Pin It
Here I must clarify it's not pure pre-selected retarded past to present causation alone, there is also, even more important post-selected back from the future telos final causation from our future event horizon boundary.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jonathan Post <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: December 25, 2010 11:49:57 AM PST
To: Brian Josephson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Cc: JACK SARFATTI <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: Re: Dr. Quantum Back From The Future Arrow of Time: was Perfect Computers that Run Forever?" By Jonathan Vos Post

Dear Dr. Charles H. Lineweaver and Tamara M. Davis,

I adored your feature article "Misconceptions about the Big Bang"
Baffled by the expansion of the universe? You're not alone. Even
astronomers frequently get it wrong
By Charles H. Lineweaver and Tamara M. Davis February 21, 2005
Scientific American.

Are you okay with my submitting the below to Scientific American or other venue?

I attach a formatted copy as a 31 KB Word file.

Misconceptions About the Big Bang:
Verse from Charles H. Lineweaver & Tamara M. Davis,
Scientific American, March 2005
Jonathan Vos Post

"You are misconceiving the whole Big Bang.
I am believing you can get the hang.
It is a fact that the universe expands,
Yet writer and teacher misunderstands.

You would not read this poem otherwise,
There’d be no human beings, seas, nor skies –
Some focus this demands, do not be fooled –
Unless the universe had stretched and cooled.

From a hot, dense, primordial state
There remains a cooler afterglow
We see in microwaves.  Our future fate
Reflects what happened, very long ago."

Here I must clarify it's not pure pre-selected retarded past to present causation alone, there is also, even more important post-selected back from the future telos final causation from our future event horizon boundary.

"Expansion and cooling are the central theme,
Account for the noise on a TV show,
Not the stupid dialog, the speckled gleam
Of analog TV, the random snow.

Like Darwinian Evolution,
Without which Biology makes little sense,
Expansion is the cosmic revolution
Which bad writing still misrepresents.

What were those microwaves? The clear solution
Won Penzias and Wilson’s Nobel Prize.
Pigeon dropping and local pollution
Delayed confirming Gamow’s wild surmise.

Like Darwin’s ideas, cosmic expansion
Provides the context wherein structures form
And develop over time; his mansion
Has many houses, into cool, but starting warm.

Most scientists think that they understand
But few agree on what it really means.
Expansion’s a fact, on the other hand
General Relativity intervenes.

What Edwin Hubble did for galaxies,
What Darwin and Mendel did for genes,
What red shift meant, caused terrible unease,
Changed plot, changed character, and all the scenes.

The universe expands, by small degrees,
With vast effect.  What is it, anyway?
Why does it cool until we freeze?
Allow me, please, forever and a day.

A sprain, empire, and exploding bomb
Get bigger, moving into empty space.
But read this book, play this CD-ROM:
There is no such imaginary place

into which the universe penetrates
towards the edges, outward from the center.
“Things fall apart,” said William Butler Yeats,
“the center cannot hold.”  But now we enter

something with no edges, with no center
unlike the sprain, bomb, or Roman Empire,
Einstein and Hubble were inventor
Of a balloon, or automobile tire

Inflating without having an outside
In which to move into.  I hear you kvetch.
Galaxies grow remote, though some collide,
The space between the galaxies can stretch.

Galaxies move at random, but at rest
Are clusters of them; photons now provide
The universal reference frame, the test
Against which motion’s measured.  Push aside

The notion “galaxies are flying.”  Still,
They still would move apart.  Just take in stride
This valuable hundred dollar bill.
Hubble and Einstein, Jekyll and Hyde.

Imagine ants, crawling on the balloon
as it expands.  They are farther apart
even if each stays put.  Watch the cartoon –
the rubber’s stretched.  This is a work of art,

this idea of expansion without motion
into anything.  Imagine Killer Whales
if we, shore to shore, enlarged the ocean --
they’d spread apart without waving tails.

Balloon picture stretches just so far.
We see 2-D rubber stretch in 3-D space
But 3-D cosmos, of planet and star,
Does not need 4-D.  In this case

Space is dynamic, it can curve,
Expand, or shrink without being embedded
In 4-D geometry.  We observe
What takes nerve to accept.  Albert wedded

space and time to something which succeeds
in matching observation, strange as it seems
in our universe, everything recedes
from everything else; rub your eyes, the dreams

that the Big Bang was small, just fade away.
Nor was it someplace else.  It was everywhere.
Space itself exploded.  Independence Day
Fireworks lit, and went up in a flare.

What caused the expansion?  Nobody knows.
The model fits the data.  So we think
we’re asking the right questions.  We suppose
confusion about expansion will shrink.

Now you should understand the whole Big Bang
With every nerve, in your brain or spinal.
Now I’m done, after all this sturm und drang,
Furthermore, this will be on the Final.

8 July 2010

Dr. Charles H. Lineweaver

Senior Fellow, Planetary Science Institute (PSI)
Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA)
Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES) (Earth Chemistry)
Australian National University (ANU)

Tamara M. Davis


Welcome to my research page. I am a cosmologist, and spend most of my
time trying to figure out why the expansion of the universe is
accelerating. That sort of research can sometimes take you down
surprising paths, as some of the summaries below will show. Here's
some highlights of what I get up to. Follow the links for some more
detailed descriptions of the more exciting and weird aspects of the


Supernovae are exploding stars. In the early 1990s it was discovered
that one particular type of supernova makes a great standard candle.
That means that we know how intrinsically bright they are. In
astronomy that is incredibly useful, because just by measuring how
bright it appears you can measure how far it is away. We can also
measure the redshift of the supernovae, and thus determine how fast
they are receding from us. This discovery allowed astronomers to
measure the expansion rate of the universe in the distant past and
compare it to the expansion rate now. Much to our surprise the
expansion appears to be accelerating, contrary to everything we
thought we knew about gravity.

Here's some of the work I do on supernova cosmology.
Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) — supernova survey
SDSS gallery snippet (original

The SDSS Supernova Survey has discovered hundreds of supernovae in the
region between redshifts 0.1 and 0.3, known as the 'redshift desert'.
Ironically this intermediate redshift range was more difficult to get
to than the more distant supernovae because you need a telescope with
an enormous field of view in order to be able to cover a large enough
region of sky. In late 2009 we published a series of three papers
covering the results from the first year of data. An additional 103
supernovae revealed some interesting issues, perhaps most importantly
that we need to better understand the supernovae and their light
curves. There are tantalising hints that some of the more exotic
cosmological models may improve on our standard cosmological constant
explanation of dark energy, but as yet it is too early to make any

SDSS homepage:

BigBang96.doc    BigBang96.doc
31K   View   Download

Tamara Davis
to me, Charles
show details Nov 24
Hi Jonathan,
I enjoyed your poem.  Submit it wherever you like but there is no need
to attribute it to Charley or I, that's your own work.  It would be
inappropriate to put the bios of Charley or I at the end.
Do you mind if I forward it to some of my astro-friends who might like
to read it?
All the best,