Big Bust Debate in London Focuses on the Science

Eric debates in london | lpp fusion

LPPFusion’s Eric Lerner debates the reality of cosmic expansion with Dr. Julian Barbour and Dr. Claudia Maraston (far right) as Jess Wade moderates. Photo by Ivy Karamitsos

“Cosmology and the Big Bust” was the title of the debate October 1 at the How The Light Gets In festival in London and the question was whether it was time to junk the Big Bang hypothesis. LPPFusion Chief Scientist Eric Lerner debated with University of Portsmouth’s Dr. Claudia Maraston and independent physicist Julian Barbour. In contrast to the outraged and ad hominem responses posted by Big Bang supporters on the web, the debate was held in a friendly atmosphere and concentrated on scientific points, a big step forward.

In both the debate, and at greater length in a subsequent presentation, Lerner emphasized the key Tolman test of the reality of expansion of the universe. As explained in earlier reports, this test predicts radically different angular sizes for galaxies at high redshifts, a test the Big Bang expansion hypothesis spectacularly funks with the new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) images. He also pointed to the gains in scientific knowledge of plasma physics, vital to the fusion energy effort, that could come from junking the wasteful investigation of inflation, dark energy, dark matter and the other imaginary entities propping up the expansion hypothesis.

In response to Lerner’s point on the Tolman test, Dr. Maraston doubted that the tiny images seen by the JWSTwould turn out to reflect the real total sizes of the galaxies. However, Lerner pointed out that the measurements are actually based on how rapidly the light falls off going out from the center of the galaxy, so is quite a robust result. Dr. Maraston said that, given the problems of the Big Bang, people might abandon it if there was a viable alternative, but pointed to the younger galaxies at high redshift and the helium abundance as evidence that the Big Bang hypothesis could make some correct predictions. Lerner’s colleague Dr. Riccardo Scarpa, of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, pointed out during the audience discussion that distant quasars in fact looked almost identical to near ones and that the youngest galaxies, being the brightest, could more easily be seen at great distances.

Dr. Barbour presented his own, somewhat intermediate position that the universe was changing shape rather than expanding, although he said his position was closer to Dr. Maraston’s than to Lerner’s.

Both Lerner and Scarpa were interviewed by IAI-TV. Dr. Scarpa explained how he had started collaborating with Lerner almost 20 years ago. He had invited Lerner to be a visiting scientist at the European Southern Observatory in Chile in 2005, where he, Lerner and colleague Dr. Renato Falomo pursued the Tolman test research that produced decisive evidence against cosmic expansion. Unfortunately, within days of Lerner’s departure, Dr. Scarpa was informed that his contract would not be renewed, an example of the fierce opposition to open debate which has permeated cosmology for years. Dr. Scarpa also explained additional lines of evidence against dark matter involved in the development of Modified Newtonian dynamics, a possible extension of general relativity to extremely weak gravitational fields.

LPPFusion’s Director of Communications Ivy Karamitsos was also interviewed by another IAI-TV crew, who were asking the question: ”What makes you optimistic?”. Karamitsos explained the hope that fusion energy would bring to humanity.

IAI expects that videos of the debate, presentations and interviews will be available on their website (some only to subscribers) in the next few weeks. In the meantime, discussions are underway concerning follow-up debates in an academic setting.

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