A New Cosmic Tension: The Universe Might Be Too Thin

Related to my previous posts on an aether and primordial waters:

In the new research, members of the Kilo-Degree Survey, or KiDS, observed about 31 million galaxies from up to 10 billion light-years away. They then used these observations to calculate average distributions of the universe’s hidden gas and dark matter. They found clumps that are almost 10% thinner than the forecast from the established cosmological model, known as Lambda cold dark matter, or ΛCDM.

The writer of this article deserves an award. The description and metaphor here are beautiful.


Check this out: The Universe is a Watermelon

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This is a great article @thoughtful. What do the @physicists think?

“If we were having conferences,” said Michael Hudson, a cosmologist at the University of Waterloo in Canada who is not involved in the research, “all the coffee chatter would be about these results.”

They now seek to accomplish two contradictory tasks. To solve the original problem of the expanding universe, they need a phenomenon that would give the universe an extra kick outward. But to resolve the new anomaly, they have to weaken the gravitational influence that makes the universe clump. When you put the two problems together, said Julien Lesgourgues, a theoretical cosmologist at RWTH Aachen University in Germany and a member of the Planck collaboration, “it becomes a nightmare to find an explanation for both.”

For example, to jump-start expansion, some theorists have tried adding “dark radiation” to the early universe. But they have to balance this extra radiation with additional matter, which would have thickened the universe. So to end up with the universe that we see, they have to invent additional interactions between the various dark ingredients to get the desired thinness.

Another possibility is that dark matter, which clumps the universe together, transforms into dark energy, which drives it apart. Or perhaps the Earth sits in a vast void, skewing our observations. Or the two anomalies could be unrelated. “I haven’t seen anything compelling,” Hudson said, “but if I was a theorist, I’d be very excited right now.”


Thanks! That was interesting, and a great metaphor. Since they’ve got things in the wrong order, they’ll be confused.

But I haven’t quite figured how the CMB is detected yet - I see the picture of it. I just don’t get how something in space is tracked and plotted like that, so I haven’t decided how it works in my Genesis 1 picture. So I also will not know how what they find skews the picture. I do wonder if it relates to scientists thinking the expansion is accelerating.

CMB is everywhere. CMB are the photons released when electrons first combined with protons to form the first neutral hydrogen atoms. This occurs at a noise temperature of 3000 deg K. After 13 billion years of space expansion, these photons are at a noise temperature of 3 deg K. The noise you see on an old analog TV show CMB photons.


From my backyard I can see the Horn Antenna used to first measure the CMB.



Thanks. Still am not sure how that fits in the cosmology of Genesis. They’re extra photons floating around? Do you have a favorite resource that explains practically what it is and how it is measured?

Why should it have to?


@thoughtful, now you’ve got me curious to hear if you at least suspect any sort of conflict between the CMB and Genesis.

The topic also brings the Big Bang Theory to mind. So many YECs I know have a strong contempt for the Big Bang Theory but that is an issue which I don’t recall being all that big of a controversy back when I was a YEC in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Indeed, I have wondered why a concept first proposed by a Christian physicist-clergyman (though dubbed with the popular derisive name by Fred Hoyle) which appears to me to get along well with the idea of a created-universe has been so vilified by YECs in recent decades. I’m curious if you have a position on Lemaitre’s theory.

The Planck Satellite has made the most precise measurements of CMB.


I’m a Jesus-follower that’s why.

No, I do not think the CMB conflicts with Genesis at all. Actually there’s an odd cold spot in it that may explain how dark matter surrounded the expanse of Genesis 1, Day 2; but I’m not exactly sure how yet. I just need to find a better explanation of it. I just haven’t fit it in.

As far as Lemaitre goes, no we shouldn’t vilify it. I think YEC Christians should take better care which parts of science they are criticizing. Pieces of the Big Bang Model point to the steps in Genesis 1 - at least what I found when I went through it. We should be talking more about how science confirms, but doesn’t completely understand Genesis. I wonder if Lemaitre would have ever written the paper if the Bible hadn’t said God stretched the heavens and he realized what other scientists were saying meant the universe had a beginning. I actually just read about this in an article tonight that came up on my newsfeed. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-are-the-big-bang-and-genesis-actually-the-same-story-1.9167873

The prevailing myth in most cultures spoke of spontaneous creation, whereas science had insisted for centuries that there’s no way the universe had a “beginning.”

The picture began to change with the publication of a subversive, breakthrough article in Nature in 1931. The author was a brilliant Belgian physicist, a graduate of MIT who was, amazingly, also an ordained Catholic priest. That cleric-scientist, Georges Lemaître, pointed to a seemingly surprising phenomenon: The fact that the universe was expanding, as was discovered around that time, suggests that if we were to go back in time, the universe would look smaller and smaller, until in the end we would reach a certain moment when the mass of the entire universe would have been concentrated in a single point, which he called the “primeval atom.” At that point, Lemaître argued, time-space fabric came into being.

Ninety years later, we are used to this idea, which sounds to us logical and acceptable. But stop and think about it for a moment: The whole vast universe concentrated in one point, and then emerges from it – how? why? – in an instant, like a jack-in-the-box. Wonder of wonders. The scientific community was fiercely critical of Lemaître’s article; Albert Einstein, for example, described his physics as “atrocious.” However, within a short time Einstein acknowledged his mistake, which he termed the biggest blunder of his career, and heaped praise on Lemaître’s theory: “This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.”

@swamidass it’s too bad no one is commenting what they think. @david.heddle maybe?

I actually just posted this article because I loved the metaphors and because scientists were confused. :rofl:

However… :joy:
I was watching this video Jamie Farnes’ negative mass dark matter explained about Jamie Farnes’ work on negative mass dark matter, and Anton at about 6:00 minutes explains negative mass dark matter proposals have been refused before because they would be too low in density. What did they must find? The universe was low in density! Haha. Nice.

Then this:
We probably live in a dark matter halo

  • At 5:45, he explains "Before the first star was born, before the first galaxies were created, this [dark matter] started to exist.

  • At 9:00, "smaller bubbles inside of larger bubbles.

If you guessed dark matter existed first, and we live in a 4D bubble inside of a 5D bubble raise your hand? :sunglasses: Anyone else besides me? Hmm… :rofl: :rofl:

Anton’s getting a subscribe from me, he explains the new discoveries with no hype and simple graphics. I might have to work through all of them.

And yet I am also a Jesus-follower and I don’t think it has to, so I don’t think that is the answer. As I just posted about the watermelon illustration, it describes what the Universe looks like from Earth’s perspective. So it is phenomenological, describing how it appears to us, not how it actually is in reality. Which also seems to me the most plausible way to interpret cosmological observations in the Bible.

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The problem with that is that what’s described in the bible isn’t the way it appears to us.

Can you elaborate?

It doesn’t appear to us that the earth is surrounded by water above and below. It doesn’t appear to us that there’s a solid dome of sky. It doesn’t appear to us that the sky is light without the sun. I suppose you mean what it would appear to a totally naive observer who hasn’t see anything except what he can view standing outside?

As to “A New Cosmic Tension: The Universe Might Be Too Thin”, it’s a Saturday night so I’ll risk it:

You know what they always say about universes. They can never be too rich or too thin.

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Doesn’t it? We dig wells to get water from below, and rain falls on us from above. The Cambridge dictionary defines “the heavens opened” as an idiom for it suddenly starting to rain a lot. This is still in use, for example this report yesterday about the Australian Supercars stated “Earlier pacesetters Chaz Mostert and Jamie Whincup were third and fourth when the heavens opened, locking in their positions for the duration.”

Well it does to me, but then I practically grew up in the local planetarium which was opposite my father’s workplace. But I don’t think I am alone in thinking that. Projecting spots of light onto a solid dome makes a very good simulation of the night sky. I’m disappointed the city I live in now doesn’t have one. The closest one to me now is over two hours away. Funnily enough, it is called Stardome Observatory and Planetarium. Astronomy Magazine allows users of their website to calculate the night sky for different times and places, and the program is also called StarDome.

I don’t remember that one, is that in the Bible?

A totally naive observer? I think you may have misunderstood what I mean by phenomenological. Its not naive to say a watermelon is a useful description of what we can see of the universe. Its not naive of NASA to talk about sunrise or Mars and the sun appearing on opposite sides of the sky. Phenomenological language describes what things look like, not what we believe they really are.

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Yes. Remember when God separates the light from the darkness, a couple of days before creating the sun?

What things look like depends to some degree on your knowledge. The starry sky looks to me like a huge expanse of empty space; can’t help it. Thus the naive observer. The daytime sky looks to me as if all the light comes from the sun, even though there’s light coming from the blue sky, and it’s no coincidence that the blue goes away when the sun goes down. Then again, it does usually look to me as if the sun goes down, though occasionally it looks as if the earth is rotating.

Sure it does. When I look at any part of the sky during the day - not just right towards the sun - it is light. The light is visible before the sun comes up and after the sun goes down. Without knowing that the atmosphere scatters the sun’s light, one could easily conceptually separate the daylight coming from the sky, from the sun.

Sure, if you’re naive. If you haven’t experienced a solar eclipse, or if you haven’t experienced dusk or dawn. Knowledge alters what seems to be.