Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> John M writes:
>>When did you last learn that the tenets of ongoing
>>physics are only "provisionally" accepted as 'real'? 
>>(I just wanted to tease members of this list. 
>>Of course on THIS list 'thinking' people gathered and
>>such thoughts are not unusual. We are the exception.)
>>An example is the Big Bang. Many scientists almost put
>>it into their evening prayer. Doubting is heresy. 
>>This is why I scrutinize what we 'believe in' and try
>>alternate narratives: do they hold water? Are the new
>>(alternate) ideas palatable to what (we think) we
> I'm sure all the Big Bang theorists would say that they would 
> change their views if new evidence came to light. Of course, 
> there are thousands of ideas out there and most of them are 
> pretty crazy, pushed by people who don't understand even 
> the basics of what they are criticising, so it is understandable 
> that these ideas would sometimes be dismissed out of hand by 
> people working in the field. It is also undestandable that 
> scientists are only human and get quite attached to the theories 
> on which they base their careers, so they may not change as 
> quickly as they ought to in the light of new evidence.
> Stathis Papaioannou

In fact there are serious theories of the universe in which there is no 
originating big bang.  For example Paul Steinhardt has published papers on a 
model in which the universe we see is one of two 3-branes in a 
10-dimensional space.

The origin of particles and energy and their flying apart as we see them is 
due to collision of our 3-brane with the other 3-brane.  He shows that this 
can be a cyclic process in which the universe empties out due to expansion 
and then another collision can occur.  While a few individual scientists may 
consider the big bang origin of the universe dogma, every scientist working 
in a field like cosmogony wants to make his name by showing that current 
theories are wrong.

Brent Meeker

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