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Old 11-28-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
kennyc
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Pre-Big Bang??? Roger Penrose causing trouble again

Here he goes again

Cosmic rebirth
Circular patterns in the universe's pervasive background radiation suggest the Big Bang was only the latest of many.....

Here is the Science News version:

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/gene...Cosmic_rebirth

BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11837869

and the actual published paper:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1011.3706


I've never had much faith in him since he attacked the Cognitive Science community with his Emperor's New Mind. He was totally out of his area and it caused all kinds of problems. While this is more in his realm (he's actually more of a mathematician than anything) I suspect he's probably off base here as well and is just grappling for some publicity.

My (total non-scientific) take on this is that if these circular anomalies exist as described they are likely due to some measurement or instrument error. The Science News article in particular takes a very "arms-length" position.

Last edited by kennyc; 11-28-2010 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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There is a creative dimension to the abductive logic that drives scientific inquiry. If we don't have folks cooking up crazy hypotheses every now and then we might as well give up on the idea of scientific revolution. If I am remembering correctly, Kepler himself parsed through 22 hypotheses--some of them completely insane--over 20 years in an attempt to explain Tycho Brahe's meticulously kept data. Abduction often calls for moments of irrational transition between two paradigms. It is only after a paradigm shift that successful science entrenches itself, in part, by retrospectively concealing the irrational moment in a narrative that makes it seem as if the progressive shift between paradigms was completely rational.

I suppose what I'm saying is that, in order to harbor a Galileo, Newton or Einstein, we must also be prepared to harbor all the relative failures of their generation. In other words, theoretical diversity in science should be encouraged no matter how insane it seems!
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:55 PM   #3
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Oh absolutely there is a creative aspect to science -- in the creation of the hypothesis -- but then it falls to the scientific method to evaluate. This "Paper" of Penrose's has not been through the peer review much less the scientific process.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:45 PM   #4
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Come, now! Does Penrose have any peers?
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