Gravitational Redshift & Hubbles Law

I share your sentiment in some respects Azazoth. People are prey to groupthink and vested self-interest, and scientists are people. And yes, there’s plenty of room for issues re cosmology, dark matter being a case in point which IMHO is a much bigger issue than the hierarchical model. But I’m sure that the universe expands for fundamental physics reasons, to do with the very nature of space itself. In a nutshell: space has its innate vacuum energy, and the dimensionality of energy is pressure x volume. Space has volume, it has energy, and that means it has pressure. That’s why Einstein talked about stress-energy. Stress is directional pressure - both stress and pressure are measured in Pascals. The thing is, when something is under pressure but isn’t constrained, it expands. That’s the universe for you.

That’s a pretty strong approach.

This open letter is signed by scores of respectable scientists, engineers and other professionals and published in New Scientist in '04. It’s short and worth a gander:

" …the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory’s supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centered cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.
[b]http://www.cosmologystatement.org/[/b]

It’s a little odd though. That letter was published back in 2004.
Despite the fact that so many well-respected, practicing scientists and engineers are well-aware of the critical shortcomings of the Big Bang theory-over-observation model of science, why has the situation not changed in the slightest? Why isn’t a single large supporter of scientific research interested in more scientifically sound practices in cosmology? Most importantly, why is the fact of this substantial dissent from the scientific community not acknowledged by public-information sources on the topic such as National Geographic, the History Channel, and other publishers of documentary and informative specials on cosmology and astronomy?
The whole situation is deeply unsatisfactory, IMO.

Richard Horton, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, has said that

The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.
[b]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review#Criticism_of_peer_review[/b]

Well, part of the problem is who the “practicing scientists and engineers” are. On the one hand, we have engineers. These are generally well-meaning folks who really haven’t studied the science very thoroughly, haven’t really done astronomy, and generally do not know the history. On the other hand, we have the scientists who are practising some science, but that science isn’t usually cosmology. Of those who do study cosmology, like say Halton Arp, the science that they have to offer is obviously weaker than the standard cosmological model.

Another part of the problem is that the shortcomings that they list are simply not serious shortcomings. The standard cosmological model works just well without inflation. The lack of a laboratory detection of dark matter is not particularly surprising given its likely nature. The fitting of observations with parameters is exactly what Newton and his successors (including Einstein) did, and one does not see these scientists railing against Newton.

They are. They all are. You are welcome to read the actual literature in cosmology to see that. Occasionally they make mistakes, but they go to great lengths to ensure that there is good reasoning behind the conclusions in their papers. What the anti-cosmology statement neglects to mention is the way in which cosmologists today fit parameters. There is not the complete freedom in fitting these parameters that the statement suggests.

Because like in the case of global warming, the dissent is not significant. It is promoted by people who either do not know the science or are promoting a pet project that has repeatedly failed investigation (e.g., Halton Arp).

But, again, you’re the one with the open mind here. You can simply write off what I have learned from reading the science (including Arp’s!) and make your own decision based on a petition statement without any content.

Welcome to science, Azazoth. Let me offer this: you’re wrong about the Big Bang, but you’re not wrong about how “consensus” is imposed and how open-minded enquiry and challenge is met with double-dealing and opprobium by vested interest. There are those who will paint a picture of noble perfection whilst stopping at nothing to discredit the people and evidence that would threaten their status, funding, and reputation. You know, there’s an old saying, which is “science advances one death at a time”. It is not for naught.