Professor Phil Anderson has sense:
'the flat universe is just not decelerating, it isn’t really accelerating ... the “phlogiston fallacy” ... I even conditionally accept inflation, but how does the crucial piece Dark Energy follow from inflation? – don’t kid me, you have no idea.'
We already know Professor Anderson isn't a fool, because he talks hard facts: “string theory is a futile exercise as physics” - http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_10.html#andersonp
The big bang is the mechanism behind gravity and the contraction of general relativity, which means the whole of the Einstein-Hilbert field equation. Gravity is an effect, not a universal law.
Let me make this clear: you see a car coasting along. Is that 'evidence' that the driver is pressing the accelerator with one foot and the brake with the other?
Nope. But if you are stuck in a paradigm which believes the brake is always on (gravity) without a calculated mechanism for quantum gravity, then you have to invent a false 'dark energy' to overcome that braking (gravitational retardation), giving the coasting observations you see from distant supernovae redshift data. It's an epicycle, it's false.
See my response here.
The mainstream approach is to take GR (general relativity) as a model for the universe, which assumes gravity is not a QFT (quantum field theory) radiation exchange pressure force.
But if you take the observed expansion as primitive, then you get a mechanism for local GR as the consequence, without the anomalies of the mainstream model which require the cosmological constant, and its dark energy.
Outward expansion in spacetime by Newton's 3rd law results in inward gauge boson pressure, which causes the contraction term in GR as well as gravity itself.
GR is best viewed simply as Penrose describes it:
(1) the tensor field formulation of Newton's law, R_uv = 4Pi(G/c^2)T_uv, and
(2) the contraction term which leads to all departures from Newton's law (apart from CC, cosmological constant).
Putting the contraction term into the Newtonian R_uv = 4Pi(G/c^2)T_uv gives the Einstein field equation without the CC: R_uv - ½Rg_uv = 8Pi(G/c^2)T_uv
Feynman explains very clearly that the contraction term can be considered physical, e.g., the Earth's radius is contracted by the amount ~(1/3)MG/c^2 = 1.5 mm
This is the way to unify general relativity and quantum field theory. Forget special relativity, and accept the reality of the absolute coordinate system of general relativity. See the recent review of quantum field theory:
Klaus Fredenhagen, Karl-Henning Rehren, and Erhard Seilerpp, Quantum Field Theory: Where We Are, arXiv:hep-th/0603155, v1, 20 Mar 2006, pp. 18-19:
'Classical gravity being a field theory, QFT is expected to be the proper framework; but QFT takes for granted some fixed background spacetime determining the causal structure, as one of its very foundations, while spacetime should be a dynamical agent in gravity theory. This argument alone does not preclude the logical possibility of perturbative quantization of gravity around a fixed background, but on the other hand, the failure of all attempts so far which split the metric into a classical background part and a dynamical quantum part, should not be considered as a complete surprise, or as a testimony against QFT.
'Taking the geometrical meaning of gravitational fields seriously, it is clear that the framework of QFT has to be substantially enlarged in order to accomodate a quantum theory of Gravity. It is an open question whether this can be done by formal analogies between dieomorphism invariance and gauge symmetry.'
Mario Rabinowitz, A Theory of Quantum Gravity may not be possible because Quantum Mechanics violates the Equivalence Principle, http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0601218, (revised v3): Wed, 22 Feb 2006 17:56:21 GMT:
'Quantum mechanics clearly violates the weak equivalence principle (WEP). This implies that quantum mechanics also violates the strong equivalence principle (SEP), as shown in this paper. Therefore a theory of quantum gravity may not be possible unless it is not based upon the equivalence principle, or if quantum mechanics can change its mass dependence.'
The mainstream approach to seeking quantum gravity at the abstract level is vacuous:
'We cannot help it because we are so constituted that we always believe finally what we wish to believe. The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it and become blind to the arguments against it. The moment we want to disbelieve anything we have previously believed, we suddenly discover not only that there is a mass of evidence against, but that this evidence was staring us in the face all the time.' - George Bernard Shaw.
Above, I included a diagram which shows that from our observable frame of reference in spacetime (where time past increases with observable distance of stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc.) - which is the correct frame of reference for calculating gravity because gravity goes at light speed just like light - galaxies and sueprnovae occurring near the visible horizon of ct, i.e., close to say 15,000 million light years away and 15,000 million light years past, will not receive any vector boson radiation pushing them towards us. Hence they will not be slowed down by gravity. This was predicted via EW in Oct 1996, and confirmed experimentally about two years later by astronomers with automated CCD teelscope observations of distant supernovae.
The facts also predict the strength of gravity accurately. I want to do something wicked here, by commenting on heresy. Take Mark McCutcheon's book The Final Theory that is being advertised via Lubos Motl's blog and the top bar on my internet page. First thing, I'm not interested in McCutcheon's book or his theory, mainly because he is secretive about it and wants people to spend money to get his stuff. Lubos Motl, a Harvard professor of 'string theory' (horseshit), has attacked McCutcheon for being critical of science.
McCutcheon says he has a masters degree in physics while Motl has a PhD, so the matter is settled by 'might is right' fascist philosophy which is the one surviving piece of Nazism - namely propaganda - which wasn't defeated in World War II. I have to say, that however much horseshit McCutcheon's 'theory' is, and however much money he makes from selling it, I certainly admire his attack on the drivel of special relativity (which is obsolete via 1. the hard fact that quantum field theory vacuum looks different for observers in different frames of reference and 2. general relativity discredits the principle of relativity in SR and instead has the much weaker - and absolute motion compatible - principle of general covariance) and vacuous 'string theory'.
The bottom line is, McCutcheon doesn't have any predictions, or doesn't promote any science. So I have zero sympathy with him on that score. I think the reason McCutcheon doesn't put any science on the internet for free is because he doesn't have any. I wish people like him would try selling the correct facts here. String theory crackpots won't develop quantum field theory, so perhaps others will. Dr Peter Woit is locked into the abstract geometric representation of quantum field theory using Lie spinors and Clifford algebras, and trying to understand gigantic Feynman integrals. Woit is certainly not on to a dead end, as he has already shown that he can represent the Standard Model in a simple way. However, the public - and particularly the physics community - never want to know reality. This is why fiction like string theory is loved.