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The 100 Year Wrong Turn in Cosmology

   This is the story of how the “God is Dead” rationalism of the Victorian era was subverted by the re-introduction of religious thought  into cosmology.  Faced with impending aetheism in scientific philosophy,  man  appears  to have found respite in the universal patterns that the imagination can construe as "divine". Whether consciously or unconsciously, the the big bang as a concept resembles, as Ratcliffe puts it, the  "fingerprint of a creator's initial act".  The interpretation is so overt that it has entered into the very terminology of the discipline -  the  "fingers of God", the "pancakes of God", the "God particle",  the "moment of creation."  First penned by a priest,  launched by  a Quaker,  then praised by a Pope,  the religious influence is hard to ignore.  Perhaps in  another  100 years people will laugh at how anyone could have believed  in such a creation tale. But for the moment, here is a time- line of the unfolding controversy.  

(1895) H.G. Wells publishes "The Time Machine."  The book was an instant best-seller at the time. The story is generally given credit for popularizing the idea of time travel. As often occurs in recent history, science mimics fiction. Whether Einstein was influenced by the ideas of Wells is not clear, but it is plausible to think that the general public, following exposure to this best-seller, was primed for acceptance of a scientific theory based on the idea of a dimension of time. 
(1905) Einstein introduces the idea of time rather than the speed of light as a variable in space. The ether, not detectable due to the Lorentz transformations, becomes superfluous in Einstein's view.  In doing so, he undermines Maxwell's physical model of space and the physical basis for the electromagnetic wave. The constancy of the speed of light is made a postulate of the theory, but no explanation of how or why is given. The theory also conjures a series of paradoxes regarding time. Einstein provides the first deconstruction of the rationalist Maxwellian models of space followed by the British school of Fitzgerald, Lodge and Kelvin.
(1907) Minkowski 4D spacetime is proposed as an alternative to 3D space. He states: "Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve and independent reality." The co-existence of the past, present and future is a requirement (substantivalism, perderantism). Free will no longer exists - the future is already written, so  mortals are condemned to simply acting out  the events of a preordained universe. He subsequently dies two years later. 
(1913)  George Sagnac publishes his paper on the rotating interferometer, demonstrating that the speed of light is not constant  for a rotating observer. The Sagnac effect is ignored by Einstein.
(1916) General Relativity - introduces Einstein's geometric concept of gravity with Minkowski's "absolute worlds" hypothesis grafted to it. This new theory of the medium (Substantivalism) is not in space so much as it is in time. A medium for electromagnetic waves is missing, the only waves conceived of in the fabric of space-time are gravitational waves.
(1917) Einstein introduces his cosmological constant in his paper "Cosmological Considerations in the General Theory of Relativity" as a means of explaining the stability of the universe against the attractive force of gravity. Einstein initially sees the universe as being a steady state one, and needs a cosmological constant to explain it, since his general theory of relativity was incompatible with a steady-state model. 
(1919) Eddington eclipse expedition -  Authur Eddington, a devout Quaker, confirms Einstein's prediction of the gravitational bending of light despite poor weather conditions. The results were of poorer quality and more controversial than is commonly  portrayed. Ernest Rutherford reportedly said to Eddington: “You are responsible for Einstein’s fame.”[ref]

(1921) Thanks to Eddington, Einstein goes to America and receives a ticker tape parade. Professor Chandrasekhar puts the event in context, paraphrasing Rutherford:

“The war had just ended; and the complacency of the Victorian and the Edwardian times had been shattered. The people felt that all their values and all their ideals had lost their bearings. Now, suddenly, they learnt that an astronomical prediction by a German scientist had been confirmed by expeditions to Brazil and West Africa and, indeed, prepared for already during the war, by British astronomers. Astronomy had always appealed to public imagination; and an astronomical discovery, transcending worldly strife, struck a responsive cord. The meeting of the Royal Society, at which the results of the British expeditions were reported, was headlined in all the British papers; and the typhoon of publicity crossed the Atlantic. From that point on, the American press played Einstein to the maximum."

(1927) Georges Lemaître - an ordained catholic priest and colleague of Eddington, proposes the Primeval Atom theory, which he refers to as "the Cosmic Egg exploding at the moment of the creation". Einstein says of it: "Your math is correct, but your physics is abominable." However, Einstein later warmed to the idea, and became a proponent and supporter of Lemaître. The theory is renamed the Big Bang theory by Fred Hoyle. Lemaître's argument is that an expanding universe is an increasing disorder of the universe, in keeping with the law of entropy. This is despite the obvious evidence to the contrary that all celestial objects and all of life are self-ordering, an-entropic structures experiencing periodic renewal. 
(1927?) A purge of the University of California physics department of  critics of Einstein’s theory of relativity in the late 1920's is related by John Chappell (1933-2002) after hearing of the prior event from a staff member. [ref][ref]

    (1929:)  Aurthur Eddington writes "The Nature of the Physical World" and excites the 
    interest of clery around the world by suggesting the compatibility of new science 
    with old religion.  

     "To interpret man's religion to man's science in not only mutually intelligible, but mutually
       interdependent terms, remains, as I believe, the great task of our time if we are to see any
       stable order in events, or make any consistent sense of experience." -Eddington.
(1929) Edwin Hubble - Formulates the empirical redshift distance law for galaxies. Hubble & Humason's 1931 paper carried the footnote:
"It is not at all certain that the large red shifts in the spectra are to be interpreted as a Doppler effect, but for       convenience they are expressed in terms of velocity and referred to as apparent velocities."
Hubble felt that the data was in better agreement with light having a loss of energy to the intervening medium proportional to the distance it travels through space by what he called "a new principle of nature" (Hubble 1937). This was because if it were Doppler the light should appear to be less bright (due to a decrease in photon flux) than if it were a loss of energy.  Such a brightness correction did not fit the direct proportionality to distance data.

(1931-4) Authur Eddington uses his influence to launch Lemaitre's Cosmic Egg theory into mainstream scientific discourse. He publishes his book "The Expanding Universe" in 1933. Eddington is featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 1934. The inscription under his name reads " His universe expanded into popularity."

(1931) Einstein abandons his cosmological constant theory. He calls it his "greatest blunder." Despite this, many modern cosmologists   now advocate reviving this fudge factor term to correct for the mis-predictions of the expanding universe theory. 

(1932) Jan Oort measured the motions of nearby stars in our Milky Way relative to the galactic plane. He found that the mass of the plane must be more than the mass of the material that can be seen. This is sometimes claimed to be the first suggestion of dark matter.
(1932) The Einstein-de Sitter Model of the universe is proposed. It requires a "just right" amount of matter so that the universe will expand forever. It assumed a homogeneous, isotropic universe, with zero curvature, and zero cosmological constant. However, the model calls for an age of the universe of only 1.2 billion years, far younger than even the confirmed age of the earth. Einstein insisted that the anomaly should be taken seriously and not be explained away. “The cosmologic theory here presented,” he wrote in 1945, referring to the relativistic big bang theory, “would be disproved if it were found to contradict any such results. In this case I can see no reasonable solution.”[ref]
(1933) Fritz Zwicky infers the possibility of dark matter - he calculated the average mass of galaxies within the Coma cluster, and obtained a value 160x that expected from their luminosity. He was for a long time sceptical of Big Bang.
(1941) Andrew McKellar observes an interstellar temperature of 2.3 degrees K - one of the first detections of the CMB. Gamow is apparently aware of this discovery before he writes his 1948 paper, and thereby cannot claim that he predicted something since it was already known (his claim that astrophysicists had found a "nickel" exactly where he had lost one." )
(1946) Gamow estimates the big bang relic radiation to be 50 deg. K. Saying that it is in reasonable agreement with the actual temperature of interstellar space (as believed at the time).
(1948-1949) Alpher and Herman - predicts relic radiation of ~ 5 deg. K, then revise this level back to 28 deg. K.
(1950's) Vera Rubin discovers that bodies orbiting around the outskirts of galaxies appear to be moving at the same speed as bodies orbiting near the center.
(1950's) - hardening of attitudes with respect to scientific freedom. It is reported that steady state universe theory is discouraged by the president of the Royal Society.
 (1951) - Pope Pius XII openly supports Big Bang - saying:

           "true science discovers God in an ever-increasing degree."

In his 1951 encyclical to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the pope continued,

“We would even say that from this progressive discovery of God . . . there flow benefits not only for the scientist himself when he reflects as a philosopher—and how can he escape such reflection?—but also for those who share in these new discoveries or make them the object of their own considerations.”
(1959) Fritz Zwiky characterizes the supercluster in Virgo. The cluster becomes known as "the fingers of God", a series of lines of galaxies that are pointing in the direction of our solar system - leading to the "Copernican problem." . The effect demonstates that applying the Hubble distance relation to certain galaxy clusters can lead to large artifacts, due to the apparent pecular motions of members of the cluster. Another related effect became known as the "pancakes of God."

(1963) Alan Sandage and Thomas Matthews identify Quasi-Stellar Objects (QSOs,hereafter quasars) in 1963.  They were found to have redshifts significantly higher than other objects seen on the sky. Their implied remoteness  created difficulties for physical theory - they would be impossibly bright. 

Plotting quasars’ redshift against  brightness results in a wide scatter as compared with a smooth curve for galaxies. This seems to indicate that quasars do not follow the Hubble law, and there is no direct indication that they are at their proposed redshift distance. [ref]  

(1964) Dicke, Peebles, and Wilkinson predict a relic radiation of  40 deg. K.
(1964-5) Penzias and Wilson detect the cosmic microwave background radiation, and find it to be around 3K, at odds with most of the predictions by Big Bang advocates. However, the discovery is immediately siezed upon as evidence of a relic radiation from the proported big bang. 
(1966) Halton Arp publishes his atlas of peculiar galaxies, which show evidence of high redshift objects physically connected to low redshift objects. These observation undermines the redshift = velocity argument underpinning the big bang theory. 
(1972) Fred Hoyle in his 1972 Russell Prize lecture to the American Astronomical Society openly backs Arp's findings. It is entitled "The Developing Crisis in Astronomy." Arp reports that after the lecture Martin Schwarzschild blurts out at them "You are both crazy!" The lecture is then blocked from publication by the society.
(1970's) it was discovered in Vera Rubin's study of the rotational speed of gas in galaxies that the total visible mass (from the stars and gas) does not properly account for the speed of the rotating gas. Geoffrey Burbidge in Cosmology Quest reported that her observation time at Kitt Peak was nearly cancelled since the oversight committee refused to believe that her observations were real. Burbidge quotes Hoyle as saying: "anytime you point a new telescope at the sky now you are only going to find what you already know is up there." Not surprisingly, this galaxy rotation problem is now explained by the presence of large quantities of unseen dark matter.
(1978) Richard Muller publishes "The Cosmic Background Radiation and the New Aether Drift."  in Scientific American. This casting of the CMBr as an  apparent absolute reference frame for cosmic motion encourages a new generation of researches to search for an optically detectable aether of space.
(1986) Brent Tully of the University of Hawaii reports detecting superclusters of galaxies (Pisces-Cetus) 300 million light years (mly) long and 100 mly thick - stretching out about 300 mly across. It is estimated it would take 80 billion years to form such a long structure in the universe. The big bang model calls for a 13.7 billion year age for the universe 
(1989) Margaret Geller and John Huchra discover the great wall – a sheet of galaxies more than 500 million light years long and 200 million light years wide, but only 15 million light years thick. The existence of such monumental structures in space lead to questions about whether they could be formed in the time since the supposed big bang, since such structures would require 100  billion years to form.
(1991) Eric Lerner publishes "The Big Bang Never Happened," including steady-state universe model.
Lerner cites the following critical evidence against the big bang:
  - Light Element Abundances predict contradictory densities
  - Large-scale Voids are too old         -  No room for dark matter
  - Surface brightness is constant       - No Conservation of Energy
  - Too many Hypothetical Entities--Dark Matter and Energy, Inflation
  - Alignment of CBR with the Local Supercluster
(1992) The Big Bang is claimed proved by minute anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation in different directions in space, based on COBE data. However, this is contradicted by the smoothness dilemma (also called the large scale smoothness problem). The CMB temperature in different directions only fluctuates by one part in 100,000, contradicting the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmology model. George Smoot apparently commented at the press conference that seeing the fluctuations was like "seeing the face of God."
(1998) it is announced that the Universe is not only expanding, but is accelerating under the influence of a mysterious property of space called dark energy. [ref] The energy is entirely speculative. The process is called inflation. In order to account for this new idea, the cosmological contant abandoned by Einstein as his self-proclaimed "biggest blunder" is now re-instated. In a strange revision of history, NASA claims on their website about dark energy that space may be filled with some kind of fluid energy (aether?!) and that Einstein was the first person to recognize that empty space is not nothing (in fact when everyone thought that space was filled with something, i.e. a fluid energy (aether) Einstein was the first person to say that space was empty!!!) In disbelief? - click here
(2003) Another large scale structure in the universe, the Sloan Great Wall, is discovered. It is 1.36 billion light years long. It is estimated to have taken 250 billion years to form. [ref]
(2003) The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey is made public, revealing the large scale structure of one section of the universe.
(2005) Analysis of VIRGOHI21, an extended region of hydrogen in the Virgo cluster, is claimed to be a "dark galaxy" , i.e. a high concentration of dark matter in a region of space largely devoid of stars. It is predicted to have a mass to light ratio of 500:1. Analysis of the hydrogen gas cloud suggests that it is rotating and may likely be a tidal tail of NGC 4254. Since these observations are based solely on the lensing of light, it might be equally plausible to assume that starlight is being lensed by the rapidly rotating hydrogen cloud, rather than by gravity. It is well known that rotating, heated gas and/or plasma can form a density gradient which serves as graded index lens. This might explain the similar observation with Abell 520 (2012) where gravitational lensing was claimed to have been detected in the turbulent gas cloud between two colliding galaxies. Interstellar medium (ISM) is known to be able to disperse, refract and even Faraday rotate electromagnetic waves passing through it. 
(2006) Menlo Park researchers claim to have observed dark matter directly in galaxy clusters 3 billion light years away, using gravitational lensing. In this case the dark matter is said to have separated from the real matter, thereby it is found in isolation. This contradicts the theory of dark matter, since it is supposed to be found associated with real matter. The presumption of dark matter lensing in the bullet cluster contradicts the cold dark matter model since the required infall velocity is too high. 
(2007) Kenneth Nicholson publishes a new method using Newton's law of gravitation to explain how the existing mass distribution of a galaxy without dark matter is sufficient to account for the rotation velocity profile. The method divides the galaxy into a series of rings subdivided into constant density segments. Each segment will cause an acceleration on a test mass at a given radius. The total acceleration at a given radius by the interactions of the mass in the rings with their appropriate densities is then calculated. The method shows that galactic rotation naturally deviates from the virial theorem and flat the rotation profiles come out spontaneously without further assumptions such as dark matter or MOND. 
(2007) Astronomer Hilton Ratcliffe notes the psychological attraction of such a convergence of science, spirit and faith. [ref] “The idea of an infinite universe just wriggling around aimlessly is an anathema to the collective human psyche,” he writes in The Virtue of Heresy. “In the face of burgeoning atheism in scientific philosophy, man uttered a sigh of relief and clutched to his bosom a universal pattern that looked suspiciously like it might just be divine!” Mentally, the idea of a big bang may be easily morphed into the fingerprint of a creator’s initial act.
(2010) Gallo and Feng publish " Galactic Rotation Described by a Thin-Disk Gravitational Model without Dark Matter." In concurrence with Nicholson, the method uses conventional Newtonian dynamics without resorting to dark matter or MOND. They point out that the Keplerian rotation curve that works with a centralized mass doesn't work for galaxies where the mass distribution is anisotropic and far from spherically symmetric. They cite numerous  authors going back to 1995 who have already approached the problem the same way.  

(2012) Dark matter tendrils claimed to be detected, again using gravitational lensing studies of a filament of gas between Abell 222 and Abell 223. The filament is parallel to our direction of sight, amplifying the lensing. However, as explained earlier, rotating hot gas is a very effective lens for light since it forms a graded refractive index, so nothing can be proved about the existence of dark matter before other potential sources of interstellar lensing have been properly excluded. 

(2012) A Dark matter core nearly devoid of galaxies is claimed to have been discovered in Abell 520, located 2.4 billion light years away. This result presents a challenge to the theory of dark matter, since galaxies are supposed to be anchored to the invisible substance. A second paper however contradicts this claim. The uncertainty call into question the reliability of implied mass claims based on light lensing from such extreme distances in space, which may be caused by much more mundane effects. Abell 520 also contradicts the cold dark matter model. 
(2012) Galaxy MACS0647-JD discovered, at 13.3 billion years old, making the supposed 13.7 billion year age of the universe questionable since the galaxy would have had only 400 million years to form.  However, in the Lambda-CDM model the entire process of deciding the distance to a galaxy is "fixed" to the  size of the universe predicted by the big bang theory. In this model, every increasing redshifts lead to logarithmically smaller distance increments, such that at infinite redshift Z the universe is 13.7 billion years old. So no galaxy can be found with an age higher than the preordained 13.7 billion light years, ever! Lambda-CDM includes a cosmological constant. 
(2012)  A Chilean study of the local solar neighbourhood is performed looking for evidence of dark matter by examining the motions of 400 nearby stars up to 13,000 light years away. Zero evidence is found that their motions are effected by any presumed dark matter. In a second study, a Russian researcher looked at eleven thousand nearby galaxies to see what dark matter might be found around our galaxy, and found far less than predicted.
(2012) Microwave background temperature is expected to increase with redshift  in order to support the notion that the universe is expanding. Although initial studies appeared to support this idea, more recent work by Sato using higher resolution analysis found CMBr temperature at redshift = 0.89 to be between 1.1 and 2.5K, well below the expected 5.14K. They identify contamination bias occurring in lower resolution measurements that call into question the previous positive results of earlier papers.

(2014)  Lerner, Falomo and Scarpa  publish a paper using the Tolman test for surface brightness of near and far galaxies based on redshift data. They conclude that the observations are consistent with a static Euclidean model of the universe. Further analysis here explains that in a Big Bang universe, distant galaxies should not only be dimmer but also bigger, since the light from these objects should have expanded with space, further dimming their light, which is not what was found.

(2015)  Melia and Lopez-Corredoira perform a cosmological test based on a statistical analysis of galaxy distributions. This is based on the changing ratio of angular to spatial/redshift size of (presumed) spherically-symmetric source distributions with distance and is called the Alcock-Paczynski test.  They also incorporate Baryonic Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) peaks to overcome distortions due to gravitational effects. The analysis of BAO peaks from SDSS-III/BOSS-DR11 was found to strongly disfavour the current concordance (ACDM) model,  and favoured either a steady-state/tired light model of the universe, or an expanding Rh=ct universe with no inflation.

"Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression."  - Albert Einstein, 1954