Could the Big Bang be wrong?


EXCERPT: . . . One key point is that the Big Bang was not an explosion of the kind any person has ever witnessed. “This is a hard concept for people to get their heads around,” says Wendy Freedman, a veteran cosmologist at the University of Chicago. “The first thing to get rid of is an image analogous to a bomb–which is our first tendency to imagine, and which is wrong–where you have an explosion with matter that flies outward from a center. This is not what happens in space. The Big Bang is an explosion of space, and not into space. There is no center or edge to the explosion.”

There was no place outside of the Big Bang, so it was not expanding into anything. Rather, all of space began expanding, everywhere. That is why galaxies appear to be moving away from us in every direction. Any observer, anywhere, would see the same thing. I sometimes think of the Big Bang as a metaphor for human psychology. In a sense, you can think of yourself as the center of the universe, since that’s how it looks to all observers. But in a deeper sense, nobody is at the center, since the expansion is everywhere and all of us are in the same situation.

For anyone wondering how the universe could have formed from an explosion at one point in space, the answer is that it couldn’t. That idea truly is wrong–but it is also not at all what the Big Bang describes. Which brings me to the other key point: The Big Bang is a description of how the universe began, not an explanation of why it began. It does not assume anything about what (or who) made the universe, and it does not assume anything about what (if anything) came before.

[...] Could that entire Big Bang framework of interpretation be wrong? I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but I will call it…inconceivable. [...] To modern cosmologists, the Big Bang is a model describing how the universe expanded from an extremely hot, dense early state into the reality that we see today. The evidence for this interpretation overwhelming. Certainly, nothing else has come anywhere close in the last 50 years, even as our knowledge about the universe has grown tremendously.

[...] I’ve come across many proposed alternatives to the Big Bang, but I’ve never seen one that deals honestly and comprehensively with the vast observational evidence that our universe had a hot, dense beginning about 13.8 billion years ago. The closest to true outsider alternative that I know of is the plasma-cosmology model of Eric Lerner, a plasma physicist who developed a cult following for his view that the Big Bang never happened. His model is thoroughly inconsistent with the data, however.

At the same time, it is important to be open about how much we don’t know. It is not only possible, it is absolutely certain that our understanding of the Big Bang is incomplete. (MORE - details)
Why don't these people just use the word "implosion" instead? That's what the Big Bang was, and that's how a one point, without external space, "explodes".

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