A brief history of the discovery of the expanding universe is presented, with an emphasis on the seminal contribution of VM Slipher. It is suggested that the well-known Hubble graph of 1929 could also be known as the Hubble-Slipher graph. It is also argued that the discovery of the expanding universe matches the traditional view of scientific advance as a gradual process of discovery and acceptance, and does not concur with the Kuhnian view of science progressing via abrupt paradigm shifts.He explains how Lemaitre and others did the theoretical work, and Hubble relied on Slipher, in part, for experimental work. The paper also says that Hubble never really accepted the big bang, and left open the possibility that his data might be consistent with other models.
The paper also argues that the discovery of the big bang was nothing like a Kuhnian paradigm shift. If there were any merit to Kuhn's philosophy, then the big bang should have been a paradigm shift. The whole concept of a paradigm shift is bogus.
Update: Another new paper says:
Much debate has ensued recently over who deserves credit for being first to discover the Universe is expanding. Lemaître’s theoretical discovery of expansion in 1927 was not translated into English until two years after Hubble’s observational discovery of expansion in 1929 (Lemaître 1927b, translated 1931). Further, that translation omitted the Hubble constant of expansion that Lemaître calculated in 1927. That omission, only recently revealed in these pages by frequent contributor to JRASC Sidney van den Bergh of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, peaked the debate (see van den Bergh 2011, JRASC 105,151). At least a dozen papers regarding Hubble’s priority in the discovery of expansion have been published in the last two years alone, more papers regarding Hubble’s priority than were written in all the years since 1929 combined.
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