Or Steady State, the Last Church of an explicitly Darwinian cosmology?
Further to how the Big Bang became so unpopular (because a beginning to the universe betrays “the very foundations of science”), a fried has walloped us an obituary of Geoffrey Burbidge (1925–2010) who, as noted here, accused his colleagues of “rushing off to join ‘the First Church of Christ of the Big Bang.’” Burbidge was a proponent of the Steady State theory, an alternative to the Big Bang. Some interesting stuff:
Geoffrey Burbidge was a British-born astrophysicist, who, in collaboration with three others, came up with space’s equivalent of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and who later gained notoriety for rejecting the Big Bang theory.
Burbidge and his wife first came to astronomers’ attention in 1957 when, in collaboration with Sir Fred Hoyle and the American astrophysicist William Fowler, they presented in the journal Reviews of Modern Physics what to this day is still regarded as one of the seminal papers of the 20th century. Their 104-page paper, “Synthesis of the Elements in Stars”, did for the origin of elements what Darwin had done nearly 100 years earlier for the origin of species. They declared that nuclear reactions within stars rip apart the basic building blocks of matter and put them back together again to create new and more complex elements. Their conclusion echoed Darwin’s last line in On the Origin of Species: “The elements have evolved,and are evolving.”
Are you surprised that these astronomers were singing so loudly from Darwin’s hymnbook? More on that later. An eyeopener.
Many colleagues believed that Burbidge was excluded from the Nobel Prize for failure to accept the Big Bang theory. However, his own theory did not fare well in evidence tests and on his death in 2010, few strong proponents remained.
Puzzlement: Where did the space Darwinists go wrong? The biology Darwinists have long since dispensed with the need for evidence; if it is Darwinism, it is evidence, regardless of its relationship to reality.
One Reply to “The First Church of Christ of the Big Bang?”
AFAIK, the only good evidence for the Big Bang comes from the analysis of the red shifted light arriving from distant galaxies. Astronomers noticed that the more distant a galaxy, the more pronounced was the shift. They concluded that the universe was undergoing an accelerated expansion and that, if we could turn back the clock, we would witness the birth of the universe out of a singularity.
It’s a plausible hypothesis but there are a couple of problems with it. First, it can’t be tested. Second, it assumes that light from distant galaxies is red shifted because the galaxies are speeding away from us. What if this were a mistaken assumption? What if light lost part of its energy over very long distances? That, too, could explain the red shift.
I think the steady state hypothesis deserves a second look.