Thirty-three respected scientists, including physicist Stephen Hawking are up in arms, have signed an open letter responding to a controversial article that branded popular views on the origins of the universe unscientific, so finally someone noticed?
The letter was published in response to an article in the February issue of the magazine Scientific American, in which three physicists criticized the popular inflation theory.
The idea is that the universe started expanding exponentially after the “Big Bang”, with quantum fluctuations translating into stars and galaxies. This idiotic idea was first proposed in the 1980s, and astonishingly it is now taught as standard in most schools and universities, and is being explored through several related competing models.
The fantastic thing here is that these “scientists” are not questioning the Big Bang, but instead focus what happened after. The Big Bang, bare with me here, is the notion that the universe for no reason sprang from nothing in a single instance. If you accept this nonsense, then why not accept “and then God said…”?
“Pop Goes The Universe,” written by Princeton University’s Paul Steinhardt and Anna Ijjas, and Harvard University’s Abraham Loeb, argues that recent research into cosmic microwave background – radiation left over from the time of the Big Bang – does not support the theory of a rapid expansion. Instead, it posits an alternate theory, the “big bounce,” in which the Big Bang was not the beginning of the universe, but rather, “a transition from some preceding cosmological phase to the present expanding phase.” So there was a smaller Bang, not as Big as the Big Bang?
“The data suggest cosmologists should reassess this favored paradigm and consider new ideas about how the universe began,” the article’s In Brief summary reads.
The problem this article had within the scientific community was not in challenging the inflation theory per se, but the claim that in certain aspects it is untestable. It’s frightening that this sort of nonsense is being thought in Universities…
“Inflationary cosmology, as we currently understand it, cannot be evaluated using the scientific method,” Steinhardt, Ijjas, and Loeb state at the end of the article.
This obvious statement, which basically brands the theory speculative at best, is what prompted physicists Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, two of the pioneers of inflation theory, David Kaiser from MIT, and Yasunori Nomura from Berkeley, to write a response, which was also published in Scientific American. How dare they question their cult-like Bing Bang theory? There is a TV sitcom named the Big Bang Theory, so it must be correct.
“They close by making the extraordinary claim that inflationary cosmology ‘cannot be evaluated using the scientific method’ and go on to assert that some scientists who accept inflation have proposed ‘discarding one of [science’s] defining properties: empirical testability,’ thereby ‘promoting the idea of some kind of nonempirical science,’” their letter reads.
“We have no idea what scientists they are referring to. We disagree with a number of statements in their article, but in this letter, we will focus on our categorical disagreement with these statements about the testability of inflation.”
Guth and Linde are former colleagues of Steinhardt, with whom they shared the prestigious Dirac prize in 2002 for their work in developing the concept of inflation in cosmology. Their letter is co-signed by 29 other scientists, including four Nobel Prize winners and Stephen Hawking.