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The Slifkin Affair

The Age of the Universe and Big Bang Cosmology
November 30, 2004

No inference can be drawn in any respect from the nature of a thing after it has been generated, has attained its final state, and has achieved stability in its most perfect state, to the state of that thing while it is moved towards being generated. Whenever you err in this and draw an inference from the nature of a thing that has achieved actuality to its nature when it was only in potential, grave doubts are aroused in you (Maimonides, 12th century).

Abstract: The universe is confidently asserted to be 14 billion years old based on the outstanding successes of the big bang theory. But this confuses necessary conditions with sufficient conditions. There are at least six unproven assumptions needed for the theory, numbered (a) to (f) in the sequel, that have never been experimentally demonstrated. Two of the assumptions are foundational, three of the assumptions involve the need to postulate hypothetical entities that have never been experimentally observed, without which the theory would be in contradiction of experimental observations. The last assumption involves experimentally observed anomalies that flatly contradict the theory even in the presence of the postulated hypothetical entities. The absence of experimental confirmation2 of these assumptions makes the whole basis for the 14 billion year age calculation highly speculative.

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