Tuesday, July 12, 2005

With a Bang?

How did the universe come into existance - is the BiG Bang a viable theory?

I am not an iconoclast just to be an academic rebel. However, when I see a question that needs to be asked, and isn't, it bugs me. However, just recently, mainstream astronomers considered a heretical question of sufficient importance, to justify an entire conference (though as far as I am concerned if the location is right, any reason is good)

The question is, Did the Big Bang happen? Contrary to popular conception, not everyone believes it, and there are some questions that need to be addressed before we can rest with confidence - if such a thing is ever truly proper in science.

The 3 most important questions are the horizon problem, the smoothness problem and the flatness problem. These are the ones that about every admits are somewhat problematic, though this is currently explained away by precision variable setting. In other words, if we set things up just exactly right, then we get a usable universe, otherwise life would be impossible. So either, we find a compelling reason for things to be exactly this way, we involve God, or we find a more robust theory. Personally, I suppose God could have done it, but I suspect He would agree we need something more robust. Perhaps some of these will go away with better observations, but that is ignoring and not really addressing what observations we have.

The Horizon Problem
The universe has a very isotropic temperature, but the speed of light limits how much a region can interact with other regions. It is like a cup of hot chocolate that is thrown into the air. As the spray from the cup expands out, each drop will cool down slightly differently. But what we observe is too uniform.

The Flatness Problem
The universe is almost exactly, if not precisely flat, within one part in 10^15. That is what the measurements say, any way.

The Smoothness Problem
The Structure of the Universe is unusually constant. While there are some dense regions, and some voids, for the most part, it is pretty uniform.

That isn't all. I could post a lot more. Other problems include, the (lack of) existence of antimatter and magnetic monopoles, Dark Matter, and Dark Energy. Now, I have not given the opposition space to rebutt my arguments, and remind us of what evidence there is for the Big Bang - there is evidence. Alas, in Science we get evidence and never proof, and don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise. So I am going to leave a few links for interested readers.

Wikipedia Nice balanced discussion

Top Ten Problems with the Big Bang http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/top10BBproblems.asp
Here are ten problems considered significant by this author.

The Big Bang Never Happened I have not had time to investigate this one, but it looks interesting.

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