This article gets technical- there just is no way to avoid it. If you have some problems with the terminology, please review the references provided or email me and I’ll have more space to provide a more detailed explanation.
In late 2012 a discovery was made[i]of what was afterwards called the Huge Large Quasar Group (Huge-LQG). A collection of 73 quasars—all with redshifts around a mean value of z = 1.27– was discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS DR7QSO) that covers 15 degrees across the sky.
A new discovery was made in 2013 of a massively large quasar group as indicated by the black circles (see fig. 1). Its longest extension is about 4 billion light-years based on standard concordance cosmology. This was then claimed as the largest single structure in the universe. Its location on the sky is about 8.8 degrees north of the Clowes & Campusano large quasar group (LQG) at the same redshift, with a mean of z = 1.28. The latter is indicated by the red crosses (see fig. 1).
But these two LQGs are at the same approximate redshift, and therefore according to the standard model they are at the same distance from earth.
The question was raised; how could this even exist if the standard big bang paradigm is correct? The largest quasar groups seen in the early universe up until this point were with characteristic sizes of 70-350 Mpc, where 1 Mpc is 3.26 million light-years. This is what their proper size at the current epoch would be. This new discovery was then calculated to have a characteristic size of about 500 Mpc
|Figure 1: The coloured background indicates the peaks and troughs in the occurrence of quasars at the redshift of the Huge-LQG. The LQG is shown as a long chain of peaks indicated by black circles. The red crosses indicate the positions of quasars in a smaller LQG, the Clowes & Campusano LQG at the same redshift, around z = 1.28.|
So how could it possibly have formed so soon after the big bang? It just could not. It questions the correct scale over which the universe is homogeneous and the validity of the cosmological principle (which assumes that the cosmos is uniform everywhere on a large scale). However, without the large-scale uniformity (or homogeneity) provided by that assumption the standard Friedmann-Lemaître-Robinson-Walker metric, upon which all standard big bang cosmologies are based, is invalid.
According to the Daily Galaxy:
The LQG also challenges the Cosmological Principle, the assumption that the universe, when viewed at a sufficiently large scale, looks the same no matter where you are observing it from. The modern theory of cosmology is based on the work of Albert Einstein, and depends on the assumption of the Cosmological Principle. The Principle is assumed but has never been demonstrated observationally ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. [emphasis added][ii]
If you understand cosmology correctly you’ll understand that it is all about philosophy and worldview, and not about ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Cosmology is not science in the usual repeatable laboratory sense. All interpretations rely on one’s set of assumptions. These assumptions determine the model, and the standard big bang model has some fundamental unprovable assumptions, of which the cosmological principle is key.[iii]
The problem is that quasars in the standard model are at their redshift distances. That is, based on the Hubble law, any object with a redshift greater than z = 1 must be extremely distant (more than 9 billion light-years) and also extremely old (formed less than 5 billion years after the big bang). Accordingly, this structure must have formed much less than 4 billion years after the big bang, but that is impossible because of the problem of scale, or put another way communication across the whole structure. Gravitational forces according to standard general relativity are limited to the speed of light, so for the structure to form under gravity it must take much more than 4 billion years. But that does not accord with its own redshift distance.
The only way to determine what is the probability of such clustering is to simulate the universe with mock universes, fake universes in computer simulations. This is because we have only one universe, so how can you tell what a typical universe should look like? A researcher at the University of Bielefeld ran simulations on quasar clustering in 10,000 simulated randomly populated regions and found that 8.5% of them clustered larger than the Huge-LQG. He concluded that, “… the observation of the Huge-LQG is best explained as the action of a computer algorithm biased to find clusters looking at a spatially random scattering of quasars.”[iv]
This brings us to the most important point in this discussion. It is all about a worldview. The dominant one says, basically: We are here looking at this problem and the only way that that could come about is if the big bang history is all true, which of course includes evolution of man from pond scum starting some 3.8 billion years ago. ‘Since we know that that is the true history of the universe then we can rely on our simulations that tell us there is an 8.5% chance of the apparent cluster forming randomly in the early universe. Whew, that was close!’
This now goes to the heart of science—really scientism[v]. How does one know what are the parameters to use to simulate typical early universes? One doesn’t, so one uses the standard model and everything flows from that. This then becomes circular reasoning. Only an interpretation of the evidence that fits with the accepted worldview is allowed. In the case of the simulations the researcher did, 91.5% did not cluster on the scale needed, but because 8.5% did, this is the evidence (but note, not from the only real universe) that indicates everything is OK? Nothing to worry about? No. It makes much more sense if the quasars are not at their redshift distances and they have similar redshifts because of their common origin from the same or similar parent galaxies.
Adopt the correct worldview—one that has God creating the universe—and you don’t need to support a godless worldview that is only justified by the existence of unknowns.
For further study of the subject matter dealing with a variety of alternates:
“There is an alternative line of thought according to which inhomogeneities in large-scale structure, known as voids, are responsible for the “perceived” or “apparent” acceleration on large time scales… However such a fit requires a very low Hubble rate ( ∼0.40−0.45h−1) compared to the widely accepted ∼0.73h−1, and also requires a significant amount of negative curvature. These shortcomings aside….”
“but if these references to papers by David Wiltshire have anything to say about the question of “apparent” vs. “actual” cosmic acceleration, it would appear that many in the cosmology community have been worshipping the false god of “dark energy” !”
“It does make some predictions regarding the distribution of irregularities in the CMB. Basically black holes in the previous aeon should show up as circular patches of colder or hotter radiation. Some such irregularities have been found but more investigation is needed.”
Prof. Abraham Loebfrom Harvad Universitysuggests MOND[vi] (Modified Dynamics) is a worthwhile non-standard approach in his Fig. 2. In his paper, Abraham states that “Once experiments push the upper limit on the cross-section of Weakly-Interacting Massive Particles[vii] (WIMPS) down well below the expectation of most reasonable models, alternative gravity models might apear more apealing.”
One issue is that LCDM (i.e. standard cosmology) has been found to already fail on galaxy and somewhat larger scales (Kroupa, Famaey, de Boer et al. 2010), such that the CDM (cold dark matter) part must be wrong. Thus, WIMPS can’t exist. If some experiment were to find evidence for CDM particles, then the failure of LCDM would not be removed, but instead, the situation would become even worse in trying to understand how structures arise in the universe.
[i] Clowes, R.G., Harris, K.A., Raghunathan, S., Campusano, L.E., Söchting I.K., and Graham, M.J., A structure in the early Universe at z ∼ 1.3 that exceeds the homogeneity scale of the R-W concordance cosmology, MNRAS429, 2910–2916 (2013).
[ii] The largest structure in the observable universe—Quasar group 4 billion light-years wide, dailygalaxy.com, 17 March 2013.
[iii] See my article FUDGE FACTORS for the big bang.
[iv] Dodson, B., Do the largest structures in the Universe actually exist?, gizmag.com, 20 November 20, 2013; arxiv.org/pdf/1306.1700v2.pdf, 22 July 2013
[v] Scientism is a philosophical position that exalts the methods of the natural sciences above all other modes of human inquiry. Scientism embraces only empiricism and reason to explain phenomena of any dimension, whether physical, social, cultural, or psychological. http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~mryder/scientism_este.html