In my reading today and yesterday, I realised that this topic is more simply structured than I thought in my post ‘Which controversies?’. My thoughts on controversies within cosmology are primarily the arguments against the Big Bang theory; the alternative theories. These are actually broken up into easy categories:
- Theories starting from different physics to the Big Bang, which has its roots in general relativity.
- Theories stemming from different interpretations of observation, such as the plasma cosmology advocated by Eric Lerner (I’ll get to him in the next few posts).
- Modifications of the Big Bang theory, such as alternatives to dark energy or dark matter. This is a more specific level of the Big Bang theory, where Lambda-CDM comes in as the current standard model.
Then there’s also the steady-state model, which gets to stand all by itself; it’s special. These categories have been listed in generally chronological order, apart from steady-state, which I can nestle between 1 and 2. Sure, there are still #1 theories being imagined, but #3 theories are far more common in this era of precision cosmology.
The point of all this is that while the Big Bang theory is considered standard cosmology by a great many physicists, there are still disputes between observation and theory that other—non-standard or alternative, whichever you prefer—models attempt to resolve. Controversy!
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