“Astronomers Just Detected the Beginning of the Big Bang”, “Big Bang’s Smoking Gun Found”, “Astronomers Discover First Direct Proof of the Big Bang Expansion” and “Major Discovery: ‘Smoking Gun’ for Universe’s Incredible Big Bang Expansion Found” were some of the headlines on Monday 17 March 2014 around the web-based news media.
One article described it as follows:
Radio astronomers operating telescopes at the South Pole said Monday that they’ve discovered evidence that the universe ballooned out of the Big Bang due to a massive gravitational force generated by space itself. The discovery is being called the “smoking gun” for the Big Bang theory, and it could have huge implications for our understanding of our universes [sic] (and possible others).
Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist John M. Kovac and his team detected gravitational waves—tiny ripples in the fabric of space—that could be the first real evidence for the ‘inflation’ hypothesis of how the universe basically bubbled into being nearly 14 billion years ago. The discovery also suggests that our 14 billion light-years of space aren’t all that’s out there—our universe could be a tiny corner of something much, much bigger.
It is often claimed by anti-biblical creationists that believing the literal Creation account as described in the first 11 chapters of Genesis is the same as believing in pseudosciences like alchemy, astrology, and even a flat Earth. The reason they say this is because some galaxies are billions of light-years distant from us in the universe, so how could light travel to Earth in the 6 thousand years available since the Creation? Surely light could only travel 6000 light-years in 6000 years. That is not even outside our galaxy. This is then called a light-travel-time problem. But the most accepted model describing the origin of the universe, the hot big bang inflation model has a light-travel-time problem. It is called the horizon problem.
The horizon problem can be understood best from the illustration (left). First imagine two points on the last scattering surface (LSS) of the big bang fireball that were initially much closer together. We now allegedly see radiation in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) coming from these points on that putative source 13.8 billion years after the universe has expanded by an expansion factor of about 1100. According to the theory, by the time the radiation gets to our vicinity in the universe it has cooled by the same expansion factor, and we measure its temperature in the CMB at almost a uniform temperature of 2.72548±0.00057 K (-270 °C), which is uniform to about 1 part in 100,000. That is, it is at the same temperature for all directions in space. It is extremely uniform. So how is that possible?
Here I review an article originally published in “Chinese Today.” The English translation of the article appears below with my comments (in brown) interspersed.
Seeing God in the Big Bang
Tai L. Chow1
Published in Chinese on Chinese Today #620, December 2013, pp. 8-13
Translated into English by Daiqing Yuan, Dec 11, 2013
Reviewed by Dr John G. Hartnett, PhD (physics) Dec 12, 2013