The Big Bang Never Happened

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by Michael Wisenbaker


The "Big Bang" cosmological theory proposes that the entire universe began at a definite moment in the distant past at which time the universe was crammed into a point of infinite density. According to the Big Bang cosmological model, the universe began in a sort of explosion - starting out from infinite density and temperature - and then expanded, thinned out, and cooled. The Big Bang model holds that at all times subsequent to the universe's initial moment of creation, the universe has been controlled by gravity only, and its mathematical description thus follows logically from Einstein's theory of gravity.

The Big Bang theory of the origin and evolution of the universe began to develop major problems throughout the 1970's and 1980's as new astronomical observations became inconsistent with more and more of its theoretical underpinnings: generally, the astronomical observations simply did not square with a system controlled only by gravitational forces. Such observations have resulted in the current "crisis in cosmology" which begs for the Big Bang theory to be replaced with another cosmological model.

The "Big Bang" Cosmological Model Rests on Four Observable Facts

A. The Outward Motion of Galaxies

This motion, discovered by Hubble in 1929, was interpreted as evidence for the expansion and explosive beginning of the universe. Two kinds of measurements were needed in Hubble's analysis, the speed and distance of neighboring galaxies. Since the early 1900's it had been thought that neighboring galaxies were speeding away from Earth as determined by what is known as the "Doppler Shift," which is evidenced by the "redshift" of light waves.

1. "Redshift of Waves"

When a source of light is in motion, its colors shift, analogously to the shift in pitch of a moving source of sound. In light, the analogue of pitch is color. If a source of light is moving closer, its colors are shifted up in frequency, toward the blue end of the spectrum; if the source is moving away, its colors are shifted down, toward the red. From the amount of shift, the speed of the moving source of light can be inferred. See Illustration 1

2. "Recession of Galaxies"

Hubble discovered that the colors of most nebula were shifted toward the red, indicating that they were speeding away from us. This change in color of cosmic objects is known as "redshift."

If galaxies were flying away from each other, they would have been closer together in the past; thus it was felt that the universe was more dense at earlier times. If this backward extrapolation were continued, there would be some definite moment in the past when all matter in the universe was crammed together in a state of almost infinite density. From the rate of expansion, when this point in time occurred could be estimated: about 10 - 15 billion years ago. This concept of the beginning of the universe came to be called the "Big Bang" model, according to which the universe began in a sort of explosion, starting out from infinite density and temperature, and then expanded, thinned out, and cooled. The Big Bang model logically follows from Einstein's theory of gravity to provide a mathematical description of the universe.

The Big Bang was not like an ordinary explosion in which a localized region of flying debris spreads out into a surrounding region of non-moving space, but instead it was to have occurred everywhere. Under such a view there would be no surrounding space for the universe to move into, because any such space would be part of the universe; the concept of the individual particles in the universe flying away from one another is like marks on the surface of a balloon all receding from one another as the balloon is blown up. See illustration 2

B. Age of Earth Determined by Radioactivity

There is a completely independent method for verifying the age of the Earth, radioactive dating of uranium ore. The approximate match between the age of the Earth as calculated in this manner, and the age of the universe according to the Big Bang model as gauged by recession of galaxies, is good. Radioactive dating of uranium ore suggests the age of the Earth to be 4 billion years -- as opposed to a million years or 10 trillion years -- relatively very close to the age of 10 - 15 billion years which the Big Bang model predicts for the universe.

C. The Overall Chemical Makeup of the Universe

In addition to providing an explanation for the observed expansion and age of the universe, the Big Bang model explains why the overall chemical makeup of the universe is approximately 25% helium and 75% hydrogen, and attempts to explain such chemical make-up in terms of atomic processes of the early universe. According to the Big Bang model the universe was once so hot that none of the chemical elements except for hydrogen and helium, the lightest elements, could exist. All other elements consist of a fusion of two or more particles, which could not hold together under the intense heat of the very early universe as it expanded and cooled.

Calculations done by Hoyle and others in 1964 and refined by Peebles in 1966, and Fowler and Hoyle in 1967, showed that nuclear fusion in just a few minutes after the Big Bang should have converted approximately 25% of the mass of the universe to helium, the next lightest element after hydrogen. It is believed that all heavier elements are manufactured in nuclear reactions in the centers of stars; as a result of such reactions and subsequent stellar explosions, other chemical elements, (O2 + C, etc.), make up only a trace of the mass of the universe. See illustration 3

D. Cosmic Background Radiation

The other important experimental confirmation of the Big Bang theory is the "cosmic background radiation", the bath of radio waves from space, which first was predicted as a necessary remnant of a hot, younger universe and then was actually discovered in 1965.

The cosmic background radiation was first predicted by Gannow in 1948 and later independently predicted by Peebles, et al in 1965. Both groups contended that when the universe a few seconds old, a special kind of radiation would have been produced throughout space and then would have traveled freely throughout space, appearing today with a wavelength corresponding to radio waves and a temperature of about 3° K (above absolute zero). According to such theory, when the temperature of the universe dropped to 3,000°K, at about 300,000 years ago after Big Bang, protons and electrons combined to form helium. At such time, all matter and radiation went separate ways and in the 15 billion years of universe expansion since, the radiation has cooled to 2.74°K.

In 1965 such background radiation was discovered by scientists at Bell Laboratories, and then in 1989 the COBE satellite was launched and confirmed that the spectrum of cosmic background radiation is very close to what was predicted by the Big Bang model: the cosmic background radiation was found to be a perfectly smooth 2.735°K in all directions of space (isotropic), to a sensitivity of one part in 100,000.

Using the Big Bang model as a predicate, comprehensive cosmological theories have developed of how the stars and galaxies were formed; how galaxies have taken on different shapes; and how they have aged.

By the early 1990's the Big Bang model of the universe had become well-developed and so well accepted that it in fact had become part of the public consciousness.

At the beginning of the 1990's the Big Bang model was "alive and well".

Trouble in Bang Land

The Big Bang theory of the origin and evolution of the universe began to develop major problems throughout the 1970's and 1980's as astronomical observations became inconsistent more and more of its theoretical underpinnings.

A. Dark Attractors

During the 1970's as some astronomers mapped the velocities of wandering galaxies, Rubin and Ford concentrated on galaxies' spiral arms, reasoning that the way a galaxy was spinning would go a long way toward explaining its structure and movement: they used spectroscopy to determine whether light from the galaxies' arms moved toward the red or blue end of the spectrum. See illustration 6

Astronomers assumed that the largest concentration of a galaxy's mass was tucked around its core; thus, a galaxy should behave like a gigantic solar system. The great gravitational attraction of the galaxy's central mass should keep the outer objects in place and set their velocity according to Newton's inverse-square law; the close-in objects should speed around the center while the more distant objects would rotate at a slower pace. Since this is true of our solar system, it should be no different for any galaxy. See Illustration 7 (Newton's law of gravitation in its most simple form, states that the mutual attractive force between two bodies is proportional to the product of their masses divided by the square of the distance between them.)

Astronomers used redshift calculations to determine that the outer stars in spiral galaxies moved as fast as those near the core; they were astonished. Unless something unseen was holding the galaxies together, Newton's inverse-square law would require that the outer stars and gases should have twirled off into space; the existence of extra mass in the form of some kind of matter was required. The second line of indirect evidence is that galaxies in clusters swarm around one another at speeds which are incomprehensible unless extra gravitational matter is holding the clusters together. See Illustration 8

Rubin and Ford analyzed over two hundred galaxies in the late 1970's and early 1980's and found there was extra unknown matter in virtually every galaxy they had examined which was at least ten times as massive as the visible luminous stars and dust. Somehow, over 90 percent of the matter in the universe had not been accounted for. This fact led astronomers to propose the existence of unseen "dark gravitational matter," composing 90% of all matter in the universe, in dark haloes around galaxies. See Illustration 9

As discomforting as it is to propose that 90% of all matter in the universe is unseen, it is far less discomforting than throwing out all of the known laws of physics.

B. The Horizon Problem

In 1969, only four years the microwave background radiation was discovered, astronomers began wondering why the background radiation was so utterly smooth. The problem was that the radiation was smooth across distances that were too great to have allowed light to travel from a point on one side of the universe to a point on the other side within the age of the universe allowed by the Big Bang. Astrophysicists were able to look for the edge of the universe at the very limits of observability, at what they called the "horizon." If they looked at the horizon in one direction, then looked the other way, they found that the background radiation poured in at precisely the same temperature, 2.735 degrees Kelvin, from both directions. The problem was that the regions of the universe could only have reached the same temperature by having been in contact at one time.

If the universe had existed forever, there would have been plenty of time for any two regions of the universe, no matter how far apart today, to have exchanged heat and thus homogenized. But was not the case in a universe that supposedly had evolved from a Big Bang in which the horizon of the universe extended out only about 15 billion light-years in every direction. Such background radiation from a distant edge of the universe would have thus taken at least 15 billion years to reach Earth; the radiation from the opposite horizon also had taken 15 billion years to get here. This meant that the two regions of space had to be separated by at least 30 billion light-years. But if the universe was only about 15 billion years old, the question was how could these widely separated regions have ever been in contact with one another in order to share the same temperature. There simply was no way for a signal moving at the speed of light -- supposedly the maximum velocity attainable according to Einstein's theories -- ever to have traveled between the two points. See Illustration 10

C. The Flatness Problem

As well as the universe's beginning, theorists faced another big problem -- its fate. Generally, two kinds of universes predicated by Einstein's theory: one that would go on expanding forever, and one that would fall back on itself. In a universe which fell back on itself, there would be enough matter for the gravitational force acting on it to bring the outward expansion to a halt. How much matter was required for this to occur was calculated with great accuracy: about 3 hydrogen atoms per cubic yard of space (or 5 x 10-27 kilograms per cubic meter). Gravity acting on matter of this density, the so-called "critical density," eventually would cause a universe like this to begin falling back on itself; at last, in pure collapse, the entire universe would revert to a single point of nearly infinite density and heat.

There was a third possibility, too, that the universe was neither open nor closed, but rather was balanced precariously between a fate of grand contraction and infinite expansion. Astrophysicists assigned the Greek letter omega (W) to represent the ratio between the actual cosmic mass density as determined by observers and the critical density that would allow gravity to pull the universe back down on itself. If this ratio were equal to or less than 1, there would be too little actual mass density to halt the expansion, which would then go on forever. If omega were greater than 1, then the universe would be closed and the expansion would (or should already have) come to a halt. See Illustration 11

Using the example of an arrow shot by a bow and sent flying into the air, omega was similar to the ratio of gravitational energy to kinetic energy. If the archer were strong enough and shot the arrow skyward with more than the critical speed represented by the ratio, the arrow would escape Earth's gravity. If the arrow were shot at just the critical speed, the arrow would forever travel in orbit with gravitational and kinetic energies exactly balanced, their ratio equal to 1. See Illustration 12

An astronomer would call this a "flat" trajectory.

Astoundingly, this seemed to be exactly the case with the universe under the Big Bang scenario; observational astronomers were unable to determine whether the curved space of the universe was open or closed. The reason appeared to be that the universe was precisely poised between the two states, its omega exactly equal to 1. Theoretical supporters of the Big Bang believed that how the universe appears today -- in terms of the number and distribution of the galaxies -- had been almost wholly determined by minute features in the earliest instant of the universe. These conditions were believed to have been set when the universe was at the early age of 10-43 second. There could have been almost no deviation in conditions in the universe then to allow for the conditions we see today. For omega to have remained so close to 1 -- that is, for the universe to be so incredibly flat today -- the difference between the cosmic mass density and the critical density must have been almost nonexistent in the earliest instants after the Big Bang: at 1 second after the Big Bang, it was calculated, the universe had to be fine-tuned to an accuracy of 1 part in 1015, or to within 1 trillionth of 1 percent. (To help grasp the size of a number this large, if the universe had been formed 15 billion years ago, it would have been in existence for about 1015 seconds).

At 10-43 second, the universe would have had to have been fine-tuned to within 1 part in 1059, a fraction so small as to be incomprehensible. Had there been less matter by so much as one of these minuscule fractions, matter would have expanded outward so quickly that gravity could never have condensed the hydrogen and helium gases enough to form galaxies and stars; with just a tiny fraction more matter, gravity would have been too strong, and the expansion would have been halted long ago.

Since only enough mass had been detected throughout the cosmos to bring omega up to 0.1 -- one-tenth the requirement amount -- huge quantities of matter were still unaccounted for, meaning that almost the entire inventory of the universe or 90%, is unseen, undetected and unknown.

D. Quasars - Cosmic Relics

In late 1980's a series of observations occurred that added to cosmologists' concerns over the horizon and flatness problems; they found new celestial objects which appeared to be at an enormous distance from Earth and receding very fast. Unknown objects, they were so they were called "quasi-stellar radio objects," or "quasars." A quasar could be a hundred times brighter than the Milky Way but only about the size of our solar system and were at the most distant radius of the universe and moving away at 90% of the speed of light. It was initially believed, that if the red shifts analyses were correct, quasars were formed 10 billion years ago.

The discovery of a quasar, "PC1158+4635" in 1989 further shocked astrophysicists since it was found to be 14 billion light-years from Earth. A quasar so distant and so near the down of time should not exist: PC1158+4635 left too little time in the current model of the universe's evolution to get from the Big Bang to stellar structures such as galaxies. Even more disturbing, some such quasars which have redshifts so large that they appear to be on the edge of the universe have been found in the vicinity of nearby galaxies with small redshifts. If, as expected, such quasars are connected with the galaxy, then the two objects would be moving with vastly different velocities: this would mean that their red shifts -- perhaps even all redshifts -- result from a phenomenon other than rapid recession, as now believed.

E. Inflation: The Universal Cure-All

During the late 1970's - early 1980's, the subject of the extraordinary flatness of the universe, the unbelievable balance of the cosmos between runaway expansion and utter gravitational collapse, posed an incomprehensible problem. Then, in the late 1970's, Guth proposed a solution: that the entire infant cosmos could have slipped into an unstable state that physicists call a false vacuum and that this momentary state could cause the universe to experience a rapid change called a phase transition as it cooled in the instant after the Big Bang. (When water is chilled very rapidly, it can remain liquid far below its freezing point of 0 degrees Celsius; then it freezes all at once.) He proposed that as the universe cooled, the instantaneous false vacuum created by supercooling had driven the expansion: the universe would have done it all by itself; there would be no outside force; no hand of God; no divine creative power was necessary.

Guth calculated that inflation should have begun precisely at 10-35 second following the Big Bang when the hyper-dense conditions of the universe would have created the false vacuum condition at which time, according to the field equations of general relativity, a kind of anti-gravitational force would have pushed matter apart instead of drawing it together. Within the infinitesimal span of 10-32 second, the anti-gravitational repulsion would have made the universe expand in size by a factor of 1050 -- equivalent to a grain of sand growing bigger than our universe in the same span of time -- and then after such rapid expansion the universe then reverted to the rate of expansion of the standard Big Bang model. See Illustration 13

Inflation would solve the horizon problem: all the regions of the universe that we observe today would have been in contact with one another before inflation began at 10-35 second so that all the energy of the universe would have been evenly distributed before the exponential inflation of space itself.

More importantly, the inflation scenario would solve the flatness problem by reducing it to a simple exercise in geometry: whatever the curvature of space before inflation, it would have been flattened during the rapid expansion like the surface of a balloon "flattens" as it is inflated.

A major problem developed with inflation: inflation predicted that the rapid expansion would have occurred in a number of separate spatial bubbles which should be observable today. Bubbles were a major problem for inflation because they are not observable.

Notwithstanding the bubble wall problem, the cosmology world was galvanized by the novel concept of inflation since it solved such difficult problems. One possible solution to the bubble problem was worked out which predicted that the observable universe would occupy but one billion-trillionth of a single bubble domain. This theory eliminated bubble walls as a major worry: the walls would be so far beyond our observational reach of about 15 billion light-years that they could never possibly become visible.

The non-verifyiability of the inflation theory has been a major flaw from its inception: throughout the history of science the best theories have always made verifiable predictions, which could be tested by experiment or observation. For example, Einstein's general relativity, predicted a number of phenomena that were later observed and Quantum Theory, envisioned numerous experiments at the subnuclear level that were then carried out in accelerators. On the other hand inflation cannot be tested. Guth's original theory of inflation made only one single prediction that could be considered testable: astronomers should be able to discern the walls of domains smaller than the observable universe which has turned out to be false; no hint of domain walls has ever been observed.

Another major problem with inflation is that it required that omega (W) equal 1 exactly and thus required the universe's mass to be 10 times the amount we can account for. To solve this problem, theorists, adopting inflation to cure observational problems with the Big Bang, proposed that 90% of the mass of the universe was missing; they proposed a "missing mass" to represent 90% of the universe. They called this missing mass "cold dark matter," which also has never been observed. Moreover, the cold dark matter was required by the theory to consist of non-baryonic material, unlike any of the matter in the rest of the universe.

By the late 1980's the inflation theorists became to be perplexed by the basic dilemma that the inflation which would have smoothed out the inhomogeneities of the earlier universe would have left no fluctuations in the density of space capable of producing the giant galactic structures which were then becoming being observed. On the other hand, if inflation had not occurred they could not explain the flat universe.

F. Big Attraction

The background radiation that had been discovered in 1965 was considered the chief evidence for the Big Bang. In 1977 scientists sent balloons aloft equipped with the most sophisticated measuring devices that had yet been used to detect minute variations in this radiation. They found surprised results: the radiation was shifted slightly toward the red end of the spectrum on one side of the sky, and slightly toward the blue end in the other direction.

As a consequence the conclusion was inescapable that the Earth and the solar system were, in fact, moving rapidly in the direction of the blueshifted background radiation. See Illustration 14

The entire Milky Way had a peculiar motion not related to the general expansion of the universe. Calculations undertaken soon afterward showed that not only the Milky Way, but that the entire local group of about thirty galaxies was moving in the same direction at about 700 kilometers per second (about 2 percent of the speed of light) in the direction of Virgo; these galaxies exhibited what became known as a "streaming motion." Later astronomers found that our local group are being pulled not only toward Virgo but toward an unseen, unknown mass, in a direction which lay nearly perpendicular to the estimated position of Virgo.

In 1987 a group of seven astrophysicists analyzed the streaming motions of some four hundred galaxies in our region of the universe and made an announcement that shook the world astrophysics community: every nearby galaxy, including those in clusters and gigantic superclusters, was streaming at a rate of 600 to 700 kilometers per second toward a point in the sky that lay some 300 million light-years beyond Hydra-Centaurus, some 70 million light-years away. The unknown object toward which all the galaxies were streaming was named the "Great Attractor." The mass of this monumentally Great Attractor was calculated to be as that of tens of billions of galaxies. In 1989 astronomers announced that the Great Attractor appeared to be two extremely dense superclusters of galaxies stretching 300 million light-years across the universe beyond Hydra-Centaurus. See Illustration 15

G. Then, The "Great Wall"

Until the 1980's, without the advanced computer technology then available to astronomers, astronomers were unable to undertake a meaningful survey of the universe using Hubble's concept of red shift. Until then, no one had the slightest idea what the actual structure of the universe might be.

In the mid-1980's Huchra and Geller of Harvard and Smithsonian Observatory built a red-shift map of the sky; instead of the uniform distribution of galaxies that they expected, astronomers begin finding great clusters of galaxies, superclusters and, eventually, the immense superclusters. Their study revealed that the universe consisted of a pattern of galactic structures that utterly defied existing theory, including one unusually large cosmic construction at least 500 million light-years long and 15 million light-years thick. Not able to tell its exact size because it ran off the edge of their survey, they named it the "Great Wall," and further speculated that it could be made up of walls of still larger galactic bubbles. See Illustration 16

In between these gigantic new structures they surprisingly found great stretches of empty space nearly devoid of any matter at all. One of these voids was an estimated 300 million light-years across, far too immense a span of emptiness to be accommodated by existing ideas about how the universe had evolved; according to these standard theories, based on the Big Bang model the cosmic density should have been as quite smooth.

Big Bang theorists were stunned since the Great Wall was far too large and too massive to have formed by only the mutual gravitational attraction of its member galaxies, as should have been the case under the Big Bang scenario. Worse, indications that the Great Wall might be just a part of one of a series of gigantic galactic sheets lined up one after the other in a honeycomb structure with voids of 400 million light-years in between have been recently confirmed: an extension of the Great Wall has been found in the Southern Hemisphere, the "Southern Wall." The gigantic structure as now mapped consists of over 11,000 galaxies stretching over what is believed to be a billion light-years. See Illustration 17

H. Biggest Bang Problems

In 1994 the newly-repaired Hubble Space Telescope (the "HST") took a new look at the rate of the expansion of the universe in a renewed effort to determine its age. The repaired HST spied cephoid "standard candles" in the M100 galaxy in the Virgo cluster and, based on the expansion rate, determined the Cephoids to be 56 million light years from Earth, rather than several times further. Such observations necessitated the age of the universe to be 8-12 billion years old, based on the consequential expansion rate, rather than the 16-20 billion previously believed. See Illustration 18

The huge problem for advocates of the Big Bang theory is that certain objects in the universe, particularly certain quasars which are reliably dated at 16 billion years old, appear to be older than the universe itself!

Such realizations have led to the current crisis in cosmology. The new findings that the universe is younger than objects in it has began to permeate the public consciousness.

The Current Crisis in Cosmology

In 1962 Thomas Kuhn revolutionized our concepts concerning the history of science: in his classic work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Kuhn hit on the word "paradigm" to describe the world view of any specific scientific community. Kuhn proposed that science did not move forward by refining old views but rather by changing basic concepts; he described an old paradigm/anomaly/crisis/revolution/acceptance/new paradigm cycle. By the mid-1990's, it appears that cosmology is ready for just such a paradigm shift.

The current crisis in cosmology generally is that the Big Bang model does not allow enough time to get the universe from its early state to one we are seeing now. The question is: how did the universe get to be as lumpy as it is given the COBE results, which would indicate that the universe would be smooth and homogenous from a Big Bang beginning.

In an atmosphere reminiscent of the last days of dying Aristotelian or Ptolemaic cosmology, Big Bang theorists would have us now believe that our universe is filled with an utterly smooth background radiation in a volume of space which is filled with galactic structures too large to possibly exist, which may themselves have sprung from quasars too old for the age of a cosmos in which at least 90 - 99% of all matter was supposed to be there and had never been seen. Such problems beg the proposition of a new cosmological model.


NEEDED? SOME OTHER COSMOLOGICAL MODEL (See pages 651-655 [1] in The Urantia Book)

  • Stellar recession began 8 billion years ago (local systems).
  • Objects exist which appear to be "outside" of the universe.
  • If cosmological model is controlled only by gravity, over 90% of the mass of the universe is unaccounted for.
  • Spherical matter ("dark islands of space") comprises Dark Gravitational Matter.
  • Large-scale features of the universe ("outer space levels") represented by the Great Wall and the Southern Wall.
  • Large-scale recession (red-shift) consists of "space respiration".
  • Galactic streaming demonstrates super-universe rotation.

The Respiratory Universe Model

The problems of the Big Bang model can be solved, as well as its characteristics explained, by the "Respiratory Universe" model in which seven super-universes circle the central universe in a counter-clockwise rotation; the first of the four outer space layers rotates around the central universe in a clockwise direction; the expansion-contraction cycle of the universe ("respiration") which takes approximately 2 billion years; and in which the various spheres of space consist of stars, dark islands of space, minor space bodies (such as comets, meteors, etc.), planets, and architectural spheres. Such a model is presented in The Urantia Book.

A. Horizon and Flatness Problems

The Respiratory Universe model would easily explain the horizon problem, since the universe, having practically existed for infinity, would have plenty of time to exchange heat and energy. The microwave background energy, or radiation, would appear to be practically the same everywhere.

Such a model, which would exhibit slow controlled epochs of fine-tuned expansion and contraction, would appear to be neither "open," flying apart, or "closed," heading toward the Big Crunch, but rather to be "flat". Critical mass, or omega, would not be a factor since forces other than gravity would come into play. The existence of these forces have been suggested by physicists such as the Swedish Nobel laureate Hannes Alfven, who contends that the universe is continually energizing itself by means of electromagnetic currents; Alfven contends such currents are as important to universe development as gravity. Alfven believes that magnetic fields and currents can concentrate matter and energy far faster and more effectively than can gravity. Also, theories by even Big Bang supporters such as Hawking, have been proposed stating that energy may continually be recycled in the universe by the explosion of black holes after gravity has completed its work of matter condensation. If this is the case, the energy-mass-energy conversion cycle could repeat itself endlessly allowing plenty of time for heat in the universe to equalize and requiring no "critical mass."

B. The Large Scale Structure of the Universe

"The Great and Southern Walls" The increasingly comprehensive maps which show enormous structures consisting of galaxies located along the bubble-like surface of enormous "voids" are also explained by the Respiratory Universe model. The model contains four huge outer space levels which encircle the superuniverse clusters. Thus, the first outer space level could be what is now described as the "Great Wall - Southern Wall" complex.

C. Streaming Motions of Galaxies: "The Great Attractor"

In the Respiratory Universe model consisting of seven superuniverse galaxies moving in a counter-clockwise direction around a universal center, an individual superuniverse cluster of galaxies would exhibit an overall "streaming motion" associated with such a counter-clockwise rotational track. In addition, one's home galaxy would exhibit angular rotation associated with the rotation of the super-universe around its system axis.

The Respiratory Universe model which combines counter-clockwise and angular rotation would therefore explain the streaming motions which we actually observe toward what we now call the Great Attractor. See Illustration 22

D. "Dark Islands of Space": Dark Gravitational Matter

The "dark gravitational matter" comprising 90% of all matter in the universe is the matter which is required to be present from the laws of physics, but which is not visible. In an effort to explain its identity, astronomers have proposed that such matter consist of "dark haloes" of exotic kinds of particles.

Such matter is better explained by compact "black hole-like" objects; especially since the laws of physics would suggest that dispersed halo particulate should contract and condense to form sphercal bodies as a result of gravitational forces. Detailed studies of nearby galaxies have been made to verify the existence of and locate such compact objects.

Recently some confirmation of the existence of dark gravitational matter in the form of compact spheres, which astronomers call MACHOs ("Massive Compact Halo Objects") has been reported; they have noticed a star slowly brightening and then fading again. Astronomers have proposed that this event, which occured in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a companion galaxy to ours, could be "microlensing" the gravitational focusing of a star's light by a large compact invisible object as that mass moved between us and the distant star. This microlensing event, discovered by Griest of University of California, San Diego, is the first direct evidence of dark matter. See Illustration 23

The Respiratory Universe model proposes that "Dark Islands of Space," or MACHOs, cause the rotational veolocities of galaxies. MACHOs consequently represent 10% of the "missing mass" of the universe which is the mass known to be present due to rotational velocities of galaxies, but which represent objects which are not conventionally visible. See Illustration 24

E. Redshift

What has been perhaps the most troubling aspect of the Respiratory Universe model is the abundance of redshift in the cosmos. The Respiratory model predicts that much of the redshift is not actually real, but rather occurs because of the rotational direction of the first outer space level with reference to our superuniverse domain. Now that the Great Wall has been discovered, detailed study of it will no doubt display a preferential streaming direction due to such rotational direction. See Illustration 25


Today, in a trend reminiscent of the methods of Ptolemaic astronomers until Copernicus came to the rescue, cosmologists are ignoring facts that fail to fit the Big Bang model. When the theoretical model first appeared, it was a reasonable and seemingly scientific explanation for a relatively small amount of astronomical data taken earlier in the century: it was consistent with the Hubble redshift of galaxies and large-scale expansion; it seemed to explain the observed abundances of light elements such as helium and hydrogen which had not been created in the fusion furnaces of existing stars, but created in the earliest moments of the Big Bang. In what probably was its finest hour, the Big Bang model predicted the microwave background radiation at about the temperature that was consistent with a creation explosion out of a formless nothingness 15 billion years or so ago.

However, the troubling observational and theoretical problems of the 1970's and 1980's increasingly have challenged the Big Bang model. The Big Bang model also began having more and more difficulty reconciling the latest observational details found by astronomers with the fundamental assumption that on the galactic and cosmic scales gravity was the sole player. In other words, the theory failed to explain convincingly how matter had become organized in clusters of galaxies and superclusters in the time period allotted since the Big Bang.

Also for the universe to be structured in a manner consistent with current observations, more than 90 percent of its matter would have to be in the form of some unknown, unseen, but unbelievable massive dark matter which would not only have to be present in such a huge quantity that it would account gravitationally for the size and behavior of the new clusters and superclusters, but it also would have to be of such a bizarre quality that it could not possibly be detected by even the most sophisticated technology. For instance, gravity working alone would have taken something like 100 billion years to create the supercluster two and a half billion light-years across that was recently discovered by American and German observers. This was a time scale at least five times longer than permitted by even the most generous of the Big Bang models.

To salvage the Big Bang, theorists have brought in a number of ad hoc assumptions such as inflation, to supposedly cause the universe to expand exponentially, but which suffers from the same malady as the Big Bang, an inability to make predictions that can be tested.

Today the long odds are that the Big Bang never happened. Perhaps the Big Bang was just a "big spash," a stellar disgorgement in our little neighborhood of the universe that was neither the beginning of time nor the creation of the cosmos.

How long will the Big Bang theory survive? Whether the Big Bang goes down in five years or twenty-give years, it appears inevitable that it soon will be overwhelmed by more and more uncompromising new observations and experimentation. In the next millennium scientists and other people looking back likely will regard it much the way we look back on the cosmology of Aristotle, a quaint theory that people believed in for a while.


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  2. Barrow, J. & Tipler, F. (1986). The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford University Press. New York.
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