The deep puzzle of the infinite universe

An interview with cosmologist George Ellis

Distinguished cosmologist and Stephen Hawking co-author, George Ellis, in an interview about the limits of cosmology, and why we can never know whether the universe had a beginning or has existed forever. 


Most people today believe in The Big Bang theory when it comes to the origins of the cosmos. Can we be certain that the universe had a beginning?

The history of the universe involves various stages. At very early times, it went through an extraordinarily rapid period of accelerating expansion when it became hugely bigger in a very short time; this is called inflation. At the end of inflation, that expansion had caused all the matter and radiation to dilute to almost zero, but then the field that had caused inflation decayed into very hot matter and radiation that continued expanding, but at a slower rate; that was the start of what we call the Hot Big Bang Era. The physical processes that occurred during this era are well under

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Bud Rapanault 11 November 2022

The problem with modern cosmology is that is at root a belief system; it has an inviolable belief in the expanding universe model that traces back to foundational assumptions made 100 years ago. Those assumptions, 1) that the Csmos is a unified, coherent, simultaneous entity and 2) the cause of the cosmological redshift is a recessional velocity of some sort.

Put those two assumptions together and you wind up with an expanding universe. In modern cosmology those two assumptions are treated axiomatically - as if they were true by definition. Unfortunately neither assumption has any empirical basis and axiomatic beliefs have no place in science.

The expanding universe assumption is a fundamental and crippling error in the same way that geocentrism was. As cosmologists cling to the expanding universe model they will be as incapable of devising a scientific treatment the Cosmos we actually observe as geocentrists were of arriving at heliocentrism by tinkering with their geocentric model. The expanding universe model is exactly analogous to the geocentric model of antiquity.

The current cosmological model based on the expanding universe paradigm is an illogical, empirically baseless mathematical phantasm that consists in its entirety of unobserved or unobservable, entities and events. It is a modern day creation myth that can only be 'fit' to reality by invoking those invisible entities and events in a manner analogous to Ptolemaic cosmology.

As with Ptolemaic cosmology, the only way forward for moden cosmology is to scrap the expanding universe model and start over. There is no other option if cosmology is ever to become a real science rather than metaphysical conceit with a cult of believers as is currently the case.