Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 0
I can't find any references to any scientists arguing against the BB theory because of its perceived theistic implications.

All I can find are theistic claims that BB theory strengthens their worldview, and scientific rebuttals that show how silly that claim is in light of the BB theory itself.

Maybe you could find a link that might show these initial objections?

Maybe I should modify what I said . . . some scientists refused (at least at first) to accept the Big Bang theory, because it's implications were in conflict with their view of God.

Einstein was an atheist, at least at the time of his major discoveries, and his intial equations showed that the universe could not be static (as was his view), so he introduced a constant into his equations to make it work, something he later admitted was a mistake.

Some of this is reflected in Ned Wrights (UCLA) page where he states:

"Einstein's original cosmological model was a static, homogeneous model with spherical geometry. The gravitational effect of matter caused an acceleration in this model which Einstein did not want, since at the time the Universe was not known to be expanding. Thus Einstein introduced a cosmological constant into his equations for General Relativity. This term acts to counteract the gravitational pull of matter, and so it has been described as an anti-gravity effect. . . . In addition to this flaw of instability, the static model's premise of a static Universe was shown by Hubble to be incorrect. This led Einstein to refer to the cosmological constant as his greatest blunder, and to drop it from his equations."

I'm not sure its been definitively proven that Einstein refused to believe in an expanding universe because of his theological beliefs, but I submit that it is the most likely explanation.

For another case, you have Fred Hoyle and Herman Bondi, who in 1948 promoted their steady-state theory with a sort of continual creation feature, which did away with the need for a beginning to the universe. They stated in their writings that they were opposed to the idea that anything could transcend the realm of nature.

Hoyle said he had aesthetic objections to the creation of the universe in the remote past. He also said the Christian view of creation was offering to man an eternity of frustration (or something to that effect), and later said: "The attribution of definite age to the Universe, whatever it might be, is to exalt the concept of time above the Universe, and since the Universe is everything this is crackpot in itself."

I have not verified all the stuff above, getting it second hand, but it fits with most of what I've seen. Here's some other similar quotes:

“Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of Nature [as implied by the Big Bang] is repugnant to me. . . . I should like to find a genuine loophole.” Sir Arthur Eddington, Nature, Vol. 127, 1931, p. 450.

"The biggest problem with the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe is philosophical--perhaps even theological--what was there before the bang? This problem alone was sufficient to give a great initial impetus to the Steady State theory; but with that theory now sadly in conflict with the observations, the best way round this initial difficulty is provided by a model in which the universe expands from a singularity, collapses back again, and repeats the cycle indefinitely" John Gribbin, "Oscillating Universe Bounces Back," Nature, Vol. 259, 1976: 15.

“In spite of other successes of the general theory of relativity, the Big Bang, and in particular the idea that the universe had a beginning, was fought bitterly every step of the way.” Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory and Molecular Biology, 1992, Cambridge University Press.

So I'm not making this idea up k. It's simply a fact that at least one motivation for scientists rejecting the Big Bang theory was philosophical, not scientific.

Is it so hard to believe that scientists are human too? <g>

Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.