .”
    Catholic: “So, you can’t actually prove it exists ?”
    Professor: “No, I cannot prove it exists.”
    Catholic: “Can you at least prove that it is possible ?”
    Professor: “Yes, perhaps, if I could formulate some good solid philosophical arguments.”
    Catholic: “Professor, let’s you and I go and have a coffee so I can discuss Transubstantiation with you. . . you already know all the basics.”

  19. Grumpy Beggar says:

    ShenValleyLewis says:

    I happily admit that I am not a physicist, or in fact a scientist of any type. My information about dark matter comes from an article I read many years ago, and may be out of date. My main reason for posting, though, was to remind the readership that the current state of scientific knowledge is usually more complex than the presentations you find in the general news media. The existence of dark matter has never been proven (as the article admits), rather it has been postulated to explain away the difficulty in a theory. To me, it does seem a lot like the old theory of epicycles, which were postulated to explain the fact that the apparent motion of the other planets was not perfectly circular. . .

    @ShenValleyLewis : Sorry about that – should thank the original author. My bad , and thank-you.

    @

  20. iamlucky13 says:

    @ ShenValleyLewis

    “I believe that the concept of dark matter was created in order to cope with difficulties in the Big Bang Theory. “

    There’s actually several lines of evidence for it. The Big Bang-related evidence is very abstract. The easiest evidence to understand is the fact that galaxies would fall apart without it. A couple decades back, a couple groups of astronomers started trying to better understand the other galaxies we can see. They observed how fast the starts in these galaxies rotate about the center of the galaxy. Then they estimated how much mass there was in each galaxy based on how many stars there were and how massive they were, and how much dust and gas there is that absorbs some of the light from those stars.

    Then they checked their estimates by calculating whether speed the stars orbited at was correct for the gravitational pull of all that mass, but they got the wrong number. In fact, a very wrong number – only about 1/4 as much mass as it should take to hold stars moving as fast as they are in orbit within a typical galaxy.

    A LOT of extremely smart people have tried to find explanations for these unexpected galactic rotation curves based on known physics. None of them have found compelling evidence. So even though we don’t know what dark matter is (the term “dark matter” can be thought of as a temporary name until we understand it well enough to give it a more descriptive name), there is very high confidence the effect does not arise from what we consider conventional physics.

    There is current no significant doubt about the Big Bang Theory among physicists. There is only questions about what the explanation is for the many things about our universe that the Big Bang Theory can’t entirely explain. I dare predict that in 100 year, the basic concepts of the Big Bang theory will remain, but quite a few more specific theories will have been added to it.

    Which has been quite typical of the progress of science.

    Heliocentrism effectively started with Copernicus, but it quickly became evident that there were problems with his theory, just like we know there are with the Big Bang Theory. Yet we don’t say Copernicus was wrong. We credit him with establishing some of the most basic facts correctly, but not knowing many of the more subtle facts. For example, Copernicus though the earth moved around the sun in a circle, but we now know it actually moves in an ellipse. Later, Newton gave us the mathematical tools to properly predict those movements, but we found problems with his work, too. Einstein ultimately figured out why Newton’s laws don’t perfectly describe all cases, yet Newton’s imperfect explanations were so good that we trust our lives his laws dozens of times per day – most mechanical engineering, including that of our cars, uses Newton’s laws and their numerous corollaries without needing to account for the refinements Einstein and others made. Clearly, even though Newton was not entirely correct, he was not wrong.

    So likewise, I argue that even though the Big Bang Theory is probably not entirely correct, at this point in time the evidence for it is strong enough that we also should not expect it to be proven wrong.

    @ The Masked Chicken

    “In a rare conjunction of scientists in the office, three of us physical scientists, including a physicist and an astronomer were sitting around, just this morning, talking about how the Big Bang matches pretty well with Genesis.”

    This has occurred to me, too. “Let there be light” first (the stars), followed by a separation of the sky and ground (formation of the earth), the waters and dry land forming (crust forming, and tectonic activity forming the continents and oceans), followed by plants, and then animals, and finally, humans.

  21. The Cobbler says:

    It’s a good thing dark matter is focused into “hairs” and not, say, “laserbeams”; we would have to make sure the latter are… valid!

  22. WYMiriam says:

    I don’t know whether earth has hairy dark matter, but I know for certain that earth has dark hairy matter! . . . principally found in forgotten containers in the darkest recesses of refrigerators.

  23. Grumpy Beggar says:

    WYMiriam says:

    “I don’t know whether earth has hairy dark matter, but I know for certain that earth has dark hairy matter! . . . principally found in forgotten containers in the darkest recesses of refrigerators.”

    LOL

    And why did they ever name the lower-most drawer(s) of the refrigerator a crisper – Has anything anyone ever put in there come out “crispier” than it was before it went in ? (I guess if it had been named a sogger they probably wouldn’t sell enough fridges ; besides, the British had already coined the term “rotter” to denote someone whose personal disposition appeared to have been “forgotten in a container in the darkest recesses of a refrigerator.”)
    :)

  24. The Masked Chicken says:

    One of the most amazing things about theory, which, often, far outpaces empirical results, is how cool it is when it is correct. Physicists correctly predicted the inner structure of the atom 80 years before we were able to see in the atom. They got it right.

    The Chicken

  25. ShenValleyLewis says:

    iamlucky13:
    Thanks for the explanation about the role of dark matter theory in explaining the coherence of galaxies. That makes a lot more sense to me, on the face of it, than the BBT-related explanation.

    “There is current no significant doubt about the Big Bang Theory among physicists”. That’s a strong generalization, I’m very curious about your source of information. Are you a member of the scientific community yourself? Or are you just repeating something you read in the news media? Even such a periodical as National Geographic isn’t always reliable – to say nothing of Time and Newsweek – they are written by journalists not scientists. And when touching on certain issues that have become politicized – I am thinking mainly of climate change and evolution – journalists often claim a scientific consensus where no such consensus actually exists. Of course I don’t know whether this kind of thing goes on in astrophysics. So maybe there really is a consensus on the Big Bang Theory, but I am a bit skeptical.

    In addition, I think it should be borne in mind that the existence of a consensus doesn’t prove that a theory is true. There have been instances in the history of science when a theory was almost universally held – until new discoveries made it obsolete.

  26. ShenValleyLewis says:

    According to this article I read (about 10 years ago) the reason some scientists were questioning the big bang theory was that, in order to account for the present expansion of the universe (i.e. the rate at which the galaxies are moving apart from each other) it would require postulating an initial speed – in the period of time immediately following the “Bang” – which would be so great that it would be impossible according to the known laws of physics. Sorry I can’t remember more specifics. If anyone on this forum is informed about the current state of the issue, I would be curious to know if you can add anything on this point.

  27. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Of course I don’t know whether this kind of thing goes on in astrophysics. So maybe there really is a consensus on the Big Bang Theory, but I am a bit skeptical.”

    Yes, there is a consensus. Back in the early 2000’s, String Theory came into debate – it was called the String Wars – and out of that it became pretty clear that the consensus was that Big Bang Cosmology is the better theory than, say M-Theory, which models the beginning of the universe as a brane-brane interaction. The question, however, is whether Big Bang Cosmology requires Inflation. This argument is still not settled. The Wikipedia article on the Big Bang has a wealth of material, including this quote from the atheist astrophyicist, Lawrence Krauss:

    “[The] big bang picture is too firmly grounded in data from every area to be proved invalid in its general features.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

    Of course, this does not prove Big Bang Cosmology, but it is the most popular current theory. If one knows a little advanced math, the Big Bang solution to Einstein’s equations of General Relativity are not too hard to work out. Einstein’s equations are highly non-linear, so LeMaitre went for the low-hanging fruit by, essentially, making assumptions that get rid of the non-linearities. Then, he was able to work out a solution. If there were a general closed-form solution to the Einstein equations (there isn’t that I know of), then the LeMaitre condition would be seen as the simplest possible solution. So, if the Einstein equations are correct (which is an open question, although there is massive experimental support), the Big Bang Cosmology is most likely correct.

    The Chicken

  28. Well, let’s throw Gallileo’s submission into the discussion:

    The following are excerpted portions from the sentence of the Tribunal of the Supreme Inquisition against Galileo Galilei, given the 22nd day of June of the year 1633

    “It being the case that thou, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei, a Florentine, now aged 70, wast denounced in this Holy Office in 1615:

    “That thou heldest as true the false doctrine taught by many, that the Sun was the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the Earth moved, and had also a diurnal motion: That on this same matter thou didst hold a correspondence with certain German mathematicians….

    “That the Sun is the centre of the universe and doth not move from his place is a proposition absurd and false in philosophy, and formerly heretical; being expressly contrary to Holy Writ: That the Earth is not the centre of the universe nor immoveable, but that it moves, even with a diurnal motion, is likewise a proposition absurd and false in philosophy, and considered in theology ad minus erroneous in faith…..

    “Invoking then the Most Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of His most glorious Mother Mary, ever Virgin, for this Our definite sentence, the which sitting pro tribunali, by the counsel and opinion of the Reverent Masters of theology and doctors of both laws, Our Counsellors, we present in these writings, in the cause and causes currently before Us, between the magnificent Carlo Sinceri, doctor of both laws, procurator fiscal of this Holy Office on the one part, and thou Galileo Galilei, guilty, here present, confessed and judged, on the other part:

    “We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare, that thou, the said Galileo, by the things deduced during this trial, and by thee confessed as above, hast rendered thyself vehemently suspected of heresy by this Holy Office, that is, of having believed and held a doctrine which is false, and contrary to the Holy Scriptures, to wit: that the Sun is the centre of the universe, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the Earth moves and is not the centre of the universe: and that an opinion may be held and defended as probable after having been declared and defined as contrary to Holy Scripture; and in consequence thou hast incurred all the censures and penalties of the Sacred Canons, and other Decrees both general and particular, against such offenders imposed and promulgated. From the which We are content that thou shouldst be absolved, if, first of all, with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, thou dost before Us abjure, curse, and detest the above-mentioned errors and heresies and any other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church, after the manner that We shall require of thee.

    “And to the end that this thy grave error and transgression remain not entirely unpunished, and that thou mayst be more cautious in the future, and an example to others to abstain from and avoid similar offences,

    “We order that by a public edict the book of DIALOGUES OF GALILEO GALILEI be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms, reserving to Ourselves the faculty of moderating, changing, or taking from, all other or part of the above-mentioned pains and penalties.

    “And thus We say, pronounce, declare, order, condemn, and reserve in this and in any other better way and form which by right We can and ought.

    Ita pronunciamus nos Cardinalis infrascripti.
    F. Cardinalis de Asculo.
    G. Cardinalis Bentivolius
    D. Cardinalis de Cremona.
    A. Cardinalis S. Honuphri.
    B. Cardinalis Gypsius.
    F. Cardinalis Verospius.
    M. Cardinalis Ginettus.

    GALILEO’S ABJURATION.
    I, Galileo Galilei, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei of Florence, aged 70 years, tried personally by this court, and kneeling before You, the most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, Inquisitors-General throughout the Christian Republic against heretical depravity, having before my eyes the Most Holy Gospels, and laying on them my own hands; I swear that I have always believed, I believe now, and with God’s help I will in future believe all which the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church doth hold, preach, and teach.

    But since I, after having been admonished by this Holy Office entirely to abandon the false opinion that the Sun was the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the Earth was not the centre of the same and that it moved, and that I was neither to hold, defend, nor teach in any manner whatever, either orally or in writing, the said false doctrine; and after having received a notification that the said doctrine is contrary to Holy Writ, I did write and cause to be printed a book in which I treat of the said already condemned doctrine, and bring forward arguments of much efficacy in its favour, without arriving at any solution: I have been judged vehemently suspected of heresy, that is, of having held and believed that the Sun is the centre of the universe and immoveable, and that the Earth is not the centre of the same, and that it does move.

    Nevertheless, wishing to remove from the minds of your Eminences and all faithful Christians this vehement suspicion reasonably conceived against me, I abjure with sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally all and every error and sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church. And I swear that for the future I will neither say nor assert in speaking or writing such things as may bring upon me similar suspicion; and if I know any heretic, or one suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor and Ordinary of the place in which I may be.

    I also swear and promise to adopt and observe entirely all the penances which have been or may be by this Holy Office imposed on me. And if I contravene any of these said promises, protests, or oaths, (which God forbid!) I submit myself to all the pains and penalties which by the Sacred Canons and other Decrees general and particular are against such offenders imposed and promulgated. So help me God and the Holy Gospels, which I touch with my own hands.

    I Galileo Galilei aforesaid have abjured, sworn, and promised, and hold
    myself bound as above; and in token of the truth, with my own hand have
    subscribed the present schedule of my abjuration, and have recited it word
    by word. In Rome, at the Convent della Minerva, this 22nd day of June,
    1633.

    I, GALILEO GALILEI, have abjured as above, with my own hand.

  29. mike cliffson says:

    Like
    As an early 60s teen male brit , “hairy” was already being used in young people’s slang, as well as meaning dangerous(ly) and/or masculinely , to describe nearly everything approvingly, as in perennial “cool”, later “ace”, (or usa surfers’ gnarly ?)and so forth, I suspect the more so in my peer and age group as we were indeed getting hairier practically by the minute.This happens. As a Catholic around VatII , this word fitted in with pre, during and post VATII muscular Catholiciscm in the scouts, in devotions, dawnish weekday still-latin masses on an empty stomach , cold and uncomfortable pilgrimages, cold showers , plenty of beer, if little food, and of a pickled onions type, singing the sacred in latin and English in nearly the same breath as regrettable songs in English…….hairy. yes.
    So my question is
    Are the cosmologists behind this one blokish in using the word hairy or is it even deepèr and their very concepts arise from blokishness?
    What concepts or terminology would more female , feminist or metrosexual cosmologists have come up with?
    I await an objection by the PC police.

  30. iamlucky13 says:

    ” That’s a strong generalization, I’m very curious about your source of information. Are you a member of the scientific community yourself?”

    I’m an engineer, so not formally a scientist, although my education and work run closely parallel to science. More relevantly, I’ve always had a deep interest in how things work and read extensively on topics like this. I seldom read mainstream media articles on science topics for anything other than amusement at poor or even incorrect explanations. My main sources are science specific news media, publications of the organizations that do the actual research, such as NASA and universities, and when I really want to know a lot about a given topic, the formal papers published in peer reviewed journals that represent the official conclusions of the researchers involved.

    Among all these sources, you will from time to time find discussions of alternative theories to the Big Bang, but as our understanding of physics has improved and our observations grown more extensive, the amount of discussion they receive has declined and their proponents are able to offer substantially less evidence in their support than the Big Bang theory. For example, Einstein himself originally did not believe the Big Bang could have been real, even though his own theory of relativity indicated a static universe was more or less impossible. He actually arbitrarily added in a fudge factor that allowed him to model the specific case where a static universe was possible. As the crucial work of Hubble, Lemaitre, Friedmann and others provided compelling evidence that the universe actually was expanding, Einstein admitted that his work to try to prove the static universe theory was his “biggest blunder.”

  31. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear ShenValleyLewis,

    iamlucky13 is an engineer, but engineers can do just about the same types of math as in the physical sciences (we, sort of, specialize in graduate school). I am a physical scientist and I partially worked out of an engineering department as part of my graduate research, so I know both curricula fairly well. Engineers use stress tensors all of the time, so tensor mechanics, as used in General Relativity are hardly new to them. They use tensors for different things, obviously.

    I have access to astronomers, directly. As I mentioned, I had a conversation with one, just yesterday. Big Bang Cosmology is the common consensus. It is taught in most beginning classes as quasi-dogma.

    If you want to read the latest papers in the field for free (and legal) the premiere site is ArXiv (that’s pronounced, “Archive”) hosted by Cornell University. It has the latest pre-publication papers in most of the mathematical and physical sciences. Since, however, it is an open publication site, you do, very occasionally, get crackpots sending in papers, but they are pretty quickly vetted and pooh-poohed by experts. Gregor Perlmann sent his proof of the Poincare Conjecture (which was correct) to ArXiv, so it is a highly respected site. They have several sections on cosmology free for the downloading. I have found papers specifically geared to my research from colleagues on the site that I would not have found, otherwise.

    http://arxiv.org/

    If one is lucky enough to be at a research university, many journals are going to electronic format, both in preparation for going open source and in protest to the high prices set by journal publishers and can be accessed, online. Copyright is a sore subject among scientists, these days. Some people have gotten sued for citing themselves in a subsequent publication.

    There are some really good science writers out there and some really bad ones. A journalist who can accurately communicate complex science to the general public is worth a huge salary (just as one who can communicate accurately theology should be). There are, in addition, some very good science blogs out there, although not that many written by Christians and fewer by Catholics. Two good astronomy blogs for the general public are: one by Phil Plait, an atheist, called Bad Astronomy:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy.html

    and Astronomy Cast, by Fraser Cain (an atheist) and Pamela Gay (a Christian, who has paid dearly for openly admitting her Christianity and her encounters with sexual harassment by male colleagues):

    http://www.astronomycast.com/

    Fun fact: today, November 25, exactly 100 years ago, Einstein published in, Proceedings of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin, “Die Feldgleichungen der Gravitation,” or “The Field Equations of Gravitation.” This began a series of papers that laid the groundwork for General Relativity.

    The Chicken

  32. acardnal says:

    Chicken: PBS TV’s NOVA series had a good documentary (for laymen anyway) on Einstein and the development of his General Relativity theory last evening. You can watch it HERE

  33. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil says,

    Which is why when the Big Bang theory was accepted over Steady-State, in the 1950s, the general tenor was “this is a Vatican victory”, and Ludwig Ott would state rather briefly that (no literal quote) “according to St. Thomas, it cannot be philosophically shown that the Universe NECESSARILY had a beginning in time; other eminent theologians have said we can; in any case, we believe this on the grounds of revelation, and it also seems to be shown be the findings of modern science.

    I added one very important word. St Thomas’ thought doesn’t mean that it is not possible to prove it happened by mathematico-empirical methods.

  34. robtbrown says:

    1. St Thomas makes a distinction between ontological priority and priority of duration. St Bonaventure seems to deny this distinction, so the existence of the first would make necessary the second. For St Thomas there is nothing in the nature of Time that would prevent another prior moment from being added.

    2. St Thomas’ demonstrations for the existence of God are based on limited being not being able to bring itself into existence.

    3. And so for anyone agreeing with St Thomas, neither Newtonian, Quantum Mechanics, nor any Cosmological variations of either is more or less accomodating to his Quinque Viae.

    4. It is true that the Big Bang makes necessary a Big Banger, but there is no reason that the Big Banger would necessarly have the attributes of God. The same can be said for a Cosmological Steady State, the order of which does not have to be God.

    5. It also needs to be mentioned that St Thomas is not arguing for the possibility that Time is Infinite. Infinite Time would mean infinite events, one of which is that past and future events would exist now–and this is obviously false.

  35. robtbrown says:

    1. St Thomas makes a distinction between ontological priority and priority of duration. St Bonaventure seems to deny this distinction, so the existence of the first would make necessary the second. For St Thomas there is nothing in the nature of Time that would prevent another prior moment from being added.

    2. St Thomas’ demonstrations for the existence of God are based on limited being not being able to bring itself into existence.

    3. And so for anyone agreeing with St Thomas, neither Newtonian, Quantum Mechanics, nor any Cosmological variations of either is more or less accomodating to his Quinque Viae.

    4. It is true that the Big Bang makes necessary a Big Banger, but there is no reason that the Big Banger would necessarly have the attributes of God. The same can be said for a Cosmological Steady State, the order of which does not have to be God.

    5. It also needs to be mentioned that St Thomas is not arguing for the possibility that Time is Infinite. Infinite Time would mean infinite events, one of which is that past and future events would exist now–and this is obviously false.

  36. robtbrown says:

    Welcome to Echo Canyon.

  37. The Masked Chicken says:

    “3. And so for anyone agreeing with St Thomas, neither Newtonian, Quantum Mechanics, nor any Cosmological variations of either is more or less accomodating to his Quinque Viae.”

    Thank you, robtbrown, for clarifying this point, which should be shouted to every New Atheist. It, also, clarifies a point for me, since below the Planck Limit, the notion of a direction of time becomes meaningless, so a Prime Mover who exists at the beginning of time would be, necessarily, an undefined concept, because contrary to what most people think, time did not come into existence at the, “moment,” of the Big Bang, but shortly, I know that sounds strange, but is true in quantum mechanics. Coincidentally, while time travel is not possible in General Relativity, this loophole makes it possible in quantum mechanics – because the notion of mathematical smoothness is different in each theory – General Relativity is C-infinity smooth, but quantum mechanics is not (it is discrete, limited by the Planck Limit).

    The Chicken

    The Chicken

  38. The Masked Chicken says:

    Should read, “but shortly, thereafter…”

    The Chicken

  39. robtbrown says:

    TMC,

    Time is a measure of motion acc to before and after. For our purposes motion is of two kinds: change in quantity and and change of place. I want to deal with just the latter.

    Local motion, that which regards place, is both linear and (contra Newton) circular. Circular motion is intrinsic to the cosmos. The planets are spheres, not boxes. Not only do they spin, but spin is found in Particle Physics.

    In so far as circular motion returns to the starting point without changing direction and Time measures motion, there must also be an aspect of Time that is not linear.

  40. The Masked Chicken says:

    ” Not only do they spin, but spin is found in Particle Physics.”

    Spin was an unfortunate name that Dirac gave to a solution to an equation in relativistic quantum mechanics (spin does not, naturally, occur in non-relativistic QM). It is just a name for a variable. In fact, since the electron has no point extension (it is a true mathematical point particle), it can spin because there is no axis, properly speaking. I suppose one could talk about spin around the symmetric field of the electron, but a field doesn’t have definite spacial extension, so that is a problem.

    Of course circular motion changes direction. This is clear form a differential geometry perspective.

    “Time is a measure of motion acc to before and after. For our purposes motion is of two kinds: change in quantity and and change of place.”

    In other words, time is a vector quantity, having both magnitude (quantity) and direction (place). It is unclear that one can separate the one aspect from the other, except at quantum levels.

    The Chicken

  41. The Masked Chicken says:

    should read:

    ” In fact, since the electron has no point extension (it is a true mathematical point particle), it can’t spin…

  42. robtbrown says:

    TMC,

    Apologies to our host for what must seem like a rabbit hole.

    1. To say that circular motion changes direction is to say, as Newtonian mechanics do, that there is no such thing as circular motion. It is merely defined as constantly changing linear motion. The basis for this is Newton’s Cosmology of Absolute Time and Place.

    2. I don’t think it is unfortunate that the word “spin” was selected. It refers to the particle with angular momentum which seems to have no cause.

    3. The question is not whether Quantity and Place can be separated, but rather whether Place always includes a circular referent. And it would be so not only on the Quantum level but also in matters of Astro physics.

    NB: Although I studied some physics in college, my interest is in Cosmology and how the micro and macro branches of physics are moving away from Newton’s p-poor Cosmology to what is more in harmony with the thought of St Thomas.