Crisis Among The Stars: Coming Shift in Cosmology
With a lively history of cosmology, here is a dramatic new conjecture to explain dark matter, dark energy, and the accelerating expansion of the universe. Just 90 years ago, the great debate was still about the sun as center of the universe, which was just the Milky Way. In the 1920s, E. Hubble proved there are myriad galaxies in an unimaginably vast universe. Time for a new paradigm shift... More
John T. Cullen traces the history of cosmology from ancient Greece (where the geocentric/heliocentric debate began), through the late Roman Empire and the Middle Ages.
The author demonstrates a doomed paradigm-saving pattern in the history of science, whereby an existing theory gradually becomes at odds with newly observed data. Authorities add increasingly indefensible twists, frills, and convolutions to bring the theory up to date with the newest data. Eventually, like a rubber band snapping, an entirely new paradigm sweeps away the old theory. We are on the verge of a major new paradigm shift, away from the one-universe theory, to a meta-cosmos (motherverse) of infinitely many universes.
A similar shift occurred in ancient Roman times, when Claudius Ptolemaeus of Alexandria (Ptolemy, 90-168 CE) invented epicycles to salvage Aristotle's theory of planetary cycles in the crystal spheres of heaven, versus the observed and inexplicable backward motion of some planets; e.g., Mars in retrograde versus Jupiter.
The debate between proponents of a geocentric universe (with Earth as its center) and a heliocentric universe (with the sun as its center) raged from Classical Greece and Rome to quite recent times.
Early Modern thinkers killed off the geocentric (Earth-centered universe) theory to which Christian authorities clung with deadly certainty. Tycho Brahe's detailed observations convinced Copernicus that the earth goes around the sun, a theory that nearly cost Galileo his life. Kepler and Newton separately invented the calculus, which offered a new understanding of orbital mechanics, and caused the long-held cycles and epicycles of Aristotle and Ptolemy to evaporate. Galileo proved that Jupiter has moons revolving around it, which proved that not all things in the solar system go around the Earth. The result was the triumph of heliocentrism--until the 1920s, when a new paradigm shift, led by Edwin Hubble, showed that the Milky Way is not the entire universe, and the Earth is nowhere near the center. There are myriad galaxies in an unthinkably large universe.
Our narrative follows a historical path on its way to calling for a new paradigm shift today. In the Renaissance, the Sistine Chapel is a kind of theological battleship, with cosmology painted from creation to last judgment, and a surprising presence of pagan sibyls. But it was a vain attempt to sidestep the need for human beliefs to catch up with newly observed facts.
Today, the Standard Model is alive and well at the core, but fraying around the fringes. Once again, strange and incomprehensible (therefore indefensible) fixes like dark energy and dark matter abound, as experts try to salvage the single-universe model.
The author suggest we are, once again, at the brink of a major paradigm shift. Many cosmologists already suspect there are infinitely many universes in a much larger cosmos (motherverse, metaverse). Once all spurious attempts at fixes have failed, there will be no recourse but to adopt a radical paradigm shift. The author is betting that it will be the admission, similar to Hubble's discoveries in the 1920s, that ours is not the only universe. There are vastly larger structures in which our universe is just like a grain of sand.
John T. Cullen's thinking stems from a simple insight about alleged dark energy. The reason why the universe is not only expanding, but inexplicably at an ever faster and faster pace with no visible internal propellant, is that the force acting on the universe comes from outside. Dark energy is nothing else but gravity. Our universe is being torn apart by the ambient gravity of an infinite, eternal motherverse engaged in an endless cycle in which universes are created, live with all their stars and inhabitants, and inevitably die to make way for the next iteration of the same.