Scientists Protest Censorship in Cosmology

Physicists and Astronomers from Ten Countries Protest arXiv’s Censorship of Papers Refuting the Big Bang Hypothesis

Twenty-four astronomers and physicists from ten countries have signed a petition protesting the censorship of papers that are critical of the Big Bang Hypothesis by the open pre-print website arXiv. Run by Cornell University, arXiv is supposed to provide an open public forum for researchers to exchange pre-publication papers, without peer-review. But during June, 2022, arXiv rejected for publication on the website three papers by Dr. Riccardo Scarpa, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, and Eric J. Lerner, LPPFusion, Inc. which are critical of the validity of the Big Bang hypothesis: “Will LCDM cosmology survive the James Webb Space Telescope?” ,  “Observations of Large-Scale Structures Contradict the Predictions of the Big Bang Hypothesis But Confirm Plasma Theory”,  and “The Big Bang Never Happened—A Reassessment of the Galactic Origin of Light Elements (GOLE) Hypothesis and its Implications”.

The papers had previously been rejected by MNRAS, with the anonymous senior editor writing of two of them: There are many journals which would be interested in publishing a well-argued synthesis of existing evidence against the standard hot big bang interpretation. But MNRAS, with its focus on publication of significant new astronomical results, is not one of them.” The editor in chief, Dr. D. R. Fowler, confirmed that no such comprehensive critique of the Big Bang hypothesis would be published.

In the petition, the scientists write: “Without judging the scientific validity of the papers, it is clear to us that these papers are both original and substantive and are of interest to all those concerned with the current crisis in cosmology. It plainly appears that arXiv has refused publication to these papers only because of their conclusions, which both provide specific predictions relevant to forthcoming observations and challenge LCDM cosmology. Such censorship is anathema to scientific discourse and to the possibility of scientific advance.” (LCDM cosmology is the current, dark-energy-dark-matter, version of the Big Bang Hypothesis.)

The scientists conclude: “We strongly urge that arXiv maintain its long-standing practice of being an ‘open-access archive’of non-peer reviewed ‘scholarly articles’ and not violate that worthy practice by imposing any censorship. Instead, we encourage arXiv to abide by its own principles, and publish these three papers and others like them that clearly provide ‘sufficient original or substantive scholarly research’ results and are of obvious great interest to the arXiv audience.”

While the petition was initiated in response to arXiv censorship of the three papers submitted in June of this year, in the course of gathering signatures, evidence emerged that there is indeed a general policy of censoring papers that questioned concordance cosmology. “I have had exactly the same experience” said Dr. Vaclav Vavrycuk, Czech Academy of Science and a signer of the petition. “Last December I submitted my paper, ‘Cosmological Redshift and Cosmic Time Dilation in the FLRW Metric’ to arXiv and the manuscript was rejected with no clear reason. The paper is now published in Frontiers in Physics. It’s ridiculous.”

Starting in January 2019, a series of papers by Grit Kalies, HTW University of Applied Sciences Dresden and Christian Jooss, Institute of Materials Physics, University of Goettingen, also singers of the petition, were rejected by arXiv and they too questioned the validity of the Big Bang Hypothesis. They wrote in a letter to arXiv, “the anonymous moderators are misusing arXiv to promote their personal or the prevailing worldview in physics.”

“Clearly, a wide-reaching censorship was put in place in 2019,” says Eric J. Lerner, one of the authors of the June 2022 papers. “Even as recently as 2018 I had no trouble publishing on arXiv a paper refuting aspects of the Big Bang hypothesis. But as the crisis in cosmology became obvious in 2019, the arXiv leadership and others like them have circled the wagons to protect this failed theory with censorship, because it now has no other defense. That is not how to advance science. We are shouting out that the Emperor has no clothes, while the cosmological establishment is trying to put their hands over our mouths.”

The signers of the petition are affiliated with some of the leading institutions in astronomy and physics, including the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, which runs the world’s largest ground-based telescope and CEA Saclay, one of Europe’s leading physics research centers. Together, the signers have published over 370 papers on arXiv.

“We’ve just begun to collect signatures and we invite scientists and engineers who oppose censorship to sign on by sending their names and affiliations to me at eric@lppfusion.com,” says Lerner. “We’re also urging everyone to evade the censorship by reading the censored papers for themselves on our own page, and spreading the link to others. Censorship in science can’t be allowed to prevail.”

The petition and with the list of initial signers is below. After that is the background on the three censored papers. A separate press release here summarizes the scientific content of the three papers.

A Petition Against Censorship

Petition to arXiv Scientific Director Steinn Sigurdsson and Head of Content Jim Entwood
from Astronomers, Astrophysicists, Cosmologists, Space Scientists, High Energy Physicists and Plasma Physicists

As scientists engaged in the study of the cosmos and the relation of phenomena in space to those here on Earth, we strongly protest arXiv’s censorship of controversial papers on cosmology and specifically on the Big Bang hypothesis. Run by Cornell University, arXiv is supposed to provide an open public forum for researchers to exchange pre-publication papers, without undertaking to peer-review them. But during June, 2022, arXiv rejected for publication three papers by Dr. Riccardo Scarpa, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, and Eric J. Lerner, LPPFusion, Inc. which are critical of the validity of the Big Bang hypothesis: “Will LCDM cosmology survive the James Webb Space Telescope?” ,  “Observations of Large-Scale Structures Contradict the Predictions of the Big Bang Hypothesis But Confirm Plasma Theory”,  and “The Big Bang Never Happened—A Reassessment of the Galactic Origin of Light Elements (GOLE) Hypothesis and its Implications”. No specific reason was given for these rejections, which was done by form letters stating that the papers lacked “sufficient original or substantive scholarly research”, needed “revision”, and were “not of interest to arXiv.”

Without judging the scientific validity of the papers, it is clear to us that these papers are both original and substantive and are of interest to all those concerned with the current crisis in cosmology. It plainly appears that arXiv has refused publication to these papers only because of their conclusions, which both provide specific predictions relevant to forthcoming observations and challenge LCDM cosmology. Such censorship is anathema to scientific discourse and to the possibility of scientific advance. We strongly urge that arXiv maintain its long-standing practice of being an “open-access archive” of non-peer reviewed “scholarly articles” and not violate that worthy practice by imposing any censorship. Instead, we encourage arXiv to abide by its own principles, and publish these three papers and others like them that clearly provide “sufficient original or substantive scholarly research” results and are of obvious great interest to the arXiv audience.

 Initial signers (institutions for identification only):

Jean-Marc Bonnet-Bidaud, Astrophysical Department, CEA Saclay (France)

David F. Crawford, School of Physics, University of Sydney (ret.) (Australia)

Timothy E. Eastman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (ret.) (USA)

Carlos Miguel Figueroa, Instituto de Física del Noroeste Argentino (Argentina)

Christopher C. Fulton, Protostar, Inc. (USA)

Amitabha Ghosh, Indian National Science Academy (ret.) (India)

Christian Jooss, Institute of Materials Physics, University of Goettingen (Germany)

Grit Kalies, HTW University of Applied Sciences Dresden (Germany)

John Kierein, Ball Space Systems, (ret.) (USA)

Michal Křížek, Czech Academy of Sciences (Czechia)

Eric J. Lerner, LPPFusion, Inc. (USA)

Martín López-Corredoira, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)

Josef Lutz, Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany)

Louis Marmet,  York University (Canada)

Laszlo A. Marosi, Universidad de las Islas Baleares(ret.) (Spain)

Jayant Narlikar, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (ret.)(India)

Marcos Cesar Danhoni Neves, State University of Maringá (Brazil)

Wolfgang Oehm, SPODYR Group, Universität Bonn

Sisir Roy, National Institute of Advanced Studies (India)

Yves-henri Sanejouand, University of Nantes (France)

Riccardo Scarpa, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain)

Domingos Soares, Federal University of Minas Gerais (ret.) (Brazil)

Alessandro Trinchera, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Germany)

Vaclav Vavrycuk, Institute of Geophysics, Czech Academy of Sciences (Czechia)

Background on the three June 2022 censored papers 

As has been widely reported, there has been a growing crisis in cosmology for some time. One solution to this crisis is in abandoning the basic Big Bang hypothesis that underlies “concordance” cosmology. However, it has become nearly impossible to publish substantive papers that seek such a solution. This censorship has impeded the advance of cosmology and is a threat to the free discussion of controversial topics in all the sciences.

The three papers referred to in this petition were initially submitted (not at the same time) to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS), which has published papers by both Dr. Scarpa and Mr. Lerner in the past. In the case of the first paper listed, by both authors, MNRAS did not submit it to peer review at all. Instead, the anonymous senior editor rejected it writing that:” The question in the title, `Will LCDM cosmology survive the James Webb Space Telescope?’, plainly has the answer `No one knows’ since there is as yet no data. … In any event, the authors’ claim at the end of the abstract that they already know that JWST’s data will be incompatible with LCDM is plainly unscientific.” This comment either rejects the fundamental premise of the scientific method that valid scientific hypotheses enable the prediction of observations before they are made or it denies that cosmology is any longer to be viewed as a part of science.

The second and third papers, by Mr. Lerner alone, went through a lengthy review process in which the reviewer was satisfied on all major objections and all but one minor objection. Yet the anonymous senior editor rejected the paper, writing that: “There are many journals which would be interested in publishing a well-argued synthesis of existing evidence against the standard hot big bang interpretation. But MNRAS, with its focus on publication of significant new astronomical results, is not one of them.” The editor in chief, Dr. D. R. Fowler, confirmed that no such comprehensive critique of the Big Bang hypothesis would be published. Lerner received similar comments from other publications where he submitted the papers.

 Given this situation, the authors decided to circulate these papers on arXiv. In the past, even such controversial papers have been published on arXiv. However, this is no longer the case. ArXiv rejected all three papers. We have heard from other colleagues that rejection of heterodox points of view in cosmology has become a common practice of arXiv, and is by no means limited to these three papers or these authors. A clearly coordinated policy of suppressing critiques of the dominant, but severely challenged, theory of cosmology is inimical to scientific progress—as was demonstrated historically in the case of the ancient and medieval Ptolemaic theory.

 

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