January 12, 2009

Steady State vs. Big Bang

I have an ex brother-in-law, who we'll just call John, who told me years ago that he didn't believe in God and seemed very passionate about it. Now, this isn't all THAT unusual really but a main argument for his reasoning of such has recently entered my mind, as more of my dork tendencies emerge and I study space and the Physics of such a little more. Here's the general argument he had:

He didn't believe in God for a number of reasons but his solid "clencher" argument...the one he thought "proved" his way of thinking...was based on Physics and the universe. He claimed that the universe was infinite, with no beginning and no end, therefore there could BE no creation. Basically that, "In the beginning..." wasn't possible in infinity because there WAS no beginning. Seems pretty logical and straight-forward, I guess. I didn't argue with him at the time, for several reasons I won't go into here, but just stowed that information in the back of my mind and left it there to either fester or decompose like so many other bits of info/memory.

Fast forward to present-day, with me watching "The Universe" on History Channel and thoroughly sewing my wild dork-oats and loving every single episode of it. I find that John apparently subscribed to Fred Hoyle's Steady State theory of the universe...it says that the universe has always existed and that it is infinite, ever-expanding, but that the expansion somehow creates new matter in the form of Hydrogen in order to maintain its relative density and so forth. Now, while this theory may prove to be correct in some future time...and with much more considerable evidence to de-bunk the Big Bang model...for now, VERY few physicists even support this model anymore.

Why, might you ask? Well, basically because with the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, it adds further very strong evidence to support the primordial atom and the Big Bang and pretty much overnight, debunked the Steady State theory completely. This radiation, you see, is leftover remnants from that massive explosion some 13.7 billion years ago. The universe has a beginning and will eventually have an end, as well. At least, all the known information we have been able to acquire to this date with our technology supports this fact. Makes logical sense...if the universe is ever-expanding, which we have proven that it IS, then it was a little bit smaller yesterday than it is today...a little smaller than that the day before and the day before and the day.........well, you can see where this is going. Eventually, you would get back to a starting point.

Very interesting how physics, and the study of our universe, has worked out. People such as Copernicus and Galileo, mostly Galileo, were criticized by the Catholic church for adhering to their beliefs...Galileo actually lived out his days under house arrest in Italy and was not allowed to speak or publish any more of his findings because they believed his findings were heresy and went against the literal meaning of the Scripture. Travel along the natural progression of studies and theories to present-day...and you find that there actually IS a beginning to the universe, a "creation," if you will. In fact, the modern-day father/proposer of the Big Bang theory was actually a Belgian Catholic priest and professor of physics and astronomy at a Catholic university.

Now...this post isn't meant to be religious and I'm in no way trying to direct my own personal beliefs by using science. I am actually, in many ways, much more scientific in my thoughts and beliefs than I am faith-based...I just thought it was interesting stuff, somewhat funny how science progresses and works, and more importantly, thought it was kinda cool to deflate John's argument (if only to myself) these many years later. ***By the way...if John happens across this blog someday, this cosmic radiation was discovered way back in 1964, so while he may be quite brilliant in many ways, he's a bit behind the 8-ball. John might want to grab an updated version of his Physical Science textbook. I'm just saying...

1 comment:

  1. Wow. So many things to think about. Maybe I should grab a physical science textbook...


Throw me a rope!