Another crackpot?

Posted by barb on Jul 7, 2004 in Science Musings |

I came across the following paper title while perusing the past week’s submissions to astro-ph:

The accreting neutron stars are quasars, and the universe does not expand

and I thought to myself, I wonder if this author is a crackpot.

The jury is still out. The basic theory is that quasars are not, indeed, cosmological objects, but rather they are local neutron stars with a dirty hydrogen cloud of material that is accreting onto the star. It is this accretion that gives a false redshift, making the star appear to be cosmological in distance.

I haven’t read the paper, and probably don’t know enough about the physics they are proposing to make a good judgement (plus, reports are that the author’s translation from French to English makes the article difficult to decipher). The underlying theory is called the Creil Effect, and briefly, states that photons coming from distant galaxies interacts with intervening atoms in such a way that while they lose energy (i.e. are redshifted), their direction is not affected. This would produce the redshift/distance relationship without invoking an expanding Universe.

There is a thread on the Bad Astronomy web site about Creil, in which several holes in the theory are brought up, such as the Creil Effect’s inability to explain that distant supernova experience time dialation effects that are best explained by relativisitic expansion.

While reading this, I came across a link to an article Why the Big Bang is Wrong by John Kierein. I did not read this article in detail, either, because others have ripped apart some of his arguments already (see this thread for a few arguments). But I laughed outloud when I came to this deficiency in the Big Bang theory:

How do galaxies collide if they are flying away from each other?

The ignorance of that statement is enough to make me discount anything Kierein has to say.

Unsurprisingly, Moret-Bailly (author of the original astro-ph paper that prompted this search) signed the anti-big bang petition, and I suspect that Kierein supports its sentiments (though I did not see his signature on the current petition page). (Preposterous Universe has a couple good posts about this petition: Doubt and dissent are not tolerated and Energy and intelligence)

This is not to say that the Big Bang theory is the end-all and be-all of cosmology. There are still things to be worked out in the theory. And, in working those issues out, parts of the theory may be proven false. That’s what science is all about. But for now, the Big Bang theory seems to be holding up fairly well.

1 Comment

Jay Manifold
Jul 9, 2004 at 4:34 pm

Found you via a comment on Pharyngula. Adding you to my blogroll forthwith.


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