The Big Bang fails another test

The ‘background echo of the big bang’ was supposed to cast a shadow—but only if it is really true that this radiation is coming from far away.


NASA/WMAP Science Team cosmic shadows

One of the alleged ‘proofs’ of the big bang model of origins is said to be the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). This is claimed to be the ‘afterglow’ of the original ‘explosion’.

I previously reported1 that there was found to be a correlation between the relatively cooler spots of the 2-dimensional surface temperature maps of the CMB and the locations of galaxy clusters and superclusters. Since the source of the CMB radiation is supposed to be the putative big bang fireball, this correlation indicates that at least some of the important features of the CMB maps are related to the galaxy clusters themselves.

According to theory, the big bang fireball should be the most distant light source of all. Thus all galaxies would be in the foreground of this source. Therefore all CMB radiation must pass the intervening galaxies between the source and the observer, here on Earth. This radiation passes through the intergalactic medium, between the galaxies in a cluster, and is scattered by electrons, through inverse Compton scattering,2—the Sunyaev–Zel’dovich effect (SZE).3 When this happens, the path of the CMB radiation is interrupted and distorted.

The previously reported (2004) analysis by Prof. Shanks of the University of Durham,4 showed that there was such a strong correlation of this effect that it could be disputed that the CMB radiation contains any information at all from its distant source. This was because the alleged 70 µK anisotropies (unevennesses) that were claimed as a prediction of the big bang theory, and claimed to be the seeds of galaxies, could instead be attributed to this SZE effect. They also reported that if it could be shown that this SZE was indeed the cause of the cooler regions in the CMB temperature maps out to one degree from the centre of a cluster, then it would be very damaging to the idea of the source being in the background.

Now (2006) it has been reported and published in the Astrophysical Journal5 that indeed there is strong evidence, out to at least one degree from the cluster centre, of an anomalous cooling. This new work looked for a shadow in the CMB radiation cast by foreground galaxies and compared the predicted shadow to what was expected from the SZE. However the expected cooling due to the shadowing effect of the galaxy cluster was found to be deficient by about 100 µK and well within standard errors. For example it might have been expected that the foreground cluster would cast a 150 µK shadow (i.e. would be cooler by this amount) but only 50 µK was observed. This analysis was averaged over 31 clusters observed with a net result indicating that on average no shadow was detected. In fact, the question is asked, Why are the clusters so relatively hot? Is there an additional source of emission that cancels out the expected shadow?

cosmic shadows

This was reported in ScienceDaily.com under the headline Big Bang’s Afterglow Fails Intergalactic ‘Shadow’ Test.6 A team of University of Alabama Huntsville scientists, led by Dr. Richard Lieu, used data from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) to scan the cosmic microwave background for shadows. Previous groups have made these sorts of studies but this was the first with WMAP data. Remember WMAP was designed specifically to detect the signature or echoes of the big bang. But… ‘Either it (the microwave background) isn’t coming from behind the clusters, which means the Big Bang is blown away, or … there is something else going on,’ said Lieu.

More woes for a big bang history of the universe (see also the articles under What are some of the problems with the ‘big bang’ hypothesis?). Another problem for those Christians who hang their apologetics on the beliefs of so-called modern science (see also Secular scientists blast the big bang: What now for naïve apologetics?)

The evidence seems to be mounting7 in favour of the source of the CMB being local instead. This favours a galactocentric creation model, one in which the Milky Way galaxy is somewhere near the centre of the universe, as has been strongly suggested by other observational data. See ‘Our galaxy is the centre of the universe, “quantized” redshifts show’.8 And it also seems that physicists are using the data from the precise WMAP measurements to undermine the very paradigm that it was built to bolster.

Lieu’s words resonate here:

“There is something else going on!”

Published: 15 September 2006

References and notes

  1. Hartnett, J.G., Echoes of the big bang ... or noise? J. of Creation 18(2):11–13, 2004. Return to text.
  2. Compton scattering means that a photon collides with an electron, imparting some energy to the electron which recoils, while another photon carrying the remaining energy (so a lower frequency) is emitted at an angle from the original so momentum is conserved. Inverse Compton scattering means that a very energetic electron loses energy, so the scattered photon has a higher energy and thus higher frequency. Return to text.
  3. Sunyaev [Сюняев], R.A. and Zel’dovich [Зельдович], Y.B., Small-scale fluctuations of relic radiation, Astrophysics and Space Science 7:3–19,1970. Return to text.
  4. Myers, A.D., Shanks, T. et al., Evidence for an Extended SZ Effect in WMAP Data, MNRAS 347(4):L67, February 2004 <www.arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0306/0306180.pdf>, 5 March 2004. Return to text.
  5. Lieu, R., Mittaz, J.P.D. and Shuang-Nan Zhang, The Sunyaev–Zel’dovich effect in a sample of 31 clusters: A comparison between the x-ray predicted and WMAP observed Cosmic Microwave Background temperature decrement, Ap. J. 648:176–199, 1 September 2006. Return to text.
  6. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060905104549.htm>, 12 September 2006. Return to text.
  7. R. Samec, No sign of gravitational lensing in the cosmic microwave background, J. of Creation 20(2):3, 2006; J. Hartnett, CMB Conundrums, J. of Creation 20(2):10–11, 2006. Return to text.
  8. Also the more recent paper Hartnett, J.G., Quantized quasar redshifts in a creationist cosmology, J. of Creation 18(2):105–113, 2004. Return to text.