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Creation 39(2):48–51, April 2017

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Cosmic storytelling

The never ending big bang story

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cosmic

The big bang is indeed a good story … as far as storytelling goes. As one business website affirms,

“Storytelling has been the single most powerful communication tool for thousands of years and we are just starting to understand how relevant and significant it is today.”1

It also illustrates what Mark Twain is reputed to have said:

“Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

And what Hitler’s propagandist Joseph Goebbels supposedly claimed, that “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

The story matters more than the science

As a physics professor working in a secular university in Australia, publishing in scientific journals and knowing the importance of communicating one’s science to the wider community, I have had many opportunities to see how the system works. Outside of the experts in your field the details do not matter, but a good story does.

For example, in early 2013 I published a cosmology paper in a specialist journal,2 where I found that using a finite bounded expanding universe, with a unique centre and an edge, one could describe the observed large-scale structure of the universe very well.

And one could do so without including ‘dark energy’ or ‘dark matter’, the fudge factors assumed in the standard big bang model.

Soon I received a call from someone from my university’s publicity department who wanted to write a press release on it. She asked me what I felt was important about the paper. I told her that the paper was consistent with the notion that our galaxy could be located in a privileged location in the universe. This was contrary to the oft quoted cosmological principle which states that there are no privileged locations—that our location is purely random and the universe has no centre or edge. My paper suggested that that is not necessarily so.

Once she understood what I was saying, her facial expression told me everything. She said: “I don’t think we can do anything with this.” I never heard from her again. I had published the science, passing secular peer-review, but the real story could not be told because it was contrary to the one the establishment promoted.

Cosmology needs a good story

Modern-day cosmology has developed a good ‘story’. The general public know it very well. But they have absolutely no knowledge of the details, nor if they were presented to them could very many of them even comprehend them.

The system adheres to the usual script. If you don’t depart from that you can get out your message. But if you suggest something different—for example, that our galaxy is in a special location in the universe—the response is deafening silence. You, the author, will be ignored. But those who accept the standard paradigm—the big bang story—won’t have any problem getting their message out.

That story, told over and over again, is full of made-up stuff: dark matter, dark energy, dark radiation, dark flow, dark fluid, dark photons,3 cosmic inflation, expanding space, big bang singularity, quantum fluctuations of a metastable false vacuum,4 colliding hyper-dimensional branes, and still more.

Who understands what these things are? The general public certainly doesn’t. The experts can’t, really, because none of these have ever been discovered or demonstrated in a lab experiment. But they are all needed in the modern big bang story, and it is a really big story. If you are going to tell a lie, tell a big one.

storyte__omg
Figure 1 No matter what is observed in the cosmos the new results are always fitted into the story. The story is pliable. This is good storytelling. Nothing can disprove the story, because anything you find can be made to fit into it.

The big bang story has become the most popular account of both the structure and the origin of the universe. This cosmic evolution story is a complete epic, which starts with just hydrogen gas and after 13.7 billion years ends up with people (Fig. 1) and all sorts of living creatures on a beautiful blue fertile planet at ‘just the right distance’ from the sun that ‘only looks like’ it was designed for life. The story is still being written, as the big bang description keeps changing and evolving.

Galaxies and stars: facts vs story

For example, a newly discovered galaxy (see Fig. 2) far, far away was not as large in size as expected.5 Many other galaxies found at this stage of their story were much more massive, but the high dust content of this new galaxy meant that somehow it must have evolved from the primordial gas much earlier than expected. It should have been an ‘infant’ galaxy due to its size but was found to be a ‘mature’ galaxy due to its dust content even though it is small in size.

This new one is now simply rebadged as being ‘typical’. In short, it doesn’t matter what is discovered, now or into the future. The story will always be re-written or amended or embellished. In cosmology this is what is called ‘science’. As indicated, I call it good storytelling.

But actually there are no known processes that allow the stars to form by themselves in the first place. Evolutionists believe that the first stars formed when a huge cloud of mostly hydrogen and some helium contracted under its own gravity. Eventually, it heated up so much that thermonuclear fusion began in its core.

However, real science tells us that a contracting gas cloud heats up, and the resulting increased gas pressure prevents any further collapse of the cloud. Some have proposed ingenious methods of cooling, by infrared radiation from molecular hydrogen clouds, but these cooling mechanisms are impractical.6 Also, rotation, turbulence, and magnetic fields will further resist collapse.

galaxy-cluster-Abell
Figure 2 NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the galaxy cluster Abell 1689 with the newly discovered galaxy A1689-zD1 located in the box indicated, although it is so faint that it is barely seen in this picture.

But the story must continue. So the answer is obvious, they say. It is the mysterious, invisible, never-observed dark matter that provides the solution.7 In order for the clouds of gas that formed into the first stars to begin collapsing there needed to be a lot of dark matter around to make the cloud collapse under gravity. Thus a far stronger gravitational force can be achieved, especially if you start your story with as much as 90% or more dark matter in the universe. That must be the correct story, because it did happen, we are told, and we know this because we are here to talk about it.

So dark matter is invoked at the critical moment in the formation of the first stars. In the story, the stars also form into galaxies. More dark matter is needed for that to happen, because again without this hypothetical, unobserved stuff, no galaxy formation can occur naturalistically.

It is an irony that professional astrophysicists can propose all sorts of hypothetical unknown stuff, but they cannot accept creative action by the Creator. One exception seems to be that theistic evolutionists at least permit God to have started off the universe in the big bang.

Now according to the story, the first galaxies were small and hence ‘young’. Only by accumulating more mass by merging with other galaxies could they ‘grow up’ and become more ‘mature’. In the era alleged for the galaxy in Fig. 2, only small ‘young’ galaxies were expected. But a high percentage of those observed are more massive than expected. But no need to worry, that also will be worked into the story. After all it’s a never ending story.

Conclusion

What have we learned from this? Mostly, that cosmology is not science. It is a philosophy, a belief system—a story—into which all the evidence, the observations are placed. It is already believed; the general plot is apparently known, and no matter how crazy the story gets with unknowns and fudge factors, that is OK, so long as the main storyline is preserved.

Where did the story come from? Not from God. It has no resemblance to His story,8 the true history outlined in the Genesis account in the Bible. This story is used to deceive the world into thinking that there is no Creator and hence no God—the universe, and everything in it, just made itself. But I don’t believe it—and neither should you.

References and notes

  1. See storytellingforbusiness.com.au; ©2015. Return to text.
  2. Hartnett, J.G., A valid finite bounded expanding Carmelian universe without dark matter, Int. J. Theoretical Physics 52 (12): 4360–4366, 2013. Return to text.
  3. Hartnett, J.G., ‘Dark photons’: another cosmic fudge factor, creation.com/dark-photons, 18 August 2015. Return to text.
  4. Hartnett, J.G., An eternal big bang universe, 26 February 2015. Return to text.
  5. An old-looking galaxy in a young universe, phys.org news, 2 March 2015. Return to text.
  6. Hartnett, J.G., Giant molecular clouds, 15 March 2016. Return to text.
  7. Hartnett, J.G., Why is Dark Matter everywhere in the cosmos?, 31 March 2015. Return to text.
  8. Hartnett, J.G., The big bang is not a Reason to Believe, 20 May 2014. Return to text.

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