Big bang (was government thread)

Stan Gorodenski stanlep at
Tue Dec 25 01:48:17 EST 2001

> "The acceleration feature does not do in the big bang hypothesis. It is
> just a modification on top of the theory."

First, my appologies to this group for sending this astronomy message,
but I must respond.  Press the delete key if you wish.

Second, I just got back from a three day stay in the mountains, and just
now saw this message.

Yes Ken, I know you are a former astronomer.  It is also difficult to
argue with two professional astronomers (your brother and Ralph Alpher
who I never heard of).  However, I defend my original statements.  I
admit that the way I presented my statements regarding the big bang and
the acceleration of the universe could lead a reader to falsely conclude
I was saying the 'acceleration feature', as you put it, debunks the big
bang.  (In fact, after I sent it, I reread it later and realized the
wording could cause the misinterpretation you presented, but I did not
send a follow up message to correct it because of the nature of this
group.  If I had, this group of readers, i.e., lepidopterists, would
probably then have complained to me that this is _not_ an astronomy
forum.)  This is not what I was saying, and if you read my original
statements you will see that I was talking about two things, the big
bang _and_ the acceleration.  In my post I mentioned the 'acceleration
feature' because Ron made some statements regarding the cyclical nature
of the universe which was supposed to agree with religious beliefs
regarding death and rebirth (if I read his post correctly).  

As a former astronomer yourself, you must admit that someone would have
to be pretty light in physics and astronomy (as well as maybe exercising
some faulty logic) to conclude that an accelerating universe, by itself,
debunks the big bang.  I do not consider myself that light.  As you
correctly stated, it (the acceleration) can be considered a modification
on top of the big bang theory, if one accepts the big bang theory.  

As you also correctly stated, the big bang still lives, but then I never
said it was dead.  What I said was that it is no longer is in 'vogue'. 
By this I meant that now other theories are being more seriously
considered than they have in the past.  Perhaps your astronomer friends
and experts may differ even with this last statement, but that is what I
have gathered from my involvement with amateur astronomy.  

With respect to the latter, being an 'expert' in the field (such as
Ralph Alpher is alleged to be) by itself does not mean the person (the
expert) cannot also be blinded by the narrow confines of their own
research and interests.  For example, last Thursday I attended a
presentation by Dr. Margaret Geller, Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian
Astrophysical Observatory.  The quantity and quality of the credentials
she possessed, as related by the person who introduced her, was
incredible and EXTREMELY impressive.  After her presentation she gave us
the opportunity to ask questions.  My question was about some recent
research I had read which indicates that physical constants may have
been different in the early universe than now, i.e., the value of these
constants may have changed over time (or rather I should say
space-time).  She knew nothing about this (the differences in the fine
structure constant), and I was really taken aback to be responded to as
though I was ignorant or had read something faulty.  In her mind,
constants are constants, and they could not have changed - period!  I
consider her ignorance of this new research due to two things.  First,
this may be relatively new, and her other research demands may prevent
her from being up to the latest developments in all aspects of astronomy
in a timely manner.  Second, her own specialty, the large scale
structure of the universe (galaxies), may be in a completely different

Consequently, based on all the foregoing, if the 'experts' you consult
with should disagree with my last statement regarding the big bang not
being in 'vogue' (which is not a precise term to begin with), I would
not consider that definitive or settling the issue.


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