Cosmology Physics Science

Cosmology is Not Science!

Hubble Space Telescope

We might ask, with all the modern technology—including space-borne telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope and numerous others, and large, earth-based telescopes with adaptive optics and advanced supercomputers for image processing and simulations—hasn’t the evidence now been firmly found to establish the big bang as correct? The following paragraphs (emphases added) from a 2007 article in the prestigious journal Science includes quotes from three well-known cosmologists.1

Researchers have measured the temperature variations in the CMB [Cosmic Microwave Background radiation—JGH] so precisely that the biggest uncertainty now stems from the fact that we see the microwave sky for only one Hubble volume [i.e. only one possible observable universe—JGH], an uncertainty called cosmic variance. ‘We’ve done the measurement,’ [Charles] Bennett says. 

That barrier to knowledge, some argue, is cosmology’s Achilles’ heel. Cosmology may look like a science, but it isn’t a science,’ says James Gunn of Princeton University, co-founder of the Sloan survey [currently the biggest large-scale survey of millions of galaxies—JGH]. ‘A basic tenet of science is that you can do repeatable experiments, and you can’t do that in cosmology.’ (emphasis added)

‘The goal of physics is to understand the basic dynamics of the universe,’ [Michael] Turner says. ‘Cosmology is a little different. The goal is to reconstruct the history of the universe.’ Cosmology is more akin to evolutionary biology or geology, he says, in which researchers must simply accept some facts as given. (emphasis added)

This is the state of cosmology today.

Now let’s unpack this a little. What are they really talking about? Since we have only one universe, they cannot test their theories on another; they cannot compare and make deductions based on the different outcomes of an experiment. This is what we do in the lab. Bennett admits this and that it is the best we have.

But this lack of ability to experimentally test the model is, by the big bang cosmologists’ own admission, the Achilles’ heel of cosmology. In reality, cosmology is what we call historical science, because it tries to reconstruct the past history of the Universe from observations we make today. It is no stronger than constructing the unknown-yet-assumed geological history of our planet or the putative sequences of biological organisms that produced a microbiologist from a microbe over several billion years.

It was the presupposition of denial of biblical authority, particularly regarding the Creation and Flood accounts, which led to long-age beliefs about the earth. It then followed that geological evolution led to biological evolution.2

Cosmic evolution’ is the application of the same sorts of naturalistic (no Creator) assumptions to the origin of the earth and all heavenly bodies, the universe itself. Despite heroic efforts, by some, to portray it as ‘God’s way of creating’, the big bang in fact epitomizes the currently fashionable model: a fully materialistic system of cosmic evolution.

What are you prepared to accept as a fact? No evidence stands on its own. It is all interpreted in light of the worldview of the researcher, the cosmologist in this case. He is not trying to disprove or falsify his model; it is accepted as the ‘truth’ and then evidence is accumulated to establish that truth, especially in the minds of the wider lay audience. Often the evidence is chosen based on the model, then cycled back to ‘establish’ it even further.

So, you see, cosmology is not so much about empirical science but about a philosophy—a worldview.


  1. Cho, A., A singular conundrum: How odd is our universe?, Science 317:1848–1850, 28 Sept 2007.
  2. Mortenson, T., The Great Turning Point Master Books, Green Forest, AR, USA, 2004.

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By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

One reply on “Cosmology is Not Science!”

We may live in a world with great precision but people need to remember that a measurement can be very precise, but very inaccurate.

I wonder, knowing that we have only one Universe and that there are no other models to test it on, evolutionists are very adamant that they’ve figured out the Universe. With current technology, they admit that they only know 4% of the Universe. Pretty arrogant statement for only knowing 4%. Throughout the history of astronomy and cosmology well-established theories were overthrown, discarded, or modified. Sometimes, after centuries, and at times after a millenia. It’s not the same today.


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