EN11: CMBR and the Cult of the Big Bang

Some of the typical characteristics of cults are quite evident within the evolutionary worldview. Cults? Really? Like religious cults? Indeed. In the religious realm, examples of willful blindness abound. For example:

1. Jehovah’s Witnesses continually revise history, conveniently forgetting many end-of-world prophecies from their leaders that never came to pass.
2. Mormons consistently persecute families who leave their system, cutting them off from relatives, friends, and even denying them the opportunity to do business within their communities.
3. Roman Catholics insist that only their popes, bishops, and priests can speak with authority and those within their system who object too strenuously may be excommunicated . . . or in previous centuries, suffer far worse.

So too does the evolutionary establishment exhibit cultic control-freak behavior. For example, in analogy to the three areas above:

1. For much of the last 20 years the doctrine of “junk DNA” was proclaimed to be solid evidence for evolution and a basis for ridiculing creationists. Yet in recent years discoveries have revealed layers upon layers of complexity in the genome, showing functionality for segments of DNA previously thought to be only “junk” . . . which is precisely what creationists expected! Yet none of the evolutionary priests have thought to apologize for preaching false doctrine for so long. Creationists continue to expect the remaining small percentage of “mystery” DNA to reveal function – namely design – and evolutionary microbiologists are finally getting around to looking for functional design in places they had ignored. The long held false doctrine of “junk DNA” has hindered research for many years.

2. In geology, biology, and the social sciences, prospective Ph.D. students had better not embrace a Biblical / creationist worldview, or they will be denied the opportunity to graduate. There are also many documented cases of faculty denied promotion and tenure because they are Christians. New court cases pop up each year revealing harsh discrimination against academics who don’t submit to the gods of evolution.

3. If an astronomer or cosmologist dares to question Big Bang dogma, his opportunity to publish in refereed journals evaporates. If he’s an observational astronomer, he will likely be denied telescope time, which is his life’s blood. Only the high priests of the Big Bang may speak authoritatively in the “respected” research publications. And the same high priests control research funding and dictate who gets respect within the academic establishment.

Hubble deep space photo

In this blog I’ll focus on just one narrow aspect of the Big Bang (BB), particularly on the cosmic microwave background radiation, henceforth “MBR.” The Cult of the Big Bang is the title of a book written by William C. Mitchell in 1995. Mitchell is not a Christian, not a creationist, and is apparently strongly committed to a billions-of-years history of the universe. Yet, like a small minority of cosmologists, he has profound objections to the BB as an explanation for the origin of the universe. Mitchell goes after BB Theory (BBT) in a lot of ways. Here, I’ll relate some of his arguments regarding how the MBR fits in . . . or doesn’t.

I’ll start with a short version of the BB and how the MBR fits into the story. (“Story” is the right term. The story has changed perhaps a hundred times over the years, and it’s still completely in flux. Despite the continual assertion that BBT is and always has been “fact,” “established science,” and that anyone who denies such “facts” are idiots.)

Once upon a time . . . about 13.7 billion years ago, there was no matter, no space – nothing. (Get your head around that!) Suddenly, all of matter, energy, and space came into existence in a volume smaller than that of a proton. How? It’s a mystery. The universe expanded rapidly (Why? No one knows.) . . . but not rapidly enough to solve some impossible theoretical problems, so somehow it “inflated,” expanding far faster than the speed of light itself, until after a very short time it stopped “inflating,” merely expanding rapidly once again. At about 300,000 years the universe was big and cool enough so that electrons could combine with nuclei and form atoms. This allowed photons to escape what was an opaque universal plasma. This “decoupling” of photons from electrons allowed radiation to run free. As the universe expanded over billions of years this radiation “cooled,” wavelengths stretching out, until it now is observed coming from all directions. The radiative spectrum is extremely close to that of a “black body” at a temperature of 2.7 K, which produces a band of radiation at microwave frequencies.

If “black body radiation” is a new concept for you, think about the charcoal in your barbecue pit. As it heats up it radiates more and more, eventually with enough radiation in the (red) optical band that you can see it. Charcoal typically burns at a few hundred degrees F, which converts to a few hundred K. When you “see red,” you’re just seeing a tiny fraction of the radiation, which is mostly in the infrared. Your skin feels the infrared photons long before the coals glow red. It might be of interest to note that our sun radiates roughly as if it were a black body at 6000 K.

Where is the center of the universe’s expansion? Can astronomers backtrack the fleeing galaxies, including ours, to a particular point of space? Not in BBT. In BBT the expansion occurs “everywhere.” The center is “everywhere.” The universe did not expand into an existing space, as the story goes. It was space itself that was and is expanding.

This leads to a big problem for BBT. Astronomers observe extremely intense sources of radiation called quasars at extreme distances – billions of light years. Models suggest that a quasar’s intense radiation arises from a massive black hole at the center of its galaxy, swallowing up dust and stars at a prodigious rate. It is believed we are seeing quasars in their “youth” – as they were billions of years ago. If the quasars have fled to the edges of the universe, why hasn’t the MBR also escaped to the edges? Why are we being flooded by MBR in our own galactic neighborhood? Or since the BB was “everywhere,” why aren’t quasars everywhere?

The MBR is probably the strongest foundation stone for BBT. Since it was experimentally discovered by Penzias and Wilson in 1965 (for which they received a Nobel Prize), science authors and pundits like Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson (of Cosmos TV fame) have preached that MBR has removed all doubt about the “fact” of the BB. Often, the MBR is cited as “proof” of the BB. Indeed, the MBR was predicted by BB theorists for a number of years before its discovery. The theories bounced around a good bit, however, with various predictions for the blackbody temperature: 50 K, 27 K, 20 K, 45 K, 10 K, and 5 K. The 5 K prediction is often quoted by BBT acolytes when preaching how wonderfully the theory estimated the eventual 2.7 K measurement. But that particular prediction turned out to be deeply flawed in its physics. It just happened to produce a convenient number.

Mitchell opines, “As with the prophecies of Nostradamus and other seers, if enough predictions are made, some are sure to come to pass, and those that do not are often ignored.”

Another disturbing problem: Some BBers insist that the microwave radiation comes directly from the “decoupling.” Others say that it has bounced around the universe for billions of years.

The MBR displays an incredibly smooth “isotropic” structure. No matter which direction you look, the radiation temperature is almost precisely the same, to one part in 100,000! If the MBR came directly from the decoupling, the smoothness indicates extraordinary uniformity in the mass / energy density of the early BB universe. But the universe is ridiculously lumpy today! Galaxies are huge lumps in the vastness of space. Additionally, galaxies tend to live in galactic clusters, representing another level of lumpiness. Furthermore, massive “walls” of galactic clusters have been discovered, that behave dynamically as if they’ve been together for over a hundred billion years! (That’s way too long for BBT.) In short, the MBR is supposed to be a snapshot of the early universe. But it doesn’t look anything like what the BB universe was supposed to look like, as an explanation for what we see now.

The figure below is an MBR map of the universe, color enhanced by a factor of 8,000 to show differences in temperature. Without enhancement the figure would be a dull and uniform gray. The precise temperature (with its measurement uncertainty) is 2.72548 ± 0.00057 K. The important number, though, is that the root-mean-square variation across the sky is just 0.000018 K. That’s really small! The temperature difference between the “hot” and “cold” regions of the universe is only 18 micro-Kelvin. The MBR is really, really uniform!

WMAP enhanced 8000 x

Regarding historical revision, I recall the shock over the smoothness of the initial measurements. But never fear! The story was adjusted so that now the tiny, itsy bitsy nonuniformities in the MBR map are perfectly consistent with all the galactic lumps in our present universe! BBT triumphs again! Hey, isn’t a good theory supposed to make correct predictions?

On the other hand, if the MBR has been bouncing around for billions of years, it couldn’t possibly be uniform. Bouncing off stars and galaxies, all moving at different speeds in different directions, would produce a spectrum far different from the nearly pure and smooth 2.7 K blackbody scenario. Mitchell quotes Paul Davies that this radiation “would carry the imprint of any departures from uniformity encountered along the way.” Such imprints have not been observed.

But back to the previous assertion of photons undisturbed since the decoupling, because such photons travel at the speed of light, and would be carried along by the expansion of space, they would have outpaced any matter within the exploding universe, with nothing ahead of them. And we would never see them. Yet there they are. And so smooth!

Another problem arises when we think about neutrinos, tiny particles extremely difficult to detect. For about 40 years, from the mid-1960s to 2002, scientists struggled to accurately measure the number of neutrinos created by nuclear fusion reactions in the solar interior. After much work in both theory and experiment, it was discovered that there are three types of neutrinos and that the total number detected on Earth is consistent with models of our sun.

Now, it’s significant that when neutrinos are detected it is impossible to tell where they come from. If there were a lot of “background” neutrinos it would be impossible to measure only what the sun generates. When supernova S1987A flared in the night sky, a surge in the number of neutrinos hitting the Earth was also noted.

So the question is, “Where are the BB neutrinos?” Analogous to the “decoupling” that allegedly produced the MBR, within the very first second of the BB neutrinos were supposedly decoupled from matter, producing a vast amount of them to roam the universe. If the BB happened “everywhere,” why aren’t we flooded with neutrinos just like we’re flooded with MBR? A good excuse for the missing neutrinos would be that they fled to the edges of the universe. But the same logic would apply to MBR photons.

The only way that MBR photons generated by a BB can continually rain down on us is for the universe to be “closed,” implying a significant positive curvature to space-time, in the Einsteinian sense. But nobody believes the universe is closed. In fact, the last couple of decades of observations have indicated that the universe is accelerating in its expansion, implying a significant negative curvature. What makes it accelerate? No one knows, but a term has been created – “dark energy” – that allows cosmologists to pretend that they know something about it.

In an “open” or “flat” universe the only way to receive photons from the BB decoupling would be if they came from the direction of the BB. But that means the BB couldn’t have happened everywhere. Interestingly, this thought leads to cosmological heresy. Earth and its galaxy are dogmatically not special, and cannot have any preferential location in the Universe! (You see, evolutionists despise any idea that might lead to a created human race, a created Earth, a creation, and a Creator!)

But when we look at the universe from the Earth, it appears as if it fills a volume roughly spherical with us not too ridiculously far from the center. This is simple observational fact, but to the evolutionist it simply cannot be, so he invents a universe where “everywhere” is equivalent and, somehow, no matter where you would stand in the universe, you would see roughly the same effect: a spherical universe with the observer near the center. No place is special no matter how it looks!!

Nevertheless, the cosmic MBR is still preached by BBers as proof of the BB cultic religion. They say, “But look at all those predictions of the MBR temperature before it was ever measured.” Well, there were a lot of guesses that fell within an order of magnitude of the 2.7 K reality.
But all those guesses simply assumed some form of a BB to calculate what an average temperature of the universe might look like. But if there were no BB, might not the universe exhibit an average temperature anyway?

Let me be clear where I am coming from as a Christian and a Biblical creationist. I am not necessarily against a cosmological explanation for the MBR. I am presuppositionally committed against the BB. But God tells us many times in Scripture (Isaiah 51:13, for example) that He has stretched forth the heavens, implying a God-directed expansion of the universe since the time of the creation. How the MBR fits in I don’t know. I’m just a humble and retired laser physicist and recognize that I won’t get the answers to all the mysteries within my lifetime.

Some non-Christian physicists, looking at all the problems with a BB solution to the MBR mystery, have suggested other causes. Could the source of MBR be somewhat local? Perhaps thermal energy from matter in the vicinity of our own galaxy?

Fred Hoyle, in a co-authored paper (Nature, August 30, 1990, “The Extragalactic Universe: An Alternative View”), questioned the cosmological interpretation of the MBR this way: “The commonsense inference from the planckian nature of the spectrum of the microwave background and from the smoothness of the background is that, so far as microwaves are concerned, we are living in a fog and that the fog is relatively local. A man who falls asleep on the top of a mountain and who wakes in a fog does not think he is looking at the origin of the Universe. He thinks he is in a fog.”

There are challenges to a local interpretation, but that’s not my concern. Here is my concern: the raving arrogance and propagandistic deceit of the academic priests of evolution. On strictly scientific terms they have proved NOTHING. Issues abound. Theories come and go, getting trashed by the latest experiments and yet at every point in time the story is preached as FACT and the latest speculation as PROOF.

Any honest cosmologist would freely admit that mysteries abound in his discipline. Those creationists dedicated to astronomy and cosmology also identify a number of mysteries. Creationists tend to be honest in admitting the unknowns. Evolutionists, however, are lethally consistent in presenting to the public, to college students, to high school students, and to grade school students, that there are no mysteries . . . the BB is fact, the MBR proves it, blah, blah.

So be alert. Don’t merely accept the assertions of the next smug propagandist you see on TV who tells everyone that we are just “star stuff” originating in a magical explosion billions of years ago. Rather, offer a quick prayer that the Lord will wipe the smug grin off that cultist’s face and provoke him to repent. I marvel at what will certainly be shocking humility and regret that so many will experience at the Great White Throne Judgment. Scoffers who die in their sins will kneel, too late, before their Creator. What once seemed to be a pleasant, politically correct “story,” will then be known to be a lie from Satan’s defunct kingdom.

Hey, look around! What a marvelously constructed universe! What an exquisite Earth God gave us to live on! What a wonderful atmosphere and ecosystem designed for our sustenance and pleasure!

Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever. Ps 107:1

In His hand are the deep places of the Earth: the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For He is our God; and we are the sheep of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today if ye will hear His voice. Harden not your heart . . . Ps 95:4-7

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the Earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the Earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth. Ps 96:11-13

– drdave@truthreallymatters.com

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