The Cosmic Revolutionary's Handbook
(Or: How to Beat the Big Bang)
Luke A. Barnes, Geraint F. Lewis
Review by L. Marmet
This handbook is an introduction to cosmology,
similar to other books that have been written in the
field. But it has the added twist of some hint at a
Cosmological Revolution! Australian astronomers Barnes
and Lewis write an acrimonious rebuttal to ‘spherical’
ignorants who think they can revolutionize cosmology without
learning physics or astronomy. Indeed, there are
hundreds of crackpots who continually waste everybody's time
on worthless ideas. The authors' advice to the
revolutionary? Learn physics and publish your
revolutionary idea in refereed journals.
Few cosmologists will want to admit this, but the Big
Bang model is in desperate need of a revolution.
Serious crises are threatening modern cosmology, starting
with the Hubble tension which exposes an inconsistency on
the most fundamental assumption of expansion
cosmology! Then comes the lithium problem, the
sigma-eight tension, mature galaxies seen too early after
the Big Bang, ‘cosmologists would dump the dark
components in a moment’, ‘the physics of inflation
is poorly understood’, and the Big Bang model does not
even pass the criteria of the twelve ‘Theoretical
Values’ listed in the book...
So yes, pleeeease, put the Big Bang out of its own
misery and let's have a revolution!
Here is the problem: behind this revolutionary book
hides two astrophysicists who don't want real change. This
is obvious from the unrealistic expectations they have for a
potential revolutionary theory. The new theory must
explain all astronomical observations, and it must
have ‘survived testing by new experiments and new data’.
Never in history have revolutionary theories satisfied these
criteria. Barnes and Lewis, like most cosmologists,
only want to take small steps. They think that ‘a
small correction to our ideas’ can be enough, or that
‘a small change will naturally and neatly explain’
Playing it safe by changing a few parameters,
tweaking general relativity or adding a few more particles
won't be enough: the Big Bang model needs a real paradigm
shift comparable in magnitude to the Copernican
Revolution. If you are a real revolutionary, you
will have done your homework, you will have learned physics
and you will know your enemy. If you are a real
revolutionary, you won't learn much from this book.
Real revolutions are messy. "A new scientific truth
does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them
see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually
die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it"
declared Max Planck.
So watch out mates, a rival will fall: Big Bang
cosmology. "Science progresses one funeral at a time",
for 'tis the sport to have the cosmologist hoist with his
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