So I think those religious believers who get all excited about the Big Bang theory being a "proof" of the Bible's creation story are going at it all wrong.
In fact, not all scientists accept the Big Bang theory as the best explanation for the origin of the universe. Just over 10 years ago, a group of 33 "top" scientists signed their names to an article titled "Big Bang Theory Busted."
The article, originally published in New Scientist in 2004, begins:
"The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed-- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory.
"In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, RAISE SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF THE UNDERLYING THEORY." (emphasis in the original)
- (Actually, I disagree with their statement that other fields of physics don't accept "new hypothetical objects" as "a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation." It appears to me that most fields of physics do exactly that, quite often. But I digress.)
- And in fact here's a great Web site that categorically rejects the whole idea of the Big Bang theory as being a modern-day "creation myth":
"Firstly, despite colossal advances our knowledge of the observable universe is limited by the power of even the largest telescopes, radio-signals and space-probes, to provide information. Secondly and more seriously the way in which these results and observations are interpreted in a highly speculative manner, frequently bordering on mere mysticism. All too often, one has the impression that we have indeed regressed to the world of the Creation Myth (the "Big Bang"), complete with its inseparable companion, the Day of the Final Judgement (the "Big Crunch")."
- The article goes on to quote another article in New Scientist, 10 year before the one just cited, and notes:
"The New Scientist (7th May 1994) published an article entitled In the Beginning Was the Bang. The author, Colin Price, trained and worked as a scientist, but is now a Congregationalist minister. He begins by asking: "Is the big bang theory disconcertingly biblical? Or to put it another way, is the Genesis story disconcertingly scientific?" And he ends with the confident assertion: "No one would have appreciated the big bang story more than the authors of the first two chapters of the book of Genesis." This is quite typical of the mystical philosophy which lies behind what Mr. Price, no doubt with tongue in cheek, but quite accurately describes as the big bang story."
- (I really suggest reading this fascinating article and following the links in it. I think it's so fascinating to me because it's so angry and full of sarcasm, a refreshing change from the usual language of science which is hard for me to read in part because it puts me to sleep!)
- One more interesting article, this one from National Geographic two years ago, proclaims that the discovery of the "Biggest Thing in Universe Defies Scientific Theory." The writers explain:
"The titanic structure, known simply as the Large Quasar Group (LQG), also appears to break the rules of a widely accepted cosmological principle, which says that the universe would look pretty much uniform when observed at the largest scales.Oh, yeah, I get it: The headline is a tease. Dang those scientists, trying to make their extremely boring work more exciting for the rest of us. Hey, scientists: It doesn't work. It just encourages the crazies.
"'It could mean that our mathematical description of the universe has been oversimplified—and that would represent a serious difficulty and a serious increase in complexity,' [a researcher] said.
"Significant not only for its record-breaking size, the massive structure could possibly shed light on the evolution of galaxies like our own Milky Way. Quasars, which pump out powerful jets of energy, are among the brightest and most energetic objects from when the universe was still young. They represent an early, but brief, stage in the evolution of most galaxies."
Speaking of crazies, the bonus in all this stuff (yeah, stuff) for me comes in reading the comments. Here's one comment:
"Ok my name is john and cosmology is my passion. I have an interesting insight of a theory to explain not only quasars but black holes as well. In laimence terms black holes gravitational pull is so enormous that all matter even light is sucked in and can't escape. In theory black holes are often referred to as wormholes to different dimensions or universes. It's known that their gravity warps time nd space. I believe that quasars are the receiving end of these "wormholes" emitting light matter energy and dark matter from virtually know where. Could they be connected to a black hole in the neighboring dimension or even from across our own universe. If there are other universes in other dimensions then most problematically they have black holes as well as quasars. Could it be they are all linked nd forever intertwined in a undetectable complex " tunnel" system linking universe to universe or dimension to dimension or even from across great distances of our own universe. If anyone finds this theory intriguing or infeasable please reply with your facts or opinions would love to here them!!!}"
And one of the replies to that comment:
"See, this is the problem with Astronomical Physics. Even people who can't spell "Layman's Terms" get to make up crazy ideas that sound just as plausible as the actual theories. [Emphasis added by me!] It makes me laugh that a bunch of ants on a tiny blue orb look through a lens and decide that they know how things work an infinite distance away from them."
One particularly interesting one points the reader to a whole new idea about the origins of the universe, the "Jet Hypothesis." (And I thank its author, Mr. Abdul Alim, for humbly calling his ideas a hypothesis, not a theory, even though he seems to have explained "all the questions related to [the] universe" with it.) Here's the first paragraph:
"Energy, time and space are infinite in the nature. Hydrogen produced in the space from energy. Clouds are formed by the accumulation of hydrogen. Due to the gravitational force large amount of clouds collapsed at a point and the stars were formed in different places at different time. Due to the effect of centripetal force and lack of centrifugal force, these stars started falling at a point and the rotation of stars started around that point like a cyclone, and the galaxies were formed. A number of galaxies have fallen ata point to form the cluster of galaxies. In the same way, due to the effect of centripetal force and lack of centrifugal force, all the clouds, stars, galaxies and cluster of galaxies have fallen at a point."
And here's the conclusion:
"All the questions related to universe may be answered from this model and all the mathematical equations and observational data may be fit to this model."What can I say? Maybe I should come up with my own theory of the origins of the universe. Unfortunately, it would sound like gobbledygook (surprise!). So I'm sticking with the Biblical account. Because I love to read and *try* to understand all the astronomy stuff, but I'm not basing any of my life choices on it.
More to come....