# Facts are Facts..... if you believe them, that is...

Discussion in 'Controversial Topics' started by Tabvla, Sep 29, 2017.

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Valis, thank you for your patience, it has taken me awhile to get back to this Thread.

Let me explain my frustration because I think that I have perhaps not at all times made myself clear.

I am frustrated by the continued tendency in science to treat theories as facts. Text books in schools, colleges and universities; documentaries on TV; discussion programs that engage with science on radio or TV.... all of these have a tendency to present a popular theory as a proven fact. A more mature (and inevitably more skeptical) audience may raise an eyebrow at such presentation, but particularly younger audiences or those with perhaps only a basic education will accept such presentation at face value.

Let me give you an example of what I consider to be a fact. Let us take the orbit of planet Earth. We can calculate and measure this with great precision. We can reverse or forward those calculations to the past or the future. We know the inclination of the Earth on its axis and the progression of this inclination over time. These are facts. They can be checked by anyone with the maths and the technology. They can be verified and either endorsed or refuted. There is no ambiguity here. The orbit of the Earth with all its variations, complications and implications is an irrefutable fact and should be taught and presented as such.

In my Post #43, I wrote "......Based on the evidence presented I don't accept any of these as being fact....". I then highlighted 4 theories that I don't accept as fact even though for the most part they are all taught and presented as fact.

The first theory that I highlighted was the Big Bang (BB) and in this Post this is the only one that I will deal with. I will deal with the other 3 in separate Posts.

The problem with the BB is that the BB model starts with nothing and then the big red button with Bang written on it is pressed...... we then fast forward 13 billion years and we look out the window and what do we see.... well we see a universe that does not look anything like the BB model. So the model needs a major fix. Enter Alan Guth in 1979 with the magic wand of "cosmic inflation". The mathematics is elegant and the theory (and it is a very tenuous theory) fixes the biggest problem of the BB and that is that without inflation it violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which is a big NO - NO in physics. Even after this "big fix" (if you want to think of it that way) the BB still does not result in the universe that we observe, so it back to the workshop for more fixes.

Twenty years ago the vast majority of theoretical physicists subscribed to the BB. Today that is no longer the case. In increasing numbers physicists are expressing reservations about the validity of the BB. Some are openly saying that it is nonsense and we need to start again.

I read recently that even Stephen Hawking, who has always been a strong advocate of the BB, has reportedly expressed severe reservations that the universe started from nothing. Sir Roger Penrose, who worked with Stephen for many years, has delivered an elegant reprisal to the BB and has put forward an alternate theory, (based on very specific patterns within the WMAP) whereby the universe cycles through aeons.

I am not for one moment saying that Roger is correct - there is no more than a 50/50 chance that he has discovered something - I have no more preference to Roger's theory than I do to any other.

What I am saying is that when a theory is a theory, then will all concerned please present it as such and not present theories as facts. In this regard Roger ticks my box, because he has put forward an idea (and he presents it as nothing more than an idea, an interpretation of the data), that some of the information in the WMAP can be viewed differently which will lead to a completely different view of the universe and ultimately the complete demise of the Big Bang.

T.

2. ### valisModerator

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Again, that is merely your OPINION. Facts speak louder than that. Again, the burden of proof is on you. Two Bell Labs dudes won the Nobel for proving CBR. What do have, minus opinion, to disprove them and substantiate your statement?

I dont care a whit for any of what your response meant; you COMPLETELY avoided my question. So, again;

The Bell Labs team won a Nobel. This is fact. Static on the telly is physical proof of this. This, also, is fact.

I need you to show me YOUR proof that this is incorrect, as this is what you are postulating.

Other than that, nice writing.

3. ### valisModerator

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All I am asking is back up your statements. Or just retract the dang things. You stated, and I quote, 'based on evidence presented I dont accept any of these as being fact.', end quote.

You havent presented any evidence. All you have offered is opinion.

If you tell me that the chair I am sitting on doesnt exist and state the reason is 'evidence presented doesnt jibe with what I think', well, what can I do? Here is the chair. Here I am sitting on it. I mean, what can I say?

Just show me the factual, proven, evidence for your reasoning. I am curious about that.

Thanks, and be well,

v

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4. ### Johnny-be-Good

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang
The Big Bang theory is ..........

https://www.space.com/25126-big-bang-theory.html
The Big Bang Theory is the....

https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang
Astronomers combine mathematical models with observations to develop workable theories of how the Universe came to be. The mathematical underpinnings of the Big Bang theory include ......

I could go on, but I do see the general pattern.

I'll go on anyway.

Books.

https://www.amazon.com/Big-Bang-Universe-Heather-Couper/dp/0789414848
review:
This oversized, beautifully illustrated book explains how the universe may have been created.

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/origin-universe/
Since the early part of the 1900s, one explanation of the origin and fate of the universe, the Big Bang theory, has dominated the discussion

And on and on and on.

So, who is complaining about that theory?
Well, everybody's favorite creationist/convicted felon.....
Dr. Kent Hovind
http://www.fillthevoid.org/Creation/Hovind/Brainwashed.html
excerpt:
And even this nut seems to think it's only a theory

But this Google search using the terms is the big bang a fact
does seem to imply it's often the creationists that position the Big Bang as a fact in order to attack it.

Maybe you've been reading the wrong books, T.

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5. ### Johnny-be-Good

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Not wanting to believe a theory has merit is anyone's choice.
But denying merit by calling a theory a fact is intellectually dishonest, imo.

6. ### valisModerator

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Lol....welcome to my life....

7. ### Johnny-be-Good

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LOL, too!

I entered this thread reading about factcheck and politics and here I am in the middle of creationist controversy.

sigh!

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Valis, hope that you are having a better day with your health today... ..... Somewhere you have misread one of my posts. I do not recall ever having disputed the CBR. That is a discovery that I classify as fact because it is independently verifiable. Neither have I ever disputed the existence of WMAP. Why would I..?

John, how did a creationist controversy get into this discussion..?

If I have not expressed myself clearly, then my apologies, I will try again if you wish.

T.

9. ### Johnny-be-Good

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Really?
All along you've been attacking theories on the basis that they are facts.
You've claimed it only takes a belief to create a fact and whether correct or incorrect, a fact is a fact is a fact.
I've shown you the extremes of that fallacy.

If you want to disagree with a theory, I suspect you'll get a different response by presenting the reasons why, rather than the present argument of claiming certain theories are flawed because they are supposedly accepted as facts.

In case you were unaware, the 'BIG BANG' theory is one of several theories about the creation of the Universe with a faction (Fundamentalists) using their beliefs generated from the Bible as a platform of 'facts' to support their belief system. Obviously not of scientific intent, their goal is to prove a result rather than test their hypothesis.

And here we are, in a discussion of word play.
It would be much more interesting to read your comments on why theories are flawed rather than
while equating facts to theory.

So, here we are now in a discussion of word play.

Don't like a theory, how about challenging it directly?

10. ### valisModerator

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I dont understand why this is so difficult; back up your statement regarding evidence presented. Validate it or retract it.

11. ### Johnny-be-Good

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Too bad this thread veered from politics and into the realm of science.

It is interesting to consider why the general public accepts some things as 'facts' while evidence exists that contradicts it.

A fact is an element of certainty.
A belief is a consideration of confidence.

12. ### Johnny-be-Good

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I guess it comes down to which facts we are to believe

<sarcasm>

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14. ### valisModerator

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As it has been a couple weeks with no response, I will consider this answered.

15. ### Johnny-be-Good

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It appears so.

https://theconversation.com/stephen...site-heres-what-it-says-in-simple-terms-86351

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