Cosmological distance ladder at Trinity College

I got back to Dublin just in time for a superb lecture on cosmology at Trinity College, hosted by Astronomy Ireland andThe Irish Times. The lecture‘The Cosmological Distance Ladder – the key to understanding the Universe’ was given by Micheal Rowan-Robinson, Professor of Astrophysics at Imperial College London. Professor Rowan-Robinson is extremely well-known for his contributions to the field of observational cosomolgy, for a classic textbook on cosmology, and for the asteroid that bears his name (to the public, he’s probably best known as the PhD supervisor of Brian May, the lead guitarist of Queen who recently returned to physics!).

As you might expect, the hall was packed. Luckily, I’d booked on the internet – when I arrived at my old physics department, there was a queue of people from the front door all the way up to the Schroedinger lecture theatre two floors above. The lecture started with an introduction to the activities of Astronomy Ireland by chairman David Moore. I found this very interesting – astronomy is probably the last bastion of the amateur scientist, i.e. the last area where amateur scientists can enjoy practising science and make an important contribution.

The main lecture was a superb introduction to cosmology, from a slightly unusual viewpoint. Professor Rowan-Robinson’s main theme was how all our models of the universe, right up to the today’s consensus cosmological model, have been shaped by the measurement of distance. Starting with the ancient Greeks, he outlined how the measurements of the diameter of the earth and the distances to the moon and the sun by Eratosthenos, Aristarchus and others led to early models of the universe (there’s a very nice description of this in Simon Singh’s book on the Big Bang). Moving on to Copernicus, Micheal explained that Copernican calculations of relative distances of the sun and planets were correct to 10% – a crucial breakthrough on the way to the heliocentric (sun-centered) model of the solar system (the stars have to be much much further away in a heliocentic model).

Another unusual point was the discussion of the first use of stallar parallax for distance measurement of stars by Bessel in 1838: in Micheal’s view, it was this evidence that really marked the death-knell of the earth-centered model. (Bessel’s data gave evidence for both the motion of the earth and the huge distances of the stars). Micheal then went on to describe the discovery of Cepheid Variables, stars that act as standard candles (Cepheids are pulsating stars whose period give a direct measure of their luminosity , and therefore their distance). He described how Cepheid Variables facilitated Hubble’s measurements of the distances to several galaxies, and combined with measurements of the velocity of the same galaxies (from their Doppler shift), led to the famous Hubble’s Law (v/d = H).

Hubble’s Law: the further away a galaxy is the faster its moving

Micheal then tied the experimental results in with relativity, explaining how Hubble’s Law agreed with the expanding universe model of Alexander Friedmann. He then described how the law led to the idea of the Big Bang and to an estimate of the age of the universe (1/H). Presumably due to time constraints, he didn’t mention a famous hiccup – Hubble’s estimates of galaxy distances turned out to be inaccurate, leading to an inaccurate estimate of the age of the universe, initially casting doubt over the BB model.

Micheal then moved on to today’s puzzles. He started first by giving a careful explanation of baryonic matter and dark matter (see post on Tim Sumner’s lecture on dark matter below). I was relieved to to see that Micheal was firmly in the dark matter camp and skeptical of MOND, quite different to Katherine Blundell’s stance at the Cambridge conference (see Cambridge cosmology post below). He then moved on to the observation of the accelerating universe from supernova measurements and the puzzle of dark energy (see post on dark energy below). He also explained the second source of evidence for dark energy, the flatness of the universe as evidenced by recent measurements of the cosmic background radiation. There was a great discussion of dark energy, the flatness of the universe and the implications for the age of the universe and cosmological constant.

The flatness of the universe and the accelerated expansion pose a great puzzle

The lecture finished with a discussion of the possible nature of dark energy (vaccum energy density) and a description of the ultimate fate of the universe. At question time, I asked the question students often ask me – is there a possible connection between inflation in the early universe and the current acceleration? Micheal’s answer: the feeble acceleration we observe today may in fact undermine current models of inflation in the early universe!

All in all, this was a fantastic lecture on cosmology, by a top practictoner in the field. There was a huge turnout and a great atmosphere, although I didn’t see many faces from Trinity Maths of Physics. Afterwards, the Professor came along with some of the organisers for a drink, and patiently answered yet more questions. A DVD of the lecture can be ordered (worldwide) on the Astronomy Ireland website ..


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10 responses to “Cosmological distance ladder at Trinity College

  1. Take the Hubble law v/r = H

    a = dv/dt = d(Hr)/dt = H*(dr/dt) + r*(dH/dt)

    dH/dt = 0, so

    a = H*(dr/dt)

    = Hv

    = H(Hr)

    = rH^2

    Which predicts a cosmological acceleration at cosmological distances of what is seen in observations, approximately 6*10^(-10) ms^(-2). Smolin’s T.T.W.P. book for example translates the small cosmological constant into an acceleration in units of ms^(-2).

    I did this and published it via Electronics World in 1996, well before the cosmological acceleration was discovered by Perlmutter in 1998 and published in Nature.

    It’s wrong of Hubble to solely express the recession as v/r = H. Didn’t he know about spacetime?? Distance isn’t meaningful here. The velocity v only correlated to distance r is you are looking back in time as well as distance, because light takes a time of t = r/c to come to you from distance r. During this time, velocity v is quite likely to change!

    So Hubble should have expressed recession velocities less ambiguously using the concept of spacetime, where the constant is not v/r, but v/t. If he had done that, he would have noticed that v/t has units of acceleration! (The ratio v/r has units of 1/t, i.e. in general it’s inversely proportional to the age of the universe – and is exactly the inverse of the age of the universe if the universe is flat rather than curved on cosmological scales.)

    Once you differentiate Hubble’s law v = Hr to get acceleration a = rH^2, you can do a lot of interesting physics using Newton’s simple laws of motion. E.g., any receding mass m has an outward force from you of F=ma (Newton’s 2nd law of motion), and Newton’s 3rd law of motion then suggests an inward “reaction” force must be directed towards you of equal size F=ma. This reaction force presumably (from the possibilities) is carried by gravitons, and when you calculate with this you find that gravity and all the confirmed aspects of G.R. are reproduced by spin-1 gravitons.

    E.g., spin-1 gravitons come inwards towards us from distant receding masses in all directions. The pressure acts on all fundamental particles, and since nearby masses aren’t receding, they don’t have an outward force relative to one another and hence don’t exchange gravitons forcefully with one another. This tells you that the net effect is that nearby particles shield one another and get pushed together. You can predict how much.

    This predicts gravity. As Feynman showed in his Lectures on Physics, G.R.’s main difference physically from Newtonian gravity is that there is a contraction radially of spacetime around a mass; the earth’s radius is reduced by (1/3)MG/c^2 = 1.5 millimetres due to the G.R. contraction term. This contraction is the effect of inward graviton force on the earth, shrinking it radially.

    The bottom line is that there’s loads of evidence to support the contention that dark energy is spin-1 graviton energy.

    Spin-1 graviton exchange between masses on large (cosmological) scales pushes the masses apart, causing the cosmological acceleration as predicted in 1996. It also pushes cosmologically “nearby” masses together (because nearby masses aren’t receding much if at all, there is little or no forceful exchange of gravitons between nearby masses; so the only forceful exchange of gravitons occurs between each of the masses and converging inward gravitons from the surrounding receding masses in the universe, which means that nearby masses get pushed towards one another; gravity).

    That’s the answer to “dark energy”. It’s graviton energy!

    Sadly, all the stuff above life Hubble’s law, spacetime, differentiation, Newton’s empirical laws of motion, and so on, are rejected when combined to come up with a quantum gravity theory.

    The mainstream prefers to believe that two nearby masses only exchange gravitons with one another, which means that for attraction the gravitons would have to have spin-2. They just can’t see that an apple is going to be exchanging gravitons more forcefully with the massive surrounding universe than with the earth; although the earth is closer, the gravitons coming inwards from surrounding masses and hitting the apple are converging inward from the surrounding universe (they’re not diverging outward). So there is no loss due to inverse square law divergence!

    It’s so hard to get anybody who believes in spin-2 leprechauns to listen to straightforward physical facts, that I’ve virtually given up!

  2. cormac

    Thanks Nigel!
    I’ve seen something like this argument before and it’s very interesting. I’m not a cosmologist but my own kneejerk reaction is that I suspect the equation v/r = H is quite misleading, and should not be taken literally for a particular galaxy. It seems to me that all that the graph really suggests is the empirical relation v1/r1 = v2/r2 = H etc. In other words, it is an equation relating the velocites and distances of several galaxies to one another.
    After all, a strict interpretation of v/r = const for a single galaxy would imply that it must accelerate, since the distance is changing (for non-zero velocity)
    Or is this a dumb argument? Must have a look in Micheal’s book..
    Regards, Cormac

  3. Hi Professor Cormac O’Raifeartaigh,

    Thank you very much for your interesting reaction:

    “My own kneejerk reaction is that I suspect the relation v/r = H is quite misleading, and should not be taken literally for a particular galaxy. … After all, a strict interpretation of v/r = const for a single galaxy would imply that it must accelerate, since the distance is changing!” [Emphasis added.]

    That’s a very nice argument. Isn’t it interesting in this context that the universe is accelerating, after all! I investigated the basic idea in 1996 (without putting it as concisely as you have just done), finding that it made predictions about cosmology and gravity, and Martin Eccles (editor of Electronics World) kindly published it via the October 1996 issue (it was also printed in Science World, ISSN 1367-6172, February 1997 issue).

    The prediction is that the Hubble expansion predicts an acceleration: a = rH^2 = (r/t)H = cH, if r is the horizon radius of the universe. Two years later, this correct amount of acceleration was observed by Perlmutter and published in Nature, with no reference to and probably no knowledge of my prediction. (I didn’t bribe him to check it, honestly!)

    H is a small number, H = 1/(age of universe) for the observed flat cosmology, so H^2 is very small, and the cosmological acceleration is very small too; on the order 10^{-10} metres per second squared. But that’s enough to cancel out gravitational curvature over immense distances, and to be observed with computerized supernova signature detection via CCD telescopes.

    Hence it clearly was a checkable prediction. In 1998, it was observed by Saul Perlmutter and colleagues, and published in Nature!

    So there’s a theoretical prediction of acceleration, and then an experimental observation of acceleration. What’s the problem? Isn’t that supposed to be what physics is all about?

    “The views of space and time which I wish to lay before you have sprung from the soil of experimental physics, and therein lies their strength. They are radical. Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.” – Hermann Minkowski, 1908

    The key thing is that, as Minkowski grasped, we’re not just seeing increasing distances with bigger telescopes, but earlier times and any velocity variation with distance is therefore automatically equivalent to a velocity variation with time past, i.e. an acceleration.

    The acceleration has been observed, it has the predicted magnitude. It’s a scientific fact, not a debatable speculation! The only really debatable question here is why so many mainstream people are still puzzling over the acceleration of the universe and what the dark energy is.

    (I just love the section in the 2006 edition of Professor Lee Smolin’s book, The Trouble with Physics, where Smolin uses numerology to point out that the observed amount of cosmological acceleration in the universe is numerically similar to a = cH, but he can give no theoretical reason for this “coincidence”. He doesn’t work out that Hubble’s recession law gives a = cH, let alone other implications such as applying Newton’s 2nd and 3rd laws to it to make quantum gravity predictions that are also checkable!)

  4. cormac

    I’m not sure that’s right Nigel, but I have to think some more about it…
    I guess the real question concerns the Hubble equation really means. Is it meaningful to talk about a Hubble graph for one galaxy only? If we measure the distance and velocity of galaxy A, plot it, then measure the distance and velocity of galaxy A again some time later, plot that etc, do we get a straight line of slope H?
    Presumably we do, but I’m not sure – there’s something very confusing about a phenomenon that has a linear relation between dr/dt and r !

    P.S. I’m not a professor

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  6. ‘I guess the real question concerns the Hubble equation really means. Is it meaningful to talk about a Hubble graph for one galaxy only? If we measure the distance and velocity of galaxy A, plot it, then measure the distance and velocity of galaxy A again some time later, plot that etc, do we get a straight line of slope H?’ – Cormac

    Thanks for responding! If we take a single highly redshifted receding galaxy or supernova, there is evidence that it is accelerating away from us. Perlmutter’s original paper on the discovery of the cosmological acceleration is titled:

    Discovery of a Supernova Explosion at Half the Age of the Universe and its Cosmological Implications published in Nature v. 391, pp. 51-54 (1 January 1998).

    By that time, 50 supernova with extreme redshift had been discovered, but the paper dealt with just the first one of extreme redshift, the SN 1997ap which has a redshift of z = 0.83. Thus, the implication from this research is that individual supernovae are indeed accelerating!

    So this acceleration of individual masses away from one another isn’t controversial.

    If you remember the story, Einstein added the cosmological constant to general relativity a year or so after publishing the basic field equation in November 1915.

    He believed that the observed universe was static (Hubble’s analysis of redshifts wasn’t completed until 1929, and is still falsely attacked by some people who have mistaken ideas, as exposed on the excellent page ), and that it would collapse unless there was a repulsive force between masses which increased with distance (thus being negligible over small distances) and cancelled out gravitational attraction over a distance equal to the average distance between galaxies.

    At smaller distances, Einstein’s cosmological constant produced a repulsive force which was smaller than gravity (so gravity dominated), while over bigger distances it produced a force which was bigger than gravity (so universal repulsion dominated). One immediate problem was that this model would make the universe unstable.

    So it was abandoned by Einstein in after Hubble’s results showed that the universe was expanding.

    However, in 1998 the cosmological constant (albeit with a much smaller magnitude than Einstein had stipulated) had to be taken back into the field equation to account for the observed lack of gravitational curvature on the largest distances. The exact value is still hazy, but the approximate order of magnitude is well established: it’s certain from the evidence that there is cosmological acceleration on the order of 10^{-10} m/s^2 or so at large redshifts. There is some uncertainty from gamma ray burster evidence over whether the cosmological acceleration actually implies a cosmological constant or an evolving parameter:

    So from observational evidence, every receding mass has a small cosmological acceleration away from every other masses. On small distances, gravity dominates over cosmological acceleration, and so the cosmological acceleration only becomes important over large distances.

    Going back to your question about testing the applicability of the Hubble law to individual galaxies by measuring the recession and distance of a galaxy at successive times, I fear that we’d have to wait too many lifespans to get statistically significant results. Experimental errors are generally too large to wait short periods of time and detect whether an individual galaxy is accelerating or not. Obviously if we naively apply the Hubble law to predict the motion of an individual galaxy, it fails because as the galaxy recedes to greater distances the Hubble law is describing earlier times after the big bang; when of course the recession will take time so the galaxy will age as it recedes, instead of getting younger. My feeling is that, as Minkowski stated in the quotation above, we have to base physics on observables. The Hubble law is what is observed. Even though an individual galaxy may just be coasting along at constant velocity, or maybe slowing, that doesn’t really matter because all we we see appears to be an acceleration in the frame of reference at our disposal, in which information is carried to us at light speed from times past which increase with distance. Because other effects like gravitons will go at the same velocity as visible light, this observed reference frame is the correct one to be using in making predictions. For gravitational purposes, the apparent spacetime observations of the universe are fine, because the data is coming from the past just at the same velocity that gravitons come at. So the apparent positions and accelerations of masses as seen with visible light are going to be the same as those corresponding to gravitons coming from such receding masses. In any case, from the fact that the universe really is acelerating, I have no problem in deducing from this acceleration that receding individual galaxies themselves do have an effective acceleration in observable spacetime. If we could see them in a reference frame whereby we could see things when the same age after the big bang – without looking backwards in time with increasing distance – then maybe the acceleration would be modified. But we can’t see the universe in reference frame where everything is 13,700 million years old, so it’s unphysical. We have to accept, as Minkowski stated in 1908, that when we look at distant things we’re seeing them as they were at earlier epochs in the big bang.

  7. Pingback: Cosmology at Professor Cormac O’Raifeartaigh’s blog « Gauge theory mechanisms

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  9. William H. Depperman

    Part 3 of 3:
    The temperature on Earth does not have to rise very much to destroy all life. This is the reality which fake “opposition” figures such as James Hansen and Al Gore and Steven Chu deliberately hide, while they attempt to control the issue and lead it to defeat. (See below.) As described elsewhere in the analysis of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect this process involves multiple positive feedbacks or vicious circles. The arctic sea ice normally reflects heat and light from the sun back into space, but this effect decreases as the ice is replaced by the darker sea water when the ice melts, which in turn absorbs more heat from the sunlight. This is known as the ice-albedo feedback or the ice-reflectivity feedback and is the most important feedback in the polar region. It was reported on NBC Evening News on May 13, 2009 that the polar ice may all be gone within 5 years. Because the North and South Poles act as thermostats for the planet the removal of that thermostat may result in an abrupt increase in global warming making life much more difficult and increasing the melting of the land ice on Greenland, raising the sea level much more rapidly.

    In the 1951 science fiction/political film, The Day The Earth Stood Still, the Earth was visited by people in a flying saucer from a more advanced civilization which delivered an ultimatum at the end: “It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned out cinder. Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.” The result of Earth being reduced to a burned out cinder is clearly not limited to war and peace or even nuclear war. Although it goes without saying that capitalism-imperialism, due to its internal dynamic as explained herein, automatically extends violence everywhere and even to outer space with its Star Wars Program, etc. (which has thankfully not yet been realized in practice), capitalism has also extended maximum violence to the environment, e.g. the Gulf of Mexico. The environmental reality, not science fiction, is that with the onset of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect the Earth is now on course to become a burned out cinder like Venus! Only a Socialist Revolution can avert this catastrophe! It is our right and it is our duty, according to The Declaration of Independence, to avert this catastrophe by ending the capitalist dictatorship in the United States through a Socialist Revolution.

    The falsely labeled “Archaea” bacteria, tube worms, which have evolved to live at temperatures of up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and the hyperthermophilic bacteria, which have evolved to live at water temperatures of up to 239 degrees Fahrenheit will be the last life on Earth because of their ability to live at high temperatures.. (Incidentally, “Archaea” was falsely so-labeled in order to spread confusion in science and to try to undermine in one blow both Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and the irrefutable Primordial Soup Theory of Stanley Miller and Harold Urey of 1953, who demonstrated that the basic building blocks of life; amino acids, purines, pyrimidines and carboxylic acids can all be produced by running electrical sparks simulating lightning through the most-likely original reducing atmosphere of Earth composed of methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water vapor or steam. Later experiments by Miller demonstrated that the precise atmospheric mixture was not as important as the fact that it be a reducing atmosphere, meaning that it must contain NO free oxygen, because the compounds necessary for life, namely amino acids, purines and pyrimidines (required for the synthesis nucleotides required to form RNA and DNA) and carboxylic acids (required for the synthesis of lipids) cannot be produced in an oxidizing atmosphere! In addition, it has been reported that Jeffrey L. Bada, who was a graduate student of Stanley Miller, and Adam P. Johnson a graduate student at Indiana University visiting Bada’s laboratory on an internship, working with co-workers, have discovered 22 amino acids in the original samples from the Stanley Miller-Urey experiments, including 10 that had not been previously reported. (The Miller Volcanic Spark Discharge Experiment, Adam P. Johnson, Daniel P. Glavin, Antonio Lazcano and Jeffrey L. Bada, Science, 17, October 2008. page 404, Vol. 322, no. 5900, DOI: 10.1126 science. 1161527). See also The New York Times, October 17, 2008. In a 1996 interview Stanley Miller also revealed that he had been able to produce pyridines and purines by creating more concentrated pre-biotic “dry beach” conditions, which would have been present in lakes lagoons and beaches on the primitive Earth. From that point everything is very clear.

    Natural Origin of Nucleotides Finally Solved while NASA Attacks Evolution!

    As reported in the Nature Vol. 459 pp.239-242, May14, 2009 by Sutherland JD et al, the actual formation of ribosenucleotides proceeds from constituent parts of arabinose amino-oxazoline and anhydronucleoside intermediates rather than from free ribose and nucleobases, thus finally solving the problem of the natural origin of nucleotides. The starting materials for the synthesis were cyanamide, cyanoacetylene, glycoaldehyde, glyceraldehyde and inorganic phosphate, all of which are plausible prebiotic feestock molecules and the conditions of the synthesis were consistent with potential early-Earth geochemical models as made clear in the study. Although inorganic phosphate is only incorporated into the nucleotides at a later stage of the synthesis, its presence from the start is essential as it controls 3 reactions in the earlier stages by acting as a general acid/base catalyst, a nucleophilic catalyst, a pH buffer and a chemical buffer, according to the study! In addition, because these reactions take place at moderate temperatures this study by Sutherland et al. supports the Primordial Soup theory of Stanley Miller and Harold Urey first proposed by Thomas Darwin himself, who in his 1871 letter to the botanist Joseph Hooker stated that he believed that life evolved “in some little warm pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts.” (!) Urey and Miller indubitably read this letter which motivated their work described above, which is ruthlessly ridiculed by the NASA creationists and their supporters and is not even mentioned by Nicholas Wade in the New York Times, May 14, 2008 reference article! Self-replicating RNA molecules are well known today and have been extensively studied and described in the major media and peer review journals. And DNA clearly evolved from RNA. There is no credible dispute. Problem solved. But the Big Lies just keep on coming!

    NASA pushes the false “Theory of Panspermia” on the phony, so-called “History Channel” (July 2010) in order: 1.) to simultaneously attack evolution and 2.) to falsely justify primitive rocket trips to asteroids! In 1969 a carbonaceous meteorite fell in Murchison Australia which had a high concentrations of amino acids, about 100 ppm, found in the same pre-biotic experiments of Stanley Miller, proving that the early evolution of life is a constant which occurs throughout the universe given certain favorable conditions, NOT that life came to Earth from comets or asteroids from elsewhere—the so-called “Theory of Panspermia,” which is also fraudulently being passed off as a “theory of life.” Cosmic rays and the heat of entry into Earth’s atmosphere would have destroyed all life potentially surviving the near absolute zero temperature of interstellar or interplanetary space. The goal of these determined and deliberate falsifiers is to keep the masses confused on as many scientific matters and political matters as possible. Because a confused person cannot act! False analysis of one issue leads in turn to false analysis of another. In such a situation the masses are much more likely to think what they are told to think and to do what they are told to do by the capitalist dictatorship. Since 1969 incidentally numerous carbonaceous meteorites have revealed the presence of amino acids.

    In falsely pushing “Panspermia” NASA, on the so-called “History Channel,” also claims that the water on Earth was delivered by asteroids and comets, a ridiculous assertion which is ruled out by isotopic and molecular ratio consideration. The solar system formed due to collapse of a large, cold slowly rotating nebular cloud of gas and dust into an accretion disk that defined the plane of the solar system. The terrestrial planets grew in this accretion disk bathed in a gas of Hydrogen, Helium and Oxygen (from previous supernovae) with the dominant gas phases being H2, He, H20 and CO. There is a growing consensus never mentioned by NASA’s phony “experts” that terrestrial planets accreted “Wet.” What that means is that despite the fact that it was too hot for hydrous minerals to form, grains in the accretion disk did adsorb water vapor with multiple calculations using equilibrium thermodynamics showing that at least 2 Earth masses of water vapor existed within 3 AU (3 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun). The total amount of water in the Earth is approximately 10 Earth oceans, with most water being stored in minerals such as silicates. See: “Origin of water in the terrestrial planets” Michael J. Drake, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Volume 40, Issue 4, Pages 515-656 (April 2005), pp. 519-527(9). LIFE ALSO DID NOT EVOLVE AT SUBMARINE VENTS! Among the more recent false claims of evolution of life is the truly ridiculous claim that life supposedly “evolved at submarine vents” formed under the oceans where tectonic plates meet, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. But it is a fact that submarine vents don’t make organic compounds, they decompose them! These vents are one of the limiting factors on what organic compounds would exist in the primitive oceans. At the present time, the entire ocean goes through those vents in 10 million years. So all of the organic compounds are destroyed every ten million years. That places a constraint on how much organic material could accumulate. In addition, it also provides a time scale for the origin of life. If all the polymers and other compounds that evolve are continuously destroyed that means life would have to start early and evolve rapidly.

    Looking at the process in detail, it is clear that long periods of time would be detrimental, rather than helpful to this fraudulent, totally contrived and deliberately misleading so-called “theory” of the origin of life which was created, among other reactionary reasons (see below), in order to provide a false pretext for NASA to carry out extremely costly and entirely unnecessary and useless space ventures using the primitive form of space travel, rocketry, to outlying planetary satellites under the false pretext of “searching for life,” wherever there might be water (!) discovered by spectral analysis for example, in order to keep their jobs and obtain continued government funding and to serve as yet one more pretext to divert money from social spending. The NASA propagandists now ridiculously claim that “the only thing necessary for evolution of life is water because every drop of water on Earth contains some bacteria.” (National Geographic Channel, August 15, 2010). Note that on other shows they absurdly try to supplant evolution with Panspermia! (See above.) The most recent bizarre “projects’ in this series are the Obama plans to revisit the Moon to build a moon base and take a trip to Mars or asteroids (!) and trying to privatize—just like Bush—what should properly be part of the existing government, even after a Socialist Revolution in the United States! Privatization of government agencies reflects both the one-way dynamic of capitalism and its true inherent anarchy. Instead there should be a concerted attempt to develop (or back-engineer) the electromagnetic anti-gravity engine used by the UFO’s. This requires nuclear power and a structural material which is super-conducting at room temperature. That material exists and is known as the nanotube form of carbon, the hardest known material ever discovered, far harder than diamonds. But it is highly likely that there is too much money invested in rocketry the most primitive form of space travel, which is backed by the oil industry, which has also just permanently destroyed the Gulf of Mexico from the bottom to the top for at least a hundred years while the oil industry demands to continue and expand deep water drilling!! This is further proof of the almost entirely one-way dynamic of capitalism leading to Fascism, barbarism and finally the end of civilization; and now with the advent of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect, the end of all life on Earth. We need a Socialist Revolution here in the United States. In the final analysis all wars are won and lost on morale and every movement begins with the call. This analysis is part of that call.

    William H. Depperman, Coordinator
    United Front Against Racism
    And Capitalism-Imperialism
    New York, N.Y.
    Revised August 19, 2010

  10. Awfully well written article…