Cosmography, Decelerating Past, and Cosmological Models: Learning the Bayesian Way
In this paper, using a significantly improved version of the model-independent, cosmographic approach to cosmology (John, M. V. 2004, ApJ, 614, 1), we address an important question: Was there a decelerating past for the universe? To answer this, the Bayes's probability theory is employed, which is the most appropriate tool for quantifying our knowledge when it changes through the acquisition of new data. The cosmographic approach helps to sort out the models in which the universe was always
... erse was always accelerating from those in which it decelerated for at least some time in the period of interest. Bayesian model comparison technique is used to discriminate these rival hypotheses with the aid of recent releases of supernova data. We also attempt to provide and improve another example of Bayesian model comparison, performed between some Friedmann models, using the same data. Our conclusion, which is consistent with other approaches, is that the apparent magnitude-redshift data alone cannot discriminate these competing hypotheses. We also argue that the lessons learnt using Bayesian theory are extremely valuable to avoid frequent U-turns in cosmology.