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No. 116: Mar-Apr 1998

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Ten Strikes Against The Big Bang

T. Van Flandern, editor of the Meta Re search Bulletin, has compiled a list of Big-Bang problems -- and it is not a short list. Can the Big-Bang paradigm be that shaky? Like Evolution and Relativity, the Big Bang is usually paraded as a proven, undeniable fact. It isn't.

  1. Static-universe models fit the data better than expanding-universe models.
  2. The microwave "background" makes more sense as the limiting temperature of space heated by starlight than as the remnant of a fireball.
  3. Element-abundance predictions using the Big Bang require too many adjustable parameters to make them work.
  4. The universe has too much largescale structure (interspersed "walls" and voids) to form in a time as short as 10-20 billion years.
  5. The average luminosity of quasars must decrease in just the right way so that their mean apparent brightness is the same at all redshifts, which is exceedingly unlikely.
  6. The ages of globular clusters appear older than the universe.
  7. The local streaming motions of galaxies are too high for a finite universe that is supposed to be everywhere uniform.
  8. Invisible dark matter of an unknown but non-baryonic nature must be the dominant ingredient of the entire universe.
  9. The most distant galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field show insufficient evidence of evolution, with some of them apparently having higher redshifts (z = 6-7) than the faintest quasars.
  10. If the open universe we see today is extrapolated back near the beginning, the ratio of the actual density of matter in the universe to the critical density must differ from unity by just one part in 1059. Any larger deviation would result in a universe already collapsed on itself or already dissipated.

(Van Flandern, Tom; "Top Ten Problems with the Big Bang," Meta Research Bul letin, 6:64, 1997. Bulletin address: P.O. box 15186, Chevy Chase, MD 20825-5186.)

From Science Frontiers #116, MAR-APR 1998. 1998-2000 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