The Imaginary Universe

Our Modern Creation Myth

Modern cosmology is an unscientific mess. There is simply no way to avoid this conclusion if the accepted modern cosmological model is fairly judged by scientific standards. The model, most commonly known as the Big Bang, is comprised of axioms and postulates that have no empirical underpinnings. It is further physically absurd in a way that makes Ptolemy’s earthcentric universe look sophisticated. Let me lay out the big picture for you.

According to cosmologists the universe is comprised of 5% ordinary matter and energy while 95% of it consists of ‘dark’ energy and ‘dark’ matter. Dark in this case means that said matter and energy cannot be detected or observed in any normal way. Why then do cosmologists insist that this invisible stuff actually exists? For one simple reason, the existence of ‘dark’ matter and ‘dark’ energy is necessary to reconcile their standard cosmological model with observational reality. And that’s it. This invisible stuff must exist otherwise the standard model of cosmology is an abject failure and that can’t be because, well…livelihoods and reputations are at stake.

The preferred name for the Big Bang theory these days is the Lambda-CDM Concordance model which elegantly deploys the strategy, beloved of software manufacturers, of declaring a bug to be a feature. Lambda stands for ‘dark’ energy and CDM is an acronym for cold dark matter. In effect the model has been named for two of its most prominent predictive failures. In cosmological circles this failure is deeply discounted lest it have any negative career effects.

The absurdity of 95% of the universe being composed of undetectable ‘stuff’ is only one reason to conclude that there is a better than 95% chance that the standard model is fundamentally wrong. In fact the entire model is composed of ludicrous and absurd claims about the nature of physical reality, assumptions and assertions that lack any empirical foundation.

Is the universe we observe with instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope expanding in a unified, orchestrated way? The evidence for such an unlikely scenario is extremely weak, resting as it does on the assumption that the cause of the cosmological redshift is a recessional velocity. At least that was the original assumption. When that proved untenable because the recessional velocities of distant galaxies were approaching light speed, the story was changed. The galaxies were no longer receding from one another; the space between them was expanding.

No one has ever observed the existence of ‘space’ independent of the matter and energy that supposedly occupy it. The standard model, however, assumes that an independent ‘space’ exists and is expanding uniformly and universally. The former is an a priori assumption of the model while the latter is an ad hoc mathematical fiction. There is no observational evidence to support either claim.

Expanding space exists only for the purpose of reconciling the standard model, which presumes the expansion of the universe, with the physical reality that doesn’t seem to reflect that peculiar behavior. Expanding space is a mathematical construct which has no physical correlate in the same way that Ptolemy’s epicycles have no physical correlate. Like ‘dark’ energy and ‘dark’ matter, ‘expanding space’ only exists in the model that requires it, not in the physical reality we actually observe. There is more.

Was the entire cosmos once upon a time compressed into a space smaller than a gnat’s ass? That may seem an absurd proposition, but theoretical cosmologists insist that it was so. And how did they come to that conclusion? They simply extrapolated backward from the dubious proposition that the entire universe is uniformly expanding, running an imaginary film of the expanding universe in reverse. Eventually this rather simplistic line of reasoning arrived back at the event horizon of the gnat’s ass, beyond which theoretical cosmologists have been unable to formulate any coherent explanation of that peculiar state of affairs until fairly recently.

The latest wrinkle to this bizarre tale is that the entire universe didn’t have to squeeze into the gnat’s ass. Instead there was only some mystical stuff called negative vacuum energy in there that blew outward in a cosmic flatulence event, creating the entire universe out of nothing as it expanded at many times the speed of light – like it had a warp drive or something, dude!

The general public, scientifically unsophisticated and un-credentialed, is expected to believe this puerile nonsense on the authority of the many theoretical cosmologists who do believe it fervently. But on the basis of current observations, there is no rational, scientific reason to think that the entire Big Bang/expanding universe scenario is anything but a mathematical fever dream devised by the scientifically incompetent. There is no sound empirical basis for our modern cosmology, not in its conception and not in its baroque elaboration. Believe it if you will but don’t call it science. Call it the secular creation myth of the High Church of Mathematics.