OK so with that preamble, let's take a specific case. What are we to make of this:
xris wrote:This intrigues me that we have two worlds opposing each other. The common accepted scenario of the BB and a single point, that we assumed, is no longer the case in more informed circles. So how does the quantum world describe the eventual look or shape of that point that we regressed to? Has it got all the mass of the universe confined in one place. You, hopefully, must admit from the lay persons perspective its becoming more and more like Alice in wonderland.
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Lincoln wrote:Let me be entirely clear...
Nobody since about 1925 has believed in the singularity...
...This is the beauty of science. When we don't know, we say "we don't know." There are many ideas, all competing. The ideas held by the pros are consistent with data. (After all, if they weren't consistent with data, the pros wouldn't hold them.)
Things might look like Alice in Wonderland to the lay audience. (They look odd to us pros as well.) But nobody said that things had to be intuitive. Relativity and quantum mechanics are damned weird and yet they're true.
Regarding the beginning of the universe, you should put it in "the pros have some cool ideas and they're working on it" category.
Im sorry lincoln but you are sending mixed messages, that i am unable to dispute in science only in logic. logically the mass of the universe was indicated to be located in a very small area of which I was told was a singularity
..... If it was not the accepted vision of a singularity what in hell was it?
So here's the problem! Lincoln is leveling with Xris (whose handle may signify Christian and who may have been getting his ideas of modern Cosmology from Christian websites, but we don't know, he doesn't say.)
Whoever said "the mass of the universe was indicated to be located in a very small area"?
That statement is normally qualified. It is about the observable chunk of the universe and it is the result you get using Einstein 1915 GR equations. We already know GR is not applicable. Einstein himself pointed out very early on, by a thought experiment using a hydrogen atom, that it must fail because of quantum reasons. Current research is aimed at making quantum corrections in the GR picture.
If Xris had been paying attention, he would not be saying that L. gives mixed messages. Earlier in the thread L. lays out the business very clearly. A "singularity" is a breakdown of a theory, where a theory does not apply, and so on.
"which I was told was a singularity..... If it was not the accepted vision of a singularity what in hell was it?
Traditional meaning of "singularity" going back to I guess 18th or 19th century is the breakdown of a model, usually some kind of blowup where it starts giving infinities or meaningless numbers. Physicists make it their business to fix singularities by improving theories so they don't blow up. Many historical examples.
So if you were told there was a singularity, you were being told that GR breaks down back where the density gets very high. Singularity means breakdown.
The thing to ask is then "what progress has been made towards devising models which eliminate the singularity?" But Xris does not ask this.
Instead, Xris starts accusing L. of "mixed messages" and blaming L. (it looks like) for some earlier misconception he got somewhere ("I was told..."). Blame is being thrown around. We aren't told what the source is.
And he starts talking with rude impatience like "where the hell was it?" What can we learn from this? Is it just an act? Is Xris being intentionally dense? Disingenuous? L. has not given any mixed messages. AFAICS he has consistently leveled. What he says about the scientific picture of the universe does not correspond to what you might read at a Fundie website or get from Discovery Channel garbage broadcast.
Or maybe it is not Xris fault! Maybe he has been misinformed by some unprincipled science popularizer who is more interested in selling books than in honest presentation.
Or maybe Xris was the victim of TV soundbites---short quotes taken out of context, of famous scientists talking, accompanied by confusing pictures of things exploding---unscrupulous TV directors getting at people's subconscious. Leaving the audience with vague impressions of what they have been told.
A kind of dumbdown "music video" pseudoscience version of real science.
Sorry Xris for taking you as an example. You are wellspoken and articulate compared with many who say similar things and give a similar impression---so an excellent exemplar.
The puzzle is one does not know whether to think of you as a VICTIM of bad communication. Or as putting on an anti-science act. The accusation of L. giving "mixed messages" is the most potentially tell-tale, because you are clearly intelligent and must realize that L.'s message has not been mixed. It has been consistent but different from what you may have gotten from the POP-SCI SLOPS. Hawking books. Michio Kaku, Discovery Channel, History Channel, whatever. Folks here are not responsible for what producers who are anxious to sell books or raise ratings decide to put together.
Or have I missed something? Was there really some internal inconsistency in what Lincoln said? Something I missed, with my sometimes tired eyes?