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June 12, 2004

Big-Bang Murmurings

Scientists' Challenge

A major section of Kicking the Sacred Cow takes a look at the way the Big Bang theory came to be accepted as today's reigning cosmological paradigm and questions whether it is really as solidly based as commonly supposed. Now, in an open letter to the Scientific Community, published in New Scientist, May 22-228 issue, 2004, p.20, 33 scientists have expressed serious doubts. (I don't think it can be from reading KTSC, since it's only now in the process of being released.) They point out that the theory relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities and fudge factors invented for no other purpose than to explain away discrepancies with what is actually observed -- which would unacceptable in any other branch of physics. Despite the theory's having made no quantitative predictions that have been subsequently validated, and the existence of alternatives that in many ways fit better with the evidence, it maintains its dominance and a monopoly on funding through a closed-shop peer-review process that brooks no dissent and makes serious questioning of the orthodoxy an invitation to career suicide.

Two of the signatories to the letter were plasma physics researcher Eric Lerner and the astronomer Halton Arp, both of whose work I drew on and which has been mentioned in previous postings.

 
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