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The Principle- Axis of Evil

  1. Aug 24, 2015 #1
    Two days ago, I have opened theme about fine-tuning on which I got good answers... Now, there is another topic, on which I have question... The reason why I am asking this question here, is because I want to get correct answer... Internet is full of trash and misinformation, and this is a question from cosmology(physics) and because of that I am asking it on physics forum....

    There are some peoples which says that CMB shows we are at the literally center of the universe... There is new movie called "The principle"(2014) about the axis of evil... I didn't saw the movie, but they got highly-respected scientists such as Michio Kaku, Lawrence Krauss, George Ellis... The trailer starts with words "everything we think we know about our universe is wrong" and continues with words of Michio Kaku saying "There is a crisis in cosmology", here is the trailer:

    [removed pseudoscience - mfb]

    Anyway, to make long story short... Is it true that CMB data shows we are literally the center of the universe?

    My current understanding of this topic is next: The current data received by WMAP and Planck shows that we are the center of the universe... Many scientists believe we are missing something or data is wrong, but if we are not missing anything and data is not wrong, we are the center of the universe..

    Note: I am not trying to challenge anybody or anything, I just want to understand this issue...
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2015 #2
    This movie was universally panned for dishonesty and splicing scientist's interviews up to advance the producer's pseudo-science agenda. Do not trust it. I will let others answer your science question.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  4. Aug 24, 2015 #3
    I have read many things about the movie, and about the one of the producer of the movie, Robert Sungenis. According to some people, Robert is holocaust-denier, and if that is true, this is truly terrible... But to not spend too many words on him, I have saw the quote of Lawrence Krauss from 2006. And Krauss did say : "But when you look at CMB map, you also see that the structure that is observed, is in fact, in a weird way, correlated with the plane of the earth around the sun. Is this Copernicus coming back to haunt us? That's crazy. We're looking out at the whole universe. There's no way there should be a correlation of structure with our motion of the earth around the sun — the plane of the earth around the sun — the ecliptic. That would say we are truly the center of the universe. The new results are either telling us that all of science is wrong and we're the center of the universe, or maybe the data is imply incorrect, or maybe it's telling us there's something weird about the microwave background results and that maybe, maybe there's something wrong with our theories on the larger scales"
    Link: https://edge.org/conversation/the-energy-of-empty-space-that-isn-39t-zero

    Unlike Robert, Krauss is highly respected scientist, and I truly doubt he would say that kind of 'nonsense' if there is no basis for it... Because of that I am asking this question...

    By the way, if you think the trailer promotes bad-science(pseudoscience) remove the trailer from my original post.. My goal is not to promote pseudoscience
  5. Aug 24, 2015 #4


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    The 'Wow!' of being at the 'center' of the universe fades when you realize every observer in the universe falls victim to this same illusion. Which is all it is - an illusion due to the universe being homogenous and isotropic. See here for an illustration http://www.exploratorium.edu/hubble/tools/center.html [Broken] and here http://theastronomist.fieldofscience.com/2010/03/you-are-at-center-of-universe.html for a more technical explanation.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  6. Aug 24, 2015 #5
    These kind of pseudoscience 'documentaries' are often a thin veneer over a creationist agenda.
    Although I haven't seen this one yet, it's quite usual for these to include video snips and quotations from reliable scientists but which are completely out of the original context.
    Sometimes they even go so far as to insert a fake 'interviewer' in order to give more substance to the intentional deception.
  7. Aug 24, 2015 #6


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    It is not.

    Some measured values seem to be aligned with our galaxy and/or details of the orbit of earth. But:
    • We know the orientations of multiple other stellar systems and galaxies around us, and no apparent pattern is visible. If we would be close to some center the area around us would be close as well. The alignment cannot be a hint of anything.
    • Those odd values depend critically on our understanding of background (in terms of distance: foreground) from our galaxy and the solar system - exactly the references where some alignment is seen!

    A 2004 analysis concludes that random fluctuations perfectly explain the apparent alignment. Planck improved the measurement a bit since then, but the main conclusion didn't change. Certainly something that needs more investigation, but nothing that would contradict the models of the universe.

    I removed the pseudoscience video in post 1.
  8. Aug 24, 2015 #7
    Highly respected scientists are often paraphrased and edited by marketing people into statements or generalizations that the original scientist would dismiss. Whenever you look at a documentary, the scientists in them are not as important as who's producing it and their reputation. Consider this: two documentaries, both pertaining to evolution. One contains an interview of an unknown biologist, but the producer of the movie was David Attenborough, the other contains an interview with Louis Leakey, but produced by Rupert Murdoch. Which one will be more scientifically accurate?

    We are the exact center of the OBSERVABLE universe. That's purely because we observe things with light, we can see in all directions at most 13.6 billion years because time started then and light didn't exist before it. So we exist in one location, what does one location extruded in all directions the same distance produce? A perfect sphere with the original point at the center. It makes no difference what's beyond that, you are by definition the center of the observable universe because observation in local.
  9. Aug 24, 2015 #8


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    If there is an observable feature that is aligned with our solar system, then the most likely explanation is that material within our own solar system has distorted our observations.

    As far as I know, there are as yet no anomalies in the CMB data which cannot be easily explained as being observational errors or statistical flukes.
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