Re: Big Bang: How widely accepted?
Andrew Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org)
31 Aug 1995 15:04:38 GMT
i'm still not happy with the first phrase, but the second makes
sense - are you trying to say that the big bang doesn't
if you are, then i'd agree completely. it describes the
evolution of the universe from the earliest times, but it says
nothing about what `preceded' that. indeed, it's not clear what,
within the framework of physics, `preceded' means.
so people arguing that the big bang removes the need for a god,
for example, are talking nonsense.
on the other hand, as we move back in time, the universe was
more compact and so more dense. at these densities and energies
it is the high-energy physicists who know most, and so it is to
these people that astronomers turn for an understanding of the
`initial' physical processes. to argue that these physicists
are the main reason for the popularity of the big-bang is to put
the cart before the horse.
yes, physics becomes more obscure and more difficult at higher
and higher energies. but that's just life. such energies are
the natural consequence of a universe that is expanding, and that
expansion is extremely widely accepted.
i don't know if i mentioned this in this thread, but martin rees's
new book (rees is one of the most influential astrophysicists
in the uk, and also one of the most clear-headed) gives a good
argument on the pros and cons of the big bang in its first
chapter. it's not conclusive, but he reckons it's still the
(i think if one wants to argue more about the details, we've got
to get past the simple `big bang' phrase and into more specific
details. inflation, for example, might be `wrong', but there may
be other ways to get round the horizon problem..)
In article <DE5F81.J8M@crash.cts.com>,
Robert Roosen <email@example.com> wrote:
>: >>firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Roosen) wrote
>: >>> Anthropologists
>: >>>study cosmology as the creation myths of each of the various cultures
>: >>>inhabiting 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.
> Let me put it another way. The Big Band Model is certainly a
>nice physical model. It does indeed contain most of the observational
>information presently available from physical astronomy. However, it is
>just that--a model. i. e. a fit to a limited set of observations. For
>instance, the Big Bang does not include telepathy in its model. It is not
>really a cosmology. Many astronomical cosmologists say that openly. The
>support mainly comes from a bunch of war surplus physicists who learned
>how to do bomb calculations and are looking for somewhere else to peddle
> Explaining the origin of the universe with the Big Band (does anyone
>else commonly make this particular typo?) is like
>explaining the origin of milk by proving that it comes from the store in
>wax paper cartons. Indeed it does, however there is more to the story.
>Science has limiting assumptions, and those scientists unfamiliar with
>the universe outside their specialties are prone to think that those
>assumptions are real boundaries.
A.Cooke@roe.ac.uk work phone 0131 668 8357 home phone/fax 0131 667 0208
institute for astronomy, royal observatory, blackford hill, edinburgh