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Posted by Nicholas on November 30, 2002 09:05:56 UTC

1) Very few astronomers or physicists seriously consider the steady state models anymore, they are just too discrepent from observations. It's really hard to "utterly disprove" anything, but the non-cosmological interpretation of redshifts and quasars have very little to stand on. The topic is quite detailed, so I won't make the whole argument here. I suggest reading "Cosmology and Controversy" by Helen Kraghe.

2) The singularity at the Big Bang is dissatisfying to many folks, but the general concept of a universe that expanded from a very small size is on firm observational grounds. Perhaps it wasn't infinitely small at the beginning, but just small in quantum terms. It's really hard to trace things this far back. The general concept is not particularly dissatisfying to most astronomers.

3) It depends on what aspect you don't believe in. If it's just the singularity you have a problem with, then there are ways around it. If you have a problem with the entire expansion idea, then you're in trouble. The only aspect of astronomy that does not depend on it is Galactic astronomy (stuff in our own galaxy). Most astronomers nowadays at least touch on extragalactic astronomy, so you would be somewhat isolated professionally.

4) There are many models within the Big Bang framework that are currently being debated (e.g. flat and decelerating, open and accelerating, flat and accelerating). Any cosmological model you can think of is either going to be in a steady state or a dynamic state. The second case requires a beginning of time and, thus, a big bang. Therefore, the two things you mentioned, steady state and big bang, really include ALL possible models.

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