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The Suppression of Inconvenient Facts in Physics: The Big Bang Scandal

© SUPPRESSED 2003

"Textbooks present science as a noble search for truth, in which progress depends on questioning established ideas. But for many scientists, this is a cruel myth.

They know from bitter experience that disagreeing with the dominant view is dangerous - especially when that view is backed by powerful interest groups. Call it suppression of intellectual dissent.

The usual pattern is that someone does research or speaks out in a way that threatens a powerful interest group, typically a government, industry or professional body. As a result, representatives of that group attack the critic's ideas or the critic personally-by censoring writing, blocking publications, denying appointments or promotions, withdrawing research grants, taking legal actions, harassing, blacklisting, spreading rumors." .....Brian Martin, "Stamping Out Dissent"

Big Bang: All the "Don't Matter Materialistic Theories In the Universe Condensed Down to one Single Point-less

Introduction

Science is in a state of crisis. Where free inquiry, natural curiosity and open-minded discussion and consideration of new ideas should reign, a new orthodoxy has emerged.

This 'new inquisition', as it has been called by Robert Anton Wilson[2] consists not of cardinals and popes, but of the editors and reviewers of scientific journals, of leading authorities and self-appointed "skeptics", and last but not least of corporations and governments that have a vested interest in keeping the status quo, and it is just as effective in suppressing unorthodox ideas as the original.

The scientists in the editorial boards of journals who decide which research is fit to be published, and which is not, the scientists at the patent office who decide what feats nature allows human technology to perform, and which ones it does not, and the scientists in governmental agencies who decide what proposals to fund, and not to fund, either truly believe that they are in complete knowledge of all the fundamental laws of nature, or they purposely suppress certain discoveries that threaten the scientific prestige of individuals or institutions, or economic interests.

Research that indicates that an accepted theory is incomplete, severely flawed, or completely mistaken, will be rejected on the grounds that it "contradicts the laws of nature", and therefore has to be the result of sloppiness or fraud. At the heart of this argument is the incorrect notion that theory overrides evidence.

In true science, theory always surrenders to the primacy of evidence. If observations are made that, after careful verification and theoretical analysis, are found to be inconsistent with a theory, than that theory has to go - no matter how aesthetically pleasing it is, or how prestigious its supporters are, or how many billions of dollars a certain industry has bet on it.

But in current mainstream science, the opposite occurs with disturbing regularity. Anomalous evidence is first ignored, then ridiculed, and if that fails, its author attacked. Scientific conferences will not admit it to be presented, scientific journals will refuse to publish it, and fellow scientists know better than to express solidarity with an unorthodox colleague.

In today's scientific world, the cards are just stacked too heavily against true scientific breakthroughs. Too many careers are at stake, too many vested interests are involved for any truly revolutionary advancement in science to take place any more. All too often, scientific truth is determined by the authority of experts and textbooks, not by logic and reason.

Referring to the fin de siecle "end of science" mentality and the scientific revolutions following it, Robert G. Jahn writes in 20th and 21st Century Science: Reflections and Projections[3]:

"As we enter the 21st century, science seems poised to execute a similar evolutionary cycle of advancement of their comprehension and relevance. We are opening with a steadily growing backlog of demonstrable physical, biological and psychological anomalies (..) most of which seem incontrovertibly correlated with properties and processes of the human mind, in ways for which our preceding 20th century scientific paradigm has no rational explanations. (..)

Thus, at the dawn of the 21st century, we again find an elite, smugly contented scientific establishment, but one now endowed with far more public authority and respect than that of the prior version. A veritable priesthood of high science controls major segments of public and private policy and expenditure for research, development, construction, production, education and publication throughout the world, and enjoys a cultural trust and reverence that extends far beyond its true merit.

It is an establishment that is largely consumed with refinements and deployments of mid-20th century science, rather than with creative advancement of fundamental understanding of the most profound and seminal aspects of its trade.

Even more seriously, it is an establishment that persists in frenetically sweeping legitimate genres of new anomalous phenomena under its intellectual carpet, thereby denying its own well-documented heritage that anomalies are the most precious raw material from which future science is formed."

In his debut editorial as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Henry H. Bauer gives a similarly bleak assessment of the state of modern science[4]:

"Mainstream orthodoxy routinely resists novelties that later become accepted. Throughout the 20th century there are examples: Bretz's Spokane flood, McClintock's recognition of "jumping genes", Mitchell's insights into biological energy mechanisms, Woese's Archaea, and McCully's homocysteine.

Only late in the 20th century did science reluctantly grant that acupuncture can have some analgesic effect, that ball lightning exists, that the kraken is not myth but the real giant squid, that it is not foolish to look for intelligent life outside the Earth, that 5000-year-old megaliths incorporate substantial knowledge of astronomy, that human beings inhabited the Americas long before the days of the Clovis culture, and that living systems can sense not only electrical but also magnetic fields.

Indeed, it may well be that the suppression of unorthodox views in science is on the increase rather than in decline.

In Prometheus Bound (1994), John Ziman has outlined how science changed during the 20th century: traditionally (since perhaps the 17th century) a relatively disinterested knowledge-seeking activity, science progressively became handmaiden to industry and government, and its direction of research is increasingly influenced by vested interests and self-interested bureaucracies, including bureaucracies supposedly established to promote good science such as the National Academies, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

Parkinson's Law, it may be, applies to science as to other human activities: no sooner has an organization become successfully established than it is by that token already an obsolescent nuisance."

In many cases of anomalous evidence that inconveniences establishment science, simple denial of publication suffices to suppress the anomaly. Sometimes, however, renegade scientists manage to capture the attention of the general public, pleading their case to a larger audience that has no vested interest in the validity of the established theories.

When that happens, and significant interests are at stake, the scientific establishment will turn nasty, resorting to misrepresentation or outright falsification of evidence.

The Big Bang Scandal

Big Bang Cosmology, which is built on general relativity theory, is forced to use a number of adjustable parameters and ad-hoc assumptions to agree with observation, such as inflation, the assumption that most of the mass of the universe must consist of 'dark matter', a kind of matter that cannot be detected, but nevertheless must exist, for the sole reason that big bang theory requires it, and now the latest fad, "dark energy".

Two of the three vaunted "predictions" of big bang theory - the light element abundances and the temperature of the microwave background are actually retrodictions meaning that big bang theory failed to predict them quantitatively correctly and was then adjusted after the data came in to fit the observational evidence[67].

The third, the Hubble expansion, is entirely a figment of the imagination, as veteran astronomer Halton Arp has pointed out for decades. There are ample examples of high-redshift quasars that are physically connected to low-redshift galaxies, and there is evidence that red shift is quantized.

But astronomy has failed to self-correct, and the only acknowledgement Arp received from the scientific establishment was to be largely (though not completely[62]) banned from publication in scientific journals or from speaking at conferences, and to be denied telescope time. He gives details in Quasars, Redshifts, and Controversies[63]

"[Around 1980] I had tried to make a customary tennis date with an old and valued Caltech friend who had been a longtime opponent on the subject of Quasars. He was embarrassed and evasive. On the following day, the six-person allocation committee, of which he was a member, sent me an unsigned letter stating that my research was judged to be without value and that they intended to refuse allocation of further observing time. (..)

A number of directors of other observatories as well as other well-known astronomers communicated to the director of my observatory strongly supporting my research and opposing the action of the allocation committee. I challenged members of the committee to debate the actual scientific facts. But none of this prevented the inevitable last act. My observations on the 200-inch telescope at Palomar terminated in 1983, and at Las Campanas in 1984. "

Arp found scientific asylum at the Max Planck Institut für Astrophysik in Munich, Germany, where he was allowed to continue his work. But the suppression continued. In Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science, Arp relates the following story[64]:

"'Just another isolated case'. Your eye slid over that phrase because you wanted to see whether the referee was going to recommend publication. The answer was: not for the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The message behind the smooth, assured phrase was clear: 'No matter how conclusive the evidence, we have the power to minimize and suppress it.' What was the observation this time? Just two X-ray sources unmistakably paired across a galaxy well known for its eruptive activity.

The paper reported that these compact sources of high-energy emission were both quasars, stellar-appearing objects of much higher redshift than the central galaxy, NGC4258. Obviously, they had originated from the galaxy, in contradiction to all official rules.

Slyly, the referee remarked that 'because there was no known cause for such intrinsic, excessive redshifts the author should include a brief outline of a theory to explain them.'

My mind flashed back through 30 years of evidence, ignored by people who were sure of their theoretical assumptions. Anger was my only honest option- but stronger than that provoked by worse 'peer reviews' because this was not even my paper.

I did not have to stop and worry that my response was ruled by wounded personal ego. How did this latest skirmish begin? Several years earlier an X-ray astronomer had come into my office with a map of the field around NGC4258. There were two conspicuous X-ray sources paired across the nucleus of the galaxy.

He asked if I knew where he could get a good photograph of the field, so he could check whether there were any optical objects that could be identified with the X-ray sources. I was very pleased to be able to swivel my chair around to the bookshelves in back of me and pull out one of the best prints in existence of that particular field. I had taken it with the Kitt Peak National Observatory, 4-meter telescope about a dozen years previously. (..)

Wolfgang Pietsch quickly found a small pointing correction to the satellite positions and established that his X-ray pair coincided with blue stellar objects at about 20th apparent magnitude. At that instant I knew that the objects were almost certainly quasars, and once again experienced that euphoria that comes at the moment when you see a long way into a different future.

In view of the obvious nature of these objects I felt Pietsch showed courage and scientific integrity in publishing the comment: 'If the connection of these sources with the galaxy is real, they may be bipolar ejecta from the nucleus.'

Arp then describes how establishment obstruction delayed the necessary confirmatory observation for two years. "Then the dance of evasion began. It was necessary to obtain optical spectra of the blue stellar candidates to confirm that they were quasars and ascertain their redshifts. A small amount of time was requested on the appropriate European telescope. It was turned down.

Pietsch's eyes avoided mine when he said 'I guess I did not explain it clearly enough'. The Director of the world's largest telescope in the US requested a brief observation to get the redshifts. It was not done. The Director of the X-ray Institute requested confirmation. It was not done.

Finally, after nearly two years, E. Margaret Burbidge with the relatively small 3-meter reflector on Mount Hamilton, on a winter night, against the night sky glow from San Jose, recorded the spectra of both quasars.

It was fortunate that mandatory retirement had been abolished in the US, because by this time, Margaret had over 50 years of observing experience. Of course, the referee report from which I quoted was directed against her paper, which reported this important new observation.

In her firm, but lady-like English way, Margaret withdrew her paper from the Astrophysical Journal Letters and submitted it to the European journal Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters".

Arp concludes and generalizes, "What was particularly appalling about this series of events was that Margaret Burbidge was someone who had given long and distinguished service to the scientific community. Professor at the University of California, Director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory and President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science among other contributions.

It seems it was permissible to let her fly anywhere in the world doing onerous administrative tasks, but her scientific accomplishments were not to be accorded elementary scientific respect and fair treatment.

Some would argue that this is a special case, owing to the climate of opinion where the offices of the Astrophysical Journal Letters are located. But, as events in the following chapters make clear, the problem is pervasive throughout astronomy, and, contrary to its projected image, endemic throughout most of current science.

Scientists, particularly at the most prestigious institutions, regularly suppress and ridicule findings which contradict their current theories and assumptions."

G. Burbidge gives the following devastating summary of the anti-scientific conduct of the astrophysical establishment:[66]

"The existence of a class of objects which have redshifts not largely due to the cosmic expansion was not predicted either in the hot big bang cosmology or in QSSC. How is this phenomenon dealt with in each hypothesis? As far as that big bang model is concerned its supporters are in complete denial.

They never mention the observational evidence, do not allow observers who would like to report such evidence any opportunity to do this in cosmology conferences, argue against its publication, and if forced to comment on the data, simply argue that they are wrong."

Thomas Van Flandern's recent paper The Top 30 Problems with the Big Bang[67] gives an overview of problems with Big Bang cosmology and concludes,

"The Big Bang (..) no longer makes testable predictions wherein proponents agree that a failure would falsify the hypothesis. Instead, the theory is continually amended to account for all new, unexpected discoveries.

Indeed, many young scientists now think of this as a normal process in science! They forget, or were never taught, that a model has value only when it can predict new things that differentiate the model from chance and from other models before the new things are discovered.

Explanations of new things are supposed to flow from the basic theory itself with, at most, an adjustable parameter or two, and not from add-on bits of new theory. (..)

Perhaps never in the history of science has so much quality evidence accumulated against a model so widely accepted within a field. Even the most basic elements of the theory, the expansion of the universe and the fireball remnant radiation, remain interpretations with credible alternative explanations.

One must wonder why, in this circumstance, four good alternative models are not even being comparatively discussed by most astronomers." One of these models is Quasi-Steady State Cosmology (QSSC) proposed in 1993 by Hoyle, Burbidge and Narlikar[65,66].

Excerpted from the larger article by the same name and author: The Suppression of Inconvenient Facts in Physics

See Also:An Open Letter to Closed Minds A letter from scientists to scientists re: Reevaluating The Big Bang



References

[1] Brian Martin, Stamping Out Dissent, Newsweek, 26 April 1993, p.49-50.
[2] Robert Anton Wilson, The New Inquisition, New Falcon Publications, 1991
[3] Robert G. Jahn, 20th and 21st Century Science: Reflections and Projections. Journal of Scientific Exploration 15, 1, p.21 (2001)
[62] H. Arp, D. Russell, A Possible Relationship between Quasars and Clusters of Galaxies, Astrophysical Journal 549, p. 802-819 (March 10 2001)
[63] H. Arp, Quasars, Redshifts, and Controversies, Cambridge University Press, 1989
[64] H. Arp, Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science , Apeiron, 1998
[65] F. Hoyle, G. Burbidge, J.V. Narlikar, A Quasi-Steady State Cosmological Model with Creation of Matter, Astrophysical Journal 410, p.437-457 (1993)
[66] G. Burbidge, Quasi-Steady State Cosmology arXiv:astro-ph/0108051 (Aug 2001)
[67] T. Van Flandern, The Top 30 Problems with the Big Bang, Apeiron 9, 2 (April 2002)

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