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Gerald Shroeder and the age of the universe

  1. Jun 25, 2014 #1
    Hi all.

    I'm on another forum discussing Gerald Shroeder's assertion that the age of the universe can, from certain reference frames, be said to have been 6 days at the creation of the Milky Way. In other words, that the creation account in Genesis is literally correct. Shroeder makes a brief summation of his argument here.

    I'm saying that, amongst other problems with this argument, that he's wrong to say that the redshift created by viewing events from a distance means that a particular observer could accurately measure the universe as having existed for 6 days and, furthermore, that the choice of point from which to measure this is arbitrary - that Shroeder is essentially starting from his conclusion and trying to make the physics fit. I keep being rebutted with an appeal to authority - Shroeder has a PhD, has worked for the government, taught at MIT, etc.

    So I thought I'd come somewhere where people particularly knowledgeable about physics and cosmology live and ask for their input. I'd appreciate it if people here - particularly if they have relevant PhDs (Shroeder is a nuclear physicist, not a cosmologist) - would take the time to critique Shroeder's argument. I figure that if he trusts what Shroeder says because he's a physicist, then he should also take note of what other physicists have to say.

    I've concentrated on the section headed "15 billion years or six days?", as I feel that if he's not correct about someone observing redshift being able to correctly say that 6 days had passed, then whether or not anything else he's saying is right or wrong is moot. However, any and all critiques (of both Shroeder and my own assertions) are welcome. And, indeed, if you believe Shroeder to be right, I'd very much welcome hearing your perspective.

    Also, please note the person I'm arguing against doesn't know much about physics and, while it's something I've got an interest in and read about in my spare time, I'm far from an expert. I know enough about it, and about science in general, to know that I have a very limited and basic understanding. So, please, if it's possible for you to make comments that a layman can understand, I'd very much appreciate it.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2014 #2
    This is non mainstream and (most likely) not published in any peer-reviewed journal.

    See Physics Forums Discussion Guidelines:

     
  4. Jun 25, 2014 #3

    phinds

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    Trying to correct nonsense is a waste of time. If someone chooses to believe nonsense, an appeal to facts is not likely to dissuade them.
     
  5. Jun 25, 2014 #4
    Hmm, is there a forum that this thread would be more appropriate in? General Discussion, perhaps?
     
  6. Jun 25, 2014 #5
    In situations such as this, I always think of the peanut gallery. I may not persuade the person I'm discussing with, but there may well be invisible spectators who can be swayed by sound reasoning. Plus, of course, it can also serve to demonstrate exactly why an appeal to authority is a fallacy.
     
  7. Jun 25, 2014 #6
    Regretfully, I agree with phinds. (regetfully not because it's phinds, but because I have the same opinion from experience)

    I don't think so. Those who run this forum tend to not like wasting time on things like these. (and neither do I :smile:).
    You may find scientific ammunition here:

    "Ned Wright's Cosmology Tutorial"
    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm

    and perhaps:

    "Errors in some popular attacks on the Big Bang"
    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/errors.html

    ...and you can search this forum for more ammunition, click on "SEARCH" in the forum navigation bar at the top.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  8. Jun 25, 2014 #7

    micromass

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    Sorry, but this is not the kind of discussion we want to have on this forum. We don't talk about crackpots and crank ideas and the person you are arguing certainly is a crackpot.

    A personal advice: you can never convince crackpots. Ever. So unless you enjoy the discussion, you should stop wasting your time.

    Locked.
     
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