astronomy Cosmology Physics

Redshifts burst big bang bubble

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Part 2 of series “Redshifts and the Universe”

Watch Part 1 here.

Edwin Hubble’s observations in 1929 led to the conclusion that the universe is expanding, but is that the correct interpretation of extra-galactic redshifts? The standard big bang model derived by Friedmann and Lemaitre gave Hubble a solution to his dilemma but did he really believe that cosmological expansion was the correct interpretation for the redshifts he observed? Clearly he did not believe in the Creator and was repulsed at the idea that the universe might have a unique centre and that we might be somewhere near that.

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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.

2 replies on “Redshifts burst big bang bubble”

Hi John,

Before seeing your videos, I hadn’t grasped how much of cosmology is dependent on inference and interpretation – as opposed to direct observation and repeatable testing. Would cosmology be the branch of science that is most guilty of that dependency?

Regarding Hubble and his dislike of earth being potentially at the centre of the universe  – was he implying that if earth was at the centre of the universe,  it would be indisputable proof of God’s existence? Would this alone have been enough to convince other cosmologists (whether atheist or Christian)?

Also, with the 59 possible explanations of redshift, how many of these could be tested in the lab?



Because cosmology is not operational science, like laboratory science is, it is heavily dependent on underlying assumptions. See COSMOLOGY IS NOT SCIENCE! Like you suggest, it is probably the most so.

On Hubble’s revulsion: it was because the straightforward interpretation is that the earth is the centre of the universe. But that relies on a Doppler motion of recession of the galaxies as the correct interpretation for their redshifts. But redshifts are not necessarily due to Doppler recession, nor does it automatically follow that they imply a distance relation, as per the Hubble Law. They might and there may be several redshift mechanisms all contributing to the final redshift of a galaxy. Certainly it is reasonable to assume that galaxies have local motion within their clusters, so they will have a contribution of Doppler motion through space, and it is also possible that the Hubble Law is a measure of distance, even if it is not due to cosmological expansion. So, no it is not indisputable proof of the earth at the centre of the universe, and hence a Creator. Creationist cosmologists and astrophysicists also have to recognise the limitations of these assumptions. See OUR GALAXY NEAR THE CENTRE OF CONCENTRIC SPHERICAL SHELLS OF GALAXIES? and HUBBLE: DOES OUR GALAXY OCCUPY A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE?

I don’t know how many of those 59 redshift mechanisms are testable in the lab, but many of them are. Cosmological expansion is not.


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