Cosmological Beliefs

At the Princeton meeting "Critical Dialogues in Cosmology" Martin Rees gave some introductory remarks in which he plotted the degree of belief about cosmological paradigms as a function of time. The following table is a loose interpretation of his overhead transparencies.

The Universe is expanding> 99
from a hot big bang99
in which the light elements were synthesized. 95
There was a period of inflation70
which led to a "flat" universe today.50
Structure was seeded by gaussian irregularities 90
which are the relics of quantum fluctuations 50
and is dominated by cold dark matter. 50
The history of how strongly cosmologists have believed their theoretical ideas, adapted from Martin Rees' introduction to the meeting held to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of Princeton University.

Martin White & Douglas Scott