Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey measures the universe to one-percent accuracy

Jan 08, 2014
This is an artist's concept of the new measurement of the size of the Universe. The gray spheres show the pattern of the "baryon acoustic oscillations" from the early Universe. Galaxies today have a slight tendency to align on the spheres -- the alignment is greatly exaggerated in this illustration. By comparing the size of the spheres (white line) to the predicted value, astronomers can determine to one-percent accuracy how far away the galaxies are. Credit: Zosia Rostomian, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Today the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) Collaboration announced that BOSS has measured the scale of the universe to an accuracy of one percent. This and future measures at this precision are the key to determining the nature of dark energy.

"One-percent accuracy in the scale of the is the most precise such measurement ever made," says BOSS's principal investigator, David Schlegel, a member of the Physics Division of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). "Twenty years ago astronomers were arguing about estimates that differed by up to fifty percent. Five years ago, we'd refined that uncertainty to five percent; a year ago it was two percent. One-percent accuracy will be the standard for a long time to come."

BOSS is the largest program in the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III). Since 2009, BOSS has used the Sloan Foundation Telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico to record high-precision spectra of well over a million galaxies with redshifts from 0.2 to 0.7, looking back over six billion years into the universe's past. Schlegel says, "We believe the BOSS database includes more redshifts of galaxies than collected by all the other telescopes in the world."

BOSS will continue gathering data until June, 2014. However, says Martin White, a member of Berkeley Lab, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley, and chair of the BOSS science survey team, "We've done the analysis now because we have 90 percent of BOSS's final data and we're tremendously excited by the results."

Baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) are the regular clustering of galaxies, whose scale provides a "standard ruler" to measure the evolution of the universe's structure. Accurate measurement dramatically sharpens our knowledge of fundamental cosmological properties, including how dark energy accelerates the expansion of the universe.

Combined with recent measures of the radiation (CMB) and supernova measures of accelerating expansion, the BOSS results suggest that dark energy is a cosmological constant whose strength does not vary in space or time. Although unlikely to be a flaw in Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, the authors of the BOSS analysis note that "understanding the physical cause of the accelerated expansion remains one of the most interesting problems in modern physics."

Among other cosmic parameters, says White, the BOSS analysis "also provides one of the best-ever determinations of the curvature of space. The answer is, it's not curved much."

Calling a three-dimensional universe "flat" means its shape is well described by the Euclidean geometry familiar from high school: straight lines are parallel and triangles add up to 180 degrees. Extraordinary flatness means the universe experienced relatively prolonged inflation, up to a decillionth of a second or more, immediately after the big bang.

"One of the reasons we care is that a flat universe has implications for whether the universe is infinite," says Schlegel. "That means – while we can't say with certainty that it will never come to an end – it's likely the universe extends forever in space and will go on forever in time. Our results are consistent with an infinite universe."

The BOSS analysis is based on SDSS-III's Data Releases 10 and 11 (DR 10 and DR 11) and has been submitted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society; the analysis is available online at http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.4877.

Ripples in a sea of galaxies

The BOSS analysis incorporates spectra of 1,277,503 galaxies and covers 8,509 square degrees of the sky visible from the northern hemisphere. This is the largest sample of the universe ever surveyed at this density. When complete, BOSS will have collected high-quality spectra of 1.3 million galaxies, plus 160,000 quasars and thousands of other astronomical objects, covering 10,000 square degrees.

Periodic ripples of density in visible matter ("baryons," for short) pervade the universe like raindrops on the surface of a pond. Regular galaxy clustering is the direct descendant of pressure waves that moved through the hot plasma of the early universe, which was so hot and dense that particles of light (photons) and particles of matter, including protons and electrons, were tightly coupled together. Invisible dark matter was also part of the mix.

By 380,000 years after the big bang, however, the temperature of the expanding mixture had cooled enough for light to escape, suffusing the newly transparent universe with intense radiation, which in the 13.4 billion years since has continued to cool to today's faint but pervasive cosmic microwave background.

Minute variations in the temperature of the CMB record periodicity in the original density ripples, of which the European Space Agency's Planck satellite has made the most recent and most accurate measures. The same periodicity is preserved in the clustering of the BOSS galaxies, a BAO signal which also mirrors the distribution of underlying dark matter.

Regular clustering at different eras, starting with the CMB, establishes the expansion history of the universe. BOSS collaborator Beth Reid of Berkeley Lab translates the two-dimensional sky coordinates of galaxies, plus their redshifts, into 3-D maps of the density of galaxies in space.

"It's from fluctuations in the density of galaxies in the volume we're looking at that we extract the BAO standard ruler," she says. "To compare different regions of the sky on an equal footing, first we have to undo variations from atmospheric effects or other patterns caused by how we observe the sky with our telescope." The results depend crucially on accurate measures of redshifts, which disclose the galaxies' positions in space and time. But galaxies don't move in lock step.

"When galaxies are close together their mutual gravitational attraction pushes them around and interferes with attempts to measure large-scale structure," Schlegel says. "Their peculiar motion makes it hard to write a formula for overall gravitational growth."

However, says Reid, "We have a very good model for what these distortions look like. The galaxy density field shows you where there are concentrations of matter, and the peculiar velocity field points in the direction of the net effect of all the local over- and under-densities."

"The BOSS data are awe-inspiring," says Martin White, "but many other pieces had to be put into place before we could get what we're after out of the data." Complex computer algorithms were essential for reconciling the inherent uncertainties. "We made thousands of model universes in a computer, and then observed them as BOSS would do and ran our analysis on them to answer the questions of 'What if?'"

By gauging how well their algorithms could analyze these model universes, known as "mocks" and based on catalogues of realistic but artificial galaxies, the experienced BOSS team was able to assess and fine-tune the algorithms when they were applied to the real BOSS data.

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), based at Berkeley Lab, was critical to the analysis and the creation of the mocks. Says White, "NERSC set aside resources for us to push analyses through quickly when we were up against deadlines. They provide a virtual meeting place where members of the collaboration from all around the world can come together on a shared platform, with both the data and the computational resources they need to perform their research."

BOSS has now provided the most accurate calibration ever of BAO's standard ruler. The universe's expansion history has been measured with unprecedented accuracy during the very stretch of ancient time, over six billion years in the past, when expansion had stopped slowing and acceleration began. But accurate as they are, the new BOSS results are just the beginning. Greater coverage and better resolution in scale are essential to understanding itself.

The proposed Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), based on an international partnership of nearly 50 institutions led by Berkeley Lab, would enable the Mayall Telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona to map over 20 million galaxies, plus over three million quasars, in 14,000 square degrees of the northern sky. By filling in the missing eons that BOSS can't reach, DESI could sharpen and extend coverage of the expansion history of the universe from the first appearance of the cosmic background radiation to the present day.

In the meantime, BOSS, ahead of schedule for completion in June, 2014, continues to be the premier instrument for mapping the universe.

Explore further: Kepler proves it can still find planets

More information: "The clustering of galaxies in the SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey: Baryon Acoustic Oscillations in the Data Release 10 and 11 galaxy samples," by Lauren Anderson, Eric Aubourg, Stephen Bailey, Florian Beutler, Vaishali Bhardwaj, Michael Blanton, Adam S. Bolton, J. Brinkmann, Joel R. Brownstein, Angela Burden, Chia-Hsun Chuang, Antonio J. Cuesta, Kyle S. Dawson, Daniel J. Eisenstein, Stephanie Escoffier, James E. Gunn,Hong Guo, Shirley Ho, Klaus Honscheid, Cullan Howlett, David Kirkby, Robert H. Lupton, Marc Manera, Claudia Maraston, Cameron K. McBride, Olga Mena, Francesco Montesano, Robert C. Nichol, Sebastian E. Nuza, Matthew D. Olmstead, Nikhil Padmanabhan, Nathalie Palanque-Delabrouille, John Parejko, Will J. Percival, Patrick Petitjean, Francisco Prada, Adrian M. Price-Whelan, Beth Reid, Natalie A. Roe,Ashley J. Ross, Nicholas P. Ross, Cristiano G. Sabiu, Shun Saito, Lado Samushia, Ariel G. Sanchez, David J. Schlegel, Donald P. Schneider, Claudia G. Scoccola, Hee-Jong Seo, Ramin A. Skibba, Michael A. Strauss, Molly E. C. Swanson, Daniel Thomas, Jeremy L. Tinker, Rita Tojeiro, Mariana Vargas Magana, Licia Verde, David A. Wake, Benjamin A. Weaver, David H. Weinberg, Martin White, Xiaoying Xu, Christophe Yeche, Idit Zehavi, and Gong-Bo Zhao, has been submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and is available online at arxiv.org/abs/1312.4877

Related: Vargas-Magaña, M., Ho, S., Xu, X., Sánchez, A.G., O'Connell, R., Eisenstein, D.J., Cuesta, A.J., Percival, W.J., Ross, A.J., Aubourg, É., Escoffier, S., Kirkby, D., Manera, M., Schneider, D.P., Tinker, J.L., & Weaver, B.A., 2013, "SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey: Analysis of Potential Systematics in Fitting of Baryon Acoustic Feature," submitted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, arXiv:1312.4996.

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User comments : 27

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cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (14) Jan 08, 2014
An argument confirmed though endless pattern of circular reasoning.... GIGO!
KBK
1.7 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2014
Not quite that, but it is still an attempt at doing their best.

Science has a modern problem, one due possibly, by marketing being attached to the academic side of the pursuit. Modern corporatism and associated politics. So we see the dark side of marketing protruding into the sensationalism of a a claim of reaching perfection in a form of absolutes in reality.

Which by definition - in science, cannot exist, as the fundamentals of science rest on assumptions. Well tested assumptions, but invariably and irrevocably ...a set of assumptions.

Some day, science will be able to define a fact, to say one actually exists.

Tis' a dream that science has.

But not yet, not yet....
Returners
1.3 / 5 (13) Jan 08, 2014
Regular galaxy clustering is the direct descendant of pressure waves that moved through the hot plasma of the early universe,


These structures are consistent with "localized" though very large, events.

The BB and Inflation, as well as inflation acceleration, via "Dark Energy," are all supposed to be "non-local".

They are not entirely equidistant, which is another non-uniformity at this scale, even though it isn't terribly non-uniform. Notice that some ripples greatly over-lap one another, while others of about the same size are only tangent to one another, meanwhile there is a ring in the lower right, same size, which is not touching or overlapping any of the others in the image.

I'd say the "event(s)" are all the same type, but not necessarily causally related (in the sense of one causing the other,) which is to say they could have had the same cause, but not necessarily simultaneously, and obviously not perfectly equidistantly.
Returners
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 08, 2014
Why do the "Ripples" appear as 2-D "rings" oriented almost exactly orthogonal to Line of Sight, instead of appearing as 3-D spherical shells that you would expect from a 3-D pressure wave? There should be an abnormal amount of "foreground" galaxies paralleling the edges of the rings we see, but there are almost no "foreground" galaxies in the image, with only a scant hand-full of galaxies at about the same distance which do not fall on either the "ring" or the "core" structures. Such as the Irregular galaxy on the inside of the ring in bottom right.

Obviously, there are plenty background galaxies, but again they do not appear to be at a range that would be obviously related to the radius of the rings.

Again, why a "2-D" pressure wave, when you'd expect a "3-D" pressure wave?

Suggests it may not be a pressure wave at all, but more like "looking through a tube," such as a straw, held at just the right distance.

Why all orthogonal instead of some being tilted away? Chirality bias?
Returners
1.3 / 5 (13) Jan 08, 2014
Anyway, the distribution is very non-uniform, which I think is contrary to mainstream, because the bottom left and bottom right rings are so very far away from others, compared to how close the other rings are to one another. The difference in distance is nearly a full radii compared to the average distance of the other rings, so to me it suggests a non-uniform event.

Moreover, as mentioned, all of the rings are oriented roughly orthogonaly to line of sight, across the entire composite, which produces a preferential bias to our viewing point, much like the spiral galaxy rotation chiral bias, which is again contrary to the relativity notion that there is no preferred frame of reference. That is to say a random origin should not produce this effect. The ripples should be tilted randomly if there was no preferred observer, but they are nearly perfect circles, so not tilted randomly.

This is not acceptable to the mainstream theory for at least two reasons:
Preferred observer
Non-uniform.
shavera
4.5 / 5 (12) Jan 08, 2014
Please do try to read the article and captions, Returners. The picture is just an "Artist's conception," not the actual data. For the actual data, look up something like "Large scale structure of the universe" and you'll see filaments of galaxies and voids between them that are the actual 3D picture.
Returners
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2014
... "Large scale structure of the universe" and you'll see filaments of galaxies and voids between them that are the actual 3D picture.


You mean like this?

Go ahead, take a look at the "Cosmic Filaments" search results on Google. Link is too long to post, but EVERYONE GOOGLE "Cosmic Filaments".

Yet those are non-uniform too, and also not spherical.

Those maps look more like neurons with long lines criss-crossing every which way, nothing circular, everything is angular intersects and long stringy structures. Nothing of a "standard" length or proportion.

Additionally, the caption you point to claims these structures are "Spherical" which means that not even the scientists would classify them as the same thing.

If the structure's distribution in the image is intended to be uniform, then the artists conception is just as incompetent as the next person's, since the distribution of overlaps-per-ring varies from zero to four.
Zephir_fan
Jan 08, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2014
Personally, I waiting for the newer survey. And I have a question or two about the measurement parameters.
I also would like to see an equivalent survey done in the southern hemisphere.
One last question from a layperson - when they say "flat", do they mean the space that hold the baryonic material? Or just the distribution of the baryonic stuff IN that space?
oops - one more. Straight with a tiny bit of curvature?
Zephir_fan
Jan 08, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Returners
2 / 5 (4) Jan 08, 2014
Personally, I waiting for the newer survey. And I have a question or two about the measurement parameters.
I also would like to see an equivalent survey done in the southern hemisphere.
One last question from a layperson - when they say "flat", do they mean the space that hold the baryonic material? Or just the distribution of the baryonic stuff IN that space?
oops - one more. Straight with a tiny bit of curvature?


When they use "Flat" in contexts like that it is referring to the "Space-time" itself. You may also hear the older term "asymptotically flat space-time" they simply dropped the descriptor and use the term "Flat" now.

The postulate of an infinite universe violates at least one law of physics and at least one other theory that I know of, which shows that the universe cannot have an infinite history, even if it were infinite in size.

Infinite size doesn't make sense within known laws, because it would take an infinite amount of time to get that big.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2014
When they use "Flat" in contexts like that it is referring to the "Space-time" itself. You may also hear the older term "asymptotically flat space-time" they simply dropped the descriptor and use the term "Flat" now.

I am just trying to construct a visual and wish to know what they are referencing when they say "flat". Certainly it isn't the relationship of galaxies to eachother. What is "flat"? Expansion? What are the parameters they use?
Without additional postulates, please
Returners
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2014
I am just trying to construct a visual and wish to know what they are referencing when they say "flat". Certainly it isn't the relationship of galaxies to eachother. What is "flat"? Expansion? What are the parameters they use?
Without additional postulates, please


Basically, it means that on a cosmic scale, a straight line really is straight, a triangle has 3 sides and 180 degrees, a quadralateral has 4 sides and 360 degrees.

Simple enough?

If space-time were not "flat" then depending on whether you were in a "peak" or a "valley" a triangle could have more or less than 180 degrees. In the context of cosmology, it would mean a triangle inscribed in the universe would have a different number of degrees than 180.
Q-Star
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2014
When they use "Flat" in contexts like that it is referring to the "Space-time" itself. You may also hear the older term "asymptotically flat space-time" they simply dropped the descriptor and use the term "Flat" now.

I am just trying to construct a visual and wish to know what they are referencing when they say "flat". Certainly it isn't the relationship of galaxies to eachother. What is "flat"? Expansion? What are the parameters they use?
Without additional postulates, please


Euclidean plain or Euclidean solid geometry. Parallel lines stay parallel. Any three coplanar points will result in three angles which add to 180 degrees. But this is for the entire Universe or a large fair sample of it. There is still local curvature due to gravitational spacetime curvature.
Zephir_fan
Jan 08, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2014
Thank you Q (and even returners). Just making sure we are all on the same page about it.
For me that interprets as "the rules are the same everywhere".
RobertKarlStonjek
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2014
'Accuracy' is a relative quantity between the actual and measured dimension of a thing. So if you don't know the exact size of the universe in advance you can not determine the accuracy.

In other words, 'accuracy of 1%' with regard to the entire universe is as meaningless as a statement that the number of hairs on God's head has been measured to an accuracy of ±5 hairs...it is impossible to verify the accuracy of that claim and so it is unfalsifiable which is why we would say such a claim is not scientific, just as the claim about the accuracy of the measurement mentioned in the article...
verkle
1 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2014
Our results are consistent with an infinite universe.


This is the conclusion that Einstein came to.

Returners
1 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2014
Our results are consistent with an infinite universe.


This is the conclusion that Einstein came to.



No, Einstein wrongfully concluded that the universe was "eternal".

Being infinite in size and eternal are not the same thing, although paradoxically an infinite universe would require an eternal universe. However, laws such as Entropy and proton decay can be used to readily show that the universe is definitely not eternal.

Since the universe is not eternal, it cannot be infinite in size, since it would take an infinite amount of time to make an object of infinite size, under the laws of physics.
Returners
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 08, 2014
RobterCarl:

You are correct.

Let's say we have a marksman, and he fires five rounds at a target from some distance. The marksman ordinarily goes and checks his target. He judges that his five round grouping missed to the right by an average of 1 inch. This means the accuracy is wrong by 1 inch. The precision would be the size of the maximum deviation of each round from this average.

However, as you rightly hint and point out, unlike this marksman, we can't simply walk (or fly) to the distant object to actually check if our telescopes and our magic voodoo GR space-time warp thinga-majiger formula are in fact accurate and precise.

It needs to be pointed out that it is entirely a faith-based estimate, since direct testing certain aspects of GR at extremes is never going to be possible.

If there is a flaw in GR, then every astronomical measurement of distance, mass, and luminosity beyond parallax range is flawed.
Zephir_fan
Jan 08, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Returners
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2014
Zephir:

That is not a fact that regularly gets pointed out. Although it's pretty obvious to people who think about these things, you will almost never see or hear an astrophysicist mention that at all.

I will continue to play spoiler against the mainstream position, for as long as they remain rigid in their thinking, blindly accepting an entire framework which cannot be proven, especially when they make further predictions involving additional "patches" to that framework which likewise cannot be proven.
Zephir_fan
Jan 08, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Whydening Gyre
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2014
.. and proton decay can be used to...

I was under the impression that proton decay was only a hypothetical....
Returners
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2014
Betelgeuse distance:

643 +/- 146ly

You know, that's still more than a 25% margin of error for something that is relatively in the back yard, yet the scientists expect us to believe they can measure the entire universe to 1% accuracy.

When you can narrow the Betelgeuse distance and mass errors down to 1% let me know.

I was under the impression that proton decay was only a hypothetical....


It really doesn't matter, there's other reasons either way.

Let's take stars. If the universe is eternal in the past, why is there so much hydrogen around?

Why isn't everything a black hole or a neutron star, or an impossibly thin wisp of inter-galactic dust never to be absorbed or formed into a substantive object?

Why are we here to observe any of this?

"Eternal" is a lot more than 13 billion years, and it's a lot more than 10^31 years or even 10^10,000 years.

"Dark Energy" theory, if real, also would prevent and eternal universe due to the "Big Rip" effect.
Whydening Gyre
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2014
However, as you rightly hint and point out, unlike this marksman, we can't simply walk (or fly) to the distant object to actually check if our telescopes and our magic voodoo GR space-time warp thinga-majiger formula are in fact accurate and precise.

For a thousand meter shot most marksmen use their scope, cuz that walk will kill ya...

It needs to be pointed out that it is entirely a faith-based estimate, since direct testing certain aspects of GR at extremes is never going to be possible.

You think scientists haven't put any thought into the accuracy of their equipment? Did they just kluge something together, use it once and say "yep, that's good enough for us"? I'm pretty sure they put it thru some kind of rigorous testing prior to the actual experiment...
If there is a flaw in GR, then every astronomical measurement of distance, mass, and luminosity beyond parallax range is flawed.

In actuality, they secretly wanna prove GR wrong and go down in History...
Returners
2 / 5 (4) Jan 08, 2014
So we see many of the mainstream theory aspects make predictions (or post-dictions) which contradict other mainstream theory aspects. They go around gleefully making predictions and new theories which contradict the theory they used to make that prediction or observation in the first place.

Oh yeah, even the "Cyclic Universe" model is subject to Entropy, and as a consequence could not be eternal in the past.

For all these reasons and more, the universe must have had a beginning at a finite time in the past.
Returners
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2014
You think scientists haven't put any thought into the accuracy of their equipment? Did they just kluge something together, use it once and say "yep, that's good enough for us"? I'm pretty sure they put it thru some kind of rigorous testing prior to the actual experiment...


I'm really not concerned with the telescopes per se. I'm concerned with the theory, the mathematics, and the interpretation of said theory and mathematics. Telescopes is just a matter of making something better. GR is a sacred cow you can get ostracized for offering scrutiny.

In actuality, they secretly wanna prove GR wrong and go down in H


Given how mainstreamers vehemently ban anyone who disagrees with any aspect of relativity, I find that unlikely. Just go to a normal discussion forum on physics, and start a post like, "I think GR is wrong for reasons 1, 2 and 3," and you'll get warned, falsely accused of providing misinformation, and then banned in short order (see "Physicsforums dot com").
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2014
Betelgeuse distance: 643 +/- 146ly
You know, that's still more than a 25% margin of error for something that is relatively in the back yard, yet the scientists expect us to believe they can measure the entire universe to 1% accuracy.
When you can narrow the Betelgeuse distance and mass errors down to 1% let me know.]/q]
In 2007, Floor van Leeuwen improved upon the Hipparcos parallax, producing a new figure of π = 6.55 ± 0.83, hence a much tighter error factor yielding a distance of roughly 152 ± 20 pc or 520 ± 73 ly.[57].
Not 25% anymore, Still not 1%, tho. So I suppose you have a valid point.
Why isn't everything a black hole or a neutron star, or an impossibly thin wisp of inter-galactic dust never to be absorbed or formed into a substantive object?

Matter hasn't been around long enough, yet?
cantdrive85
2 / 5 (4) Jan 09, 2014
Go ahead, take a look at the "Cosmic Filaments" search results on Google. Link is too long to post, but EVERYONE GOOGLE "Cosmic Filaments".

It should be noted Alfven PREDICTED said filamentary and cellular structure of the universe as far back as the 50's, well before the Google and it's handy dandy images. It's just what plasma does...
alfie_null
5 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2014
Given how mainstreamers vehemently ban anyone who disagrees with any aspect of relativity, I find that unlikely. Just go to a normal discussion forum on physics, and start a post like, "I think GR is wrong for reasons 1, 2 and 3," and you'll get warned, falsely accused of providing misinformation, and then banned in short order

After trudging through this morass of fringe science comments, cranks only interested in promoting their own views, in the discussion that followed this article, I can well understand why. These cranks aren't interested in discussing; all they're interested in is preaching. It destroys the value of the forum for the rest of us.
Cocoa
not rated yet Jan 10, 2014
alfie "It destroys the value of the forum for the rest of us."

I totally agree with your comment alfie. It seems to me to give us an insight into some realm of chaos - or perhaps it is mental illness. I see science as the exploration of reality. We use our minds to try to get a handle on that reality. It is a community process - of course no one individual can understand even a small percentage of what humans collectively know. But what happens when one mind says to all the others - 'fuck off dumb dumbs - you are all wrong - and I have single handedly solved all the mysteries of the universe?'

You can't argue your way out of this predicament - as the one mind just plays word salad - and continues to assert it's correctness - over all the other minds. The one mind does give us food for thought.

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