Dark Energy Doubted

We’ve been told recently that two thirds of the universe consists of a mysterious phenomenon called dark energy.  Now, some scientists at ESA say it doesn’t exist.     Observations by the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory of clusters of galaxies 10 billion light years distant show remarkable differences from nearby clusters in the […]

How Precise Is “Precision Cosmology”?

When data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) came in, cosmologists heralded it as the era of “precision cosmology” and immediately began to make claims that resulting data map confirmed some cosmological theories and falsified others (see 02/14/2003 headline).  Two papers in the Astrophysical Journal, however, are discounting the precision of the data and […]

Questioning Earth’s Privileges

51; Two articles this week downplayed considerations that would make the Earth seem like a special place in the universe.  Both have ties to NASA.     Are life-friendly stars limited to a narrow band in the galaxy called the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ)?  NASA-supported Astrobiology Magazine cast doubt on the idea.  Citing a study […]

Dark Energy Is Embarrassing

Robert Scherrer is trying to come up with a theory that combines dark matter and dark energy, reports Space.Com.  “It is somewhat embarrassing to have two different unknown sources for the dominant forms of matter and energy in the universe.  On the other hand, that may just be the way things are.  We don’t get […]

Inflation: Cosmic, Comic, or Cosmetic?

The science media seem beside themselves with enthusiasm over some dots and lines.  When scientists analyzing data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) told reporters they determined the polarization of certain points in the cosmic microwave background, one could almost hear the yawns.  But when they suggested that this tells us something about what […]

Is Dark Matter Going Out of Style?

Dark matter has been a staple in cosmological theories for decades.  One of the initial reasons was that galaxy rotation curves could not be explained without it.  Another was that galaxy clusters, to be held together over long ages, needed more “stuff” to bind them.  Finally, Big Bang cosmologists invoke copious amounts of dark matter […]

Reality or Hubris in Scientific Claims?

51; The amount of trust the public puts in scientific claims stems partly from their incomprehensibility.  The claims presented in scientific papers are often so dense and abstruse as to be unapproachable by all but specialists.  Undoubtedly many people trust scientists because of their specialized education, their knowledge of mathematics, their special equipment, and their […]
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