I do not know that the ekpyrotic and cyclic  models reprodce the
observations better than the BB+inflation.
Yes, no one knows what the inflation field is, but no one has observed
a gluon or single quark either.
 I do not know what Penrose's argument is.Without the observable
Universe being in causal contact, it could not exhibit the smoothness
that we observe.

On Jan 21, 11:56 am, Günther Greindl <guenther.grei...@gmail.com>
> Ronald,
> the "ad hoc" is because of the introduction of the inflatons which do
> nothing but, um, inflate...
> Stephen said:
> b) some sound explanation where given as
> > to how an in principle unknowable phenomenon - the BB singularity itself -
> > is any different from a Creative Deity, sans only the anthropomorphisms.
> ACK!
> It seems that Steinhardt's model also attempts to solve the problem, at
> least according to wikipedia:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_inflation#Alternatives_to_inflation
> BQuote
> The ekpyrotic and cyclic models are also considered competitors to
> inflation. These models solve the horizon problem through an expanding
> epoch well before the Big Bang, and then generate the required spectrum
> of primordial density perturbations during a contracting phase leading
> to a Big Crunch. The universe passes through the Big Crunch and emerges
> in a hot Big Bang phase. In this sense they are reminiscent of the
> oscillatory universe proposed by Richard Chace Tolman: however in
> Tolman's model the total age of the universe is necessarily finite,
> while in these models this is not necessarily so. Whether the correct
> spectrum of density fluctuations can be produced, and whether the
> universe can successfully navigate the Big Bang/Big Crunch transition,
> remains a topic of controversy and current research.
> EQuote
> But, as I've said, I haven't read any of the papers, so I dunno.
> Also, I'm not quite sure what to think of this whole Big Bang when
> adopting COMP - have to think about it yet...
> Cheers,
> Günther
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