Universe Alternatives

PSI Blog 20170802 Universe Alternatives[1]

Occasionally, I try to review reformist attempts to ameliorate the current deplorable state of physics and cosmology. The title of this book caught my eye when it was sent to me gratis. The book was published by the author 20 years ago and not much has changed since in the reformist community. Billy Farmer, a medical doctor, sent over 750 free copies of this book to physicists and cosmologists, with no effect whatsoever. Billy passed away in 2003.

Sorry to disappoint, but Billy’s attempt does not propose more than one alternative to the Big Bang Theory. What it really means to say is that there are alternative interpretations of some of the data used to support the Big Bang Theory. Like many of us, Farmer believed that the universe had no beginning, although, like other reformists, he is equivocal: “the expanding universe concept [will be] replaced by an overall static model that will most probably be envisioned as being unlimited in both size and age” (p. i). Now, the universe is either infinite or finite; one is either pregnant or not pregnant—choose one.  The universe is either eternal or it is not. This is the first sign that Farmer’s “alternatives” are not likely to be much more than reforms.

Nonetheless, he spares us the oxymoronic “multiverse” nonsense, and does have a few good ideas. In particular, is his “denial of ‘empty space,’ which implies that some phase of a single universal entity should occupy the entire universe volume” (p. 106). Unfortunately, he uses the annoying “single universal entity,” to avoid the stigma attached to the proper designation: aether. His timid justification is that the “ether” of the Michelson-Morley Experiment[2] was incorrectly assumed to be fixed. In fact, the MMX result was lower than expected only because aether was entrained around Earth just like our atmosphere.[3] I agree that nothing in the universe is fixed per the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion).[4] In other words, the fixed “ether” was falsified, but the “aether” consisting of particles in motion was not.

My greatest disappointment with this book was Farmer’s adoption of “universal entity cohesion” as the driving force responsible for things coming together. It is as if he never heard of Newton's Second Law of Motion and its observation that force describes a push, not a pull. Like Newton and others who promulgated the attraction hypothesis, Farmer presents no physical mechanism by which an actual pull could be performed. That is because there is none.

His theory has another fundamental flaw in that it picks on the galaxy as the fundamental microcosm most likely to be recycled endlessly. I have to admit that I once entertained the same idea. Actually, all microcosms tend to be recycled as long as the univironmental conditions for doing so are present. They follow the Sixth Assumption of Science, complementarity (All things are subject to divergence and convergence from other things). None of the “recycled” microcosms are exactly the same as the original, but similar microcosms are produced until the univironment inevitably changes. This also means that the “age of the eternal universe” can never be determined. Each portion of the infinite universe will have a different age, with each portion coming into being via convergence and going out of being via divergence.

All in all, Billy’s reform was admirable, but like other reform attempts it was close, but no cigar.

[1] Farmer, B.L., 1997, Universe alternatives: Emerging concepts of size, age, structure and behavior (2nd ed.): El Paso, TX, Billy L. Farmer, 129 p.
[2] Michelson, A.A., and Morley, E.W., 1887, On the relative motion of the earth and the luminiferous ether: American Journal of Science, v. 39, p. 333-345 [http://galileoandeinstein.physics.virginia.edu/lectures/michelson.html; http://www.anti-relativity.com/MM_Paper.pdf]. [Often referred to as “MMX.”]
[3] Borchardt, Glenn, 2007, The Scientific Worldview: Beyond Newton and Einstein: Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, p. 202. [http://www.scientificphilosophy.com/].
[4] Borchardt, Glenn, 2004, The ten assumptions of science: Toward a new scientific worldview: Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, 125 p. [Free download at http://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.13320.21761].

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