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Space Science

Study Finds Universe Is 100 Million Years Older Than Previously Thought 245

skade88 writes "Reuters is reporting that scientists now say the universe is 100 million years older than previously thought after they took a closer look at leftover radiation from the Big Bang. This puts the age of the Universe at 13.8 billion years. The new findings are the direct results from analyzing data provided by the European Space Agency's Planck spacecraft. The spacecraft is providing the most detailed look to date at the remnant microwave radiation that permeates the universe. 'It's as if we've gone from a standard television to a high-definition television. New and important details have become crystal clear,' Paul Hertz, NASA's director of astrophysics, told reporters on a conference call."
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Study Finds Universe Is 100 Million Years Older Than Previously Thought

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2013 @10:43PM (#43242715)

    Everything needs its proper scale. 100million appears large. But not so much when it is the difference between 13.7 and 13.8 billion years. That is less than 1%.

    Does the title "Universe is a tiny bit older than we thought" or "Less than 1% correction to age of Universe from new Measurements" capture as many headlines.

    On the scale of the age of the universe 100million really is not much at all.


  • by narcc ( 412956 ) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @10:49PM (#43242761) Journal

    So... 4017 is still the standard age in Christendom then, yes?

    Oh, I see. You've decided that there is such a thing as the "science vs religion debate" outside your tiny little circle and you need to score points for your side at every opportunity. You don't care that your comment is completely off-topic, or that what you're saying is obviously nonsense. Beating up that straw man makes you feel important.

    You may want to stop. You're not helping.

  • by fluffy99 ( 870997 ) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:08PM (#43242899)

    Yep, the bible is interpreted exactly the same as it was 2000 years ago.

    Sure except for the fact that significant portions have been altered, re-translated, or just plain re-written. A perfect example would be the King James version that the purists consider a standard. Or maybe the fact that many of the books of the bible appear to have been written by the same person, well after the dates implied in the writings.

  • by tolkienfan ( 892463 ) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:13PM (#43242933) Journal

    That's not a very good argument.

    The bible has to be interpreted differently than the plain meaning of the words because otherwise it's immoral, self-contradictory, bigoted and doesn't fit with modern understanding, morality or facts.

    But let's take an example from science. The equations of motion are used today as they were when they were written. We've learned there are more accurate models, and sometimes need to apply those, but we still read his writings as written.
    we've also invented a way to apply his methods and equations to more objects that have been invented since, which is a form of reinterpreting, but a distinctly different one.

  • by letherial ( 1302031 ) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:38PM (#43243089)

    Trying to defend the bible on the back of newton is a little insulting.

    While newtons calculation do well for the most part, we know its not 100% accurate and most scientist will freely admit this. It works well unless your in extreme cases.

    The bible however, is just a bunch of text written by people who pretended to know shit they didnt know.

    Your analogy is more akin to saying that even though newton was mostly right, we are going to choose another crackpot who never used any scientific methodology to create a new and improved version of the law of motions and just believe that the math is right despite the evidence.

    The bible is a bunch of bullshit, its just a fact.

  • by UltraZelda64 ( 2309504 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @12:27AM (#43243349)

    Refined or rewritten bullshit is still bullshit.

  • by bayankaran ( 446245 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @01:47AM (#43243641) Homepage
    This is nonsense. I live in a country with all the issues of sanitation you can imagine - India.

    It is not practically possible to dig a hole and bury your waste in urban environments anywhere in the world. Even in rural environments there are severe limitations.

    There are good lessons and moral / ethical fables in Bible and other religious texts, but it is hopelessly outdated.
  • by allypally ( 2858133 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @03:11AM (#43243917)

    The Bible has been under continual re-interpretation.

    Take any Bibical statement:
    * don't eat shellfish
    * keep slaves
    * don't be gay

    We can show fuzzy date ranges for which the statement was uncontroversally true through to it being considered symbolic only.

    From that, we can scientifically predict the half-life of a Biblical truth. Thus, today:

    * we do longer need to kill witches
    * we don't really need to keep the sabbath holy
    * gays are pretty much normal people to god now
    * being wealthy no bar to heaven

    And tomorrow? Just apply the Biblical truth half-life test to predict!

  • Re:Da Big Bang... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @03:30AM (#43243995)

    Big Bang is only a theory. As far as I know it is the theory with the most number of followers so it is assumed to be truer than others

    No, most evidence wins.

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @04:26AM (#43244191) Journal

    Trying to defend the bible on the back of [N]ewton is a little insulting.

    To whom? Among the many hats he wore in public Newton was a respected theologian, he wrote more words on the subject of religion than any other subject, for example he wrote close to a million words on the numerology of 666. He also claimed "Jesus was sent to Earth to operate the levers of gravity". Religion was a major force in his life, He approached both religion and science as if the same subject, to him God was more than a mere assumption, he "knew" God existed because like modern day worshipers he had "conversations with God" (the copious amounts of Mercury he breathed most likely helped with that). History tends to ignore his bullshit and concentrate on what he wrote in what (from a modern POV) is arguably the most important book ever published. However, also from a modern POV, the bulk of his other writings are widely seen as batshit crazy.

    Disclaimer(s): I don't think the OP was defending the bible. I've been an atheist for at least 50yrs. I don't believe in God but some of the smartest people who ever lived certainly did. The claims about Newton come from my memory of two biographies I read long ago (don't recall which ones)

    PS: If anyone is looking for an interesting programming exercise. Write a program or heuristic to find a 6X6 magic square where the columns, rows, and diagonals all add up to 666, no number is repeated and all numbers must be prime. When you have discovered how difficult that is to do from scratch, know that Newton found one in his head!

  • Re:Da Big Bang... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Friday March 22, 2013 @06:15AM (#43244569) Journal

    Theory does not mean "guess" or "hunch". If you say something in the scientific sense is "only a theory", you don't actually understand what scientific theory is. Electricity is "only a theory" too.

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @06:24AM (#43244595) Journal
    Sorry, not the OP but can't resist...

    Are you afraid of pursuing the truth because of what you might find?

    What I may find by spying on a close friend or loved one, certainly, other than that, no.

    Are you afraid of losing control?

    Sometimes, especially when I feel I am being provoked beyond common decency, but in day to day life I'm not driven by fear, I'm driven by curiosity. On the rare occasions I have lost control as an adult, I have asked for forgiveness from those who I wronged, I do not have an "imaginary friend" to use as a surrogate.

    Your "self-control" is an illusion.

    Agree, but I have the same attitude to that illusion as you do to your illusory God, ie: I stubbornly refuse to part with it.

    You are a slave to your desires.

    Agree. Being a social mammal, one of my primordial desires is to moderate my own base desires for the benefit of other members of my species, especially those individuals who happen to belong to my tribe (extended family). Some people are born without that desire and fall under the heading of "sociopaths", sociopaths can be trained to behave normally if they believe a supernatural being is constantly watching their every move and will crush them like a grape if they misbehave.

    Now riddle me this God man...
    The ultimate test of moral fiber has always been "doing the right thing when nobody is watching", how is it possible for someone who believes in an omnipresent god to take that test?

  • by Liambp ( 1565081 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @06:25AM (#43244605)

    How is this even newsworthy? 100 million years is less than 1% of 13.8 Billion years. Given how little of the Universe we have actually see so far the margin of error for any prediction like this has to be huge so a 0.7% change is meaningless.

    Over two thousand years ago Eratosthenes estimated the circumference of the Earth from measurements taken in the vicinity of ancient Egypt. Given the limitations of his measurements we are amazed that he managed to get an answer that is in the right ballpark. Depending on interpretation his calculation was wrong by between 2% and 16%. The age of the Universe is a much bigger problem and the amount of it we have seen to date is a much smaller proportion than Egypt was to the size of the World so I think it is fair to assume that even if all the key assumptions underlying this age of universe calculation are correct the margin for error is huge. Of course it is even more likely that something we don't know yet will render the entire calculation invalid.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham