Re: Big Bang: How widely accepted?

Iain Coleman ((no email))
Tue, 29 Aug 1995 11:50:38 GMT (Wesley Taylor) wrote:
>In article <> Iain Coleman <iain> writes:
>>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.
>You might try to read outside astronomy a little. Hannes Alfvens work in
>Plasma Physics has done some real damage to Big Bang. The BB theory is NOT
>almost universally accepted. There are some steady staters left and a whole
>new crop of plasma cosmology theorists. Try Lerners "The Big Bang Never
>Happened " as a start. He gives an excellent descripton of teh alternates
>and the problems in publishing challenges to big bang.

Well, I used to be a plasma physicist before I became a cosmologist :-)

I've read Alfven and Lerner. I think they have real problems explaining
the Hubble flow and the CMBR. That's not to say their work is worthless
- there are some good ideas in there, and Alfven's been right often
enough that it's a braver man than I who would simply dismiss him.

But the problem is that the big bang is such a big, important concept
that people can't resist shooting at it, even if this weakens their
case. The proposal that plasma effects could be crucial to structure
formation is, IMHO, both interesting and important - and one of these days
I'll (hopefully) find the time to seriously look into it. But this part
of the hypothesis is independent of the other proposals which try (and, I
think, fail) to explain other observations which big bang accounts for
very nicely.