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The Big Bang: Put simply, the facts are wrong.


They always have been. And Cool never changed that.

Typing “Big Bang Theory” into a search bar links us immediately to the long-running (debut 2007), immensely popular CBS sitcom, a post-modern look at the lives of Caltech physicists. The conventional meaning of the term, our universe’s origin starting with a small singularity currently pegged at 13.8 billion years ago, is a mere second thought.

Even “relativity” cannot match that pop culture success: The first hit I tried offered to define the term, as if that really matters.

But the Big Bang is unpopular among cosmologists. It survives on evidence alone. And sadly, evidence matters much less than it used to.

Science historian Helge Kragh tells us that astronomer Fred Hoyle coined the term “big bang” in 1949: “Ironically… to characterize the kind of theory he much disliked and fought until the end of his life… As Hoyle said in an interview in 1995: ‘Words are like harpoons. Once they go in, they are very hard to pull out.’” In 1949, he had described the theory as “irrational.”
But in 1965, the evidence of aftershocks (the cosmic microwave background) More.

See also: Multiverse cosmology at your fingertips

Bob O'H @1, Please see the comments @14, 15 & 17. Dionisio
Latemarch @17: That's a very clear way to put it. Thanks. Dionisio
KF, Yes, that's a very sharp observation you've made. Thanks. Sadly some folks don't see it as clearly as you do. Dionisio
Dionisio et al The opponents of the Big Bang are reduced to claiming that the facts must be wrong. Latemarch
Dionisio: "Control Systems Engineering" -- they inflicted that disease on you too! No wonder they cannot persuade you the things in life came about by blind processes. KF kairosfocus
Latemarch: Would you mind explaining to other readers here, specially to Bob O'H what you meant in this comment @9? "It was the “facts are wrong” statement in the title that threw me off (see second premise). Kind of like a double negative can be used as a logical positive or a rhetorical emphatic negative. After your comments and rereading the article at EN it’s all clear as to what the OP meant not that I totally agree." Thanks for helping to clarify the misunderstanding or confusion generated by the OP headline. Dionisio
Ok, let me try a different approach to a possible way to interpret the OP headline in light of the style used in other OP titles: Could it be that the headline in the OP to this thread has something to do with the following descriptions taken from the Merriam Webster dictionary? a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other's false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning —called also Socratic irony the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony Dionisio
Latemarch, Thanks for your personal comments. Glad to know we're united in the faith. I was a convinced atheist educated in Moscow, Russia. Got a degree in Control Systems Engineering. One of my projects has to do with developing a computer game for biology education. Another is related to writing nonfiction. May God gives us wisdom and increases our faith. Dionisio
Dionisio @11 Thanks for introducing yourself. While UD has been in my bookmarks for a few years I only dropped by to scan the articles. So I've missed most of the commentators introductions if they gave any so just feeling my way around. I too am a follower of Jesus Christ leading an imperfect life. Saved by grace. Eph2:8-9. You'll find me firmly in the YEC camp where I've been since the mid '70s. At my university, where I majored in Biology, I was more of a curiosity than a threat. I get the impression that I would have much more difficulty in the field today. I am recently retired from a career in Pathology with side interests in Theology and Philosophy. This seems like a good place to exercise the mind and clarify my own thinking in many areas. I also have a project going, a work of fiction where the characters bump up against some of this stuff. I've been writing novels for a few years now. Published on Kindle as it's all but free. It's a hobby as I would starve if I had to live on the royalties. I also think of myself as a slow thinker so it takes me a while to work thru an issue. Even longer to get it down on paper. Latemarch
Latemarch @9: Thank you for the detailed commentary. Please, let me clarify something that will help you understand better my position on all these discussions here or anywhere else. Perhaps you've read what I'm going to write next, because I've expressed this clearly in other threads in this site. My reading comprehension is rather poor. My communication skills --both verbal and written-- are practically nonexistent. English is not my first language. My mind processes information kind of at a slow pace: when someone tells me a joke during a weekend gathering with relatives and/or friends, I get it by Tuesday --after my wife explains it to me. For the above reasons --among others-- I read different OPs + follow up comments and also write my own comments, so that I can learn both to read and to write in English. Those skills could help me to be more efficient in a couple of projects I'm working on lately. Also I've been gathering biology research papers required for the projects I'm working on. Sometimes I share references to some of those papers here so that other folks may enjoy looking at them too. One could argue that there are other venues and methods to do what I mentioned above. Agree. But I chose this site because I found it interesting a few years ago and noticed they would allow me to express my ideas freely. Other sites might not. Also liked the writing contents and style of some of their authors and commenters. However, I'm not an ID-proponent, or an OEC, or a YEC. None of those acronyms identify me. My sole identity is in Christ through saving faith in His redemptive grace. I want to be His follower. Still fail to do it, but He knows my heart better than I do and graciously forgave me. All the discussions that have taken place in the past, take place in the present and might take place in the future, are together completely insignificant compared to the ultimate reality which I believe is defined in the first few verses of the first chapter of the Gospel according to John the Apostle. That means that none of the alleged evidences that are not solidly proven yet --including the ones that might support the Big Bang Theory-- are relevant to me at the end of the day. The saving faith is not based on scientific theories, but on the Creator's personal revelation to each of us separately, according to the purpose of His will. No one can know how our Creator made everything unless He reveals it. I don't think our limited minds are prepared for that kind of revelation. I believe this applies equally to all people. We were created to be good (Imago Dei) but we chose not to. Had we stayed in Eden none of the problems we've encountered and still face in this world would have been an issue. I enjoy reading about biology research discoveries that shed more light on the elaborate cellular and molecular choreographies orchestrated within the biological systems and look forward with increasing anticipation to reading future research papers. We ain't seen nothing' yet. The most fascinating scientific discoveries are still ahead. Dionisio
Latemarch @9:
After your comments and rereading the article at EN it’s all clear as to what the OP meant [...]
Glad that things cleared up more. :) Dionisio
Dionisio @ 8 Sounds like a challenge";^) Premise: Facts are facts. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You're not entitled to your own facts. Premise: Not everything declared to be a fact is a fact. I don't think that I'll get much push-back on this. There are thousands of examples. Premise: Facts in order to take on meaning must be interpreted in a framework or worldview. Premise: In any worldview there will be facts that contradict or appear to contradict that worldview. Premise: People are very attached to their worldviews for numerous and sometimes very emotional reasons. It is rare to find the person brave enough to follow the facts and reject a worldview. But when enough facts contradict a worldview it should be rejected. Conclusion: There will be a lot of hand waving and wild speculation in an attempt to explain away inconvenient observations as not really facts or attempt to accommodate the fact into a personal worldview. Knowing that an infinite past is a logical impossibility an attempt to push away the beginning results in the multiverse and other nonsense. It's beginning to look like turtles all the way down. Just because we have rejected a steady state universe doesn't mean that the big bang is right (the black and white fallacy). The big bang theory has itself numerous facts that it struggles to accommodate. There are other cosmologies that have a beginning that also accommodate many of the facts. It was the "facts are wrong" statement in the title that thew me off (see second premise). Kind of like a double negative can be used as a logical positive or a rhetorical emphatic negative. After your comments and rereading the article at EN it's all clear as to what the OP meant not that I totally agree. Latemarch
Did the comments @5, 6 & 7 shut up the politely dissenting voices that posted previously? :) Dionisio
Some branches of physics have this kind of problems because many issues are very difficult to test and prove. Biology stands better on this because it has proportionally much more WYSIWYG. That's why I prefer it to astrophysics or astronomy. Biology is more 'real deal' and doesn't leave much room for confusion. It has many unknowns, but they are more mechanistic or procedural. Dionisio
In most cases the most accurate interpretation of a text is the author's. In this case, some folks may not like the implications of certain evidences, hence they might believe --or try to persuade others to believe-- that the evidences are being misinterpreted or perhaps are not quite right or something must be missing in the picture. It's possible that the evidences are incomplete or not quite what they appear to be. But that must be proven seriously with more facts and evidences. Not with 'just so' stories or wishful thinking. Dionisio
Here are the closing statements of the article pointed to by the given link (https://www.evolutionnews.org/2017/05/big-bang-put-simply-the-facts-are-wrong/):
We are now told that there is more to the universe than the Big Bang. and that, with the help of physicist Sean Carroll, we can speculate wildly as to what it was like before the Big Bang. A recent theory relies on a quantum fluid of “hypothetical massless particles.” Or a holographic mirage from another dimension. It all sounds like a guy explaining why he can’t pay his rent. Only the last sentence matters.
The above quoted text clearly relate to the title of the OP in this thread: "The Big Bang: Put simply, the facts are wrong." IOW, some folks seem to imply that the evidences are misinterpreted, exaggerated, not quite what others see, maybe not what we thought they were, etc. Basically, this seems like a reiteration of something Denyse has repeated here in this site: facts don't seem to matter if they shake somebody's boat. I like Denyse's refreshing journalistic style which makes it easier reading about topics that normally are difficult and/or boring. Actually, I may borrow her style when writing some explanations within the project I'm working on. I'm sure she won't oppose that, but I should give her the corresponding credits publicly. Did I get this right or wrong? Please correct me if it's the latter. Thanks. Dionisio
Maybe it would be more acceptable in certain quarters if it proposed that a certain deity lit the blue touchpaper and stood well back before it went "bang!". Seversky
I don't get it either. The point of this piece is completly lost on me. I can't tell if the author is saying the physics community hates it due to it's philosophical implications, but must go along due to facts, and facts matter, or that the author has an issue with the Big Bang theory (actually many theories with some epicycles in it, but generally a steady state makes no sense). I think the evidence is strong enough to say the universe had a beginning - other than that though, having to add Dark Matter, and Dark Energy, AND the heavily under fire inflation thoery, it's still a mess - why is the universe relatively flat, etc. Tom Robbins
I'm with you Bob. I've read this a couple of times and can't tell whether or not she's being sarcastic. My understanding is that there is a fair number of cosmologists that don't like the Big Bang theory. It does have issues. Inflation for instance is rather ad hoc fix for the horizon problem and without any basis in our current understanding of physics. Latemarch
Denyse - you don't explain (here or at EN&V) what facts are wrong, which makes an unfortunate counter-point to the title of your piece. The only criticisms we get are about the name, and a quote from someone who died >50 years ago. Is the Big bang (i.e. the explanation for the start of the actually universe) unpopular? Do you have any actual evidence (i.e. facts) for this? Bob O'H

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