Smoller offers another explanation. "Einstein's general relativity admits a family of expanding waves, and if our Milky Way just happened to lie near the center of a different wave in the family, then it would account for the anomalous acceleration of the galaxies without dark energy." That would mean our galaxy is special--and that, relatively speaking, Ann Arbor is, too.
Hughes, for one, isn't buying it. "Every step further into the universe in the half-millennium since Copernicus has shown us to be in no special place," he points out. "That the Earth would be at the center of much of the observable universe seems extraordinarily unlikely." In other words, Hughes says, "Ann Arbor is not at the center of the universe."
[Originally published in January, 2010.]