Point by Point: Electric Universe Theory
Here’s a little exchange I found on an online forum between an Electric Universe advocate and a critic of same. The names have been deleted to protect the guilty. The grammar, punctuation, and text is verbatim.
[1A] Instead of gravity being the main power behind the universe, Electro-magnetism is.
[1B] This would be true if it weren’t for the existence of electric dipoles. Positive and negative charges have this quality of cancelling each other out, so the overall electric force in the universe, on large scales, is very small.
[2A] It asserts that the power that drives the sun is charges plasma…
[2B] This is almost true. The Sun is a neutral plasma. The electric universe “theory”, though, claims that the power of the sun is generated on the surface, which just isn’t possible. The densities are too low, and the temperature too, to explain the Sun’s energy output.
[3A] …and that an electric current runs from star to star, through galaxy’s, and even through the universe itself.
[3B] This would be observable. Its not observed. Therefore, it’s not true. We certainly see solar and stellar winds, but they’re always in an outward direction. Spray two water hoses at each other and see how much “current” you get.
[4A] It offers a new explanation for what we call black holes. That, they don’t exist. And what we actually see is converging lines of force.
[4B] This claim doesn’t even make any sense. Electric field lines “of force” can only converge on charges. If there are charges, they’ll feel that force, and be accelerated. Accelerated charges give off radiation and therefore are no longer “black”. We’d be able to see these things. More importantly, the electric universe doesn’t account for things like gravitational red-shifting around black holes, which we’ve observed. It fails every observational test it’s ever been subjected to. The model is bunk.
[5A] Yes, the idea that space is actually filled with billions of charged plasma particles instead of actually being a vacuum.
[5B] The problem is that space is actually filled with billions of uncharged particles. We’ve mapped the Milky Way using neutral hydrogen. If space were filled with a plasma, it would eat away at neutral objects, and we wouldn’t see any neutral Hydrogen. Again, it fails the test.
[6A] Stars are powered externally by this “Universal current”, and the tails of comets are electrical discharges… It’s pretty interesting.
[6B] Unfortunately, we already have a model for how stars work, and how comets tails come into being. These models fit the observations. The Electric Universe does not. I mean, please show us this “universal current”. It should be radiating like a mo-fo.
[7A] I am accepting this cosmological model over the Big Bang Theory (BBT). It offers easy explanations for things people had to invent (Neutron Stars, Black Holes, Dark Matter and Dark Energy, and other things ) To explain what they were witnessing in space.
[7B] Easy, but fundamentally wrong explanations. I can offer you an easier explanation of gravity than General Relativity: Everything is held together by giant invisible springs! The only problem is that I’m wrong! Neutron stars have been explained. The physics behind them is very sound. It’s called Quantum Mechanics, and it’s the same theory that engineers have used to build the computer you’re using right now. Dark Matter is a blanket term for “too much gravity”. We see too much gravity. We suggest there’s unseen (“dark”) matter. People are now looking for what this matter could possibly be. Dark Energy is another blanket term. We see too much energy. We don’t know the source (i.e. it’s “dark”). There you have dark energy. Dark Matter and Dark Energy may be uncertain things, but the fact that the Electric Universe fails is not. It doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
I would be much more impressed by this ‘theory’ if it actually had real evidence in support of it, added to our understanding of astrophysics instead of denying it, made genuine testable predictions exceeding those of conventional cosmological theory, and explained the universe better than standard astrophysical theory does, and didn’t consist only of arguments attempting to refute trivial anomalies that the proponents of electric universe theory constantly claim as being in support of their idea, as if by discrediting standard astronomy and astrophysics that their doctrine wins by default, committing the false dichotomy fallacy.
As it stands, I am not at all impressed, nor amused, since EU theory proponents lack any real knowledge of the science they try to undermine. Even the physics they claim to advocate they fail to grasp, which elicits much pathos from my bleeding heart. How sad..
Posted on Sunday, 17:30, August 30, 2009, in Logic & Philosophy and tagged Argumentation, Astrophysics, Logical Fallacies, Physics, Pseudoscience, Science, Scientific Illiteracy, Scientific Literacy. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.