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Discovering a more precise age of the universe
Los Angeles Times ^ | June 13, 2009 | John Johnson Jr.

Posted on 06/13/2009 12:04:51 PM PDT by OldNavyVet

Wendy Freedman, director of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, and two colleagues were named this month as recipients of the $500,000 Gruber Prize, one of the world's top awards in the field of cosmology.

The Freedman team's work helped scientists to arrive at the currently accepted age of the universe: 13.7 billion years.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: belongsinreligion; cosmology; evolution; notasciencetopic; oldearthspeculation; physics; propellerbeanie; spammer; spontaneouslifers; universe
The age of the universe, and how it's being measured, is covered in the source article.
1 posted on 06/13/2009 12:04:51 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: OldNavyVet

I wonder what occupied all that space 14 billion years ago.


2 posted on 06/13/2009 12:11:26 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Why is the yellow-bellied coward, David Letterman, afraid of Governor Palin?)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Can anything really “occupy” space? The Universe is still expanding... what is it expanding into?


3 posted on 06/13/2009 12:13:32 PM PDT by MyTwoCopperCoins (I don't have a license to kill; I have a learner's permit.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Our capability to “see” distant things is a function of mam-made instruments.

There’s probably far more out there than seen so far.


4 posted on 06/13/2009 12:17:30 PM PDT by OldNavyVet (The essence of evil lies in the irrational.)
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To: MyTwoCopperCoins
“Can anything really “occupy” space? The Universe is still expanding... what is it expanding into?”

That's the dilemma that both Einstein and Hawking came up against; science has no explanation for the other side of the big bang.

5 posted on 06/13/2009 12:19:59 PM PDT by snoringbear (Government is the Pimp,)
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To: snoringbear
science has no explanation for the other side of the big bang.

Not only don't we know, we can't know. Some things are unknowable.

People have beliefs about such things, but they don't have knowledge.

6 posted on 06/13/2009 12:25:12 PM PDT by poindexter
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To: snoringbear
It was void.

(I know)

7 posted on 06/13/2009 12:25:30 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 145 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer; PDT; Physicist
In the words of famed Freeper Physicist:
This question comes up regularly, but it's based upon a misconception that, unfortunately, physicists do more to perpetuate than to correct. Let me see whether I can set you straight.

The problem is that the expanding universe is typically visualized as something like a stretching rubber sheet, or a raisin-laden plum pudding expanding as it bakes. The problem is that these are physical objects that exist in--and take up--some region of space. Over time, these growing objects take up more space, leaving less space for other objects, and either displacing those objects or reaching the limits of the available space. Once the plum pudding fills the oven, there's a problem.

The expansion of the universe isn't like that. The universe is not an object; it doesn't "take up space". It is space. As it grows, it doesn't mean that there is less space for objects; it means there is more space for objects. Nothing needs to be displaced to admit its expansion.

I can tell by the look on your face--as I imagine it--that you aren't satisfied. So here's another way to think about the problem. Don't say that the universe is expanding. Insist that it remains fixed. Say instead that the things in the universe--galaxies, rulers, paper plates, Brooklyn (sorry, Mrs. Allen), atoms, people, Dukakis/Bentsen campaign buttons--are all shrinking. It's mathematically equivalent, right? But it doesn't require you to postulate that anything is "outside".

So why don't you have the same conceptual problem that you had when you viewed it the other (equivalent) way? Think about it.--Physicist


8 posted on 06/13/2009 12:26:22 PM PDT by LibWhacker (America awake!)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

under this theory - nothing.


9 posted on 06/13/2009 12:32:17 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad
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To: OldNavyVet
I once had a guy with a masters in physics try to explain all of this to me during one of our discussions. What is out there where the universe ends? He used a paper model of the infinity symbol to try to explain it all. Still, it is hard for the human mind to contemplate that nothing exists where the universe ends. To me,even nothing is something.

This is a great thread with excellent replies. This subject has always fried my mind when I try to think about it.

10 posted on 06/13/2009 12:35:48 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Why is the yellow-bellied coward, David Letterman, afraid of Governor Palin?)
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To: OldNavyVet

People don don’t know how big or how old the universe is.

It’s nothing more than speculation.

These people that claim the earth is 13.7 billion years old know about as much about that as those people that believe it is 6000 years old.


11 posted on 06/13/2009 12:37:06 PM PDT by lmr (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

It’s more like dividing by zero


12 posted on 06/13/2009 12:39:57 PM PDT by clamper1797 (FUBO ... the Anti-Reagan)
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To: MyTwoCopperCoins

What’s it expanding through?


13 posted on 06/13/2009 12:40:54 PM PDT by Danae (Amerikan Unity My Ass)
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To: poindexter

“Not only don’t we know, we can’t know. Some things are unknowable.

People have beliefs about such things, but they don’t have knowledge.”

Why don’t they just ask Helen Thomas?


14 posted on 06/13/2009 12:50:06 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Space itself is expanding into nothingness. Nothingness has no characteristics at all, not even location.

Spooky, no?

15 posted on 06/13/2009 1:03:08 PM PDT by muir_redwoods ( Hey, remember the last head of state who dictated the design of automobiles?)
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To: OldNavyVet

My dating for the age of the universe (13,700,000,005 billion years and counting) is more accurate so I should get some of the prize money.


16 posted on 06/13/2009 1:09:27 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: muir_redwoods
Agreed. We think of “space” being an object, when in reality, it is the lack of something. The universe can expand, because it expands into an infinite nothing. Also, the idea that the basic law of physics is incorrect by asking the question: “If the universe came from the Big Bang, were did the material for the Big Bang come from?” Nothing cannot become something, per se.
17 posted on 06/13/2009 1:28:23 PM PDT by TheBlueMax ("Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty. " (Ronald Regan))
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To: lmr

“These people that claim the earth is 13.7 billion years old know about as much about ...”

Actually, the Moon rocks collected on Apollo missions provide the best estimate of Earth’s age — 4.7 billion years.

Scientists tell us that the Moon and Earth were once one, and that some gigantic collision separated the original mass into two spheres.

The physical analysis of Moon rocks tell us that the composition of Earth and Moon rocks are similar, and - since little to no erosion happens on the Moon - that Moon rocks provide the best estimate for Earth’s age.

Radioactive dating tells us that rocks from the bottom of the Grand Canyon are not quite 2 bilion years old, and that Moon rocks are 4.7 billion years old.


18 posted on 06/13/2009 1:56:22 PM PDT by OldNavyVet (The essence of evil lies in the irrational.)
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To: snoringbear

The Universe is creating the very space that it is expanding into???


19 posted on 06/13/2009 2:18:50 PM PDT by jesseam (Been there and done that!)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
I wonder what occupied all that space 14 billion years ago.

divine realm?
supernatural realm?

20 posted on 06/13/2009 3:13:25 PM PDT by mjp (pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, independence, limited government, capitalism})
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To: TheBlueMax
"Nothing cannot become something, per se."

I love your question/statement because, in actuality, something can only come from nothing. Or perhaps the big bang was a colossal drop in scale so that the initial ylem as I believe it is called, didn't so much expand as everything(?) else simply dropped in scale relative to the ylem.

Fascinating stuff but sometimes it makes my hair hurt.

21 posted on 06/13/2009 3:26:50 PM PDT by muir_redwoods ( Hey, remember the last head of state who dictated the design of automobiles?)
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To: lmr

>>>It’s nothing more than speculation. These people that claim the earth is 13.7 billion years old know about as much about that as those people that believe it is 6000 years old.

You call it guesswork. However scientists make their calculations based upon the tools and techniques ever-developing science and mathematics make available. There is a world of differences between the two concepts. One of which is the calculations can be double-checked and fine tuned by anyone who takes the trouble to learn and examine the math, which is what this story is actually discussing.

In other words, nothing has to be taken on blind faith.


22 posted on 06/13/2009 9:07:53 PM PDT by tlb
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To: Beowulf9

I think she filed a report. “Big bang reported. Millions harmed. U.S. involvement suspected.”


23 posted on 06/13/2009 9:18:12 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: jesseam
The Universe is creating the very space that it is expanding into???

In a sense, yes. Don't worry, it's a very hard concept to grasp, and no one knows for sure how to relate to it (even is you study such stuff most of your life). But according to theory, "space" just didn't exist. The three dimensions of space just "weren't there", so to speak.

24 posted on 06/13/2009 10:05:10 PM PDT by Clock King
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To: poindexter
“science has no explanation for the other side of the big bang”.

“Not only don't we know, we can't know. Some things are unknowable.”

“People have beliefs about such things, but they don't have knowledge.”

Btw, I neglected to mention this in my first posting because I wanted to see if anyone would mention it in their responses; both Einstein and Hawking acknowledge their belief in the existence of god.

25 posted on 06/14/2009 4:43:55 AM PDT by snoringbear (Government is the Pimp,)
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To: Clock King
“The Universe is creating the very space that it is expanding into???”

“In a sense, yes. Don't worry, it's a very hard concept to grasp, and no one knows for sure how to relate to it (even is you study such stuff most of your life). But according to theory, “space” just didn't exist. The three dimensions of space just “weren't there”, so to speak.”

For those who are interested in this subject; I recommend Stephen Hawking's book “A Briefer History of Time”. Not to worry, it's a small book and a quick read if you don't start thinking too much. Hawking does his best to write so that we lay folks can grasp most, ok some, of his book. Anyway, I found the book very interesting and it's fascinating to have some insight into one of the few minds in the world that can actually comprehend quantum physics.

26 posted on 06/14/2009 4:58:40 AM PDT by snoringbear (Government is the Pimp,)
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To: OldNavyVet

Nothing is certain.

I know about Radioactive dating, I was a physical science major.

In Science, I witnessed more speculation than anything. All kinds of things claimed that couldn’t be quantified or seen.

Postulating this and postulating that. Postulating on a postulate.

Hypothesis grounded in more Hypothesis. Guesswork built on a foundation of guesswork.

Scientists these days have lost their way, I am afraid. They are driven to prove the agenda of their funding.

It’s actually been this way for awhile.


27 posted on 06/17/2009 1:26:59 AM PDT by lmr (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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To: tlb

blah blah blah.

Carbon dating aside,

As a Physical Science major, I witnessed more guessing than anything.

The only thing that Scientists are interested in proving these days is that which is the agenda of their financiers.

Actually, it’s been this way for awhile.

It’s made me question everything.


28 posted on 06/17/2009 1:29:55 AM PDT by lmr (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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To: lmr

“Nothing is certain.”

Does two plus two equal four?

If nothing is certain, we can dispense with principles, absolutes, causality, knowledge, etc. ... and anything goes.


29 posted on 06/17/2009 8:07:09 AM PDT by OldNavyVet (The essence of evil lies in the irrational.)
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To: OldNavyVet

Of course I didn’t mean that in an absolutist sense. I meant that in regards to Scientific theory and postulation.

You have obfuscated by constructing a strawman argument.


30 posted on 06/19/2009 10:39:58 AM PDT by lmr (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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To: OldNavyVet

In regards to agenda driven science, yes they have dispensed with principles, absolutes, casuality, knowledge, etc.

I stand by my original statement. Scientists don’t know how old the universe really is and there is no definitive way of knowing it.

It’s all a bunch of bullshit guesswork as are most theories, postulations and all the non method driven Science that is so common these days.


31 posted on 06/19/2009 10:43:27 AM PDT by lmr (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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To: lmr

“I stand by my original statement”

i.e. “Nothing is certain.”

Are you sure you exist?


32 posted on 06/19/2009 11:53:36 AM PDT by OldNavyVet (The essence of evil lies in the irrational.)
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To: jesseam
The Universe is creating the very space that it is expanding into???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cd-JWVshkVF0SY

33 posted on 06/19/2009 12:35:12 PM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To the left the truth looks Right-Wing.)
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To: TangoLimaSierra

Thank you ... we needed that


34 posted on 06/19/2009 12:44:34 PM PDT by OldNavyVet (The essence of comedy lies in the ugly)
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To: OldNavyVet
"Are you sure you exist?"

Rene Descartes walks into a bar.
Then a horse walks into the bar.
The bartender says "I thought da' horse came before Descartes?"

Rene Descartes sits down at the bar.
The bartender asks him "Will you be having a drink?"
Rene Descartes says "I think not" ...

...and disappears.

35 posted on 06/19/2009 1:37:13 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear (These fragments I have shored against my ruins)
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To: OldNavyVet
“I stand by my original statement”

i.e. “Nothing is certain.”

Are you sure you exist?

What is the purpose of this question? It seems to be nothing more than a Red Herring.
36 posted on 06/19/2009 6:07:29 PM PDT by lmr (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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To: OldNavyVet

You have also taken 2 unrelated phrases of mine and put them together to make some kind of point, it seems.

You need more practice at twisting what people are saying. You are trying, but not succeeding.


37 posted on 06/19/2009 6:12:44 PM PDT by lmr (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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To: lmr

It’s intriging to think that although it will be crunched to beyond the subatomic in some future black hole environment, the information contained even in these sentences will never be lost.


38 posted on 06/24/2009 9:20:29 AM PDT by onedoug
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