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Josh Walter

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Do you believe in the "Big Bang Theory?" Why or why not?

The Big Bang theory claims that between ten and fifteen billion years ago, the Universe as we know it came into existence when a point of inconceivable density violently exploded and began rapidly expanding at speeds that may have surpassed that of light *, subsequently creating out of the cloud of hydrogen gas the first stars, planets, solar systems, and galaxies. Though many support this theory, there are also many people questioning the process of nothing existing, a sudden, inexplicable rapid expansion of a single point, and the creation of absolutely everything. According to the Big Bang theory, the universe is somewhere between ten and fifteen billion years old, but, based on countless observations, there are stars and galaxies older than the universe - how is that possible? The Big Bang theory is called a "theory" because all theories have the potential to be disproved, and I encourage you to keep this in mind while debating the validity of this popular theory of the creation of our universe.

* Though Einstein's Theory of Relativity prohibits anything within space from traveling at speeds faster than that of light, it does not define the maximum speed at which the fabric of space itself may expand.

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    Jun 28 2011: I accept the Big Bang theory for what it actually says rather than what it is claimed to say about our universe. As I understand, anything before the Planck limit will be unknowable as long as quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity are not reconciled. Thus the Big Bang does not say if it was the first of its kind, if matter came out of true nothingness or any sort of assertions that would require us to see beyond the Planck limit.
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    Jun 28 2011: I don't like when people say that the Big Bang was the origin of our universe. That is as far back as our current models have gotten anywhere near predicting so far but the "Origin" part is in a big black box that we don't really know about yet.
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      Jun 30 2011: As far as I know, no scientist claim that the Big Bang was the origin of our universe. This model aims to describe the early development of the universe, not how it started or what started it.
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      Jun 30 2011: The amount of information that exist in the universe, in comparison, to human made theories, facts, and philosophies proves only we are thinking but still not anywhere near all the answers, yet.

      Big bang is looking in the right direction, it was created with all the data we have in relation to information that relates to about a fraction of a fraction in the universe. The big bang cannot be completely accurate as ONE bang. No.

      This universe is far bigger than that! Multi-bangs! Constant bangs... We do not know, we are still so very primitive when asking such big questions outside of philosophy. Cold hard facts, witnessing the process and what not.

      There is no cut and dry unless you know ALL the facts.

      There is a research done now suggesting black holes could have predated the theory of the big bang. I'm not science literate for astronomy but, it is something to look into.

      Never eliminate the unlikely fully, because it could be "- like" the unlikely.

      Why worry about how it all began anyways? Worry about how it will end!
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    Jun 29 2011: I am going to tell you about an idea I have. I am not connected with the scientific community but I do read a lot and find physics tremendouly interesting. I find a lot of information on black holes where gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape. I am wondering where the black hole ends or does it ? If it is a cone and it ends in a singularity,,,Could that result in another big bang when it reaches critical mass ? Hawking finally admitted that information is not lost so what are the implications of that ? Please don't ridicule me just tell me why that could not be. There is probably something known that would negate that.................
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      Jun 29 2011: Anyone who would ridicule you for that post needs a good clip round the ear :)
      You've said nothing irrational, merely stated the boundary of your knowledge and proposed some ideas based on it.
      My knowledge of these things is similar yours I'm afraid so I can't enlighten you. However, I'm pretty sure I've heard of some fringe(or perhaps not so fringe) theories that suggest exactly what you have. That black holes infact spawn new universes.
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        Jun 29 2011: I've had a few similar thoughts, Helen. If at the center of a black hole is an inconceivably massive and dense ball, could that ball not tear through the fabric of spacetime into a state of non-existence, only to exist as a separate universe once it began to rapidly expand? That would also support the multiverse theory, as well as the theory of an infinitely expanding universe!
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      Jun 30 2011: This is actually something that I have also thought myself. It has been suggested that black holes could indeed be responsible for budding off new universes. It's a fairly intuitive concept to think of, given that black holes end with a singularity whereas the Big Bang begins with one. It would be interesting so see where this hypothesis goes.
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        Jun 30 2011: You seem to get attacked a lot by irrational morons Mattieu. You must be doing something right :)
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          Jun 30 2011: agreed.

          "If you have no enemies, you never stood up for something in life"
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          Jun 30 2011: It's the same guy on a different account. TED admin usually catch up with him after a few hours. Meanwhile I get sympathy upvotes. His insults are childish, but I guess his grasp of either the English and French language is so poor he can't really do better than call me stupid. You can flag a person's profile if anybody's interested.
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        Jul 17 2011: I was very interested in the Black Hole thing for a long time and about six years ago I e-mailed Stephen Hawking about my idea. Of course I never got a reply. That was a post on his site that replies would not be written. But at least nobody said anything to the contrary., I am familiar with the Planck Epoch and I wonder if that will forever remain a mystery to us ? Thanks for the references to Brian Greene (:>)
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    Jun 28 2011: Yes I do.
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    Jun 28 2011: Question ? Is our universe the first universe to exist ?
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      Jun 28 2011: So far, it is impossible to say, but it has been suggested that our universe might be part of a cycle of universes in which case it might not be the first.
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        Jun 28 2011: I agree, he's a brilliant theoretical physicist and writer - also check out The Elegant Universe, interesting stuff!
    • Jul 1 2011: interesting question , the process may or may not be cyclic but ours is definitely not the first one. Because if something reached a singularity ( or the critical mass state) then something must have sparked the event (I was just stating it as an expansion to the black hole concept of universe creation) !
    • Jul 13 2011: "Question ? Is our universe the first universe to exist ? "
      i do not know exact what scientists say about this questions.
      but philosophers are two category.
      some say only this universe exist.
      some other say our universe is in a chain of universes and other universes existed before.
      also please consider existence of some universes without time and do not assume time for all universes.
      please expand your think beyond limitations of time.
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        Jul 13 2011: I am not a scientist. I can only tell you what I read or hear. Because I believe in a life after death, I would think that somewhere time is endless. I have no idea how that might work. But I consider that a possibility.
  • Jun 28 2011: "Do you believe in the "Big Bang Theory?""
    I accept is as a scientific theory
    but I do not accept it as the creator of universe [in fact as a kind of God]
    Indeed it has other cause.
  • Jul 27 2011: Of course the begining could be the result of several dimension mergeing and combineing their mass and then becomeing unstable as a result of phase shift locking,but thats if you believe that multiple dimensions exist.(These are just my opinions and theories and in my mind that makes it neither right nor wrong).
  • Jul 27 2011: the universe might recycle its self in a sense.
  • Jul 26 2011: question:what if the universe collasped in on itself once before and then re expanded,a sort of cycle.(just my opinion)
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    Jul 13 2011: I guess someone may have an answer for this; it's a bit basic.
    As I understand it the BB consisted of hydrogen & helium atoms racing away from a point at great speed. Given our existing gas laws (gas will expand to fill the volume allocated to it); how did the gas 'clump' to form stars etc ? We cannot get hydrogen to 'clump' in the lab, what was different?

    :-)
  • Jul 13 2011: the Big Bang theory has some assumptions including this:
    The Big Bang theory depends on two major assumptions: the universality of physical laws, and the cosmological principle.[citation needed] The cosmological principle states that on large scales the Universe is homogeneous and isotropic.

    These ideas were initially taken as postulates, but today there are efforts to test each of them. For example, the first assumption has been tested by observations showing that largest possible deviation of the fine structure constant over much of the age of the universe is of order 10−5.[43] Also, general relativity has passed stringent tests on the scale of the solar system and binary stars while extrapolation to cosmological scales has been validated by the empirical successes of various aspects of the Big Bang theory.[notes 4]

    If the large-scale Universe appears isotropic as viewed from Earth, the cosmological principle can be derived from the simpler Copernican principle, which states that there is no preferred (or special) observer or vantage point. To this end, the cosmological principle has been confirmed to a level of 10−5 via observations of the CMB.[notes 5] The Universe has been measured to be homogeneous on the largest scales at the 10% level.[44]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang#Underlying_assumptions
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    Jul 4 2011: Given that the big bang presumably started as a point of light, which way do we look to see it?

    I kind of understand the theoretical concept of being part of the 'surface of a balloon', but there still must have been a point of light that is theoretically observable, even if space is curved around it. And what lies at the centre of the balloon? is that another dimension we have yet to discover?

    Hope these questions are not too naive!
  • Jul 1 2011: Scientific facts be where they are , the idea of NOTHING -> EVERYTHING seems a little dull. If the rate of expansion is faster than the rate of speed of light then an illusion is created of speed of light as the fastest speed because whats beyond the photons and between the dynamically expanding boundary, still as NON EXISTING , which is like saying "there was nothing and now it is there" , however this does not explain the temperatures and mass density! . I am not a physicist but do find this stuff interesting so i read a lot , it's just my point of view. But on the other hand plenty of evidences support the topic of universes being spawned at the other end of some super massive black holes . Come to think of it , imagine the other side of a black hole.... "NOTHING -> EVERYTHING".
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    Jun 29 2011: It might be true that "Big bang" has occurred, but it is obvious that it was not the beginning. Even is big bang turned a single point into a universe, where did that single point come from? If something else caused that single point to exist, what created that "something"? Just think about it.
    How about this: Universe has no beginning nor the end, and time doesn't exist since it has no beginning.
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    Jun 28 2011: I believe in the big bang theory. It seems worthy of my trust. To believe is not the same as know. I also believe in "God" that had no beginning, is and always will be. Imagine a circle and you will have a picture of my concept of "God".
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    Jun 28 2011: I too have no problem with the Big Bang. As a Christian, I do believe in God, and I do believe God created everything...and I also believe, even God's gotta start somewhere! Kaboom.
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    Jun 28 2011: I accept it as the most plausible theory for the origin of our universe.

    (The estimate is 13.7 billion years)