How old is the Universe?

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Offline Bill S

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How old is the Universe?
« on: 13/04/2015 03:36:40 »
How old is the Universe?  That seems like an easy question to answer.  It’s 13.7 billion years, or close to. 

Where do we measure that time from?  That’s another easy one: now.

Relativity tells us there is no universal now, all we can identify is the spacetime event that is “here and now”.  So,  what do we mean when we say that we measure back from now?  Any reference frame that is in motion relative to ours will identify a different here and now.  Every part of the Universe is in motion relative to every other part, and the faster that relative motion, the greater will be the discrepancy between the measurement of here and now with respect to each part.

We are assured that the more distant (from us) parts of the Universe are moving away from us at speeds faster than c.  What can we say about the measurement of here and now in those areas?  All these areas are parts of the Universe.  If we can’t identify a “present” for them, how can we say how their “present” relates to the start of the Universe from their perspective?

We could assume that any measurement taken from any part of the Universe would show that the Big Bang occurred at 13.7 billion years before that local “present”, but what does that actually mean?  Is our measurement of the age of the Universe just a feature of our particular location in spacetime?
« Last Edit: 13/04/2015 03:39:37 by Bill S »
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Offline jccc

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #1 on: 13/04/2015 15:32:22 »
no one has the answer. how could one has an answer that is absolute?

how big is the universe? seems most of us agreed it is infinite.

if space is infinite, time should be infinite.

as we can wonder and ask why, we are somehow infinite.

we stand here and now trying to reach out, to learn, to become infinite.

oh, life, thank you.

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Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #2 on: 13/04/2015 19:55:20 »
Who's to say that the big bang was the beginning? Big bangs could simply be the result of gravity eventually bringing everything to a single spot called a singularity then exploding. Big bangs could have happened an infinite amount of times. in a never ending loop. (look up big crunch theory)

The only thing standing in the way of such an idea is "dark energy theory" which is almost certainly the result of gravity waves persisting to this day from when all the mass in the universe (singularity) was suddenly converted into energy during the big bang.   these waves are far larger then any galaxy and far larger then we can perceive with our telescopes  that's why we think there is such a thought that there actually is something called dark energy.  we have no Idea that we are on the tale end of a huge gravity wave.

space could be infinite but there is a perceivable diameter of space occupied by matter and light. If the big bang did occur 13 billion years ago that simply means that light could only travel 13 billion light years in any direction giving you the radius of the universe (with light in it).
« Last Edit: 13/04/2015 20:05:29 by ScientificSorcerer »

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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #3 on: 14/04/2015 12:26:03 »
SS, you make points that are valid in themselves, but may not be relevant to the OP.  It really makes no difference if the BB was the start of "everything" or just a point along the way.  The significant question of the OP was: if we cannot identify a generalised present for the Universe, how can we identify any point in the past with universal validity?

I had hoped we might tackle this point before moving on to the next, which would be to ask if it might be reasonable to make a case for our living in an atemporal cosmos in which time is just a local "illusion" that is necessary in order to make intelligent life possible.
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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #4 on: 14/04/2015 16:18:17 »
How old is the Universe?  That seems like an easy question to answer.  It’s 13.7 billion years, or close to. 

Where do we measure that time from?  That’s another easy one: now.

Relativity tells us there is no universal now, all we can identify is the spacetime event that is “here and now”.  So,  what do we mean when we say that we measure back from now?  Any reference frame that is in motion relative to ours will identify a different here and now.  Every part of the Universe is in motion relative to every other part, and the faster that relative motion, the greater will be the discrepancy between the measurement of here and now with respect to each part.
That time refers to cosmological time, i.e. the time read on a particular clock in co-moving coordinates. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comoving_distance

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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #5 on: 14/04/2015 21:45:32 »
Pete, what you say is absolutely right.  However, your Wiki link contains the following:

Quote
Although general relativity allows one to formulate the laws of physics using arbitrary coordinates, some coordinate choices are more natural (easier to work with). Comoving coordinates are an example of such a natural coordinate choice.

This makes it clear that co-moving coordinates and, consequently, cosmological time are arbitrary concepts.  Even without getting into things like the anthropic principle, it is obvious that the potential to make sense of the Universe is a sine qua non of the development of intelligent life.  Thus, such arbitrary coordinates are very valuable to cosmologists and astronomers.  However, we should not forget that they are chosen precisely to fit our 3+1 dimensional cosmology. 
We are still left with the question: If relativity prevents us from identifying an absolute present, can there be any way of absolutely relating any past point to any later point in such a way that it can be universally valid?
Wouldn't relativity always insist that such relationships appeared to be different (indeed, were different) when observed from different reference frames?
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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #6 on: 14/04/2015 21:59:23 »
Quote from: Bill S
Pete, what you say is absolutely right.  However, your Wiki link contains the following:
Quote
Although general relativity allows one to formulate the laws of physics using arbitrary coordinates, some coordinate choices are more natural (easier to work with). Comoving coordinates are an example of such a natural coordinate choice.
Okay. I certainly agree with that.

Quote from: Bill S
This makes it clear that co-moving coordinates and, consequently, cosmological time are arbitrary concepts.
I disagree with that though. The concept itself is far from being arbitrary since it has a solid meaning independent of anything outside of itself. The only thing arbitrary about it is the choice of coordinates. It's the particular set of coordinates that are arbitrary, not the concept of coordinates itself.

Quote from: Bill S
If relativity prevents us from identifying an absolute present, can there be any way of absolutely relating any past point to any later point in such a way that it can be universally valid?
Yes.

Quote from: Bill S
Wouldn't relativity always insist that such relationships appeared to be different (indeed, were different) when observed from different reference frames?
No. Not always. It depends on the events and the coordinate system used.
« Last Edit: 15/04/2015 01:49:29 by PmbPhy »

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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #7 on: 15/04/2015 01:04:45 »
There are no global fixed coordinates and no global fixed time. If you are asking if time dilation matters then yes it does. Intelligent life that arose in orbit very near to a black hole may well see the beginning of the universe to be at at totally different point in time. That however is a very special situation. Within a galaxy time dilation at a remote distance from the central black hole will be insignificant. Unless you count close orbits around neutron stars. However it is unlikely that intelligent life would exist there. So I think we have a good handle on the age of the universe.
Fixation on the Einstein papers is a good definition of OCD.

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #8 on: 15/04/2015 04:20:49 »
Quote from: jeffreyH
There are no global fixed coordinates and no global fixed time.
I don't understand that response. What do you mean by "fixed/coordinates" and "fixed time"?

Quote from: jeffreyH
If you are asking if time dilation matters then yes it does. Intelligent life that arose in orbit very near to a black hole may well see the beginning of the universe to be at at totally different point in time. That however is a very special situation. Within a galaxy time dilation at a remote distance from the central black hole will be insignificant. Unless you count close orbits around neutron stars. However it is unlikely that intelligent life would exist there. So I think we have a good handle on the age of the universe.
Yes. But that doesn't mean that all observers can't agree on a particular age for the universe. That age is the one determined by observers who are at rest in co-moving frames. An observer can tell that he's in such a frame by examining the cosmic microwave background and make sure that it looks the same in every direction that you look in. Then all observers can agree exactly on what those observers agree on. Nothing like this happens in special relativity though.

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Offline yor_on

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #9 on: 16/04/2015 17:13:49 »
The universe we measure on should be around http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/03/21/age_of_the_universe_planck_results_show_universe_is_13_82_billion_years.html

That doesn't tell you what it 'is', or how it come to exist though.
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Offline yor_on

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #10 on: 16/04/2015 17:18:22 »
It's really simple Bill if you accept the definitions we use. That the universe is a homogeneous and isotropic 'place'. If that is true that age will be the same everywhere you go, using the same measurements, and it really means that the universe we measure on is 'infinite'. Find this to be wrong and I will get a bigger headache than I already have accepting it :)
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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #11 on: 17/04/2015 00:22:24 »
Quote from: jeffreyH
There are no global fixed coordinates and no global fixed time.
I don't understand that response. What do you mean by "fixed/coordinates" and "fixed time"?

There isn't a universal background time that runs at the same rate for all observers and spatial coordinates are also not universal.
Fixation on the Einstein papers is a good definition of OCD.

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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #12 on: 17/04/2015 01:32:52 »
Quote from: Pete
I disagree with that though. The concept itself is far from being arbitrary since it has a solid meaning independent of anything outside of itself.

My bad wording.

Quote
The only thing arbitrary about it is the choice of coordinates

Surely it is the coordinates that form the basis of any calculations, and if they are selected arbitrarily, then the calculations that arise from them, although they may be of great value within their specified parameters, cannot be other than arbitrary in nature, and therefore cannot be extrapolated beyond the specific.

Quote
Quote
Wouldn't relativity always insist that such relationships appeared to be different (indeed, were different) when observed from different reference frames?
No. Not always. It depends on the events and the coordinate system used.

Could you give an example of the sort of thing you mean.
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Offline Thebox

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #13 on: 17/04/2015 02:01:14 »
How old is space?

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #14 on: 17/04/2015 05:37:44 »
How old is space?
[???]...No, this cannot be real. I hope you were not serious when you wrote this... I hope this is a joke.
« Last Edit: 17/04/2015 05:43:57 by Jasper Hayden »

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Offline jccc

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #15 on: 17/04/2015 06:03:55 »
How old is space?

good question. all things are within space, if things have age, so does space.

how old is now? pretty old i say.

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #16 on: 17/04/2015 06:58:54 »
How old is space?

good question.
Is this sarcasm? If not, then would you mind explaining how this is a good question?

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Offline jccc

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #17 on: 17/04/2015 09:30:40 »
How old is space?

good question.
Is this sarcasm? If not, then would you mind explaining how this is a good question?

all matters/things are within this boundless box we called space. surely a good question. space is bigger and older then big bang is for sure.

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #18 on: 17/04/2015 09:40:37 »
How old is space?

good question.
Is this sarcasm? If not, then would you mind explaining how this is a good question?

all matters/things are within this boundless box we called space. surely a good question. space is bigger and older then big bang is for sure.

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe", quote from Wikipedia: 'The Universe is the totality of existence.'.
Unless of course Wikipedia is cheating with me, I believe 'totality; includes space. Since 'How old is universe' is already answered (Within the framework of logical and fundamental deductions) asking 'How old is space?' is just really just... Redundant;
We don't even know what's beyond Universe's edge... You cannot say it's a 'Boundless box'. The logic you are using to describe space can be used to mention many other possible theories which are merely speculations.
The reason why I'm arguing with you on this is because, 'The Box' always asks very feeble questions and your answers only encourage him. You should rather tell him to read some physics and philosophy books.
« Last Edit: 17/04/2015 09:46:53 by Jasper Hayden »

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Offline Thebox

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #19 on: 17/04/2015 13:53:02 »
How old is space?

good question.
Is this sarcasm? If not, then would you mind explaining how this is a good question?

all matters/things are within this boundless box we called space. surely a good question. space is bigger and older then big bang is for sure.

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe", quote from Wikipedia: 'The Universe is the totality of existence.'.
Unless of course Wikipedia is cheating with me, I believe 'totality; includes space. Since 'How old is universe' is already answered (Within the framework of logical and fundamental deductions) asking 'How old is space?' is just really just... Redundant;
We don't even know what's beyond Universe's edge... You cannot say it's a 'Boundless box'. The logic you are using to describe space can be used to mention many other possible theories which are merely speculations.
The reason why I'm arguing with you on this is because, 'The Box' always asks very feeble questions and your answers only encourage him. You should rather tell him to read some physics and philosophy books.

If how old space is a redundant question then may Newton's sword slice through it, and may the space-time of space also be slashed by Newton's sword into matter time in a space.   Science wants to insist on a space-time, then science should be able to answer my question, how old is space?   

The Universe age is matter in a period of space, space and matter make the universe but are two separate dependent issues.

So, how old is space?

Is space immortal so age is redundant, and time is redundant?
« Last Edit: 17/04/2015 13:54:37 by Thebox »

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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #20 on: 17/04/2015 21:50:06 »
Quote from: yor_on
It's really simple Bill if you accept the definitions we use. That the universe is a homogeneous and isotropic 'place'. If that is true that age will be the same everywhere you go, using the same measurements, and it really means that the universe we measure on is 'infinite'.

I accept that cosmology needs the definitions of homogeneity and isotropy, and that we probably have no concrete evidence that this is not the case. 

Quote
If that is true that age will be the same everywhere you go

That makes sense, but the measurement made from each place must be made from the local “now”.  Relativity says that “now” here and “now” elsewhere are not synchronous.  It must, surely, follow that the start of the Universe as seen from different places differs in the same way when viewed from any given reference frame.

Is it my imagination, or is this thread degenerating into a competition so see who can “nest” the most quotes? [:)]
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Offline jccc

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #21 on: 17/04/2015 21:55:14 »
i want to invite thebox to become my science brother. my light sword is  sharper than newtons.

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Offline Ethos_

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #22 on: 17/04/2015 22:04:18 »
i want to invite thebox to become my science brother. my light sword is  sharper than newtons.
Now that would be a pair, jccc and The Box. I think you'll enjoy each others company!
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Offline jccc

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #23 on: 17/04/2015 22:10:25 »
i want to invite thebox to become my science brother. my light sword is  sharper than newtons.
Now that would be a pair, jccc and The Box. I think you'll enjoy each others company!

i hold you, he kicks you?

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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #24 on: 17/04/2015 23:02:43 »
Alice and Bob have a specimen of uranium, and the ability to date it with extreme accuracy.  It has been dated at 20 million years.  They break it in half.  Bob stays on Earth with one half while Alice goes on a trip at close to the speed of light.  When Alice returns Bob’s half is dated at 20m+20 years, while Alice’s is dated at 20m=5years.  Is that accurate reasoning?
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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #25 on: 18/04/2015 02:40:14 »
Alice and Bob have a specimen of uranium, and the ability to date it with extreme accuracy.  It has been dated at 20 million years.  They break it in half.  Bob stays on Earth with one half while Alice goes on a trip at close to the speed of light.  When Alice returns Bob’s half is dated at 20m+20 years, while Alice’s is dated at 20m=5years.  Is that accurate reasoning?

From Bob's perspective the half life of Alice's uranium has also increased and that is the most pertinent point.
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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #26 on: 18/04/2015 02:47:36 »
Quote from: Jeffrey
From Bob's perspective the half life of Alice's uranium has also increased and that is the most pertinent point.

Why would the half life alter?
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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #27 on: 18/04/2015 03:11:14 »
Quote from: Jeffrey
From Bob's perspective the half life of Alice's uranium has also increased and that is the most pertinent point.

Why would the half life alter?

Because Alice is traveling at near light speed everything is undergoing time dilation. Including the decay of the uranium. When they meet up Bob's uranium will have decayed faster than Alice's. Dating the uranium will depend upon the decay rate.
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Offline chris

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #28 on: 18/04/2015 09:03:37 »
Incidentally, regarding the age of the Universe, I think ESA's Planck mission returned a slightly altered age measurement of 13.8 billion years compared with the present best guess of 13.7
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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #29 on: 18/04/2015 12:59:42 »
Absolutely right, Chris, and some other interesting stuff that may find its way into future TNS threads.

    The Universe is 13.82 billion years old.
    The Universe is expanding a bit slower than we expected.
    The Universe is 4.9 percent normal matter, 26.8 percent dark matter, and 68.3 percent dark energy.
    The Universe is lopsided. Just a bit, just a hint, but that has profound implications.

I specially like the lopsided idea.  [:)]

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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #30 on: 18/04/2015 13:07:07 »
Quote from: Jeffrey
Because Alice is traveling at near light speed everything is undergoing time dilation. Including the decay of the uranium. When they meet up Bob's uranium will have decayed faster than Alice's. Dating the uranium will depend upon the decay rate.

OK. My misinterpretation.

Suppose it were possible to have a radioactive specimen dated with this ridiculously high accuracy to the birth oh the Universe – 13.82 billion years. (Howzat for up to date figures?) Bob’s half would show 15 more years than Alice’s for the age of the Universe.
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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #31 on: 18/04/2015 22:12:05 »
Quote from: Jeffrey
Because Alice is traveling at near light speed everything is undergoing time dilation. Including the decay of the uranium. When they meet up Bob's uranium will have decayed faster than Alice's. Dating the uranium will depend upon the decay rate.

OK. My misinterpretation.

Suppose it were possible to have a radioactive specimen dated with this ridiculously high accuracy to the birth oh the Universe – 13.82 billion years. (Howzat for up to date figures?) Bob’s half would show 15 more years than Alice’s for the age of the Universe.

That is why either the velocity of an observer or the strength of the gravitational field he sits in is important. At non-relativistic velocities or low strength gravitational fields it is not a problem.
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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #32 on: 18/04/2015 23:06:50 »
Quote from: Bill S
The Universe is expanding a bit slower than we expected.
Why would you say this? It was discovered that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. Before that we thought it was expanding at a decelerating rate. For that reason the universe is expanding faster than we expected.

Quote from: Bill S
The Universe is lopsided. Just a bit, just a hint, but that has profound implications.
Please explain.

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Offline Thebox

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #33 on: 18/04/2015 23:43:29 »
Absolutely right, Chris, and some other interesting stuff that may find its way into future TNS threads.

    The Universe is 13.82 billion years old.
    The Universe is expanding a bit slower than we expected.
    The Universe is 4.9 percent normal matter, 26.8 percent dark matter, and 68.3 percent dark energy.
    The Universe is lopsided. Just a bit, just a hint, but that has profound implications.

I specially like the lopsided idea.  [:)]

what?

 ''The Universe is 13.82 billion years old.''  not fact, a guessed prequel


''26.8 percent dark matter, and 68.3 percent dark energy''   completely made up and not fact, neither are presently detected,

   '' The Universe is lopsided. Just a bit, just a hint, but that has profound implications.''  false , there can not be a lobsided when we observe a black background of space, lobsided relative to what?



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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #34 on: 19/04/2015 00:16:17 »
Quote from: Pete
Please explain.

Perhaps giving the link would be better than trying to explain: then Thebox can ridicule the original. 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/03/21/age_of_the_universe_planck_results_show_universe_is_13_82_billion_years.html
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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #35 on: 19/04/2015 10:08:23 »
Quote from: Pete
Please explain.

Perhaps giving the link would be better than trying to explain: then Thebox can ridicule the original. 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/03/21/age_of_the_universe_planck_results_show_universe_is_13_82_billion_years.html
Thanks. I understand now.

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #36 on: 19/04/2015 12:34:22 »
Quote from: Thebox
what?

 ''The Universe is 13.82 billion years old.''  not fact, a guessed prequel


''26.8 percent dark matter, and 68.3 percent dark energy''   completely made up and not fact, neither are presently detected,

   '' The Universe is lopsided. Just a bit, just a hint, but that has profound implications.''  false , there can not be a lobsided when we observe a black background of space, lobsided relative to what?
It's posts like this that have all of us rolling our eyes. We've constantly told you to learn more about physics, especially the philosophy of physics, and you continue to refuse. Then you post nonsense like the above as a result of your ignorance.

If you have any understanding whatsoever about physics then you'd know, like the back of your hand, that physics is not about what you think of as "facts" because that implies someone has exact knowledge and knows some sort of "truth" whereas nothing like that exists in physics. Physics is all about observing nature, formulating theories and then testing those theories. The more our predictions are borne out by experiment the more faith we have in the theory. We use these theories to make calculations based on data obtained from observations and that means we use the theory to make the calculations. That's where those numbers come from.

You, on the other hand, keep making countless claims that you've never made a serious attempt to support. E.g. all you did here is make an unsupported claim that those numbers are but mere guesses. That's a complete load of horse-hockey.

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Offline Thebox

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #37 on: 19/04/2015 14:08:51 »
Quote from: Thebox
what?

 ''The Universe is 13.82 billion years old.''  not fact, a guessed prequel


''26.8 percent dark matter, and 68.3 percent dark energy''   completely made up and not fact, neither are presently detected,

   '' The Universe is lopsided. Just a bit, just a hint, but that has profound implications.''  false , there can not be a lobsided when we observe a black background of space, lobsided relative to what?
It's posts like this that have all of us rolling our eyes. We've constantly told you to learn more about physics, especially the philosophy of physics, and you continue to refuse. Then you post nonsense like the above as a result of your ignorance.

If you have any understanding whatsoever about physics then you'd know, like the back of your hand, that physics is not about what you think of as "facts" because that implies someone has exact knowledge and knows some sort of "truth" whereas nothing like that exists in physics. Physics is all about observing nature, formulating theories and then testing those theories. The more our predictions are borne out by experiment the more faith we have in the theory. We use these theories to make calculations based on data obtained from observations and that means we use the theory to make the calculations. That's where those numbers come from.

You, on the other hand, keep making countless claims that you've never made a serious attempt to support. E.g. all you did here is make an unsupported claim that those numbers are but mere guesses. That's a complete load of horse-hockey.

You really should consider what you write,  you have just admitted in essence that science makes up a lot of things with no actual truth's.  Science is about truth's of physical process and not fallacy of unicorns.   Absolute proof is essential to state that it is complete absolute truthful fact, science insists a continuation of fallacy lies with no absolute truths, that is called make believe on my planet.

''because that implies someone has exact knowledge and knows some sort of "truth" whereas nothing like that exists in physics. ''


Utter rubbish, fact an object falls to the ground, fact water evaporates, fact water turns into ice, fact we have a sun, fact we are in orbit, etc,etc, this is real science, not make believe, science needs to stop doing this.

fact- you can not see or measure dark energy ,

fact- any percentage given is made up without foundation

fact - matter is expanding out into space and space does not expand.

fact- the age of the universe is unknown.


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Offline chiralSPO

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #38 on: 19/04/2015 14:30:43 »
No, Box, physics is NOT about absolute truth. It is as he said: we observe the world passively, or by experiment; formulate models or theories based on that evidence; test logical predictions of those models or theories against reality; based on those results we discard, tweak or share said model/theory with others; this cycle is repeated over and over.

Our measly human minds probably cannot fathom "absolute truth," but if we can make up a model that is easily understood and helps us make predictions about the universe around us, that are shown to be accurate, then the model is useful.

All of our models are wrong (I think I have said this before). They are based on assumptions, on approximations and definitions that are created by people, and don't necessarily have a "real" meaning. But if one understands the limitations of the model, and when to use it or when to use a different model, then these models help us engineer incredible technologies and further refine our understanding of the world. The fact that we know our models are incomplete allows scientists to have open minds, and we are always looking for ways to refine or expand our understanding.

One point about technology (jccc, I hope you're reading this too): The fact that we can design, build and use bridges, power plants, electronics, computers, satellites, medicines,  etc. proves the usefulness and self-consistency of physics as we know it now. We may not have access to "absolute truth" but we know enough to rationally design a specific arrangement of atoms to do our bidding.

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Offline Thebox

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #39 on: 19/04/2015 14:42:30 »
No, Box, physics is NOT about absolute truth. It is as he said: we observe the world passively, or by experiment; formulate models or theories based on that evidence; test logical predictions of those models or theories against reality; based on those results we discard, tweak or share said model/theory with others; this cycle is repeated over and over.

Our measly human minds probably cannot fathom "absolute truth," but if we can make up a model that is easily understood and helps us make predictions about the universe around us, that are shown to be accurate, then the model is useful.

All of our models are wrong (I think I have said this before). They are based on assumptions, on approximations and definitions that are created by people, and don't necessarily have a "real" meaning. But if one understands the limitations of the model, and when to use it or when to use a different model, then these models help us engineer incredible technologies and further refine our understanding of the world. The fact that we know our models are incomplete allows scientists to have open minds, and we are always looking for ways to refine or expand our understanding.

One point about technology (jccc, I hope you're reading this too): The fact that we can design, build and use bridges, power plants, electronics, computers, satellites, medicines,  etc. proves the usefulness and self-consistency of physics as we know it now. We may not have access to "absolute truth" but we know enough to rationally design a specific arrangement of atoms to do our bidding.

I really do understand the concept of models to give a person a starting point and premise for argument.   What I will never understand is why nearly every science forum on the internet have banned me, when I am talking about, debating the models from a different context, models being defending as if they are the sole truth, it is this about science that makes it look like a religion, defending the words taken in faith to have truth and be the truth.
I have never argued a true fact on any forum up to date in my eyes.

My point is , when someone ask's a question like how old is the Universe, the truthful answer is we do not know for sure, but we accept a context for our own use of about 13.8 billion years, and this subject is open to debate by any individual because relatively we have no absolute proof to prove we are correct.   So a person can not be ''wrong'', or deluded, or a crackpot, who as their own ideas about something.



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Offline Bill S

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #40 on: 19/04/2015 18:45:39 »
Pete & Chiral, I admire your patience, but if Box really doesn't know why nearly every science forum on the internet has banned him/her, there's a serious lack of understanding there somewhere.  Alternatively, if he/she does understand, then you are just troll feeding.  Either way your respective talents could probably be better employed. 
There never was nothing.

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #41 on: 20/04/2015 22:00:07 »
Quote from: Bill S
Pete & Chiral, I admire your patience, but if Box really doesn't know why nearly every science forum on the internet has banned him/her, there's a serious lack of understanding there somewhere.  Alternatively, if he/she does understand, then you are just troll feeding.  Either way your respective talents could probably be better employed.
I can't speak for Chiral but if you may have noticed, I have ceased all of my attempts at trying to help him. To he's simply unteachable. He's far too arrogant to be able to learn.

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Offline chiralSPO

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #42 on: 20/04/2015 22:53:05 »
At this point I don't expect Box to understand, but I feel obligated to present answers to his questions for the sake of the rest of the readership.

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Offline yor_on

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #43 on: 20/04/2015 23:15:12 »
Box :)

One good reason to how we define a age is the use of light as a constant. When you combine that with distances (standard candles, etc), as well as counting on the different types of redshift, you can give a age to the earliest light reaching us. Science is alike a puzzle, whatever idea one get needs to fit the pieces we already have proven, preferably also giving birth to a prediction that will be unique for it to be true. That prediction of an earliest light, combined with you placing yourself somewhere else, measuring the age in all directions again, becomes a proof both of the age being correct as well as a proof of the universe being 'infinite'. So the age might be finite everywhere, but the scale of the universe should be something else. We still prefer finite things though, as one and one becoming two, because that has been the way we expected things to be practically, until rather recently.
"BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT. If you see me running, try to keep up."

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Offline jccc

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #44 on: 21/04/2015 11:13:50 »
i think box is right on this 1. so far science gives the universe an age of 13.7B, but that is not absolute correct.

what's before the bang? have we see time end before? where is the evidence?

if you believe all things science says, if you live in older times, you will think earth is flat and box is wrong as now.

isn't in fact, most of the science was progressed by someone challenging older theories?


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Offline jccc

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #45 on: 21/04/2015 12:29:50 »
Quote from: Bill S
Pete & Chiral, I admire your patience, but if Box really doesn't know why nearly every science forum on the internet has banned him/her, there's a serious lack of understanding there somewhere.  Alternatively, if he/she does understand, then you are just troll feeding.  Either way your respective talents could probably be better employed.
I can't speak for Chiral but if you may have noticed, I have ceased all of my attempts at trying to help him. To he's simply unteachable. He's far too arrogant to be able to learn.

Pete, i think
you can say that again, to yourself.

box's last 2 comments are very true, if you able to debunk, you will not hesitate.

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Offline jccc

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #46 on: 21/04/2015 12:34:40 »
Pete & Chiral, I admire your patience, but if Box really doesn't know why nearly every science forum on the internet has banned him/her, there's a serious lack of understanding there somewhere.  Alternatively, if he/she does understand, then you are just troll feeding.  Either way your respective talents could probably be better employed.

Bill,

i thought you are a good thinker. till this 1.

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Offline chiralSPO

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #47 on: 21/04/2015 14:54:22 »
have we see time end before?

What would this question even mean? Self-referential questions like this are hard to think about, and almost always lead down the wrong path.

If time stopped before, then it would need to have started again, since we observe it now. But time couldn't just stop and then start--how long would it be stopped? (if no time, then it would be stopped for no time--never stopped)

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Offline jccc

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #48 on: 21/04/2015 15:08:26 »
have we see time end before?

What would this question even mean? Self-referential questions like this are hard to think about, and almost always lead down the wrong path.

If time stopped before, then it would need to have started again, since we observe it now. But time couldn't just stop and then start--how long would it be stopped? (if no time, then it would be stopped for no time--never stopped)

how could someone says, yeah, i saw crashing birds all the time while in fact maybe just 1 time?

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Offline chiralSPO

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Re: How old is the Universe?
« Reply #49 on: 21/04/2015 15:48:14 »
That I see birds killing themselves on windows "all the time" may have been a slight exaggeration. But I can recall witnessing birds crashing into windows on at least 7 different occaisions.

Still, birds do crash into windows with startling frequency:
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1184
"According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 'One of the greatest hazards to birds is plate glass, with windows in homes and offices killing as many as one billion birds each year.' "
(that is the American billion, 109)

But this is besides the point. Your question was logically flawed, and my statement was a slight exaggeration of a true phenomenon.