Evidence for the Big Bang:
NASA, Lawrence Krauss, et al.,
say it's the theory's predictions.
* The Big Bang's Failed Predictions and Failures to Predict: (Updated June 20, 2017.) As documented below, trust in the big bang's predictive ability has been misplaced when compared to the actual astronomical observations that were made, in large part, in hopes of affirming the theory. The big bang's poor predictions track record is extensive as shown from its many failures including...
- the contradictions to the foundational predictions of homogeneity and isotropy
- the theory's failed prediction of an entire universe worth of antimatter
- the theory's failure to predict and the failure to find, a universe-worth of dark matter
- the failure to predict a universe worth of dark energy needed if the BB is correct
- the 2.7K CMB background radiation and the missing shadow of the CMB
- the retracted 2014 claims of detected big bang inflation gravity waves
- (the valid 2015 and 2016 claims of detected standard gravity waves)
- failed to predict inflation, another BB rescue device of questionable predictive value
- the claimed predictions of initial abundances of the elements, hydrogen, helium, etc.
- failures with magnetic monopoles, more on lithium, and the transparency problem
- the failure of BB nucleosynthesis to account for most of the universe: dark matter, etc.
- expansion, by post-dating expansion "discovery" and pre-dating the big bang, the theory could "predict" expansion
- the failure of big bang to account for fine tuning and its anti-science multiverse rescue device
- and dozens of other major failed predictions of the big bang.
[Click on over to Real Science Radio
to hear Bob and Fred discuss this list.]
* The Big Bang's Failing Foundational Assumptions of Homogeneity and Isotropy: NASA's article titled, Foundations of Big Bang Cosmology, begins stating that, "The Big Bang model of cosmology rests on two key ideas... that the matter in the universe is homogeneous and isotropic (The Cosmological Principle)." The big bang claim of homogeneity assumes, "that the matter in the universe is distributed uniformly on the largest scales..." and isotropy assumes it will appear the same from all locations and in all directions. Yet many of the most extensive scientific observations ever made suggest otherwise, and they don't give a ringing endorsement to the Copernican principle either. The first couple items in this list come from the highly sophisticated maps of the (shadowless) CMB (cosmic microwave background) and subsequent analysis. Consider:
- the enormous cold spot in the universe
- the CMB's axis of evil
- the quantized redshifts of a million galaxies so far do not affirm the Copernican principle and instead suggest that the universe may have a center near the Milky Way
- the Milky Way resides in a low density void two billion light years in diameter
- the superstructures of the universe including the astounding 5-billion-light-year spiral of galaxies discovered in 2015
- the fine structure alpha that appears to have a smaller value in one direction of the universe and a larger in another
- the fractal distribution of matter throughout the universe apparently observed on all scales.
"My contention is that it is clumpy on all the scales so far explored,” says University of Geneva astronomer Francesco Sylos Labini. “In fact, studies we have done show that the distribution of matter is fractal, just like a tree or a cloud.” Adds New Scientist, "If this dissenting view is correct and the Universe doesn’t become smoothed out on the very largest scales, the consequences..." for any materialist, secular cosmology are hard to overestimate. (If you're interested in helping RSR research this topic further, please see below, Research Questions.)
* The Physicists Contradicting the Alleged Confirmations of the Big Bang: To repudiate the widely-repeated claim that the big bang theory has been validated by confirmed predictions, Real Science Radio hosts Bob Enyart and Fred Williams present direct testimony from:
- leading journals like Nature, Physics Letters Review, and The Astrophysical Journal
- a Nobel scientist who won the prize for the discovery of the CMB
- distinguished professors of physics from prestigious institutions like Princeton
- America's premier particle physics lab, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
- Cambridge University's Modern Cosmology, Science News and New Scientist
- Alan Guth, the father of inflation theory, and from creationist physicists
- And from NASA and literally hundreds of relevantly degreed scientists, including many from leading institutions.
If this BB Predictions article and RSR's separate Evidence Against the Big Bang (video, article, and radio program) accurately present the contrary-to-interest expert testimony from leading proponents, then Lawrence Krauss (A Universe from Nothing, p. 18, and on Real Science Radio) is wrong when he (along with NASA and ten thousand others) claims that confirmed predictions validate the big bang theory.
* Failed Antimatter Prediction: Scientists have identified two entire universes worth of predictive failures. The big bang theory failed in its erroneous antimatter prediction. And the theory never predicted the origin of dark matter (see next section), a probably-non-existent material needed to explain a big bang universe. If the big bang has actually occurred, transforming vast energy into all of the matter of the universe, then that would have created as much antimatter as matter. Extensive compelling scientific investigation including repeatable experiments suggests that there is an entire cosmos worth of antimatter that should have been created by the big bang within our universe that, thankfully, simply does not exist. When supercolliders form matter from energy, as expected from the laws of physics, equal parts of matter and antimatter form; and if they come into contact, they annihilate one another. Big Bang theorists have spent decades looking for antimatter regions of the universe with leading astronomers culminating a significant project by writing in The Astrophysical Journal: "we conclude that a matter-antimatter symmetric universe is empirically excluded." The journal Science reports a physicist's assessment: "The work is extremely compelling and gives me fresh pessimism" that is, on the difficulty of explaining why the universe even exists. For a creationist and a secular explanation of this problem, see creation.com's report on the Discovery Channel's How the Universe Works, and see this Fermilab antimatter video:
* Failure of the Theory to Predict and the Failed Search for Dark Matter: In addition to antimatter, dark matter is another substance that scientists have identified that equates to an entire universe worth of failure of the big bang theory to predict what would be needed in a BB universe. (The centrality of this failure is explained below.) Believers in the big bang began to invoke dark matter to explain why galaxies are rotating much faster than their theory can account for by visible matter and gravity. Because some of the greatest observations ever conducted by mankind contradict fundamental predictions, a big bang universe requires the existence of five times more theoretical dark matter than all the known, normal matter that we actually observe filling the cosmos. Thus the big bang theory and its stellar nucleosynthesis has not done a good job at explaining the origin of the stuff of the universe. Continued extensive observations do not bode well for the existence of dark matter. For example, according to a 2012 report in Science News, dark matter apparently doesn't exist within the closest 13,000 light-year swath of the Milky Way, leaving scientists even further in the dark about what they believe by faith constitutes the vast majority (with dark energy, 96%) of the matter of the universe. The journal Science reports about the 2013 search for "lightweight" dark matter "We should have seen hundreds or thousands of [lightweight dark matter] events and we simply don’t see any." A Dec. 2015 technical Physical Review Letters paper was summarized by phys.org, New results from world's most sensitive dark matter detector. But the single word, "Nothing" is even more succinct from David Coppedge, a former Jet Propulsion Lab administrator. A Princeton University big bang advocate puts it this way: "It's an embarrassment that the dominant forms of matter in the universe are hypothetical," Jim Peebles admits. Thus the big bang did not predict, and does not explain the nature of, nor therefore the origin of, the vast majority of matter that is proposed in order to prop up the theory. Peebles' assessment here prohibits the use of the vast majority of the claimed matter of the universe in support of Lawrence Krauss' marketing claim that, "All evidence overwhelmingly supports the big bang." Further, for decades, plenty of observations that:
- should have quantified dark matter have instead suggested its non-existence
- gravitational lensing used as evidence for dark matter, except when it's not (like when global warming makes fish bigger... except when it makes them smaller :)
* Failure of the Theory to Predict Dark Energy: Consider a theory on the origin of the Grand Canyon that failed to predict the big hole in the ground. Along those lines, consider that, although dark matter (allegedly 23%) and dark energy (allegedly 73%) are claimed to make up 96% of the entire universe, the big bang also failed to predict these. How accurate is a model that, according to its own advocates, missed 96% of the picture? Thus, in addition to its many other failed predictions (as we see below), the big bang's failure to predict nearly 100% of the alleged matter of the universe is in addition to its failed prediction of 100% of a universe-worth of antimatter. The point there is not whether expansion is occurring or not, but that the big bang theory never predicted dark energy. However, problems multiply for even the theoretical underpinning of the existence of dark energy. For example, a reduction in galaxy surface brightness with distance from the Earth is a long-standing fundamental prediction of an expanding universe. Yet a 2014 physics journal paper reports that careful observations of the surface brightness of about a thousand galaxies contradict that expectation and instead directly match a static universe. Further, as published in the Astrophysical Journal in 2016, there is "significant disagreement", according to the authors, in the value of the "Hubble parameter", between the two methods used for calculating it, which number indicates the apparent expansion rate of the universe. While pondering that disagreement, consider the big bang's need to fine tune the "cosmological constant" to more than one part in 10 to the 120th. This is so very precise that if the entire universe had as much additional mass as exists in a single grain of sand, the whole cosmos would collapse upon itself. That is, if a big bang actually formed our universe, and if it created a miniscule additional amount of mass than it is claimed to have created, then no planets, stars, or galaxies could exist. Conversely, if the universe had less mass, by that same quantity, it would be expanding so rapidly that matter would never have coalesced to become planets, stars, and galaxies, and again, we would not exist. The many arguments against dark energy, etc., has led scientists from leading institutions such as the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Sheffield University, George Mason University, Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech, Cambridge University, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Penn State, Cal State Fullerton, University of Virginia, European Southern Observatory, and scores of other prestigious institutions to sign a public statement that begins, "The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed-- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory. But the big bang theory can't survive without these fudge factors."
Now consider the standard model's track record regarding the CMB, with one of the very scientists who won the Nobel prize for its discovery attempting to dial back the credit given to the big bang for that discovery.
* Alleged Confirmed Prediction of CMB: One of the scientists credited with discovering the cosmic microwave background disagrees with big bang advocates like Lawrence Krauss when they claim that the CMB "prediction" is a confirmation of the validity of that model. Compare what NASA says about this to the Nobel lecture of one of those awarded the prize for discovering the CMB. Notice the three claims, existence, blackbody, and temperature, from NASA's Test of the Big Bang article:
The important [BB] prediction that the cosmic microwave background (CMB) exists, and has a blackbody spectrum with a temperature of about 5 degrees above absolute zero, was a by-product of this work [Alpher & Herman, working under and disagreeing with George Gamow].
Now, in the lecture given by Robert Wilson on the very occasion of sharing the 1978 Nobel Prize for discovering in 1964 the cosmic microwave background, notice that those same three elements had been previously indicated by long-published data. For Wilson admitted:
The first confirmation of the microwave cosmic background that we knew of, however, came from a totally different, indirect measurement. This measurement had, in fact, been made thirty years earlier by [Mount Wilson Observatory's] Adams and Dunhan [see Wilson's references, dated 1937-1941]... from the first rotationally excited state. McKellar [reference] using Adams' data... calculated [via absorption lines from cyanide detected in outer space] that the excitation temperature of CN was 2.3 K. This rotational transition occurs at 2.64mm wavelength, near the peak of a 3 K black body spectrum. [Wilson, Nobel Lecture, see more..., and see Arno Penzia's lecture]
So even though Wilson made it clear on the record that this "prediction" really could only be a retrodiction because published empirical observations first began to detect it a decade prior to its 1948 "prediction" (see next quote), the canonical BB narrative insists on a revisionist twist. For NASA's official Test of the Big Bang article claims:
The existence of the CMB radiation was first predicted by Ralph Alpher in 1948 in connection with his research on Big Bang Nucleosynthesis undertaken together with Robert Herman and George Gamow. ... According to the Big Bang theory, the frequency spectrum of the CMB should have this blackbody form. This was indeed measured with tremendous accuracy... The accurate measurement of its shape was another important test of the Big Bang theory.
The prediction though was of what was already known to exist. The theorists in 1948 were merely conforming the model to data already collected from 1937 to 1941. Then in the 1950s George Gamow, an early BB proponent and his students Alpher and Herman, made additional predictions of the CMB temperature that ranged from 3 to 50 degrees Kelvin. So even after the data from the Mount Wilson observatory reported a temperature very close to actual, leading theorists were making some predictions [or retrodictions] that were close to the actual temperature, and others that were off by a factor of more than 10 universes.
That 1948 prediction for the CMB was 5 degrees Kelvin (Nature, Evolution of the Universe). This was close enough to the actual 2.73 K:
- for the other way off predictions (wrong by a factor of 10 universes) to be ignored
- for the more accurate, earlier, actual measurements to be mostly forgotten, and
- for the big bang to be considered experimentally confirmed.
Of course, such predictions were logically constrained by absolute zero and by the expected frigid temperature of outer space, and then specifically by the work of Adams and McKellar. Yet with all that, the published 1948 prediction was still off by nearly a full universe margin of error.
To quote Physics Essays in summary, Big Bang Theory Under Fire, regarding the CMB (aka the MBR):
“History also shows that some Big Bang cosmologists’ ‘predictions’ of MBR [microwave background radiation] temperature have been ‘adjusted’ after-the-fact to agree with observed temperatures.” Mitchell, pp. 370-379
Those after-the-fact claims for the theory are also extended generally from the CMB to, as seen below, the chemical elements also:
"What’s more, the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation." Eric Lerner et al., "Bucking the Big Bang", New Scientist, Vol. 182, 22 May 2004, p. 20.
Therefore many relevantly degreed scientists working at prestigious institutions such as the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech, Cambridge University, etc., have signed CosmologyStatement.org stating that:
...the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory's supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters...
Fred Hoyle was president of the Royal Astronomical Society and was long the director of the Astronomy at Cambridge and he fathered the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis which remains the concept that the secular world depends upon to explain the origin of 23 elements on the periodic table, from lithium to iron, including many of the elements needed for carbon-based lifeforms (like us). In 2000 Hoyle and two co-authors wrote:
"The cosmic microwave background first showed itself observationally to astronomers in the late 1930s and early 1940s... The excitating radiation was taken to be black body, and the temperature required for it, in order to explain the relative intensities of the observed lines, was 2.3 K."
While the Nobel lecture quote above from Wilson would have helped make their case, Hoyle et al. easily concluded even without it:
"This detection of the microwave background was so very explicit that its discovery could quite properly be dated from 1941, if it suited astronomers to do so."
The information explosion has brought about a concerted effort in the history of science to reevaluate the chronology of scientific discovery. The credit given to those traditionally recognized as discoverers is now often shared with other less well-known forerunners. This historically valuable trend is noticeably resisted where politically correct origins theories are involved, as with the big bang and evolution. (Darwinists for example either downplay or ignore the scientific contribution of intelligent design advocate Alfred Russell Wallace who wrote to Charles Darwin in 1858 outlining Wallace' theory of natural selection.) Regarding the big bang, the claim is too big to fail that it was confirmed by correctly predicting the CMB. So there we have it.
RSR thanks the courageous scientists who resist politically correct historical revisionism and we also thank the creation movement and especially Dr. Walt Brown for the determination to hold the secular cosmologists' feet to the fire by exposing their unsubstantiated claims.
Finally regarding the CMB, note that the BB did not enable scientists to predict the significant and generally aligned anisotropies found in the CMB from 2001 to 2013, which were so contrary to the expectations of the materialist origins camp that it is referred to as the cosmic 'axis of evil'; evil because it seems to point to the Earth as in a very special location. Of course this axis, along with the CMB's "cold spots" and other sophisticated and massive published observations highlight the big bang's failing foundational assumptions of homogeneity and isotropy.
* Missing CMB Shadow of the Big Bang: As reported in Science Daily, University of Alabama at Huntsville scientist Dr. Richard Lieu concludes, "Either... the Big Bang is blown away or ... there is something else going on'." The Astrophysical Journal reported on a "vital test of the present cosmological paradigm" i.e., the big bang, that "taken at face value, one may even hold the opinion that there is in fact no strong evidence" for the long-predicted shadow of the CMB from behind 31 nearby galaxy clusters. As with dozens of some of the most careful and extensive observations ever made in the history of science, the missing shadow is yet another failure, not of an incidental off-the-cuff prediction but of a fundamental requirement of the big bang. As Dr. Lieu put it, "These shadows are a well-known thing that has been predicted for years. If you see a shadow… it means the radiation comes from behind the cluster. If you don’t see a shadow, then you have something of a problem." See also the Royal Astronomical Society's follow-up corroboration and hear RSR's 2014 discussion with one of the world's more successful physicists, at rsr.org/john-hartnett, that this hard data implies that the CMB may have a foreground source. Yet the BB remains a matter of deep faith among believers, as Dr. Lieu told space.com, "I myself am not at this point prepared to accept that the CMB is noncosmological and that there was no Big Bang. That would be doomsday."
Prediction vs. Retrodiction. To avoid doomsday, the word "prediction" is widely misused in cosmology. An actual "prediction" is far different from a postdiction or a mere tweaking of a model to adjust it to meet existing requirements. A *prediction", if confirmed, lends credibility to a theory. Adjusting a model so that it conforms to observations does not confer that same credibility. So big bang promoters use doublespeak knowing that their claim of confirmed "predictions" will persuade many, whereas truthful statements that the model has been adjusted after the fact to conform to observations would be far less compelling.
BIG RSR Announcement! The long-awaited astronomy video, RSR's Evidence Against the Big Bang, is finally here! If you enjoy Real Science Radio and would like to help keep Bob Enyart and Fred Williams broadcasting and reaching more people, you just might love getting your own copy of this really fun and informative video. This big bang video is persuasive in the way that RSR is known for, and so it will also make a fabulous Christmas present for creationists and non-creationists alike! It's contents:
Part I: Evidence Against the Big Bang (from rsr.org/bb).
Part II: The Big Bang Predictions (from this page, rsr.org/bbp)
Part III: The Big Evidence for the Creator (from rsr.org/fine-tuning)
* Inflation Theory's Alleged Predictive Value, BICEP2, and Valid Gravity Waves: (Update: The observations in 2015 and 2016 of gravity waves generated by the merger of black holes result from astronomers doing great science! As explained below, in 2014 the claimed detection of gravity waves generated by the big bang's alleged "inflation period" would have would have provided strong evidence in support of the big bang, if that evidence had been valid and had not been retracted. (RSR hosts Bob Enyart and Fred Williams briefly predicted on air that it would not hold up, and of course it didn't.) As for these more recent LIGO gravity wave detections, these say a lot about general revelation and about the speed of light remaining constant (and not decaying) since the origin of the universe. However, unlike the case of gravity waves from an alleged inflationary period, these amazing detections of gravity waves from black hole mergers do not provide evidence in support for either the inflation period, nor for the big bang itself. See this discussed in an important article by RSR friend and award-winning astrophysicist Dr. John Hartnett.)
In March of 2014 the science world and the non-creationist media ecstatically celebrated the big bang's "smoking gun" with a premature announcement. The most fantastic rescue devices of any theory in the history of science, the "inflation period" hypothesis claims that the universe expanded by a factor of 1078 in a time of 10-30 seconds. Bob Enyart and Fred Williams opened their March 2014 program on RSR's List of Evidence Against the Big Bang with a brief statement dismissing the uncritical reporting of the alleged confirmation. But within months, as Ron Cowan reported in the journal Nature:
"I had thought that the [BICEP2] result was very secure," said Alan Guth, the cosmologist who first proposed the inflation concept in 1980... “Now the situation has changed,” added Guth, who works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
While there was no big bang, nor any inflation period, gravity waves themselves if they existed would not inherently contradict creation. However, this episode illustrates the worldwide, knee-jerk tendency to claim success for big bang predictions. RSR is sad for Stanford physicist Andrei Linde, one of the authors of inflation, who was videotaped hearing the news of the Bicep2 "discovery", who said:
Let us hope that this is not a trick. I always live with this feeling, what if I am tricked? What if I believe in this just because it is beautiful [i.e., a just-so BB theory rescue device]. What if...
Yes, what if. Months later, after the September 2014 release of Planck satellite data on dust, the headlines stated:
- Physics World: BICEP2 gravitational wave result bites the dust
- The Guardian: Scientists got it wrong on gravitational waves
- Time Magazine: Big Bang ‘Proof’ Might Just Be Space Dust
- MIT The Tech: Astronomers confirm contamination by stardust
- The Economist: Dust to Dust
- NewScientist: Ripples... vanish in a puff of dust
- BBC: Cosmic inflation: BICEP 'underestimated' dust problem [RSR: Can the dust be from within the solar system?]
- Nat'l Geographic: Grand Cosmological Claim Crumbles? 25,000 times the readers of National Geographic clicked "Like" to promote the alleged confirmation of the big bang's inflation period. But even many months after they reported the correction, only 51 of their readers similarly promoted the correction.
More significantly, the gravity wave hysteria also illustrates the lack of predictive value of what is essentially a speculation on top of a speculation, that is, the inflation period of the big bang. Also exposed was the extreme viewpoint bias and gullibility of the scientific community, of the secular media, and of the old earth progressive creationists (like at Reasons to Believe, where they are yet to add a caution on what they claim is proof of the non-existent inflationary period). Worse though than all that gullibility, is the infinite malleability of amorphous theories like biological evolution and like inflation and cosmological evolution. "Premature hype over gravitational waves" ignored the "serious flaws in the analysis" with the "proof" transforming itself from "sure detection into no detection" as Dr. Paul Steinhard wrote in June 2014 in another scathing article in Nature. The professor of physics at Princeton concluded:
The BICEP2 incident has also revealed a truth about inflationary theory. The common view is that it is a highly predictive theory. If that was the case and detection of gravitational waves was the 'smoking gun' proof of inflation, one would think that non-detection means that the theory fails. ... Yet some proponents of inflation... insist that the theory is equally valid whether or not gravitational waves are detected. How is this possible? ...inflation is [theoretically] driven by a hypothetical scalar field, the inflaton, which has properties that can be adjusted to produce effectively any outcome. ... No experiment can rule out a theory that allows for all possible outcomes. Hence, the paradigm of inflation is unfalsifiable. ...it is clear that the inflationary paradigm is fundamentally untestable, and hence scientifically meaningless.
A cosmologist from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario has a similar view. Neil Turok, who once bet Stephen Hawking that gravitational waves would never be detected, also says: "One of its problems is it’s very adjustable. [Inflation theory] makes very few specific predictions that you could actually go out and check with a measurement." And as with inflation, the entire Big Bang theory has a history of being wildly malleable.
* Inflation Theory Not a BB Prediction But an Ad Hoc Secondary Assumption: Inflation was assumed to address the BB's starlight travel time problem. Like the starlight and time challenge put to biblical creationists, the big bang has the same problem, known as its horizon problem. Even a 14-billion year old universe is nowhere near old enough to enable the temperature of the background radiation to even out so perfectly. So, just as dark matter was not a prediction of the BB, in 1981, not as a prediction of the big bang, but in an ad hoc, adjusting to the data, dramatic secondary assumption, Alan Guth imagined an inflation period in which space expanded at speeds far greater than the speed of light, to solve the problem of a big bang universe being far too homogenous (even temperature) to be explained by the most fundamental of the laws of thermodynamics. So, in addition to inflation 2014 gravity wave fiasco as explained just above, the proposed wildly rapid and astoundingly brief expansion of space has no known mechanism that would power and suddenly start the expansion. Also unsolved is the "graceful exit" problem of an equally sudden stop. Yet while this inflation was proposed to account for the smoothness of the universe, apparently, it resulted in a far too smooth universe to enable the formation of stars and galaxies! Thus, as a dramatic offsetting counter assumption, cosmologists have begun proposing dark matter bubbles to get densities of matter in the midst of all that inflated homogeneity. That is, while inflation was imagined to address the problem of the universe being too homogenous, to solve the exact opposite problem, dark matter bubbles have now been imagined because the extreme evenness of background radiation indicates that the universe was not lumpy enough to naturally form stars. An expanding universe exacerbates the problem that the laws of physics do not enable the natural formation of stars from gas clouds. So BB cosmologists call again upon the super malleable great-in-a-pinch dark matter to rescue their theory. It is now claimed that trillions upon trillions of dark matter bubbles (DMBs) allegedly formed in a just-so arrangement by way of the big bang so that each one would gravitationally attract gas to form the trillions of alleged Population III protostars. With all those DMBs formed, this tertiary assumption/rescue device also solves the problem of how galaxies formed, suggesting that DMBs were initially arranged into clusters which formed the galaxies. Imagined inflation and DMBs are such dramatic attempts to explain observations which otherwise bluntly falsify the standard model, that one can see that the big bang theory is as pliable as any science fiction holodeck could be.
* Alleged Confirmed Prediction of Abundances of Elements: While most cosmologists reject that God could have created the universe in six literal days, they themselves believe that within 20 minutes of the big bang, all of its matter had been created, via big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN). The 2013 Planck cosmological parameters paper admits:
Observations [sic] of light elements abundances created during big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) provided one of the earliest precision tests of cosmology and were critical in establishing the existence of a hot big bang.
Aside from the misuse of the term "observations" to refer to a belief of what happened in the past, note the helpful admission that the alleged elements confirmation was "critical" to acceptance of big bang theory. Before the era of "precision cosmology", long ago in history back to the year 1990, a handful of scientists were determined to state for the record that the big bang theory had not predicted the relative abundances of hydrogen, helium, and lithium. Rather, they argued, big bang proponents were adjusting the theory's parameters to match already existing observations:
“It is commonly supposed that the so-called primordial abundances of D (Deuterium, i.e., heavy hydrogen, N+P), 3He (Helium N+2P), and 4He (2N+2P) and 7Li (Lithium 3P+4N) provide strong evidence for Big Bang cosmology. But a particular value for the baryon-to-photon ratio needs to be assumed ad hoc to obtain the required abundances." -H. C. Arp et al., 1990 Nature 346, pp. 807-812
Cosmology students at Ohio State University in 2013 learn essentially the same thing, i.e., the ad hoc nature of the claimed agreement of prediction to observation for most of the light elements. Also, there are at least hundreds of relevantly degreed scientists who agree and have gone on record stating that the big bang's predictions are instead retrodictions, made by adjusting the theory's parameters to make it agree with observations, regardless of how those observations may change. Researchers working at prestigious institutions including the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Sheffield University, George Mason University, Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech, Cambridge University, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Penn State, Cal State Fullerton, University of Virginia, European Southern Observatory, and scores of other prestigious institutions, have signed CosmologyStatement.org:
...the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory's supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters... May 22, 2004, New Scientist
This observation applies to various predictions of the big bang (see above and below).
Initial Lithium Abundances Still a Mess: In 2012, in A Universe from Nothing, Lawrence Krauss references big bang "calculations that so beautifully explain the observed abundance of the light elements (hydrogen, helium, and lithium)", yet in 2014 two papers, in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and in Physics Letters Review, report two extreme problems with the lithium prediction, with the lithium-6 prediction off by a thousand fold (see below) and all lithium isotopes showing a "discrepancy" from "BBN calculations" indicating that "the Li problem seems to be an universal problem, regardless of the parent galaxy" (see below).
Missing 50% of Expected Hydrogen & Helium: This is also called the missing baryonic matter problem. Continuing in A Universe from Nothing, Krauss adds that, "The very same [big bang] calculations... also tell us more or less how many protons and neutrons, the stuff of normal matter, must exist in the universe.... Yet the initial density of protons and neutrons in the universe arising out of the Big Bang... accounts for about twice the amount of material we can see in stars and hot gas. Where are those particles?" So in addition to the missing anti-matter, there's also this missing matter. It's ironic therefore to hear the repeated claim that the big bang "beautifully" explains the initial abundances, except of course that half of even the predicted normal baryonic matter is missing. As NASA describes it, "when astronomers use a variety of independent observational techniques to measure what the density of our universe is, the numbers seem to come up short by a factor between two and five." Considering the mass of the universe, that's a lot of missing matter. And this is in addition to the dark matter that we haven't been able to find. This is the missing baryonic matter based on the big bang prediction. That is, compared to all the known mass of all the observable gas and stars in all the galaxies, there is that much mass, yet again, that is missing. Big bang proponents believe that all that matter is lurking out there somewhere. "It is easy to imagine ways to hide protons and neutrons", Krauss writes, in dark objects that don't shine. However his dilemma is exacerbated by the "transparency problem" (see below) and by NASA attributing this missing matter problem not to what we can't see but to what we CAN see! "The recent study of supernovae located some 5 billion light years away have, again, indicated that the universe seems to have about five times less density than inflationary cosmology demands that it must have to be consistent with the COBE measurements."
Baryon-to-Photon Ratio: Even in the age of "precision cosmology", the baryon-to-photon ratio is still an estimate based upon cosmological assumptions. To take that Krauss quote above even further, he writes that, "the initial density of protons and neutrons in the universe arising out of the Big Bang [were] determined by fitting to the observed abundance of hydrogen, helium, and lithium" (A Universe from Nothing, p. 24). As explained by Dr. Jake Hebert (Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas) in 2013:
Note that Krauss said the initial baryonic density of the universe has been determined by fitting to the observed abundances of the light elements. What does this mean? The theory of Big Bang nucleosynthesis contains a “free” or “undetermined” number called the “baryon-to-photon ratio,” indicated by the symbol nB. Photons are “particles” of electromagnetic radiation, and this ratio specifies the number of baryons compared to the number of photons in the Big Bang universe. Again, the theory itself does not actually specify [predict] the value of nB. Instead, nB may be chosen so that the abundances of hydrogen and helium that would have been produced in the Big Bang match those actually observed in nature—about 75 percent hydrogen and nearly 25 percent helium... These theoretical abundances match the observed abundances fairly well if one chooses nB so that there are roughly two billion photons per baryon in the universe.
This assessment, written in 2013, describes the same circular confirmation as published in Nature in 1990 and in the Cosmology Statement in 2004. There are an estimated 413 photons per cubic centimeter in the universe. The baryon-to-photon ratio, previously thought to be about a billion to one, is now believed, in 2014 to be about 2 billion photons for each baryon, inferred from something called the angular power spectrum of the CMB. This is said to be in good agreement with the standard model. In an important paper in 2000, a baryon density was estimated that was some 50% higher than expected, yet that too was judged to be in "agreement with the basic inflation paradigm."
Hydrogen and Helium: As an additional historical example of the big bang theory's pliability, consider hydrogen and helium and notice how parameters have been adjusted historically to keep the theory matching the latest data. Physics Essays published the William Mitchell article, Big Bang Theory Under Fire (Vol. 10, No. 2, June 1997, pp. 370–379), on the allegedly confirmed prediction of the percentages of the initial abundances of these lightest elements that would have been created by the big bang:
The study of historical data shows that over the years predictions of the ratio of helium to hydrogen in a BB universe have been repeatedly adjusted to agree with the latest available estimates of that ratio as observed in the real universe. The estimated ratio is dependent on a ratio of baryons to photons (the baryon number) that has also been arbitrarily adjusted to agree with the currently established helium to hydrogen ratio. These appear to have not been predictions, but merely adjustments of theory (‘retrodictions’) to accommodate current data.
Helium Problem: Many of the papers in this RSR report on Big Bang Predictions were published in just the last few years. Let's get a few more historical examples though of how the process has worked, for the pattern continues to this day. Dennis Sciama in Modern Cosmology, published back in 1971 by Cambridge University Press, described the Big Bang's "Helium Problem". For helium:
...had a minimum abundance of about one helium atom to every eleven hydrogen atoms. Since, as we shall see, this is a very high helium abundance to have been produced by stars in the Galaxy, it is tempting to suggest that the minimum ratio of 1/11 represents the relative helium abundance when the Galaxy was formed, and that localised increases in the observed ratio have to do with the local production of helium after the Galaxy was formed. Unfortunately for this simple picture, from 1966 onwards several observers have reported the existence of stars in which helium is underabundant, in some cases by as much as a factor of a hundred, as compared with the 'minimum' ratio of 1/11. (Sciama, p. 151)
* Problems with Abundances of the Next Two Light Elements: Regarding beryllium and boron, after those first 20 minutes of alleged BBN, then allegedly about 150 million years pass until the first stars begin to form. In the cores of the so-called Population III first generation of stars by way of stellar nucleosynthesis the other elements of the universe allegedly began to form, including beryllium and boron.
Beryllium Problem: Twenty years later, reports were still coming in of abundances far out of the predicted ranges. The Astrophysical Journal, in 1991, published a paper titled, First detection of beryllium in a very metal poor star - A test of the standard big bang model, which stated:
The star HD 140283, which has [Fe/H] = -2.6, has a beryllium abundance of log (9Be/H) - -12.8 +/- 0.3, a factor of ~~ 1000 greater than the primordial value predicted in the standard model of light element nucleosynthesis. (p. 17)
Translating that into English, Ron Cowen, in Science News' Starlight Casts Doubt on Big Bang Details, reported that:
Examining the faint light from an elderly Milky Way star, astronomers have detected a far greater abundance [by three orders of magnitude] of beryllium atoms than the standard Big Bang model predicts. (p. 151)
Boron Problem: Five years later another Science News report illustrated the way that the big bang's chemical evolution story is not so much predictive as it is malleable and adjusts to the current data (as Walter ReMine said of neo-Darwinism, "Evolutionary theory adapts to data like fog adapts to landscape"). This excerpt, from 1996, is again from Cowen, but the square brackets provide our RSR observations. For decades, big bang theory offered:
"...no explanation for two light-weight elements—beryllium and boron—and the bulk of the lithium. “...it hasn’t been entirely clear where they came from,” notes Douglas K. Duncan, an astronomer at the University of Chicago and the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago... [Regardless though, cosmologists told a creation story for Be, B, and Li. However,] “what I was taught in graduate school..." can’t generate the three elements in the abundances observed today... [So as different quantities of these elements are observed, we'll just have to continue to change the theory.] Observations with the Hubble Space Telescope have only made matters worse. ...astronomers have for the first time measured the abundance of boron in eight stars [which allegedly] date from the formation of the Milky Way, some 10 billion years ago, and provide a record of boron abundance from that long-ago era. To the surprise of many astronomers, the Hubble studies show that the abundance of boron way back when wasn’t much lower than it is in the interstellar medium today. That finding is at odds with the notion that boron arose from the collision of high-speed protons with heavier elements. Ten billion years ago, “there wasn’t very much carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen in the galaxy, so there weren’t very many targets for the cosmic-ray protons to hit,” notes Duncan. ...but the new model accounts more fully for the elemental abundances... (Science News, Cowen).
Yes, of course it does. :)
* Failed Big Bang Prediction of Monopoles: Magnetic monopoles are particles that can be created in the lab that have either a "north" or a "south" but not both. Unlike God's actual creation, the big bang theory claims the temperature was a trillion degrees C in the first second, cooling to a billion degrees after twenty minutes. If this were true, the initial high temperatures should have created a significant density of monopoles throughout the universe. Yet decades of searching the heavens (and the Earth) have proved fruitless. With knowledge of the above colossal predictive failures of the big bang and its inflationary theory, the following Wikipedia quote on monopoles approaches the event horizon... of humor:
Cosmological models of the events following the big bang make predictions about what the horizon volume was, which lead to predictions about present-day monopole density. Early models predicted an enormous density of monopoles, in clear contradiction to the experimental evidence. This was called the "monopole problem". Its widely accepted resolution was not a change in the particle-physics prediction of monopoles, but rather in the cosmological models used to infer their present-day density. Specifically, more recent theories of cosmic inflation drastically reduce the predicted number of magnetic monopoles, to a density small enough to make it unsurprising that humans have never seen one. This resolution of the "monopole problem" was regarded as a success of cosmic inflation theory. (last accessed March 2015)
Of course there is an intense atheistic and specifically anti-Christian bias generally on Wikipedia and an extreme gullibility regarding alleged evidence for the materialist origins claims of evolution and the big bang. The introduction to Wikipedia's Physical cosmology article states regarding the "standard model of cosmology" that "This model requires the universe to contain large amounts of dark matter and dark energy whose nature is currently not well understood, but the model gives detailed predictions which are in excellent agreement with many diverse observations." Objecting to this, Bob Enyart edited the article's "Talk page" to ask:
Should this phrase be removed: "which are in excellent agreement with many diverse observations." First, it lacks attribution. Secondly, because dark matter and dark entities are hypothetical entities introduced specifically to explain such observations, of course they will agree with those observations. Thus, just as Wikipedia is designed to prevent circularity in its own editing (i.e., WP articles may not reference each other for attribution), so too, if there is any circularity here, it will undermine the value of this article. Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host
* Failed Big Bang Lithium-6 Prediction Off a Thousand-Fold: Physics Worlds reports on a 2014 paper in Physics Letters Review that, "Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) theory... fails miserably when it comes to the two stable lithium isotopes: lithium-6 and lithium-7." This long-feared conclusion, based on the laws of physics, is now also experimentally confirmed using an underground accelerator. To quote ICR's Brian Thomas, "Unfortunately for Big Bang theorists, their experiment succeeded... if lithium actually formed by some primordial [BB] nucleosynthesis, it should indeed have formed in the predicted ratio." So how far off is the big bang theory's prediction from actual, empirical observation? Physics World editor, Hamish Johnston answers:
The BBN model predicts that lithium-6 should account for about two out of every 100,000 lithium nuclei in "metal-poor" stars, which are believed to be among the first stars to have formed and so should reflect the composition of the early universe. However, observations... suggest that the abundance of lithium-6 is more than a thousand times greater in such stars, accounting for about 5% of all the lithium present.
This lithium-6 problem adds yet another piece of rsr.org/evidence-against-the-big-bang as Bob Enyart presented very delicately over at PhysicsForums.com. Yet while Johnston can honestly admit that "the amount of lithium-6 observed in today's universe is so different from the amount that theory predicts..." atheist Lawrence Krauss' still believes, contrary to reality, that "all evidence overwhelmingly supports the big bang."
* A Billion Years of Missing Lithium-7 Production: Galactic halo stars (claimed to be perhaps 11 billion years old) have just a fourth of the lithium-7 as predicted by big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN). That's backwards of course. If the big bang theory were true and stars were billions of years old, then there should be four times as much 7Li to start with, plus billions of years of additional 7Li made by stellar nucleosynthesis. In 2012, after 30 years of wrestling with this problem, as phys.org put it:
Mystery over apparent dearth of lithium 7 in universe deepens: ...there should be more lithium 7 than there appeared to be in the universe.... thus far no one has been able to come up with a reasonable explanation. And now, new research has deepened the mystery further by finding that the amount of lithium 7 in the path between us and a very young star aligns with would have been expected shortly after the Big Bang, but doesn't take into account the creation of new amounts since that time. In their paper published in the journal Nature, Christopher Howk and colleagues suggest the discrepancy is troubling because it can't be explained with normal astrophysics models.
Regarding lithium-7, the 2013 paper, Standard Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis After Planck, begins with the canonical telling of the story that, "Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) is one of the three historical strong evidences for the Big-Bang model together with the expansion of the Universe and the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB)." It continues, "Many studies have been devoted to the resolution of this so-called Lithium problem and many possible 'solutions', none fully satisfactory, have been proposed." And the authors conclude, "for lithium, as said above: the discrepancy remains of the order of 3. ... the modification of these [Planck cosmological] parameters in the range allowed cannot alleviate the lithium problem."
* The Traditional Cosmological Lithium Problem: The lithium isotope ratio problem described just above is in addition to the traditional cosmological "lithium problem" which has been updated in a 2014 paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and then challenged in 2017 by students at Kyoto University. The traditional cosmological lithium problem is that, regardless of isotopes, the amount of observed lithium where theory attributes it to the big bang itself is inconsistent with big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN). Earlier, a secondary assumption was that the inconsistency was possibly a "local problem", perhaps only manifesting itself in our own or similar galaxies. So the authors asked:
...is the Li problem a local problem, limited to our Galaxy, or is it independent of the environment? The analysis of the RGB stars in M54 confirms the findings in ? Centauri (Monaco et al. 2010), considered as the remnant of an accreted dwarf galaxy: the Li problem seems to be an universal problem, regardless of the parent galaxy.
Thus Mucciarelli, et al., conclude:
Our result shows that this discrepancy is a universal problem concerning both the Milky Way and extra-galactic systems. Either modifications of BBN calculations, or a combination of atomic diffusion plus a suitably tuned additional mixing during the main sequence, need to be invoked to solve the discrepancy. MNRAS, 2014
Real Science Radio is currently evaluating the March 2017 claims from Kyoto, Japan regarding this cosmological lithium problem and welcomes your input at Bob@rsr.org. Thank you.
* Big bang nucleosynthesis has given no account of the universe: All the exotic stuff (dark matter, energy, radiation, etc.) that is calculated to have to exist in a BB universe has absolutely no account of origins in the big bang theory or in its related hypothesis, big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN). So, although claimed as one of the major confirmed predictions of the big bang theory, the "predicted" initial abundances of elements allegedly made in the big bang via nucleosynthesis account for only a tiny percentage of all the "stuff" needed to prop up the BB theory (see the previous "abundances" section). For example:
- Dark Matter: Astronomy texts that present a materialist story for the origin of the stuff of the universe, called big bang nucleosynthesis, present no accounting whatsoever for the origin of dark matter. However, a big bang universe requires the existence of five times more dark matter than all the normal matter that we actually observe filling the cosmos! Thus, it is grossly incorrect to claim that the big bang theory does a good job explaining the origin of the stuff of the universe.
- Antimatter: Of course, as described above, big bang nucleosynthesis has also failed in one of its most fundamental predictions, that 50% of the "matter" of the universe would be antimatter.
- Dark Energy: And because cosmologists admit that, like dark matter, they have no idea what dark energy might even consist of, therefore of course, neither the big bang theory itself nor its BBN hypothesis has in any way explained how dark energy could have formed.
- Nature Admits: In 2016 by the world's leading science journal reported that: "In addition to the lack of antimatter, every list of the biggest mysteries in physics includes the natures of three things: dark energy, dark matter, and cosmic inflation. These three all posited as ad hoc solutions to problems posed by cosmological observations that do not fit predictions arising from [the big bang theory and] the general theory of relativity. Dark energy is needed to explain why the cosmic expansion in not slowing down; dark matter is invoked to resolve why galaxies are rotating too fast to be bound by gravity due to visible matter; and cosmic inflation is needed to explain [the horizon problem] how all parts of the Universe are the same temperature when the Big Bang occurred too quickly for everything to be causally connected (that is, regions of the visible Universe separated before light, and therefore temperature information, from one region could reach all other regions.)"
- If secularists can't even propose what the substances are that would fill 96% of their materialist cosmos, then of course they cannot have even a scientific hypothesis, let alone a robust theory, that explains the origin of that universe and its contents, given that they don't even know what is in such a hypothetical, uncreated universe.)
* The Transparency Problem: Surprised astronomers are seeing objects that are apparently far more distant than any that they expected to be able to see. Scientists using NASA's FERMI telescope have recently exacerbated the "transparency problem" because, comparing observation to big bang predictions, there is a tremendous amount of missing "infrared light between galaxies", apparently, billions of years worth. According to New Scientist, this "may call into question our understanding of how galaxies are born", which of course was rather questionable already. :) As noted above, this transparency problem may exacerbate the problem of where to hide all the additional regular matter allegedly created in the big bang, the equivalent of "twice the amount of material we can see in stars and hot gas. Where are those particles?" Yes. Where?
* Expansion Claim Post-Dated; Big Bang Theory Pre-Dated: Lemaître first proposed the big bang in 1931. Yet presumably reliable sources pre-date it as being proposed in the 1920s (see National Geographic and dozens of other sources, just below). Conversely, the proposal of an expanding universe is frequently post-dated and falsely claimed to have originated with Edwin Hubble. At RSR, we like to debunk conspiracy theories. These anachronisms form a canonical narrative. The revisionist big bang myth grew up as evidence for the theory. Proponents realize the persuasive value in their claim that the big bang theory actually predicted the expansion, the CMB, and the distribution of elements. However, simple links to the scientific papers from the 1920s and 30s (which links are typically absent from astronomy sites where one would expect them) easily restore the actual history.
* Pre-Dating the Big Bang to the 1920s: The Internet makes information so widely available that finally, in the second decade of the 21st century, the science press has begun to correct their erroneous post-dating of the proposed expansion of the universe (see below). As of 2015 however, only creationists are pushing to correct the pre-dating of the big bang theory. Joining many seemingly reliable sources, National Geographic wrongly dates the origin of big bang theory: "A Belgian priest named Georges Lemaître first suggested the big bang theory in the 1920s…" Lemaître [la-'may-truh] however didn’t propose this cosmogony until May 1931, after Eddington, in the March issue of Nature that year, described the idea that the universe could have had a beginning as repugnant. Is National Geographic's article simply a one-time chronological error? Sources that pre-date the theory from the 1930s back to the 1920s include the world's leading particle accelerator lab, science texts, and encyclopedias:
CERN, Encyclopedia of Inventions, DK’s Body Science, American Physics Society Timeline,
National Geographic, Chemistry in Space text, Astronomy Top 100, University of Delaware,
Simon & Schuster’s Timetables, On Prezi,com Science 1920s, a Public School District,
Historical Encyclopedia of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Univ. of Toronto Survey of Philosophy,
Templeton Foundation, Astronomy Geek, New York Times, a studious History Channel viewer,
Michigan State University, Boston's PBS, Omaha World-Herald, Mount Holyoke College,
Belgium’s Encyclopedia of Human Thermodynamics, Concise Encyc. of World History,
University of Amsterdam, King’s Academy, on Jeopardy at Quizlet, Trivia Bug,
at Pintrest, Facebook, Tweeted, on CosmoQuest, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.,
etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. [send a favorite to Bob@rsr.org]
The earlier a theory is proposed, the more it, and its author, may be credited with yet future discoveries. (Thus Darwin jockeyed with that creationist Wallace.)
So, the true 1931 date of the big bang theory is not early enough for its story as commonly presented. Yet it was the May 1931 issue of the journal Nature that first published Georges Lemaître’s brief letter, less than half-a-page (see right) titled, The Beginning of the World form the Point of View of Quantum Theory. Can you spot the subtle revisionist errors in this brief encyclopedia entry that reinforces the false canonical story?
Historical Encyclopedia of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, p. 3763, “1927-1931 George Henri Lemaître (1894-1966, Belgium). Astronomer and cosmologist. Proposed that the universe was created by an explosion of concentrated energy and may still be expanding.”
First, the theory was proposed in 1931, not in 1927-1931. Second, it's not evidence for expansion that could confirm the theory but rather it was the apparent expansion that led to the theory. And third, Lemaître did not propose the explosion of a "point" nor of "concentrated energy". That's another popular anachronism. Instead, just as he proposed to the British Association in September 1931 that each star formed from an individual decaying atom, so too in his May 1931 big bang proposal in the journal Nature, he claimed that the entire universe began when a single, original atom decayed...
...we could conceive the beginning of the universe in the form of a unique atom, the atomic weight of which is the total mass of the universe. This highly unstable atom would divide in smaller and smaller atoms [each of which could become a star] by a kind of super-radioactive process. - Georges Lemaître's 1931 Big Bang Proposal in the journal Nature
Every problem looks like a nail to a boy with a hammer. So by the exciting new field of nuclear physics, Lemaître imagined the universe beginning by way of radioactive decay. (And he may have had Edgar Alan Poe's 1849 Erueka in the recesses of his mind.) And newly discovered over the previous 14 years was the nebulae redshift which could be interpreted, like Einstein's equations, as implying an expanding universe. Excitement over these new fields led Lemaître to propose some pretty wild ideas including the Big Decay origin of the universe.
- Post-Dating "Expansion" Till Hubble: That the scientific community at large has misattributed, and hence, post-dated, the discovery of the apparent expansion of the universe is readily evident. Thankfully, Physics Today has acknowledged that, "It is still widely held that in 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered the expanding universe... [This is] incorrect." In attempting to set the record straight, RSR and Physics Today has quite a challenge ahead of us, for the falsehood is widespread...
- space.com 2015: "Hubble discovered the universe was... expanding"
- Cambridge University: receding galaxies first observed by Hubble
- Carnegie Institute for Science: Hubble discovers the universe is expanding
- Bill Nye: Hubble discovered that the stars [sic; galaxies] are moving apart
- Nat'l Geo: "the work of one man... that the whole universe was expanding"
- The History Blog: Hubble traditionally credited with discovering expansion
- Phys.org: "Hubble discovered" that galaxies are moving away from us
- Boston's PBS: "Hubble discovered that galaxies were moving away"
- Wikipedia: "Hubble's 1929 discovery that... galaxies... are moving away"
- Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding
- BBC Horizon: With expansion Hubble made "the discovery of the century"
- astronomy.com: "astronomer Edwin Hubble, who first observed cosmic expansion in 1929"
- Nasa.gov "Hubble's 1929 observation that galaxies were generally receding"
- History Channel: The Universe special, see 30-second clip just below
- Quantum World by Ken Ford: In the late 1920s, Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding.
- 100 Greatest Science Discoveries: In 1926 Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding.
- Brian Greene in the NY Times: In 1929... Hubble discovered that distant galaxies are all rushing away"
- Krauss 2016: "It was 1929, Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding"
- etc., etc. (send your favorite example to Bob@rsr.org)
Yet even secular science authorities have begun objecting to the systematic misattribution, and hence, post-dating, of the the claim of expansion. Expansion was not a "prediction" of the 1931 big bang theory; it was a 1920s interpretation of both Einstein's equations and red-shift data.
The Corrected History of the Discovery of Expansion: The following chronology is the most concise and reasonably comprehensive apparent) expansion of the universe on the entire Internet.
The links to these nine publications bring you to original sources. Their proper place in the corrected history can be understood from various sources including from Physics Today, The Day We Found the Universe, Princeton's cosmologist James Peebles, A Different Approach to Cosmology, Discovering the Expanding Universe, and the proceedings of a conference titled, The Big Bang and Georges Lemaître. So consider this concise, corrected chronology of discovery:
- 1912 Vesto Slipher: The radial velocity of the Andromeda Nebula.
- 1915 Slipher: "the average velocity of the spirals is about 25 times the average stellar velocity."
- 1917 Willem de Sitter: "The lines in the spectra of very distant stars or nebulae must therefore be systematically displaced towards the red, giving rise to a spurious positive radial velocity" [earliest redshift cosmological hypothesis].
- 1918 Carl Wirtz [translation]: "...the system of spiral nebulae is drifting apart by a velocity of 656 km with respect to the momentary location of the solar system as the center."
- 1922 Alexander Friedmann: On the curvature of space. [Unlike Einstein's & Newton's difficulty in explaining why the universe doesn't gravitationally implode, Friedmann made an interpretation of general relativity that indicated an expanding universe.]
- 1927 Georges Lemaître: Two years before Hubble, Lemaître explicitly published what was later misnamed the "Hubble Law", in his paper, "A homogeneous universe of constant mass and increasing radius accounting for the radial velocity of extra-galactic nebulae" [1931 English translation in MNRAS], which expansion Lemaître suggests began after a period of time in which the universe was static. (Eddington in 1931 estimated the universe originally at between a billion and 1.2 billion light years in radius before it began expanding and later that same year Lemaître wrote in Monthly Notices on how, "the expansion of a universe in equilibrium may be started..." (Note, this explicitly is NOT a big bang origin of the universe but the start of an expansion of a universe already in existence.)
- 1929 Edwin Hubble: A relation between distance and radial velocity among extra-galactic nebulae, which paper included the "Hubble Law" [called that because Hubble failed to attribute it as Lemaître's Law].
- 1931 Arthur Eddington: Mentioning in passing Lemaître and the growing belief in an expanding universe, Eddington suggests:
From the astronomical data it appears that the original radius of space [i.e., the universe] was 1200 million light years. ... At that radius the mutual attraction of the matter in the world [cosmos] was just sufficient to hold it together and check the tendency to expand. But this equilibrium was unstable. An expansion [from an initially static universe] began, slow at first; but the more widely the matter was scattered the less able was the mutual gravitation to check the expansion. We do not know the radius of space to-day, but I should estimate that it is not less than ten times the original radius. [square-bracket comments and emphasis added]
This March 1931 paper can help clarify to the general public that a "big bang" origin of the universe from a singularity [or from Lemaître's single atom] had not yet been proposed. Eddington then goes on to present a few pages of musings on entropy and time and then estimates the fine-tuning of the physics of the universe as more unlikely than one chance in ten raised to the hundredth power. In that paragraph, he states, "Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of Nature is repugnant to me." Lemaître seized upon this statement in his very brief letter published two months later in the journal Nature proposing what became known as the big bang theory.
- 1931 Georges Lemaître: big bang proposal in Nature.
Hubble Reindicted: Post-dating the "discovery" of the expansion and pre-dating the theory not only helps with the canonical big bang storytelling, as an aside, it also helped to wrongly attribute the "Hubble Law". As is known today about the famed astronomer:
- Vesto Slipher's name doesn't appear in Hubble's 1929 paper though most of the radial velocities presented were his.
- Hubble wrote to astronomer JH Reynolds asking him to refrain from publishing that which Hubble later published without reference to Reynolds.
- Hubble wrote to de Sitter in 1930, "I consider the velocity-distance relation [i.e., "Hubble's Law"], its formulation, testing and confirmation, as a Mount Wilson [i.e., Hubble] contribution and I am deeply concerned in its recognition as such." Clearly.
- The astronomy establishment, Nasa, et al., psychoanalyzes Lemaître and claims that he was humble and did not desire "establishing priority for his original discovery." So perhaps RSR could be forgiven for trying our own hand at psychoanalysis. Lemaître employed blatant attention getting techniques, like using the name of one of his famous competitors in the opening sentence of his papers. Then in a later paper, Lemaître himself claims credit for this discovery by directly pointing out: "The title of my note [1927 paper] leaves no doubt about my intentions..."
- Hubble and the astronomy establishment have allegedly been "cleared" from the charge of censorship, however the Royal Astronomical Society invited Lemaître to translate for publication paragraphs 1 to 72 of his 1927 paper, with paragraph 73 containing his discovery of the "Hubble" Law.
- Sidney van den Bergh of Canada's National Research Council writes at Cornell's arxiv.org that it is unclear who was responsible for the omission but he reports of the 1931 Monthly Notices "authorized translation of Lemaître's  discovery" that the "mention of the expansion of the Universe was omitted from the English version of both Eqn. [equation #] 24, and from the English text [and that this] suggests that this exclusion by the translator was deliberate..." However, that shocking and historic omission primarily benefitted Hubble and it was only one year earlier that Hubble himself was insisting that he be given full credit (regardless of the truth) for this discovery.
- The Physics Today article highlighted above begins:
"It is still widely held that in 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered the expanding Universe and that this discovery was based on his extended observations of redshifts in spiral nebulae. Both statements are incorrect. There is little excuse for this, since there exists sufficient well-supported evidence about the circumstances of the discovery. The circumstances have been well documented even recently with the publication of two books: Bartusiak (2010), Nussbaumer & Bieri (2009). Both were positively reviewed in the December 2009 issue of PHYSICS TODAY (page 51). Other writers have stated the facts correctly as well..."
The need to correct the record is evident by these couple examples, which could be multiplied:
- NASA: The "expanding universe, as predicted by the Big Bang theory."
- The Exploritorium: "to support the Big Bang theory... observation [shows] that the universe is expanding."
[Please send your favorite example of this to Bob@rsr.org. Thanks!]
So consider now this excerpt from NASA's Test of the Big Bang article. The RSR comments in brackets highlight the obviously intentional sloppiness, for the canonical account of the big bang theory requires this kind of misrepresentation:
The Big Bang model was a natural outcome of Einstein's General Relativity... [That's misleading. The year after he published GR, Einstein added a constant to support his own view that a static universe had existed eternally. That constant can be arbitrarily valued as either positive, zero, or negative to obtain a repulsive, static, or attractive force that would tend toward expansion, a static, or a contracting universe.] However in 1917, the idea that the universe was expanding was thought to be absurd. [But by the time the BB was proposed in 1931, expansion was widely believed (see below).] So Einstein invented the cosmological constant as a term in his General Relativity theory that allowed for a static universe. [Notice how flexible this kind of cosmology is. The "success" of the big bang lies in its ability to simply conform to whatever the latest data or cosmological fad requires.] In 1929, Edwin Hubble announced that his observations of galaxies outside our own Milky Way showed that they were systematically moving away... [Statements like this reinforce the widely held falsehood that Hubble discovered expansion. As widely documented and shown below, published theoretical and observational considerations that pre-dated Hubble suggested that many galaxies are receding.] The universe was expanding after all, just as General Relativity originally predicted! [That's flat-out misinformation. GR can support a static, contracting, or expanding universe.] ... In other words, the Hubble law is just what one would expect for a homogeneous expanding universe, as predicted [retrodicted] by the Big Bang theory.
[RSR plans to add a conclusion to this "expansion" section sometime in 2016. Please check back! It will begin with:] So can you spot the three misrepresentations in this high-profile Nasa claim that, "Edwin Hubble's 1929 observation that galaxies were generally receding from us provided the first clue that the Big Bang theory might be right."
* Hundreds of Scientists Reject Claims of Confirmed Big Bang Predictions: Hundreds of scientists, including many at world-class institutions, have publicly signed the Cosmology Statement as published in New Scientist to show the growing dissent in scientific circles regarding the increasingly awkward and superficially propped-up theory of the big bang. For RSR's full list of the thousands of scientists who doubt the big bang, see rsr.org/scientists-doubting-darwin#and-the-big-bang. Specifically though, many of the signers of the Cosmology Statement work at leading institutions including the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Sheffield University, George Mason University, Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech, Cambridge University, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Penn State, Cal State Fullerton, University of Virginia, European Southern Observatory, and scores of other prestigious institutions, and as recorded at CosmologyStatement.org they have stated:
...the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory's supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centered cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.
The hundreds secular astrophysicist, astronomer, and physicist signers at CosmologyStatement.org who reject the big bang's claimed successful predictions are matched by creationist scientists who also reject the big bang. Consider redshift, for example, atheist and creationist astrophysicists point out that the big bang theory had predicted galaxy formation at an extraordinary z = 100 redshift, which has been dramatically revised downward to z = 5 or less, by "observational necessity" from HST deep field images (Hoyle, et al., Williams and Hartnett).
* Fine Tuning, the Multiverse Rebuttal, Anti-Science, and Boltzmann Brains: As detailed by Real Science Radio over at rsr.org/tuned, the fine tuning of the universe is so overwhelmingly obvious and widely admitted by leading physicists that the multiverse, a desperate BB rescue device, has become mainstream. There really is a crisis in secular physics. And the multiverse is the anti-science [Boltzmann] brainchild of the big bang. Thus, rejecting the big bang could help rescue science itself. To back up for a moment, consider that the astounding fine tuning of the universe is such powerful evidence for its Creator that secular cosmology is adopting an "infinite universes" claim in hopes of convincing people (and themselves) that our own exceedingly improbably universe might become probable. Thus, the multiverse is a yardstick used to measure the strength of the fine tuning argument for the existence of God. But let's back up yet another step. CosmologyStatement.org begins this way, "The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities..." These simultaneously needed rescue devices include:
- dark matter,
- dark energy,
- dark radiation,
- dark baryonic matter, and
With all this wild flexibility, the big bang has led to anti-science, to the multiverse, and even to Boltzmann Brains. "It's hard to build models of inflation that don't lead to a multiverse," said Alan Guth. "But most models of inflation do lead to a multiverse, and evidence for inflation will be pushing us in the direction of taking [the idea of a] multiverse seriously." Once you posit an infinite number of universes, then atheists really run wild, as Luke Barnes over at space.com points out, describing, "a fully-formed brain spontaneously popping out of 'empty' space. Given enough time and space this vanishingly improbable event will occur. While such freak observers, known as Boltzmann Brains, would be massively outnumbered by biological observers in our universe [saints be praised], they could be common in the almost unending time and space of the entire multiverse." Thus, the big bang is rescued by the imagined inflation period, which leads to the science-killing multiverse, which makes it infinitely more likely that the universe doesn't exist and that the big bang never happened, and that you are merely a Boltzmann Brain floating alone in space with false memories. Really.
Research Questions: If you have an answer to one of these questions regarding the increasing observational evidence that contradicts the big bang's fundamental theoretical requirement of the Cosmological Principle, please consider emailing it to Bob@rsr.org. Thanks!
- Is the deuterium/hydrogen ratio the same in different directions based on our observations?
- Is the percentage of dark matter as compared to standard matter (that is needed to explain observations via the BB model) the same in different directions?
What if, for example, proponents using observational data in one direction, "need the universe to be comprised of 15% Dark Matter (assuming 4% normal matter) to get big bang theory to fit that data. But if you do the same [observation and calculation] in the opposite direction you need the universe to be comprised of 26% Dark Matter (assuming 4% normal matter) to get theory to fit that data." Would that be consistent with the big bang's required homogeneity and isotropy?
* Shock and Awe: In addition to the above list of failed predictions of the big bang theory, our popular List of Evidence Against the Big Bang documents many more falsified big bang predictions, regarding:
- where the big bang predicted that mature galaxies could not exist, but they do
- nine billion years worth of predicted metals, missing in a trillion stars
- that distant galaxies were predicted to have less surface brightness, but they don't
- spiral galaxies were predicted to have millions of years of collisions, but they don't
- the arms of spiral galaxies are rotating far more rapidly than predicted
- distant galaxy clusters predicted to not exist, but they do
- superclusters of galaxies predicted to not exist, anywhere, but they do
- predicted Population III (first generation) stars that should have been found, but they haven't
- that heavy elements were produced in supernovae, now widely rejected
- the cosmological constant problem which Susskind called "the worst prediction ever"
- and dozens more.
Then, more broadly speaking, a relentless barrage of hard-science discoveries have falsified evolutionist predictions. Yet with the never-ending stream of secular scientists quoted as "shocked" by wildly unexpected discoveries that contradict their most fundamental suppositions, marketers like Lawrence Krauss typically pretend that no such pattern of falsified predictions exists. As with the discovery of hot Jupiters and the sequencing of the chimp's Y chromosome, a thousand times over, naturalistic scientists are baffled by what they find, which repeating pattern, of discovery and shock, discovery and shock, discovery and shock, is actually an ongoing experiment of prediction and falsification, of their claim of naturalistic origins. An open-minded evolutionist should be willing to re-evaluate his materialistic assumptions. "Rejection of a Creator is not a conclusion from science, but a bias forced onto science," observed Bob Enyart.
* Last Updated: This article has been updated for March 2017.
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Finally, you might enjoy Part 2 of our Big Bang Predictions program and you may like to contrast the big bang theory's rather poor performance (see above) with Real Science Radio's fun and astonishingly successful rsr.org/creationist-predictions record!