I am not a proponent of the Big Bang theory. I feel that a quasi-steady state theory better described observed data than the does the Big Bang.
My first clue was after having looked at deep field Hubble images in which we see many small and oddly shaped galaxies, which proponents of the big bang had argued were infant galaxies and proof that the universe had evolved, I happened to next view Chandra images of nearby galaxies.
As soon as I saw the Chandra images, I realized what I was seeing in the Hubble images, not small oddly shaped galaxies but the extreme ultraviolet or even x-ray emissions from ordinary full sized galaxies, for the Chandra images of nearby galaxies looked identical to the galaxies in the deep field Hubble images.
What is often referred to as cosmic background radiation, supposedly the radiation left over from the last scattering when neutral hydrogen was formed, has a dipole in it’s intensity that is said to be the result of the Earth’s movement around the Sun, then why not even greater dipole effects from the Sun’s movement around the galaxy, or the Milky Ways movement through intergalactic space, both of which are much higher velocities?
I realized the Hubble was only capable of “seeing” in the visible and near infrared, and thus when looking at very high red-shifted galaxies, it was only capable of seeing light that originated at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths.
My suspicions where reaffirmed when I saw images from the James Web telescope of very high red-shift galaxies. I saw fully formed spiral galaxies, some larger than the Milky Way, only a billion years after the supposed big bang. Some of these galaxies had only been around for in theory about 300 million years even though it would take a billion or more years for a full rotation. How then did these fully formed galaxies get fully formed spiral shape in less time than it would take for a third of a rotation? The answer is they didn’t.
I read a book by Eric J. Lerner entitled “The Big Bang Never Happened“. It argued for a quasi-steady state universe in which electromagnetic forces played a significant role in addition to that played by gravity. It included many images of plasma structures in the universe.
As a teenager I enjoyed playing with plasmas created by high voltage, experimented with manipulating them with magnetic fields, observed their properties, and the images I saw in the book were familiar, albeit on a much larger scale.
The predicted ratio of helium to hydrogen was also incorrect and that one really hasn’t been entirely rectified yet. The same is true for the relative abundance of Lithium in first generation stars.
Then there is the issue of the flatness of space. Anything other than space that is equally filled in all directions to infinity requires a curved space because mass curves space. In the absence of an equal effect in all directions curved space time is inevitable, yet, any attempt to measure the degree of curvature has resulted in flat out to the limits of the accuracy of the measurement.
Then there is the matter of cosmic microwave background, so often touted as proof of the big bang because it is almost a perfect fit to to 2.7ºK black body radiation. A minor problem is that a 5ºK black body was predicted by the big bang theory.
Then there is the metallicity of stars, that is the fraction of a stars material that is heavier than helium. The big bang theory holds that early stars should have zero metals, because metals are forged in super-nova and not created in the big-bang.
These theoretical first stars, referred to as population III stars, have never been observed. There existence is only inferred by the big bang theory.
Relatively metal poor stars, population II stars, have been observed, but they are observed in parts of our own galaxy today, so if we could do get good spectroscopic data on stars 13 billion years old, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were metal poor since those in our own galaxy that are metal poor tend to be high mass recently formed stars and those would be most visible, even in a quasi steady state universe.
One of the things that I am most uncomfortable with in regards to the big bang theory is that it violates many known laws of physics:
- Matter/energy are always conserved, except in the big bang where matter/energy comes out of nothing.
- The second law of thermodynamics states any closed system evolves towards a state of maximum entropy, yet the universe started as something completely uniform and evolved into something highly complex.
- Inflation, a made-up expansion of space to make numbers fit, has no observable counterpart today.
There are philosophical issues. I think the whole big bang concept is looking at the universe the wrong way. We’re looking at what happens to space, and everything in it, in time. But relativity tells us the two aren’t separate. We don’t have space AND time, we have space-time. Space can’t happen in time, it’s an aspect of the same thing.
We humans have a bias because during our physical lifetime our consciousness travels down the time dimension of our bodies from one end, which we call birth, to the other, which we call death, but the rest of the universe exists in space-time and doesn’t really care what our consciousness does.
If we can step outside of that context in our imagination and look at a universe in four dimensions (and maybe many more) we might see a universe that is pointed at one end, or we might just see one that looks that way from a particular vantage point because of how light behaves in the universe but really isn’t.
Many people who call themselves scientists also have agendas, and one agenda is to try to take God out of the picture. They like to argue the big bang doesn’t require a creator, just a random vacuum fluctuation, but that doesn’t eliminate God, it just pushes first cause back farther, because the next question you have to ask is what caused the random fluctuation? If you prefer the baby-universe theory, this universe buds off another and so on, then you’re just pushing the same problem back further.
I’m not suggestion we should give up trying, but it is entirely possible not only that we don’t know the true origins of the universe, but with the data available to us, it is even possible we can not know.
Scientific theories don’t tell us absolutely what something is but rather only make useful predictions. Newtons theory of gravity made useful predictions as long as velocities were relatively low and gravitational forces relatively weak. Newtons theories broke down ever so slightly when it came to determining precisely the orbit of Mercury.
Relativity came along and made more accurate predictions, but relativity breaks down at very small scales, and the hypothetical big bang is one such scale.
Useful theories make useful and provable predictions, the big bang only fits existing data and then only very roughly. Many of the predictions it makes don’t match the observed data, things like early Galaxies shouldn’t be full size well formed spirals, but such exist.
No theory, big-bang or steady state, thus far matches everything observable, so really we shouldn’t look at it as “this is what happened”, but does this theory make useful predictions? With regards to the big bang, the answer would appear to be “No“!