Trouble in Cosmologyland

first_imgUnderneath the veneer of certainty portrayed by TV documentaries about the universe are deep questions and controversies.  Some of these briefly appear on publicly-available news stories, only to be covered by new coats of certainty.  Are the new veneers fixing the problems or, instead, whitewashing serious weaknesses in current cosmological understanding?  Here are some quick looks under the veneer. Speaking of the Cosmological Principle, it has been wrongly been attributed to Copernicus – a man who admired God’s supreme architecture of the heavens.  Dava Sobel, who wrote the illuminating historical Galileo’s Daughter, that did much to debunk the science-vs-religion myth of the Galileo affair, has a new book out: A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos (Walker/Bloomsbury 2011).  Owen Gingerich reviewed it in Nature last week (Nature 477, 15 Sept 2011, pp. 276–277, doi:10.1038/477276a) and considers it “first rate… a charming and accurate book, although it omits much of the technical background in which earlier accounts revelled.”  Apparently the semi-fictional account by this gifted writer gives prominence to Rheticus, a Lutheran: “True to the historical record, Rheticus finally persuades the ageing canon to allow a copy of his manuscript to be taken to Nuremberg for printing.”  See the 4/30/2004 entry, “Lutherans Helped Copernicus,” for more non-fiction about this central character in the rise of modern cosmology; see also our online biography of Copernicus (March 2008, right sidebar) Why do most teachers, textbook writers, and TV documentary producers concentrate on the whitewash, and ignore the termites?  Find many more termites in the cosmology house by searching on “Cosmology” topics on our search bar.  Listen also to some of the things David Berlinski told National Review TV last month about scientists’ hubris about physics and cosmology (see list of episodes on Evolution News & Views).(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Disturbing:  “Dwarf galaxies suggest dark matter theory may be wrong,” wrote Leila Battison for the BBC News.  We’ve heard it for years; “The current theory holds that around 4% of the Universe is made up of normal matter – the stuff of stars, planets and people – and around 21% of it is dark matter.”  Why, then, did leading cosmologist Carlos Frenk call new developments “disturbing”?  The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been unable to find cold dark matter (CDM), an essential ingredient for the Standard Model of the birth and evolution of the universe.  “Scientists working on the problem have recently expressed dismay at the universally negative results coming from the LHC, and this has led some to consider that the standard model may be wrong.”  Either cosmologists do not understand the formation of dwarf galaxies, or (something that Frenk is “losing sleep” over), a more disturbing alternative is dawning on them: “that CDM does not exist, and the predictions of the standard model relating to it are false.” Hunt for darkness:  Various teams are still searching for dark matter anyway.  PhysOrg reported 67 anomalous results from the CRESST experiment deep under a mountain in Italy that cannot be explained except by Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), a theoretical form of dark matter.  That does not mean dark matter is real; only that it has not been ruled out by these unexplained detections.  Antimatter, anti-dark matter:  Meanwhile, other detectors are disconfirming dark matter.  “Antimatter enthusiasts will love it; dark matter hunters not so much,” quipped Stuart Clark for New Scientist.  “NASA’s FERMI satellite has confirmed a previous hint that there is more antimatter than expected coming from space. The bad news is that the result almost certainly rules out dark matter as the source.” Long-held assumption doubted:  We’ve been told for quite awhile that large galaxies grew by collisions with smaller ones.  “ESA’s Herschel infrared space observatory has discovered that galaxies do not need to collide with each other to drive vigorous star birth,” Science Daily reported.  “The finding overturns this long-held assumption and paints a more stately picture of how galaxies evolve.”  That is, for now.  Whatever picture emerges next, “These new observations now change our perception of the history of the Universe.” Will God Particle be science fiction?  The Higgs Boson (a.k.a. “God particle”) is running out of places to hide.  Central to cosmological theories for the origin of mass, it continues to elude detection by the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.  Finding the Higgs was one of the world’s largest detector’s prime missions (see video posted on Deseret News for explanation).  Believers are running out of time waiting for God-ought (where ought is slang for zero).  PhysOrg reported; “if it’s not there, it will be known to be science fiction by December.” Cosmological Principle under siege:  One of the most beloved of all cosmological notions is that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic – that at large scales, every place looks the similar to any other, so that there is no preferred direction or location in the universe.  Watch out; PhysOrg titled an entry, “New evidence for a preferred direction in spacetime challenges the cosmological principle.”  Enter an anisotropy to muck things up.  The article explains, “the universe’s expansion is accelerating at a faster rate in one direction than another. In the most recent study, scientists have analyzed data from 557 Type 1a supernovae and found, in agreement with some previous studies, that the universe’s expansion seems to be accelerating faster in the direction of a small part of the northern galactic hemisphere.”  Critics point to contrary evidence from the cosmic microwave background.  “Yet considering that the cosmological principle is one of the pillars of modern cosmology whose fundamental importance is difficult to exaggerate, threats to its credibility won’t be taken lightly,” the article ended.  “If the cosmological principle turns out to be wrong, it would dramatically change the way we look at the world.”last_img read more

Infographic: Know your copyrights on World Book and Copyright Day

first_imgTo celebrate Unesco’s International World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April, an annual event that promotes reading and highlights the importance of creative ownership, we bring you an infographic on the basic concepts of copyright.In a digital age, when original ideas can move rapidly around the world within seconds, it is important that creators in all forms of media – music, film, art and books – understand the intricacies of controlling how their intellectual property is used, and making sure they are properly compensated for their original ideas.Illegal downloading and digital piracy are just some of the more notable ways that copyright can be violated. Plagiarism, unlawful appropriation and the illegal selling of media is a significant problem, in not only a technological sense, but also at a very real, grassroots level, particularly in South Africa and the rest of the continent.last_img read more

EPA draft on atrazine

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Corn Growers Association feels a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft report on atrazine ignores a large body of scientific evidence affirming the herbicide’s safety, setting a dangerous precedent for all crop protection tools, said Brent Hostetler, a farmer from Plain City, Ohio, and chair of the National Corn Growers Association’s Production and Stewardship Action Team.“Federal law requires the EPA to base its decisions on science. And the science on this is pretty clear,” Hostetler said. “Atrazine is one of the safest and most effective crop management tools farmers have. It’s also one of the most studied pesticides in history-and more than 50 years’ worth of data show it is safe.”EPA released its draft ecological risk assessment for atrazine in June 2016. All pesticides sold or distributed in the U.S. must be registered by EPA and re-registered every 15 years. Ecological risk assessments are one step of that registration process. EPA is accepting public comments on the ecological assessment through Oct. 4.AUDIO: The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins with some comments from Hostetler.NCGA Brent Hostetlerlast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — April 5, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest 180405_RyanMartinPartly sunny and cold today. Winds may not be as strong as yesterday, but will still be out of the NW.We are watching a quick moving little wave coming in for overnight tonight. From midnight through late morning tomorrow we have light snow coming back into northern Ohio .We are looking for a coating to no more than 2 inches from US 30 northward. Coverage will be about 60%, but most snow totals will be to the lower end of the range as well. The best chance for the upper part of the range will be in NE Ohio where the lake can enhance the snow chances.Most of the state turns out partly sunny on Friday. However, this respite will be short lived. Light snow is back into the state Friday evening, and this quickly turns into a north vs. south event. Light snow can bring a coating to an inch or two north of a line from Hamilton to Chillicothe to Marietta Friday evening through early Saturday morning. South of that line, we can see significantly higher totals with moderate to heavy snow. 2-5” or more can fall, particularly near the river. The best will be falling from early Saturday morning through midafternoon. Gear up for a mess in southern Ohio on Saturday.High pressure moves over in and sets up for us from Saturday afternoon through Sunday. This should give us some good sunshine to finish the weekend.Our next system arrives Monday, but we will feel effects of this front through Tuesday. On Monday we see light snow moving across 60% of the state, giving a coating to an inch or so. Light snow lingers over the eastern third to quarter of Ohio overnight Monday night and it may end up having some rain mix in. Then Tuesday, we have a light rain and snow mix for a large part of the state. Precipitation totals will be from a few hundredths to .2” liquid equivalent, but we do expect some of that to be briefly accumulating snow.We are dry Wednesday through Thursday mid-morning. Then, rains return (yes, RAIN!!). But, they look to have the potential to be heavy. Right now we are looking at two waves coming through for Thursday and Friday, bringing combined rains of 1-2.5’ over 80% of the state. The heavier wave will be on Friday. Then we get a few dry hours Saturday.In the extended window, we have .5”-1.5” rains for late next Saturday afternoon (14th) through Sunday (15th). These rains will have 100% coverage over the state. Spits and sprinkles linger for the 16th. Then, (and let’s not get too excited…this is far enough out it can easily change) we may be able to put together our longest dry stretch of the month! We see no precipitation for the 17th-18th-19th. Rain is back for the 20th, bringing .25”-.75”Temperatures stay cold for the next week. We will be 10-20 degrees below normal now through next Wednesday. Then, we see temps climb quickly to above normal levels (in time to fuel the rain and thunderstorms) next Thursday and Friday. Behind that we are back to normal and below normal levels for the following weekend. The combination of cold air this week, ample moisture, and really only 2 above normal days out of the next 17 bring us to no change in our field work estimate: not getting in there for a while yet! Ten day moisture totals are below.last_img read more

Ohioans to see multitude of colors from spring wildflowers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohioans will soon be treated to a spectacular display of native spring wildflowers. This year’s season began in late March in Ohio’s southern counties and gradually will move northward as the season comes to an end in the middle of May, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.“Spring is one of the most magical times of year in Ohio,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Spring welcomes an array of colorful wildflowers, which line trails and hillsides all over the state. Hiking is a great way to get outdoors to see spring wildflowers and reconnect with nature after the chill of the winter months.”Often known as spring ephemerals, woodland spring wildflowers are triggered to bloom after long periods of cold temperatures. Early spring warmth followed by a sudden hard frost can damage their delicate blooms and leaves, dampening the display. The most spectacular wildflower seasons are brought on by a gradual warm-up through March and April with frequent rain. The timing of the blooms is heavily dependent upon temperature.Ohio’s forests showcase the largest array of wildflowers throughout the spring months. Spring wildflowers bloom early to take advantage of the sunlight streaming through the forest canopy before the leaves of the trees unfurl above. The earliest flowers emerge soon after the ground thaws, having formed flowers and leaves underneath the forest floor the year before. While most woods in Ohio have at least some native spring wildflowers, the best populations are found in relatively undisturbed locations, away from urban areas.A few of the most widespread and often observed spring wildflowers include spring beauty, Dutchman’s-breeches, large flowered trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild geranium, mayapple, Solomon’s-seal and Virginia bluebells.For more information on spring wildflowers in Ohio, check out the Ohio Wildflower Bloom Report at naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/wildflowers. This report will be updated weekly with the best places to see spring wildflowers in Ohio, as well as specific information on native wildflowers in the state.ODNR and TourismOhio encourage people to take spring wildflower photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag #OhioWildflowers. Follow @ohiodnr and @OhioFindItHere on Twitter, @ohiodnr on Instagram and Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio. Find It Here. on Facebook to see more spring wildflower photos.last_img read more

Harvey Norman Special Offer

first_imgNRL Touch Football’s major partner, Harvey Norman, has a great deal for members through the TFA website and newsletter. The TomTom Spark is now available at a special price of $284 for TFA members. Train with over 500 songs and your heart rate on your wrist with the TomTom Spark Cardio and Music GPS Fitness Watch, with 3GB built in music player. For more information, please click here. To take advantage of this deal, you’ll need to use the code ‘SPARKFEB16’ to redeem (online only, not to be used with any other offer). Hurry, the offer is only valid until Monday, 22 February. Stay tuned to the TFA website and newsletter for more great Connected Health and Fitness deals from Harvey Norman. Related LinksHarvey Norman Deallast_img read more