Competing Theories

You will find, in the study of astrophysics, that there are different opinions among the scientists.  This is only to be expected.  For the time being we are stuck on this rocky planet and all we can know of the outside is what our limited instruments can detect….and then we have to figure out what we can from the limited data.  We have all taken our cars to a mechanic to have it repaired only to find that the trouble was not what was initially thought.  If we have difficulty resolving man-made objects, how much more difficult do you think we would have with a god-made object, like the Universe?

There are different opinions about how the Universe works and different theories to explain it.  The following is an interesting comment, politely stated, which suggests wider disagreement than might be expected….

 Ben Monreal, Review of the Witt Theories….”I would note that I am, probably obviously, a mainstream physicist with no small affection for the Standard Model of Particle Physics (which includes quantum mechanics and Special Relativity, but not, I am compelled to point out, string theory) and for Standard Cosmology (which includes the Big Bang and General Relativity)—neither of which are The Final Truth, but their incredible predictive power suggests that they’re the correct low-energy approximations to such a truth, which is actually really neat. For readers who doubt one or both, I would point to The Standard Model and Why We Believe It, by J.L. Hewett, for the particle side, and PJE Peebles’ “Principles of Physical Cosmology” and The Growth of Astrophysical Understanding by Martin Harwit for the modern cosmology.”

From this it is correct for us lay-people to understand the overall context of the theories that we are exposed to and to accept them as the best thoughts of some very smart people.   And, while any one of these theories could get shot down tomorrow, they nevertheless provide us with some outstanding perspectives and opinions of this great universe we have to explore.