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The 'Big Bang'

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by michel, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    No the non-theist, and many theists, claim that the universe came into the existence through the big bang and there is much evidence to suggest this.

    What caused the big bang is a different matter but whatever it was must be out of our universe and non-theists generally avoid making claims about that whilst theists claim that it was a god.
     
  2. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    The non-theist says that there was a beginning to this Universe. Beyond that - ie, "why" - we do not know.

    The theist says that there was a beginning to this Universe, and God was/is the cause. Well, what caused God? Nothing; God is.

    The former chooses not to posit an answer. The latter chooses to posit an answer "by definition." Take your pick as to which you prefer, but to argue over the superiority of your preference or inferiority of the other is baseless.
     
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  3. ch'ang

    ch'ang artist in training

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    another theory that tries to explain ow the universe began is kinda like how water forms on the bottom a gutter. Lets take a black hole, as i hope most people know a black hole constantly sucksin matter now when this matter gets sucked in it doesn't just disappear it gathers in a point of singularity. Some people who have math to prove this (stuff way over my head) say that once a black hole has accumulated a certian amount of mass the point of singularity starts to sag a little and eventually breaks off from the black hole into basicly another universe (one without space yet). This would explain how the mass of the universe was compressed into such a small place and how where matter came from but fails to say where the matter from the other universe came from.
     
  4. Mr Spinkles

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    I agree with lilithu and Tawn. Well said.


    Now, I can't speak for all non-theists, but part of the reason I am a nontheist is because 'God' is rarely (if ever) defined simply as "the causeless cause of the Universe" (or Aristotle's immovable mover). Other things, like sentience, emotions, the ability to communicate with humans, ethics, divine Plans, etc. are assigned to this "causeless cause" which do not logically follow from the definition. There is simply no evidence that, if there is a causeless cause to the Universe, it is supernatural, has consciousness, takes an interest in humanity, performs miracles, etc. (In any case, there is no reason to believe there must be one causeless cause....it is certainly possible to imagine multiple, simultaneous causeless causes.)
     
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  5. john313

    john313 warrior-poet

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  6. Neo-Logic

    Neo-Logic Reality Checker

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    "The big bang was NOT like a bomb going off at a certain location in previousily empty space. The big bang WAS an explosion of space itself. There was no center to this explosion; it happened everywhere. The density and pressure were the same everywhere, so there was no pressure difference to drive a conventional explosion ... A good analogy for understanding the expansion of the universe is to compare the big bang with an inflating balloon. The galaxies on the surface of the balloon are effectively at rest, and yet as the universe expands, the distance between any two galaxies increases. The galaxies themselves do no increase in size. " - The Scientific American Magazine
     
  7. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Perhaps better would be:
    Beyond that - ie, "how" - we do not know.
     
  8. Finnyhaha

    Finnyhaha Member

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    If you've got some time on your hands, read "Big Bang" by Simon Singh. Very readable, and lots of good information. I started reading it this morning, so I'm only into the second hundred pages and he hasn't really gotten into the Big Bang yet, lol. But I'm sure it'll be just as good as the rest of the book when he does.
     
  9. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    Why is the theist so interested in knowing how the non-theist explain by using science, how the universe came into being? Is the theist truly interested in finding out the truth? Or is the theist has doubt about theist's own version of how the universe came into being, and is looking for an alternative explanation, and is on the path to become deconverted from theist to non-theist? Does a theist need to make the non-theist look ridiculous in order to strengthen the theist's faith? What is the actual objective of posting this question? I am curious.
    My own perspective of time is that time is a like a circle, no beginning and no end. So if the big Bang theory currently has no explanation to the pre-bang time event, it may simply be due to the circular nature of time, no beginning and no end, only a continuous on going process of change.
     
  10. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Some yes other no. But the same can be said about atheist.

    I can't speak for anybody else but I have seen some theist (most likely catholic) that are not afraid and can hold all theories of the natural sciences as long as it does not contradict what was revealed. Which means one may go all the way back to the Big Bang.

    Perhaps, but this still leaves plenty of questions that neither the atheist nor the theist can truly answer. Metaphysics attempts to and you are certainly venturing in that territory with your circle theory.

    ~Victor
     
  11. SpiritElf

    SpiritElf Member

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    The Big Bang seems to the theory that works best for now. And that if there was no light in the universe, perhaps all the motion of the universe would be dedicated to time, so there would indeed be time to exist before matter did, thus creating the possibility that time did exist eternally and the Big Bang emerged from time to create all the matter we have now. In this scenario, you don't have to worry about the prickly problems that creep up that the Big Bang created time itself. It gives the Big Bang a PLACE in time, not the origin of it.
     
  12. SpiritElf

    SpiritElf Member

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    And as an aside, you seem to be assuming that all Big Bang theorists = non-theists, and that theist = someone who does not believe in the Big Bang. That would be a mistake.

    If you cannot prove the Big Bang, then it still resides in the realm of speculation. But scientists have in no way given up the belief that the Big Bang can be proven. Before, the big problem was how to combine quantum mechanics with general relativity, a seeming impossible task: until superstring theory and Mtheory came along. And others still believe they can link the Big Bang to the beginning of the 'arrow of time". And superoptimists believe that they can create in a lab the conditions that existed at that time. In any case, true knowledge is still a lightyear away, according to most.
     
  13. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello michel,

    You asked:

    >"Could a non-theist please explain to me, using science, how the universe came into being ?"<

    One might also ask of the theist to either spiritually/scientifically reconcile the multitudinous differences between all of the various religious/superstitious/mythological "Creation" accountings - of which each ascribe themselves as being veritable and true - and demonstrate beyond equivocation or reasonable doubt that *their* Creation story is the *actual* way the "universe came into being". Is that scientifically demonstrable beyond ANY doubt, or simply a matter of faith?

    Just the same, a non-theist's response (my own) would be that the best, presently available, scientifically supported explanation resides somewhere within the generalized "Big Bang Theory". Is such explanation(s) offered as unequivocal, definitive, and beyond reproach?
    No.
    Is it honest to say, "I don't know for certain (beyond any and all doubt), but here's what the available evidence/data *suggests*"? I think so.

    Theists are more concerned with the "why" of the cosmos (and by extension, their personal existence). Science is confined to the "how", not the "why".

    There are numerous contemporary published scientific works (that can be readily consumed by non-scientific laypersons) that offer "best, current explanations" of cosmological origins, some of which have been suggested within this thread (I'd be pleased to reference/recommend some others, upon request).

    It's important to draw distinctions between personalized opinions ("Here's what I think..."), and conclusions based upon presented/confirmed fact ("Here's what the established/confirmed and known evidence suggests..."). Big Bang theory is not simply opinion, or guesswork, or pure speculation. It is sound (if incomplete) conclusion(s) predicated upon available and demonstrable fact, or what the facts suggest/infer as sound beyond reasonable doubt - NOT beyond ANY doubt whatsoever.

    To offer/submit in response to your inquiry, "I don't know...but..." - should not be construed as lingering doubt or uncertainty on the part of any advocate/adherent of Big Bang theory as a valid cosmological origin theory. It's simply a matter of intellectual integrity and honesty predicated upon what is "known", and what remains to be discovered.

    Many "unobservable" scientific theories are predicated upon what the evidence infers, or "suggests" is true.

    Consider the scenario:
    You go to bed on a cold Winter's eve with a bare, brown lawn, and awaken to a freshly fallen blanket of snow as coverlet to said lawn. You note at the end of your driveway, tire tracks that pass adjacent to your mailbox (which you routinely emptied yesterday). There are no other evident footprints in the freshly fallen snow that traverse either to or from your mailbox. When you don your coat and slippers, and go to the mailbox, you find newly delivered mail.

    What does the available evidence suggest? Is it reasonable to infer that the postal carrier delivered your mail, even though you did not witness the actual delivery yourself? Is it *possible* (however unlikely) that someone *other* than your postal carrier delivered your mail instead? Yes...it's "possible"; and since the *possibility* (however remote or implausible) exists...therefore when pressed by a doubting spouse or neighbor to "Prove" that indeed it WAS the postal carrier that delivered your mail, you might in candor confess that "I'm not sure, but the current evidence (subject to the discovery of additional evidence) suggests that a postal carrier delivery of the mail is the *best available* explanation."

    Others might introduce alternative explanations that ignore/dismiss the evidence as equivocal, or incomplete, thus rendering (in their estimaton) the proffered conclusion suspect or invalid, but aspects of plausibility/likelihood should be evaluated and considered.

    It *could* have been a bird, or deus ex machina, or some other "unseen" (unobserved) force or entity that delivered the mail...leaving markings that simply *appear* to be tire tracks (but are perhaps "something else", or purposefully intended and "placed" for you to draw an incorrect conclusion). Is concession in this case the same as confirmation of plausible likelihood, or equality of consideration of a proffered "best explanation"? No.

    If one seeks answers beyond all equivocation, and nothing less will suffice...then religion/supernaturalism/spiritualism/mythology is the only refuge for requisite absolute certitude - in spite of, or in lieu of - available explanations predicated upon extant evidence alone.
     
  14. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Hi s2a,

    No one is asking for proof - I think we all know that neither side will be able to prove their case.

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I think the point behind my original question was that (it seems to me) non-theist say "Why should I believe in God ? - prove that he exists" - and go forth, at great length, to show how science indicates that the 'whole thing' started with the big bang. The trouble with that argument (I fully accept the scientific evidence of what took place), is that the Scientist (IMO) will never be able to find an answer as to how the right conditions came about for the appearance of the material needed for birth of a Universe; just as a theist cannot explain the 'appearance' of G-d (he has always been....etc).

    The conclusion that I am coming to is that there is no proof positive for either the theist or the non theist. At the end of the day, however, it is the non theist who takes the stance that the theist way of thinking is flawed filled with unsubstantiated supernatural and false methodology.:)
     
  15. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    What is your conslusion regarding at the end of the day, what is the stance of the theist in terms of characteristics that are to be associated with the non-theist way of thinking?:help:

    Would it be something like below:

    The theist will take the stance that non-theist way of thinking is perfect filled with scientically proven facts, and is sceptical about non-proven concepts like the beginning of the Universe or pre-big bang period, including the existence of God?:D
     
  16. Mr Spinkles

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    michel-- Just a couple of points:

    1) Irrespective of whether or not we can fully explain the big bang or god, there is evidence for the big bang; there is no evidence for a personal god.
    2) Whether or not "at the end of the day, it is the nontheist who takes the stance that the theist's way of thinking is flawed" depends entirely on the particular nontheist in question. There is nothing about being a nontheist that requires
    a) belief in the big bang, or any other explanation of the universe
    b) belief that the theist's way of thinking is "flawed"
     
  17. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello Michel,

    You said:

    >"No one is asking for proof - I think we all know that neither side will be able to prove their case."<

    From your perspective or experience, that may be true...but I assure I have encountered *many* theists that demand unequivocal "proof" of various scientific theories (evolution and "Big Bang" just being two of the most notable). Lacking any statements/conclusions of proclaimed 100% scientific certitude, the typical theist's (doubter/contrarian) response is "Science's guesswork/assumptions are no better than my faith/belief. If you can't "prove" your "theory", then I'm (we're) right." (or things similar in nature of reply). Obviously, this is both fallacious rationale and quite self-serving, but frequently encountered in my personal experience.

    [Aside: I have often put of non-accepting theists to detail or outline just what (specifically) evidence or proof they would require to accept scientific theories like evolution or Big Bang as being the "best" available explanation of these multifaceted and well-studied phenomena, and you'd be surprised at how many candidly state "You can't present/There isn't...*any* evidence or proof that would cause me to accept such an explanation, or otherwise (in so doing) reject my own faith-based conclusion/belief(s)." Yet these same people demand "proof" that they themselves can not define as being satisfactory. Odd. The few that actually *do* propose what would constitute convincing evidence/proof offer scenarios/instances that can not be supported (or even tested) by means of sound scientific methodology.]

    >"I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I think the point behind my original question was that (it seems to me) non-theist say "Why should I believe in God ? - prove that he exists" - and go forth, at great length, to show how science indicates that the 'whole thing' started with the big bang."<

    Hmmm. I suppose some younger, intemperate, and inexperienced "non-theists" would indulge such facile/superficial rationale, but within my own recent personal experience, self-assured "non-theists" wouldn't even bother with such argument. Non-belief (re: supernaturalism, theism) is certainly not requisite in order to accept presented scientific theories as sound and veritable beyond a reasonable doubt. This forum stands as testimony to that view.

    >"The trouble with that argument (I fully accept the scientific evidence of what took place), is that the Scientist (IMO) will never be able to find an answer as to how the right conditions came about for the appearance of the material needed for birth of a Universe; just as a theist cannot explain the 'appearance' of G-d (he has always been....etc)."<

    I do not share your pessimism regarding the inevitable inability ("impossibility"?) of "science" (that monolithic, all-encompassing "thing") to not discover and produce definitive and naturally explained cosmological origins (though perhaps not within our lifetimes). Even today, cosmologists (quantum, particle, and standard)/physicists/mathematicians *think* they have "creation" boiled down to the first few milliseconds of existence (about: 10 to minus 43rd power seconds to about 10 to minus 11th power seconds for "quantum", and "up to" about 1/100th of a second after the big bang for "standard" cosmology). It's only those first initial milliseconds that remain "scientifically" unresolved.

    Who knows? Maybe the recent "Deep Impact" experiment engineered to collide (successfully!) with the comet "Tempel 1" will finally reveal some secrets regarding the very origins of our solar system (and perhaps life itself). Theoretical cosmologists/physicists and mathematicians are still hammering away at the unresolved aspects of a Grand Unifying Theory (aka, the "Theory of Everything"), that would reconcile the apparent dichotomous natures of small-scale and large-scale physics, and in so doing, might very well uncover the very nature and "essence" of existence itself (not philosophically, but naturally).

    Again, I am optimistic that such revelations will indeed be unveiled, if not necessarily within my mortal stretch of years. Just THINK of the incredible explosion of scientific understanding that has transpired and accrued over the last two hundred years. Over the last 50. In the last 25.

    In 1805, there were no cars. No airplanes. No penicillin. No major organ transplant surgery. No submarines (no scuba). No radar. No air conditioning. No home electricity. Planets Neptune and Pluto were yet undiscovered. No genetic science. No dinosaur fossil had been identified.

    In 1955, man had yet to launch a satellite successfully into space. Sending men to the moon was a mere pipe dream, and perhaps "impossible". Heart transplants were unheard of, as were "Cat" scans. Insulin had only been FDA approved for 16 years at that point. The first industrial-use microwave oven was only a year old (another 12 years before you could buy one for your home). Color TV was four years old (and almost no one had one). Videotaping was still on the drawing boards.

    In 1980, "personal computers" were unheard of (much less a working public "internet"). No nation-wide (much less world-wide) cellular phone network. No DNA testing of forensic evidence. No camcorders. No digital cameras. No DVDs (CD's were a brand new medium). No Hubble telescope. No Space Shuttle. No Lasic eye surgery. No botox. Ms. Pacman was state-of-the-art video gaming at 25¢ a play (geez, no home video game units!).

    And yet, through the years of scientific discovery, evolution, and revolution, and the remarkable ("impossible"?) "magic" that science indispensably provides us every day (with little thought or involvement), few if any "theists" doubt or question the underlying chemistry, math, physics, etc. that make these inventions/discoveries factually evident and real. The *exact same* science and methodology that that is employed in support of theories like the Big Bang.

    Most "theists" don't question the science that makes their microwave oven or cell phone work, but they retain impenetrable convictions and doubts of the very same science that strongly suggest Big Bang models, or evolution? I mean...D'OH! It's the VERY SAME (understanding of) microwave technology that allows for cell phones and microwave ovens...that also *confirms* (in observance and measurement of cosmic background radiation) the strong validity of Big Bang theory.

    I wonder...if present cosmological origin theories are somehow "false"...will that mean that I can no longer "nuke" a burrito...or drive erratically while eating that burrito in my hybrid car whilst talking on the wireless phone?

    >"The conclusion that I am coming to is that there is no proof positive for either the theist or the non theist."<

    I understand, but you fail to state important distinctions between the two.

    As a "non-theist" (an atheist, thankyouverymuch), I don't REQUIRE "proof-positive" to accept a validly presented and supported notion, "beyond a reasonable doubt". Therefore, I never offer any claim (on behalf of "science") as "proof positive", or "beyond any and all doubt". The "theist", on the other hand, presents faith-based claims as beyond (any) reproach or doubt. As far as the faith-based claims of Christians are concerned, such are offered as "absolute", "immutable", and "unwavering" TRUTHS. Scientific substantiation (or "proof") is not required to make such claims, nor is it often (if ever) provided for evaluation/falsification.

    >"At the end of the day, however, it is the non theist who takes the stance that the theist way of thinking is flawed filled with unsubstantiated supernatural and false methodology."<

    Indeed, and there's a very good reason why.

    One may evaluate evidence, and subsequently form a (potentially falsifiable) conclusion, or....

    ....one may insist upon/claim a foregone and unfalsifiable conclusion, then seek out only confirming evidence, and dismiss/ignore any contradictory evidence.

    One methodology IS flawed, the other is not.

    Believe it, or not...
     
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  18. abdullaah

    abdullaah New Member

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    peace be for the ones who follow the strait path.
    i direct you to harunyahya.com , you'll find satisfying answers, we are in the year2005, we are at the age of science. i reffer you too to the Holly QURA'N , you'll read : HAVEN'T THE DISBELEIVERS SEEN THAT THE EARTH AND THE SKY WERE ONE ENTITY AND WE MADE THEM SPLET, WE MADE EVERYTHING ALIVE OUT OF WATER
     
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