Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An acid test for big bang denialists

As a physicist and Christian occasionally I get asked about books such as this one, which claims to show that the earth is only a few thousand years old, whereas we observe light from distant galaxies billions of years old. The reason that such books have no scientific credibility is that they are largely a collection of assertions and speculations. There is no actual quantitative analysis of real experimental data. For an alternative theory to big bang cosmology (which sets the age of the universe at 13.7 billion years) to be credible it MUST give a quantitative description of all of the existing experimental data (Hubble expansion, cosmic microwave background, relative abundance of the elements, ...).

The figure is taken from a Physics Today article Supernovae, Dark Energy, and the Accelarating Universe by Saul Perlmutter who this month shared the Nobel Prize in Physics. It shows how different independent measurements put severe constraints on the age of the universe, the mass density, the cosmological constant,...)

1 comment:

  1. The problem as I see it is that, given the apparent age argument, all of this can be explained. Apparent age can accept any timeline or "trajectory" at all and say that God created everything in the state of that trajectory 10,000 years ago (or yesterday, which of course is one problem with the apparent age argument).