Explaining Dark Matter and Contradicting the Big Bang

Article written: 31 Mar , 2008
Updated: 26 Dec , 2015

It’s well-known that “Big Bang” was a derogatory name given to the cosmological theory of the expanding (not exploding) universe in an attempt to discredit the idea. But, the name stuck and with the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) in 1964, the theory has stuck, too. However, every once in awhile, a new idea comes out which claims to contradict the Big Bang Theory. The latest comes from researchers Robert K. Soberman and Maurice Dubin who say they know what dark matter is comprised of, and their new ideas provide a better explanation for the CMB, as well as the galactic red shift, two observations that currently support the Big Bang Theory.

Soberman and Dubin believe dark matter is actually made of cosmic meteoroids — clumps of hydrogen and helium atoms, which they call “cosmoids.” The two researchers say cosmoids were found in a new evaluation of data detected by Pioneer 10 & 11. This dark and fragile matter exists in the “near absolute zero cold and almost forceless space between galaxies from material expelled in stellar winds. Little, if any radiation is emitted at that temperature, hence its invisibility,” say Soberman and Dubin in a paper they released on March 25, 2008.

While the cosmic microwave background seems to cover the sky smoothly in all directions, this is unlike visible matter which is clumped into galaxies. The two researchers hypothesize that cosmoids were drawn gravitationally into our galaxy, the solar system and the immediate Earth vicinity, and radiate at 2.735 K which is “erroneously interpreted as the big bang cosmic microwave background.””Hence, this locally smooth distribution of cosmoids makes the radiation look the same in all directions to us.

Soberman and Dubin say that even variations discovered by satellites such as COBE and WMAP do not explain the distribution of visible matter, and that cosmoids provide a better alternative explanation.

The cosmoid proposal also explains the galactic redshift, according to Soberman and Dubin. Cosmoids absorb and re-emit light from distant galaxies, and that should redshift the light in a way that is subtly different from a Doppler redshift generated by an expanding universe. They say that the subtle difference should be relatively easy to spot with a few observations.

They will conduct several tests which they expect will contradict Big Bang predictions. The test include mixing hydrogen with a small amount of helium and cooling it to 2.735 K to see if cosmoids form, and measuring the red shift of cosmoids (dark matter) lying within 1 AU of the sun.

“Bereft of the two supporting pieces of evidence, the big bang hypothesis should collapse. Any hypothesis worthy of consideration should offer predictions that allow choice between it and competitor(s). This model concludes with analytical and experimental predictions, the results of which should contradict the big bang hypothesis,” say Soberman and Dubin.

Soberman and Dubin do not mention anything about the third “pillar” of the Big Bang Theory, which is the distribution of hydrogen and helium throughout the cosmos, which closely matches the predictions of the Big Bang Theory.

While this new theory is sure to raise more than just a few eyebrows, it demonstrates what’s great about science. All theories — whether long-standing mainstays of current scientific understanding or new, upstart ideas – will undergo constant scrutiny and testing. It will be interesting to see what Soberman and Dubin’s tests reveal.

Original News Sources: ArXiv Blog, and ArXiv

34 Responses

  1. Darin says

    Interesting Theory! It would be great if Astronomy Cast would do a show to explain in some more detail what this theory says.

  2. Phil Plait says

    This theory is DOA unless it can also explain why high-redshift objects like supernovae exhibit a time dilation exactly in accordance with their redshift velocity away from us.

    I have to bring this up every time someone comes up with an alternative to an expanding Universe. It’s the one major test it MUST pass, or else i won’t even look at it. 🙂

    Ned Wright has something about this on his site too:

  3. Kevin says

    Interesting to say the least. I don’t propose to have any insight into what they are talking about, but imagine the affect on science books and astronomy/cosmology curriculum if this proves out to be real. An amazing paradigm shift.

    Sounds like they have some real ideas on how to give their theory some “proof”. Will be interesting to see what becomes of it.

  4. soberman0 says

    Ok, just imagining what happens to all the scientists if a theory like this one actually becomes the new dogma. makes me laugh

  5. ranjha says

    wondering if they answered the question or gave predictions about how the universe was formed and what its shape is.

  6. torsal says

    I wouldn’t hold my breath regarding this theory. There are many lines of evidence showing that the CMB is truly cosmological. I can think of a bunch of reasons why the CMB can’t be Galactic, but the Sunyaev Zeldovich effect is an obvious one. The SZ effect is the distortion of the CMB by hot cluster gas at high redshift. This effect has been observed, and implies that the source of the CMB is more distant than these already-very-distant clusters.

  7. Alexander says

    Way too early for Soberman and Dubin to be getting much press. Seems to me their notions are still in the “let’s have a beer and kick it around” phase.

    . . . and while I’m here, why does UT post links to such trash as Ben Stein’s “Expelled?” Is it just about the money? I think it detracts from the credibility of UT.

  8. Christopher says

    interesting, but what they said about density morphology relation of galaxies that it is supposed that change with redshift?

  9. Terragen says

    Sounds like everyone should wait until they run these tests, but I like that there are tests to be done, and I admit I’m interested in alternative theories. But I’m most interested in actual observational results.

  10. Member

    If you see ads like the Exposed one, let me know and I’ll try and block it through the advertiser. There could be hundreds or thousands of different advertisements served through Google. So I rely on you folks to let me know if there’s something that needs removing.

  11. Mikel says

    To Terragen…

    For other observational results that tend to discredit BBT because of discordant redshift measurements, see


  12. Greg says

    No experiment has directly observed evidence proving that dark matter and dark energy exist. They have been invoked to explain inconsistencies in the big bang theory. Right now this competing theory is just as valid as the other until experimental evidence proves or disproves it. The one thing I like about this is that is fairly easily testable so it will go away quickly if the necessary experiments disprove rather than prove it. I do think it is a little too convenient to be true.

  13. inflaton says

    The theory cant be right because it contradicts the second thermodynamic law.
    There is nothing to disproof, because this theory has nothing to do with science.

  14. Spacer says

    Come on people 🙂
    That’s just an April fool’s day article, quite imaginative I must say so you’ve all believed in it. 😀 😀 😀
    Nancy, you’re a great sci-fi writer.
    Hats off to Nancy Atkinson!!!

  15. Max Vondel says

    Lets celebrate the principles of science, new theories and new ways to look at the universe round us. This new theory is interesting in that it makes a few testable predictions. I can see other readers getting a bit flustered by the possibility that the Big Bang Theory might need revision. Rejoice in the ability to discuss and dissagree because a few hundred years ago this could be a life threatening experience. In some parts of the world your life is still in danger if you disagree with the mainstream. Be careful that you don’t become one of the accusers of Galileo 400 years ago.

  16. bigger bang says

    I have to agree with Spacer. “Universe Today” is full of nonsense with Astronomy Cast’s Fraser Cain (Universe Today) and Dr. Pamela L. Gay (who believes in the myth of Christian doctrine).

  17. Qev says

    Wouldn’t Compton scattering kind of nix their redshift argument? If there were enough of these ‘cosmoids’ out there to produce the observed redshift, wouldn’t everything be rather blurry out there?

  18. Bob Castillo says

    If these “cosmoids” are just clumps of hydrogen at the CMB temperature wouldn’t they tend to collapse to form galaxy clusters just like any other large clump of hydrogen in the universe? Now we’ve seen gravitational “maps” of dark matter. (Or at least maps of the gravitational microlensing that dark matter is supposed to cause.) Wouldn’t these dark matter clumps like the one we see in the Bullet Cluster and in cluster CL0024+17 always collapsing into galaxy clusters? Yet we don’t always see galaxies embedded in dark matter maps: This theory sounds incomplete.

  19. dilip says

    A friend and colleague Narayan Chandra Rana examined (in the 1980s) Chandra Wickramasinghe’s (and perhaps also Jayant Vishnu Narlikar’s) (possibly also Fred Hoyle’s) hypothesis that graphite needles sprinkled thoughout space shape the spectrum of background light to give appearance of a low-temperature blackbody. This was a genuine break from explaining cosmic microwave background without applying Geroge Gamow’s hot big bang theory. Later Patrick Das Gupta went on to examine Jayant’s later hypothesis (which possibly had support from Halton Arp and Geoffrey Burbidge and Fred) of an oscillating universe, which is not really a genuine break from George’s hot big bang.

    [The above comments assume, of course, that cosmoids made of frozen H and He (perhaps to get the universal light element abundances right!) are a genuine hypothesis rather than just an April Fool’s joke for 2008 – although I add that George would have approved of such an elaborate joke!]

  20. Invader Xan says

    I don’t know about whether or not this concept will displace Big Bang theory, but it does seem like a plausible explanation for at least some of dark matter.

    I mean, come on — “Dark Matter” was a term coined primarily because people didn’t know what it was. Since then, people seem to take the term a bit too seriously. We know nothing about it, whether or not it’s homogeneous, how it interracts… We also know that there’s an awful lot we don’t know about interstellar space (Diffuse Interstellar Bands, for instance).

    If these so-called “cosmoids” could exist, they might help explain a few things. Let’s face it people, it’s a bit embarrassing not knowing where most of the Universe actually is!

  21. Chuck Lam says

    Hmm . . . Soberman and Cubin could be onto something really big.

  22. JamesB says

    And this after a Prophet of the CMB school was prognosticating in the latest issue of Sky & Telescope (May’08) about how the Bing Bang and the CMB were “good science”. Hope this Prophet didn’t break his arm patting himself on the back because is “good science” isn’t looking that good anymore. These “cosmoids” make better sense than a mythological “aether”… er sorry… “Dark Matter”.

  23. JamesB says

    BTW – likely not an April Fool’s joke as article is dated 31 March, rather than April 1.

  24. Frances says

    On the NASA archive site you can find three papers written by Soberman and Dubin dated 1989, 1990 and 1991. So why is this being rated as a new breaking story? And why didn’t anyone take it seriously earlier?

  25. Stephen says

    It’s 1st April guys.

  26. Ed2 says

    This story is just conjecture. My conjecture is that the dark matter are simply electron-neutrinos at 2.725 degrees kelvin.

  27. Michael McVey says

    Yes, those ads for Expelled the Movie and The God Argument were a little off-putting. Must be the algorithm Google uses, I guess there aren’t so many cosmologists selling their movies and books through Google.

  28. Member
    David Shander says

    So why is it not possible that dark matter and energy are the non-baryonic medium in which the big bang (or whatever) occurred. And furthermore, is continuing to occur, and maybe more than once.

  29. Varun says

    it does sound absurd…
    as per the article published…..they are producing results AGAINST the big bang theory of CREATION of the universe….but they choose not to say anything about how THEIR universe was created……!!
    but yes…the red shift point does seem to be quite valid because thier arent any blue shifts observed….i.e….if everything is moving away from a point…the matter closer to that point should be relatively faster than the ones away…..!

  30. Bob says

    The CMB has been thoroughly disproven as being something local. There are holes in the CMB that exist right where the center of masses of galaxy clusters exist. There is where photons of the CMB are scattered by neutral hydrogen that exists in a greater amount of mass than the entire masses of the cluster’s visible matter by triple the amount. Inependently, at X-ray wavelengths, we can observe the hot hydrogen gases colliding and emitting those X-rays in the exact same spots. The temperature varies with the intensity of the X-rays as one moves measurements across the field and the math crunches out the same amount of mass that was calculated by scattering of the CMB photons…the same 3 to 1 ratio of hydrogen to all of the visible matter in the galaxy clusters.

    Even then the amount of mass is not enough to explain the rotation curves of the galaxy clusters..

    What has occured recently in cosmology is that MOND has been falling apart since Jacob Beckenstein publish some math that did explain how one could replace the inverse square law of gravity at galactic distances with a 1/r law instead..He was a hero at first until some of the MOND members and followers read into his math and realized that he introduced dark matter and dark energy in order to make it work.

    So now there are spinoffs to save the idea that DM and DE along with the Big Bang must be wrong.

    The problem with most alternative theorists is that they view science as “invent and replace” instead of realizing that old measurements are valid to a limit where better measurements from more extensive theories fit condition where one theory breaks down. Kepler’s math was not as complete as Newton’s. Special relativity and general relativity extended upon Newton’s math but did not caste it aside. Quantum physics makes measurements that GR cannot reside with. Once we learn the limits of them we will extend, but not replace General and Special relativity.

  31. steelmarket says

    The very terms “dark matter” and “dark energy” prejudice us in our thinking about these phenomena. If Soberman and Dubin had not coined the catchy word “cosmoids”, would we even be discussing their work?

  32. Alphonso Richardson says

    Finally got to read this article – ‘COSMOIDS’?
    Please, that’s got to be a bit dodgy, sorry – even if it’s genuine (which i’m highly suspicious of), it seems a little , well, daft.
    Don’t get me wrong, great breakthrougha are often counter-intuitive, but still…..

  33. RL says

    If their science is correct, the test results will be there. As for predicting how the universe started, I don’t think its necessary for a theory to explain everything. No theory does that. If the predictions are tested and are found to be true, then everyone has more thinking to do!

  34. CV says

    The red shift can be explained by the clumping of energy in to matter a and the conversion of matter in to heavier and heavier atoms in stars. This would be much like starting with a flat uinverse that would be constantly building larger gravity wells out of smaller ones. The larger the gravity wells the more time it would take light to pass by them. As they are constantly growing any light to come from more distant sourced would have to travel through a larger and larger number of these growing gravity wells. This would cause the ever increasing red shift we see in light coming from more distant sources.

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