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Jul29-08, 08:17 AM
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P: 522
The aim of the thread is to offer a non-technical concrete way of understanding the standard model.
An excellent goal worthy of support, but who will judge the success of this understanding, the experts or the students? As an interested `student` of this subject, albeit a very old one, statements without explanation are not always helpful, e.g.

I think the phrase "expansion of space" should be completely avoided, as it is technically wrong and confusing.
Fine, but please qualify or quantify such statement so that the ‘student’ can understand the context, as almost every introductory text on cosmology talks about the expansion of space. Most mention the balloon analogy, which is then often qualified but not always rationalised, other than to say the ‘big bang’ should not be modelled as an explosion. Post #10 has already highlighted some confusion with respect to special relativity, which may or may not just be with the definition of expansion or non-expansion in question.

One of the first things to realize in relativity is that motion is always relative. From that perspective the whole "motion through space" or "expansion of space" dichotomy is pretty absurd IMHO.
With all due respect, while the absurdity may be obvious to the experts, I thought the whole point about the expansion of space was to avoid the issue of relative motion through space, which might then violate SR. Please accept that these comments are not intended as a criticism, but rather seek to support the stated goal above.