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Thread: Must everything be complicated? Questions from a non-genius.

  1. #1 Must everything be complicated? Questions from a non-genius. 
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    I have often wondered these things. Please keep in mind I am not an astro-physicist. I do not dwell in the confusion of enormous math equations to somehow prove all things. In my simple mind, I know that a calculator does not "know" that 2+2=4, you have to program it to tell you the answer you desire. Therefore, in my simple minded thoughts, I am not going to go any further mathematically than that equation, because I don't feel that any math problem will explain my existence. So, beyond theories of relativity and quantum whatever, and whatever math symbol leads to a big bang, here are some simpler things I would like to know:

    1) If the universe is estimated to be 13.75 billion years old, based mostly on the age of objects in it, how can something be 10 billion light years away? Wouldn't that object, if starting right from my back yard, need to be traveling away from me at nearly 75% the speed of light to get to its location where it is producing the light that returns to my back yard? That's not even considering the objects that are directly in the opposite direction the same distance. How would they get 20 billion light years apart in only 13.75 billion years?

    2) Everything rotates. From the water in my toilet, the moon around the earth, the earth around the sun, the solar system within the milky way. But the universe doesn't? It expands in a straight line away from a single point? That big bang thingy, right? What is that? Can't explain something, so come up with anything that makes no sense, because nothing else makes sense either? What if the universe rotates too, like everything else, and that red shift explanation for the expansion of the universe is simply because we are closer to the middle, spinning faster that the objects on the outside, and they appear to be moving away from us? Like Jupiter would look to Mercury as it moves around the sun ahead of it. But then again, if I was paid to produce something that I couldn't quite figure out, I would come up with some hair-brained idea that nobody could refute because they couldn't do it either.

    3) Black holes? A big hole in space where matter gets pulled into and never gets seen or heard from again, but doesn't cease to exist either. Another idea that if you make it so complicated, nobody with doubt it. Sounds good to me, sign my paycheck please. Maybe they are just big iron balls that have such intense gravity that their atoms are crushed into an area that can't move. No movement, no heat, no light. Black! It's not a hole, it's a solid ball. Something gets pulled into it, and it just crushes into the surface and becomes part of it. No big fancy endless pit, just a simple ball.

    4) Dark matter, anti matter, parallel universes, wormholes. To complicated. It's all way more simple than it made out to be. It doesn't need to be complicated just because you can't explain it. Just because the person trying to figure it out is smart, doesn't mean it takes a smart person to figure it out. Maybe the simplest idea is the right one. We are just here. Why? Who knows.

    5) Life. It's everywhere. It has to be. Why? Because its here. If its here, it's everywhere. Throughout the entire rotating, non-big bang evolved, uncomplicated, unexplainable universe, there is life. If for no other reason that purely by accident, there is life.

    Thank you for allowing me to ramble. I'm sure most will disagree, and call me an idiot. I bow to those, and will agree with you. I'm no genius, but I can guarantee this, I know for certain, just as much as you.


    Last edited by KALSTER; April 17th, 2012 at 02:50 AM. Reason: Just added a few paragraphs.
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  3. #2  
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    Answer for question 1):
    The universe gradually add more & more 'space' between every object, thus making them saperate further & further apart, but the object itself didn't move (if it does than it need to move at FTL speed which will violate Einstein's relativity theory. Yes, universe expand at FTL speed), and light itself didn't slow or became faster either (else can't catch-up with the expansion to reach Earth). Yes, universe expand at warp speed, and the only good analogy for this strange behaviour is the expansion of a balloon (where the balloon itself stretch and nothing on it did move). Yeah... why does universe add more 'space'? because it is 'dark' stuff!

    In other word: universe expand at faster than speed of light, that's why there's stuff 100 billion years away but universe age is just 13 billion years.


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    cgraydotcom, your entire argument appears to be this:

    "I don't understand a lot of modern science, therefore I have reached the conclusion that is pointless, silly and unecessary. Consequently I must be at least as smart as you since I recognise these limitations."

    If that is an accurate reflection of your thinking then there is no point in anyone wasting their time attempting to answer your questions or address your points since you will just ignore them. So, are you really determined to remain ignorant, or would you actually be prepared to start thinking?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgraydotcom View Post

    1) If the universe is estimated to be 13.75 billion years old, based mostly on the age of objects in it, how can something be 10 billion light years away? Wouldn't that object, if starting right from my back yard, need to be traveling away from me at nearly 75% the speed of light to get to its location where it is producing the light that returns to my back yard? That's not even considering the objects that are directly in the opposite direction the same distance. How would they get 20 billion light years apart in only 13.75 billion years?
    As msafwan has already said, the expansion of the universe is not limited to the speed of light. The following PDF file might help you understand this principle.
    http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/~charley/p...DavisSciAm.pdf (note: Page 1 is blank!)

    Quote Originally Posted by cgraydotcom View Post
    2) Everything rotates. From the water in my toilet, the moon around the earth, the earth around the sun, the solar system within the milky way. But the universe doesn't? It expands in a straight line away from a single point? That big bang thingy, right? What is that? Can't explain something, so come up with anything that makes no sense, because nothing else makes sense either?
    Your attitude is all wrong. We base Big-Bang theory on what we have observed - that the further away a galaxy is, the faster it is apparently receding (based on an effect similar to Doppler shift) from here. We measure increasing redshift of galaxies with increasing distance. It is as if all the galaxies outside of our local area are moving directly away from us. Now, unless we happen to live in a very special place in the universe, the only model that can account for these observations is one where the universe expands.


    Quote Originally Posted by cgraydotcom View Post
    What if the universe rotates too, like everything else, and that red shift explanation for the expansion of the universe is simply because we are closer to the middle, spinning faster that the objects on the outside, and they appear to be moving away from us?
    Ahh, so you do know about redshift! So what was your previous question about? I feel you have an agenda here.

    If you actually model the scenario you propose above, you will find that it does not match the redshift-distance relationship we observe, even if we were right at the centre of the universe. It certainly doesn't work if we are only close to the centre of rotation.

    Also, what would the universe be rotating in relation to?

    Quote Originally Posted by cgraydotcom View Post
    Like Jupiter would look to Mercury as it moves around the sun ahead of it. But then again, if I was paid to produce something that I couldn't quite figure out, I would come up with some hair-brained idea that nobody could refute because they couldn't do it either.
    Okay, I can't be bothered to answer any further as you obviously have made up your mind already, even though you don't really understand the theory you are arguing against. Feel free to live on in ignorance.
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    I do enjoy being made aware that I am ignorant, although I made that obvious conclusion upon myself in my first paragraph. I DO NOT understand most of the scientific interpretations of space. Outside of specifically calling myself an idiot, I agree that my thoughts are merely unproven mumbo jumbo. But at least give me a little credit of being able to think, since many of my productive thoughts in the manners of orthopedic implants over the past 20 years or so have helped develope ways that your parents, and maybe even some of yourselves, can exist beyond a wheelchair. If I was flipping burgers at a local McDonald's, like many other highly educated trailer dwellers, I would bow to your intelligence and feel unworthy. At least I have made some of you think, even if it's just how to bash me. So bash away, and I will pursue education even more stringently.

    MSAFWAN. You responded that the universe DOES expand faster than the speed of light? It can take 13.75 billion years to get 100 billion light years away?

    John Galt. I did not mean that science was pointless. I was merely asking why it had to be so complicated. Why can't is be simpler than what it is made out to be? Why does there have to be a big bang? Why does everything have to originate from one point? I don't mean that it is silly and doesn't matter. I want to know how it happened too. Why not 2 smaller bangs? 3, 5, 10? A million? Red shift proves that galaxies are moving away from us, and the opposite of that is that they all come from one point? That's my question.

    Speed freak. Ok, Doppler redshift proves galaxies are moving away from us. What about galaxies in the opposite direction from those? Are we moving faster away from them, so they appear blue? Or still red because the distance between us is also expanding? Are there any objects just floating alongside us at the same speed that do not appear having either red or blue?
    Last edited by KALSTER; April 18th, 2012 at 01:40 AM. Reason: Made your post into paragraphs. Again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgraydotcom View Post
    John Galt. I did not mean that science was pointless. I was merely asking why it had to be so complicated.
    Science itself is very simple. Science is not what we know, it is how we know it. This is an important point to grasp. It is a point that is rarely made by science documentaries or reports in the press, yet it is absolutely central to any discussion about science. It merits being repeated: science is not what we we know, it is how we know it.

    Science is a process. It is a simple process. Here is one way of describing that process:

    Make a series of observations
    Speculate on a possible explanation for these observations
    Make further observations or interpretation to place the speculation on firmer ground, modifying or discarding the speculation as necessary, based on those observations.
    Call this somewhat supported speculation a hypothesis
    Test the hypothesis rigorously, vigorously, violently and aggressively. Seek to prove it incorrect, or at least incomplete. (Ideally this attack should be made by the proponent of the hypothesis, but failing that experts in the field will provide appropriate assaults.)
    Repeat this process, exploring a wider range of circumstances in which the hypothesis may be applicable, carried out by a wider range of researchers, with a wider range of observations.
    Modify, adapt, or discard the hypothesis, as appropriate, based on the evidence.
    If the hypothesis survives this probing, questioning, skeptical, extended assault on its veracity and builds an extensive body of observation, experiment and theoretical underpinning then call the hypothesis an theory.

    When we apply this process to the universe we find the universe is what it is. That's where the evidence points. We generally don't ask why it is that way. That's the realm of philosophy, not science. It's perfectly reasonable to ask why, but the scientific process is not designed to answer why questions.

    Now, as to simplicity, I have no idea why you think an expanding universe is complicated. That seems to be more a problem with you than with the concept. You ask why were there not several Big Bangs. Maybe there were, but we have no evidence for them.

    You ask if everything is moving away from us is the opposite that they all came form one point. Well, yes. Assuredly. Either we are at the very centre of the universe (and it is expanding) or we are at a random spot within the universe (and it is expanding). Either way the only way to interpret the data that is consistent with other evidence is to accept that the universe is expanding. Alternative explanations have been explored. Careers rose and fell on the back of the arguments defending one or other position. When the dust settled the only survivor was expansion. It doesn't matter whether that explanation is simple or complex. It doesn't matter whether or not you like it, or understand it. That is where the evidence points.

    At least I have made some of you think, even if it's just how to bash me.
    No thought was required. Yours is a view frequently expressed on forums. I've given you a response that at one time required thought, but is now automatic. That does not make it any less valid.

    I have not bashed you. I have queried your attitude. You have assured me you are not anti-science, but seek better understanding. If you are sincere, I will be happy to assist you in attaining that better understanding, as far as I am able.

    I just noted this statement of yours "I do enjoy being made aware that I am ignorant." I hope this was not sarcasm. Ignorance is a wonderful thing, since it defines the boundaries of our knowledge. If we are unaware of the boundaries then acquiring new knowledge is very difficult.
    Last edited by John Galt; April 18th, 2012 at 01:09 AM. Reason: Add final paragraph
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    Whether the universe has a center (a place where you can walk to) or didn't have a center depends on whether the universe itself is a shape of a donut, a balloon, or a piece of paper! If it is a paper then you will fall off the edges (and center is... where you don't fall off the edges!), and if it is a balloon then THERE'S NO CENTER because YOU ARE WALKING ON THE BALLOON and it loop and loop around it (and "center" is not "where" but "when": which is when the balloon deflate or when it was the big-bang). -But where is ... where is the edge of the universe? where is the edge of space? how do we even see it?

    I saw a documentary called "Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman"... in one episode it show how scientist struggle to find the edge of the universe... quite interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    Whether the universe has a center (a place where you can walk to) or didn't have a center depends on whether the universe itself is a shape of a donut, a balloon, or a piece of paper! If it is a paper then you will fall off the edges (and center is... where you don't fall off the edges!), and if it is a balloon then THERE'S NO CENTER because YOU ARE WALKING ON THE BALLOON and it loop and loop around it (and "center" is not "where" but "when": which is when the balloon deflate or when it was the big-bang). -But where is ... where is the edge of the universe? where is the edge of space? how do we even see it?

    I saw a documentary called "Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman"... in one episode it show how scientist struggle to find the edge of the universe... quite interesting.
    Topologically, the situation is really straightforward so far as a smooth 4-manifold like our universe is concerned :

    1. If the manifold is unbounded ( "does not have an edge" ) and open, the concept of a center point is meaningless
    2. If the manifold has a boundary/is closed and is embedded in a higher dimensional manifold of D >=5, then it may be possible to define a center point, however, such a center point will always be outside the 4-manifold
    3. In either case it is irrelevant whether the manifold is finite or infinite, or what the specific geometry is

    Thus it is easy to see that the conditions of homogeneity and isotropy automatically imply the non-existence of either center or boundary. Even if a center did exist, it would not be within our universe itself, i.e. it is physically meaningless.
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    of either center or boundary.
    Presumably you mean neither nor?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    of either center or boundary.
    Presumably you mean neither nor?
    Kalster, congratulations on your calm responses to a couple of posts, from the moron matrix123, in the thread "does the Sun orbit" in the Astronomy sub forum.
    Having said that I hope I don't sound too petty if I use the above post as an example of something I find a little annoying and feel is becoming more common on the forum.
    I'm referring to the habit of quoting from another post and not bothering to give the name of the poster being quoted. I do believe it is right to mention the other poster whatever one thinks of the part, of the post, being quoted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgraydotcom View Post
    I do enjoy being made aware that I am ignorant, although I made that obvious conclusion upon myself in my first paragraph. I DO NOT understand most of the scientific interpretations of space.
    The problem is your attitude. If you had just said, "I don't understand these things, can someone explain them to me" you would have got some very helpful replies. Charging in and saying that it is all rubbish just isn't going engender a very constructive response. Hence the question: are you interested in learning or are you just going to respond to all explanations with, "I don't understand it so it must be wrong"?

    A few quick responses to test the water:

    The universe is big and complicated because ... it is big and complicated. There is no reason to suppose it should be intuitively easy to understand.

    You also seem to have a rather idiosyncratic definition of "complicated"; many of the things you dismiss are, at one level, pretty straightforward.

    1) When the objects that we see as 13b light years away emitted the light we see, they we much closer. They are now much, much further away. (Although the definition of "now" on these scales is not entirely straightforward). The most distant objects we see are, I believe, receding at significantly more than the speed of light.

    2) Extrapolating from "everything I see has property X, therefore everything must" is not always good logic. However, there are suggestions that the entire universe has some overall rotation or angular momentum. If this is the case, the rotation is would have slowed as the universe expanded (think ice skaters). But it wouldn't explain red-shift because we would all be moving in the same way together. Even if it could, somehow, explain red shift then it must surely mean there would be a different red shift in some direction than another. We don't see that.

    3) The basic idea of black holes seems fairly uncomplicated: increasing the mass (or reducing the radius) of a body increases the escape velocity. Increase this enough and the escape velocity becomes greater than light. Therefore nothing, not even light, can escape (even Newton knew that light was deflected by gravity). The full mathematical description in GR is fairly complex, but the basic ideas aren't.

    4) Dark-matter and anti-matter are based on observation. Anti matter is more than that: it is practically useful. Look up PET (positron emission tomography). Parallel universes and wormholes are speculation based on what the math tells us may be possible. They get talked about a lot in popular science books/mags/TV because they are interesting ideas. (But, again, not particularly complicated as concepts.)

    5) "Life. It's everywhere." Maybe. Maybe not. Science doesn't deal in what must be "obviously" true but in what we can observe and measure. Until we have evidence that there is life elsewhere, we have to remain agnostic on the question. Again, not complicated.

    Over to you: ignorant rant or intelligent questions. Your choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    of either center or boundary.
    Presumably you mean neither nor?
    Kalster, congratulations on your calm responses to a couple of posts, from the moron matrix123, in the thread "does the Sun orbit" in the Astronomy sub forum.
    Having said that I hope I don't sound too petty if I use the above post as an example of something I find a little annoying and feel is becoming more common on the forum.
    I'm referring to the habit of quoting from another post and not bothering to give the name of the poster being quoted. I do believe it is right to mention the other poster whatever one thinks of the part, of the post, being quoted.
    I don't think this is a required practice, as part of forum etiquette, where the post immediately folllows the one being commented on. Certainly I am very annoyed when the quote is from an earlier post, but completely unmoved when it is referring to the preceding one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    of either center or boundary.
    Presumably you mean neither nor?
    Kalster, congratulations on your calm responses to a couple of posts, from the moron matrix123, in the thread "does the Sun orbit" in the Astronomy sub forum.
    Having said that I hope I don't sound too petty if I use the above post as an example of something I find a little annoying and feel is becoming more common on the forum.
    I'm referring to the habit of quoting from another post and not bothering to give the name of the poster being quoted. I do believe it is right to mention the other poster whatever one thinks of the part, of the post, being quoted.
    No problem. As John said though, it is not generally a problem if it immediately follows the post it is quoted from, though there might still be some confusion for some members it seems. I will keep it in mind though.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalster
    No problem. As John said though, it is not generally a problem if it immediately follows the post it is quoted from, though there might still be some confusion for some members it seems. I will keep it in mind though.
    I accept that! I missed the part you quoted when I read the preceding post.
    However it still happens too often when the quote is from an earlier post.
    Last edited by Halliday; April 18th, 2012 at 08:15 AM.
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    Still, nameless quoting is still better than no quoting at all...
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Still, nameless quoting is still better than no quoting at all...
    Agreed! Really off thread here, but just realised I haven't yet mastered the art of quoting someone without including that individual's name.
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    Thank you, everyone. Even those off-topic, l. Thank you Strange, for going beyond words and making me feel like I want to learn even more. Yes, I did charge in and tried to make every scientific discovery absurd. Easier for me to say what I think is crazy and unleash the hounds, than to ask questions I wouldn't even know where to start with. Somebody earlier posted a link to information about expansion, thank you, very interesting. Still Need more convincing tho. Here are some answers from questions that I will combine to form a new question. Expanding space stretches light waves, so that proves space is expanding. Increasing the mass of a body increases its escape velocity, eventually trapping light. (Black holes, even Newton knew that gravity deflected light.)So theoretically, the light coming towards us is stretched by the increasing amount of space between us and the light source, which makes it appear red. We are talking galaxies here, I presume. Wouldn't that be considered an object large enough to deflect the light as well? That is one massive unit of gravity. The light we see is coming directly from it, so could that body itself cause the light to deflect on its way here? Could the gravitational pull from itself, try to pull the light back enough to slow it down and appear red? Just a thought.I would love to be able to sit down and discuss for hours the topics of space. Very difficult here to get everything out that I have questions about. This is a start, and I hope that I'm not limited to questions. And I also hope you have patience with me. C.
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    It would make your posts a lot more understandable if you learned how to post using paragraphs instead of averylongwalloftextthatit'snotworthtakingthetimeto dissect.

    Then maybe we could tell what questions you are actually trying to ask. And what of current science you are trying to trash.
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    Yes of course! Light does indeed became redder when it escape a planet or a star, but not because of universe-expansion or the light get expanded but because light loose energy to the gravity when it escape the planet/star (and red has lesser energy than blue). I'm sure the mechanic for 'redshif-ting' in expansion is radically different than the mechanic of 'redshift-ing' caused by escaping gravity (one has constant energy while the latter loose energy).
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    My replies in the box are all paragraphed nicely, but they do not post that way when I am finished, sorry.. iPad suggestions to remedy? I will try adding more spaces between sentences to see if that helps. My own form of expansion, I guess.Ok, so light can become red once it leaves the source. But a different type of red than expansion red? Expansion is not the actual growing in size by the outward motion of objects within it, but rather the area between the objects stretching to seem as if the objects are propelling themselves apart? So gravity keeps the objects together that have already formed, rather than being expanded as well? Otherwise it may seem that everything would be pulled apart in the expansion theory. Would that mean that the force of the expansion is less than that of even the smallest amount of gravity? If the expansion itself can happen at speeds exceeding the speed of light, why doesn't the space between smaller bodies, such as planets, also expand at the same rate? I assume because we are talking about the outer edges of the universe compared to our location, so a like comparison would be stretching a rubber band with our solar system very near our left hand, and the outer edge near our right hand, and the objects that lie upon that band would not seem to move apart, while the difference between both hands does, correct?
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    My apologies for the posting format, I will try from my desktop next post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgraydotcom View Post
    My replies in the box are all paragraphed nicely, but they do not post that way when I am finished, sorry.. iPad suggestions to remedy? I will try adding more spaces between sentences to see if that helps. My own form of expansion, I guess.Ok, so light can become red once it leaves the source. But a different type of red than expansion red? Expansion is not the actual growing in size by the outward motion of objects within it, but rather the area between the objects stretching to seem as if the objects are propelling themselves apart? So gravity keeps the objects together that have already formed, rather than being expanded as well? Otherwise it may seem that everything would be pulled apart in the expansion theory. Would that mean that the force of the expansion is less than that of even the smallest amount of gravity? If the expansion itself can happen at speeds exceeding the speed of light, why doesn't the space between smaller bodies, such as planets, also expand at the same rate? I assume because we are talking about the outer edges of the universe compared to our location, so a like comparison would be stretching a rubber band with our solar system very near our left hand, and the outer edge near our right hand, and the objects that lie upon that band would not seem to move apart, while the difference between both hands does, correct?
    Space does expand even within small distances, however, the effect is so small as to be unobservable. Only on very large scales does metric expansion have an appreciable impact.
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    The universe will explode if the "expansion pressure" exceed the pressure of gravity and other attractive forces. Yes, the universe is expanding at FTL speed but the rate of expansion is less than the strenght of gravity pull, if this rate exceed the gravitational pull then everything could fly apart. -Currently there are 1) the "speed of expansion", 2) the "rate of expansion", and 3) the "rate of the increase in "rate of expansion""... to date: there is an increase in "rate of expansion", so if it reach the strenght of gravity then it will lead to "Big Rip".

    Big Rip! (dark empty space)

    *rate : the amount of changes occuring in a fixed amount of time. Acceleration is the rate of change of speed, and speed is the rate of change of position.*
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