Seeing Red is a 6” x 9” soft-cover book of 314 pages, many with illustrations and some with color graphics. The book is authored by Halton Arp, arguably the most eminent astronomer alive today, and contains sensible science for the experts written for the public.
This book represents the second--the first being Arp's Quasars, Redshifts, and Controversies--substantial public exposition of the latest developments in the "intrinsic redshift does not equal distance" cosmology that is challenging the current system of thinking. It further undermines the “scientistic” cosmological mythology of the “big bang” and the “expanding” universe, while replacing it with a "growing universe" paradigm. Arp, with the support of a small band of sympathetic astronomers, simply gives more significant, unequivocal evidence of different kinds--observations of physical connections, statistical correlations and groupings, and absurd implications of the redshift-equals-distance schema--that quasars are ejected as highly redshifted objects from their "mother" galaxies. After his first book on the subject was ignored by his fellow professionals for 10 years, Arp takes off the gloves in Seeing Red, excoriating them for being cowardly faithful to the establishment paradigm instead of going where the observations should lead them.
Arp’s book provides:
Arp received his bachelors degree from Harvard College in 1949 and his
Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1953, both cum
laude. For 29 years he was a staff astronomer at the Observatories known
originally as the Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories.
A recognized expert observer of quasars and galaxies, Arp is the author
of the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies and numerous scholarly
publications. Consequently, he has hundreds of galaxies named after him.
With Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies and this book he is now
famous for being the new Galileo of astronomy with his redshift
findings. He has been awarded the Helen B. Warner prize of the American
Astronomical Society and the Newcomb Cleveland award of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. He was president of the
Astronomical Society of the Pacific 1980 to 1983 and received the
Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award in 1884. He is currently
at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich,
Halton Arp received his bachelors degree from Harvard College in 1949 and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1953, both cum laude. For 29 years he was a staff astronomer at the Observatories known originally as the Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories.
A recognized expert observer of quasars and galaxies, Arp is the author of the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies and numerous scholarly publications. Consequently, he has hundreds of galaxies named after him. With Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies and this book he is now famous for being the new Galileo of astronomy with his redshift findings. He has been awarded the Helen B. Warner prize of the American Astronomical Society and the Newcomb Cleveland award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 1980 to 1983 and received the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award in 1884. He is currently at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, Germany.
Table of Contents
List of Color Plates
The front cover picture is in X-rays of the Seyfert galaxy Markarian 205.
The back cover picture is the ejecting galaxy Arp 105.
My purpose in publishing this book is to communicate information which would not otherwise be accessible. About 10 years ago my first book on this subject appeared: Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies. That first book had really been written between 1984 and 1985, but it took a seemingly interminable two years to publish because uncountable numbers of publishers turned it down. One university press, that of my alma mater, was enthusiastic about it until they gave it to a member of the Astronomy faculty to read. Another, Cambridge University Press, declined to publish it, but once it was published bought a large number of copies at very low cost to sell through their distribution. (At least the distribution was a useful step).
Finally, Donald Goldsmith came to the rescue of what I view as academic freedom of communication and published it under the aegis of his small company, Interstellar Media. I felt enormously grateful to him for enabling the observational material to be presented, regardless of what he or any one else felt about the ultimate outcome of the debate. Of course, I was hoping that once all the evidence was correlated and described in a way not allowed by referees, scientists would turn their instruments and analysis to investigating the many crucial objects which contradicted current theory.
Instead, the book became a list of topics and objects to be avoided at all cost. Most professional astronomers had no intention of reading about things that were contrary to what they knew to be correct. Their interest usually reached only as far as using the library copy to see if their name was in the index. But before that disappointment really registered with me, something rather wonderful happened. I started getting letters from scientists in small colleges, in different disciplines, from amateurs, students and lay people. The amateurs in particular amazed and delighted me, because it quickly became dear that they really looked at pictures, knew various objects and reasoned for themselves while maintaining a healthy skepticism toward official interpretations. As an example, Canadian physics students brought me from Europe to address their annual convention. I was stunned when they ushered me into a room where a table was piled high with copies of my book to autograph. I realized that these were books they had brought on their own initiative and with their own money. In the end, the book was translated into Italian and Spanish, and I still hear from people all over the world who are interested in how it is all going to turn out. So regardless of the difficulties and frustrations, and no matter what else happens, I feel that book was the most important rewarding work I have ever undertaken.
More than 10 years have passed and, in spite of determined opposition, I believe the observational evidence has become overwhelming, and the Big Bang has in reality been toppled. There is now a need to communicate the new observations, the connections between objects and the new insights into the workings of the universe—all the primary obligations of academic science, which has generally tried to suppress or ignore such dissident information. In spite of—or because of—the success of the first book, it is even more necessary now to secure independent and effective publication of these kinds of science books. The present volume is a bigger book with prospects for wider circulation. In consideration of these aspects, with Don Goldsmith's advice and assistance, I feel fortunate that the present publisher, Roy Keys, is presenting this new work, Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science.
One useful aspect of the present book is that it illustrates what can develop from one simple assumption, such as the nature of extragalactic redshifts. Both sides in the dispute have complex, rather fully worked out views which they believe to be empirically supported and logically required. Yet one side must be completely and catastrophically wrong. It makes one wonder, perhaps with profit, whether there are other uncertain assumptions on which much of our lives are built, but of which we are innocently overconfident.
The present book is sure to outrage many academic scientists. Many of my professional friends will be greatly pained. Why then do I write it? First, everyone has to tell the truth as they see it, especially about important things. The fact that the majority of professionals are intolerant of even opinions which are discordant makes change a necessity. Those friends of mine who also struggle to get the mainstream of astronomy back on track mostly feel that presenting evidence and championing new theories is sufficient to cause change, and that it is improper to criticize an enterprise to which they belong and value highly. I disagree, in that I think if we do not understand why science is failing to self-correct, it will not be possible to fix it.
Briefly, I suppose my view is that science never matured through the "age of enlightenment." When society at long last learned that major decisions were too important to be left in the hands of kings and generals, a more democratic process was evolved. But science always insisted that only those who possessed arcane knowledge were capable of deciding what was true and what was not true in the world of natural phenomena.
Now we have a situation where new facts are judged by whether they fit old theories. If they do not, they are condemned with the judgment:
"There is no way of explaining these observations, so they cannot be true."
That encourages the dissident to come up with an explanation of how it could be true. It disagrees with convention. Then the jaws of the trap spring shut and the theory labeled:
"....prima facie evidence that the proponent is a crackpot and the evidence is false."
This, then, is the crisis for the reasonable members of the profession. With so many alternative, contradictory theories, many of them fitting the evidence very badly, abandoning the accepted theory is a frightening step into chaos. At this point, I believe we must look for salvation from the non-specialists, amateurs and interdisciplinary thinkers—those who form judgments on the general thrust of the evidence, those who are skeptical about any explanation, particularly official ones, and above all are tolerant of other people's theories. (When the complete answer is not known, in a sense every-one is a crackpot—Gasp!).
The only hope I see is for the more ethical professionals and the more attentive, open-minded non professionals to combine their efforts to form a more democratic science with better judgment, and slowly transform the subject into an enlightened, more useful activity of society. This is the deeper reason I wrote this book and, although it will cause distress, I believe a painfully honest debate is the only exercise capable of galvanizing meaningful change.
If there is any credit due for all this, I should
mention that when I left the United States in 1984, I came to the
Max-Planck Institut fur Astrophysik, first on an Alexander Humboldt
Senior Scientist award; I then stayed on as a guest scientist. I must
acknowledge that if it had not been for the use of the facilities of the
Institut, the hospitality, support and friendship of the researchers, I
would not have been able to carry out the present work. It was my
amazingly good fortune that many of the key, active objects I had
observed with the big telescopes on the Pacific Coast were just being
observed with the frontier-breaking X-ray telescope at the Max-Planck
Institut fur Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE). It picked out the most
energetic objects with ease, and the telescope was still small enough so
that it had a sufficiently large field to include the crucial objects
All of the staff and faculty were enormously kind and helpful. To single out just a few: Rudi Kippenhahn, who initially nominated me for the Humboldt award and arranged for me to stay on afterwards; Hans-Christoph Thomas in the neighboring office, who was always ready to assist me in complex computer problems; and Wolfgang Pietsch at MPE, who taught me what rudiments of X-ray image processing I was able to learn, and showed me his many observational breakthroughs. We all have our precious beliefs, and the greatest courage is to respect a differing belief. Here I found people who believed the way one did science was the overriding ethic, and, with poetic justice, I think it leads to the greatest advances.
The following book is arranged with the first two chapters establishing that high redshift quasars emerge from the active nuclei of nearby galaxies. The next two chapters show that smaller companions of nearby galaxies also have intrinsic (non-velocity) redshifts, which persist down to the stars and gas that make up the galaxy. Chapter 5 discusses how the Local Supercluster is composed of similar groups and types of objects, and shows how their intrinsic redshifts decrease from the quasars down to the oldest galaxies. Chapter 6 introduces the startling evidence that faint groups of high-redshift, non-point-source objects on the sky are generally not distant clusters of normal galaxies, but instead are more like smaller, intrinsically redshifted components of broken up quasars.
Chapter 7 discusses how gravitational lenses cannot explain the association on the sky between quasars and lower redshift galaxies. It presents arguments that the quasars are not lensed background objects but younger material actually emerging from the central object. Chapter 8 presents the evidence for quantization, a phenomenon that could not occur if redshifts were caused by velocities. Chapter 9 discusses the theory. It points out how the Friedmann/Einstein expanding universe (the so-called "Big Bang") is based on a mistaken assumption—and why it cannot explain the observations. A more general solution of the basic equations is presented and it is discussed how it predicts the observed creation of quasars and their evolution into normal galaxies.
Finally, Chapter 10 recounts a number of examples where
Academic Science has been unable to modify its theories and commitments
to accommodate new observational facts. Directions of possible change
are briefly discussed.