An eternal big bang universe

As a high school student, at a time when I was an atheist, I co-authored a book reviewing the various cosmological models that were discussed in the scientific literature in 1968. That was three years after the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, and the Big Bang Theory had just made a big leap forward in front of its competitor at the time, the Steady State Theory.

In our book—which by the way won us second prize in a Western Australian state-wide science competition—we outlined the two competing models. The Big Bang Theory at that time had three distinct forms:

  1. the cycloidal model, which would collapse back into a big crunch (and bounce out of the singularity cyclically) because the matter density of the universe was too great to resist the inevitable re-collapse (a finite closed universe);
  2. the coasting model, which had just the right amount of matter for an infinite universe that is neither accelerating nor decelerating in its expansion, continually expanding but never collapsing (an open infinite universe); and
  3. the hyperbolic model, an accelerating expanding universe, low matter density but also driven apart by a cosmological constant term (an open and infinite universe).

The most favoured of the three was the closed cycloidal model with a matter density greater than critical so it had to collapse back in a big crunch. Nowadays it is the accelerating infinite (open) universe, which is spatially flat due to dark matter and dark energy content.

On reviewing these models, and even knowing that the CMB discovery favoured these as a prediction of the big bang theorists, particularly George Gamow, I personally favoured the Steady State Theory. The Steady State Theory really had only one model, which was an infinite universe that was eternal both into the past and into the future. It had no beginning and no ending. Continue reading

‘Light from the big bang’ casts no shadows

If the big bang were true, the light from the fireball should cast shadows in the foreground of all galaxy clusters.

Published in Creation magazine 37(1):50-51, 2015.

Update (1/3/2018) I first have made this argument in 2006 based on the work of Prof. Lieu and others. If the big bang were true, the light from the fireball should cast a shadow in the foreground of all galaxy clusters as illustrated below. However new research (Xiao, W., Chen, C., Zhang, B., Wu, Y., and Dai, M., Sunyaev–Zel’dovich effect or not? Detecting the main foreground effect of most galaxy clusters, MNRASL 432, L41–L45, 2013) has thrown this conclusion into doubt. Prof. Lieu at the time wrote “Either it [the microwave background] isn’t coming from behind the clusters, which means the Big Bang is blown away, or … there is something else going on.” As it turns out that “something else” is contamination of the expected shadowing by radio emissions from the galaxy clusters themselves.

Without anything to contradict this new result, and the analysis seems strong, one must entertain the possibility that the anomaly first found by Lieu et al in 2006 has been adequately explained. The problem of course is that astrophysics is not exactly operational science. At best this no-shadow argument is now equivocal and hence I suggest that it may no longer be used as an argument against the big bang hypothesis.

One of the alleged ‘proofs’ of the big bang model of origins is said to be the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The radiation was discovered in 1964 by Penzias and Wilson for which they won the Nobel prize in physics. Soon after their discovery, it was claimed that this radiation is the ‘afterglow’ of the original ‘explosion’ or fireball of the big bang. Since the time at which the radiation, which started as heat, was emitted from the fireball, the universe has allegedly expanded by a factor of 1,100. Thus, that ‘afterglow’ radiation has ‘cooled down’ to much longer wavelengths (‘stretched’ from the infrared to the microwave portion of the spectrum).These are detected by microwave telescopes today.

Figure 1: Temperature fluctuations of the all-sky projection of the CMB radiation, after a constant background equal to 2.725 K was subtracted. Darker spots represent cooler regions and brighter spots represent warmer regions. The central red region is radiation from the Galaxy, which needs to be removed before the supposed background radiation can be seen without foreground contamination.

Figure 1: Temperature fluctuations of the all-sky projection of the CMB radiation, after a constant background equal to 2.725 K was subtracted. Darker spots represent cooler regions and brighter spots represent warmer regions. The central red region is radiation from the Galaxy, which needs to be removed before the supposed background radiation can be seen without foreground contamination.

According to theory, the big bang fireball should be the most distant light source of all. Thus all galaxy clusters would be in the foreground of this source. Therefore all CMB radiation must pass the intervening galaxy clusters between the source and the observer, here on earth. This radiation passes through the inter-galactic medium, between the galaxies in the clusters, and is scattered by electrons, through inverse Compton scattering,now known as the Sunyaev–Zel’dovich effect (SZE).3  When this happens, the path of the CMB radiation is interrupted and distorted. Continue reading

We all have a worldview

How did the universe begin, and how and when was everything in it created and formed? That is probably the most fundamental question of all. Here I compare two cosmogonies (the study of the origin of the universe).

A worldview is what we hold to be true, essentially, without proof. The big bang/evolution worldview and timeline is compared to the Genesis creation worldview and timeline. The problem of initial assumptions is highlighted.

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The authors of the claimed biggest astrophysics discovery of the century admit they may have been wrong

In March 2014 a team of astrophysicists announced to the world, through a public press release, that they had made the biggest discovery of the 21st century. Using the BICEP2, a telescope located at the South Pole they claimed that they had discovered evidence of the early inflation epoch of the big-bang universe. This was in part identified through what they claimed was the signature of primordial gravitational waves generated by distortions in spacetime during the first quintillionth of a quintillionth of a second after the alleged big bang and the effect of gravitational lensing on the B-mode polarization of the CMB photonsthat have travelled for allegedly the past 13.4 billion years since they left the big-bang fireball. The discovery was celebrated worldwide and some even spoke of a Nobel prize for the work.

BICEP2 telescope

Figure 1: BICEP2 telescope, in Antarctica, used to make the disputed discovery.   Credit: Steffen Richter, Harvard University

Scientists dispute claims

Soon after the announcement on March 17th 2014 I pointed out the logical fallacy of this sort of thing. Cosmology is not science in the usual sense of experimentally repeatable tests. Cosmology is really historical science and as such there could be a plethora of possible explanations for the same evidence. Then a short while after the champagne corks had been popped, leading cosmologists, including Lawrence Krauss, also questioned the premature announcement stating, Continue reading

Has the ‘smoking gun’ of the ‘big bang’ been found?

star burst“Astronomers Just Detected the Beginning of the Big Bang”, “Big Bang’s Smoking Gun Found”, “Astronomers Discover First Direct Proof of the Big Bang Expansion” and “Major Discovery: ‘Smoking Gun’ for Universe’s Incredible Big Bang Expansion Found” were some of the headlines on Monday 17 March 2014 around the web-based news media.

One article described it as follows:

Radio astronomers operating telescopes at the South Pole said Monday that they’ve discovered evidence that the universe ballooned out of the Big Bang due to a massive gravitational force generated by space itself. The discovery is being called the “smoking gun” for the Big Bang theory, and it could have huge implications for our understanding of our universes [sic] (and possible others).

Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist John M. Kovac and his team detected gravitational waves—tiny ripples in the fabric of space—that could be the first real evidence for the ‘inflation’ hypothesis of how the universe basically bubbled into being nearly 14 billion years ago. The discovery also suggests that our 14 billion light-years of space aren’t all that’s out there—our universe could be a tiny corner of something much, much bigger.

Continue reading

Saved by a false gospel?

A person who believes in the big bang wrote to me saying: “… I am saying that scientists are getting saved because of Big Bang cosmology. Specifically, they are starting spiritual journeys that result in their salvation. Dr. Allan Sandage and Dr. Hugh Ross are two of the better known examples. Dr. Richard Smalley also embraced the Big Bang as a support to his conversion.”

This prompted me to consider this idea. Can a false idea lead someone to Christ? Well, quite clearly God is sovereign and can do anything He likes.  He says:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8,9)

I wouldn’t say one has to believe in a literal 6-day six thousand-year old Creation to be eternally saved. But can someone come to know the Lord though false information is presented to him? Continue reading