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No. 88: Jul-Aug 1993

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There never was a "crater"!

Humans favor tales with beginnings and endings, perhaps because we are mortal ourselves. The universe must, we suspect, have been created either naturally or supernaturally, and it will end either according to the Laws of Thermodynamics or by fiat on Judgment Day!

Some scientists, though, see other possibilities. In 1948, F. Hoyle, H. Bondi, and T. Gold proposed that the universe had no beginning and was, therefore, infinitely old. Originally, they hypothesized that, as the universe expanded, new matter was continuously created, and thus the density of matter stayed about constant in time. This Steady State Universe was kicked around for a while but ultimately consigned to the cosmological wastebasket.

Now, the idea is being revived as the prevailing Big Bang Universe runs into problems, which have been documented perhaps too thoroughly in past issues of SF. The revised steady state model has jettisoned the idea of continuous creation in favor of many discrete "creation events," which will doubtless be called "little bangs." They also fill space with small metallic needles which absorb microwaves and reemit the uniform microwave background. The new theory needs more work, but Hoyle and his colleagues write in the June 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal:

"This paper is not intended to give a finished view of cosmology. It is intended rather to open the door to a new view which at present is blocked by a fixation with big bang cosmology."

(Crosswell, Ken; "Return of the Steady State Universe," New Scientist, p. 14, February 27, 1993.)

Reference. A substantial portion of our catalog volume Stars, Galaxies, Cosmos is devoted to questioning the Big Bang. Details here.

From Science Frontiers #88, JUL-AUG 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987