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Thread: Regarding the age of the Universe.

  1. #1 Regarding the age of the Universe. 
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    I dont quite understand this, was hoping someone could explain in simpler terms.
    I´ve read the wikipedia article, but I think I might have missed something.
    Here´s what I dont get.
    The expected expansion is based on observation from Earth. But how can we be sure there isnt much more beyond the borders we can observe?

    By definition we can only observe things as far away as light have had time to travel to us. But that is not to say there isnt things even further away is it?

    And lastly, we´ve only been able to observe and document like 200(if even?) years of modern astronomy, but let´s over-optimisticaly say we have 2008 years of knowledge..
    That in relation to the Universal timescale must be neglectable small.
    It would be like guessing the size of the Earth by looking at a square centimeter on the ground and measuring its curve..

    Well I for one can´t get it together, isnt it naive to asume we know the age or size of the Universe with this (relativly) small amount of data?


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  3. #2  
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    You have to control the planet before you attempt anything else.

    (I wish I could quote someone, but sadly its not allowed)


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  4. #3  
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    Twixly; What Big Bang Theory, currently suggest is that the Universe is about 156 Billion Light Years across, the diameter. This is based our our math and the reverse conclusion to where is should be if expansion started 13.7 BYA. What we or our equipment observe (Hubble Space Observatory Etc.) is limited to either our technology or the ability for light to travel over those 13.7 BY. Remember also, that whatever is seen or what is offered as 'Artist Interpretation' are what exist in that spot of space, that many years ago. As space expanded during these times, those objects would appear at much further distance, if we could see or observe in real time, up to near 78 Billion light years away...

    Science must have a foundation to work with, especially when dealing with an unknown. Even the strongest of advocates for BB, will tell you their ideas could be wrong or if ever known, the theories could be wrong.
    Its not so much 'naive', as that foundation to work with. It has changed over the past 80 years, many times, and most certainly will again in the next 10-20 years...IMO.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Science must have a foundation to work with, especially when dealing with an unknown. Even the strongest of advocates for BB, will tell you their ideas could be wrong or if ever known, the theories could be wrong.
    Its not so much 'naive', as that foundation to work with. It has changed over the past 80 years, many times, and most certainly will again in the next 10-20 years...IMO.

    "Science must have......."?

    You're admitting science is faulty, yes?

    What are you?
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    theQuestIsNotOver, what are you talking about ?
    I dont understand either of your messages...

    jackson33, thanks for the explaination.
    So basicly BB-theory is understood to be somewhat guesswork?
    Well I guess that´s why its called theory after all hehe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twixly
    theQuestIsNotOver, what are you talking about ?
    I dont understand either of your messages...

    jackson33, thanks for the explaination.
    So basicly BB-theory is understood to be somewhat guesswork?
    Well I guess that´s why its called theory after all hehe

    This is quite the familiar "theme-repsonse", no?

    Why not show some empathy and consider I have no idea also of what you are dribbling about?
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  8. #7  
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    Twixly, if you find theories to be a laughing matter, then I suggest that you turn off your computer, because it doesn’t work without Quantum Field Theory. Throw away your GPS devices too. They use the Theory of General Relativity to pinpoint you on the Earth’s surface. In fact, divest yourself of all electronic devices, they use Maxwell’s theory of Electromagnetism. And yes, all theory involved some guesswork and doubters will constantly remind everyone else that 99.999% proof involves guesswork to accept. General Relativity isn’t an ‘alternate’ theory that replaced Newton’s theories completely and revealed them for guesswork. His theories still make sense for objects not moving at the speed of light or with less mass than a planet. GR is a greater truth linked to Newton's truth. The BBT won’t get replaced by an 'alternate' completely different theory. Something new will just add to its existing truth.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by theQuestIsNotOver
    Why not show some empathy and consider I have no idea also of what you are dribbling about?
    Contribute to the thread in a positive manner or expect to be removed from it.
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    I agree with the previous posts of jackson33 and Arch2008. Maybe I can add a little bit more to the discussion that might help Twixly in the understanding.

    Of course, there is more beyond the observable "horizon" of the universe. The problem is just that the speed of light is limited and we can only look as far as light was able to travel since it was emitted. In parallel, this limit allows us to watch into the past the farther we look. So, the limit in time backward is also the visible limit in space. Just like you cannot directly determine the earth's radius (your distance to the centre) by measuring the distance to the horizon when you are in the middle of the ocean, you cannot conclude that the distance to the visible universe is also its size. You need to know more about its geometry such as its curvature. On earth, you can assume in 1st order a spheroid, so you can use simple math to derive the radius. But with the universe, it is much more complicated (for many reasons, one being that the universe has no boundary).

    The disturbing post by "theQuestIsNotOver" concluding that science is faulty, when it agreed to be based on theories that might be wrong, only shows me that there is a lack of understanding, what science really is or does. Science is an evolutionary, sometimes revolutionary, process of increasing knowledge. It is of course based on theories that are verified by experiments and observations. Many theories have been falsified in the centuries that passed. It can be seen as a competition of ideas that have to pass the tests of applicability to reality, consistency and predictability. I suppose that a scientist would never suggest that he/she knows the definite final answer or truth to any phenomenon. But there is much reason to believe that the current agreed theories at least allow to describe reality very accurately as far as we have probed it up to now.
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  11. #10 Re: Regarding the age of the Universe. 
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    Using techniques such as finding the faintest white dwarfs in the milky way and estimating how long they have been cooling down, plus time for the galaxy's disk to form and time for the stars to form, as well as others, gives us an age of between 12 and 15 billion years old. Data from the WMAP in 2003 and the estimated cooling of the universe has given us a predicted age of 13.7 +- 120 million years

    Quote Originally Posted by Twixly
    It would be like guessing the size of the Earth by looking at a square centimeter on the ground and measuring its curve..
    Eratosthenes somewhere between 276 BC - 194 BC managed to calculate the circumference of the earth to within 1% of it's actual size by taking measurements of where the sun was in the sky in Syene (Egypt) and doing the same in Alexandria (Greece) due north of Syene.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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    I didnt mean to come of as an anti-theory guy.
    I just wondered how we could possibly have enough data to make a sound theory considering our very small (relativly) timeframe of observing the universe.

    Many posts have shed some light on this and for that I thank you all.

    I guess I maybe just think about the Universe in the wrong way. I view it as such that the part we can see and study is so neglectably small in the whole that it seems weird to draw consclusions from it.
    And therein lies my problem with it.

    Theories over all are great. Someone once said (from top of my head)
    "Small men discuss people, great men discuss ideas" or something like that
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  13. #12  
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    Einstein proved that the laws of physics are always the same everywhere in the universe. So, even though we haven’t seen everything, we know how it works and that magic isn’t part of the mix. Here’s a quote for you:
    “The hardest thing for people to understand about the whole universe, is that the whole universe can be understood.” A. Einstein
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch2008
    Einstein proved that the laws of physics are always the same everywhere in the universe. So, even though we haven’t seen everything, we know how it works and that magic isn’t part of the mix. Here’s a quote for you:
    “The hardest thing for people to understand about the whole universe, is that the whole universe can be understood.” A. Einstein
    Just out of curiosity, got a link to an explanation of that? There's that whole debate I read about in a book dealing with the universe, something with Dragons in the title. Basically they explored a place in California that is not completely Creationist, in that they attempt to explain things or refute scientific conclusions with scientific data. For example, can it be proved that radioactive decay is the same now as 10 billion years ago? Did light always travel at the same speed? I find some of their arguments interesting, even if there isn't hard evidence to back them up.

    Maybe the earth was created 10 seconds ago, and all your memories were implanted there to make you believe you've been alive for the past however many years you have been, and the light traveling from distant stars was created at that point, so it appears to have been traveling for millions and millions of years. Can you prove otherwise? Pretty hard to disprove, if you take the first assumption as true, that your memories were created when you were created, 10 seconds ago. Any previous scientific data was therefore created, and is now in books/internet/your own memories, 10 seconds ago. Interesting idea.
    "I prefer to think of the BBT as the TV show, because let's face it, that girl is hot!"
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  15. #14  
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    [quote="MNSciGuy"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Arch2008
    Maybe the earth was created 10 seconds ago, and all your memories were implanted there to make you believe you've been alive for the past however many years you have been, and the light traveling from distant stars was created at that point, so it appears to have been traveling for millions and millions of years. Can you prove otherwise? Pretty hard to disprove, if you take the first assumption as true, that your memories were created when you were created, 10 seconds ago. Any previous scientific data was therefore created, and is now in books/internet/your own memories, 10 seconds ago. Interesting idea.
    Ideas that cannot be proven or disproven should be discarded.
    This is true for all such ideas. It´s a waste of time and energy.

    And.. If we were created just now we still have to figure everything out from now onwards anyways.
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  16. #15  
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    Good reply Twixly, but for the record, you are quoting MNSciGuy, not me.

    MNSciGuy
    I don't have a link for my post because I got most of my learning from things called books. I'm pretty sure that it is proven in either his Special or General Theories of Relativity, though. Creationism isn't a science, so I guess that explains where they get these ideas.
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