Based on current observations, the universe is expanding. “If we could watch a video recording of the history of the universe in reverse, we would see all matter in the universe collapse back to a point, not the size of a basketball, not the size of a golf ball, not even the size of a pinhead, but mathematically and logically to a point that is actually nothing (i.e., no space, no time, and no matter). In other words, once there was nothing, and then, BANG, there was something – the entire universe exploded into being! This, of course, is what is commonly called ‘the Big Bang.’”[i]
What was before this big bang? What caused the big bang to happen? What was the early universe really like as it was exploding outward? Are there problems with the big bang theory? Is there a better explanation for what has been observed? Does the big bang solve as many problems as it creates?
In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered, among other things, that galaxies were moving away from us. Consequently, it seemed reasonable that everything must have started in one place, later called the singularity. This is the basis for the Big Bang theory.[ii]
The Big Bang actually wasn’t an explosion but instead was simply an expansion. “Rather than imagining a balloon popping and releasing its contents, imagine a balloon expanding: an infinitesimally small balloon expanding to the size of our current universe.”[iii]
One second after the bang, there would have been “a 10-billion degree sea of neutrons, protons, electrons, anti-electrons (positrons), photons, and neutrinos.”[iv] Those elements would continue to separate (as the balloon expanded) and yet combine to form hydrogen and other basic elementary particles. As the early universe expanded and cooled, it left its mark as it spread out, which is observed today as the Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR). The CBR is evidence we can observe today for the big bang.[v] Scientists can map the CBR and determine where the hot or cold spots are, at different points, and how those spots will show where clusters and galaxies will form.
The universe not only expanded in a big bang, but possibly different parts of the universe grew, or inflated, at different rates. This is suggested due to the fact that the CBR shows the overall temperature of the universe is too constant, and therefore, hot and cold spots would have had “bursts of expansion called “inflation”” to be able to reach each other and combine.[vi] The inflation theory helps solve the horizon problem, the flatness problem, and the magnetic monopole problem, although it does cause some new ones.[vii]
What was before the Big Bang? Scientists can only offer hypotheses with, unfortunately, little ability to test. It is suggested that the universe came from nothing. “The singularity didn’t appear in space; rather, space began inside of the singularity. Prior to the singularity, nothing existed, not space, time, matter, or energy – nothing. So where and in what did the singularity appear if not in space? We don’t know. We don’t know where it came from, why it’s here, or even where it is. All we really know is that we are inside of it and at one time it didn’t exist and neither did we.”[viii]
Some say that the idea of the universe coming from nothing “clashes with common sense.” It is therefore suggested that the Universe has always existed and continually goes through cycles of expansion and crunching. It has also been suggested that a previous universe caused the inflation of this universe – like a bubble producing another bubble. Thus our universe is “one of countless bubbles floating around within the “multiverse,”” which is eternally evolving.[ix] The Big Bang may have been caused by the mysterious workings of quantum mechanics, in that, particles can pop into existence out of nowhere and then even disappear.[x]
Scientists are currently unsure “whether the Universe will expand forever” – and cause a heat death with temperatures slowly approaching absolute zero, “or whether it will someday stop, turn around, and collapse in a “Big Crunch.”[xi] Scientists expected that the gravity of the matter of the universe would slow the expansion of the universe, but it is not slowing down, instead it seems to be accelerating. So scientists theorize that there is some energy, Dark Energy, pulling the universe away from itself.
There are many questions, and “little is known about the earliest moments of the universe’s history,” but as more data comes in, more answers should be available. “While the Big Bang model is well established in cosmology, it is likely to be refined in the future.”[xii]
The origin of the laws of science itself raise “some uncomfortable questions: Where did the laws of physics reside before there was a universe to which they could be applied? Do they exist independently of space or time? “It’s a great mystery as to where the laws of physics came from. We don’t even know how to approach it…But before inflation came along, we didn’t even know how to approach the questions that inflation later solved. So who knows, maybe we’ll pass this barrier as well.””[xiii]
Ultimately the Big Bang is a naturalistic way to understand our universe and therefore there is no need to invoke a creator.[xiv]
by Brian Mariani and others
Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?
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One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.
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[i] Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be an Atheist, Crossway, Wheaton, IL, 2004, p. 79.
[ii] The Big Bang, last updated March 8, 2013, NASA, http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang/, accessed November 5, 2013.
[iii] Big Bang Theory – An Overview, All About Science, http://www.big-bang-theory.com/, accessed November 5, 2013.
[iv] The Big Bang, last updated March 8, 2013, NASA, http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang/, accessed November 5, 2013.
[v] Tests of Big Bang: The CMB, last updated June 24, 2011, NASA, http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/bb_tests_cmb.html, accessed November 5, 2013.
[vi] The Big Bang, last updated March 8, 2013, NASA, http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang/, accessed November 5, 2013.
[vii] Roger Penrose, Difficulties with inflationary cosmology, NASA, NSF, Texas Academy of Science, et al., Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics, 14th, Dallas, TX, Dec. 11-16, 1988 New York Academy of Sciences, Annals(ISSN 0077-8923), vol. 571, 1989, p. 249-264., http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1989NYASA.571..249P, accessed November 5, 2013.
Sean Carroll, Cosmic Variance: The Eternally Existing, Self-Reproducing, Frequently Puzzling Inflationary Universe, October 21, 2011, Discover Magazine Blog, http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/10/21/the-eternally-existing-self-reproducing-frequently-puzzling-inflationary-universe/, accessed November 5, 2013.
[viii] Big Bang Theory – An Overview, All About Science, http://www.big-bang-theory.com/, accessed November 5, 2013.
[ix] Steve Nadis, What Came Before the Big Bang? October 10, 2013, Discover Magazine, http://discovermagazine.com/2013/september/13-starting-point, accessed November 5, 2013.
[x] Did God Create The Universe?, August 7, 2011, Curiosity, Discovery Channel, http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/did-god-create-the-universe.htm, accessed July 18, 2014.
[xi] The Big Bang, last updated March 8, 2013, NASA, http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang/, accessed November 5, 2013.
[xii] Physical Definition of Time, The Anderson Institute, http://www.andersoninstitute.com/physical-definition-of-time.htm, accessed November 5, 2013.
[xiii] Steve Nadis, What Came Before the Big Bang? October 10, 2013, Discover Magazine, http://discovermagazine.com/2013/september/13-starting-point, accessed November 5, 2013.
[xiv] Tom Frame, Losing my religion, 2009, UNSW Press, p. 137-141.
Stephen Hawking, quoting Carl Sagan, in the introduction to A Brief History in Time, 1988, p. X.