Re: Big Bang: How widely accepted?

Iain Coleman ((no email))
Wed, 23 Aug 1995 09:26:33 GMT (Robert Roosen) wrote
> Anthropologists
>study cosmology as the creation myths of each of the various cultures
>inhaviting planet earth. The Big Bang is in the curious position of
>being promoted as "the" cosmology by a group of physicists who have
>wandered into astronomy.

What a load of bollocks. The Hot Big Bang model is accepted by virtually
all astronomers. It is special because it passes all observational tests.
This is called "science".

> They claim it is a cosmology that is
>independent of culture
> So the Big Bang is generally accepted as a nice description of events.
>As a cosmology, it is accepted by only a relative handful of scientists

Nonsense. Practically all astronomers and physicists accept it, and I'm
sure most scientists in other fields do as well.

>living primarily in Western society

Better tell that to all those cosmologists in Japan, India, etc. etc.

> and working primarily in the field of
>high energy physics.

Rubbish. Big Bang cosmology is important in most of astronomy, if only
to set timescales and primordial abundances.

> It is also widely promoted as "the final answer" by
>the media, and hence most people are only familiar with it and with no
>other competing theories

The media have little enough time for science as it is; how much time
do you think they should spend discussing long-discredited theories?
When they're talking about natural history they don't give much time
to Lamarckism as an alternative to Darwinism - does this offend you
as much?

>or with the cosmologies accepted by societies
>other than Western society.
> The Hindus, for instance, would call it the "Great Flowering".

The Hindus can call it whatever they like. How well do these other
cosmologies explain

(1) the cosmic microwave background radiation

(2) the abundances of the light elements

(3) the Hubble distance-redshift relation?
>: Joel Duman <> wrote:
>: >I'm writing a short article on the Big Bang theory, including
>: >simulations. Much of the literature seems to imply that the theory is
>: >almost universally accepted. Is this just Hawking's influence? I'd
>: >like to hear from professionals who can talk to an amateur or amateurs
>: >who are serious.

The big bang _is_ almost universally accepted, as it fits the observational
evidence. Unfortunately, it's hard to find good popular treatments of the
theory (sure, there's plenty of books out there, but not many good ones).
I strongly recommend you get hold of "The First Three Minutes" by Steven
Weinberg - it's a bit old, but still a fine treatment.