Monday, May 20, 2013

Another Day, Another Anti-Copernican Principle Blockbuster.........

This is getting ridiculous.

Another new paper, just posted today:

"Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in the radio sky"?

This one is highly interesting, since it is based not on any new observations from Planck, but instead on an entirely unrelated statistical analysis of one of the oldest and most widely used catalogues of radio sources.

The paper shows that the data has been staring us in the face for decades!

It was in the process of looking at the data in a new way that the astonishing result "falls out":

arXiv:1305.4134v1 [astro-ph.CO] 17 May 2013

"Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR catalogue, one of the oldest and most intensively studies sample of strong radio sources5,6,7. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP). We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations. Further, even the distribution of observed radio sizes of quasars and radio galaxies show large systematic differences between these two sky regions. The redshift distribution appear to be very similar in both regions of sky for all sources, which rules out any local effects to be the cause of these anomalies. Two pertinent questions then arise. First, why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the most distant discrete sources implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon.

"Copernican principle states that earth does not have any eminent or privileged position
in the universe and therefore an observer’s choice of origin and/or orientation of his/her coordinate system should have no bearing on the appearance of the distant universe. Its natural generalization is the cosmological principle that the universe on a sufficiently large scale should appear homogeneous and isotropic, with no preferred directions, to all observers. However to us on earth the universe does show heterogeneous structures up to the scale of superclusters of galaxies and somewhat beyond, but it is assumed that it will all appear homogeneous and isotropic when observed on still larger scales, perhaps beyond a couple of hundreds of megaparsecs. Radio galaxies and quasars, the most distant dis- crete objects (at distances of many gigaparsecs or further) seen in the universe should trace the distribution of matter in the universe at that large scale and should therefore appear isotropically distributed from any vantage point in the universe including that on earth. One of the earliest and best studied source of radio galaxies and quasars is the 3CRR (3rd Cambridge twice revised) catalogue5,6,7, which is radio complete in the sense that all ra- dio sources brighter than a certain sensitive limit are included and also it has complete optical identification content with detailed optical spectra to classify radio sources in to radio galaxies and quasars. The catalogue with the latest updates is downloadable from

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Darkness and Evil in Cosmology


It is now being called the "dark sector".

The "dark sector" comprises 99% or so of all the matter/energy in the Copernican universe.

The non-Copernican is entitled at this point to say:

"How conveeeeeeeeeeeenient!".

Imagine the consequences for a non-Copernican cosmological theory which based itself upon the premise:

"Ninety nine per cent of the mass and energy required for this universe do not exist in observed forms."

Now consider the reality of a Copernican cosmological consensus which does base itself upon the premise:

"Ninety nine per cent of the mass and energy required for this universe do not exist in observed forms."

The non-Copernican is entitled at this point to say:

"A cosmological theory which requires for its validity that the universe must consist 99% in unobserved forms of matter and energy is a false cosmological theory, and must be replaced."

It is highly predictable that a cosmological theory which requires for its validity that the universe must consist 99% in unobserved forms of matter and energy will regularly encounter observations which are contrary to its assumptions.

It is even predictable that such observations might acquire a generic terminology; a categorization to set them over and against the "dark sector" fudge factors which are invented to explain them away.

It is even predictable that such troublesome anomalies might be termed "Evil".


It is now being called the "Axis of Evil".

The "Axis of Evil" is a special direction in the universe.

It is observationally confirmed to exist.

This observational confirmation directly contradicts the foundational assumption of Copernican cosmology- the Copernican Principle itself.

This special direction is not merely "special"- it is pointing directly at the Earth.

This special direction is not merely related to the cosmic background.

It has been found to extend to distinct phenomena including:

1. Preferred axis of galaxy spin rotation handedness.
2. Polarization of quasar photons.
3. Preferred direction of so-called "dark flow"
4. Preferred direction of anisotropic cosmic expansion as interpreted by Type 1a Supernovae observations.

Perhaps what we call "dark" is merely a fiction, and what we call "Evil" is actually the universe giving us a hint- trying to assist us in coming to understand that Earth is indeed in a very, very special place in the cosmos.

So Guess What Else Is Pointing At the Earth?

As most of the readers of this blog know already, a strong and growing tendency exists in cosmology to examine critically, and possibly subject to crucial experimental test, the foundational assumption of the modern world itself- the "Copernican Principle".

One of the leading concepts in this development of cosmology is so-called "void cosmology".

Void cosmology is simply an intellectually acceptable term for what amounts to "weak" geocentrism.

It places the Earth near the center of a "void", an under-density of matter, and in so doing accomplishes two interesting things:

1. It dispenses with the Copernican Principle;

2. It dispenses with the need for dark energy.


We know that "dark energy" exists only because of observations of Type 1a Supernovae, which are interpreted to mean that the universe must be accelerating in its expansion.

Needless to say, if the universe is accelerating in its expansion, then something must exist which is able to counteract the attractive force of gravity.

That something is completely unobserved, and exists only as a term in an equation.

But it is often treated in the scientific pop press as an ontological reality, and it is bandied about as if it were a substance about which our science is prepared to tell us many important things.

The one truly important thing about this non-existent substance is that it is non-existent; that is to say, it does not exist except as a mathematical term.

The term must exist in order to save the otherwise unsalvageable mathematical expressions of Standard Model cosmology, but it has no other necessary existence.

If the Standard Model is wrong- say, for example, if its foundational assumption of a Copernican/cosmological Principle is wrong- then dark energy exists henceforth not even as a mathematical term, but instead merely as a fictitious fudge factor, an immortal example of how to bungle science by imposing upon observations a magical "fixer upper", so as to render them amenable to one's assumptions.

On May 17, a paper was published on the Cornell University preprint site which reports yet another Earth-oriented cosmological structure- this time the orientation of the very Type 1a Supernovae which have led to the invention of "dark energy".

Emphases added below:

May 17, 2013


Recently, the anisotropy of cosmic acceleration has at tracted great attention, which may be caused by the non- trivial cosmic topology or some residuals of observational errors. In this paper, by using the Union2 SNIa dataset at different regions in the whole sky, we investigated the dependence of cosmic acceleration on the directions in the Galactic coordinate system, where the deceleration parameter qhas been used as the diagnostic to quantify the anisotropy level.
In the anisotropic q0-maps, we find the significant dipole effect with the amplitude A= 0.466, which deviates from zero at more than 2-σ level. This study also shows that the direction of the dipole trends to be perpendicular to CMB kinematic dipole. The best-fit dipole direction is (θ = 108.8φ= 187.0), and the angle be- tween this direction and that of CMB kinematic dipole is 95.7. We find the perpendicular relation between these two dipoles is anomalous at the 1-in-10 level........
Recently, the new release of the Planck observations on the CMB temperature anisotropy confirmed the alignment of the CMB quadrupole and octupole. And this particular direction is nearly aligned with CMB kinematic dipole direction [59]. At the same time, the discontinuous distribution of power in the hemispheres on the sky was also been confirmed. All these show that we have the evidence for a break in isotropy. In order to solve these problems, a phenomenological dipole modulation may be needed [59, 60]. Since all these directional anomalies, as well as the alignment problems of the cosmic acceleration anisotropy discussed in this paper, the parity asymmetry of CMB power spectrum [47], the large-scale velocity flows [49] and the large scale alignment in the QSO optical polarization data [51] are connected with the CMB kinematic dipole and/or the ecliptic planeWe expect a single dipole modulation mechanism could solve all these puzzles.
Several works have suggested that this kind of modulation could be caused by the non-trivial topology of the Universe, such as the anisotropic global Bianchi VIIh geometry [61], the Randers-Finsler geometry [62], or the multi-stream inflation [63]. However, if they have the cosmological origin, it is very difficult to answer: Why the special direction is related to the current motion di- rection of the Earth, i.e. the CMB kinematic dipole. So, in our view, we would rather believe that these problems should be caused by some unsolved systematical errors in observations or data analysis."

But of course you would rather believe this.

I appreciate the precision of that sentence.

"We would *rather* believe..........."

It sets the stakes in proper perspective in this rapidly- expanding debate over the Copernican Principle.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More New Papers Examining the Copernican Principle

The remarkable proliferation of papers examining the Copernican Principle continues apace.

The problem- the fact that the Universe is not Copernican, and our FLRW solutions for General Relativity require that it be Copernican- is now making its way inexorably toward the "mainstream".

Here are a few recent additions from the site:

"Testing the Copernican Principle by constraining spatial homogeneity", posted September 18, 2012
includes this excerpt:

"The Copernican principle states that humans are not privileged observers of the universe and provides our philosophical basis for assuming that on the largest scales the universe is spatially homogeneous. While it is one of the foundational aspects of modern cosmology, this assumption remains untested outside of the standard paradigm. Though it may seem pedantic to test something so obvious, the standard paradigm itself is built on shaky foundations, relying on an unexplained, gravitationally repulsive, dark-energy component for observations to fit the model. The implications of this cannot be overstated. Assuming that the laws of physics do apply equally everywhere in the universe, the only non- copernican configuration possible is one in which we live in a place that originates from special initial conditions."

This post of May 1, 2013 tells us that "(f)or the first time, the standard FL background geometry may be showing its limits to interpret the cosmological data with the accuracy they require."

And, quite remarkably, this paper from the European Journal of Physics, accepted for publication on January 16, 2013, which includes this:

According to Newton’s laws, it is impossible for small Earth to keep the big Sun in its orbit: the gravitational pull is just too weak. This argument is very strong, and it seemed to settle the question for good.

But in the end of 19th century, the famous physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach (1839-1916) came with the principle which states the equivalence of non-inertial frames. Using the famous “Newton’s bucket” argument, Mach argues that all so-called pseudo- forces (forces which result from accelerated motion of the reference frame) are in fact real forces originating form the accelerated motion of distant masses in the Universe, as observed by the observer in the non-inertial frame. Some go even further, stating that “every single physical property and behavioral aspect of isolated systems is determined by the whole Universe” [3]. According to Mach’s principle, the Earth could be considered as the “pivot point” of the Universe: the fact that the Universe is orbiting around the Earth will create the exact same forces that we usually ascribe to the motion of the Earth.

Mach’s principle played a major role in the development of the Einstein’s General Theory of Relavity [4], as well as other developments in gravitation theory, and has inspired some interesting experiments [5]. This principle still serves as a guideline for some physicists who attempt to reformulate (“Machianize”) Newtonian dynamics [6, 7], or try to construct new theories of mechanics [8]. Some arguments and critiques against Mach’s principle have also been raised [9]. Since the time of it’s original appearance [10, 11, 12], Mach’s principle has been reformulated in numbers of different ways [13, 14]. For the purpose of this paper, we will only focus on the one of the consequences of Mach’s principle: that the inertial forces can be seen as resulting from real interactions with distant matter in the Universe, as was for example shown by A. Zylbersztajn [15].

The only question remains: are these forces by themselves enough to explain all translational motions that we observe from Earth, and can they reproduce the Tycho Brahe’s model? The discussion in this paper will show that the answer to this question is positive. 

Interesting times!

Much more to come, here at Magisterial Fundies, and also in "The Principle".

Friday, May 10, 2013

Apologies for Delay In Comment Moderation

Hi all:

Some kind of a glitch has resulted in a number of comments being tied up until suddenly showing up this morning.

They should all be up now, except for one.

I address the author of the one:

Lionel, I am informed that you took private correspondence and posted it publicly. I do not participate in this.

My post on the question can be found here:

If you want to interact with my post, you can do so there.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Metaphysics and Cosmology

In the process of filming and editing "The Principle", I have tried to present the two great world views which Christendom and the post-Enlightenment world have presented us, concerning cosmology and cosmogony.

The first is the world view of antiquity, of Plato and Aristotle, and, also, of Genesis.

The second is the world view of consensus cosmology, the "Big Bang" in its present form (so-called "lambda cold dark matter" or "LCDM").

The first places Earth at a very special position in the cosmos- indeed, according to Genesis, Earth is the first object created, and the cosmos is "stretched out" from Earth.

The second places Earth in an insignificant position, as in Carl Sagan's famous quote:

Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.

For a very long time, the scientific model of reality has gone from strength to strength, from triumph to triumph, on the basis of reported confirmations of the so-called "Copernican/cosmological Principle".

But a deeper investigation of these triumphs reveals a very interesting- even disturbing!- fact.

The Copernican Principle is a philosophical/metaphysical, not a scientific concept.

Please, click on the supplied definition link above, and soak in the implications:

In later years with Freud, man lost his Godlike mind; with Darwin his exalted place among the creatures of the Earth; with Copernicus man had lost his privileged position in the Universe.
The lesson learned by future scientists is that if a theory requires a special origin or viewpoint, then it is not plausible

These are not scientific assertions. Not a one of them.

These are metaphysical assertions.

Man "lost his Godlike mind"?


Man's mind did not change in any way at all.

Our metaphysical view concerning that mind changed.

Man lost his exalted place among the creatures of the Earth?


Man's place among the creatures of the Earth did not change in any way at all.

Our metaphysical view concerning that place changed.

Man lost his privileged position in the cosmos?


Therein lies a tale, and a very powerful and important one.

Of course whatever position we had in the universe before Copernicus, is exactly the same position we had in the universe after Copernicus.

The question is: is it a privileged position?

According to the remarkable observations obtained by our most recent, large-scale surveys of the universe, it apparently is.

But there is one final assertion above, which represents the truly disturbing aspects of the Copernican metaphysical world view, as it has come to be expressed in consensus, Big Bang, LCDM cosmology:

"The lesson learned by future scientists is that if a theory requires a special origin or viewpoint, then it is not plausible."

Now stop and think about that one for a moment, if you please.

What we have here is a metaphysical assumption about reality, imposing itself upon all attempts to explain scientific observations.

The metaphysical assumption is:

"We're nothing special".

The imposition consists in the frank and brutal warning to all the young scientists who might be wondering about this question:

"if a theory requires a special origin or viewpoint, then it is not plausible."

In other words, we are told that any theory which might be able to account for observations, but which would result in a violation of the Copernican Principle, will be dismissed, a priori, as "not plausible".


Are we better oriented toward truth, by the assumption that we are special, privileged observers of this magnificent universe?

Or are we better oriented toward truth, by the assumption that we're insignificant in comparison to this magnificent universe?

"The Principle" is the most important movie you will see this year.

Look for it in theaters this autumn.