Ants on a Balloon
Madhudvisa dasa (email@example.com) wrote:
> The strongest "evidence" for the big bang is the observed red-shift of the
> stars. They say this proves the universe is expanding, which is what you
> would expect if it all started with a "big bang".
Also the uniform three-degree cosmic background radiation. However I
agree that there are other theories (e.g "tired light" and the steady
state) which, while not generally accepted, are at least on
> But the same "evidence"
> can be interpreted in many ways. The red-shift evidence also seems to
> prove the earth is at the center of the universe... Not something we here
> very much of from the "big bang" cosmologists is it?
Because it proves no such thing. The universe does not have a centre,
any more than it has an edge. Medieval cartographers put Jerusalem in
the centre of the flat Earth. Your error is surprisingly similar.
Imagine a balloon being blown up with two ants standing on it, a few
centimeters apart. Each ant perceives that the balloon is:
* flat (they are too small to perceive the curve)
* getting larger,
* the rest of the balloon is moving away.
Both ants see this, and both ants might thus conclude that they are at
the centre of a flat sheet of rubber which is getting larger, and that
there must presumably be a receeding edge somewhere out there. They
are both wrong. The surface of the balloon has no edge, and no
We see a distant galaxy moving away from us, while we appear to be
stationary. However, imagine an observer in that distant galaxy
looking at ours. It sees other galaxies (including ours) moving away,
and thus concludes that it is at the centre of the Universe as well.
If one of the ants starts walking in any direction, he will eventually
return to his starting point. In the same way, if you got into a
spaceship, picked a direction, and carried on going, you would
eventually wind up back here, arriving from the opposite direction.
But whereas this only works for the ants in two dimensions
(north-south and east-west), it works for us in three (north-south,
east-west and up-down, if you like).
Paul Johnson | GEC-Marconi Ltd is not responsible for my opinions. |
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Work: <firstname.lastname@example.org> | You are lost in a twisty maze of little
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