TSW: "Under the influence of the mathematician Georg Riemann, Einstein laid out the possibilities for positively curved, negatively curved, and flat space."
BW: Correct, but missing the context. Once Einstein had concluded that gravity was an "inherent quality of mass" and that it was the same as linear acceleration, he needed Riemann's manifold vectors to explain the radial nature of gravity. However, he couldn't decide whether cosmic gravity was weaker or stronger than entropy. So, he simply threw in a "cosmological constant" that could be positive (forever expanding "curve"), or negative (reversible "curve"), or simply one (equilibrium) to describe the condition of the universe. For a long time, he thought it was one, just because that was the state of the evidence, and considered the CC to be a superfluous mistake. When red-shift came along, his constant acquired a positive value, which indicated that entropy was winning over gravity: "heat death".
So, while Riemann was a mystic, he didn't "influence" Einstein's sequential logic; he just provided the mathematical curvature tools to describe it. Riemann had nothing to do with the Equivalence concept or the Cosmological Constant.
BW: Not quite correct. A negative or ^=1 curve would have been finite, in the sense that it would reach some limit (either pulsating or equilibrium), but it didn't preclude a positive value, which was infinite, in the sense that the universe would expand forever. Only the equilibrium model (^=1) had an indefinite "boundary", even if all of them had "empty space" beyond the visible objects. As it turns out, with red-shift apparently increasing at the periphery, the current model is both infinite and unbounded. Entropy wins over gravity (^=.073), for an eternity.
TSW: "From the univironmental perspective it is clear that gravitation must be the result of a push, not a pull ... motion can be transferred only through inertial contact."
BW: Inertial contact, yes. But witness the screw, which imparts linear motion to objects from its own rotational motion, which may be opposite to the linear motion of the screw itself, depending on the relationship of the two velocities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screw_theory
For example, a drill bit which is held in a fixed position relative to a wood board will cause the board to be *attracted* to the drill. We have to *push* the bit into the wood with enough force to counteract the opposite motion.
[GB: Huh? All of the motions of a screw involve pushes.]
TSW: "... neither 'pullers' nor 'pushers' have been accepted as the physical agents responsible for gravitational effects."
BW: Aside from the screw, there is envelopment: the tendency of two vortices with the same spin to "attract" and combine, simply as a consequence of kinetic equilibrium.
The standard consensus is that "space curvature induces pull", but there are no physical models for how it actually produces the effects. In my Unimid Model, gravity is a lot of graviton screws. The angular momentum of a graviton exceeds its linear momentum, producing a "pull" that exceeds any "push" at the point of collision. Charge effects are vortex consolidations or repulsions. All kinetic, all matter in motion.
TSW: "... gravitational waves, the general idea being to detect the results of explosions or collapses of celestial bodies."
BW: Not quite right. Gravitational waves have nothing to do with explosions or collapses, but rather the cyclical variations in gravity effects from binary stars, rotating in an aligned plane.
TSW: "From the univironmental perspective a collapsing universe is not a logical possibility."
BW: In your terms, if the universal "macrocosm" is in a state of equilibrium, that doesn't preclude the contraction of "microcosmic" portions - namely our "luniverse" - while neighboring luniverses expand. If we recognize that we can only observe objects in our "light cone", the visible cosmos may only be a small portion of our luniverse. An infinite universe (all things) doesn't logically preclude local collapse.
BW: I don't think "four-dimensionality" dictates those qualities, any more than three-dimensionality. Simply adding the time dimension doesn't change the boundary conditions. The "standard model" accepts an infinite amount of space - even if it's presumed empty - into which the "luniverse" can expand. However, it doesn't assume a perpetual expansion, though that seems to be the state of the current evidence. The question is whether gravity wins or loses against entropy, which produces the Cosmologic "Constant": if gravity=entropy, CC=1 and it's a "steady state" universe, with some indefinite bounds.
BW: That's not what's claimed. Time isn't a substance, it's a motion that can be quantified; therefore it has dimensionality. It's distinct from spatial dimensions, but only occurs because of changes in the relative spatial positions of matter. Granted, the idea isn't clearly articulated - and it's frequently confused - but it doesn't propose four dimensions *of space* and doesn't conflict with your "Univironmental Theory".
TSW: "[I]t wasn't just matter that was created in the big bang, but spacetime as well. There was nothing ‘outside’ for the big bang to explode into."
BW: Logically correct, once you adopt Einstein's error, noted above. An infinite regression to a geometric (abstract) point allows for no matter, space, or time. The very idea that such a thing could exist, much less explode, is nonsense.
TSW: "The galactic redshift has been called the most critical observation used in support of the Big Bang Theory."
BW: Perhaps, but *incremental* redshifts (as reported at the extremes) is actually contrary to the original BBT, requiring the supposition of internal, repulsive, "Dark Energy" or external, attractive, "Dark Matter". Simple errors will just compound into huge evasions.
TSW: "... in an infinite, relatively homogeneous universe with perfect light transmission, about half of the galaxies would be coming toward us, exhibiting blue light, and half would be going away from us, exhibiting red light. This is not what is observed."
BW: Correct: the facts contradict the idea of an infinite universe in full equilibrium. As noted above, the facts don't preclude "local" (light cone "microcosm") expansion or contraction, IF there are real boundary conditions. You describe this "second interpretation", but dismiss it:
"The demise of this [second] interpretation is a result of its anthropocentrism - the apparent fortuitousness of the earth’s location at the center of the expansion."
... which means that the earth is *moving* relative to CBR and therefore is not even close to the "center" of whatever kind of expansion is occurring. In the Unimid Theory, our "light sphere" is only a portion of our "luniverse", which may not even include its center point. However, there is a boundary condition between adjacent luniverses and there may be galaxies near the boundary, where the sky appears half blue-shifted and half red-shifted.
TSW: "There is no known process in which a wave-packet of light would lose energy simply by traveling through nothing."
BW: Intergalactic dust with no luminosity and low albedo (Dark Matter) could theoretically cause "tired light" to slow down. This sentence also highlights an error in the "wave-packet" conception of light. A wave is necessarily a sequence of radial kinetic interactions in a media. If there is no media, there can be no wave. So, if you're committed to the wave theory of light, you (and Einstein) desperately need an Aetherial medium. My theory doesn't, since light is the emission of a particular material configuration that exhibits wave-like properties.
BW: I'll skip over Halton Arp's peculiar theory of "old" and "new" light, since we're getting into the aether concepts that I'll save for a subsequent discussion.
Next: The Univironmental Theory of Light