The New Creationism and the Big Bang

What I'm going to show in this essay is that modern cosmology masquerades as science, but is more comfortable being a religion.

The facts, all the facts, and nothing but…

The Doppler effect is pretty well established as fact, whether it's dealing with sound waves or light waves. It is incontestable that red shift and blue shift indicate relative movement away from or toward the observer.  Edwin Hubble observed that distant objects are redshifted and that the most distant objects are the most redshifted.  From that, he and his successors concluded that the most-distant objects were moving away at the highest velocities.

That satisfies the first part of Occam's Razor: it is a simple explanation. But does it take into account all the facts? Hold on to that thought for a while. What it does not satisfy is logic.  Yes, red shift can indicate movement away from an observer, but is that all it may indicate?

Whales are mammals. (A=B)
Whales are aquatic. (A=C)
Therefore mammals are aquatic. (B=C)

Something is definitely wrong, isn't it? Now consider this one:

Objects moving away are redshifted. (B=A)
Distant objects are redshifted. (C=A)
Therefore distant objects are moving away. (C=B)

Yeah, right.  And orangutans live in the ocean.

Of course local red shift can show rotation of a galaxy:  seen edge-on, the redshifted limb is moving away, the blue shifted one is moving toward.  And Andromeda's blue shift indicates that it's moving in our direction.

Years ago, Leo Frankowski speculated that the redshift of distant objects was due to a loss of energy, or as he put it "those photons have come a long way, and they're tired."  Of course there are problems with that.  The quantum concept may not allow for tired photons, which are analog and require a continuum from high to low energy.  But nobody's done the math have they?

Anthropocentric Universes

Einstein postulated a finite universe where spacetime curved back upon itself, and which, considering the amount of energy and matter within it, and the gravitational attractions, had to be contracting.  But Hubble's distant redshifted objects, which he assumed were all moving away, seemed to suggest an expanding universe. Then came the Big Bang: Einstein's universe was indeed contracting but, impelled by the primal explosion, everything in the universe was flying apart fast than it could contract.  So in the beginning the universe was without form, and void.  It was a singularity, which is either nothing at all, or God. Then God said "let there be light…"  No! That's the wrong creation myth.  We want the one where God says "Let there be constants," and there were constants, so when a trillionth of a second later he said "Let there be light," it was traveling at roughly 183,000 miles per second, and has been doing so ever since.

The problem with Einstein's curved space and the Big Bang is that both stem from an innately human craving, the same one that inspired Ancient Man to put words in God's mouth: "Let there be light."  We are finite. Our brains are finite. We are innately predisposed to find limits, because both eternity and infinity are beyond our ken.  Thus both curved spacetime ( a finite universe), a Big Bang (a less-than-eternal one), or the universe that was created in seven days, must all be viewed with great suspicion. We are predisposed to believe in finiteness.

Occam's Razor (the principle of elegance)

The best hypothesis requires the fewest assumptions, explains all the observations, and is capable of being disproven.  Remember that "disproven" thing for later.

If the Big Bang hypothesis had remained simple, its streamlined elegance would have gone a long way in supporting it, but it didn't, did it?  It required complicated, undocumented and undocumentable things to happen, all in the first trillionth of a trillionth of a second.  Constants like Gravity, Planck's Constant, and the speed of light had to be created to tell matter and energy what to do.  It required more hypothetical occurrences in the second and third trillionths of a trillionth of that second to explain why the expanding universe evolved stars, galaxies, supernovas, and other bright shiny things instead of being a formless, uniform soup.  The Big Bang now requires all sorts of assumptions, it still has a lot of problems, and new ones keep cropping up all the time.  The Big Bang is no longer elegant.

Some galaxies' expansion was too fast for the theory, so the priests of the Big Bang invented the Archangel Gabriel (no, that's that other religion. I mean they invented Dark Matter) to provide extra gravity to slow things down. Of course we couldn't see Dark Matter any better than we could see the Angel Gabriel, but it had to be there, because otherwise the galaxies were expanding too fast and the theory wouldn't work.

But Dark Matter would slow universal expansion down too much for the observed redshift, so the priests quickly invented the Archangel Michael --No!  No! I mean they invented Dark Energy to push everything apart. Of course they willingly admit they can't see it, can't measure it, don't know what it is, where it comes from, or anything at all. The only thing they know about it is that it has to exist and has to be pushing everything apart, or the Big Bang religion will fall apart.  Now next year, or the year after, when the existence of dark energy screws up our theory about how black holes form at the centers of galaxies… now what are the names of the other two archangels, anyway?

Whatever else we think we know or don't know about Dark Matter and Dark Energy, if we can't see them,  measure them,  explain what they are, where they came from, or where they're going, there isn't enough we do know to even ask what observed phenomenon would demonstrate that they were purely wishful thinking.  That's what disproof (or falsification, if you prefer) is all about.  For any hypothesis to be valid, it must be capable of being disproven.  You must be able to say "If we go to the moon and find rocks, not camembert, the green cheese hypothesis will be falsified."  How do you even state a falsification for something that just ain't nothin' at all in the first place?

The Steady State Universe: what you see is what you get

Now that we've dispensed with religion, let's get back to Science,as it used to be before the Big Bang.  Let's presume a steady state universe, then see what happens.

If the universe is actually infinite, then there is always something, matter or energy or both, further away, in every possible direction, and thus the universe cannot contract. Einstein wasn't all that sure he got that right anyway.  Gravity is an awfully powerful thing to have ignored because he couldn't make it fit.  In the infinite, eternal Steady State things can move and interact in localized and limited ways, but the universe is never going to get caught with everything flying in toward everything else, any more than it would allow everything to fly away from everything else.  Neither could happen, because in an infinite universe all phenomena are local.

Now that microwave background radiation might be a problem.  The Bangers think it's noise left over from the first nanosecond after Creation.  In a steady state universe, what must it signify?  Since Bangers don't choke on ideas like wormholes, especially tiny little ones, why should I?  Think about all that matter and energy getting sucked into those black holes and getting compressed into something far denser than we can imagine.  Imagine it popping out again all over the place as brand new hydrogen nuclei (what could be simpler), causing all that very faint pinging.  If matter is getting sucked into black holes, and if the universe is in a steady state, that it has to come out somewhere.

So here's a testable hypothesis:

Estimate the total matter/energy being removed from the perceptible universe via black holes. Estimate the total matter/energy represented by the microwave background radiation. Postulate that each "ping" represents the "creation" of one hydrogen atom (one mass/energy hydrogen equivalent) escaping from a black hole to the universe at large.  If the amounts of matter/energy in and out are even roughly equivalent within the margin of error of the observations, then we have an elegant (in Occam's sense) theory of the universe that does not depend upon the creation of ever-more-preposterous, totally undocumented and totally undocumentable new forms of "dark" matter, energy, or archangels every few years.

I know how many PhD dissertations are at stake, how many  emeritus professors' reputations, how many glorious Hubble Telescope coffee table books (all touting the Big Bang model) have been printed, how many PBS and History Channel episodes are based on it.  It's big business, and it won't go away gracefully. But if you're a mathematician or a cosmologist and feel the urge to throw numbers and symbols at me, don't bother.  You can't baffle me with...  well, you know.  Many hypotheses (and Theories, and even Laws) have been discovered via mathematics, but  eventually they have to be translated into words; people have to be able to conceive of them, and to decide whether they make sense without having to understand the math!  They have to make sense.  And the Big Bang just doesn't.

Addendum (1/1/2012): Physicists rediscover the Bible!