Discover magazine once wrote:" No reasonable cosmologist would claim that the Big Bang is the ultimate theory."
In days gone by,primitive people spoke of sea monsters,dragons,battling gods,lotus flowers and dreaming gods. Since the Age of Reasoning,the gods got tossed aside by a newfound "magic" of calculus and Newton's laws. Nowadays we live in an era bereft of the old poetry and legends. The atomic age is the new paradigm for creation,not Newton and certainly no seamonster.They've dubbed their cosmic fireball,the big bang. Their most popular belief is that 15 to 20 billion years ago the universe didn't exist,nor did empty space. There was no time,no matter-nothing except an infinitely dense and small point called singularity,which exploded into the present universe. That explosion included a brief period at which a first tiny fraction of a second when the infant universe inflated or expanded,much faster than the speed of light. By the way the universe is so big that measuring it in miles or kilometers is like measuring the distance from London to Tokyo with a micrometer. A more convenient and accurate unit of measurement is the light-year or the distance that light travels in a year, which is about 5,880,000,000,000 miles or 9,460,000,000,000 km. Since light is the fastest thing in the universe and requires only 1.3 seconds to travel to the moon and about 8 minutes to the sun, a light-year would seem to be truly enormous! Hence a light-year is the cosmic yardstick. Lets get back to the big bang theory,shall we. Its believe that during the first few minutes of the big bang,nuclear fusion took place on a universal scale, giving rise to the currently measured concentrations of hydrogen and helium and at least part of the lithium in interstellar space. At round about 300,000 years after it all kicked in, the universe wide fireball dropped to just a little below the temperature of the surface of the sun, allowing for electrons to settle into orbits around atoms and releasing a flash of photons or light. That primordial flash can be measured today, although it be greatly cooled off, as universal background radiation at microwave frequencies corresponding to a temperature of 2.7 Kelvin. What is Kelvin in layman's terms? A kelvin is the unit of a temperature scale whose degree is the same as the degree on the Celsius temperature scale, except that the Kelvin scale begins at absolute zero or 0 K which is the equivalent of -273.16 degrees Celsius. Water freezes at 273.16 K. and boils at 373.16 K. The discovery of this particular background radiation in 1964-65 convinced most scientists that there was something to the big bang theory. The theory also claims to explain why the universe appears to be expanding in all directions, with distant galaxies apparently racing away from us and from each other at very high speed. So the big bang theory appears to be explaining so much,why would anyone even doubt it? For the simple reason that there is so much it doesn't explain. For example: The ancient astronomer Ptolemy had a theory that the sun and planets went around the earth in large circles then making small circles, called epicycles, at the same time. He appeared to explain the motion of the planets. For centuries as astronomers gathered more and more data, the Ptolemaic cosmologists could always add extra epicycles onto their existing epicycles and to “explain” their new data. However that did not mean the theory was correct. Ultimately there was just too much data to account for, and other theories, such as the Copernicus’ idea that the earth went around the sun, that explained things much better and more simply. Today you can't even find a Ptolemaic astronomer anymore!
Professor Fred Hoyle wrote in his book,The Intelligent Universe:"The main efforts of investigators have been in papering over contradictions in the big bang theory, to build up an idea which has become ever more complex and cumbersome.” Referring to Ptolemy’s futile use of epicycles to rescue his theory, Hoyle continued: "I have little hesitation in saying that as a result a sickly pall now hangs over the big bang theory. As I have mentioned earlier, when a pattern of facts becomes set against a theory, experience shows that it rarely recovers."
New Scientist magazine wrote:"The Ptolemaic method has been lavishly applied to . . . the big bang cosmological model." It then asks: "How can we achieve real progress in particle physics and cosmology? . . . We must be more honest and forthright about the purely speculative nature of some of our most cherished assumptions."
Failures by the Big Bang Theory...
Observers using the corrected optics of the Hubble Space Telescope to measure distances to other galaxies found major flaws with the big bang theory. And the data was giving the theorists fits! Astronomer Wendy Freedman and others used the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the distance to a galaxy in the constellation of Virgo, and her measurement suggests that the universe is expanding faster, and therefore is younger, than it was previously thought. In fact, it "implied a cosmic age as little as eight billion years," said Scientific American magazine.
While eight billion years sounds like a very long time, it is only about half the currently estimated age of the universe. This creates a special problem, since, as the report goes on to note, "other data shows that certain stars are at least 14 billion years old." So if Freedman’s numbers are correct, then those elderly stars would turn out to be a lot older than the big bang itself!
Then there is the problem for the big bang that came from the steadily mounting evidence of "bubbles" in the universe that are 100 million light-years in size, with galaxies on the outside of it and voids on the inside of it. Margaret Geller & John Huchra from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics have found what they call a great wall of galaxies some 500 million light-years in length across the northern sky. Astronomers known as the Seven Samurai, have found evidence of a different cosmic conglomeration, which they call the Great Attractor, located near the southern constellations of Hydra and Centaurus. Astronomers Marc Postman and Tod Lauer believe something even bigger must lie beyond the constellation Orion, causing hundreds of galaxies, including ours, to stream in that direction like rafts on a sort of "river in space."
All this structure is baffling to those looking at it. Cosmologists say the blast from the big bang was extremely smooth and uniform, according to the background radiation it allegedly left behind. How could such a smooth start have led to such massive and complex structures? Can you explain?
"The latest crop of walls and attractors intensifies the mystery of how so much structure could have formed within the 15-billion-year age of the universe," admits Scientific Americanand this problem only gets worse as Freedman and others roll back the estimated age of the cosmos even more.
Margaret Geller's three-dimensional maps of thousands of clumped, tangled, and bubbled galactic agglomerations have transformed the way scientists have pictured the universe. She and others does not pretend to understand what they see. Gravity alone appears unable to account for her great wall. Geller admitted:"I often feel we are missing some fundamental element in our attempts to understand this structure."
Geller goes further: "We clearly do not know how to make large structure in the context of the Big Bang." Interpretations of cosmic structure on the basis of current mapping of the heavens are far from definitive and more like trying to picture the whole world from a survey of Rhode Island in the U.S.A.
Geller continues:"Someday we may find that we haven’t been putting the pieces together in the right way, and when we do, it will seem so obvious that we’ll wonder why we hadn’t thought of it much sooner."
The bigger question is then: What is supposed to have caused the big bang itself? Andrei Linde, one of the originators of the very popular inflationary version of the big bang theory, frankly admits that the standard theory does not address this fundamental question. "The first, and main, problem is the very existence of the big bang...One may wonder, What came before it? If space-time did not exist then, how could everything appear from nothing?"
Explaining this initial singularity—where and when did it all began—still remains the most intractable and refractory problem of modern cosmology. Astronomy,astrobiology and cosmology,speculative physics,evolution have we become grounded in deductive logic instead of inductive logic? Or was it all just false logic? You decide. Remember if a theory continues to be supported and defended in light of direct, clear observational data that refutes it, then we cannot predict anything in science,and it all becomes worthless. References: 1.www.astronomycafe.net. 2.New Scientist magazine. 3.The Intelligent Universe. 4.Plasma Cosmology:"The Big Bang Never Happened" by Eric Lerner.