Re: Evidence for "Big Bang Theory"

Carl J Lydick (carl@SOL1.GPS.CALTECH.EDU)
28 Apr 1995 00:30:13 GMT

In article <3nok1c$>, (Dan Drake) writes:
=In message <3nkg4h$> - carl@SOL1.GPS.CALTECH.EDU (Carl J
= Lydick) writes:
=>In article <3nk6f7$>, (Dan Drake) writes:
=>=>The current consensus is that photons do not have mass, but I've heard of
=>=>ongoing research that asserts that photons may have a miniscule amount.
=>=> james
=>=Does anyone have a reference for this? It is literally incredible and
=>=completely inconsistent with fundamental physics. I think.
=>A scientific theory is evaluated on how closely it matches observations, not
=>the other way around.
=Gosh, are you sure? I never woulda guessed.
=Actually, of course, it's not quite true. Observations that are too badly
=inconsistent with everything else that's known (and "theory" is the name we
=give to the means by which we test that consistency) tend to get swept under
=the rug. _Usually_ this is right: nothing comes of, for instance, the one
=set of experiments that contradicted the Michelson-Morley experiments and the
=special theory of relativity. Now and then, of course, odd results, like the
=M-M experiments in their time, call for a new theory.
=>=Light travels at the speed of light (amazing!) and by simple relativity
=>=theory can not have a non-zero rest mass.
=>The speed of light in a vacuum is constant, TO WITHIN THE PRECISION OF OUR
=> etc. etc. etc.
=So, by your standards, we're not allowed to have any confidence in any
=prediction made on the basis of masses of experimental data united by
=self-consistent and well verified theories?

No, by my standards we're not allowed to have the utter confidence that your
earlier post seemed to imply.

=OK, I should always put in a disclaimer, for the benefit of those who think
=that is about religion and ont about science (and I
=admit there seem to be lots of those people): All this may be overthrown by
=new data and new theories (or are you a no-theory Baconian?), which in
=overthrowing what we know will have to include all that we now know as a
=subset. Consider it disclaimed.


Disclaimer: Hey, I understand VAXen and VMS. That's what I get paid for. My
understanding of astronomy is purely at the amateur level (or below). So
unless what I'm saying is directly related to VAX/VMS, don't hold me or my
organization responsible for it. If it IS related to VAX/VMS, you can try to
hold me responsible for it, but my organization had nothing to do with it.