Your friend is fringe, not mainstream. In his most recent thrust, he speculates that quasars are lasers. Lasing is a quantum effect, not a cosmological one. He is wrong about quasars being lasers. This matters because it is an extention of his 1976 tome you like to quote as mainstream. http://www1.msfc.nasa.gov/NEWSROOM/news/photos/2002/photos02-022.html While I am on the matter, you should be on the lookout for any news report that says photon streams from a region of space are coherent (like laser light). Let me tell you, all of us will be thrilled.
To put the ducks in order, the expansion of space is a more fundamental phenomenon than any "quantization" or red-shifts. The fabric of space is what is inflating. Though the speed of light and Planck's Constant appear to stay the same, it may be only relatively so. Possibly they are ratios whose product is the same in our frame of reference. The gravitational equations can be thought of as depicting a gradient in the fabric/substance of space that causes photons to refract. The continuous curvature of the gradient yields a curved path, an arc, to the photons which is, of course, also relative. In the local frame, the photon thinks it traveled in a straight line. In our external frame, we note it travelled a curved path. The number of phase variations per unit time stretched over a curved path means fewer phase variations per unit of external frame distance. This gradient phenomenon is apparent in the real world in several ways. One example is gravitational lensing. Another is spacial inflation. The gradient thus changes if space inflates. Because of the connection of c and h to space, itself, we see a changed phase velocity of a photon with a changing gradient. It red-shifts or blue-shifts. It changes color. What data is being gathered now is about the notion that space has not inflated at the same rate since the Big Bang. Thus, the Big Bang may not have occurred exactly 13.6B years ago. Possibly it was only 12BYA!. It was not 6,000 years ago. So, experts are looking for an analog to that 4,000-year-old pine tree whose rings provided an exact roadmap of how much C-14 precipitated in that area of CA. Just because photons change apparent phase velocity is no excuse to declare the Earth is the center of the Universe. Just because it appears photons changed phase velocity at different rates in the past is also no excuse to say Earth is the center of the Universe. There is no relationship there.
The physical reality of the Universe is full of wonder that is magnificent to understand and comprehend. To my way of thinking it is far more fulfilling than thinking it all got here by some incomprehensible mystery and being satisfied with that.
These images and my post on GR are meant to establish key, realistic, and germane fundamentals. In summary, any new theory must address our location out on a spiral arm of the Milky Way, the gradient in space described by GR, and the location of galaxy clusters along surfaces best described as bubbles. GR is verified. All suppositions must be based upon it or must incorporate it just as it incorporates Newtonian mechanics. Any theories pushed by avant garde scientists (or creationists) must simultaneously account for all of the above.
On the outside looking in: The Earth cannot be at the center of the Universe because it is not even at the center of its own galaxy. There is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy and it holds our spiral arm in orbit around it. I believe the period of our arm is about 126MY. What makes anyone think the Earth has more influence on the Universe than that supermassive black hole? Our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda, is on a collision course with the Milky Way. Its spiral arms are also orbiting a supermassive black hole. Thus, any "center" (or centre!) of the Universe is outside a region 1.5M light years in diameter that contains both galaxies. There is no evidence of any Universe event horizons within this volume other than the event horizons of the 2 supermassive black holes and some mavericks. Every galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its center. So actually, any "center" must take all galaxies into account equally.
The Great One: Just the fact that gravity has a gradient means that gravity is not the same everywhere on any scale and that the density of space is not the same everywhere. Inflation means the substance of space is intrinsically spreading out, galaxies are all spreading apart from each other. Galaxies are also intrinsically inflating. But the distance ratios between galaxy size and galaxy cluster size leave room for dynamic state changes. Photons are red-shifted because their phase velocity is reduced by the inflation of space on their way to the telescope photon detector. The greater the time they have been traveling, the more time that space has had to inflate before they travel through it. Crossing ever-inflated space reduces a photon's phase velocity. Gravity gradients are local but act on space the same way as inflation (coupling & mechanics), just locally symetric instead of universally symmetric. Photons traversing a gravity gradient can be blue or red-shifted. Just because inflation has red-shifted a photon and gravity or relative motion blue-shifted it again does not mean the Earth is the center of the Universe or that the Universe exists in shells around the Earth.
Clumps: Since space has non-uniform texture, galaxies will collect and disburse where the gradient is greatest. Amazing to see that the Universe is organized as vast intertwining intersecting sheets. Galaxies seem to travel in the plane of the sheet and collect at edges. The gradient in space also causes physical motion. If physical motion is faster than inflation, maybe a red-shifted photon could be blue-shifted toward higher phase velocity. Nothing about this says anything about center (or even centre). Center is the anthropic notion and is actually very limiting in perspective. Based on the evidence, it looks to me like the gradient in the density of the space that became our Big Bang was non-uniform. The discontinuities grew into the bubbles. Maybe the size of the bubbles tells us the age of the Universe. Maybe space in the bubbles is inflating faster due to the extra momentum represented by these postulated intital discontinuities. Why does there need to be a limit on gravity flux density?
What we need to do is allow science the time to map the Universe just as it maps the DNA and gene codes. There are not 50-some shells around us upon which the galaxies of the Universe are embedded. Quantization of red-shifts looks like good evidence that inflation changed gears in the past, and that it will do so in the future. Speculation on dark matter and dark energy are not excuses to re-introduce man as the center of the Universe or that there must be a supernatural species or being to blame. What they are is part of the iterative process on the path of scientific discovery. Getting there, the path is rocky. In hindsight, every natural phenomenon is elegant. What say you?
Thank goodness! If he was making light of the data through a stylized interpretation it went over like a german comedien. Let's hope no physicist jokes equally about carbon! Some ultra-religious person is going to find out that carbon has 6 protons, 6 neutrons, and 6 electrons. Then we will all be in trouble.