from Meta Research Bulletin 11, 6-13 (2002)]
Earlier, we presented a simple list of the top ten problems with the Big
Since that publication, we have had many requests for citations and
additional details, which we provide here. We also respond to a few rebuttal
arguments to the earlier list. Then we supplement the list based on the last
four years of developments – with another 20 problems for the theory.
Static universe models fit observational data better than expanding
Static universe models match most observations with no adjustable
parameters. The Big Bang can match each of the critical observations, but
only with adjustable parameters, one of which (the cosmic deceleration
parameter) requires mutually exclusive values to match different tests. [,]
Without ad hoc theorizing, this point alone falsifies the Big Bang. Even if
the discrepancy could be explained, Occam’s razor favors the model with
fewer adjustable parameters – the static universe model.
The microwave “background” makes more sense as the limiting
temperature of space heated by starlight than as the remnant of a fireball.
The expression “the temperature of space” is the title of chapter 13 of Sir
Arthur Eddington’s famous 1926 work, []
Eddington calculated the minimum temperature any body in space would cool
to, given that it is immersed in the radiation of distant starlight. With no
adjustable parameters, he obtained 3°K (later refined to 2.8°K []),
essentially the same as the observed, so-called “background”, temperature. A
similar calculation, although with less certain accuracy, applies to the
limiting temperature of intergalactic space because of the radiation of
galaxy light. []
So the intergalactic matter is like a “fog”, and would therefore provide a
simpler explanation for the microwave radiation, including its
Such a fog also explains the
otherwise troublesome ratio of infrared to radio intensities of radio
The amount of radiation emitted by distant galaxies falls with increasing
wavelengths, as expected if the longer wavelengths are scattered by the
intergalactic medium. For example, the brightness ratio of radio galaxies at
infrared and radio wavelengths changes with distance in a way which implies
absorption. Basically, this means that the longer wavelengths are more
easily absorbed by material between the galaxies. But then the microwave
radiation (between the two wavelengths) should be absorbed by that medium
too, and has no chance to reach us from such great distances, or to remain
perfectly uniform while doing so. It must instead result from the radiation
of microwaves from the intergalactic medium. This argument alone implies
that the microwaves could not be coming directly to us from a distance
beyond all the galaxies, and therefore that the Big Bang theory cannot be
None of the predictions of the
background temperature based on the Big Bang were close enough to qualify as
successes, the worst being Gamow’s upward-revised estimate of 50°K made in
1961, just two years before the actual discovery. Clearly, without a
realistic quantitative prediction, the Big Bang’s hypothetical “fireball”
becomes indistinguishable from the natural minimum temperature of all cold
matter in space. But none of the predictions, which ranged between 5°K and
50°K, matched observations. []
And the Big Bang offers no explanation for the kind of intensity variations
with wavelength seen in radio galaxies.
Element abundance predictions using the Big Bang require too many
adjustable parameters to make them work.
The universal abundances of most elements were predicted correctly by Hoyle
in the context of the original Steady State cosmological model. This worked
for all elements heavier than lithium. The Big Bang co-opted those results
and concentrated on predicting the abundances of the light elements. Each
such prediction requires at least one adjustable parameter unique to that
element prediction. Often, it’s a question of figuring out why the element
was either created or destroyed or both to some degree following the Big
Bang. When you take away these degrees of freedom, no genuine prediction
remains. The best the Big Bang can claim is consistency with observations
using the various ad hoc models to explain the data for each light element.
for helium-3; []
for lithium-7; []
for deuterium; []
for beryllium; and [,]
for overviews. For a full discussion of an alternative origin of the light
elements, see [].
The universe has too much large scale structure (interspersed “walls”
and voids) to form in a time as short as 10-20 billion years.
The average speed of galaxies through space is a well-measured quantity. At
those speeds, galaxies would require roughly the age of the universe to
assemble into the largest structures (superclusters and walls) we see in
and to clear all the voids between galaxy walls. But this assumes that the
initial directions of motion are special, e.g., directed away from the
centers of voids. To get around this problem, one must propose that galaxy
speeds were initially much higher and have slowed due to some sort of
“viscosity” of space. To form these structures by building up the needed
motions through gravitational acceleration alone would take in excess of 100
billion years. []
The average luminosity of quasars must decrease with time in just the
right way so that their average apparent brightness is the same at all
redshifts, which is exceedingly unlikely.
According to the Big Bang theory, a quasar at a redshift of 1 is roughly ten
times as far away as one at a redshift of 0.1. (The redshift-distance
relation is not quite linear, but this is a fair approximation.) If the two
quasars were intrinsically similar, the high redshift one would be about 100
times fainter because of the inverse square law. But it is, on average, of
comparable apparent brightness. This must be explained as quasars “evolving”
their intrinsic properties so that they get smaller and fainter as the
universe evolves. That way, the quasar at redshift 1 can be intrinsically
100 times brighter than the one at 0.1, explaining why they appear (on
average) to be comparably bright. It isn’t as if the Big Bang has a reason
why quasars should evolve in just this magical way. But that is required to
explain the observations using the Big Bang interpretation of the redshift
of quasars as a measure of cosmological distance. See [,].
By contrast, the relation
between apparent magnitude and distance for quasars is a simple,
inverse-square law in alternative cosmologies. In ,
Arp shows great quantities of evidence that large quasar redshifts are a
combination of a cosmological factor and an intrinsic factor, with the
latter dominant in most cases. Most large quasar redshifts (e.g., z > 1)
therefore have little correlation with distance. A grouping of 11 quasars
close to NGC 1068, having nominal ejection patterns correlated with galaxy
rotation, provides further strong evidence that quasar redshifts are
The ages of globular clusters appear older than the universe.
Even though the data have been stretched in the direction toward resolving
this since the “top ten” list first appeared, the error bars on the Hubble
age of the universe (12±2
Gyr) still do not quite overlap the error bars on the oldest globular
Gyr). Astronomers have studied this for the past decade, but resist the
“observational error” explanation because that would almost certainly push
the Hubble age older (as Sandage has been arguing for years), which creates
several new problems for the Big Bang. In other words, the cure is worse
than the illness for the theory. In fact, a new, relatively bias-free
observational technique has gone the opposite way, lowering the Hubble age
estimate to 10 Gyr, making the discrepancy worse again. [,]
The local streaming motions of galaxies are too high for a finite
universe that is supposed to be everywhere uniform.
In the early 1990s, we learned that the average redshift for galaxies of a
given brightness differs on opposite sides of the sky. The Big Bang
interprets this as the existence of a puzzling group flow of galaxies
relative to the microwave radiation on scales of at least 130 Mpc. Earlier,
the existence of this flow led to the hypothesis of a "Great Attractor"
pulling all these galaxies in its direction. But in newer studies, no
backside infall was found on the other side of the hypothetical feature.
Instead, there is streaming on both sides of us out to 60-70 Mpc in a
consistent direction relative to the microwave "background". The only Big
Bang alternative to the apparent result of large-scale streaming of galaxies
is that the microwave radiation is in motion relative to us. Either way,
this result is trouble for the Big Bang. [,,,,]
Invisible dark matter of an unknown but non-baryonic nature must be
the dominant ingredient of the entire universe.
The Big Bang requires sprinkling galaxies, clusters, superclusters, and the
universe with ever-increasing amounts of this invisible, not-yet-detected
“dark matter” to keep the theory viable. Overall, over 90% of the universe
must be made of something we have never detected. By contrast, Milgrom’s
model (the alternative to “dark matter”) provides a one-parameter
explanation that works at all scales and requires no “dark matter” to exist
at any scale. (I exclude the additional 50%-100% of invisible ordinary
matter inferred to exist by, e.g., MACHO studies.) Some physicists don’t
like modifying the law of gravity in this way, but a finite range for
natural forces is a logical necessity (not just theory) spoken of since the
17th century. [,]
Milgrom’s model requires
nothing more than that. Milgrom’s is an operational model rather than one
based on fundamentals. But it is consistent with more complete models
invoking a finite range for gravity. So Milgrom’s model provides a basis to
eliminate the need for “dark matter” in the universe at any scale. This
represents one more Big Bang “fudge factor” no longer needed.
The most distant galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field show insufficient
evidence of evolution, with some of them having higher redshifts (z = 6-7)
than the highest-redshift quasars.
The Big Bang requires that stars, quasars and galaxies in the early universe
be “primitive”, meaning mostly metal-free, because it requires many
generations of supernovae to build up metal content in stars. But the latest
evidence suggests lots of metal in the “earliest” quasars and galaxies. [,,]
Moreover, we now have evidence for numerous ordinary galaxies in what the
Big Bang expected to be the “dark age” of evolution of the universe, when
the light of the few primitive galaxies in existence would be blocked from
view by hydrogen clouds. []
If the open universe we see today is extrapolated back near the
beginning, the ratio of the actual density of matter in the universe to the
critical density must differ from unity by just a part in 1059.
Any larger deviation would result in a universe already collapsed on itself
or already dissipated.
Inflation failed to achieve its goal when many observations went against it.
To maintain consistency and salvage inflation, the Big Bang has now
introduced two new adjustable parameters: (1) the cosmological constant,
which has a major fine-tuning problem of its own because theory suggests it
ought to be of order 10120, and observations suggest a value less
than 1; and (2) “quintessence” or “dark energy”. [,]
This latter theoretical substance solves the fine-tuning problem by
introducing invisible, undetectable energy sprinkled at will as needed
throughout the universe to keep consistency between theory and observations.
It can therefore be accurately described as “the ultimate fudge factor”.
Anyone doubting the Big Bang
in its present form (which includes most astronomy-interested people outside
the field of astronomy, according to one recent survey) would have good
cause for that opinion and could easily defend such a position. This is a
fundamentally different matter than proving the Big Bang did not happen,
which would be proving a negative – something that is normally impossible.
(E.g., we cannot prove that Santa Claus does not exist.) The Big
Bang, much like the Santa Claus hypothesis, no longer makes testable
predictions wherein proponents agree that a failure would falsify the
hypothesis. Instead, the theory is continually amended to account for all
new, unexpected discoveries. Indeed, many young scientists now think of this
as a normal process in science! They forget or were never taught that a
model has value only when it can predict new things that differentiate the
model from chance and from other models before the new things are
discovered. Explanations of new things are supposed to flow from the basic
theory itself with at most an adjustable parameter or two, and not from
add-on bits of new theory.
Of course, the literature also contains the occasional review paper in
support of the Big Bang. []
But these generally don’t count any of the prediction failures or surprises
as theory failures as long as some ad hoc theory might explain them. And the
“prediction successes” in almost every case do not distinguish the Big Bang
from any of the four leading competitor models: Quasi-Steady-State [16,],
Plasma Cosmology , Meta Model ,
and Variable-Mass Cosmology .
For the most part, these four
alternative cosmologies are ignored by astronomers. However, one web site by
Ned Wright does try to advance counterarguments in defense of the Big Bang.
But his counterarguments are mostly old objections long since defeated. For
In “Eddington did not predict the CMB”:
Wright argues that Eddington’s argument for the “temperature of
space” applies at most to our Galaxy. But Eddington’s reasoning applies also
to the temperature of intergalactic space, for which a minimum is set by the
radiation of galaxy and quasar light. The original calculations
half-a-century ago showed this limit probably fell in the range 1-6°K. 
And that was before quasars were discovered and before we knew the modern
space density of galaxies.
Wright also argues that dust grains cannot be the source of the
blackbody microwave radiation because there are not enough of them to be
opaque, as needed to produce a blackbody spectrum. However, opaqueness is
required only in a finite universe. An infinite universe can achieve
thermodynamic equilibrium (the actual requirement for a blackbody spectrum)
even if transparent out to very large distances because the thermal mixing
can occur on a much smaller scale than quantum particles – e.g., in the
light-carrying medium itself.
Wright argues that dust grains do not radiate efficiently at
millimeter wavelengths. However, efficient or not, if the equilibrium
temperature they reach is 2.8°K, they must radiate away the energy they
absorb from distant galaxy and quasar light at millimeter wavelengths.
Temperature and wavelength are correlated for any bodies in thermal
About Lerner’s argument against the Big Bang:
Lerner calculated that the Big Bang universe has not had enough time
to form superclusters. Wright calculates that all the voids could be vacated
and superclusters formed in less than 11-14 billion years (barely). But that
assumes that almost all matter has initial speeds headed directly out of
voids and toward matter concentrations. Lerner, on the other hand, assumed
that the speeds had to be built up by gravitational attraction, which takes
many times longer. Lerner’s point is more reasonable because doing it
Wright’s way requires fine-tuning of initial conditions.
Wright argues that “there is certainly lots of evidence for dark
matter.” The reality is that there is no credible observational detection of
dark matter, so all the “evidence” is a matter of interpretation, depending
on theoretical assumptions. For example, Milgrom’s Model explains all the
same evidence without any need for dark matter.
Regarding arguments against “tired light cosmology”:
Wright argues: “There is no known interaction that can degrade a
photon's energy without also changing its momentum, which leads to a
blurring of distant objects which is not observed.” While it is technically
true that no such interaction has yet been discovered, reasonable
non-Big-Bang cosmologies require the existence of entities many orders of
magnitude smaller than photons. For example, the entity responsible for
gravitational interactions has not yet been discovered. So the “fuzzy image”
argument does not apply to realistic physical models in which all substance
is infinitely divisible. By contrast, physical models lacking infinite
divisibility have great difficulties explaining Zeno’s paradoxes –
especially the extended paradox for matter. 
Wright argues that the stretching of supernovae light curves is not
predicted by “tired light”. However, one cannot measure the stretching
effect directly because the time under the lightcurve depends on the
intrinsic brightness of the supernovae, which can vary considerably. So one
must use indirect indicators, such as rise time only. And in that case, the
data does not unambiguously favor either tired light or Big Bang models.
Wright argued that tired light does not produce a blackbody spectrum.
But this is untrue if the entities producing the energy loss are many orders
of magnitude smaller and more numerous than quantum particles.
Wright argues that tired light models fail the Tolman surface
brightness test. This ignores that realistic tired light models must lose
energy in the transverse direction, not just the longitudinal one, because
light is a transverse wave. When this effect is considered, the predicted
loss of light intensity goes with (1+z)-2, which is in good
agreement with most observations without any adjustable parameters. [
NOTEREF _Ref4051228 \h \* MERGEFORMAT 2,]
The Big Bang, by contrast, predicts a (1+z)-4 dependence, and
must therefore invoke special ad hoc evolution (different from that
applicable to quasars) to close the gap between theory and observations.
By no means is this “top ten”
list of Big Bang problems exhaustive – far from it. In fact, it is easy to
argue that several of these additional 20 points should be among the “top
large-scale structure out to distances of more than 1 Gpc in both of two
opposite directions from us. This appears as a succession of wall-like
galaxy features at fairly regular intervals, the first of which, at about
130 Mpc distance, is called "The Great Wall". To date, 13 such evenly-spaced
"walls" of galaxies have been found! []
The Big Bang theory requires fairly uniform mixing on scales of distance
larger than about 20 Mpc, so there apparently is far more large-scale
structure in the universe than the Big Bang can explain.
Many particles are seen with
energies over 60x1018 eV. But that is the theoretical energy
limit for anything traveling more than 20-50 Mpc because of interaction
with microwave background photons. []
However, this objection assumes the microwave radiation is as the Big Bang
expects, instead of a relatively sparse, local phenomenon.
The Big Bang predicts that
equal amounts of matter and antimatter were created in the initial
explosion. Matter dominates the present universe apparently because of some
form of asymmetry, such as CP violation asymmetry, that caused most
anti-matter to annihilate with matter, but left much matter. Experiments are
searching for evidence of this asymmetry, so far without success. Other
galaxies can’t be antimatter because that would create a matter-antimatter
boundary with the intergalactic medium that would create gamma rays, which
are not seen. [,]
Even a small amount of diffuse
neutral hydrogen would produce a smooth absorbing trough shortward of a
QSO’s Lyman-alpha emission line. This is called the Gunn-Peterson effect,
and is rarely seen, implying that most hydrogen in the universe has been
re-ionized. A hydrogen Gunn-Peterson trough is now predicted to be present
at a redshift z
» 6.1. []
Observations of high-redshift quasars near z = 6 briefly appeared to confirm
this prediction. However, a galaxy
lensed by a foreground cluster has now been observed at z = 6.56, prior to
the supposed reionization epoch and at a time when the Big Bang expects no
galaxies to be visible yet. Moreover, if only a few galaxies had turned on
by this early point, their emission would have been absorbed by the
surrounding hydrogen gas, making these early galaxies invisible. 
So the lensed galaxy observation falsifies this prediction and the theory it
was based on. Another problem example:
Quasar PG 0052+251 is at the core of a
normal spiral galaxy. The host galaxy appears undisturbed by the quasar
radiation, which, in the Big Bang, is supposed to be strong enough to ionize
the intergalactic medium. []
An excess of QSOs is
observed around foreground clusters. Lensing amplification caused by
foreground galaxies or clusters is too weak to explain this association
between high- and low-redshift objects. This apparent contradiction has no
solution under Big Bang premises that does not create some other problem. It
particular, dark matter solutions would have to be centrally concentrated,
contrary to observations that imply that dark matter increases away from
galaxy centers. The high-redshift and low-redshift objects are probably
actually at comparable distances, as Arp has maintained for 30 years. []
The Big Bang violates the
first law of thermodynamics, that energy cannot be either created or
destroyed, by requiring that new space filled with “zero-point energy” be
continually created between the galaxies. []
In the Las Campanas redshift
survey, statistical differences from homogenous distribution were found out
to a scale of at least 200 Mpc. []
This is consistent with other galaxy catalog analyses that show no trends
toward homogeneity even on scales up to 1000 Mpc. []
The Big Bang, of course, requires large-scale homogeneity. The Meta
Model and other infinite-universe models expect fractal behavior at all
scales. Observations remain in agreement with that.
supposedly bulge along the axis of the most recent galaxy merger. But the
angular velocities of stars at different distances from the center are all
different, making an elliptical shape formed in that way unstable. Such
velocities would shear the elliptical shape until it was smoothed into a
circular disk. Where are the galaxies in the process of being sheared?
The polarization of radio
emission rotates as it passes through magnetized extragalactic plasmas. Such
Faraday rotations in quasars should increase (on average) with
distance. If redshift indicates distance, then rotation and redshift should
increase together. However, the mean Faraday rotation is less near z = 2
than near z = 1 (where quasars are apparently intrinsically brightest,
according to Arp’s model). []
If the dark matter needed by
the Big Bang exists, microwave radiation fluctuations should have “acoustic
peaks” on angular scales of 1° and 0.3°, with the latter prominent
compared with the former. By contrast, if Milgrom’s alternative to dark
matter (Modified Newtonian Dynamics) is correct, then the latter peak should
be only about 20% of the former. Newly acquired data from the Boomerang
balloon-borne instruments clearly favors the MOND interpretation over dark
quantized for both
and quasars [].
So are other properties of galaxies. []
This should not happen under Big Bang premises.
density of optical quasars peaks at z = 2.5-3, and declines toward both
lower and higher redshifts. At z = 5, it has dropped by a factor of about
20. This cannot be explained by dust extinction or survey incompleteness.
The Big Bang predicts that quasars, the seeds of all galaxies, were most
numerous at earliest epochs. []
The falloff of the power
spectrum at small scales can be used to determine the temperature of the
intergalactic medium. It is typically inferred to be 20,000°K, but there
is no evidence of evolution with redshift. Yet in the Big Bang, that
temperature ought to adiabatically decrease as space expands everywhere.
This is another indicator that the universe is not really expanding.] []
Under Big Bang
premises, the fine structure constant must vary with time. []
Measurements of the
two-point correlation function for optically selected galaxies follow an
almost perfect power law over nearly three orders of magnitude in
separation. However, this result disagrees with n-body simulations in all
the Big Bang’s various modifications. A complex mixture of gravity, star
formation, and dissipative hydrodynamics seems to be needed. []
Emission lines for z > 4
quasars indicate higher-than-solar quasar metallicities. []
The iron to magnesium ratio increases at higher redshifts (earlier
Big Bang epochs). []
These results imply substantial star formation at epochs preceding or
concurrent with the QSO phenomenon, contrary to normal Big Bang scenarios.
The absorption lines of
damped Lyman-alpha systems are seen in quasars. However, the HST NICMOS
spectrograph has searched to see these objects directly in the infrared, but
failed for the most part to detect them. []
Moreover, the relative abundances have surprising uniformity, unexplained in
the Big Bang. []
The simplest explanation is that the absorbers are in the quasar’s own
environment, not at their redshift distance as the Big Bang requires.
The luminosity evolution
of brightest cluster galaxies (BGCs) cannot be adequately explained by a
single evolutionary model. For example, BGCs with low x-ray luminosity are
consistent with no evolution, while those with high x-ray luminosity are
brighter on average at high redshift. []
The fundamental question of
why it is that at early cosmological times, bound aggregates of order
100,000 stars (globular clusters) were able to form remains unsolved
in the Big Bang. It is no mystery in infinite universe models. []
Blue galaxy counts
show an excess of faint blue galaxies by a factor of 10 at magnitude 28.
This implies that the volume of space is larger than in the Big Bang, where
it should get smaller as one looks back in time. []
Perhaps never in the history of science has so much quality evidence
accumulated against a model so widely accepted within a field. Even the most
basic elements of the theory, the expansion of the universe and the fireball
remnant radiation, remain interpretations with credible alternative
explanations. One must wonder why, in this circumstance, that four good
alternative models are not even being comparatively discussed by most
Obviously, hundreds of professionals, both astronomers and scientists from
other fields, have contributed to these findings, although few of them stand
back and look at the bigger picture. It is hoped that many of them will add
their comments and join as co-authors in an attempt to sway the upcoming
generation of astronomers that the present cosmology is headed nowhere, and
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