Non-standard Models and the Sociology of Cosmology
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I review some theoretical ideas in cosmology different from the standard "Big Bang": the quasi-steady state model, the plasma cosmology model, non-cosmological redshifts, alternatives to non-baryonic dark matter and/or dark energy, and others. Cosmologists do not usually work within the framework of alternative cosmologies because they feel that these are not at present as competitive as the standard model. Certainly, they are not so developed, and they are not so developed because cosmologists do not work on them. It is a vicious circle. The fact that most cosmologists do not pay them any attention and only dedicate their research time to the standard model is to a great extent due to a sociological phenomenon (the "snowball effect" or "groupthink"). We might well wonder whether cosmology, our knowledge of the Universe as a whole, is a science like other fields of physics or a predominant ideology.