I don't come on here too often, to be honest, but something has really been getting at me lately. "How did the universe become?" I can't necessarily consider myself an atheist, and if I did it would be a "soft" atheist, but overall, I'm more of an agnostic. Basically, do any of you have any theories or have heard of any theories or ideas concerning the topic of our origins? Did the universe just pop up out of nowhere? Is there a higher power?
Eric Lerner's book The Big Bang Never Happened persuaded me.
The so-called big bang too closely echoes Genesis. That a Catholic priest devised it doesn't surprise me.
What does surprise me is the near-religious faith that many people trained in science have in it. Group think.
Oh the old "I read some book that I liked" refutation. The universe is expanding. If you play it backwards it gets smaller and smaller and smaller until it gets unimaginably small.
That trained scientists (many of whom are familiar with the book, no doubt) still believe that everything started with The Big Bang should be what you are paying attention to.
As for Mr. Lerner, maybe he should get his PhD before he jumps into the deep end. He is the CEO of a high tech company, but the fact is he only has a bachelor's degree in science as far as I can tell.
It seems unclear to me if a BS/BA would be enough to invalidate a position of this importance given the details/data concerning the question. I have seen indications that there is a rather nice market for 'contrarian' literature, where anyone can write a position paper or book to attempt to bring into question some scientific claim, which many times seem to be 'settled'.
We have a deeply divided population of folks with educational experience seeming limited to 'doggy & horses' cognitive skills, to brainiacs. The aforementioned form of literature appeals to the 'like to know something' class, while the rest of us might read the scientific papers to get a real insight.
Sadly most of the population might not have any clue as to the depth of study involved to get to a reasonable scientific conclusion. My favorite once, was a funny cartoon concerning Einstein trying to decide if his famous equation should have C^2 or C^3, some how implying that it was arbitrary.
A person with a BS/BA might, with study, could find a contradiction in some claim, but this is also how 'science' can mature. 'Making an name for yourself' via such an event can be the ultimate scientific wet dream.
A sure fire way to sell books or get lecture gigs is to claim that the mainstream scientists have it all wrong. Of course, the most obvious example is the UFOlogists.
...it gets smaller and smaller and smaller until it gets unimaginably small.
If it didn't become infinitely small and infinitely dense, what did it become? Whatever it became required inflation to explain it.
Many trained scientists do accept the big bang hypothesis. Group think lives on, despite the ancient Persians' attempts to defeat it by getting roaring drunk and reconsidering the issue they'd decided.
Where is the PhD candidate who disagreed with a supervising professor who'd joined the Church of the Big Bang? That religion's members all talk the same way.
U, you appear to be assuming that Lerner has done no relevant study since he finished his degree. Such an assumption is both unwarranted, and unwise.
So another conspiracy is born?
If you had really read my response you might have realized that I am actually on your side, but with reservations.
I did read about a result observing two quasars that seemed to be very close together, but had very different readshifts. It was unclear if a good distance from earth was easily measured without resorting to the redshift/expansion assumption/computation.
Another option could be that the observed universe has a dimension where it 'seems' to be expanding, but might be contracting on other dimensions. Since we can't seem to test this at present, this is yet again one more supposition.
Is the universe expanding towards some vast mass, which might also explain the observed/suggested acceleration? Again this is a supposition that might not be testable at present, since that mass might be outside the 13.7 billion year radius of our universe and not visible with light older than that. Given the presence of very old galaxies in the 'deep field' observations, could this be part of that vast mass? Could 'dark matter' be part of this mass?
I don't like being a bug stuck in a gravity well, and mostly confined to a limited curved surface, but hay...
I look out from the surface of this wonderful rock knowing that most of the sky is under my feet, that most of the universe is invisible to me, that I am mostly cut off from deep time, that I don't have near enough brain cells to know and understand, that I don't have near enough time/money to explore, and that my life will end having hardly scrached the surface of eternity. Damn now I want to cry...
We need a (N^k) step program for nerds.....;p(
Everyone has reservations, which improved measurements and further reasoning will probably resolve -- if we humans don't first make the earth uninhabitable.
A few Big Bang religionists have charged me with conspiratorial thinking and I wanted to know more about your reservations.
I usually tell people I don't know, and being a few weeks shy of my 83rd birthday I won't know.
Sometimes, with a bit of sarcasm, I ask believers if knowing the origin(s) will help me pay the rent.
I haven't yet asked any believers if their claims to know help them pay the rent.
Tom, you might like this video (chopped into 6 parts) that I'm watching right now.
Not sure where to insert this - but Lerner is not a lone gunman here. It seems there are a few big bang 'rejectionists' who have serious creds and who aren't trying to sell creation-oil.