Big Bang Debate
One group, primarily motivated by maintaining their control over the resources for deep space research, seeks to prevent any other group from disrupting that control.
The Big Bang theory arose in the early 20th Century when the spectra of many distant galaxies were observed to be shifted toward the red end of the spectrum. This observation was interpreted as being caused by the Doppler effect, where the change in frequency is caused by the relative motion of the source. Therefore the Big Bang Theory suggests the universe is rapidly expanding (with the prevalence of large red shifts observed among distant objects) and so when going back in time with that assumption the universe must have begun when everything first accelerated away from a common point of origin, with this event called the Big Bang (which was initially used as a title of derision for the new theory).
Over the years, many books have been written and many careers based on this theory. If there are problems with this theory then many might see their reputations tarnished, so conflicting observations are suppressed or ignored. Young students in the fields surrounding astronomy must follow the guidance of their mentors or their future careers can be stymied, so most research continues under the assumption the Big Bang theory must be valid. This theory becomes dogma, not science
Several observations over the years should have brought into question the very foundation of the Big Bang theory. In 1939 one of the strongest radio sources in the sky was identified, called Cygnus A. As similar objects would be observed again in subsequent years, these radio sources would show two lobes of energy on opposite ends of the central source, implying those filaments were probably ejected from the center.
In the early 1960's a very strong radio source was linked with an optical source, and when its large red shift (0.158) was noted this object 3C 273 became a rather famous quasar for at the distance calculated from its red shift, the object had to be extremely bright to be seen at its visible magnitude.
Also in the 1960's Halton Arp compiled his observed images of unusual galaxies into the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. As mentioned in his book Seeing Red, after the catalog was complete he noticed that a number of the peculiars had pairs of radio sources, and eventually some of those sources turned out to be quasars.
Subsequent investigations found more cases of energetic objects symmetrically arranged on opposite sides of an energetic galaxy in the middle, like NGC4258 (with two strong X-ray sources aligned across the nucleus within less than 4 degrees). The infamous Einstein Cross with four high red shift quasars very close and roughly aligned with a central galaxy with a very low red shift, with connections visible between the objects was a problem until gravitational lensing was suggested as an explanation for the observation. Other cases of large red shift objects being connected to or even in front of low red shift objects have been found.
Red shift appears to be related to age not distance. In both the local group of Galaxies (where our Milky Way resides) with the Andromeda Galaxy being dominant and in the next nearest major group where the M81 galaxy is dominant, all the companion galaxies have a higher redshift than the dominant galaxy in the group. If the relative velocities were in random directions compared to earth this should not be.
Red shift also appears to be quantized. Analysis across many data sets, as described in the book Seeing Red, reveals the quantization of quasar red shifts. If the large red shifts are truly caused by relative velocity not by some attribute of matter then there are several concentric rings of distant objects surrounding the earth, resulting in a modern version of Ptolemy's geocentric model of the universe.
Even as the observations of cases where high red shift appears to not be directly related to distance (when objects of different red shifts are physically connected), even more problems with the Big Bang cosmology arose.
When the stars within a galaxy or the galaxies within a cluster do not move as expected with only the weak force of gravity at such distances, dark matter was proposed as a solution, where about 85% of the matter in the universe is theorized to be dark matter, as it is invisible and cannot be detected because it does not emit or absorb any energy. With the large velocities expected from such large red shifts, dark energy was proposed as a solution, where 68% of the total mass-energy is part of this undetectable energy that permeates space to cause the acceleration of the universe expansion. When less than 5% of the universe is considered ordinary matter and energy though this is all that we can see and measure, this becomes a rather unscientific theory where an initial hypothesis is tested with observation, to determine whether the hypothesis is possible.. With the Big Bang cosmology requiring these hidden undetectable forces and material, it appears the theory cannot match observation.
Unfortunately, that one group with the vested interest in maintaining the Big Bang as the only theory to research and write about in popular media is able to suppress evidence that contradicts the cherished theory and so money is spent and new careers are wasted on research that will one day be discarded. Dogmatism is still found in modern science even with high levels of literacy and college education.
The scientific method is first make a guess and then test that guess. So many space probes and so much space research remain committed to test the Big Bang cosmology, rather than having unrestrained astronomers making new theories in accordance with the current observations and then testing them. While the dominant group maintains control of the proclaimed consensus progress toward a better understanding of the universe is hindered.
There have been books written about the failure of the Big Bang cosmology (such as The Big Bang Never Happened by Eric Lerner) and there are also various web sites that investigate various theories about the universe (such as the Electric Universe) as well as seminars about the topic (such as Stephen Crothers talking about black holes).
created - October 2013
last change - 10/20/2013
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