Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 01:03 am
Who here subscribes to the big bang theory for the origin of the universe? I do subscribe to it for various reasons. I won't expound.

Why do you?

Why do you not?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 11,634 • Replies: 153
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jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 01:21 am
@Shostakovich phil,
I think the case for it occurring is pretty solid. What intrigues me, however, is that it might be only one of many. In which case we are back to an eternal universe, are we not?

Mind you none of this is news to Indian esotericism. There are plenty of creation models in the Tantras which symbolise just such a cosmology in terms like 'the inbreathing and outbreathing of Brahman'. I will dig up some references if there is any interest.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 08:43 am
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;88204 wrote:
Who here subscribes to the big bang theory for the origin of the universe? I do subscribe to it for various reasons. I won't expound.

Why do you?

Why do you not?


The discovery of cosmic background radiation helped advance the theory, but there are still many unanswered questions, and I think that any theory about the past is subject to imagination and how it fits what we continue to observe. So at sometime in the future, I am quite sure new observations will trigger a new theory of where it all began, and so is the human nature.

However, I do believe in the cyclical nature of the universe since that manifests around me every day.

Rich
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 09:11 am
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;88204 wrote:
Who here subscribes to the big bang theory for the origin of the universe? I do subscribe to it for various reasons. I won't expound.
The Big Bang theory traces history back to a point when all matter was contained within a small, dense singularity.

If you want to call this the origin of the universe that's a pretty abitrary judgement as far as I see it, the singularity may have been the fist thing, or it may have arisen from something else.

So whilst I generally subscribe to the Big Bang theory, I am yet to be convinced that there isn't more to be discovered about what preceded the small, dense singularity, or even if the universe necessarly existed as a singularity.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 09:32 am
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;88204 wrote:
Who here subscribes to the big bang theory for the origin of the universe? I do subscribe to it for various reasons. I won't expound.

Why do you?

Why do you not?
It makes sense and is widely accepted.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 09:38 am
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;88204 wrote:
Who here subscribes to the big bang theory for the origin of the universe? I do subscribe to it for various reasons. I won't expound.

Why do you?

Why do you not?


From what I've seen, read and believe I know about it, it strikes me as the most credible theory at present. I wouldn't put my heart and soul into it - speculating on phenomena at such mind-boggling distances is problematic. What's more, now we're trying to turn back the clock billions of years. So yea, it sounds good - and I believe it has strong merit - but I think it prudent we keep it in perspective.

Thanks
Shostakovich phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 02:35 pm
@Khethil,
I'm surprised by the concensus here. I've read a few books on the subject, like John Gribbin's "In Search of the Big Bang," and a book by another author: "The First Three Big Bangs." The theory gives an explanation for how and why certain elements formed and in what ratios. But my interest is I guess prejudiced for the theory. I have an answer to Immanuel Kant -who wanted something a priori, and objectively valid as a solution to his first antinomy. I'm expounding my solution to Kant in another philosophy forum, but it proposes a series of expanding and contracting stages prior to the big bang, and in which the material from which the universe was formed went through an intensification beginning from a simplest of all possible states to the singularity, and a point of infinite density. The driving force was itself Absolute, but the solution provides definitions that I'm not going into here. The solution agrees with the big bang model. The other thing is, the solution overcomes Kant's first antinomy, and it says the big bang had to have happened ... it was a 'necessary' event ... not a freak accident. One day soon I'll post the argument. It's a pure philosophical argument, called the 'Causal Argument,' for short, and I'll present it for open debate when I get the time.

I'm also interested in hearing more of the mystical side as posted above. I try and keep an open, but critical mind, when considering the subject. Incidentally, wasn't it Fred Hoyle who first expounded the theory, based on astronomical evidence of redshifts etc., and he then denounced the theory, and basically came to the conclusion that 'if you can't see it it didn't happen.' Odd that he fathered the theory and then argued against it. Or do I have my scientists mixed up?
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 03:08 pm
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;88512 wrote:
wasn't it Fred Hoyle who first expounded the theory, based on astronomical evidence of redshifts etc., and he then denounced the theory, and basically came to the conclusion that 'if you can't see it it didn't happen.' Odd that he fathered the theory and then argued against it. Or do I have my scientists mixed up?


You are right, and it was Fred who coined the term, "big bang" but he didn't intend for it to be used as the theory's title. Some even speculate that he meant it to be a derogatory term since he was still a supporter of the "steady state" theory.

One thing that gets seldom mentioned as to why he dismissed Hubble's findings. When you look at some galaxies that are mostly blue shifted you can still see a red shift near their centers. They couldn't account for why there would be this discrepancy but we now know why this happens. Due to the gravitational field of "black holes" near the center of galaxies can cause the light to stretch more than the light of the rest of the galaxy, thus causing a redder shift.
0 Replies
 
sneer
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 04:39 pm
@Shostakovich phil,
Our knowledge seems to support the fact, we are sitting on the rotating rock, that moves with our galactics in some way, it even accelerates all the time. If I try to imagine this moving mass, the span of the space we went (I know, it's really beyond capabilities of my brain) and how small is our rock when compared even to visible Universe - I cannot neglect the very Big Bang at the beginning of our journey.

Today's physics is supporting this theory pretty well. We know there are black holes, we can observe escaping galactics, we could prove experimentally most known steps of the expanding process.

I had only one doubt about that, as I tried to step back to the very beginning; what was before? Physics says, there was no time and there was nothing, what isn't acceptable for me. Recently I've found very impressive explanation in buddhism (I'm agnostic though) - from simple assumptions buddhists say, there is a cycle of big bangs, without beginning and without end. Otherwise it cannot exist*.

*If I'm wrong in my understanding, please correct. My knowledge about buddhism is poor, but this brilliant explanation I've found in "Quantum and the Lotus" book.
Shostakovich phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 10:42 pm
@sneer,
Physics stops at the Planck time. This is as far as my reading on the subject takes me. The Planck time is 10 to the minus 43 seconds ... the shortest possible measurement of distance over time at the speed of light. There was only the singularity before this. The only reason cosmologists state that there is no point speculating about what happened before is because they can't conceive of there being any time before the beginning of time (according to the known laws of physics). This doesn't mean that nothing happened prior to the big bang. Something had to have happened to produce a singularity. The singularity is a point of zero spacetime with infinite density. Physicists can stop speculating at this point. This is where speculative philosophy or metaphysics takes over. I think Kant would have been impressed to see how far science has gone, and what cosmology has discovered about the universe. It would have changed his outlook drastically. For instance, he put it that the first antinomy (the question about an ultimate beginning) was a false question, for it assumes knowledge about something we can really have no knowledge about, as it's beyond our finite experience. Of course, he didn't have the advantage of big bang cosmology. I think he would have come to the conclusion that the thesis was right and the antithesis was wrong. The universe did have an ultimate beginning. Kant would have looked at this discovery as instrumental to the possibility of raising metaphysics to the level of a science.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 10:51 pm
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;88606 wrote:
Kant would have looked at this discovery as instrumental to the possibility of raising metaphysics to the level of a science.


It never occurred to me wasn't. One good thought is as good as another.

Rich
0 Replies
 
sneer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 11:58 pm
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;88606 wrote:
Physics stops at the Planck time. This is as far as my reading on the subject takes me. The Planck time is 10 to the minus 43 seconds ... the shortest possible measurement of distance over time at the speed of light.


I remember that. But this might be the problem of our physics. Before 20th century you have to stop much more later. My point was, according more or less to today's knowledge, we have many proofs of Big Bang.
But, as I saw in your post later on, you are talking about beginning of all. That's another story in my opinion. The Big Bang may be considered almost as a hard fact, if we are talking about the beginning, we do not have any proofs, or better speak - any knowledge but philosophy.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 02:36 am
@sneer,
sneer;88538 wrote:
- from simple assumptions buddhists say, there is a cycle of big bangs, without beginning and without end. Otherwise it cannot exist*.
*If I'm wrong in my understanding, please correct. My knowledge about buddhism is poor, but this brilliant explanation I've found in "Quantum and the Lotus" book.


It is quite true, but it is not specifically 'Buddhist' so much as 'Generic Indian'. It is an ancient way of thinking in India and many other ancient cultures, brilliantly described by Mercea Eliade in The Myth of the Eternal Return. But then, if that way of thinking were to come back after all this time, it would really be no surprise, would it?:bigsmile:
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 06:00 am
@jeeprs,
Science has a problem with the BB because it cant deny it looks like creation.
Krumple
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 09:13 am
@xris,
xris;88673 wrote:
Science has a problem with the BB because it cant deny it looks like creation.


I agree however such a HUGE waste of space if we are the ONLY beings that ALL of this was "created" for.

I think very few people actually think about just how small and "insignificant" our planet is compared to the rest of the cosmos. You don't have to go far before the earth practically disappears from view, dwarfed by swirling clumps of stars and gas and dwarfed again by scattered points of gaseous blobs. There is absolutely nothing to compare it to how much of all that space is wasted.

The only way I can put it is. You buy a ten hundred thousand square foot home but you only live in the entry way closet that is five foot square. The closet is the only room you occupy and it is where you do everything. So what is the point of having all that other space? Is it just to look at?
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 09:25 am
@Krumple,
Who knows the space may be the means to seperate us before we are advanced enough to understand how to treat our neighbours. We have not been very good at treating less able souls we encounter.
0 Replies
 
manored
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 11:08 am
@sneer,
sneer;88538 wrote:


I had only one doubt about that, as I tried to step back to the very beginning; what was before? Physics says, there was no time and there was nothing, what isn't acceptable for me. Recently I've found very impressive explanation in buddhism (I'm agnostic though) - from simple assumptions buddhists say, there is a cycle of big bangs, without beginning and without end. Otherwise it cannot exist*.
That does make sense, but I cant imagine all the mass and energy throw around managing to gather back into a singularity, since the distances are so huge and gravit gets exponentially weaker over distance (If i recall well). But if not all mass and energy regather, then wouldnt than mean that eventually everthing would be so spread that there would be nothing left to make a singularity?

Except if they are talking about that other teory that states that mass and energy come from and return to nothing, with big bangs showing up ever so often.
0 Replies
 
Shostakovich phil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 11:34 am
@sneer,
Metaphysics takes up where physics leaves off ... the problem with the singularity at the ultimate beginning is that it poses the question of where the supposed infinite density came from. My solution to Kant is called the 'Causal Argument' and I'll expound it sometime shortly. It consists of four a priori principles, the first one being the Causal Principle. This principle tackles Kant's first antinomy. It also provides a solution to where the supposed infinite density came from ... or why it arose.

What is interesting is that Kant wrote his critical philosophy in defense of metaphysics (a new kind of metaphysics) in the 18th century, and Kant is still relevant when talking about big bang cosmology. I'll show this when I get around to posting my argument.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 12:07 pm
@Shostakovich phil,
Shostakovich;88764 wrote:
Metaphysics takes up where physics leaves off ... the problem with the singularity at the ultimate beginning is that it poses the question of where the supposed infinite density came from. My solution to Kant is called the 'Causal Argument' and I'll expound it sometime shortly. It consists of four a priori principles, the first one being the Causal Principle. This principle tackles Kant's first antinomy. It also provides a solution to where the supposed infinite density came from ... or why it arose.

What is interesting is that Kant wrote his critical philosophy in defense of metaphysics (a new kind of metaphysics) in the 18th century, and Kant is still relevant when talking about big bang cosmology. I'll show this when I get around to posting my argument.
So can you briefly explain where he thought it came from and with what authority, what proof ?
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 01:58 pm
@Shostakovich phil,
Just watched the science channel program on "multiverse" theory.

Basically the current most popular theory is that of 11 dimensions (a form of supergravity) now M for membrane (magic, mystery, madness, majestic {physicists do have a sense of humor, sometimes}theory.

Our universe is the result of the collision of two of those undulating membranes which also accounts for the non uniform distribution of matter (two undulating membranes or waves collide creating interference patterns).

Mathematically the number of different M branes could be infinite and they take a variety of different shapes. They may have different physical laws and material compostion. One interesting feature of M theory (which supersedes and incorporates string theory) is that everything is connected to the membrane (the interconnectedness of all reality). A somewhat ancient religious mystical view.

Anyway it was kind of interesting although it makes our universe look even smaller, less significant and non unique. Those other dimensions are both small and close to the dimensions of which we are aware. It more a vision of multiverses instead of parallel universes. The other universes may be completely unlike our own although in a sea of infinite universes there would be some similar but not identical to our own.

In the end though there is no physical, mathematical or scientific answer as to whether the universe is random, accidental and without purpose or whether the universe is self organizing, self sustaining and striving for some ultimate purpose.

It is a matter of worldview, of choice, of faith perhaps. I choose purpose even if only for its pragmatic, ethichal and aesthetic value.
0 Replies
 
 

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