Miriam English wrote:
> I actually think the steady-state theory makes a LOT more sense than the
> entire universe popping into existence in one instant,...
I'd agree that the Big Bang is bunk.
The Big Bang rests on the hypothesis that the universe is expanding, and in the end the plausibility
of its claims will depend on whether the universe is expanding.
If it’s expanding, it was smaller in the past. If you reverse the expansion far enough, it
originates at one point. The Big Bang. The BB is an immediate consequence of the idea that the
universe is expanding.
The idea that the universe is expanding is built on an interpretation of the observations of the
American astronomer Edwin Hubble, which, when codified, became known as “Hubble’s Law.”
In the 1920's Hubble was conducting the first systematic investigation into our neighboring galaxies.
Using a spectrometer to analyze the light emitted from galaxies, he observed a shift to the red end
of the spectrum in the light coming from distant galaxies. Why should galactic light be shifted to
the red and not the blue portions of the spectrum? Why, for that matter, should it be shifted at all?
An invigorating stab in the dark now followed. The pitch of a siren is altered as a police car
disappears down the street, the sound waves carrying the noise stretched by the speed of the car
itself. This is the familiar Doppler effect. Something similar, Hubble entertained, might explain the
redshift of the galaxies, with the distortions in their spectral signature arising as a reflection of
their recessional velocity as they disappeared into the depths.
The redshift of a galaxy, cosmologists affirm, and so its recessional velocity, is proportional to
its distance and inversely proportional to its apparent brightness or flux. The relationship is known
as Hubble's law, even though Hubble himself even initially regarded the facts at his disposal with
skepticism. [Hubble's original paper carried the footnote: "It is not at all certain that the large
red shifts in the spectra are to be interpreted as a Doppler effect, but for convenience they are
expressed in terms of velocity and referred to as apparent velocities."]
Hubble realized that it was possible, in theory, to further test the idea that the redshift
represented recessional velocity. He already had some preliminary data from the 100-inch telescope:
" … redshifts are evidence either of an expanding universe or of some hitherto unknown principle of
nature … Attempt have been made to attain the necessary precision with the 100-inch, and the results
appear to be significant. If they are valid, it seems likely that redshifts may not be due to an
expanding Universe, and much of the current speculation on the structure of the Universe may require
re-examination. The significant data, however, were necessarily obtained at the very limit of a
single instrument … therefore the results must be accepted for the present as suggestive rather than
definitive. The problem is essentially one for the 200-inch.”
The new 200-inch telescope at Mt Palomar would give him the tools to carry out that test.
“We may predict with confidence that the 200-inch will tell us whether the redshifts must be accepted
as evidence of a rapidly expanding Universe, or attributed to some new principle of Nature. Whatever
the answer may be, the result will be welcomed as another major contribution to the exploration of
the Universe." He carried out the test, and got a definitive result, but it was not welcomed.
In [the aptly named] “The Problem of the Expanding Universe,” in the section “The Interpretation of
the Red Shifts,” Hubble writes:
“The investigations were designed to determine whether or not red shifts represent actual
recession. In principle, the problem can be solved; a rapidly receding light source appears fainter
than a similar but stationary source at the same momentary distance.... For velocities of a few miles
or a few hundred miles per second, the dimming factor is negligible. But for the extremely distant
nebulae, where the apparent recessions reach tens of thousands of miles per second, the effects are
large enough to be readily observed and measured…Since the intrinsic luminosities of nebulae are
known, their apparent faintness furnishes two scales of distance, depending upon whether we assume
the nebulae to be stationary or receding. If, then, we analyze our data, if we map the observable
region, using first one scale and then the other, we may find that the wrong scale leads to
contradictions or at least to grave difficulties.”
“Such attempts have been made and one scale does lead to trouble. It is the scale which includes the
dimming factors of recession, which assumes that the universe is expanding…All of these data lead to
the very simple conception of a sensibly infinite, homogeneous universe of which the observable
region is an insignificant sample.” [Edwin Hubble, “The Problem of the Expanding Universe,” American
Scientist, Vol. 30, No. 2, April 1942, (p.111), pp. 99-115.]
So Hubble, from the outset, doubted that the redshift he observed represented recessional velocity.
He devised a way to further test whether redshifts are evidence either of an expanding universe or of
some hitherto unknown principle of nature. His observations led him to conclude these redshifts he
observed were NOT caused by recessional velocity, but by some other cause.
While a receding source will cause emitted light to be redshifted, there are other possible
interpretations of this redshift, the main one being the "tired light" hypothesis, according to which
the redshift is produced by light losing energy as it travels through space. Hubble came to accept
that cosmological redshifts for the most part are indicators of distance, not velocity. He felt that
the data was in better agreement with light having a loss of energy to the intervening medium
proportional to the distance it travels through space by what he called "a new principle of nature.”
But a few months later, on 28th September, 1953, Hubble died in San Marino, California; and his new
research was buried with him.
So much so that a few years later Hubble's work was summarized in epitaphs such as the following:
"More than ten years were to pass (after the expanding hypothesis had been put forward by De Sitter)
before the observations made by the American astronomer Edwin Hubble were to establish beyond all
reasonable doubt that the Universe was expanding" [W. Bonnor, The mystery of the expanding universe,
Boringhieri, 1967, p. 2.] .
"Hubble's Law. The most serious blow to the stationary state of the universe … came from Hubble's
measurements of the velocity of the galaxies … after a series of painstaking measurements, Hubble
discovered that on average a galaxy recedes from us at a velocity proportional to the distance …
Hubble's discovery immediately destroys the idea of a stationary, unchanging universe, Aristotelian
one might say … So, as is indicated by Hubble's Law, 20 thousand million years ago the galaxies were
presumeably all amassed at the same point", etc. [T. Regge, Cronache dell'universo, Boringhieri,
1981, p. 44] .
Hubble's law anchors Big Bang cosmology to the real world.
But Hubble did not observe the galaxies zooming off into the far distance. Their recessional
velocity, and their distance represents a complicated inference, an intellectual leap.
For more than a decade, the American astronomer Halton Arp has drawn the attention of the
astronomical community to places in the sky where the expected relationship between redshift and
distance simply fails. Embarrassingly enough, many quasars seem bound to nearby galaxies. The results
are in plain sight: there on the photographic plate is the smudged record of a galaxy, and there next
to it is a quasar, the points of light lined up and looking for all the world as if they were equally
These observations do not comport with standard Big Bang cosmology. If quasars have very large
redshifts, they must (according to Hubble's law) be very far away; so if they seem nearby, then they
must be FANTASTICALLY luminous! As bright as 1000 simultaneous supernovas! Yet their temperature
remains that of ordinary stars as exhibited by emission spectra of metallic ions that can only exist
at a limited range of temperature. They are known to be about stellar size since they vary in
brightness on a scale of a few minutes to seconds. By insisting on interpreting quasar red-shifts as
indicating great velocity and great distance, cosmologists have created a monster. How can they stay
so bright at such a low temperature in such a small volume? They can't. They must be nearby, and
their redshift is NOT due to their velocity. The tight tidy series of inferences that has gone into
Big Bang cosmology, like leverage in commodity trading, works beautifully in reverse.
The American mathematician I.E. Segal and his associates have studied the evidence for galactic
recessional velocity over the course of twenty years, with results that are sharply at odds with
predictions of Big Bang cosmology. Segal is a distinguished mathematician, one of the creators of
modern function theory and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has incurred the
indignation of the astrophysical community by suggesting broadly that their standards of statistical
rigor would shame a sociologist.[!] “Big Bang cosmology,” he writes, “owes its acceptance as a
physical principle primarily to the uncritical and premature representation of [the redshift-distance
relationship] as an empirical fact."
Hubble's law embodies a general hypothesis of Big Bang cosmology--namely, that the universe is
expanding--and while the law cannot be established by observation, observation can establish that it
may be false. A catalogue of 780 references to redshift observations inexplicable by the Doppler
effect was published in 1981 by K. J. Reboul under the title, "Untrivial Redshifts: A Bibliographical
Catalogue." Many other papers indicate that non-velocity redshifts have been observed, for example a
lengthy 1989 review article by the Indian astrophysicist J. V. Narlikar. [J. V. Narlikar, 1989,
"Noncosmological Redshifts", Space Science Reviews, Vol: 50.]
Recent astronomical discoveries pose an additional and very serious problem for the Big Bang theory.
Larger and larger structures are being found to exist at greater and greater redshifts, indicating
their existence in the increasingly distant past. In 1988, Simon Lilly of the university of Hawaii
reported the discovery of a mature galaxy at the enormous redshift of 3.4; that is, the amount of the
redshift for any spectral line from the galaxy is 340 per cent of the line's proper wavelength (Lilly
1988). This puts the galaxy so far in time that the Big Bang scheme does not allow sufficient time
for its formation! At a news report on Lilly's work in Sky & Telescope expressed it, "The appearance
of a mature galaxy so soon after the Big Bang poses a serious threat . . ." (Aug. 1988, p. 124).
In 1989 came the discovery of the "Great Wall" of galaxies, a sheet of Galaxies 500 million
light-years long, 200 million light-years wide, and approximately 15 million light-years thick, with
the dimensions of the structure being limited only by the scale of the survey (Geller and Huchra
1989). It is located between 200 and 300 million light-years from Earth. In an interview with the
Boston Globe (Nov. 17 1989), Margaret Geller of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
offered some frank comments on the implications of her discovery: “The size of the structure
indicates that in present theories of the formation of the universe something is really wrong that
makes a big difference,…No known force could produce a structure this big in the time since the
universe was formed", She said.
Other interesting observations regarding the reshift are the so called K-effect, and our sun’s excess
IMHO, the universe is infinite in space and time.
Hubble was right, the redshifts he observed were due to some other factor than recessional velocity.
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