In light of the monumental publicity afforded the B wave polarization reported by the BICEP team yesterday, I reproduce a quick and provisional response from a questioner on another forum:
What they saw was a particular polarization in the CMB, called B-mode polarization. This has been predicted for some time as a "smoking gun" evidence for inflation, although anyone who understands the nature of scientific discovery knows that all such claims are ridiculous on their face (remember how the Foucault pendulum was considered "smoking gun" evidence for a rotation of the Earth- it of course was no such thing). This paper, for example, sets forth at least half a dozen alternate causes for B mode polarization, beside inflation, and that certain types of B Mode observations (slight blue shifts, for example) would *falsify* inflation.
As far as our film is concerned, this really has nothing to do with the basic problem facing consensus cosmology. Let us say they indeed have their proof of inflation- it must have been a very strange inflation, since it left a special direction imprinted on the cosmos.
But wait. There's more.
It is not just any special direction. This special direction happens to be aligned with the equator and equinoxes of the only location in the entire universe which we *know* has observers with telescopes capable of seeing and understanding this special direction.
Inflation is supposed to utterly erase any special direction or location in the cosmos.
The problems are not in any way solved by this experiment, no matter how brilliant a technological achievement it appears to have been. If anything, they raise the stakes even higher. WHY is the largest structure in the observable cosmos universe ALIGNED with US, if inflation occurred, and allegedly left a flat, smooth, isotropic and homogeneous space time?