Recently a letter, signed by about a hundred of the world's best physicists including people from the Max Planck Institute, Lawrence Livermore, and Los Alamos, and describing accurately the overwhelming problems with the big bang idea, was sent to Nature Magazine. Nature refused to publish it and it was thereafter sent to New Scientist which did publish it. The statement may be read here:
An American astronomer noted for challenging the theory that the large redshifts of quasars and other active galaxies are an indication of great distance. His Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, published in 1966, contains photographs of 338 peculiar and interacting galaxies taken with the Hale Telescope, and was instrumental in raising the issue of discordant redshifts. Arp received a B.S. from Harvard (1949) and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (1953).
A discrepancy between the redshifts of galaxies that lie close together in the sky and that appear to be interacting or to be connected by luminous bridges. The nature of the discordant redshift of members of compact groups of galaxies, such as Stephan's Quintet and Seyfert's Sextet, has been a subject of debate for many years. If the frequency of discordant galaxies is greater than the statistics of chance projection allow, or if apparent connections between discordant galaxies are genuine bridges of matter, as has been argued by Halton Arp, the Burbidges, and others, it challenges the almost universally-held belief that galactic redshifts are due to cosmic expansion and might signify the need for new physical theories. However, although the situation has not been completely settled, evidence now strongly suggests that discordant galaxies do not occur more often than can be explained by line-of-sight coincidences; also, there is independent physical evidence that discordant galaxies all have physical properties consistent with a cosmological distance; for example, those with higher redshift tend to be smaller and fainter than other members of the group.
The statement itself reads like a pleading for special treatment for supporters of ideas that have not found acceptance within the broader scientific community.
I'm a little surprised this thread hasn't attracted any attention, because what the Halton Arp group is doing is copying the Creationist strategy of gathering many different perspectives under a single umbrella to create a lobbying group. The signatories hold cosmological views that haven't found much support within the scientific community, but they're apparently unified in rejecting the Big Bang. Even though they don't agree with each other, they've gathered together to oppose Big Bangists and Big Bangism. Unable to find followers among those qualified to assess their work, they're instead taking their case to a group often easily flim-flammed - the lay public.
The most precious part of their statement asks that their grant requests be reviewed by experts from outside the field. If I'd just had a year where I'd screwed up, I'd wish that people outside my field were evaluating me, too. Perhaps politics should be defined as what a group of people does when trying to promote views that would otherwise be rejeced.
quote:However, although the situation has not been completely settled, evidence now strongly suggests that discordant galaxies do not occur more often than can be explained by line-of-sight coincidences; also, there is independent physical evidence that discordant galaxies all have physical properties consistent with a cosmological distance; for example, those with higher redshift tend to be smaller and fainter than other members of the group.
And I think this settles the issue. It doesn't matter what letters come after your name or what institute employs you. What matters is the weight of the evidence, which they lack. Of course, no one is discouraging further research into this area, but the research thus far is not enough to overthrow the current paradigm.
quote:...describing accurately the overwhelming problems with the big bang idea,...
I'm not at all a cosmologist type, but I suspect that even the cosmologist types would agree that the big bang theory does have gaps of information and/or problems. The use of the term "overwhelming" is probably going too far.
Certainly, there is room for additions, corrections, and improvements to the theory. But I suspect that the core of the theory is strong.
Of the names that are from universities, the vast majority are not from applicable fields: Tom Walther: Senior programmer and systems analyst Michael A. Duguay: Electrical engineering and data processing Jonathan Chambers: Postgraduate psychology research student (etc)
Several of them don't show up in faculty listings for their claimed universities. Several of them can't even be found on the net outside this list.
This list is a complete joke. Very few of these people are even in remotely related fields. Perhaps one in 40 of these people is in a position to accurately comment about the accuracy of the big bang.
In short, this list isn't worth the paper it's written on (for which it isn't written on any)
quote:This list is a complete joke. Very few of these people are even in remotely related fields.
I still stand by my statement. As to science, it doesn't matter what comes after your name or what field you have recieved your degree in. It certainly helps, escpecially when applying for grant money, but when it comes to being right or wrong what matters is the evidence.
Darwin's degree was in theology. I know that he was also trained as a Naturalist, and there wasn't a formal science department during his time. However, it is possible to be both brilliant and non-conformist and still be right.
quote:As to science, it doesn't matter what comes after your name or what field you have received your degree in.
1) If you're using the people as authories on the subject (the point of this list), it most certainly does. It is deceptive to treat a person who works for a business solutions company or a person who considers themselves an "independent researcher" on things like antigravity as if they're some sort of big bang expert. . 2) When the aforementioned people freely provide links to sites full of obvious pseudoscience, that's another pretty darn big hit.
3) Pardon me if I don't care what a postgraduate psychology student thinks about the big bang. Now, if they were to come here to debate....
Darwin had about as much training as was possible at the time, so the analogy is moot. And I'll grant you that many people who work in fields unrelated to the big bang may well know something about it. But to pretend that these are experts or even people involved in anything related to the big bang is completely dishonest. I doubt the vast majority of these people have ever even touched a telescope or read a single paper from a scientific journal on the subject.