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ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS OF THE COSMIC MICROWAVE BACKGROUND: A HISTORICAL AND AN EPISTEMOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

Cirkovic, Milan M. and Perovic, Slobodan (2017) ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS OF THE COSMIC MICROWAVE BACKGROUND: A HISTORICAL AND AN EPISTEMOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE. [Preprint]

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Abstract

We historically trace various non-conventional explanations for the origin of the cosmic microwave background and discuss their merit, while analyzing the dynamics of their rejection, as well as the relevant physical and methodological reasons for it. It turns out that there have been many such unorthodox interpretations; not only those developed in the context of theories rejecting the relativistic (“Big Bang”) paradigm entirely (e.g., by Alfvén, Hoyle and Narlikar) but also those coming from the camp of original thinkers firmly entrenched in the relativistic milieu (e.g., by Rees, Ellis, Rowan-Robinson, Layzer and Hively). In fact, the orthodox interpretation has only incrementally won out against the alternatives over the course of the three decades of its multi-stage development. While on the whole, none of the alternatives to the hot Big Bang scenario is persuasive today, we discuss the epistemic ramifications of establishing orthodoxy and eliminating alternatives in science, an issue recently discussed by philosophers and historians of science for other areas of physics. Finally, we single out some plausible and possibly fruitful ideas offered by the alternatives.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Cirkovic, Milan M.mcirkovic@aob.rs0000-0002-6634-1321
Perovic, Slobodanperovicslobodan@gmail.com
Additional Information: To appear in the Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Keywords: cosmology; cosmic microwave background; history of astronomy; theory change; evidence
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Dr. Slobodan Perovic
Date Deposited: 04 May 2017 22:58
Last Modified: 04 May 2017 22:58
Item ID: 13022
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Physics
Date: 4 May 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13022

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