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With the increasingly precise data provided by WMAP, there have been a number of claims that the CMB exhibits anomalies, such as very large scale anisotropies, anomalous alignments, and non-Gaussian distributions. The most longstanding of these is the low-l multipole controversy. Even in the COBE map, it was observed that the quadrupole (l =2, spherical harmonic) has a low amplitude compared to the predictions of the Big Bang. In particular, the quadrupole and octupole (l =3) modes appear to have an unexplained alignment with each other and with both the ecliptic plane and equinoxes, an alignment sometimes referred to as the axis of evil. A number of groups have suggested that this could be the signature of new physics at the greatest observable scales; other groups suspect systematic errors in the data. Ultimately, due to the foregrounds and the cosmic variance problem, the greatest modes will never be as well measured as the small angular scale modes. The analyses were performed on two maps that have had the foregrounds removed as far as possible: the "internal linear combination" map of the WMAP collaboration and a similar map prepared by Max Tegmark and others. Later analyses have pointed out that these are the modes most susceptible to foreground contamination from synchrotron, dust, and Bremsstrahlung emission, and from experimental uncertainty in the monopole and dipole. A full Bayesian analysis of the WMAP power spectrum demonstrates that the quadrupole prediction of Lambda-CDM cosmology is consistent with the data at the 10% level and that the observed octupole is not remarkable. Carefully accounting for the procedure used to remove the foregrounds from the full sky map further reduces the significance of the alignment by ~5%.
Recent observations with the Planck telescope which is very much more sensitive than WMAP and has a larger angular resolution, confirm the observation of the axis of evil. Since two different instruments recorded the same anomaly, instrumental error (but not foreground contamination) appears to be ruled out. Coincidence is a possible explanation, chief scientist from WMAP, Charles L. Bennett suggested coincidence and human psychology were involved, "I do think there is a bit of a psychological effect, people want to find unusual things." 
Cosmologists can't pack up and go home just yet though, as Planck's map has also confirmed the presence of a mysterious alignment of the universe. The "axis of evil" was identified by Planck's predecessor, NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).
The pattern of hot and cold variations in the CMB should be randomly distributed – and they are when comparing small patches of the universe. At larger scales, however, Planck reveals that one half of the universe has bigger variations than the other. Planck's detectors are over 10 times more sensitive and have about 2.5 times the angular resolution of WMAP's, giving cosmologists a much better look at this alignment. "We can be extremely confident that these anomalies are not caused by galactic emissions and not caused by instrumental effects, because our two instruments see very similar features," said Efstathiou.
He is a member of the Science Team for the European Space Agency Planck Satellite, launched in May 2009, which is mapping the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background to unprecedented precision.
“The fact that Planck has made such a significant detection of these anomalies erases any doubts about their reality; it can no longer be said that they are artefacts of the measurements. They are real and we have to look for a credible explanation,” says Paolo Natoli of the University of Ferrara, Italy.
“Imagine investigating the foundations of a house and finding that parts of them are weak. You might not know whether the weaknesses will eventually topple the house, but you’d probably start looking for ways to reinforce it pretty quickly all the same,” adds François Bouchet of the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris.
“Our ultimate goal would be to construct a new model that predicts the anomalies and links them together. But these are early days; so far, we don’t know whether this is possible and what type of new physics might be needed. And that’s exciting,” says Professor Efstathiou.
The view of the Universe presented in the standard model may not be able to fully explain the richness of detail present in the CMB at the largest scales on the sky, as cosmologists revealed a number of 'anomalies' in the all-sky CMB map that do not fit very well with this model's predictions. While the observations on small and intermediate angular scales agree extremely well with the model predictions, the fluctuations detected on large angular scales on the sky – between 90 and six degrees – are about 10 per cent weaker than the best fit of the standard model to Planck data would like them to be. Another, perhaps related, anomalous signal appears as a substantial asymmetry in the CMB signal observed in the two opposite hemispheres of the sky: one of the two hemispheres appears to have a significantly stronger signal on average. An additional peculiar element in the data is the presence of a so-called 'cold spot': one of the low-temperature spots in the CMB extends over a patch of the sky that is much larger than expected.
The lack of power at large angular scale is convincingly revealed by Planck for the first time, but the hemispheric asymmetry and the cold spot had already been found in the data of Planck's predecessor, NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). However, there were lingering doubts about their cosmic origin. With WMAP, in fact, it was not possible to confirm that the anomalies were genuine features in the CMB, rather than the imprint of either data processing or foreground emissions. The fact that these anomalies are also present in the more precise Planck data clears up any doubt about their cosmic origin.
There was a big discovery of gravitational waves that was supposed to support cosmic inflation. Not so fast.
Cosmic Deflation: Doubts Raised Over Blockbuster Big Bang Study
A major new study claimed to find direct evidence of the Big Bang and the theory of cosmic inflation. But now scientists aren't so sure. It was just weeks ago that astronomers announced a major, double-barreled discovery: using a super-sensitive microwave telescope known as BICEP2, they had seen evidence of gravity waves that roiled the cosmos before it was a billionth of a trillionth of a second old. That was part one; part two was that the observed gravity waves strongly confirmed the theory of cosmic inflation—that the entire universe went into warp overdrive, expanding faster than the speed of light for the tiniest fraction of a second.
It was Nobel-level work, no doubt about it—provided it was true. But from the moment it was announced at a high-profile press conference, outside scientists had their doubts. There was reason to suspect, they said, that the Harvard-led team might actually have detected nothing more exciting than interstellar dust in the Milky Way. And now a paper expected to go online today, written by Raphael Flauger, of New York University and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, puts those doubts in writing.
The signal may still be from the dawn of time, he writes. But it might equally well be what Princeton University astrophysicist David Spergel calls “schmutz” (in precisely that language: it’s what the Urban Dictionary defines as the Yiddish term “used by Jewish mothers to identify that you’ve got some kind of crap on your face.”) “At this point,” says Spergel, “I’m convinced that they haven’t made a discovery.”
We will know more later this year and it could be gravitational waves or it could be dust. I'm personally hoping for gravitational waves.
The “easy problem” and “hard problem” of consciousness are more meaningfully described as the scientific questions and philosophical questions of consciousness. The context of my prior article was the scientific question – what causes consciousness. The materialist hypothesis – that the brain causes consciousness – has made a number of predictions, and every single prediction has been validated. Every single question that can be answered scientifically – with observation and evidence – that takes the form: “If the brain causes the mind then…” has been resolved in favor of that hypothesis.
For example, if the brain causes the mind then: there will be no documented mental function in the absence of brain function; altering the brain biologically will alter the mind functionally; mental development will correlate with brain development; and mental activity will correlate with brain activity (this holds up no matter what method we use to look at brain activity – EEG to look at electrical activity, PET scanning to look at metabolic activity, SPECT scanning to look at blood flow, and functional MRI to look at metabolic and neuronal activity).
This evidence cannot be dismissed as the “easy problem” nor as mere correlation. Brain function correlates with the mind in every way we would predict from the hypothesis that the brain causes the mind. From a scientific point of view, the mind is a manifestation of the brain.
..we have to revise current gravity based cosmology and replace it with an electric one.
"The Electric Gods –Crisis and Revelation in Astrophysics"
ONE OF THE MAIN PREMISES of the Ageless Wisdom teachings as given to the world by Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey is that electromagnetism is the fundamental source and cause of all phenomena on every plane of manifestation–subtle and gross. This necessarily includes the physical plane and as such, this premise varies widely from that of standard gravity-based astrophysics. In fact, an ever-increasing catalogue of problems exists for the conventional science as 96% of the matter/energy needed to support the standard theory of the universe’s birth and functioning is missing. Exotic varieties of so-called dark matter and dark energy have been theorised to account for this, but to date, these hypothetical phenomena still exist solely in the minds and mathematical equations of astrophysicists. In order to maintain the principle cornerstones of their gravity-only model, i.e., the Big Bang, General Relativity, Black Holes and an Expanding Universe, astrophysicists need ever more complex theories. And meanwhile, space telescopes are sending infrared, ultraviolet and x-ray evidence that is making the standard theory more and more untenable.
This crisis in astrophysics is a welcome one from the angle of spiritual philosophy, for its complex and erroneous view of the universe and man’s position in it needs updating to reflect the elegant synthesis of reality...
Since the time of Isaac Newton, conventional science has been doggedly pursuing a ‘gravity only’ model of the universe, currently regarding it as a tomb of lifeless matter that exploded into being out of nothing and which is expanding at an accelerating rate in all directions without aim or purpose. These suppositions have been supported with increasingly exotic theories such as the Big Bang, General Relativity, Black Holes, Dark Matter/Energy and the like. Meanwhile, evidence to the contrary is steadily accumulating which supports instead the esotericist’s view of the universe as a living, stable organism, electrical in nature and function.
Wallace Thornhill gave a very complete review of the cosmology based on the primacy of the electric force in nature, rather than gravity-only cosmology. He clearly urged science to focus on real physics, i.e. physics one can experiment with in the laboratory, rather than the beauty of mathematical formulae, which despite their beauty simply cannot be verified by laboratory experiments here on Earth. In its appeal to direct evidence and common sense, the electric universe paradigm requires a broad field of view: the human story cannot be excluded.
originally posted by: ChaoticOrder
How many threads are you going to create on this same topic? Dark energy and dark matter pose a much bigger crisis for cosmology than this nonsense ever will.
originally posted by: eriktheawful
a reply to: neoholographic
Grab six dice.
Roll them, while telling me that not one of them will EVER come up with a 5.
Now get a million dice with 360 faces, and tell me that never will one pop up with 0 (or 360) degrees.
Now make that a billion dice with 360 faces.
now make it 10 billion, a hundred billion, a trillion, a hundred trillion (should I keep going on?)
And tell me and others that never....never, ever, ever, will any of them land on 0 or 360 degrees.
If you (and this scientist) can do that with a straight face, then you both are in the wrong line of work.
You should both be politicians or lawyers.