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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2000
Sir Fred Hoyle and fellow authors, Geoffrey Burbidge and Jayant Narlikar show why the paradigm debates in modern cosmology ended too soon! Their sweeping analysis includes the early static universe concepts, the Einstein, de Sitter, and Friedmann-Lemaitre relativistic models, the controversy of the classic Steady-State vs. the Big Bang, and the contemporary Big Bang paradigm. As participants, they discuss the controversies over interpretation of the Hubble velocity-distance relation, light element origins, the radio sources and their fabled distributions, the quasars, the cosmic microwave background, and large-scale matter distribution.
They summarize the accumulating evidences for intrinsic-peculiar redshifts, and ejection of compact X-ray and optical sources from active galactic nuclei. The Big Bang is found wanting both in theoretical assumption and observationally. Building on their Quasi-Steady-State cosmology, the authors propose that both observation and scale-invariant gravitational equations require us to consider an ongoing-episodic creation of matter within the universe. . . .
Don't let prevailing theory (or episodic mathematical equations) keep you from reading this important book!
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2000
A rare and well balanced scientific discussion of the relative merits of the new Quasi Steady State versus Big Bang concept of the Universe. This book gives the reader a feel for the basis of our understanding of the Universe. A feeling for the vast uncertainties concerning our interpretation of distant objects, such as Quasars.
Please note: This book is for serious students of cosmology. The authors presume the reader has an understanding of general relativity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2013
In all fields of human endeavor, one must exhibit a commitment to the Truth in that arena. It is in that spirit that this book is written, it is a search for discovering a more truthful cosmological model of the observable universe.

The first 12 chapters of this book is a trenchant analysis of the existing observational evidence in support of the standard Big Bang model as well its critique.

The authors then review the Friedman solution and proceed with a brief discussion of the standard cosmological model - the Big Bang model - which is followed by a discussion of the (Quasi)-Steady-State cosmological model and its observational ramifications (chapters 15, to 21).

[There is a one-page exposition of the Steady-State model in the book "Tensors, Relativity, and Cosmology" by Eric A Lord that I found useful.]

Overall, I believe that the authors have done a decent job of making a strong case for the (Quasi)-Steady-State cosmological model as an Big Bang model and the (Quasi)-Steady-State model suffer from the fact that they require new and hitherto unobserved fields. In the Big Bang model, that would be the Inflation field and in the (Quasi)-Steady-State model, the creation field. Clearly, the observations cannot be explained by the known physics - new physics has to be invented to account for the observations.

There is one major difference between the 2 models from a physical point of view: the (Quasi)-Steady-State model has the merit of respecting the Principle of the Conservation of Energy.

I note here that the intrinsic Redshift of the Quasars may be caused by the so-called Wolf effect (Emil Wolf et al., Redshifts and blueshifts of spectral lines caused by source correlations" (1987) Optics Communications 62: 12--16. Mark F. Bocko, David H.) of which the authors do not seem to have been aware. [Evidently, Dr. Wolf's ideas have been also studiously ignored by the astronomical community, lest the Redshifts and the distance ladder be re-calculated causing the whole house of cards to fall onto itself!]

In regards to the technical level of the book: I have a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and I have some prior exposure to astrophysics; I do not think this book is for non-specialists. One has to be very comfortable with theoretical and observational astrophysics to fully grasp and appreciate all the arguments in this work. This book is not for a layman - without solid background as an astronomy or physics this book cannot be read with much profit.

I highly recommend this book; I had doubt about the Big Bang for decades (e.g. there are stars that are older than the supposed age of the Universe) so I am pleased that there are other approaches that we can take in order to further our understanding of the observable part of the Universe.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2010
First, Ignore the 1-star review. That reviewer does not know what this book is about & probably never read it. The other reviews are by people who did read it, thoughtfully. Any person interested in cosmology & in how science should be done will find this book clear & gripping. It does use the equations of (e. g.) Relativity in reasoning about the Universe, but always with clear verbal treatment, too. I have no training in mathematical physics, but gained insight into how formulas & equations are used in cosmology by scanning thru their presentation! Above all, this book provides a fine critical account of cosmological studies from the early 20th C. to its end, with emphasis on where good scientific practice has or has not been used. The problems they find have only worsened & spread in the 10 years since the book was written, which makes it's content even more essential. Finally, all 3 authors are tops in astronomy & are excellent writers. I hope the paperback edition will be reprinted at a nice low price so anyone can own a copy of this important book.
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25 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2003
Having read what the other gentlements said about the book. I have not much to say. It pretty much gives a better cosmological model for our Universe than the standart model for it brings commum sense and simple logic back to the field. However, I would like to comment a sentence wrote by the Scientific American editors:
"Seemingly plausible ideas can have subtle flaws, and it takes a collective effort of problem solving to find them out."
I wonder that what is going on with mainstream Science nowadays is even worse than I thought. It look likes they assume that standart models can NOT possible be wrong and that any other models MUST fail in order to keep the standart one.
Plausible ideas are the BEST ideas in Science. Of course it still can have flaws, but as they pointed out, the flaws are often subtle. But in the illogical and nonsensical big-bang model, the flaws are OBVIOUS. Also, if you read this book or "Seeing Red" by Alton Harp or "Dark Matter, missing planets and new comets" by Tom V. Flandern, you will find out (in spite of what the Scientific American are trying to tell you) that in fact the standart model IS durty.
I strongly recommend this book because I have found a logical truth and I'd like you find it by yourself as well: The Universe is infinity in space and time and the so-called Big-Bang actually NEVER happened.
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on December 13, 2013
The tone of "A Different Approach to Cosmology," by Sir Fred Hoyle, Geoffrey Burbidge and Jayant V. Narlikar is set in the book's Introduction whereby the authors lay down their challenge to conventionally accepted ideas concerning the Universe. Citing Agnes Clerke's book "The System of the Stars" ( 1905 ) in which the Milky Way galaxy was considered as constituting the entirety of the Universe, and then citing Einstein's fixed notion of a static Universe, the three authors argue their core point that the same type of boxed thinking is prevalent in the scientific community today especially regarding the accepted "fact" of Big Bang cosmology as a means of explaining the Universe.

The format of the book follows a chronological sequence of the development of cosmology from the beginning to the end of the 20th century. The previous century witnessed the development of big science funded by organisations such as NASA in the US and the Science Research Council in the UK. Hoyle, Burbidge and Narlikar claim that scientists utilising the facilities provided by the funding from such like organisations must not only make "extravegent claims" ( p. viii in the Preface ) regarding what they expect to find, but, that after having conducted their research activities, they have indeed actually found what they expected to find, with the woeful result that "....there is no room for the discovery of phenomena which has not already been expected" ( p. viii in the Preface ).

The second chapter entitled "Early Relatavistic Cosmology" demonstrates that cosmological thinking during the opening years of the 20th century centred around a Universe that was static, homogeneous and isotropic. Improvements in observational techniques served to demonstrate the complexity in the structure of the Universe and ".... that the expectations of the 1930's were based upon cosmological models that were too simplistic" ( p. 15 ). The velocity-distance relationship in galactic recession as played out in the dispute between Edwin Hubble and A. Van Maanen are detailed in chapter three of the book. Chapter four deals with the Hubble Constant in relation to the red shift while chapter five examines the advances in radio astronomy since the end of the Second World War. What is notable here is the division of this new science into two groups - one in Cambridge and the other in Manchester, headed by Sir Martin Ryle and Sir Bernard Lovell respectively. Hoyle, Burbidge and Narlikar criticise the secrecy surrounding the Cambridge group and commened that "open minds and freedom of ideas" were not virtues encouraged within its ranks.

The steady state cosmological model is given great consideration throughout the book. Chapter seven details the rivalry between Hoyle and Ryle regarding the interpretation of the counts of radio sources in the Universe while chapter eight offers the condensation of carbon vapour into long thread like particles as an alternative explanation to the cosmic microwave background radiation. Chapters nine and ten deal mainly with stellar nucleosynthesis as an explanation for the abundance of heavy elements within a steady state Universe.

The rest of the book is mainly concerned with interpreting cosmological phenomena within the context of a steady state model rather than the generally accepted big bang one. This makes the book a refreshing alternative to the conventionally accepted interpretations of the nature of the Universe thus giving the modern day student of astrophysics and cosmology an insight into alternative explanations of cosmological origins, explanations which are both credible and well considered by the three authors.
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on December 25, 2012
I don't usually mention this, but I am a YEC who is interested in reading secular books on science. The reason I mention it now, is that in this book, Hoyle and his fellow authors are fighting against the Big Bang theory, while staunchly supporting their own revised Quasi Steady State theory. No one can accuse Hoyle of being ignorant of science. This book is crammed with explanations that support his theory, along with the equations that uphold it. It is a tour de force that defies the establishment. Hoyle is great at pointing out the obvious. Here's a quote. "Big Bang supporters claim there has been insufficient time for the evolution of dwarf stars to produce this kind of contamination(CMBR). But they do not know this to be true. It is only a self promoting assumption."
There will be very few readers who will be able to keep up with the equations that are presented. This is a very technical work. On the other hand the writing style does allow for the layman to follow his train of thought.
Hoyle devotes some time articulating the dogmatic approach of the establishment toward what is acceptable science and what isn't. He mentions the fate of his friend Halton Arp and others who dared to oppose the the politically correct positions that astronomers are required to assume (the Big Bang, quasar redshifts, etc) if they want to be published, receive research money, or have access to larger telescopes. Hoyle and his fellow authors have produced an outstanding work here. I highly recommend it.
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on September 28, 2012
The average lay person will look at this book and conclude that it is too technical and pass it by. That is WRONG! This book does have lots of equations, but that doesn't mean the average person cannot read and comprehend it. The only reason all those equations are there is because it's the authors way of saying "Hey, you don't believe me? Run the numbers for yourself and you'll see we're right." If you're not mathematically inclined, just ignore the formulas and keep on reading. But DO KEEP ON READING! You'll find that this is a very sound theory every bit on the same level as the Big Bang Theory.
Professors Hoyle, Burbridge, and Narlikar leave no stone unturned in their attempt to justify their theory. They discuss everything from intrinsic redshifts, to the microwave background radiation, the galactic ejection phenomena, black holes as creation centers, the large scale distribution of matter, etc. Everything that the current Big Bang Theory sites as irrefutable proof of an expanding universe, they easily disprove, and counter with their own ideas, based on sound physicals laws. As I said earlier, if you think they're in error, do the math. The equations are right there in front of you.
I'm not in a position to say whether this is the correct theory of the nature of the universe or not. But I can say that their theory is just as viable, with just as much supporting evidence, as the Big Bang. Actually, it's probably a better theory because they have no need to insert inflation, dark matter and dark energy into the scenario to keep their theory propped up like the Big Bang does.
It's a shame that this book has gotten so little respect in the scientific community. None of my friends are even aware of any of the details of this theory. They just spout they know all about the Steady State Theory and that the Big Bang is correct. But this is not the Steady State Theory; this is the newly revised Quasi-Steady State Theory that address many issues that hadn't come to light when the original theory was laid out. Get a copy of this book and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. You may end up like me, wondering why this theory hasn't made any more waves than it has.
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7 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2003
Earth to cultists: Hoyle's steady-state theory was discredited forty years ago. Give it up already.
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