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No. 66: Nov-Dec 1989

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Down With The Big Bang

We might have concocted the above title, but we didn't! Rather, J. Maddox, the Editor of Nature, raised that red flag. To make things even worse, he subtitled his editorial:

"Apart from being philosophically unacceptable, the Big Bang is an oversimple view of how the Universe began, and it is unlikely to survive the decade ahead."

His philosophical objcections to the Big Bang are powerful:

"For one thing, the implication is that there was an instant at which time literally began and, so, by extension, an instant before which there was no time. That in turn implies that even if the origin of the Universe may be successfully supposed to lie in the Big Bang, the origin of the Big Bang itself is not susceptible to discussion."

The Big Bang, Maddox says, is no more scientific than Biblical creation!

The scientific objections involve space, time, the curvature of space. The Big Bang further fails at explaining quasars and the hidden mass of the Universe. Maddox doubts that the Big Bang will survive the new data to be provided by the Hubble telescope.

(Maddox, John; "Down with the Big Bang," Nature, 340: 425, 1989.)

From Science Frontiers #66, NOV-DEC 1989. 1989-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987