Universe expansion problem reported in BBC News 11 January 2018, and EarthSky 11 March 2018.
Two different groups of astronomers using two different, but well tested techniques, have come up with two different calculations of the rate at which the universe is believed to be expanding, a number referred to as the Hubble Constant.
Adam Riess of Johns Hopkins University and colleagues have used the Hubble Space Telescope to make measurements of the distances to galaxies, used a method called the “cosmic ladder” approach. This relies on “standard candles” such as the brightness of certain types of supernova to calibrate distances across space. Reiss’s team came up with a calculation of 73.24 kilometres per second per megaparsec. (A megaparsec is 3.26 million light-years.)
Other astronomers have used measurements made by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, which maps the cosmic microwave background (CMB), believed to be the afterglow of the Big Bang. Using a cosmic model known as Lambda-CDM they came up with a rate of 66.9 kilometres per second per megaparsec.
According to Reiss the mismatch is not due to experimental errors by any of the scientists involved. He commented: “In fact, in both cases of measurements, these are very mature measurements… both projects have done their utmost to reduce systematic errors.”
According to the BBC “One way to bridge the divide is to invoke new phenomena in physics.” These could include a new particle named a “sterile neutrino”; the possibility that dark energy behaves in a different way now compared with how it did in the early history of the cosmos, and is pushing the universe apart at an increasing rate; or Reiss suggests, “we don’t have dark matter be so perfectly ‘collision-less’ but it could interact with radiation in the early Universe.”.
Editorial Comment: Attempts to prop up the Big Bang theory with mysterious matter and energy that have not been seen, and defy known laws of physics, just get sillier and sillier. Any other theory that has invoked so many speculations about undetectable matter and energy and unknown laws of physics would have died the death of a thousand modifications many years ago. We are reminded of the Apostle Paul’s warning that when people deliberately leave God out of their knowledge, they may claim to be wise, but they become fools. (See Romans 1:20-32)
For further explanation, the following comments are from Spike Psarris, a creationist astronomer whose DVDs we recommend (see below).
Astronomer Spike Psarris writes:
Here’s a short summary of the necessary background.
Observation: there is an empirical correlation (“Hubble’s Law”) between the distance of a faraway galaxy, and its redshift.
Interpretation of this observation: the universe is expanding, with a rate determined by the Hubble constant (derived from Hubble’s Law).
Additional assumption: the universe has no center or edge. Any observer anywhere would see the same structure of the universe. (This is called the “Cosmological Principle”.)
Combine the above with Einstein’s relativity, and you get the basic Big Bang model.
The Big Bang model is presented today as if it were proven fact, based on rock-solid evidence. Note though that although Hubble’s Law is empirical, the other items (universal expansion and the Cosmological Principle) are only assumptions. (In fact, different assumptions could be made, which fit the observations equally well, but produce cosmologies different than the Big Bang model. But that’s a separate topic.) For that matter, even Hubble’s Law ran into trouble in 1998/1999. Turns out that it breaks down at extreme distances. Very far-away objects don’t obey it. This is incompatible with the basic Big Bang model. Therefore, the Big Bangers added a bandage to their model.
They added “dark energy”: a mysterious antigravity energy that must permeate the entire cosmos, continually creating more of itself, and forcing the universe’s expansion to accelerate. Note that there’s no actual evidence for dark energy, except for the fact that the Big Bang model needs it, to avoid being discredited by the evidence. Nor was this the first time that the Big Bang model had been discredited by new observations. The model today includes multiple patches and bandages — multiple layers of excuses to solve otherwise-fatal problems for the model. And more than one of these “solutions” are (still!) outside of known physics.
In other words, there doesn’t seem to be any limit as to how far secular cosmologists will go, to protect their beloved Big Bang. The normal rules of science don’t seem to apply here — each time the model gets disproved by evidence, they just appeal to more new physics (cosmic inflation, dark energy, etc.) And now there’s this new discovery. The new observations are casting further doubt on the applicability of Hubble’s Law across the entire cosmos.
Hypothetically, this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and finally discredits the Big Bang. But I doubt it. Secular cosmologists seem to have no sense of shame. Today, according to their model, about 96% of the universe is made up of stuff that’s completely outside of known physics (!) So I don’t see them calling it quits now. Whenever necessary, they just invoke even more unknown physics. So, it’s too early to tell how big of a bandage will have to be applied to the Big Bang, to accommodate this. But, based on past history, I expect yet another bandage is coming.
Evidence News vol. 18, No. 3
11 April 2018
Creation Research Australia
We highly recommend astronomy DVDs by Spike Psarris: Our Created Universe, Our Created Stars and Galaxies, and Our Created solar System, available from the Creation Research webshop here.
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