reply to post by -PLB-
Its not just red shift. It is also the particle horizon of the observable universe that gives us a very big clue. There is a distance beyond
which we are no longer receiving any light. This can mean two things. 1) that the stuff emitting light over there (or us) is moving faster than the
speed of light (which is of course in direct contradiction with out current understanding of physics) or 2) that the actual space is increasing in
volume. In fact, both us and those distance objects could not be moving at all, relatively to each other. It could just be the space expanding that
gives us that illusion.
It could also be a demon that is gobbling up all the light.
We form many, many assumptions about the distant universe that are questionable, at best. We presume physics to be largely the same. It does not
have to be this way - what we perceive as similar
to our own galaxy may be a completely different physical system operating on mechanics that
contact our own on a tangent (the obvious one being the emission of light).
Now - it may be "unreasonable" to do so... but it's also somewhat suspect to believe the universe has a beginning, end, or defined state to begin
with. Entire portions of our universe could theoretically be lying in quantum superpositions and their history will be filled in as they are observed
(could be a potential explanation for all the magichanical forces out there).
Or - hell - there could be an entire class of physics that we could never begin to hypothesize about until operating across several lightyears or more
(just as we wouldn't have really predicted quantum mechanics until we started dealing with electricity, steam, and other concepts that formed our
understanding of particle physics... and even then - we didn't predict it so much as it bit us in the ass).
This is the reason why two objects of which the distance between them increases more than 299 792 458 m/s do not break our current laws of
physics. This would also be a bit hard to swallow as we can actually observe this happening. (or rather, we lack observation of light that we would
expect to reach us).
It's not because I haven't heard or don't understand what you're saying. It's because I find it to be a horribly unsubstantiated conclusion
given the evidence.
Why do we expect to see light out there?
What evidence is there that we should expect to find light where we aren't seeing it?
What other explanations are possible?
Why does one explanation without proper mechanical founding become favored over other explanations that make no additional assumptions yet also lack
proper mechanical founding?
As for the rest of your post, I think you are being overly pessimistic about are current state of understanding. Sure we don't understand a
lot, but we sure are on a right trail the past 200 years or so.
You're deluded by earthly accomplishments. Most of our accomplishments - while allowing us to progress far beyond our imagination - are little more
than creative manipulation of phenomena we largely stumbled across.
We didn't develop nuclear reactors. We simply learned to harness the natural process of spontaneous-cascading fission reactions that occur in
About the only thing we can actually claim as our own development would be the PN junction. Almost everything else was a refining process of what we
happened to trip over. Metallurgy, basic electronics, chemistry and biology - the list goes on.
Taking that into account, I believe my perspective on predictions regarding the function of the universe at large is quite pragmatic. For example -
that atom was considered, for quite some time, to be a mathematical convenience by many in the scientific community. It worked well for calculating
how steam under pressure would behave, but surely that was where the usefulness ended.
I simply think there are phenomena out there that we have no way of anticipating - and they will challenge many of our preconceptions about how the
universe "out there" is supposed to work.
Our track record of manipulating things we've discovered is superb. Our track record of actually developing/predicting an understanding of processes
from theory.... not so good.