The Science of Existence (3) Cosmic Inflation

Cosmic Inflation

It is said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch. ~ Alan Guth

According to a conjecture called cosmic inflation, 10–36 seconds after the Big Bang, the size of the universe mushroomed from next to nothing to the size of a dime: a 1078 size expansion or more in 3×10–36 seconds; faster than the speed of light. Apologists assert that cosmic inflation does not violate relativity theory because spacetime itself is expanding faster than the speed of light during that instant: absurd.

Cosmic inflation posits a supersizing of eye-watering magnitude in less than the blink of an eye, back when there were no eyes to blink. That’s quite a magical moment.

After a miraculous instant of cosmic inflation, the universe proceeded to expand at a leisurely pace, as it does now.

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American cosmologist Alan Guth proposed cosmic inflation in 1980 to resolve issues with the way the universe is today: stable, flat, and livable; a probabilistically remote outcome given the projected conditions of the early universe.

Cosmic inflation was a hypothesis shoehorned to fit a few facts; but more a conceptual bandage to cover the gap between the universe’s fabricated origination date and its current state. Unaddressed questions strike at its core plausibility. What caused inflation to start? How did it work? What caused it to stop? The balloon of cosmic inflation is deflated by answering none of those questions.

The inflationary paradigm is fundamentally untestable, and hence scientifically meaningless. ~ American theoretical physicist Paul Steinhardt

To kick in, cosmic inflation required a special ingredient called inflationary energy, which combined with gravity to blow the universe up in a brief instant.

Cosmic inflators posit an imaginary particle – the inflaton – as invoking cosmic inflation. After pulling off its miraculous job, inflatons supposedly disappeared without a trace. Apologists wave this away by assuming that inflatons decayed into other particles as the universe matured, without proposing how this transition was achieved.

There is no evidence for inflatons, which were supposedly a scalar field. No fundamental scalar fields have been observed in Nature. Inflation advocates do not address this.

To work, inflationary energy had 2 stringent requirements. Both are unlikely if not impossible.

1st, inflationary energy had to have been incredibly dense, and its density constant, except for nominal random quantum fluctuations. Yet this assumption of steadiness in quantum effects is inherently shaky. Quantum effects dominated the energy flow at the supposed moment of cosmic inflation. There would have been nothing nominal about them.

Inflation was supposed to create a huge volume of space matching the observed large-scale features of our universe naturally. But unless the inflation energy curve had a very specific shape, the outcome would be “bad” – a huge volume with too high a density and the wrong distribution of galaxies. Given the range of possible values, bad inflation seems more likely. ~ Paul Steinhardt 

2nd, inflationary energy requires that gravity worked in reverse: repelling rather than attracting. No physics theory supports this. Gravity as an expansive pressure by itself discredits the inflation speculation.

If gravity in reverse isn’t hard enough to swallow, consider that, after an interval of just 3×10–33 seconds, inflation jerks to a halt, with the universe continuing to expand at a leisurely pace. Something had to have counteracted inflation, otherwise the universe would have been a quickly bursting bubble. But the inflation hypothesis has nothing to say of that. Instead, unless arbitrarily throttled, the math of inflation theory predicts that inflation never stops. Inflation is supposedly still sprouting an infinite multiverse by blowing up bits of spacetime.

(This speculation about parallel universes emanates from the rancid math behind the cosmic inflation conjecture. The infinities that arise in quantum mechanics equations are sometimes similarly assuaged into a many-worlds interpretation. That idea originated with Erwin Schrödinger in a 1952 lecture, where he speculated about what his famous 1925 wave-particle duality equation might mean. The off-hand concept gained currency in the wake of the cosmic inflation.

The basic idea behind a many-worlds scenario is that otherwise useful equations which spout infinities mystically suggest the proliferation of empirical universes much like our own (or maybe not so much like our own). There are several variations on this theme, but all seem silly in the context in which they are presented: to address gaping, inexplicable mathematical holes.

Several prominent physicists now tout some multiverse rendition. Others dismiss the notion as purely metaphysical, for being beyond investigation.

Infinities in equations which supposedly represent reality simply mean that the mathematical expression, however proximately useful, is fundamentally amiss. But physicists are reluctant to part with an eminently handy model, especially when nothing better is at hand.

It seems likely that there are other universes, if only because ours exhibits aging. Our cosmos having an origination point suggests it came from some unknowable somewhere rather than out of nowhere. Existence as eternal seems a safe bet.)

Besides lacking evidence, cosmic inflation presumes continuous infinities at every scale of existence. Cosmic inflation is both a physical and mathematical absurdity.

The part of the multiverse that we observe corresponds to a piece of just one such bubble. Scanning over all possible bubbles in the multiverse, everything that can physically happen does happen an infinite number of times. No experiment can rule out a theory that allows for all possible outcomes. Hence, the paradigm of inflation is unfalsifiable. ~ Paul Steinhardt

Another deflation for inflation is its requirement for density fluctuations in wavelengths at less than Planck length: the point at which space becomes so small as to be meaningless.

The calculations are extrapolations into regions where we cannot trust them. ~ Canadian theoretical cosmologist and physicist Robert Brandengerger

Credence for cosmic inflation not only lacks evidence – the evidence indicates otherwise.

Cosmic microwave background (CMB)  is a radiation pattern that originated ~378,000 years after the supposed Big Bang. Cosmic inflation supporters point to the incredible growth instant as inherently creating a near-homogenous CMB. This is incomprehensible, as whatever energetic irregularities existed prior to cosmic inflation should have been amplified by inflation, rather than smoothed.

Polarization patterns to the CMB were reported in 2014 which inflationists inscrutably interpreted as gravitational waves, based upon mathematical assumption and nothing else.

We believe that gravitational waves could be the only way to introduce this B-mode pattern. ~ American cosmologist John Kovac

The work supporting this conclusion was shoddy: only a single frequency was measured, and that data was glommed onto an unreleased rough image of another survey. Multiple frequencies would be necessary to produce a credible assessment, and is the norm in such surveys.

Further, the report disregarded that cosmic dust could have mimicked the supposed signal. Yet that did not stop gullible partisans from overblown ecstasy.

These results are a smoking gun for inflation. ~ Israeli American astrophysicist Avi Loeb, chair of the Harvard astronomy department, in 2014; jumping the gun to declare his cosmological religion vindicated

Careful review found the data worthless. Even if the data had been correct, the gravitational waves would have been opposite of what the cosmic inflation hypothesis predicts: getting weaker with scale, rather than stronger.

Einstein’s general relativity theory predicted gravitational waves. In 2016, such waves were inferred in the wake of merging black holes. Their nature contradicts the inflation hypothesis. In short, cosmic inflation contradicts relativity theories which have been repeatedly confirmed.

The CMB is somewhat supportive of the Big Bang hypothesis, but utterly out of tune with cosmic inflation. Beyond altogether failing to account for cosmic inflation, the CMB damns the idea with its asymmetry.

We live in a lopsided universe. ~ American science writer Ron Cowen

The temperature of CMB fluctuates more on one side of the sky, suggesting a curvature in space. This indicates that the universe, long presumed flat, is slightly curved – similar to a saddle. A curved universe knocks inflation out, as the asymmetry cannot be unaccounted for.

As with a sound wave, the CMB fluctuations can be analyzed by splitting them into their component harmonics – like a collection of pure tones of different frequencies or, more picturesquely, different instruments in an orchestra. Certain of those harmonics are playing more quietly than they should be.

In addition, the harmonics are aligned in strange ways – they are playing the wrong tune. These bum notes mean that the otherwise very successful standard model of cosmology is flawed. ~ astrophysicists Glenn Starkman & Dominik Schwarz

The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson at ~125 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) puts another nail in cosmic inflation’s coffin. The Higgs field supposedly gives matter its mass.

At the Higgs’ inferred voltage, there simply would not be enough energy to inflate the universe as cosmic inflation claims. If somehow such energetic inflation was able to take place, cosmic stability via the Higgs field would have decayed, wiping out the universe.

What inflation predicted was actually the reverse of what we found. ~ Australian cosmologist David Parkinson

Besides disregarding that radiative energy does not begat gravity, the inflationary model does not take into account that any gravitational expansion would have distorted time as well as space. Gravity distorts spacetime, not just space.

Nor do inflationists consider that extra-dimensional (ed) dynamics may have been especially vigorous during early cosmic development, thus putting the 4D universe on a path that culminated in its current configuration. This is ironic, as the inflationary model assumes that the physics in the first few moments of the cosmos were much different than those that predominate now. If anything, the cosmic inflation conjecture is simplistic in supposing only 4 dimensions when general relativity showed there were more.

An abiding problem in cosmogony is that the earliest moments of the universe cannot be explained without an overarching physics’ theory of everything. Cosmic inflation goes way beyond that. In requiring sudden spacetime disjuncture, cosmic inflation lacks any foundation in known physics.

So why the longevity of a such an absurdity? Astrophysicists like the inflation equations developed in the early 1980s because they correspond well with observations about the current cosmos and are relatively easy to work with. Despite the conundrums and contradictory evidence, the supernatural mechanism of cosmic inflation is generally accepted.

Cosmic inflation is called for solely because of the assumed Big Bang date. If instead the cosmos is much older, as it must be, no such mysticism need be conjured.