Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Terminology Tuesday: Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory is based on the observation that all the stars and galaxies of the universe are in motion and not stationary. The American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889–1953) discovered in 1929 that the light of all visible stars was redshifted. Hence the movement of the myriad of galaxies is not random but everything is moving further away. If all galaxies are now racing away from one another then at one point all matter must have been clustered together in an infinitely dense space and its present motion might best be explained by an original explosion of matter. Hence the term Big Bang. The 1965 discovery by Arno Penzias (b. 1933) and Robert Wilson (b. 1936) of the background radiation produced by the intense heat of this "explosion" served to further confirm the theory. The Big Bang Theory brought to an end the idea of a static universe and made respectable again discussions of the beginning and possible creation of the universe. 1

8 comments :

Anonymous said...

It should also be mentioned that the term "Big Bang" was coined by English Astronomer Fred Hoyle as a derogatory term for the theory.

Anonymous said...

I keep coming back to the "must have been clustered" phrase. Scripture states, "He made the stars also..." Since He is omnipotent, what if the universe began with a "big bang," but not in a cluster, i.e., the stars were multiple light-years apart from the beginning and have continued moving? Bill Slater (bill@billslaterministries.org)

Anonymous said...

For christian apologetic proponents of the Big Bang, I think it needs to be stressed that the Big Bang as it is defined in the actual theory is NOT what is meant apologetically. Since the term is tossed around loosely, too many unbelievers think christian apologists believe it as it is theorized. According to scripture it didn't happen as the theory states. Do I believe there was a Big Bang? Yes. I believe there must have been a lot of bangs(maybe even one big one), noises, flashes and such when God spoke and was creating. :-)

Lee said...

Hi Brian,

I'm in a picky mood - please forgive me, but if we are talking physics here and I hope you would like to be corrected when required.

I know I would.

the light of all visible stars was redshifted

Incorrect.

Firstly all the stars visible by the naked eye (or even a small telescope) are within our own galaxy - the Milky Way.

Although some may be red shifted, others are not. None of them formed part of Hubble’s' study.

Of course, light from other stars can be seen such as in the large and small magellanic cloud, M31 (Andromeda galaxy) but all of these are within our local group - M31 is in fact blue shifted and heading towards us. It will 'hit' our galaxy in a few billion years.

Now what is true is that all galaxies not part of our local group are red shifted and are moving away from us. This is the evidence for an expanding universe. (FYI Evidence for an expanding and accelerating universe came alone in the late 1990’s)

all matter must have been clustered together in an infinitely dense space

I think it would be better to speak of energy rather than matter at this point, but that is just me.

As for 'infinitely dense' - probably not literally. The infinite is due to the failure of the model/theory and not expected in reality. This is Einstein’s model which we all know is flawed.

It's all quantum baby :-)

Hence the term Big Bang.

As 'Anonymous' said... "coined by English Astronomer Fred Hoyle as a derogatory term for the theory."

Don’t place any value in the name…

The 1965 discovery by Arno Penzias (b. 1933) and Robert Wilson

Something they were not looking for and did not understand at the time what it was

You know they even thought it might have been bird cr*p that was causing the interference?

And for this they get the Noble prize...

The Big Bang Theory brought to an end the idea of a static universe

It was dead years before – some people just didn’t realise it. It wasn't the first problem with such an idea. Of course you have heard of Olbers' paradox? "Why is the night sky black?"

This was a question asked in the early 1800's - and probably the question is older than that. It was these questions that killed the static universe idea.

made respectable again discussions of the beginning and possible creation of the universe

No it didn't... not for the theist, certainly not for the Christian.

The "First cause" is still a joke when said by any Christian or theist in my opinion.

I could grant you the deistic god - there is your “first cause”... now what for the Christian ‘argument’?

Take care

Lee

Lee said...

Hi Bill

the stars were multiple light-years apart from the beginning and have continued moving?

This would not explain the observations...

The further away the galaxy, the faster it is moving away from us.

Explain that...

Lee

Richard Kloosman said...

I Have a question, how can we detect microwave background radiation if the universe is supposedly 15 billion years old? Does this radiation not dissipate? How long will the radiation last to be measurable? Is there a decay rate attached to the radiation? I believe in the straight forward reading of the Bible, God created in six literal days, this is apparently a joke for many Christians, but God said what He said in manner He said it so...

Background radiation makes then sense for me in a young universe. Because how long does an explosion's effect last?

Craig Cottongim said...

I think the Big bang is good for the Christian faith!

http://craigcottongim.blogspot.com/2014/03/who-made-made-waves-in-big-bang.html

Ex N1hilo said...

Craig,

Christianity doesn't need any particular scientific theory. They come and go. God's word remains.

BTW, I find it interesting that the "discovery" involves matter and energy allegedly moving faster than the speed of light. If this is the case, and the cosmologists believe it is; (I'm agnostic about it) then they are admitting there was a time the laws of physics changed. The supernatural foot is in the door.

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