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Edited by Roark: 7/25/2013 5:37:53 PM

The Origins of the Universe: Understanding the Big Bang Theory

[b][i]Disclaimer: I'm an Agnostic[/i][/b] [i]Often times I hear people who lack understanding in the subject of the Big Bang Theory and the philosophical understanding of the origin of our universe immediately jump to the conclusion that the Big Bang Theory proves that God does not exist. I'd like to clear up some of these misconceptions.[/i] [b]1. The Big Bang Theory- Summary:[/b] There are a couple different theories that attempt to explain the beginnings/origin of our universe. To this day, the Big Bang Theory is one of the only ones that is widely accepted and is backed by multiple pieces of evidence and is philosophically sound (an important factor often left out). The Big Bang Theory states that before matter and time existed, there was a singularity that rapidly expanded. Contrary to popular belief, there was no "bang," i.e. there wasn't an explosion, just a massive and rapid expansion of the singularity. This singularity would not have existed in our universe, rather, our universe exists within this singularity that rapidly expanded. This singularity would have been infinitely small, infinitely hot, and infinitely dense. This singularity rapidly expanded and cooled. [b]2. The Big Bang Theory- Evidence:[/b] The first evidence we have for the Big Bang Theory is Hubble's Law, which shows that galaxies are moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance. This supports the claim that the universe is expanding. This is also supported by the discovery of Redshift (, which also indicates the universe is expanding. The second bit of evidence concerns the rapid expansion and cooling of our universe. If the universe was very small and hot at one point and expanded and cooled, there should be trace amounts of radiation that still exist in space. This was confirmed in 1965, when two Radioastronomers discovered a 2.725 degree Kelvin "Cosmic Microwave Background" radiation (CMB) which pervades the observable universe. This indicates and supports the theory that at one point our universe was extremely hot and has since cooled. The third supporting detail, which I won't get into here since it is quite lengthy (feel free to do research on your own), has to do with the abundance of certain elements within our universe, namely hydrogen and helium. A certain amount of these would need to be present to support the Big Bang Theory, and those amounts have been confirmed by scientists. [b]3. Implications- Our Universe Has A Beginning (The Scientific Case):[/b] The Big Bang Theory helps explain how our universe started. It doesn't explain what created it. The singularity existed before our universe did. We still do not know where it came from. If our universe is finite, then it had a beginning, and something had to create that beginning (sentient or not). Scientifically, all evidence points to our universe being finite: The Big Bang Theory and the First and Second Law of Thermodynamics. [b]4. Implications- Our Universe Has A Beginning (The Philosophical Case):[/b] An important part of understanding our universe does come from philosophy. It helps us to understand logically what is most likely to be possible. We've already established that our universe is contingent. What this means is that if our universe is contingent, then it depended on something else for its existence. The scientific data we have and that I have presented in the previous section support that our universe is contingent, i.e. that it depended on something else for its existence. What are the implications of this? If our universe is contingent, then it depended upon something else for its existence, that that thing is either also contingent, or it is non-contingent (doesn't depend on anything else for its existence). The easiest way for me to demonstrate this to you is like this: [u][i]Scenario 1:[/i][/u] Contingent (our world) < Contingent < Contingent < Contingent < ad infinitum In Scenario 1, our world depends on something else for its existence, and the thing that caused it to come into existence is also contingent. That thing then depended upon another thing for its existence. This chain is called infinite regression, and is not logically possible. [u][i]Scenario 2:[/i][/u] Contingent (our world) < Non-Contingent In Scenario 2, our world depends on something else for its existence. The thing that caused our world to come into existence is non-contingent. It doesn't depend on anything else for its existence, it has always existed. This does not, however, imply anything other than that. It does not mean that this non contingent thing is a god or sentient in any way. [b]5. Summary:[/b] Our world is most likely contingent. Our world, logically, would have to have been created by something that is non-contingent. This does not prove god/gods exist. The Big Bang Theory does not cancel out the possibility of god/gods existing. It is possible god/gods exist. We have no evidence to support any certain side. When it comes to Christianity or any religion, the impetus is on them to prove that it is their god that created the universe. We already know that our universe was created by something, the question remains "What?"

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