For many years LaViolette's study stood unchallenged, an uncomfortable thorn in the foot of the big bang school of thought. However, even though the observational evidence weighed strongly against the expanding universe theory, his paper failed to win over the majority of cosmologists. The reason why has nothing to do with objective science, but with psychology, with cosmologist's intense need to conform with their peers and with the standard cosmological paradigm that the mainstream science community had long accepted. This is not a failing of just astronomers and cosmologists, but of a large sector of humanity. The need to conform is so strong that it causes individuals to suppress their own correct conclusions in order to adopt the incorrect group opinion. This was very clearly demonstrated in the Asch Conformity Experiment; see video below.
In an effort to reassert the classical expanding universe paradigm, two groups of big bang theorists secured funding for projects that sought to challenge the conclusions of LaViolette's study. One sought evidence of a time dilation effect in extragalactic supernovae (Goldhaber, et al., 2001), while another study conducted a Tolman surface brightness cosmology test of early cluster galaxies (Lubin and Sandage, 2001). Although neither group pointed out any flaw with LaViolette's original study, they claimed that the findings of their study, which were restricted to the results from a single cosmology test, proved a definitive vindication of the expanding universe hypothesis over the tired-light alternative. They came to their conclusion without explaining why their expanding universe model failed to fit data on other cosmology tests. The mass media was quick to accept their conclusions leaving the general public and even some anti-big-bang astronomers to think that hope for the tired-light alternative was dead. Curiously, both of these studies were published at the same time in September of 2001, the month of the fateful 9-11 tragedy.
Having previously experienced an eight-year-long delay to get his previous cosmology study published, and then being particularly short of time due to his work on other projects, LaViolette did not seek to respond immediately by publishing a rebuttal of these studies. Instead, he wrote up a refutation of the conclusions of these two groups and published it in chapter 7 of the 2003 edition of his book Subquantum Kinetics. The series of four cosmology tests presented in his 1994 edition of this book was here expanded to a total of five tests: 1) the galaxy cluster angular-size-redshift test, 2) the radio galaxy angular-size-redshift test, 3) the Tolman surface brightness test, 4) the Hubble diagram test, and 5) the galaxy-number-count test. Again all five tests show that the no-evolution tired-light model consistently comes closest to fitting the data trend. For the Tolman test, LaViolette used the very same data that Lubin and Sandage had used only he included a needed brightness adjustment to correct for the extragalactic extinction of starlight, something that Lubin and Sandage had failed to do. When this is done, the Tolman test data provides an excellent confirmation of the tired-light relation.
As for the supernova study, LaViolette explained that bright, long-lasting supernova are not seen in the local neighborhood because of their rare occurrence and that dim, short-lasting supernovae occurring far away are not seen because they are too dim to be detected above light background. The result is that an unavoidable selection effect is present which gives the false impression that distant supernovae take longer to occur than nearby supernovae. Goldhaber, et al., did not address this issue at all in their paper and it proves to be fatal to their paper's hasty conclusion. Studies later performed by other groups on the duration of quasar light curve peaks and gamma ray bursts showed no evidence of time dilation with increasing redshift.
By the end of 2017, LaViolette intends to write up and submit a rebuttal paper which hopefully will put to rest the big bang theory once and for all. However, will this renewed attempt succeed in convincing the astronomical community at large that tired-light is the best choice? In view of the results of the Asch Conformity Experiment, likely not.
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