Did the Universe Begin with a Big Bang? — Part 3
So, is Big Bang theory a terrible error of modern science? There remains, of course, the enormous weight of contrary opinion; such a claim would obviously be dismissed by orthodox cosmologists. Who am I to challenge them? Is everything I’ve said in part 2 an erroneous, fringe viewpoint, easily disproved by the experts?
Wishing to find further material to support my argument, I therefore had a look at a book called Let There Be Light, Modern Cosmology and Kabbalah: a New Conversation Between Science and Religion¹. As you can imagine from the title, I was hoping for agreement with the general thrust of what I was saying in part 1. (For the relevant passages, see footnote 2.)
However, the author Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist, and lecturer on cosmology and Kabbalah, turned out to be a dedicated believer in orthodox Big Bang theory. For example, he says: “The basic theory and its derivatives have enabled scientists to explain with remarkable accuracy the intricate birth and early evolution of the universe and to understand its salient attributes, such as the rapid expansion that we see. Many subtle predictions have been verified, and meanwhile, as increasingly ethereal features of the observed universe are being uncovered, the model continues to provide either credible explanations or a solid framework for variant ideas. So far, the essential picture remains robust”. Smith has persuaded himself that the Big Bang is in accord with the ideas expressed in the Zohar (a medieval Kabbalistic text of Jewish mysticism).
Christians also have enthusiastically accepted the Big Bang model, since creation ex nihilo seems to be in accord with the Genesis account. An example would be a book called Developing a Christian Worldview of Science and Evolution by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey³.
From my perspective, the problem with both books is that they accept the orthodox story of the Big Bang, and are completely ignorant of what I have chosen to call the true history (in part 2). Thus we read the conventional ideas about redshift and CMBR. My suggestion, therefore, is that anyone who claims the truth of the theory, should be asked to explain in detail:
- why the tired-light theory is wrong
- why Hubble himself rejected the idea of the expanding universe
- and why the Big Bang explanation for CMBR was accepted, rather than the alternative which made much more accurate predictions of its temperature.
By coincidence, I then listened to the tape of a talk given by the late John Gordon, former President of Blavatsky Lodge (the HQ of the Theosophical Society in London, where the talk was given), on a completely different subject⁴. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, when I came across the following section:
“The modern paradigm theory, put about by orthodox science, is that of Big Bang. Well, as I suggested to an astronomer from Glasgow University a little while ago, much to his dismay, the general theory about Big Bang theory, is as full of holes as a kitchen colander. (The audience laughs.) You laugh, he didn’t. He went ballistic at the very suggestion, on the grounds that I was not a scientist or an astrophysicist, therefore I knew nothing about the background to it. (This is what happens when you challenge the ‘experts’.) But when I asked him about certain of the phenomena associated with it, and the idea that the redshift and the blueshift, which is the basis of Big Bang theory, that redshift and blueshift occur purely also in relation to the movement of planets, relative to our own planet within the solar system, he wasn’t quite so keen on pushing the boat out. Nor the idea that the background microwave radiation, which has also been used to justify Big Bang theory, that this itself is not altogether surprising, bearing in mind that we have a huge number of celestial bodies moving through space. It’s rather like water moving through the ground. It creates an electrical field…
“So, at the moment, Big Bang theory, science’s Big Bang theory, is a paradigm theory. It’s the best one they can think of, but they have to keep plugging the holes”. (‘Plugging the holes’ has been a familiar theme in parts 1 and 2.)
He then referred to certain BBC Horizon programmes, in which “some of the foremost astrophysicists in the world have expressed puzzlement, dismay, disquiet over the fact that the whole of astrophysical theory at the moment looks highly suspect”. This was in March 2010. Things must have changed at the BBC since then, because the Horizon programmes I have been watching more recently have reverted to advocacy of the Big Bang theory without any signs whatsoever of puzzlement, dismay, or disquiet.
Interestingly, in the same talk, John Gordon, obviously not sharing Howard Smith’s understanding, goes on to discuss the Zohar in support of his Theosophical, non-Big Bang viewpoint.
This series will continue with further reflections on the Big Bang.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. I have written in the past about other topics, including spirituality, metaphysics, psychology, science, Christianity, politics, and astrology. All these articles are on Medium, but the simplest way to see a guide to them is to visit my website (click here and here).
- New World Library, 2006
2. It seems that there are two possible solutions to the dark matter and dark energy problems. (The second solution is that) the cause of the dark matter and energy problems might have an esoteric or occult explanation. Esotericist Douglas Baker says: “The dark matter and energy now being probed by modern science are the mental matter and energies known to ancient sages”. This is also the line that Cox adopts, saying that the existence of dark matter conforms with the Ancient Wisdom. He wonders: “Is it possible that this represents the discovery (or rediscovery) of the galactic field of tamas known to the ancients thousands of years ago?”, and says that the dark-matter halo of modern science “corresponds directly to the dark neck of Shiva, which extends above his galactic torso”.
So, even though Big Bang theory has presented very serious, perhaps insoluble, problems, it is still accepted uncritically by the majority of those involved. As (Robert) Cox puts it: “Although this theory is enormously popular it amounts to little more than a modern creation myth. …its starting premise is flawed logically. The dictates of pure reason tell us that something cannot be created from nothing. (The universe) must have been made from something, though modern science is mute as to what that mysterious something might have been. If we assume the Big Bang as a starting premise, the subsequent explanation of creation can be expressed logically, though it is rooted in an unexplained miracle”. Science accepts this last point, calling it a singularity, invoking uses of the word ‘infinite’ usually reserved for God. Cox’s last sentence is especially important, suggesting that the whole structure of Big Bang cosmology is a series of logical deductions based on the a priori assumption that Big Bang theory is correct. What if this assumption is wrong?
3. Tyndale House Publishers, 1999
4. ‘Atlantis and the Global Warming Cycle’, March 21st 2010