There is much resentment among a section of astronomers and astrophysicists globally over science journals and websites rejecting their research questioning the Big Bang theory. The theory suggests that the universe, as we know it, was born out of a massive explosion from a microscopic, but highly dense point in a vacuum—called ‘Singularity’—about 13.8 billion years ago.
From the 1960s onwards, some astronomers and astrophysicists have questioned the credibility of the Big Bang theory and the expanding universe model. Their research, based on scientific reasoning, suggests that the universe is not expanding. A rejected paper on which Prof Sisir Roy of Bengaluru-based National Institute of Advanced Studies worked, indicates that the data from the galaxy-quasar pair confirmed the redshift periodicity, which counters the Big Bang theory and goes against the expanding model of the universe. American astronomer Prof Halton Arp observed this first in the 1960s. According to the Big Bang hypothesis, quasars are considered objects at farthest distances than the galaxies, suggesting universal expansion.
The opposition to anti-Big Bang theorists is through rejections of their papers. At least 24 astronomers and astrophysicists from 10 countries, including reputed astrophysicist Jayant V Narlikar of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Prof Sisir Roy, and Prof Amitabha Ghosh of Indian National Science Academy (INSA)—protested the censorship of papers critical of the Big Bang hypothesis by the Cornell University’s open pre-print website arXiv. Such censorship only obstructs science.
This is reminiscent of the Church’s opposition to the heliocentric theory and the treatment meted out to Copernicus and Galileo in the 15th and 17th centuries, respectively, for suggesting that the Earth goes around the Sun and not vice-versa. Shockingly, the opposition to the Big Bang theory critiques is not from the Church, but scientists themselves. So, Arp’s statement needs to be replayed: “Of course, if one ignores contradictory observations, one can claim to have an ‘elegant’ or ‘robust’ theory. But it isn’t science.”