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Critique of the Meta Model of the Universe

Roger A. Rydin
Year: 2002
In reading Van Flandern?s book [1] Dark Matter, Missing Planets & New Comets, which is aptly subtitled, ?Paradoxes Resolved and Origins Illuminated?, it is possible to agree with many of the author?s arguments, and yet be unsatisfied with the thrust of many others. It is only fair to examine these points of agreement and disagreement in some depth, if for no other reason than to set a healthy dialog in motion. The present discussion will be limited to the material presented in the first five chapters of the book that describe the META Model of the universe.

If the reader had expected to find that the META Model is a phenomenological description of how the universe started, how it evolved, and what is going to happen to it, he will be sorely disappointed. As I did, the reader will reach the end of Chapter 5 and the last sentence, ?This completes the exposition of the META Model?, and not have the slightest idea of how the various arguments presented in those chapters fit together to describe the universe! In fact, he will have to jump to the very end of Chapter 22, in a section denoted ?Note added in proof?, to find out that the essence of the META Model is that the ?universe is infinite in both space and time, and is not expanding at all?! In other words, it has always been the way it is, and it will continue to be that way in the future. Since the META Model says that the universe is constant, then the expansion of the universe must apparently be an illusion.

Just prior to this startling conclusion is the statement, ?If the field of astronomy were not presently over-invested in the expanding universe paradigm, it is clear that modern observations would now compel us to adopt a static universe model as the basis of any sound cosmological theory?. The seven tests that are used in the book only compare Friedmann uniform expansion models to static models, and do not include any other alternatives, so that the comparison is incomplete. What if Einstein?s General Theory of Relativity has nothing at all to do with the evolution of the universe? On the subject of what might cause the redshift if it is not due to the expansion velocity of the universe, the author states that he favors the explanation that the particle or wave serving as the carrier of gravity, dubbed ?gravitons?, would cause an apparent redshift by inelastic scattering interactions with the light passing large distances through the universe. This is hardly either a proof of validity of the META Model, or a ringing endorsement of how it works. It is also at odds with Arp?s [2] explanation of redshift using Narliker?s theory that lets mass grow as a function of time. In the absence of such a META proof, we must examine the individual concepts that make up the META Model.