In the 1920s came the development of both the theory (from Einstein’s general relativity theory) and the observations that (apparently) meant that the Universe is expanding. Edwin Hubble made observations of nearby galaxies and he interpreted those observations to mean that they were rapidly receding from our point in space. That discovery seemed to settle two big questions of that time: Is our Galaxy all there is? And, Is the Universe static or expanding?
Later in another blog I will discuss more on Hubble’s observations and his interpretation. Previously, I discussed the issue of static or expanding in regards to the Universe.
The grapefruit beginning
The notion of the initial beginning of the big bang, or “explosion” as some call it, comes from the idea that if you were to wind time backwards eventually all the matter and energy in the universe would be concentrated into one point. (More correctly it is not an explosion but a smooth expansion from a point of zero dimension.) Abbe Georges Lemaître, a Jesuit priest who was also a mathematician, in 1931 called the beginning “the Cosmic Egg,” which exploded “at the moment of the creation.”1
This is a common misperception most people have, i.e. starting at one place, in the past, a very big explosion, so powerful, occurred that it caused the universe to expand. But this representation of the idea is wrong. Even professional websites2 can give the wrong impression, presenting the Big Bang as the idea that the Universe began from a region smaller than the size of a grapefruit.
“We can trace the history of our universe back about 14 billion years, to a fiery period known as the Big Bang. At that time, the universe was extremely hot and dense. In fact, all the matter we observe today – out to the furthest galaxies we can see – was packed into a space smaller than a grapefruit. Ever since the Big Bang, our universe has been expanding and cooling, allowing galaxies, stars, planets, and life to form.”2
Though this statement is technically correct, the average untrained reader would think it means that the Universe began from a region smaller than the size of a grapefruit. But this only refers to the matter and energy in the observable Universe. That means it only includes the matter and energy seen today in our Universe. In addition, the “grapefruit” only refers to the Universe at a moment in time a little while after the initial “bang,” the beginning at time zero.
Today’s popular Big Bang Theory has the whole Universe starting from nothing. I mean “nothing” at all; no matter, no energy, no space, no time. Depending on the type of universe its proponents “believe” in, either it is finite or infinite in size. If it is infinite in size then the universe must have started in an infinite sized “grapefruit.” Something infinite cannot start out finite in size. There’s a big problem there. How can something start off without any dimensions and 14 billion years later, a finite period of time, become infinite in size? It can’t. The issue of generation of space-time from nothing may be a technical issue with the right physics but transitioning from finite to infinite after the expansion is running is not even in the same category.
If their universe is finite in size, it is of the form where it has no centre and no edge. The common analogy given is the surface of a balloon. As you blow up a balloon the surface expands and if you imagine galaxies are attached to the surface they would all move away from each other, yet there is no centre and no edge. You could travel around the balloon and never find the edge, just like travelling around the surface of the globe. Of course the balloon surface is 2 dimensional and we live in a 3D universe. The notion of curvature is now introduced. It is reasonably easy to implement mathematically, but our human brains cannot think in 4D. For this idea to be correct you would need to curve a 3D universe into another spatial dimension, referred to as a 5th hyper-dimension. (Time is generally listed as the 4th dimension.)
But this presents another problem. The big bang allegedly occurred everywhere, not just at one point in space far away, because it was “space” that expanded. There was nothing outside that space. There is no “outside.”
Nowadays the most favoured model is an infinite universe. So how could a finite bounded universe become an infinite universe? It just couldn’t.
The first cause
Then there is the problem of the “explosion” or start of the Universe from “nothing.” Firstly, what caused it to explode? If there is no Creator then there is no First Cause. You could hypothetically construct a cause before the Big Bang using some mathematical arguments with some new exotic theory. For example, some suggest colliding higher-dimensional membranes.
This has been proposed with M Theory, a form of String Theory in as many as 11 dimensions (or even 28 in one form). Famously Leonard Susskind labelled the “M” in M Theory as meaning ‘monstrous’. M Theory and its cousin, String Theory, are not physics but mathematics, which lack any predictive power in the real world and hence are untestable. This seems to me to be a grab for a solution, to find an uncaused cause, because the Big Bang needs a first cause.
Some professing Christians have unwisely said this Big Bang creator must have been God, the biblical Creator. He started it off. Many such ideas have Him as a very impotent god, who had nothing much to do after that. It seems they are proposing Him as some sort of ‘god of the gaps.’ Modern Big Bang Theory is an attempt to describe the Universe without the Creator. It has no God. The Big God Theory, from Genesis chapter 1 in the Bible, describes the origin of the Universe as the work of the Creator (see Psalms 19:1), who has a great interest in His Creation. He is a God whom we can know personally. He is the great I AM, who was always there, the uncreated First Cause, and we can trust what He says, because He never lies (Titus 1:2).
The Goldilocks universe
Ask Prof. Stephen Hawking (theoretical physicist and cosmologist from Cambridge University), How did the Universe begin? Many scientists would regard this as one of the most profound questions of all. But to Stephen Hawking, the question doesn’t even exist. He claims that the Universe had no unique beginning. Instead, it began in just about every way imaginable (and maybe some that aren’t). You see, he utterly rejects the biblical history of the Universe and claims that the Universe may have had many beginnings and that we sort of, in some bizarre way, see some of them. Sounds like a religious belief … eh? He says:3
“The theory also suggests an answer to the puzzle of why some of the ‘constants of nature’ seem finely tuned to a value that allows life to evolve. If we start from where we are now, it is obvious that the current Universe must ‘select’ those histories that lead to these conditions. Otherwise we simply wouldn’t be here. This idea is often called the anthropic principle.”
In astrophysics and cosmology, the Anthropic Principle (from the Greek word anthropos, meaning “human”) is the philosophical idea that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it.4 Some of its proponents claim that it explains why the Universe has the age and the fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life. As a result, they believe it is unremarkable that the universe’s fundamental constants happen to fall within the narrow range thought to be compatible with life.5
The idea is promoted in the book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle by John D. Barrow, a cosmologist, and Frank J. Tipler, a theosophist and mathematical physicist. The anthropic principle has its roots in mysticism and ultimately in giaism. Giaism is connected to evolution and Darwinism–some people are called Giaists. They ultimately believe life, by evolution, was inevitable. The Universe must eventually create the right conditions for life.
It comes in different forms, but all are an attempt to eliminate the biblical Creator. Some suggest a multiverse, or bubble universe, where each individual bubble or universe has different physical properties but because we are in this one, observing this one, it had the right conditions for life to have evolved (as they think). Some call it the Goldilocks universe. Not too hot, not too cold but just right–perfectly fine-tuned–otherwise we would not be here and could not be discussing this.
Because they reject the creation of the Universe by the uncreated First Cause, the Creator God, Yahweh, they have constructed a paradigm whereby we live in only one of an infinite number of universes in the multiverse. In those other universes the laws of physics and the physical parameters of nature are totally different, formed by bubbles emerging from some higher dimensional quantum foam. Then, according to it proponents, because we are here discussing this problem it proves we live in the universe that had just the right conditions for life to have evolved. But George F. R. Ellis observed,6
“…that no possible astronomical observations can ever see those other universes. The arguments are indirect at best. And even if the multiverse exists, it leaves the deep mysteries of nature unexplained.”
In Stephen Hawking’s universe, the universe is the creator. He invokes the notion of quantum uncertainty from modern particle physics, from which he concludes that the universe began with many possible histories, in fact, from an ensemble of histories, so that when we make observations of the past we sample several of those histories. Thus he concludes that the Universe had no unique beginning. This highlights the true nature of the study of origins. The past cannot be repeated and once God is rejected there is no limit to what the mind can conceive, and all this is to avoid the Creator.
But in the actual universe that we observe, Yahweh, the LORD God, created everything (John 1:3). According to Genesis chapter 1 He took six ordinary earth rotation days, and that was about 6000 years ago as measured by Earth clocks.
So let’s summarize:
- The Big Bang Theory is godless, part of so-called cosmic evolution, without any plan or purpose.
- The Big God Theory, the biblical creation account, involves the divine Creator with a plan and purpose.
- G. Lemaître, The Beginning of the World from the Point of View of Quantum Theory, Nature 127(3210) p. 706, 1931 doi:10.1038/127706b0
- The Big Bang was the earliest known event in the universe, http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/seuforum/bb_whatwas.htm (accessed 26/01/2014)
- Quoted in http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/01/did-alternative.html, http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/01/did-alternative.html and http://martin-olson.com/pdfs/Hawking%20on%20Universe%20Origin.pdf (accessed 26/01/2014). Originally published in Hawking, S.W. & Hertog, T., Phys. Rev. D 73, 123527 (2006)
- Anthropic principle, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle (accessed 26/01/2014)
- http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/cosmo/lectures/lec24.html (accessed 26/01/2014)
- George F. R. Ellis, Does the multiverse really exist? Proof of parallel universes radically different from our own may still lie beyond the domain of science, August 2011, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-the-multiverse-really-exist/ (accessed 26/01/2014)
Also available in French L’effondrement du Big Bang