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Claimed dark matter ‘find’ won’t help end ‘big bang’ crisis

Published: 25 January 2014 (GMT+10)

After reading an online article about the purported discovery of dark matter, a supporter named Neville emailed CMI for a creationist perspective.

The author A/Prof. John Hartnett, “in the middle of the action”. He earlier let his views about dark matter be known: “If you give a name to an admission of gross ignorance—‘dark matter’, ‘dark energy’—then you may eventually believe you have explained something!”

A/Prof John Hartnett answers:

A theorist has an idea about the mixing (coupling) of dark matter axions with normal matter through an S/N/S junction. Firstly, the axion is a theorized particle in the WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particle)category but this expected particle with a mass of 1 μeV is in the WISP (Weakly Interacting Slim Particle) category. The latter is what I have been searching for in a lab experiment—a 53 μeV mass paraphoton—for four years.1 In all these type of experimental searches, these types of putative particles cannot be directly observed but only by their expected effects on normal matter and radiation sectors. So a theorist calculates the magnitude of the mixing parameter (nowadays < 10-8, or much lower) and they run experiments to put an upper limit on it. So if you get a signal—instead of just noise—the signal is from real normal type radiation, thus you have to exclude all possible spurious signals, and usually the detection expected is extremely small so it becomes extremely problematic to definitively say—even if you had an unknown signal—that you have made a detection.

Maybe an analogy might be like saying you have a sealed packet of food and your theory says you should let hundreds of billions of maggots crawl over the outside of the packet and if a maggot appears inside the packet you have proof of a dark matter particle that passed from outside to inside. First one maggot transformed into the dark matter particle that can freely pass through the wall of the packet because it does not interact with normal matter, then it transformed back into a maggot on the inside. The only problem is that you would have to eliminate any possibility of a false detection by some other source generating the maggot inside the packet. Spurious noise sources are many and hard to eliminate. If you found a maggot in the packet you would not for a minute blame the source on some exotic form of matter, would you?
The mere fact that the axion has been invoked over the past 40 years for at least four different reasons—to solve some problem in physics—shows it to be a sort of “god of the gaps” for the physicist; dark matter, even more so, in all its incarnations. A claim of dark matter detection will need extraordinarily strong experimental evidence—from multiple experiments. A new particle is always possible. But the reason it is invoked is because the standard LCDM big bang model does not work without it and dark energy. It is woefully found wanting. There are some mainstream people now discussing “discarding” the standard model because of what they call the “dark matter crisis”.
If you base your theology on the big bang—because it has an origin in time—then you are ignoring the elephant in the room.
The big bang has only one appealing fact to believers in the historicity of the Genesis account; the fact that it had a beginning in time.
And here are some problems with the big bang model:
  1. No Creator; either the universe created itself or there is an unknown naturalistic cause for the initial expansion.
  2. A priori it started in a low entropy condition smoothly expanding uniformly in all directions. How did it get that way?
  3. If you include ‘inflation’, that started without a known cause and stopped without a known cause.
  4. It involved the spontaneous creation of energy, space and time from nothing, where nothing means nothing, not even space or time.
  5. Why did it bang? No-one knows. How did it start? The physics does not exist to describe it. A “god of the gaps” here.
  6. The universe must be homogeneous and isotropic on largest scales, but we observe something different on all scales.
  7. The universe has no center and no edge; the big bang was everywhere.
  8. Currently the big bang universe is open and infinite; so it must have always been infinite in extension.
  9. How could a zero dimension universe become one of infinite size? From the explosion matter and anti-matter formed from pure normal energy? But we only observe normal matter. A particle asymmetry is therefore assumed but theoretically and experimentally cannot be justified.
  10. Stars must form from hydrogen and helium gas initially, but without dark matter conveniently at the right density at their putative centers where they form, no star will/can form. Without dark matter physics must be violated.
  11. Same problem exists for formation of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. So in all simulations an initial concentration of dark matter is assumed.
  12. The universe is Euclidean. Why is that? It is unknown, and the standard model requires that it has always been so to within a part in 10^50 over the history of the universe.
  13. Why is the cosmic microwave background radiation so uniform (3°K)? This must mean that the universe came into thermal equilibrium early in its history, but light we see today from opposite sides (horizons) of the universe only now reaches us and has never mixed—the horizon problem—which needs superluminal light to solve it, because inflation cannot.
  14. How do you know the universe is expanding? You can’t measure it experimentally so you must assume it to be so without proof. Faith; blind faith required.
  15. How do you know the expansion of the universe is accelerating? Only by applying the standard model with dark matter and dark energy to the observations. Two fudge factors are required to come to that conclusion.
  16. What is dark energy? It is not normal energy that we know like electromagnetic photons, i.e. radiation. It has the effect of anti-gravity. Normal energy gravitates—does not anti-gravitate.
  17. You cannot experimentally test your big bang universe model on the actual universe, because we don’t know what the universe should look like—cosmic variance problem. Humans then judge what a good simulation looks like.
  18. Why does the axis of evil exist—the axis seen in the temperature anisotropies of the CMB radiation? The axis is a real effect, proven by three different independent sets of observations, using different equipment on separate satellites.
  19. Why do galaxy clusters not show a foreground shadow if the CMB is the afterglow of the big bang fireball? They should but they don’t. [Ed.: This argument is no longer tenable—see Dr Hartnett's article “Creation argument against the big bang no longer sustainable—CMB shadows and galaxy clusters”, J. Creation 32(2):3–4, 2018; biblescienceforum.com/2018/03/02/no-cmb-shadows-an-argument-against-the-big-bang-that-can-no-longer-be-sustained.]
  20. Millions of spiral galaxies rotate too fast and hence they need a universe of 85% dark matter, but it is not observed in the lab. If it is so ubiquitous why has it not been discovered after 40 years of searching?
  21. There are many more problems—like the cosmological constant problem, the monopole problem, the isotropy problem, the smoothness problem and the anthropic universe (also called the Goldilocks universe) where it is finely tuned for life to exist.
  22. Lastly, why are atheists so determined to eliminate a Creator from their universe? Even now the origin in time is the one thing they hate the most about the standard model and they want to find a way that either the universe had no beginning or that it had many possible beginnings and humans sample several of them simultaneously, which makes no sense at all. But that is Professor Stephen Hawking’s idea.
So as they say in the used car business: “buyer beware!” The big bang timeline completely contradicts the Genesis 1 account in both order and content. Christians and those like Dr Hugh Ross who buy into a godless theory for their theology will be left wanting and denying His Word.
The only truth is the truth that glorifies the Creator (there is only one) and that means adherence to His Word. The big bang came from man, from atheists and those who deny the divine Word.

References and notes

  1. S. R. Parker, J. G. Hartnett, R. G. Povey, and M. E. Tobar, Cryogenic resonant microwave cavity searches for hidden sector photons, Phys. Rev. D. 88:112004, 2013. Return to text.

Readers’ comments

Richard L.
A wonderful article! Thanks! A Christian investigating Big Bang (BB) claims has to do so from at least 4 angles: (1) biblically (e.g., explicit biblical creation order), (2) scientifically, (3) theologically, and (4) with respect to the Bible’s metacognitive commands about how to respond to such challenges (1 Th. 5:21; 2 Cor. 10:5; Col. 2:8). In this article, Brother Hartnett does #1 and #2 very helpfully. And, in his book, he equips us to do #4.

I haven’t seen in recent creationist literature anything on #3. For BB mathematical modeling to work—from the start of the universe—God has to be confined to a deistic box. He is only allowed to trigger the start of the universe. All subsequent development has to be within natural law. No room for “He said… and it was” with respect to star formation, etc. A theological mess.

Re. #4 and the vital necessity to ask, “Where do the hard facts end and the guesses begin?”, Dr. Hartnett’s book is very helpful in his supply of lengthy quotations from Hubble, quotations indicating Hubble’s (and future BB-proponents’) reliance on a homogeneous-universe **assumption**. The hard facts extend only to red-shift data and Einstein’s General-Relativity field equations. After that, everyone speculates. Please note—as Drs. Hartnett and Humphreys point out—**more than one** solution is possible to those field equations. The resultant solution is dependent on a **chosen** assumption.

Thus, contrary to popular perception, scientists HAVEN’T narrowed down the cosmology-reality search area to a BB-only zone. But most theologians and pastors think that they have. They thus listen at best with one ear to what you are saying—feeling that you are somehow inviting them to violate intellectual integrity.
Samuel B.
I'm a young Earth crectionist. I post many of CMI porsts on my Facebook. A friend of mine have commented on this sending me videos and sites that "proves" that the Universe is expanding.

It would be nice if you help me give him an answer. Thanks.
John Hartnett
In your first web link they discuss redshifts and the Hubble constant. But what if redshift is not due to the expansion of the universe. See expanding-universe-1 and expanding-universe-2. It seems there are many conflicting lines of evidence.

There is no direct laboratory experiment that can prove expansion of space. I am not saying expansion is not possible but in a model, that, in order to fit the observations, they have to invent all sort of unknowns to explain the unkown, one should look for a better model. See cosmology-is-not-even-astrophysics. It is imprtant to realize that cosmology is not science in the usual repeatable fashion of a laboratory experiment. And in cosmology it is the worldview, the belief system, of the researcher that really determines how he deals with the observations.

In your second web link they give an accurate description of what is generally believed about the big bang model. Most of that is discussed in my blog article: http://johnhartnett.org/2014/01/26/the-big-bang-theory-vs-the-big-god-theory/. But for them then to suggest that there was a time "before" the big bang, like a big crunch and that the universe is actually eternal, creates more massive problems. One is entropy, which means the current universe must wind down as useable energy is used up. So what wound it up again at the prior big crunch? More unknowns have to be invented. I hope that helps.
abraham Q.
Every article should be that technical! i love these kind of articles but you should make a kind of glossary or articles for definitions for those who do not understand some terms (like wikipedia does using links on any word to define the word for users) making a big net of knowledge and concepts.

Keep doing technical articles to help us grow in knowledge and to build a scientific way of thinking.

Great article by the way Prof John Hartnett.
Keep growing in knowledge!! GOD bless!!!
Aleksandar K.
People, as they, usually accept a conclusion and then - if they do it at all - view the arguments for it in light of the conclusion. Not logical but very common, as you have pointed out through many, many articles. In case of the Big bang, when dismantling it, you should start your argumentation the same way - with a conclusion, a leading premise. What is the core issue with the Big bang? Evolutionists claim that the laws of physics created the universe and the Big bang is the model that describes that process. But the fact is that the Big bang model is a series of hypotheses meant to override the laws of physics! I think that should be the central thought of all argumentation against the Big bang model. When you put it that way, people will be affected by the evidence you have listed in the article much more powerful. Big bang exists to "cheat" the laws of physics. Apart from the dark matter, the most cheating part of the Big bang model is inflation (from my point of view). It has the characteristics of "deus ex machina" from Greek plays.
Charles S.
Thank you so much for your effort in presenting a comprehensive summary of the flaws entailed in the big bang theory. Certainly from my perspective, it would seem the scales are tipping much so in favor of dispelling the big bang. Years ago, I was engrossed in Hugh Ross' explanations but at the time, I missed the conflict it created with Genesis; now, years later, I clearly see the truth and validity of the Scriptures in both astronomy and geology thanks to your work and CMI. I pray that more and more scientists and engineers will open their eyes and hearts to the truths revealed in the logic of your and CMI's works.
Troy M.
Outstanding article!
john P.
As always, John knows what he is talking about. As one of my ute stickers says "Big bang theory-God spoke and bang-it happened!"
We need to base our theories on scripture-God told us in Genesis ch 1 the order in which He created the universe, and the Big Bang proposed by Lemaitre and others was not the way He did it.
As far as Stephen Hawking is concerned, he needs to realise how irrational and illogical his ideas are-to propose the universe had many beginnings and humans experience them simultaneously is nonsense. Then again, he's fulfilling Bible prophecy, isn't he? God says the wise of this world become fools when they deny Him and His word and rely on their own "understanding". It is not good to fulfill Bible prophecy on the wrong side, though, as Stephen is doing.
Damien S.
It's amazing how many proponents of evolution, like Gary H, have very little knowledge of the facts and use arguments that are so illogical that they border on the ridiculous. Yet, these people are so cocky that they claim victory, failing to realise how ludicrous their statement really is. These types of people rarely, if ever (just like Gary H has failed to do), address the issue at hand and bring up arguments that have already been refuted several times over.
Graham H.
Hi thanks for the article. Dark matter has always intrigued me but I don't believe the existence or not of -it matters compared to my faith. God created everything and so he could have created dark matter very easily. I didn't really understand the first paragraph as was very technical. But the next paragraph seemed clear. One question I do have is that you say in point 14 that you can not measure the universe expanding so how do you know, Well I had always thought that we could measure the universes expantion through red shift? I also think I read in one of the psalms that God stretches the universe out with his arms, so that would seem to suggest an expanding universe by God .

Carl Wieland
Dr Hartnett's general claim is not that there is no expansion, in fact one of his models utilizes that notion. What he has pointed out on occasion, though, is the uncertain nature of everything we think we know about cosmology, which includes the fact that at one cannot even know for sure that the universe is expanding, as expansion is only one possible interpretation of the observed pattern of redshifts. If in fact it is expanding/has expanded, then there are certainly Bible verses which fit that notion, several in fact. Re dark matter, the issue is not whether the existence of this threatens faith, but rather that at present DM appears to be a fudge factor required to make the big bang work. And about the only thing the BB has in common with Genesis history is that there was a beginning. The glaring contradictions should not be overlooked e.g. Genesis has earth before sun, BB says the opposite.
Gary H.
"The big bang came from man, from atheists and those who deny the divine Word." -Creation Ministries International

Father Georges Lamaitre, Belgian priest and father of the Big Bang theory.

Checkmate, liars :)

Carl Wieland
Amazing that someone would be so keen to discredit CMI with intemperate statements like this that they would not step back to consider that the statement John makes here is totally compatible with the facts in all respects. It is wellknown to the point of being trivial that one of the earliest proponents of the BB idea was the priest Lemaitre (note correct spelling). Only the most naive would be unaware of all the others involved in the fleshing out of this very simple original idea to a major cosmological proposal/model. Of those responsible, some were atheists, and all (including the priest Lemaitre and the Spinozan pantheist Einstein) denied the divine Word. Consider only the order of creation; Genesis says earth before sun; BB has sun way before earth, etc Look again at the statement you quote disparagingly and you will see that it is accurate; John says it came from man; he then spells out in more detail the categories of man, and would scarcely have said 'atheists AND those who deny the divine Word' (my emphasis) if his statement were not meant to be taken as indicating that it did not only include atheists (who by definition deny the divine Word) but also others who are not atheists. Otherwise it would have simply omitted the 'and those'. It is a pity that emotions run high on this issue, but perhaps not surprising.
james p H.
creationists really need to take the offensive against these atheistic, evolutionists.....let's face it: any findings/discoveries/evidence they produce should, pretty much, just be dismissed out of hand for two reasons: i/it contradicts the Word of God and ii/they're only looking for stuff that supports their world-view....(with the corollary that they're publishing deliberately mis-leading, inaccurate data.....if not down-right LIEs)

YES!!....i'm calling them LIARs!!

it's time that Christians started calling a spade a spade!!
Carl Wieland
I would have some concern with some aspects of this approach, for one thing because often they genuinely believe it themselves, like I once did. Creation-believers who have used this approach are not few, and if (as this seems to do in one part) one were to imply that the data published is itself somehow falsified, which is only very rarely the case, I think it would generally help the evolutionist cause by coming across as intemperate, out of touch, and more importantly willing to misrepresent the opposition. So it would seem to me to be like those intemperate evolutionists who do similar things to creationists, accusing them of lying and so on. Of course, the belief system is itself a deceptive one, but that is not the same as saying that the individuals are consciously deceiving, inventing data, etc.
Richard G.
Dr Hartnett and Colabourers,
What an outstanding article and helpful and quite understandable to non-specialists like me! Praise God. We don't need to be specialists to be assured of the truth because of Psalm 119:98 to 100. "I have more understanding than my teachers because Your testimonies are my meditation." We, by simply believing the Word of God, know more actually than those not basing everything on the Word. Hugh Ross is unfortunately, pathetic, because he's a believer exalting what some scientists say over the Word of God---when the chips are down.
In my native New Zealand we have in our Brethren circles a retired physics professor who insisted on the Big Bang as true! We 'brethren' more than many others try to take the Word as final arbiter of truth against error.
One more appeal to all good men. Never weaken and say "Science says so and so." It's more accurate to say "Some scientists say so and so." It makes no difference if all scientists agree on something except one (who clings to the Word as THE authority). The truth is, it is only some scientists believing something and claiming it as truth. We forget that all or nearly all people, including leading scientists have been wrong in their dogmatic beliefs. Science textbooks seem to last no more than 10 years without needing correction!! Keep disseminating the truth. But God will not allow any humble trusting saint to suffer ultimate damage by not having access to your great material.
Terry P.
For he [Abraham] is the father of us all, as Scripture says: ‘I have appointed you to be father of many nations.’ This promise, then, was valid before God, the God in whom he put his faith, the God who makes the dead live and summons things that are not yet in existence as if they already were. — Ro§4:17.
Atheists would have us believe the living God is ‘Nothing’, and that it was not God, but their lifeless god ‘Nothing’ that created the universe and all life on earth out of nothing. It is as though they are trying to convince us that their God who created the universe out of nothing is not alive.
But as William Shakespeare once put it: “What is in a name? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.”
God said to Job: “Did you proclaim the rules that govern the heavens, or determine the laws of nature on earth?” — Job§38:33.
From whence do atheists think these rules and laws come? Did they always exist like God?

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