This article is from
Journal of Creation 15(1):8–12, April 2001

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Recent Cosmic Microwave Background data supports creationist cosmologies


In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and found the intensity in different directions to vary by less than 10%. The CMB describes the electromagnetic energy at microwave frequencies (1 to 100 GHz) pouring in from the cosmos in all directions. This energy can be uniquely described in terms of the temperature of an ideal radiator, called a ‘black body’, that produces radiation at the same frequencies and intensity. In 1977, Smoot and others detected a system of ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ patches across the sky in the microwave spectrum.1 A two-dimensional map, as shown in Figure 1, was the result. If one points one’s radiometer (a device to measure ‘black body’ radiation temperature) away from the hub of our Milky Way galaxy, a signal with a ‘black body’ radiation temperature of about 2.7 K is observed. Smoot detected a sinusoidal variation in the temperature of the CMB at the 1 part in 103 level.1 This was attributed to the motion of the Earth. In order to resolve intrinsic fluctuations, statistical analyses were needed and fluctuations of the order of 10 µK were extracted.2,3 Later, higher resolution measurements were made by the Boomerang (balloon observations of millimetric extragalactic radiation and geomagnetics) experiment, which involved a microwave telescope lofted 38 km over Antarctica.4

The CMB itself seems to indicate a preferred frame of reference, which is not inconsistent with the principle of relativity.5 Inertial observers would not be able to distinguish anything about their motion except by comparison with this preferred frame. The largest observed differences in temperature, or anisitropy in the CMB radiation, is due to the motion of the Earth relative to this preferred frame of a ‘co-moving observer’—one who rides along with the general expansion of the universe. That motion has been measured at about 370 km/sec in the direction of Leo, and our galaxy calculated to be moving about 600 km/sec with respect to this reference frame.1,6 The relativity principle simply rules out a reference frame that is preferred on the basis of how the laws of physics work.7

Figure 1
Figure 1. Light and dark patches representing the variation of the temperature of the CMB radiation after all foreground sources have been subtracted (after COBE)26. The different regions represent temperature differences of the order of 0.01% above or below the average sky temperature of 2.73K.

These CMB observations are consistent with the general relativistic creationist models of Humphreys8 and Gentry,9 which explain the current state of the universe within a creationist timeframe. However, they are inconsistent with all big bang cosmologies. In both creationist models the matter distribution is bounded, while space may or may not be. The red-shift, too, may show we are in a preferred frame of reference. The Cosmological Principle, which assumes that the universe is unbounded, is an evolutionary assumption—an untestable hypothesis. Gentry’s model explains red-shifts, CMB and the paucity of quasars past red-shift, z = 4, in a static space-time.9 It is a finite universe model consistent with all observational data.

After the motion of the Earth and our galaxy is removed, there are found, buried in the CMB radiation, at sufficiently small angular resolutions, small intrinsic variations of the order of 1 part in 105, actually ≤ 70 µK.4,10 This in itself is a problem, because cosmologists have stated that variations greater than 1 part in 104 are needed for galaxies and clusters to form in the cosmological time available to gravity.11


The elongated shapes or ‘blotches’ in the two-dimensional temperature maps (shown in Figure 1) in the CMB have been interpreted by Gurzadyan as the effect of geodesic (trajectory) mixing on the properties of a bundle of CMB photons propagating through space.12–14 That is, because a bundle of photons is not a point object, the individual photons follow different paths from the source to the receiver. The result at the receiving end is an enlarged and smeared image as illustrated in Figure 2. This results in a distinct signature and depends on the geometry of space, indicating that a negatively curved Friedmann–Robertson–Walker (FRW) universe will produce the observed elongated anisotropy spots (Figure 2). Thus, the blotches are not the result of some ‘clumpiness’ of the radiation density soon after the big bang.

The negatively curved FRW universe refers to the standard big bang cosmology where the curvature constant k = –1, which usually means the space is open and infinite. This may be contrasted with a closed universe with a positive curvature constant k = +1 or a flat universe where k = 0. The latter is usually referred to as Euclidean space and is what we are familiar with on a local scale. However, on a galactic or universal scale, reality may be different.

Cold dark matter

The dynamic behaviour of galaxies and galactic clusters begs for dark matter, as will be explained later, but to date none has been found. According to McGaugh,10 recent Boomerang data,4 which contain the amplitudes in the angular power spectrum of the anisotropies in the CMB radiation, suggest that the universe is filled with normal (baryonic) matter, and not with exotic particles or cold dark matter (CDM).

Looking at the velocity of stars distributed in spiral galaxies, typically the stars in the extremities of the arms have higher centripetal velocities than those in the hub.15 This observation has been made based on a well-established physical law—one of Kepler’ equations. In addition, Isaac Newton showed that only the mass lying within the orbit of the star affects its motion; the rest can be neglected. From these facts the mass of the galaxy (m) can be determined through:

where v is the velocity of the outer-most stars determined from Doppler measurements of their proper motions, r is their distance from the centre, and G is the universal gravitational constant. This mass calculation is then compared with the mass of the observed number of stars in the galaxy and found to be an order of magnitude larger. Hence the need for additional non-luminous matter to balance the calculation—dark matter.

Also, the virial theorem can be used to calculate the mass of either a single galaxy or a galaxy cluster, typically of the order of a few hundred members. The theorem relates the potential and kinetic energies of a system that is gravitationally stable, without collapse or disintegration taking place. Evolutionary astrophysicists suppose galaxies and galaxy clusters must be gravitationally bound. Otherwise, over the billions of years since their alleged birth, they would have flown apart. The theorem states that the total gravitational potential energy of the star system equals exactly twice the total kinetic energy. If this condition is not met, the component objects will either cascade inward or escape, depending on the direction of imbalance. From the virial theorem,16 the mass of a galaxy cluster (M) can be calculated as follows:

where V is the rms averaged velocity of the member galaxies, and R the estimated radius of the entire cluster.

Essentially the same calculation can be performed on a cosmological scale when assumptions about the cosmology of the universe are made. These calculations determine whether the universe has sufficient mass density for closure to occur and the current expansion (as the red-shift of galaxies is interpreted to mean) to be halted or reversed. The standard cosmological paradigm is of a universe in which ordinary matter comprises only about 10%, and the other 90% is in non-baryonic forms. The latter may include the elusive axion, WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) or other unknown particles, which allegedly don’t interact with light.

Missing dark matter and smooth CMB

The ‘standard’ CDM17 model started simple but soon evolved into a more convoluted model, LCDM,18 with many complexities. McGaugh states in his paper:

‘The presumed existence of CDM is a well-motivated inference based principally on two astrophysical observations. One is that the total mass density inferred dynamically greatly exceeds that allowed for normal baryonic matter by big bang nucleosynthesis. The other is that the cosmic microwave background is very smooth. Structure cannot grow gravitationally to the rich extent seen today unless there is a non-baryonic component that can already be significantly clumped at the time of recombination without leaving indiscriminately large fingerprints on the microwave background.’10

However, the large fingerprints are just not observed.

These two issues are fundamentally important to the evolutionary cosmologist. The missing dark matter in galaxies, galaxy clusters, and the whole universe, and the smoothness of the CMB radiation create unassailable problems in the formation of stars and galaxies in the ‘early universe’. Prof. Stephen Hawking in his book said, ‘This [big bang] picture of the universe … is in agreement with all the observational evidence that we have today’, but admitted, ‘Nevertheless, it leaves a number of important questions unanswered ….’19 The important questions left unanswered, of course, concern how stars and galaxies could have originated.

Spiral galaxy arms

Creationist cosmologies may also require some dark matter (which may be ordinary but unobserved baryonic matter), but only to account for the orbital motion of stars in spiral galaxies. Even without this form of dark matter the observed orbital motions are not necessarily a problem for the creationist. Possibly the galaxies were not in equilibrium when they were created, and have not had time to disintegrate since. This of course assumes that only 6,000 years or so have passed on the galaxy in question. Some creationists have suggested that this may not have been the case.8 On the other hand, evolutionary (big bang nucleosynthesis) assumptions require large quantities of non-baryonic dark matter. The Creation model has no such constraint.

Figure 2
Figure 2.The evolution of photon beam astronomy due to mixing effect in hypothetical universes with different curvatures, k (after Gurzadyan and Kocharyn).14

Some 30 years ago a ‘density wave’ theory was postulated to solve the ‘wrap-up’ problem in the arms of spiral galaxies.20 That is, the arms of spiral galaxies should be very tightly wound if they are indeed billions of years old. Apparently, it requires much fine tuning to get the theory to work,21 and recently has been called into question by the very detailed spiral structure in the central hub of the Whirlpool galaxy, M51, discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. The new observations show that the inner spiral structure extends inward further than was previously thought. The spiral arms are wrapped about the centre for about three full turns,22 which the density wave model does not explain well. Kennedy eloquently sums up the problem: ‘…the precise physical recipe that predicts their [density waves’] behaviour continues to elude us’.23 Even though no such problem exists for the creationist, I suspect that an understanding of the structure in tightly-wound spiral galaxies will need to include some dark matter. But this will only be of the ordinary baryonic form, not the hypothetical, non-baryonic CDM.

An a priori prediction

Models for the angular power spectrum of fluctuation in the CMB have many free parameters, making it possible to fit a wide variety of models to a given data set. However, the baryon content is the principal component that affects the amplitude of the odd and even peaks, and may therefore be used to predict what should be observed. Based on standard cosmological theory for the baryon content prescribed by big bang nucleosynthesis and the abundances of light elements, both peaks should be present. But, when CDM dominates, the even numbered peaks should be foremost. If CDM is negligible, the second peak should have a much smaller amplitude. The latter is consistent with the Boomerang data.4 Considering the LCDM model,18 all reasonable variations of parameters considerably over-predict the height of the second peak compared with the data.

As McGaugh shows, the a priori prediction for a purely baryonic universe is totally consistent with the data. The amplitude of the second peak is much smaller than that predicted by LCDM models. If we believe in the experimental method and the principle of falsification, there is one glaring result of this analysis; either non-baryonic cold dark matter doesn’t exist, or big bang cosmology, on which the prediction is based, is wrong! This, of course, presumes that the anisotropy in the amplitudes of the CMB radiation is correctly interpreted. Assuming the latter for the moment, if CDM doesn’t exist, the big bang cosmologists have problems explaining the existence of galactic clusters. Another consequence is that the observed mass density, without CDM, is too low for closure, and, as a result, would indicate the universe is open or has negatively curved space.

Cosmologists grasp at straws

Naturally, the lack of CDM is of considerable concern for evolutionary cosmologists. Some enterprising Princeton astrophysicists have attempted to solve this problem by proposing particles as big as galaxies to explain lack of dwarf galaxy formation.24 The hypothetical particles have a density of the order 10–24 of that of an electron and wave-functions of the order of 3,000 light-years! They interact only with gravity and are almost impossible to detect. The only reason these particles are needed, it seems, is to explain why dwarf galaxies are far rarer than big bang theory predicts. As theory goes, CDM was introduced to get matter to form galaxies early in the universe’ history, but that created another problem—computer simulations predicted that a huge number of dwarf galaxies would have formed but these are undetected. Hence the need for the huge hypothetical particles that ‘would form giant globs of "fuzzy" cold dark matter’.24

One physicist, Gruzinov, even challenges his colleagues to prove him wrong, saying this model is consistent with all known observations. Where have I heard that before? Where does ‘faith’ stop and the facts begin? It would seem, in this area of astrophysics (stellar formation and galaxy evolution), ‘blind faith’ is all they have. The facts are so sparse and the parameters so many, that almost any proposal can be published, provided it is consistent with the evolutionary paradigm. ‘If stars did not exist, it would be easy to prove that this is what we expect.’25

Big bang misses the mark

The latest evidence from the Boomerang data strongly suggests, based on standard big bang cosmology, either that there is no CDM, or that big bang cosmology is wrong, or both! It cannot be ruled out that contradictions in the models exist simply because the big bang cosmology is wrong. In this case, it may be impossible to get any predictions to fit the observed data in the fine detail, because incorrect assumptions were made in the first place. In any case, the Boomerang data indicate that the big bang cannot explain the formation of galaxies and clusters.

Conversely, these latest findings about the anisotropy of the CMB are consistent with creationist cosmologies, which do not require these ‘ripples’ to explain galaxy formation in the early universe.


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